Review of American Airlines flight New York San Francisco in Business

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA 85
Class Business
Seat 5D
Flight time 06:15
Take-off 10 Mar 14, 15:30
Arrival at 10 Mar 14, 18:45
AA   #26 out of 66 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 509 reviews
By 6707
Published on 27th March 2014
Hi everybody,

This flight marks the conclusion of a wonderful weekend trip that I recently had in New York. It was great to meet some members of the community and get to see the faces behind the names. As an aviation enthusiast, it is a gratifying experience to share this passion with other people around the world irrespective of language and cultural barriers.

New York means a lot of different things to many people. For me, it symbolizes culture and sophhistication, and no other part of the city represents these concepts better than the Upper East Side. This area not only contains world class museums and exclusive shops, but also some architectural gems that are set against a background of restrained elegance. Its charm is best discovered by walking slowly through its many streets and corners.

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Temple of Dendur

Hidden charms

New York might as well be the most Parisian city in the U.S.

One of the highlights of my trip was a visit to Petrossian restaurant with a very special friend. We took a very enjoyable lunch on a sunny afternoon.

Petrossian restaurant

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The restaurant is well known for its caviar

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Interior of restaurant

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Foie gras with apples accompanied by an excellent Beaumes de Venise

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Duck confit risotto with black truffles and wild mushrooms

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Maine crab cakes with apple and red cabbage remoulade

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Chocolate mousse cake with coconut sorbet

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I took the subway from midtown to the AirTrain station at Sutphin Av. just before the Jamaica stop. The Airtrain was a couple of meters from the station and once onboard I took advantage of some plane spotting as we got into JFK airport.

AA Terminal

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Separate check-in area for Elite and Premium passengers

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Since I was in F, I used the Priority desk and was helped right away since nobody was using the desk when I arrived. The area inside was spacious with a few tables and chairs to sit and relax. It had the air of a mini lounge that certainly gave it an air of exclusivity.

Once I went through security, I decided to visit the Admirals Club located nearby. The check-in was efficient and I was welcomed to the lounge. Unfortunately, since I was flying F on a 2-class cabin (only F on 3-class cabins are allowed), I didn't qualify to enter the Flagship lounge and resigned myself to wander around the rest of the lounge.

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The lounge was very ordinary with a bar in the back and a few computer stations in one corner. The food offering was poor as expected of domestic lounges, consisting of fruits, cookies, yogurt pretzels and salty mix.

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Spotting from the lounge

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I then decided to take a shower and asked one of the lounge receptionists for access to the showers. I was escorted almost right away. The shower rooms had plenty of room and I appreciated the bench area nearby. Toiletries were available from dispensers and featured the Dermalogica brand.

Right after showering I went to the gate. When I arrived at about 30 min. before departure, it looked like most people have already boarded, so the flight must not have been too full. Unfortunately that was not the case in F. I was greeted by a FA upon boarding and proceeded to my seat.

Pre-departure drinks were offered consisting of water, orange juice and sparkling wine.

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Flight attendants were proactive and smiling, offering to hang coats. Once we took off, service started at around 1610 with the distribution of Samsung tablets and Bose headphones. The tablet that I received was malfunctioning so the FA quickly changed it for me.

Afterwards menus were distributed along with oshiboris.

AT 1630, the first beverage service started with warm nuts. I ordered my usual 1/2 orange juice, 1/2 cranberry mix. The purser who was excellent offered refills for both drinks and nuts frequently.

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I ordered my meal online and had the grilled fillet with haricots verts and mashed sweet potatoes. The purser acknowledged my choice and minutes later distributed the appetizers. There was already a piece of bread on the tray and there was no basket of bread offered during the meal service. Perhaps a problem with catering.

The shrimp was fresh and the contrast between the sweet grilled pineapple against the refreshing cucumber slices was delicious.

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Salad was fine. Nothing too excited about it.

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The fillet was not too overcooked and was good. The mashed sweet potatoes added an interesting touch.

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Then I ordered the cheese plate and a sundae with chocolate fudge with whipped cream. Originally I wanted to pour Kahlua coffee liquor on top of the ice cream but the FA advised me that they did not carry the liquor. I hope this is not a cutback from the new AA. The cheese plate contained a couple of spicy choices, like a peppered one that was very pronounced and another one that I thought was Monterey Jack. New World cheeses I guess.

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Water bottles were distributed and after the meal service there were baskets with fruits and snacks in the galley area. This is definitely an enhancement and the quality of the snacks were comparable to those offered on intl. flights.

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About 1 hr. before arrival fresh baked cookies were offered. There was a choice between cranberry oatmeal or chocolate chip with milk.

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Arrival was on time and the flight was a very pleasant one thanks to a great purser that was on top of things.
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American Airlines

Cabin crew10.0

American Airlines Admirals Club (Concourse B)


New York - JFK


San Francisco - SFO



This was a great flight on AA thanks to a crew that was professional and efficient.

The catering was good and the addition of a snack and fruit basket after the meal service is appreciated. However, the lack of warm bread choices from a basket and no Kahlua was a slight disappointment.

I flew on an intl 2-cabin plane so the comfort was pretty good. However, I find that it is a bit cheap to differentiate F between a 2-class and 3-class cabin. For example, on my flight there was no amenity kit and no access to the Flagship lounge, even though the ticket said that this was a F cabin. I think it would be more honest to sell F on a 2 cabin as a J product instead of F if you are not going to give the full benefits.

Information on the route New York (JFK) San Francisco (SFO)


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 104052 by
    Durian 1170 Comments

    Thanks for sharing ? It was not too difficult to have caviar in nice surroundings then take the subway, what a contrast ;)
    Indeed the amenity issue is cheap. The meat looks good, but the thousand islands dressing on the salad is not really sophisticated.
    Have you check the same route on the 321T with the new cabin, how more expensive is it (assuming there is a premium) ?

    • Comment 291034 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      There is a difference of about $700 between F on a 763 and the A321T for a one way fare. I understand that AA is charging less to be on a 763, but then don't call it F since the benefits are reduced. It is misleading. A passenger flying F should reasonably expect the same level of amenities regardless of the type of plane he flies.

  • Comment 104067 by
    lagentsecret 12446 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    A lot of gorgeous pictures

    Very interesting tourist bonus : I like your so personal view of NYC

    What a great brunch in Petrossian !

    The premium check in area is really nice

    The lounge is as usual : it's really stingy not allowing First Class pax to enter the flagship area

    The onboard product is decent

    The catering is above average and with a top notch crew it really makes a good flight

    Looking forward to another great FR from you

  • Comment 104201 by
    pititom GOLD 11228 Comments

    Thanks for sharing !

    Too bad you couldn't make it on the A321T for return as well. I know the price difference can be high but you might have been able to erase it by adding a third strike being and leaving at SFO.

    The offering is a bit better at Petrossian's than in the AA lounge ^^

  • Comment 104223 by
    indianocean BRONZE 7222 Comments

    I can see that you had great time in New York and that you can indulge yourself (beside of course our FR meeting)

    Trust me, the Flagship Lounge is nothing to write home about except food. (Teaser)

    It seems that the menu is the same on all transcontinental flights to the west coast.
    Despite the fact you didn't fly on an A321T, you had a comfortable journey back home.

    Thank you for sharing

    • Comment 291180 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      I've been known to be able to indulge myself anywhere, whether at a loud gathering or underneath a quiet church. The FR meeting was memorable.

      I agree that Flagship lounges do not seem to provoke any shattering emotions from the pictures and reviews that I have read. I've learned from a trusted source that they can even be disappointing. ;)

      I indeed had a nice flight, and transcon meals tend to be pretty standard across the board.

  • Comment 104309 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5758 Comments

    Thanks for another awesome report! I like the Paris meets NYC bonus! Too bad about access to the Flagship lounge, but I guess you didn't miss anything special. Ah, the whole F débâcle. Personally, I've always found it stupid that US Airlines call what is clearly a J product F...I know it's a tradition and has always been that way, but hey progress is good too. The Whole F vs. J thing is even more confusing when you have airlines, like AA and UA that fly 3-class planes and 2-class planes on the same routes! AirTran was the only airline that actually called their domestic F product Business class. Because I strongly believe that F should mean International First Class, I've always classified my trip-reports in Domestic F as Business, because that's what it is, no matter what the airline wants to falsely market. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a's BUSINESS class! LOL

    • Comment 291181 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      You know I have a soft spot for things French, and in NY how can one not notice that despite its assertiveness and trendsetting character, deep down inside it looks up to Paris and wants to emulate it? The old adage Rome conquered Greece but Greece conquered Rome rings so true even today.

      I'm so sick of this transcon F propaganda that is supposed to be just like intl F. It gets reincarnated every so often and it becomes like the kid that cried wolf. The only true intl F transcon product in North America that one can buy is CX from JFK-YVR.

    • Comment 291261 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5758 Comments

      Yup, you're right, CX is the only true F cabin on the transcon market. Not even AA's A321T is a true First product since it's a Cirrus seat, which is a Business class seat (in fact, theirs on 77W!)...oh the marketing BS we all buy from the airlines...even when we know better, LOL :-)

  • Comment 105982 by
    KL651 TEAM 4515 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Was that service already the standard before the new American or is it part of the enhancements?
    I find the meal service you received really good, and long-haul type of seats really makes for a nice flight.
    The same service on a 737 or 757 wouldn't be as good with a normal seat.

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