REVIEW – American Airlines Flagship First Class Lounge – New York (JFK )September 1, 2016
REVIEW – Andaz West HollywoodSeptember 1, 2016
American Airlines (AA)
- Flight: AA181
- Class: First
- From: New York (JFK)
- To: Los Angeles (LAX)
- Aircraft: Airbus A321T
- Seat: 2A
- Date: March 2015
Jump straight to the Conclusion
As luck would have it, not only did my flight to LAX get moved forward by an hour, Kamara’s got cancelled entirely, shifting her booking to the same flight as me. I’ve never seen a day in which two First award seats are available on the same A321T flight (which is understandable given the diminutive size of the F cabin), so things really worked out for us!
We made the decision to head over to the gate just as boarding was being called, rather than our usual trick of waiting until the final call. This meant that I had plenty of time to photograph our graceful bird for this afternoon’s flight to Los Angeles.
As soon as we stepped onto the plane we knew that we were in for a great flight. The lead FA was absolutely on top of his game. He was friendly, engaging and very welcoming. He was one of the most genuinely warm and sincere FAs I’ve ever encountered.
He was clearly very happy to be working with such a fantastic hard product and his pride shone through in his work.
With only ten seats, arranged in a 1-1 configuration, this is a truly unique cabin. The reverse herringbone seats are very similar to those that we’d previously experienced on EVA Air and Cathay although the colour scheme used by AA is a lot more neutral.
Plenty of storage space, although my boots didn’t fit into the floor level compartment.
Latest touchscreen IFE system with swipeable controls and multiple input and headphone options.
Universal power socket located at chest height for charging of items set on the side or stored in the shelving unit.
One of AA’s limited edition amenity kits, featuring all the airlines that joined to form the AA of today.
The case has a really nice feel to it and is designed for re-use as an iPad mini case
Much like the seat, the amenity kit is similar to what Business Class pax get on AA’s newest international services.
Given the fact that the A321T is a narrow body plane and that ten people occupy nearly a third of it, the fee is more akin to a private jet.
At the time we took the flight AA wasn’t serving champagne on its Flagship transcon route, in First class. This meant that I had to go for my trusty backup drink for my PDB : G&T.
The G&T was served with mixed warm nuts.
He told us that this was absolutely no problem and that he would keep the drinks flowing in the meantime to help us work up an appetite.
So I had free flowing G&Ts and a huge number of entertainment options to explore. Not a bad position to be in.
I love that AA gives Bose noise cancelling headphones to International Business Class passengers as well as domestic F passengers on the 3 class transcons.
I settled down with another G&T and some uncensored entertainment. There’s nothing worse than being on an Asian or Gulf carrier and seeing obscure plot holes develop and dialogue cease to flow as the result of censorship.
After watching a movie I was beginning to get a little hungry, so I called over the FA and ordered the Thai grilled chicken appetiser. He was delighted that I had chosen to eat something and immediately sprung into action, setting the table for me.
As it was a cold dish it came out really quickly.
Unfortunately this dish was a total miss. The flavours just didn’t work well together and the watermelon was not as fresh as it could have been.
Buttonhole for attaching your napkin French style to protect your clothes. Nice detail!
Given the portion size and the fact that the dish wasn’t particularly satisfying, I took the FA up on his offer of a salad, hoping that this would prove the Thai chicken to be a fluke.
The Thai chicken was not a fluke. The salad was just as bad. It was basically some trail mix and cheese thrown on top of some broken lettuce leaves. It was actually quite hard to eat without drenching it in dressing, the pieces just kept falling off my fork.
The main checkmark for the F&B was the espresso machine though. I was able to order double espressos throughout the flight, which tasted great.
Unfortunately the premium budget did not stretch to water. I would have expected something like Fiji in F, or even Poland Spring as opposed to Dasani purified tap water.
The time flew by quite quickly and before we knew it, the lights of LA appeared beneath us.
The FA totally made this flight for me. He really made it his mission to ensure that we had the best experience possible.
For a flight of this length the seat is exceptional, as is the entertainment system.
The lack of champagne was strange and I’m glad this has been sorted. The food needs some serious work if this product is really going to stand out as THE premium transcon experience. I’ve not flown it myself but the seat and food do look better on Jet Blue Mint class.
I’m glad I tried this product but don’t feel the need to rush back to it, given that there are direct options to LAX from LHR.
- Part 1:
- BA Concorde Room – Heathrow Airport
- Part 2:
- British Airways : First Class – London to New York
- Part 3:
- Andaz Wall Street, New York
- Part 4:
- AA Flagship First Lounge – New York JFK Airport
- Part 4:
- American Airlines : First Class – New York to Los Angeles
- Part 5:
- Andaz West Hollywood and L.A. sights
- Part 6:
- Qantas First Class Lounge – LAX
- Part 7:
- JAL : First Class – Los Angeles to Tokyo
- Part 8:
- Hilton Niseko
- Part 9:
- Dai Ichi Seafort Hotel
- Part 10:
- JAL First Class Lounge – Tokyo Haneda Airport
- Part 11:
- JAL : First Class – Tokyo to London