Review of American Airlines flight Los Angeles New York in First

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA010
Class First
Seat 5F
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 05:28
Take-off 24 May 15, 21:55
Arrival at 25 May 15, 06:23
AA   #34 out of 67 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 508 reviews
chasieu
By 4838
Published on 27th May 2015
Hello Flight Report Community!! My name is Shawn and this will be my first flight report and full segment trip report. It is also my first time traveling in first class so please excuse me if I missed out on collecting and writing further details such as the aircraft registration numbers and in flight maps and more pictures. It is an overwhelming experience having been sitting in coach all my life so I just had to let the euphoria settle down! My goal is to share my travel experience with all of you and to really just share my enthusiasm. I am currently on this trip as we speak and will update more trip reports as I fly the routes.

Flight: AA 10
Aircraft: Airbus A 321T
Seat no.: 5F
Estimated departure time: 9:55PM PST
Actual departure time: 10:05PM
Estimated arrival time: 6:23AM EST
Actual arrival time: 6:05AM

INTRODUCTION

This trip is the first segment of my around the world ticket routing made possible through the amazingly flexible and ridiculously easy routing rules that the now extinct Dividends Miles Program had. I booked this trip in March 2015, about a month or two before the merging of the AAdvantage program with the Dividend Miles program. That day was such a sad day indeed for award flyers because trips like mine would no longer be possible under the AAdvantage program.

My segments are as follows:
AA 10 LAX-JFK A321 in F [YOU ARE HERE]
AA 106 JFK-LHR B 777-300ER in F [Coming Soon]
BA 306 LHR-CDG A 321 in J [Coming Soon]
MH 21 CDG-KUL A 380 in F [Coming Soon]
MH 72 KUL-HKG B 777 in J [Coming Soon]
CX 645 HKG-DOH A 330 in J [Coming Soon]
QR 777 DOH-MIA B 777-300 IN J [Coming Soon]
AA 1352 MIA-LAX B 777-200 in J [Coming Soon]

This trip is 28,000 flight miles and I am extremely excited to fly it and share with all of you some premium offerings of the carriers. I booked the above trip using 115,000 Dividend Miles and $238 in taxes which was a steal considering US airways had a high sign up bonus of 50,000 miles if you applied for their credit card.

CHECK IN

After flying in on a short Southwest flight from San Francisco, I made my way from Terminal 1, the southwest dominated terminal to Terminal 4 where AA flys out of. All flyers in F for transcon flights (LAX-JFK or SFO-JFK or returning flights) get access to Flagship check in which is a more exclusive way to checking in and makes you feel like you are away from society. I purposefully did not do my research on LAX's flagship check in because I wanted to experience it for myself and it was very difficult to find the flagship check in room due to the lack of signs. An AA employee directed me to two white sliding doors but it was actually the exit to the check in room. After entering, the AA representative rudely told me that coach check in was upstairs. After explaining that I was seated in first class, she changed her attitude and checked me in. Then, she pointed to where I needed to go to for security. Flagship check in does not include escorting or fast track security screening for passengers in F or flagship which I find very odd as I do not see a point in having a separate Flagship check in without these perks. Nonetheless I went through security and was cleared after about 20 minutes.

After security, I went directly to the Flagship lounge which is located inside the admiral's club.
photo IMG_6759photo IMG_6760


Unfortunately, I am 20 and look much younger so after giving me a key to enter the lounge, they checked my age and told me that I was not allowed inside the flagship lounge, even though I was a confirmed passenger flying in F. Apparently the lounge is for people 21 years and up and I was greatly disappointed and offended. It was like being offered a golden ticket and then having it stripped away!

The agent sternly told me to stay in the admiral's club and offered me two drink coupons. She made it a point that I was not allowed to get alcoholic beverages.

Nonetheless, the admirals lounge was large and adequate and had some decent snacks.
photo IMG_6763photo IMG_6766photo IMG_6773
They were serving a nice chicken curry soup that I made sure to sample.
photo IMG_6774
You are given 2 free drink coupons and I got the sparkling water photo IMG_6799
AA Astrojet livery B 737-800
photo IMG_6806
After resting for a bit, my red eye flight to JFK was called and I proceeded to boarding.
photo IMG_6810

The cabin looks so much better in person and I was ecstatic to finally sleep in a bed in first class. It was a full fight and the cabin and seats smelled new and everything was in pristine condition.
photo IMG_6811
First class seat
photo IMG_6812

There was a single flight attendant working this red eye and she looked extremely stressed out. There was no attention to detail and she seemed a loof most of the time. For example, she would skip the entire back row of first class when giving drinks, handing out headphones, and taking orders. I would have to get her attention every time.

An amenity kit was placed on my seat. In my opinion, the new amenity kits look a little bit tacky, especially for first class.
First class amenity kit
photo IMG_6830

I was then served a pre departure drink as well as a ramekin of warm nuts
Pre departure Ginger Ale with Limephoto IMG_6835

After, we departed on time.
photo IMG_6827photo IMG_6829

After take off, we were given noise canceling headphones as well as menus for the red eye dinner/supper.
The menu:
photo IMG_6814

What is interesting to note is that the menu is the exact same as what is given to business class. Its unfortunate how many airlines, particularly American has virtually identical food in the first and business cabins.

I chose the only hot option: the pumpkinseed breast of chicken with chowder. All of the items were given on a single tray. No ice cream sundae on this flight!
photo IMG_6837

The chicken was rather dry and the flavors were quite odd. Nonetheless since it was my first first class meal, I ate it.

After dinner, I went to the bathroom to take the obligatory bathroom shot
photo IMG_6839

I slept immediately after that and was awoken naturally about an hour before landing in JFK. My how time flies when you are in a lie flat seat! The breakfast was extremely disappointing as it was three scones and a smoothie in a bottle. It reminded me of a elementary school breakfast than a first class meal.
photo IMG_6842

After the lackluster breakfast, we began our descent into JFK.

See more

Verdict

American Airlines

6.0/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew5.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering3.0

American Airlines Admirals Club

4.6/10
Comfort4.5
Meal/catering4.5
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services4.5

Los Angeles - LAX

6.4/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness7.5

New York - JFK

7.1/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Overall, this flight was rather lackluster and everything did not meet my expectations of riding in first class. This experience does not merit the $1,300+ price tag for this route and the only redeeming thing about the flight was the actual hard product seat. Perhaps it was just this flight where the service was absent but I am looking forward to sampling future AA products and services!

Thank You everyone for reading my report! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Information on the route Los Angeles (LAX) New York (JFK)

9 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 137992 by
    pititom GOLD 11123 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this first FlightReport and welcome onboard :)

    Very promising series coming up and you're right, it was a steal ! Too bad it doesn't start with a mild experience.

    The Flagship lounge offers a self-service, non-attended bar. I guess that's why it's restricted to 21+ pax. On the European side, it's culturally difficult to understand that you could pay half of your ticket by signing up for credit cards but can't have a beer ^^ Things will be different from LHR to MIA ;)

    The red eye service is very poor. Only one FA, drinks service before departure, service on tray, lackluster catering...brrr...plus it's a red eye ^^

    Looking forward the next segments :)

  • Comment 137993 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 12455 Comments

    Thanks for sharing your first FR and welcome aboard

    It's a great routing especially with the CDG-KUL MH A380 and DOH-MIA QR legs

    DM was a very good FFP like BMI's Diamond Club.

    It's a comprehensive and very interesting report : good job for a first time :)

    the AA representative rudely told me that coach check in was upstairs
    Very bad agent :(

    You weren't allowed in the Flagship lounge because there is you can get alcohol by yourself unlike in Admiral's club where there is a bartender

    The menu is very poor and it's a shame that it's the same as Business's menu.

    The food is not appetizing at all

    The breakfast is pathetic !

    With the rather bad service it's a really disappointing experience

    I hope you'll have a better one on your next AA flights

    See you soon for the next leg

    P.S. the flight number should be AA10

  • Comment 138025 by
    indianocean SILVER 7174 Comments

    Welcome onboard Flight Report and thank you for this very first report.

    After entering, the AA representative rudely told me that coach check in was upstairs. After explaining that I was seated in first class, she changed her attitude and checked me in.--> why need to be rude to Coach passengers? They are not animals.

    The First class Transcon hard produst is fabulous but catering is definitely appaling

  • Comment 138095 by
    greg787 31 Comments

    Nice first report and welcome aboard. Looking forward to reading your next reports on your itinerary.
    I too remember the thrill and excitement of my first F class flight. Like yours it was just a domestic US flight on an American carrier. I'm positive those will pale in comparison to your int'l flights.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment 138103 by
    AFGK1 41 Comments

    Hi!!

    Thanks for sharing this series with us!

    After entering, the AA representative rudely told me that coach check in was upstairs. After explaining that I was seated in first class, she changed her attitude and checked me in. Talk about discrimination, why would the FA do that to coach passengers??

    Too bad you can't enter the flagship lounge, I heard it's pretty nice in there.

    The seat is first class, but the catering is bad, you get served a business class meal.. Maybe when it's daytime the meal will be better.

    Overall, I think you are paying a first class price for a business class service, with the lounge downgrade and the catering, I think you aren't getting your mile's worth....

    I'm pretty excited for your next flights!!

    See you soon ;-)

  • Comment 138104 by
    AFGK1 41 Comments

    Hi!!

    Thanks for sharing this series with us!

    After entering, the AA representative rudely told me that coach check in was upstairs. After explaining that I was seated in first class, she changed her attitude and checked me in. Talk about discrimination, why would the agent do that to coach passengers??

    Too bad you can't enter the flagship lounge, I heard it's pretty nice in there.

    Only one FA??? Thats pretty bad, I pity the FA though...

    The seat is first class, but the catering is bad, you get served a business class meal.. Maybe when it's daytime the meal will be better.

    Breakfast looks shameful... Could have been better if it has been plated with yogurt/fruit

    It's a red eye flight and normally I don't expect much, but this being first class, you really have to execute the same service as on normal flights

    Overall, I think you are paying a first class price for a business class service, with the lounge downgrade and the catering, I think you aren't getting your mile's worth....

    I'm pretty excited for your next flights!!

    See you soon ;-)

  • Comment 138106 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report and welcome to the site!

    the AA representative rudely told me that coach check in was upstairs
    - She judged you based on your personal appearance, welcome to America.

    the new amenity kits look a little bit tacky
    - They are retro honoring all the former carriers that became AA.

    The meal looks pitiful. The soup looks like it just fell out of a can (maybe the AA Astrojet you spotted) and the main looks like cafeteria food, especially with the aluminum sauce dish in the middle. They served the ice cream at the same time as the main? Breakfast is also very poor.

    It sounds like you had a lousy crew experience, which was only compounded by bad catering. On the bright-side, you slept :)

  • Comment 138137 by
    socalnow 979 Comments

    Greetings Chasieu and thank you for this report. What a fantastic itinerary and a great example of maximizing miles! I'm looking forward to following along.

    My how time flies when you are in a lie flat seat!
    -So true, especially red-eye flights. Sounds like you got good sleep.

    I'm sorry the service and food were not up to par. If this is the Flagship service on an important route I am concerned for American Airlines.

  • Comment 138172 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5600 Comments

    Hi Shawn, thanks for sharing this first report with us! Lots of good detail in here--nice job. Too bad about the Flagship lounge--that is such a U.S. airline thing to do. I used to get into lounges and drink alcohol on planes no problem when I was under 21...on foreign carriers. And it's not like you can use a fake id, lol...an airport is the last place in the world to try to pull that lol.

    It's such a shame that your first Transcon F flight was on a redeye. I'm convinced the service would have been better on a day flight. Yes, it is really disappointing that AA's F catering is essentially the same as in Business class and that breakfast is a total joke--they really need to make an effort to try to differentiate the products with more than just hard product.

    I think AA is going through a bit of an identity crisis with the merger--sadly pre-merger US Airways management not running AA seem to want to cheapen AA's product as much as possible. They have attempted to cheapen the catering but were met with so much backlash from Flyers and especially FF Elites, that they have been making upgrades to catering again. Hopefully once the merger is sorted out, we'll see improvements in the Premium cabin soft product like we've seen with Delta in the years following the NW/DL merger. AA has a top notch hard product; now they need the soft to match. There's a lot of potential there.

    The fact that AA is the only carrier offering a 3 class configuration on Transcons with a real F class, is a double edged sword. One the one hand, they have an advantage in having the only true F cabin in the market. On the other hand because it is the only true F cabin, there is no competition to gauge themselves against and so they can cheapen the product. I think this is what's been happening--AA management has been looking to see just how much cheapening they can get away with and then backtracking when the complaints start rolling in.

    Looks like you have an interesting itinerary for your RTW trip ahead. I hope your 77W F experience was better than this one--though that's another redeye so I'm guessing no...lol. Looking forward to the other reports!

    Welcome to Flight-Report!

    KevinDC - Community Manager

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