This past weekend I flew on the American Flagship First A321T from New York to Los Angeles. Since I also flew on this exact product just a month ago and published a more comprehensive review, I decided to make a quick “Takeoff Points” posting with highlights from my most recent visit. You can check out my more detailed reviews on this product from December 2022, March 2023, and November 2023.
Overall, this was one of my better flights aboard the American Flagship First A321T. The service was much better than on previous flights, and my pre-flight experience at the First Class Chelsea Lounge was enjoyable. On board, I only ran into a not-so-good main entree, but enjoyed the rest of the flight.
Flagship First A321T Flight Details:
American Airlines 300
New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX)
Class: Flagship First
Aircraft: Airbus A321T
Date of Flight: December 2023
Takeoff Point 1: Chelsea Lounge lunch was great.
Before the flight, I headed to the first-class Chelsea Lounge for lunch. I had a nice Salmon for my main with a crab cake to start. A glass of Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle Champagne and a cappuccino for drinks made for a solid meal. I wrote a short post about my experience here if you’d like to read more about it.
Takeoff Point 2: Service on the flight was excellent.
Having flown on the American Flagship First A321T numerous times, I found the service to be quite mediocre usually. This flight surprised me in particular, as it was very polished. Two flight attendants assisted in the cabin and they both walked up and down the aisle quite regularly to check in and replenish beverages. It felt like I was flying on an international carrier, as normally only one flight attendant generally helps out. Additionally, a pre-departure beverage was offered, which was not the case on my last flight. And, there were 2 hot towel services, one before the meal and one before landing. Normally only 1 hot towel service is provided.
Takeoff Point 3: The Main Entrée onboard was not good. But, I do love the ice cream sundae!
In regards to the meal, they changed up the menu from my last flight which was nice. But sadly, my chicken was way too dry. On the bright side, they didn’t run out of menu items, but maybe the reason why the chicken was still available was because the other passengers knew… On another note, the menu doesn’t list the wine selections on the back anymore, and you have to inquire with a flight attendant about the selections.
I liked the warm nuts + olives to start, and for the other dishes I ordered, I found the shrimp appetizer to be pretty decent, and the Butternut Squash to be too sweet. But nothing was as bad as the Cumin Rubbed Pan Roasted Chicken.
For dessert, I had the Ice Cream Sundae, which honestly was the highlight of the meal. American makes a killer Sundae. And, there is a warm chocolate chip cookie served before landing.
Takeoff Point 4: There are no “bad” seats in Flagship First on the A321T.
I’ve sat in rows 2,3 and 5. Other than missing an extra window, I don’t see anything wrong with row 5, and behind 5A is just a coat closet. You’re not that close to the business-class lavatory/galley. And I noticed in row 1 the flight attendants leave snack baskets on top of those bulkhead seats, so if you don’t want passengers grabbing snacks from your seat, I wouldn’t choose row 1. None are clear dealbreakers, but if given the choice I would opt to be closer to the middle of the cabin if available.
The Flagship First A321T seat is quite similar to the reverse herringbone seat featured on the 777-300ER in Flagship Business. It’s modified to suit the narrowbody A321T aircraft. I enjoy the 1-1 configuration and the seat feels quite private.
Takeoff Point 5: The seat is comfortable and Casper bedding is great.
Flying in Flagship First gets you 2 sets of pillows and blankets. The first set has a duvet and full-sized pillow from Casper which are very comfortable (and also used in Flagship Business). Plus, there is an additional set that features a lighter blanket and smaller pillow, which are exclusive to Flagship First passengers.
Takeoff Point 6: Bang and Olufsen headphones are nice & solid IFE screens.
I love the B & O headphones, and they are comfortable and provide good sound quality. Definitely better than the headphones that Delta provides in Delta One, and the headphones United Provides in Polaris. The In-flight Entertainment seatback screen is a solid size at 15.4 inches. It provides a clear picture and the touch screen is responsive. There were plenty of new movie options available, as well as TV shows (Apple TV also) and music. Charging ports/plugs, and USB charging were available as well. I watched the new Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1 on the flight, then popped over to the TV section to watch some Apple TV shows.
Overall, this flight was one of my best American Flagship First A321T experiences. Other than the main meal being subpar, the rest of the experience was solid. Highlights on this flight include the attentive service, the comfortable seat, and the ice cream sundae.
Have you visited the First Class Chelsea Lounge at New York JFK recently? How was your experience? Comment below!
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