American Airlines Airbus A321T business class – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz
It is no secret that true international-style first class service is quickly becoming an endangered species. Airlines like American and United are either eliminating or drastically reducing the number of three-class aircraft they operate, but a few exceptions remain. On American, lie-flat first class can still be found on the flagship Boeing 777-300ER, unrefurbished 777-200ERs, and also the subfleet of Airbus A321T’s operating the premium transcontinental routes.
Occasionally, American will operate a three-class aircraft on different and unexpected routes. When that happens, savvy passengers in the know (that’ll be you in just a few minutes) can fly business class for the price of economy, or maybe even true first class if they’re lucky enough. That’s exactly what happened to me on a flight between Boston and New York’s JFK Airport.
The American A321T at JFK – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz
Rather than have the aircraft sit all day (an aircraft on the ground doesn’t make any money), American occasionally schedules the A321T to operate between JFK and Boston or Dallas, and the 777-200ER between various hub cities. When I noticed one of my business trips to Boston happened to coincide with one of these turns, I immediately booked the flight.
When American operates a three-class aircraft on a non-standard route, business class is often available to anyone booked in Economy. The seats are right there on the seat map when booking, but how many people would even think about clicking on a business class seat when booked in Economy? Not many. At some point before the flight, Business Class was locked down to elite status passengers or full fare Y (economy) ticket holders, but I was in before the cut. Oh, I almost forgot to mention. If I wanted a Main Cabin Extra seat instead of my business seat, I would have had to pay extra.
American Airlines hosts a launch party for its new LAX-Haneda flight.
It’s already been a busy 2016 for American Airlines, which has announced several service enhancements and, on February 11, launched its inaugural service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Toyko International Airport, more commonly known as Haneda Airport (HND). Premium passengers will enjoy additional comfort and convenience both before the flight and onboard, while those in economy will be able to enjoy some of the little things they’ve missed in the past couple of years.
As for American’s new flight into HND, a launch party for VIPs was held the previous night at the Japanese American National Museum in Downtown Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, and AirlineReporter was invited to the festivities.
The George & Sakaye Aratani Central Hall at the Japanese American National Museum
The red carpet at American’s “Best in LAX” announcement event on January 20
On January 20, American Airlines hosted a “Best in LAX” themed event at the Hollywood Bowl, highlighted by a large expansion of nonstop domestic flights from Los Angeles International Airport. However, what was remarkable was what wasn’t announced…
An American Airlines 777-300ER (77W) taxis at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Will it soon offer a Premium Economy option?
American Airlines is hosting a press conference on Wednesday, January 20, at the world-famous Hollywood Bowl, and AirlineReporter has been invited to attend this special “preview” for the media.
The hook from the invitation: there will be “some very exciting announcements to unveil about their continued growth and expansion in Los Angeles, including new services, partnerships, and programs that will be rolled out in 2016 at LAX and citywide!”
What could this mean? Does American have some big news for flyers… or will it be all fluff and circumstance?