American Airlines (AA) flies three-class A321s on cross-country routes from JFK. For reasons unknown, it also flies these A321s on the 187-mile trip between JFK and BOS. While taking this short flight did not provide the transcon experience, it was an inexpensive way to see what the premium cabins in this plane had to offer.
Prior to departure I visited the Admirals Club on the B concourse. The lounge has been recently remodeled although the seats had not been updated.
The departure gate, B35, was only a couple of minutes away.
This A321 has four types of seats, 36 economy, 36 main cabin extra (MCE), 20 business, and 10 first class. I purchased this flight as part of a good economy fare from BOS to Barcelona, Spain (BCN). As an AA Executive Platinum, I was offered a complimentary business class seat when I bought the ticket as AA views business class seats on this short route as MCE which EXPs have access to with no charge.
The 20 business class seats are lie-flat in a 2-2 configuration. I would have been pleased to have one of those seats to JFK.
AA automatically adds EXPs to the upgrade list so I also had a shot at landing one of the 10 first class seats.
A couple of days before the flight, I got upgraded to seat 3F!
The A321 lie flat first class seat has a bed length of 82.5 inches and is 21 inches wide.
There is ample room for your feet in the footwell. The only “problem” is reaching it because it is so far away.
The seat has power, a/c and usb of course.
There are two open storage areas but none that are enclosed.
Seat controls, audio-visual inputs, reading light and hand-held a/v remote are conveniently located at eye level.
The in-flight entertainment screen is good sized. It folds out for viewing.
The tray table easily folds out from under the side console.
The amenities for this flight are the same as for any other AA domestic first class seat – a thin blanket.
Legacy AA flight attendants provided pre-departure beverages in first class while boarding progressed.
The departure from gate 35 was at 1:00pm., 10 minutes late.
The total flight time is only 30 minutes. The FAs passed out snack and refilled beverages in first class and business class from a cart.
The IFE had a good selection of movies. There just wasn’t enough time to look at anything.
Arrival at JFK was early despite the late departure. I spent some time at the American Airlines First Class Lounge at T8 and also the British Airlines First American Airlines JFK International First Class Lounge – Progress Report and business class lounges at T7 before the flight to BCN.
I enjoyed the luxury for 187 miles. The first class seat would be great for transcon flights though I think since there are only 10 of them it would be hard to get one as an upgrade. Business class is also great on a short flight. However, the 2-2 arrangement where window seats do not have direct aisle access and must step over the aisle seat is not the best hard product going cross country.