Review: AA Flagship First SFO-JFK

We were at the SFO Admirals Club getting ready to head to the gate when I saw a seat change notification. I wasn’t expecting good news. However, for whatever reason, we were both upgraded from Flagship Business to Flagship First. My only guess is that business was oversold. The agent provided us our new boarding pass and we were on our way to the gate.

Americans A321T is unique among US carriers. This 3 cabin aircraft offers Flagship First in a 1-1 configuration, Flagship Business in a 2-2 configuration, and Economy in a 3-3 configuration. We were moved up to row 5 which is the last row of Flagship First.

Date: Saturday December 18 2021
Flight: 16
Aircraft: A321T
Origin: SFO
Destination: JFK
Seat: 5A
Scheduled Push Back: 11:49 AM
Actual Push Back: 11:47 AM

We boarded and found our seats which were spacious and had bedding for the flight.

To the left are the entertainment controls and a USB outlet. This is better than the business class seat which requires you to reach back for a plug and USB.

Next to the entertainment controls was a storage compartment with headphones and a plug.

There was also a surface which had a small amenity kit, sanitizing wipes, disposable headphones, and a menu.

The amenity was provided by Shinola Detroit and contained the basics. I do wish lip balm was part of this kit.

The menu for todays flight consisted of a small plate starter, soup, salad, and a main. This would be followed by dessert and snacks offered prior to arrival.

The font of the seat had an entertainment screen, a wide footwell, and a small storage compartment off to the side.

We pushed back slightly ahead of schedule and began our short taxi to the runway. Upon takeoff I extended the monitor out which was responsive but had a dated interface.

Service started around 20 minutes after takeoff and consisted of nuts, olives, and a drink.

Our trays were set for the meal service. Looks like salt shakers were running now as other seats had glass salt shakers.

I pre-ordered the Asian Veg meal which is typically better for the diet and is quite tasty. First up was fruit and salad. This was in lieu of the small plate, spicy tortilla soup, and spinach salad.

The main was severed which was rice and grilled vegetables. While this was pretty plain compared to previous Asian Vegetarian meals it was decent.

The options for dessert were a cheese course or ice cream which I passed on.

The rest of the flight was uneventful. I decided to watch Jungle Cruise and rewatch Up in the Air.

Survey Says

I’m sure the Flagship First product feels more complete with Flagship First dining before the flight. The onboard service wasn’t that different from Flagship Business. The onboard additions seem to be olives served with nuts, an additional small bite and soup plate, and upgraded tableware. All in all it’s a good experience but I don’t think it’s worth a significant up-charge from business.

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