I live in the Dallas area, and donâ€™t often fly transcon flights. However, I recently needed to go to both LA and New York close to the same time, and I thought it would be fun to try Americanâ€™s new Airbus A321â€Tâ€ they are flying between JFK and both LAX and San Francisco.
I am an Executive Platinum AAdvantage member (Americanâ€™s top-tier elite for the unitiated) so I can often, but not always, upgrade on a regular coach fare. I looked for the flight with the most available seats in business class, reasonably figuring that this would give me the best chance of upgrading. It was a midweek flight leaving LAX at 1 PM, arriving at JFK at around 10 PM local time.
If itâ€™s not obvious, I am a typical top-tier elite member – very spoiled. Sitting in the back of the bus is for the great unwashed, not I. Seriously, no, I am not above sitting back there, and as I make lots of last-minute changes, I often wind up squashed in with everybody else. Plus since I own my business, travel costs come out of my pocket. No high-end business class fares for me.
So when you have the opportunity to take â€œAAdvantageâ€ of the few perks you get with business travel these days, you grab it. Considering this was a five-hour flight and I was already very tired, I was REALLY hoping for the upgrade, to say the least.
When I got to LAX, the upgrade still wasnâ€™t there, and I was pouting. To make things worse, the flight was listed an hour late due to weather in JFK. But about 45 minutes before the flight left the gate, the clouds parted, the sun shone, and the upgrade gods smiled on me. Business class it was, Seat 8F on the new A321.