I must preface this American Airlines flight review from Los Angeles to Honolulu with two small points. First, I was not planning to fly this sector with AA until flight cancellations meant I had no other choice.

Secondly, it has to be noted the catering shown here is no longer offered. This was the last day before the airline returned to the normal meal service. With all that being said, the Airbus A321neo and its seats are still the same.

A Little Time At LAX

I arrived into Los Angeles after a wonderful transatlantic flight with American Airlines from London. Next I spent a little time in the Flagship Lounge before heading to the gate and boarding the plane to Hawaii.

AA297 – Los Angeles to Honolulu (LAX-HNL)
12 April 2022
Airbus A321NX – N443AA
Seat: First Class 1F
Departure: 18:30 Arrival: 21:31

For a change I was one of the first on board, which allowed me to get a couple of pictures. There is usually a very short window to do this before there are passengers everywhere!

American Airlines A321NX Cabin

There are 20 first class seats over five rows and 170 in economy class, which are illustrated on the seat map here. I selected the first row as I enjoy not having anyone reclining into my space.

I’m not particularly tall (I’m 170cm or 5’7″) and my legs could touch the bulkhead with ease, so I couldn’t quite stretch out. Between the seats is a small table for beverages and there is power for charging devices. Wi-Fi is also installed on these aircraft.

Flying Los Angeles to Honolulu

Once everyone was on board, we headed off for the long overwater flight to Hawaii. In the air, hot towels were offered and collected, then drinks service began. I elected to have a Champagne and the ubiquitous American Airlines hot nuts came with it.

For dinner, I recall being offered chicken and polenta (I am no fan polenta) and another choice that I really didn’t want. Therefore, it was the chicken for me.

Pleasingly there was no polenta in sight. I’m very glad my ticket did not cost a lot of money, because the meal looked pretty light for a long domestic dinner flight. Thank goodness that has changed! Anyway, it was all fine, if not particularly memorable.

Let’s Talk About Dessert… And Those Seats!

Having had not one but two ice cream sundaes on the transatlantic, I was looking forward to one here. However, it was not to be and instead it was a Häagen-Dazs cup. Not exactly the dessert of kings! As mentioned before, the service reverted to normal the day after I flew.

As I was tired, I decided to try to sleep, which brought up some questions. Who chose these seats? Were they offered at a discount or something? Which tester with a far flabbier posterior than me is responsible for thinking these were a good idea?

The seats are hard as a rock, with no give in them at all. I shifted position, I put my feet this way and that and I could not get comfortable. There is no give and no softness whatsoever, so it is impossible to relax completely. Who stole the padding?!

These are truly some godawful seats to sit in for the guts of six hours, let me tell you. All the smart frequent flyers know to take Hawaii flights out of places like Dallas to get long-haul aircraft and now that I’ve done this, it’s obvious why. Hopefully I’ll never have to fly in these seats ever again. Eventually we descended and landed into a balmy Honolulu on time.

Overall Thoughts

Would I fly American Airlines from Los Angeles to Honolulu again? No. I didn’t want to fly them in the first place, because I think their domestic first class on board product is somewhat below par. That’s my polite way of saying I think it’s pretty crappy.

Having to spend one to two hours in these seats is fine, but twice that or more? Never again. I usually find no issues with airline seat comfort, in fact, I barely mention it in my reviews at all. This was notably bad and won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

What do you think of the American Airlines Airbus A321NX first class seating? Should I have flown in the Main Cabin instead? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image via AIB Family Flights.