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First Class On AA: Why Is It Superior?  
User currently offlinetsugambler From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 302 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7252 times:

I have only once flown First Class, and that was on an AA MD-80 from STL to LAX. It was nice and relatively roomy, but it didn't blow me away or anything. Yet I've often heard that AA has a superior First Class product (as opposed to its coach class, which most people say is inferior).

What is it about AA's First Class that makes it better than its domestic competitors? And what makes the Economy/Coach product worse? (I almost always fly AA economy/coach, and I've never had any complaints.)

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLONGisland89 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 731 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7191 times:

I'd have to say the meal service in general is what puts AA above the rest. AA feeds a lot of its F cabins on its flights, where on the other hand some US carriers just provide snacks and free drinks with the exception of some longer (transcon) flights.

User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7123 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7165 times:

Quoting tsugambler (Thread starter):
AA MD-80 from STL to LAX.

You flew it on an MD-80 try it on a 777, 767 or new interior 757.

Quoting tsugambler (Thread starter):

What is it about AA's First Class that makes it better than its domestic competitors?

First thing tha comes to mind is their meal service. It really is top notch. They treat their first class passengers great and the cabin crew is always fantastic.

Quoting tsugambler (Thread starter):
And what makes the Economy/Coach product worse? (I almost always fly AA economy/coach, and I've never had any complaints.)

IFE on their planes is a bit behind with the times but that is changing. Also no snacks or anything at least on B6 or DL they give you something little to eat. AA gives nothing on domestic flights. But your right it is not really worse then a DL A320 and the same as US etc..



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineisitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7083 times:

I was always treated right and quite special in NW First class. Thats why I rarely flew AA. I didn't need them.
HOWEVER..................
It was a whole different ballgame in NW Y class.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7064 times:

Quoting LONGisland89 (Reply 1):
I'd have to say the meal service in general is what puts AA above the rest. AA feeds a lot of its F cabins on its flights, where on the other hand some US carriers just provide snacks and free drinks with the exception of some longer (transcon) flights.



During meal time I always get a meal on CO in First Class/Domestic Business First on flights as short as IAH-TPA....and I wouldn't call PHL-IAH or IAH-SNA a transcon, all serve a meal and most with a couple of selections. Oh sure, mid day you may get a cold plate of meats/cheese/vegetables on say the 2:10 PM flight from IAH to RSW, but that is more than I even care to have at that time of day.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24863 posts, RR: 46
Reply 5, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7062 times:

As an top level AA EXP flyer (in addition to other top-level memberships also), I'd hardly call AA F-class "superior".

The best domestic F class imo, is UA's p.s. Outside of the speciality p.s. product I think all the airlines are about the same with typical 38-inch seats and rather mediocre offerings.
The only thing I give AA good kudos to is I find their EXP reservations folks stand above others, while some of their on the ground service from Five Star service and some of their lounges and staffing pretty decent/helpfull.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineDesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1458 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7044 times:

I flew AA First and International Business LAX-MIA-SAP. I found the food plentiful and well presented, hot chocolate chip cookes, well make ice cream dishes and a good wine selection all to my liking. I flew CO in 2010 SAN-Houston-MGA in First. While the meals were good the main difference was the FAs. The AA FAs were much more friendly and attentive than the CO FAs.

User currently offlineLONGisland89 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 731 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7018 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 4):

Continental's meal service is great also, I was referring to US only serving food on transcons. I've found AA and CO very similar in terms of segment leg and amount of food and both are great. I was surprised recently on an DFW-LGA flight as it was listed as a snack flight and the meal was more like a full blown lunch flight (very hard to tell the difference between a snack and lunch on AA). Also last month I flew SAN-JFK and was surprised that we actually got menus in First, in similar fashion to the flagship first-class service.

Do you think post merger UA's meal service will reflect more of CO's style or UA's style, or some kind of different/new service standard?


User currently offlinetoobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 767 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6984 times:

Well I think most people are referring to AAs Intl F service, not so much domestic. Except for like JFK/MIA-LAX. I don't find their domestic F to be any better than any other domestic carrier.

User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (2 years 12 months 21 hours ago) and read 6945 times:

It's definitely the food. Something very special about AA in F when the food is great, the drinks are flowing, and the f/a's are friendly. It's been a while since I've flown AA, but always have a special place in my heart for those F class upgrades.

DL in my experience has pretty decent food as well, but the presentation can be iffy.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24863 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (2 years 12 months 15 hours ago) and read 6901 times:

Food?

You guys consider those crAApy F-class hamburgers, pizza, enchiladas, or welted up salads as something special?
You can get something just as good if not better at virtually any airport terminal.

I'd hardly call AA's food as quality, nor something I would ever seek out. I eat before I leave or when I reach my destination. AA (and most US airlines) and keep their food to themselves imo.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7123 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (2 years 12 months 14 hours ago) and read 6887 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 10):
You guys consider those crAApy F-class hamburgers, pizza, enchiladas, or welted up salads as something special?
You can get something just as good if not better at virtually any airport terminal.

Fly during meal time the food is MUCH MUCH better then that. I had a four course steak dinner on a recent MIA-LAX flight. I was surprised how good the steak was. It was cooked perfectly. Everything was fantastic. And the FA's are great, greeting you by Mr. XXX and then by first name, they really take their time to talk to you and make sure your having a good flight and your glass is NEVER empty   



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24863 posts, RR: 46
Reply 12, posted (2 years 12 months 13 hours ago) and read 6881 times:

As I said, I'm an EXP and have spent plenty of years on AA planes including weekly commutes between LA and NY for 5 years in recent times.

AA (and US carriers in general) offer crAAp when its comes to food services. I'm sorry but you cant change my mind on that. You guys and US in a broad sense customers have been lulled into lower expectations then me, but I simply do not see anything redeaming in food onboard AA. (they do have pretty photos on menu coverings at times however)
I prefer to get my food in a proper setting on the ground, either at home or a proper restaurant or even in nice airline provided ground dining options which many foreign carriers offer prior to boarding in their premium lounges.

Oh and being addresssed by your name surprises you? Thats is a basic service-101 requirement when addressing customers.

oh p.s. - maybe having worked in the industry so long, knowing flight kitchen secrets, and also knowing what real US premium service was pre 1980s shapes my views.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7123 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (2 years 12 months 12 hours ago) and read 6863 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):
and also knowing what real US premium service was pre 1980s shapes my views.

Of course that must have been a different ball game. We all wish service was like that now.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineLONGisland89 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 731 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 12 months 10 hours ago) and read 6847 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):

You sound just like Chevy Chase. I sat in front of him last year on AA in First from LAX-JFK. He didn't want anything to eat because he said it was all "toy food."  


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24863 posts, RR: 46
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6777 times:

Funny. Well he does have a point.

I'll have to ask him next time I see him. I've had on/off dealings with him since the late 1980s.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineisitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6768 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):
- maybe having worked in the industry so long, knowing flight kitchen secrets, and also knowing what real US premium service was pre 1980s shapes my views.


I love it when I know I'm not the only dinosaur here.

Quoting flymia (Reply 13):
Of course that must have been a different ball game.


Ballgame was pretty much the same....airplane with seats and food...only the food was much better and usually hot
instead of a sandwich and salads like today.

Quoting LONGisland89 (Reply 14):
he said it was all "toy food."


Aren't you surprised he didn't say dog food?
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24863 posts, RR: 46
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6732 times:

Quoting isitsafenow (Reply 16):
I love it when I know I'm not the only dinosaur here.

Yeah well, the "kids" of today get excited when someone mentions their name, or there happens to be a fist sized piece of steak on their their plates served with plastic untensils.

They forget service used to be things like hand carved meats, bowls of salad and fruit served on a cart individually, with artisan breads and pastries, bar like variety of free flowing drinks and that was all in economy class!
First class had the lounges where you could sit around, drink, smoke, eat to order meals from onboard chefs on fine china to your hearts content.

The only things comperable today are the high end foreign F class products with on the ground restaurant service and inflight suite products like SQ and EK as an example.

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e258/flasha80/Misc/QANTAS71-20.jpg



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24863 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6731 times:

And there was a time airlines were proud of their food offerings and advertised it.

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh53/Braniff/Braniff65/77menu.jpg



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32613 posts, RR: 72
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6610 times:

No domestic first class service is anything to rave about, but AA is generally considered to have the best domestic premium cabin service because it generally has the most generous meal windows, gives full hot meals on short flights (I.e. a steak dinner on ORDPHL or a hot breakfast on MIARDU) and generally has the most generous portion sizes. Also, unlike other airlines, a "snack" on American Airlines is still pretty much a full meal service.

As for the food, its nothing extraordinary, and certainly unhealthy, but it's filling and tastes good. It's hard to mess up simple meals like steak and pasta dishes.

They also do a good job "presenting" the meal and pacing it, even on a domestic flight as short as DFWDCA. Appetizer and salad, main course, desert and pre-landing cookie are usually all served individually. Though there are certainly some FA's that get lazy and don't bother pacing it like they are supposed to.



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