Review of American Airlines flight New York Los Angeles in First

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA181
Class First
Seat 3F
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 06:20
Take-off 12 Jul 15, 17:30
Arrival at 12 Jul 15, 20:50
AA   #37 out of 72 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 502 reviews
By 3946
Published on 7th August 2015
Greetings Flight-Report Community. Thanks for stopping by and having a look at this report. This marks the sixth and final installment of the trip outlined below.

For this report I will finally be sharing a recent adventure. This trip took place in July 2015 so depending on when you're reading this I would consider it recent! This is also the first trip that I set out on with the idea of reporting at this site. With that I tried to use the tips I've learned by reading so many of your great reports on Flight-Report to take more detailed pictures.

The reports will be broken down as follows:

SEA AMEX Centurion Studio, The Club at SEA, and Delta SEA-NRT (Business)
Narita Airport, Delta NRT Skyclub, and Delta NRT-SIN (Business)
Singapore Airlines T2 Silverkris Business Lounge and ANA SIN-NRT (Business)
JAL Sakura Lounge HND and Korean Airlines HND-GMP (First)
Korean Airlines First Lounge ICN and Korean Airlines ICN-JFK (First)
Delta Skyclub Terminal 4 JFK, AA Flagship Lounge JFK and AA JFK-LAX (First)(This Report)

I experienced several firsts on this adventure:

My first time on Korean Air in any class.
My first time on American Airlines in any class.

I had about 6 hours at JFK before the flight to LAX. Rather than heading directly to the AA terminal and Flagship Lounge I stopped by T4 to pay a visit to the Delta Skyclub. Specifically I was interested in the Skydeck. My connections at JFK have heretofore been either nighttime or dead of winter and the Skydeck has been closed at every attempt.

Walking to the T4 Skyclub I spotted Uzbekistan.

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First order of business at the lounge was a shower and change of threads. No wait for a spacious shower room.

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After refreshing I grabbed a beer and headed out to the Skydeck.

It's a lovely space and really fun for an airplane geek like me to spend some time. Unfortunately it's New York in the summer time and it was hot and sticky. I should have done the deck visit and then the shower!

A look at the big hole where T3 used to be.

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I took a stroll around T4 and spotted N822NW, the first 242T A330 delivered to Delta.

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Next I headed over to T8. Here is the premium check in area. There's not really much to it. It looked like there was no waiting, so that's nice.

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Cool model airside in T8.

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I made my way to the Admirals Club nearest my gate and the agent directed me to the other club which housed the Flagship Lounge.

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Inside I found a well appointed, albeit crowded, lounge.

The seats along the window offer great tarmac views.

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I helped myself to a glass of Procsecco.

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I wasn't hungry but the food selection seemed more than adequate. It was certainly a more complete offering than the Korean Air First Class Lounge at ICN.

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Yum, blood orange Pellegrino!

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It was time to take the stroll to gate 46. Here is the aircraft that would perform AA181 tonight.

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As soon as the call was made for First I went aboard. Here is a look at the clean and new appearing cabin and seat 3F.

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Amenity kit. I still haven't opened it! Love that it says Air Cal! Brings back fond memories of seeing them at SNA back in the 70s and 80s.

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Control panel.

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Blanket and pillow.

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Generous screen size.

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The cabin during boarding.

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I accepted sparking wine as the pre-departure beverage.

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The purser was very friendly and genuine in her welcome and distributed menus.

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Let's have a look at the offerings for tonight. I pre-ordered the vegetarian option, not that anyone would need to bit I wanted to try out the system. It's a great idea and I don't understand why more US domestics don't offer this.

We pushed on time and had a surprisingly short taxi. I get a kick out of going over roads when in an airplane in taxi.

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Beautiful 747-8 ahead of us.

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Up and away.

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The moving map had some cool views to choose from. This HUD was fun.

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A proper round of cocktail and warm nuts kicked off the service.

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I opted for the smoked salmon starter. Holy caper berry Batman! The dish was flat and neither the smoke or the salmon mde much of an impact.

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A salad next. Good color and textures.

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The turmeric paneer main course. American Airlines owes the great country of India an apology for this abomination of culinary reproduction. The dish was not hot, the lentils were crunchy and the seasoning was flat/non-existent. Purple cauliflower looks cool though. I wasn't hungry so I tried a bite or two and folded my hand.

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Ice cream is always delightful.

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The cabin during cruise. A generous display of snack items were on offer at the front of the cabin.

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Over Arizona about to enter California.

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Sunset from 3F.

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If there was any type of arrival service I didn't see it. I could have been sleeping.

Big Bear lake, I reckon.

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In the basin approaching LAX.

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American Airlines

Cabin crew7.5

American Airlines Flagship Lounge


New York - JFK


Los Angeles - LAX



This was my first ever flight on American Airlines and I conclude they have a lot to offer. The lounge was well stocked and the staff were very pro-active in replenishing the buffet. The airplane configuration is fantastic with direct aisle access from every seat. The food and beverage left room for improvement. I would not hesitate to fly American again. Now, is the value proposition there for First Class price premiums on this route vs. Business Class? I'm not so sure. Time will tell. American seems to think so. Thanks for reading and happy travels.

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


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 143750 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5534 Comments

    A great way to wrap up another impressive routing. Love the Sky Deck--it's my version of heaven...alcohol and planespotting. Thanks for the tour of the AA Flagship lounge; I'll be there in 2 days. Seems good for a U.S. lounge, but not on par with International Standards of what a First class lounge should be like. AA was very innovative to put Zodiac Cirrus seats on a narrowbody and call it First class. It goes to show how good these seats are. Thanks for sharing this awesome report and another great series of flights!

    • Comment 323244 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 979 Comments

      Hi Kevin, thanks for leaving a comment as always. Much appreciated.

      Love the Sky Deck--it's my version of heaven...alcohol and planespotting.
      -So true! And you can smell the Jet-A.

      Hope you enjoyed the AA Flagship lounge, looking forward to the flight report.

      Happy flying!

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