American Airlines is the only airline that continues to offer three classes of service on flights from New York to Los Angeles and New York to San Francisco. These are 4+ hour long flights, and if you are flying non-stop you want the greatest comfort possible. That obviously is not possible for every passenger, so if you are willing to pay a lot more money (and you plan ahead of time) you can move up to the First Class section of the airplane where there are a number of amenities and definitely comfort galore.
What many occasional flyers do not realize is that the reason First Class costs as much as it does is because it brings in a sizeable chunk of revenue for the airlines. Back in 2012 when American Airlines was in a bankrupt state, its Chief Commercial Officer said that 25 percent of the customers count for almost 70 percent of their revenue. In other words, those who fly coach and economy would be paying more if it wasn’t for the 25 percenters.
So if you are going to fly American First Class it helps to know the most luxurious airplanes to get the most of your air travel dollar. You can find the airplane type and model as part of the information provided when booking a flight online. Keep in mind that the information provided here is only about the physical luxury. The personal service you get from a flight attendant will vary from situation to situation.
1. Airbus A-321T
This is their Flagship First Transcontinental service and you will be able to fly comfortably from coast to coast. This is the flight mentioned at the beginning, where you want to fly either from
Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) or San Francisco (SFO) – New York (JFK). The seats lie flat, so you can recline them all the way back. You will have a selection of wines to choose from and there are multi-course meals available. Currently they are marketing their food being prepared by Chef Sam Choy. To pass the time you will be able to enjoy free entertainment, which includes free movies, TV shows, and games. For your audio comfort you are provided with Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Canceling headphones.
2. Boeing 777-300ER
When flying on the 777-300ER you will have American’s Flagship First International service available to you. Providing a true first class experience, you will access more than the basic luxuries found on other airlines. These flights travel more than 3,000 miles, so generally you can expect to be in the air for more than 5 hours. The expected lie-back seats are provided, allowing you to fully recline. Chefs for this class of service include Sean Connolly and Maneet Chauhan, serving a changing menu of select dishes. Depending on the light length and destination, you may also be able to watch live TV in-flight.
3. Airbus A-321
American has adopted the Airbus A-321 airliner, fast becoming one of the most popular choices for airlines. With their Flagship Business International flights you get a Cole Haan care set, that lets you be pampered with skin care products as you relax. You will also be provided with a Casper sleep set, including comfy pillows and warm comforters exclusively designed by Casper, who specializes in sleep technology.
4. Boeing 787-8
This list is not in order of luxury comfort offered, and this airplane offers a slightly less luxury quality than the others on the list. For flyers of the Boeing 787-8, American offers its Flagship Business Transcontinental service. The biggest drawback for flyers is the absence of lie-back, fully reclined seats. You get the upright business class seats, so while some comfort is afforded, it is missing the supreme quality of the other airplanes.
5. Airbus A-319
Finally, there is another Airbus, the 319 model. Available only on domestic flights within the United States, the airplane offers American’s ridge service. You will have wider seats and more leg room than everyone else, and celebrity chef Julian Barsotti has put together a selection of dishes for your in-flight pleasure. The entertainment is free, but the displays are on the back of the seat. There is Wi-Fi access for a fee.
The services available can change, so you want to visit the American Airlines website or call their customer service to discover the latest amenities and changes. Also, airlines will decommission certain models or airplanes from time to time, and their replacements may not be the same size or have the same seating patterns. If you are not a frequent flyer, check which aircraft are currently in service.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker