American’s Premium A321T To Fly Between Los Angeles & Toronto For A Limited Time

American has been trying to become the dominant carrier at LAX, and especially capture the Hollywood market. They’ve had huge expansion (both internationally and domestically), are the only airline to operate three cabin flights between Los Angeles and New York, and have been sponsoring all kinds of LA venues & entertainment media.

That’s all great, though unfortunately they can’t seem to actually operate their flights to/from Los Angeles on-time, given that they operate more flights than they realistically have gates for. They’re supposedly working on fixing that, though I’ll believe it when I see it (in the form of actually taking a flight to LAX and not having to wait an extended period of time for a gate to become available).

The Los Angeles Times has a story about how American has set up a panel of entertainment industry advisors, and perhaps most interesting is that American is launching a new route with their A321 Transcon planes… at least temporarily.

American-Business-Class-A321 - 2

As many of you may be aware, American’s A321 Transcon planes are typically only flown from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and also sometimes between Boston and New York, just when the planes have extra time.

These A321s feature 10 first class seats in a reverse herringbone configuration.

American-A321-First-Class-02

They also feature 20 business class seats, which are fully flat.

American-Business-Class-A321 - 3

Then there are just 72 economy seats, meaning that even economy is pretty intimate.

American-A321-Economy-1

Anyway, the Toronto Film Festival is coming up in September, and apparently this panel has convinced American to operate an extra flight between Los Angeles and Toronto during the festival. The extra flight will operate for eight days only, and perhaps most interestingly will be operated by an Airbus A321 Transcon aircraft, featuring the same great product they have between Los Angeles and New York.

The extra daily flight (complementing American’s existing once daily A319 flight) will operate between September 7 and September 14, as follows:

AA975 Los Angeles to Toronto departing 10:15AM arriving 6:04PM
AA976 Toronto to Los Angeles departing 7:00PM arriving 9:24PM

American-Toronto-Fare

Rather amazingly, many of these flights are already almost sold out in first & business class.

American-Seatmap

Other flights are still quite empty, so this could be a way to snag an upgrade to a better than usual premium cabin product between Los Angeles and Toronto (upgrades in the market are typically already difficult, given that there are just eight seats in first class).

I’d note that Air Canada also offers 6x daily flights between Los Angeles and Toronto. Most of those are operated by narrowbody aircraft, though they do have one daily 767 operating the route, featuring fully flat herringbone seats.

Air-Canada-767-Business-Class

Air Canada seasonally operate 787s in the market feature reverse herringbone seats, though it doesn’t seem like that’s the case during the Toronto Film Festival (which seems a bit odd…).

Anyone planning on taking American’s A321T between Los Angeles and Toronto?

(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy)

Comments

  1. “Rather amazingly, many of these flights are already almost sold out in first & business class.”

    More likely is AA gave them to VIPs trying to win market share or sold them as blocks before the route was launched — in that case they may have pitched the product as something they *could* do and when they actually sold it, went ahead with it…

  2. Wandering Armenian pointed this out a few days ago. The fares seem to be outrageous in the premium cabin. I wonder how those published fares actually differ from the contract cares the hollywood VIP’s actually pay. Any guesses?

  3. Just saw that Korean Air has added their newest first class product to their A380 (instagram campaign & seatguru). Not sure which routes the new version A380 will operate though.

  4. @ JohnnyJ — Interesting, thanks for the heads up. See this on SeatGuru, but do you have a link to the Instagram coverage of it, because can’t see them mentioning A380 reconfiguration anywhere else? Thanks!

  5. These AA first class seats look the same as the Air Canada business class seats that you mentioned and that I sampled this summer going to and from Paris. What makes the AA version “first class?”

  6. “Rather amazingly, many of these flights are already almost sold out in first & business class.”

    I will attribute this to understandable brain fog.

    Non story. There are not going to be any points seats or upgrades. The flights were probably scheduled premised on a buy from one or two studios alone, thus the seating charts you see. Guarantee you every seat will be sold for cash. Disney or Warner Bros alone could fill up the two front cabins of any one of theses flight.

    Again, mere mortals need not apply. Let’s move on.

  7. I’ll even take it a step further. Obviously VIP’s don’t fly commercial, but for second or third tier up and coming agents or stars, or VP/SVP level studio types, these flights will be great networking, Once the word gets out, these seats will be gone. Absolutely no chance of any crumbs falling to points or upgrade peoples.

  8. @Charlie McMillan Marketing, especially since there are three distinct cabins on the plane. Dragonair/Cathay Dragon is another airline I know of that uses reverse herringbone seats and calls it first class. Their business class product is an angle flat seat, same as Cathay’s regional business class seats.

  9. @silver springer
    Boy, do we wish those were 321T’s… American has been operating their standard domestic A321’s on the LAX-HNL route for a while now. As far as I know, all of the pmAA A321 fleet have sharklets, as they are fairly recent deliveries. Now, I’m sure there are pmUS A321’s with the split wingtip, but I’m also pretty sure they don’t have ETOPS certification. So, in short, AA has two configurations of sharklet A321’s, and the standard domestic versions have a standard domestic F product.

  10. perfect timing. dropping my girl off at UofT. always coincides with TIFF which impacts flight and hotel cost and availability. wishing there were more & cheaper alternatives. was wonderful her first year as virgin had this route but they bailed out quickly.

  11. What will they market the cabins as? IIRC, on domestic non-premium transcon routes with 3-cabin aircraft, AA treats Business Class as “Preferred” Economy seats, right? Will the same happen here? Or, since transborder flights with domestic First seats are usually marketed as Business Class, perhaps they’ll keep it Business… In that case, I wonder what they’ll do with the First suites… It seems silly to market it as Flagship First (or whatever they call 3-class F) for the route (probably won’t sell), so maybe they’ll sell that as “Business” but let EXPs pre-reserve them?

  12. Lucky, you’re 2nd paragraph regarding AA and having to wait for gates. AA was notorious for this same thing flying into DFW. Even though they had 2 large terminals for non RJ aircraft there was always a traffic jam.

    It wasn’t until the International terminal opened long that we started seeing relief. And even then it’s only maginal. So I wouldn’t be expecting much change at LAX for quite some time.

  13. I do not believe you. Unless you’re talking about a Y-UP.

    Even if I am wrong and one squeaked thru on the “hump” day of the festival, you have a target on your back my friend. And it says “involuntarily denied boarding”.

  14. @JohnnyJ

    Pretty sure that’s a 77W. I have a booking next spring on one that shows online as “Kosmo Suite 2.0”

  15. @Hawaiian aviation
    Per expert flyer seatmap there are three classes of service on AA109 LAX-HNL in October. What would that be then–not A321 domestic.

  16. @silver springer Looking at a couple random days in October, the AA website shows the aircraft as “32B”, the domestic pmAA A321. The website will also only will sell you coach or “domestic” first. Maybe expert flier counts main cabin extra as a separate class? It sure would be nice if they opperated a lie flat business product to HNL though…

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