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AA 181 JFK-LAX Biz Class

Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:24 am

I normally don’t do trip reports as a routine flight to DFW, ORD, MIA or any other short hop really is nothing more then getting on the plane sitting for two or three hours and then getting off but in this case its worth pointing out the experience AA offers in their Biz class cabin on the Transcon flights.

AA 181
4:40 departure
Biz class, 7J

Having arrived 3 hours earlier for my flight for no other reason then I wanted to leave the office early I parked in long term took the AirTrain to T8 and checked in. AA has a walled off check in section for Elite, F class, and Biz class passengers. The area is well appointed with leather chairs, plants and red carpets. I’ve never waited more then 1 min for an agent to check me in, and this time wasn’t any different. The agent was very friendly asked if the seat I had was acceptable, checked me in, took my bag, informed me of my gate, and directed me to security area. Being through JFK over 100 times I know the terminal like the back of my hand and she could see that I'm Platinum but I think the personal service is a nice touch.

AA also offers Elite security lane privileges so you never really wait more then 5 minutes to go through security which again this time was a similar situation. Having cleared security I proceeded to the Admirals Club to enjoy a few drinks prior to departure and to simply kick back. I always use the landside club vs. the midfield club as the landside club is much larger with better amenities. I hung out there until 10 mins prior to boarding when I proceeded to the gate where I meet up with my coworkers traveling with me to LA.

Boarding began 10 mins earlier then scheduled and even though the plane was full we completed loading the plane a full 10 mins prior to our scheduled departure time. We also were lucky that there was no take off line and we lifted off an hour ahead of the “wheels up” schedule. After we lifted off we were informed our route was going to be a long one as weather over the central part of the nation required us to go well north into Canada before heading west.

Video of departure from JFK


Prior to departure AA served preflight drinks of water, orange juice, and Champagne, I selected the Champagne. Once in flight the FA’s greeted us by last name, handed out dinner menus, media players, and took our drink orders, of which I ordered my usually Vodka Tonic with lime. Drinks along with hot nuts were served promptly, as well as hot towels being passed out. The FAs about 30 mins into flight after the first drink round took our dinner orders and refilled our glasses.

Our dinner menu consisted of the below selections.


Generally when AA has pasta on the menu I go with the pasta as it is rather good and often times better then the meat. However this time I went with the meat and it was good, tender, not over cooked and flavorful. What I liked about this dinner service was it wasn’t rushed and we were able to enjoy the appetizer, salad, main course and desert in a relaxed time frame. Throughout the flight our glasses never ran dry which always scores major points in my book.

After dinner I settled in with the media player a cup of coffee mixed with Baileys and watched Star Trek and three episodes of The Office. About two hours after dinner the FA’s came around and offered us selection of Ghirardelli chocolate and an hour before landing a selection of baked on board cookies. I was impressed to see AA is now offering peanut butter chip and macadamia nut cookies as well as the standard chocolate chip, I went with the macadamia nut, yummy!

As we got closer to arrival the media players were collected and chilled sparkling water was served with lemon. Overall the flight and service was very good which made for a relaxing cross country journey ending with an on-time arrival into LAX. Its my opinion after that flying AA across the U.S well over 20 times that AA is the premier carrier in the U.S when it comes to premium class service in Biz and F to the West Coast.

My coworkers and I proceeded to baggage claim where I found my bag waiting for me, apparently it was put on the flight before mine. This has happened to me a few times when I get to JFK early, they end up putting my bag on the flight prior to mine. We headed to the rental car bus picked up our mighty GMC Yukon and off we headed to Costa Mesa.

[Edited 2009-08-24 17:33:46]

[Edited 2009-08-24 17:34:30]
Posts: 4138
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 9:14 am

RE: AA 181 JFK-LAX Biz Class

Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:50 am

Tom, you didn't provide any photos of the seat. How can I expect to know what it looks like when I book a ticket in AA Biz?

Quoting Tbird (Thread starter):
hot nuts

I bet you enjoyed those.

[Edited 2009-08-24 17:52:23]
Posts: 5185
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:08 pm

RE: AA 181 JFK-LAX Biz Class

Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:55 am

Quoting Tbird (Thread starter):
We headed to the rental car bus picked up our mighty GMC Yukon and off we headed to Costa Mesa.

friggin huge man...the lights are bigger than mine and Kevin's heads combined!
Posts: 522
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:51 am

RE: AA 181 JFK-LAX Biz Class

Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:11 am

Thank you for submitting your report. I was also looking forward to seeing some photos of the flight itself; seats,cabin, meals, crew( if possible), etc.
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Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: AA 181 JFK-LAX Biz Class

Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:23 am

Thanks for the report.

Quoting Tbird (Thread starter):
Its my opinion after that flying AA across the U.S well over 20 times that AA is the premier carrier in the U.S when it comes to premium class service in Biz and F to the West Coast.

Personaly as both an AA EXP and UA 1K, I have to give the edge to United on the p.s. city-pairs.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
Posts: 2043
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 7:10 am

RE: AA 181 JFK-LAX Biz Class

Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:52 am

Thanks for the TR.
It sounds like you had a nice flight on AA's JFK transcon.
I was disappointed to see AA only offers to entree choices for dinner.
How was your return trip?
Posts: 8201
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: AA 181 JFK-LAX Biz Class

Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:25 pm

Nice report, seems AA's service is quite decent and has been over a number of years for you, always a plus.

A few meal shots would have been nice, aways interesting to look at the presentation.



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