Review of American Airlines flight Washington New York in Domestic First

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA104
Seat 2A
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 01:25
Take-off 24 Jun 17, 17:45
Arrival at 24 Jun 17, 19:10
AA   #56 out of 116 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 471 reviews
JonathanL
By GOLD 659
Published on 20th March 2020

Today you will be joining me on a very special day. All the way back in 2017, I flew in a premium cabin for the very first time. Little did I know, that just under three years later I would've flown 8 more first/business class flights and that my life would change forever-a new passion would be born. For that reason, despite my qualms with American, I will forever have a soft spot for them. I was flying to New York and noticed a $50 upgrade cost and decided to spring for it. Not only would this flight be in first class, but it would be on three cabin American's A321T, specially designed for transcon routes, equipped with lie-flat seats. With that being the aircraft, I just couldn't say no. I was giddy with excitement when I had stepped out of my taxi at DCA. I headed straight to print out my boarding pass and headed straight to the TSA checkpoint. I was given PreCheck so I breezed through in no time.


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I headed straight to the Terminal B Admirals Club which was located immediately after security. I took an elevator upstairs. I headed straight to the lounge attendant's desk and presented my boarding pass. He acknowledged the special plane my flight was being operated by. Looking back, I am mystified to how I was admitted as it was a domestic first class ticket with no international onward connections, so I wasn't eligible (the access requirements may have been different in 2017, but I don't believe so). It was probably the agent just being nice, so kudos to him! Me, unbeknownst to access requirements as I was naive as a newcomer to the system, didn't think anything of it and headed straight into the lounge. I was like a kid in a candy shop. I was floored by the concept of a lounge (far from my current, Priority Pass days), but soon got used to it and made myself at home. The lounge itself, was of the old AA design and was small but still bestowed an exclusive and premium feel (well, to me at the time ;-)). There was a small food buffet with basic items, similar to most Admirals Clubs. There was a variety of comfortable seating options. The design was midcentury modern and was quite nice. 



I was lucky enough to spot a Virgin America A321neo out the window. 


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I spent 30 minutes or so there before I headed to my gate. 


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I arrived just as boarding started and was one of the first onboard. Upon stepping onboard, I was greeted by a friendly flight attendant. 


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I took my seat and stared in awe at my it. There was a large HD IFE monitor with a handset remote and lots of choices, plenty of storage compartments, a large tray table and side console, and the best part, the reverse herringbone seat being able to turn into a fully flat bed. 



The cabin was configured in a 1-1 configuration, giving direct aisle access to all seats. The intimate 10 seat cabin offered plenty in the way of privacy. Behind that was the 20 seat business class cabin equipped with b/e Aerospace Diamond seats. And at the very back, there were 72 economy seats split evenly between Main Cabin and Main Cabin Extra. With the seat count being only 102, the plane felt very exclusive. From what I could tell, the business class seats were part of Main Cabin Extra for this short flight. Upon taking my seat, I was offered a pre-departure beverage of choice-I chose Sierra Mist. 


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With so few seats, the boarding process was swift and soon we were pushing back. In sync, the new (at the time) safety video was screened. 


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I was a little annoyed by the way the flight attendant serving the cabin addressed the cabin about collecting the pre-departure drink cups, saying, "I need your cups NOW." It felt quite rude and surely there is a more eloquent way of saying that. 


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While taxiing aa flight time of 47 minutes was announced. Before long, we were lining up on the runway and soon we were airborne. The seat, being far away from the window due to the reverse herringbone design, made it impossible to get a wing view. 


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The flight attendants wasted no time taking drink orders and after passing around a snack basket. 


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I was overjoyed to have a drink in a real glass. I tested out the lie flat seat and was very impressed with its comfort. It was just so fun to be on what was essentially a bed on a plane. Don't worry, it's not a random person who I don't know in the lie flat position!


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Sadly, the flight was nearing it's end. This was just a taste to the lifestyle I'd begin to (somewhat) adopt. Soon, we were approaching JFK. After landing, there was a short taxi and shortly thereafter, we were on stand. I bid farewell to the crew and headed off to enjoy my time in New York. I realize I'm a bit jaded nowadays, but cans still appreciate the privilege I have and how I shouldn't take it for granted. Also, apologies for the camera quality as these pictures were taken on an iPod touch.
Follow my Instagram: @life_jonathanl 

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Verdict

American Airlines

8.9/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering8.0

American Airlines Admirals Club - B

8.6/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Services8.5

Washington - DCA

9.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access10.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness10.0

New York - JFK

8.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

It was a joy to fly on such a special plane on such a short flight, which made my first flight in first class even better.

Information on the route Washington (DCA) New York (JFK)

1 Comments

  • Comment 548147 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5331 Comments

    Whoa, I had no idea AA was running A321T on DCA-JFK in 2017...I totally missed that! Damn, I could have taken advantage of that when I was still living in DC, doh! I know they were doing a lot of JFK-BOS runs (and still are??), but not DCA.

    So your first Premium cabin experience was A321T F! Wow, luckily it was on a short flight because otherwise you'd be forever disappointed in any other domestic F experience haha. I'm lucky that I got a taste of premium cabins when I was still a kid shuttling back and forth between the US and France. Flying as a UM I often got upgrades to F or J for free back in those days (FAs liked to keep UMs close to them in the front galley)...so I've been hooked to flying in the pointy end for basically my whole life.

    Looking back, I am mystified to how I was admitted as it was a domestic first class ticket with no international onward connections, so I wasn't eligible (the access requirements may have been different in 2017, but I don't believe so).

    Hah, yeah you definitely didn't have access...the agent was either being nice or didn't know and thought you were on and Intl itinerary without checking lol. Lucky you!

    I was lucky enough to spot a Virgin America A321neo out the window.

    RIP ?

    Thanks for sharing!

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