American Airlines' Airbus A321 sitting at JFK. Image: Eric

American Airlines’ Airbus A321 sitting at JFK – Photo: Eric Dunetz

This story was written for by Eric Dunetz (@southpawcapture)

Out with the old and in with the new.

American Airlines showed off their brand-new Airbus A321 at John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on Tuesday and upped the game in the ever-competitive transcontinental market.  I was invited to take a tour.

The A321 with be replacing American’s aging Boeing 767-200 on the JFK/LAX route starting January 7th, and the JFK/SFO shortly thereafter, and will offer a welcomed upgrade for passengers.

Premium seat on the American Airbus A321. Image: Eric

A First Class seat on the American Airbus A321 – Photo: Eric Dunetz

American will be the only carrier to offer a three-class cabin, featuring fully lie-flat seats in both First and Business Class, on a narrow-body aircraft. The First Class cabin will be outfitted with 10 fully lie-flat seats in a 1-1 configuration, giving each seat direct aisle access.

Business class will have 20 fully lie-flat seats in a 2-2 configuration. Each premium class seat features a 15.4-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitor offering a selection of in-flight entertainment including movies, TV programs, audio selections, and games.

In Main Cabin (economy) every seat will have an 8.9-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitor with an assortment of movies, TV programs, games and audio selections.  Only a portion of the content is free.

Not something widely seen in a trans-con flight. Image: Eric

Not something widely-seen on a trans-con flight, although it is getting more common Photo: Eric Dunetz

For a narrow-body trans-con product, I think American’s new A321T has taken the lead on these routes.  It will be interesting how American will compete with JetBlue’s new Mint product and United’s more established PS.

The new product mirrors quite nicely the look on American’s new Boeing 777-300ER and continues the airline’s move to become the #NewAmerican. But the question still remains; will the flag on the tail stay on this A321 or will it be replaced with the classic AA logo?

Business Class on the American A321. Image: Eric

Business Class on the American A321 – Photo: Eric Dunetz

Business Class seats on American's A321. Image: Eric.

Business Class seats on American’s A321 – Photo: Eric Dunetz

The Main Cabin (aka Economy) is not very big. Image: Eric

The Main Cabin (aka economy) is not very big – Photo: Eric Dunetz

Each seat has in-flight entertainment. Image: Eric Dunetz

Each seat has in-flight entertainment – Photo: Eric Dunetz

Exit row seating on the American Airlines' Airbus A321. Image: Eric Dunetz

Exit row seating on the American Airlines Airbus A321 – Photo: Eric Dunetz

American's A321 in flight. Image; Eric.

American’s A321 in flight – Photo: Eric Dunetz

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No Fly Zone

I wonder how they will price this route. With several other players in the market, their loads will probably depend more on timing and price. The others still see to get dear fees for their seats.

Biz class config is nice, unless seated at the window and your seatmate on the aisle is sleeping flat. That could be an awkward experience.

That is always the problem with quite a few of the biz class seats out there. How to not awkwardly step over the sleeping passenger next to you is an art-form.


James Burke

Each class looks nice – I dig the upholstry in Y. The top picture is fantastic – I don’t know if there is a filter on it or not, but it is a beautiful photo.

Chapeau to AA for a job well done. The bird looks very appealing futuristic and I’am sure will be success story for the future travelers.

Great photo of the aircraft at the gate. First class looks amazing, but as you have mentioned, business class would be a little awkward when the aisle is flat. That red accent on top of the seats in coach adds quite a bit!!!

Thanks for such a comprehensive photo tour. Overall, it strikes me as a fairly conservative design scheme. Business class offers a bit more modernity and the seat structure itself has an attractive pod design. The brushed-metal finish helps. Are those metallic leather headrests on the first class seats? Whatever company fabricated the dress covers did an impressive job, especially in economy. Matching prints on such bold check and keeping it aligned from seat to seat is not an easy job. It’s very revealing of the passenger mix on those routes that American dedicated such a large portion of the plane to premium seats. Great article!

piece if junk bring bacl the md-11 a real airplane

Max windsor peplow

Have just flown as first from la to New York and loved it am now in a longe connecting to heathrow in first hope it’s nice

Gus hardy

Lol max

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