Back in February, I stumbled across a Business Class Web Special fare from Boston to Los Angeles for only 22,500 miles for July. I thought it was a great deal, and I had planned to visit family in Boston, so I booked it just in case I decided to go. I’ve flown on the American Airlines A321T Flagship Business Cabin back in 2018 and had an enjoyable experience so I was happy to try it again.
The nice thing is that American awards offer free cancellation so it didn’t hurt to reserve the flight. Fast forward to July, my family and I decided to take the trip, so we flew from Los Angeles to New York on the 777 with United Polaris and took this American Flagship Business A321T from Boston to Los Angeles. I was also excited to try out two different transcontinental business class products on this trip so that I could compare the two.
American Airlines 2110
Boston (BOS) to Los Angeles (LAX)
Class: Flagship Business
Aircraft: Airbus A321T
The American Airlines A321T Flagship Business Plane:
This is one of the most interesting plane configurations in my opinion. Half of the plane is taken up by First + Business Class. The configuration of the A321 is unique, with only 102 passengers and a 3 cabin set up. First Class has 10 seats in a 1-1 configuration, Business Class has 20 seats in a 2-2 configuration and the Main Cabin is split with 36 seats for Main Cabin Extra and 36 Main Cabin Seats in a 3-3 configuration. This heavy premium cabin setup is nice and it makes the airplane feel more exclusive and boutique.
Currently, you can catch this aircraft between Los Angeles (LAX) and Boston (BOS)/New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO) and New York (JFK), Orange County (SNA) and New York (JFK). Also, the aircraft flies between New York (JFK) and Boston (BOS) but not with Flagship Service and the Business Class cabin is sold as Main Cabin Extra Seating.
After a quick meal at Stephanie’s near gate B24, and a stop at the Admirals Club at B4, we headed to our gate which was conveniently right across from the Admirals Club.
Our scheduled departure was supposed to be 7:30pm, but boarding actually started late at 7:30pm. Interestingly it only took 9 minutes to complete the whole boarding process lol. I really like how the A321T has such a premium heavy configuration that it allows for a very quick boarding process.
First we passed by the First Class Cabin which are rows 1-5. These reverse herringbone seats are the similar to the seats used in business class on the 777-300ER’s that American flies.
Then we arrived at the Business Class Cabin, which takes up rows 6-10. The Flagship Business Class seats are the B/E Aerospace Diamond seats, which are also seen on Delta 757’s and United 757’s. I chose row 9 as it is far enough from the galley and the single lavatory for business class passengers that is right in front of row 6.
My seat was 9F, and a water bottle was waiting at my seat which was nice. United did not give a water bottle on my Polaris flight.
Waiting at my seat was a duvet and full sized pillow from Casper, and it was as good as I remember from before! Much better than the Saks bedding that United Polaris provides.
Also waiting at my seat was Bang & Olufsen headphones. I like how they left them at the seat so that you could start using them immediately. They did collect them about 30 minutes before landing, but also gave disposable headsets so you could continue watching your movie/show.
An amenity kit was waiting at my seat, and it was branded from Detroit based Shinola. The bag was a nice cloth with zipper, which would be great for re-using to put toiletries in. This specific kit is given to Transcontinental Business Class passengers as well as International Premium Economy passengers.
Inside the kit we had earplugs, eye mask, socks, body lotion by DS&D URGA, toothbrush and toothpaste and a mini pen. I would say the amenity kit itself was nicer than the one provided by Cole Haan on my flight back in 2019.
The case itself seemed a bit higher quality than the AWAY kit provided by United.
In-Flight Entertainment + Seat Comfort:
For IFE, there are 15.4 inch screens. There were numerous movies, shows and games to choose from. The screen was pretty responsive, and there was also a remote control next to the armrest. The remote control was a bit finicky and lagged a lot so I generally just used the touchscreen.
With regards to the 2-2 configuration, it is narrow and less private than flying on a widebody with a 1-2-1 configuration. If you are traveling solo, it may be better to fly on a Polaris widebody for that matter.
One pet peeve that I realized with this seat is that the side storage area that offered the charging ports was at a weird angle behind you and sometimes involved making uncomfortable maneuvers. But, at least it was roomy and adequate to hold my water bottle and leave my phone to charge. The lie-flat works nicely and offers a bed length of 6 feet 3 inches (a bit shorter than United Polaris at 6’6). Being 5’9, there was ample amounts of space for me to lay flat and take a nap, and it didn’t feel too narrow where your foot rests.
One thing to note is that since there isn’t direct aisle access, it did feel a bit awkward jumping over the person next to me to use the bathroom (they were sleeping and I didn’t want to bother them). It’s definitely possible as I did it successfully without bumping them, but you have to be a bit flexible and hop over. If you are flying with a companion, this probably wouldn’t be a huge concern.
In my view, one negative was the WiFi pricing. It’s offered by ViaSat, and there was no free messaging option which was a bummer, and rates were $20 for an hour or $29 for the entire flight. You could also watch an ad and get 20 minutes of free WiFi (time it wisely!). In terms of speed, it was quite quick when I used the 20 minutes of free WiFi, but the pricing packages seemed a bit steep for me. On my United flight, it was only $10 ($8 for Mileage Plus members) for the whole flight and they also provided free messaging.
The Flight Experience:
We left the gate about 15 minutes after our scheduled departure and headed out to taxi. Due to thunderstorms in the nearby, departures were delayed, and we didn’t takeoff for another 40 minutes.
After reaching cruising altitude, we were served Warm Nuts + a drink which I enjoyed.
About a half hour later, the salad appetizer came out.
The salad starter was the lowest point of the meal as they gave way too many greens and they were not that fresh.
Shortly after, the main dishes came out. For the main dish I pre-ordered the Miso Saba Roasted Sea Bass as a friend of mine recommended it.
I was shocked! It was really good. The seabass was soft and tasty, and the mashed potatoes and mushrooms were great compliments as well. Much better than the meals I’ve been having on United and from my American flights back in 2018. Although, it was still not quite up to par with my amazing dining experience with JetBlue Mint, but it certainly was getting close… My mom also got the seabass and really liked it as well. Sadly, dad opted for the Chicken Parmigiana and he said it was quite dry.
After the main course, it was dessert time. I opted to make my own ice cream sundae, and it was delightful.
After dessert, I finished up the movie I was watching, and then got ready to take a nap. I must have slept through the light refreshment service as I didn’t get the famous warm cookie. By the time I woke up, there was about 35 minutes left before landing. The 6.5 hour flight really went by quite quickly!
Once we got off the plane, we quickly visited the Flagship Lounge at LAX for a late night snack and some refreshments. Such a nice lounge for domestic standards!
Overall, flying on the American Airlines A321T Flagship Business again was a solid experience. Access to the Flagship Lounge, the solid main course for dinner and Casper bedding were definite pluses. If I was flying with a companion I would love to fly in this cabin again, but when flying solo, if there is an option to fly on a widebody with direct aisle access, I may opt for that instead.
Have you flown on the American Airlines A321T Flagship Business Class Cabin before? How was your experience? Comment below!
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