American Airlines SFO to JFK (AA276) [A321T] in Flagship Business

Flight: American Airlines – San Francisco to New York   

Airline: American Airlines

Flight Number: AA276

Plane: Airbus A321T

Cabin: Flagship Business

Seat: 6C

This Flight

This is my review of my flight on American Airlines from San Francisco to New York, which I took with Mrs Neil. 

The flight leaves SFO at 22:15 and arrives in JFK at 07:00.

This is a somewhat unique flight as it’s on American Airlines’ A321 Transcon. Often flights going from East to West and vice versa are operated by wide-body aircraft such as the 787 or 777 – but for some ‘premium’ routes, which don’t quite have the footfall – the A321T is rolled out.

The Transcon has a number of Flagship First and Flagship Business seats (not the same as the 787/777). It’s definitely a very comfortable way to get from A to B!  

The Transcon operates on the following flights;

  • JFK to LAX (and back)
  • JFK to SFO (and back)
  • JFK to SNA (and back)
  • BOS to LAX (and back)
  • MIA to LAX (and back)

Checking In

Checking in San Francisco’s Terminal 1 was a doddle. The check-in staff were super friendly and helpful – and there was no queue when I got there!

Security literally took 30 seconds too, using the TSA pre-check.

The Lounge

I am glad to say I visited SFO’s ‘new’ Admirals Club, and was well-served upon by Eileen, who I write about in my review here.

The Plane

I am not sure how many A321T’s American have – but they operate on a unique set of routes, which I mention above.

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

The layout of the aircraft is 10 x Flagship First, 10 x Flagship Business, 72 x Economy (also called Main Cabin).

The Flagship First are single seats, all with aisle access – where as the Flagship Business seats are in pairs. I can see it getting pretty awkward when the person next to you needs to get out, as it’s not an easy feat! 

The Seat

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

As I was traveling with Mrs Neil, who likes a window seat, she took 6A and I took 6C. You can find my review of that seat here.

General observations of the seat are;

  1. It’s pretty cosy if you don’t know the person you’re sat next to!
  2. It’s not as spacious as the more traditional Flagship Business seats.

That said, if I was with someone I knew, I’d happily take the Flagship Business. If I was on my own, I may consider going Flagship First, to avoid the cosyness.

Food and Drink

Drinks

Upon boarding, Water, Orange Juice or Champagne was served.

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

Once taken off, drinks were offered with hot nuts – I had the Dos Equis, which I rather like. I personally prefer American’s range of beers to BA’s; American have a wider range (and better selections!).

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

American tend to have a fairly reasonable selection of wines. As I was having beef, I decided to have a glass of red wine.   

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

American also offered a good selection of spirits, soft drinks, a port, and so forth. The selection is probably more limited than the international flight – but there was still a good range, and I thought it was pretty good.

Dinner

I always use the pre-ordering function on American Airlines. However inexplicably the order didn’t come through.

On this particular service, dinner was a single-tray service. I usually would complain about this – but the flight was around 5hrs 30mins, and a multi-service dinner would have taken ages. So, in this case, I think it was the right decision.

The meal ‘started with’ a beetroot and goats cheese timbale (whatever a timbale is), and was served with seasonal greens.  

The mains on offer were;

  • Beef filet
  • Chicken cacciatore
  • Gain and greens bowl
  • Porcini tortellini

I took the beef, which was nice – if not a little chewy!

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

For desert, I took the ice cream sundae, which as always, was really nice.

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

Other desert options included the cheese plate or lemon tart. 

Breakfast

The menu did offer some light snacks or a yogurt fruit smoothie before landing. There was no formal breakfast offering – and I literally woke up as we began decending.

Snacks

There were some baskets of crisps carefully balanced on the bulkhead above our screens – but it was fairly stripped back.

Amenities Kit

I was given an identical Amenities Kit to the previous international flight I’d taken. A pencil case by Shinola. I am told they are good manufacturers – but this looked cheap!

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

Inside the kit consisted of;

  • Eye mask
  • Socks
  • Ear plugs
  • The world’s smallest pen
  • Body lotion
  • And a pretty rubbish toothbrush
Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

Wifi

Wifi was available for purchase at $9 for the whole flight. I planned to sleep, so didn’t use it!  

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

Entertainment

To all intents and purposes, the entertainment is the same as the international flights.

There is a large screen in the seat, and also a hand-held controller for navigating the entertainment system.

The options included movies, television and music. 

As always, I tend to watch the Flight Map. 

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

As I write about in the Seat Review, it’s you’re pretty much sharing a screen with the person sitting next to you.

Neil Scrivener reviews the American Airlines Transcon route from San Fransisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) on the A321T.

Cabin Crew

In absolutely fairness, I found this crew to be very good. They were extremely friendly, and very slick.

Sitting in 6C, I could see the galley kitchen, and it was clear the cabin crew were hitting this with maximum efficiency to get everyone the maximum sleep possible – they had a really slick production line going!  

Landing in JFK

As always on domestic US flights, landing was very easy. It was a short walk from the gate over to the Flagship Lounge in Terminal 8, where I waited before getting my flight back to London.

Conclusion

This was a great flight, and with the flight time being so short, I was grateful to the crew for getting dinner done with so quickly.

All in all, I slept well during this great flight, and enjoyed my time on it! Well done American Airlines!

Score: 109 out of 121 – or 90%.

The only real let down was the Amenities Kit, but I’ve also de-marked the fact my pre-order of food didn’t make it!  

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