Review of American Airlines flight Phoenix San Francisco in Economy

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA686
Class Economy
Seat 31A
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 02:08
Take-off 17 Oct 23, 20:20
Arrival at 17 Oct 23, 22:28
AA   #68 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 598 reviews
Published on 10th May 2024

A visual of my itinerary from HND to SFO via DFW & PHX which would cover a total distance of 7,980mi/12,843km

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Welcome to another trip report!
This is the last leg of three from my journey that started all the way in Tokyo. I'm currently walking just a short distance from my last flight arriving from DFW to my new gate that'll take me on relatively short flight to SFO this evening.  

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My gate tonight to SFO will be A22. 

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I apologize for the glare but this will be my A321 that'll be taking me to SFO this evening.

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For today's flight I'll be sitting in 31A which I chose for free during booking since I had bought a main cabin ticket. My aircraft tonight is configured in the 'Oasis' cabin with two cabin classes (2 within economy class) that are: 20 Domestic First, 35 Main Cabin Extra and 135 Main Cabin which comes to a total capacity of 190 seats. (see map courtesy of aerolopa)

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Some information about my plane:
Flight number: AA 686 
Aircraft: Airbus A321-231
Registration: N927UW
Delivered: June 4, 2015
Age: 8.5 years (at time of flight)

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Eventually boarding was announced and I later boarded with my assigned group 6.

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Just before boarding was announced, I did notice that the gate area was quite empty with people. However when I checked the seat map the flight looked somewhere around 80% full. This would be a premonition of what's to come.

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A better look of my A321.

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Keep going… 😂

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Finally arrived at my seat 31A which I specifically chose due to it's good window alignment (thanks aerolopa!).

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seat features

legroom was ok. These seats offer 30" of pitch, I'm 5'9" or 176cm for reference. 

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My view for the next 1.5hr.

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Each seat offers individual usb outlet but only 2 universal power outlets per 3 seats.

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A look at the overhead panel. At least there are individual air vents which is a plus.

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Boarding is complete and as expected there was a light load of around 40% on tonight's flight to San Francisco. I boarded with group 6 and it was like I was one of the last to board the aircraft. Possible a lot of people misconnected? who knows because the seat map just about an hour before boarding showed 80% in Y. Everyone at the back pretty much got there own row but I was one of unfortunate ones to have someone in the aisle but no biggy at least I don't have a neighbor directly next to me in the middle seat 😉.

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We began pushback right on time.

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FA's began doing there manual safety demonstration. 

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Cabin lights were dimmed for takeoff.

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A tiny bit of daylight in the horizon as we entered the runway for takeoff.

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Until next time Phoenix!

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inflight entertainment

Right after takeoff I decided to take a look at the entertainment options that AA provides. Even though there is a decent array movies and tv shows to choose from, AA still lacks a moving map that even AS & SW have on their systems which is ashamed. I still prefer PTV's any day over bringing your own device for entertainment. This is something I would expect when flying airlines like Southwest, Breeze, etc.. and not from a full service legacy carrier as AA. At least UA is getting the memo and is following the direction that DL and JB have been doing for years which is having personal PTV's fleet wide which is what most passengers like me want. 

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tray table & seat back contents

A look at the tray table which is a descent size and extendable.

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Next we have the seat back contents which are:
A321 safety card.

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Inflight entertainment guide.

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And lastly an air sickness bag.

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We ended up flying a very southernly route around Socal and by the outskirts of Los Angeles (pictured below). I have no idea why we took this and not have flown a more direct route. Nonetheless this added an extra 25 minutes or so to our total flight time. 

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inflight service

The inflight service began about 45 minutes into flight while flying over the outskirts of Los Angeles. The service was very standard and consisted of a choice of drink and a bag of pretzels. At least AA gives out whole cans of soda which I appreciated.

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I happen to get one that said PHX 😅 pretty sure it was just a coincidence.

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After the service the cabin lights were dimmed and it got very uneventful. I decided to sleep for the rest of the journey. 

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initial descent

Not long after the cabin lights were turned on in preparation for landing into SFO.

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Flying over San Jose.

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Welcome to San Francisco!

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Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 departing for London (LHR); flight time: 9h 45m

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Air India B777-200LR arriving from Delhi (DEL); flight time: 15h 19m

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arrival at gate

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Since we had such a light load on tonight's flight, deplaning took no time.

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Back at my favorite terminal here at SFO.

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This concludes my very fun journey from Tokyo to San Francisco on American Airlines. Thanks for reading!

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American Airlines

Cabin crew5.5

Phoenix - PHX


San Francisco - SFO



This was a very typical and uneventful domestic economy class flight on American Airlines. The seats were clean and comfort was good with sufficient padding, though legroom was somewhat on the tight side but for a flight of this duration it was not a problem. In terms of the inflight service you really can't ask for much and the snack and beverage offered was plentiful for a flight of this duration. As with my previous flight, the flight attendants were not in the best of moods. As I keep saying, with AA it's a hit or miss you either get ones that are amazing or you get ones that visibly show that they hate their jobs, nothing really in between (at least the ones that work economy class that is 😅).

Information on the route Phoenix (PHX) San Francisco (SFO)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 3 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Phoenix (PHX) → San Francisco (SFO).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est American Airlines avec 7.2/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 2 heures et 3 minutes.

  More information


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