Yesterday I took the 2:30PM American flight from Los Angeles to New York in business class. I won’t be writing a full review of the flight, given that I’ve reviewed American’s A321 first class and A321 business class in the market before, and not that much has changed.
However, it has been a while, so I figured I’d do a quick “10 pictures” post sharing my thoughts on the flight.
American has 20 business class seats on their A321s, and there’s not much differentiation in the market in terms of the quality of those. American, Delta, and United, all have the same B/E Aerospace Diamond seats.
However, I think American’s bedding has seen better days, and they really could use an update there. Both Delta and United have way surpassed American when it comes to this.
On the plus side, the amenity kit is quite nice, and has both Cole Haan and CO Bigelow amenities. Personally I think it’s sort of unnecessary that they give these out on daytime flights, though I suppose it’s a nice gesture. Some will appreciate that you can get discounts on Cole Haan and CO Bigelow products through the vouchers in the kit.
Another area where American excels is with headphones. They offer all first and business class passengers Bose headphones, while many of the world’s top carriers don’t even offer that in first class.
American’s food lately has been abysmal, in my experience, though I have to say this was one of the better meals I’ve had on American in a while. As usual, it started with warm mixed nuts (I just stuck to sparkling water on this flight — speaking of which, I wish they’d serve San Pellegrino).
The appetizer consisted of beef carpaccio with lentil salad and roasted baby peppers. It was served with a side salad that had hearts of palm and strawberries. There was also a selection of bread, and of course I chose American’s awesome pretzel bread. This is probably the best appetizer and salad combo I’ve had on American in a very long time.
For the main course I ordered pan seared crab cakes with jicama slaw and tomatillo poblano cream sauce. I was pleasantly surprised. The funny thing is that I recall enjoying the meal, but now when I think back to it, I sort of think I would have been really sad to have been served this in a restaurant. I guess I had sufficiently adjusted my expectations at the time to realize that these pan seared crab cakes had probably been “pan seared” about 24 hours ago.
Then for dessert there was an ice cream sundae. I just asked for the ice cream with the berry sauce and nuts, though.
There were snack baskets available throughout the flight, and then about 30 minutes before landing the crew brought out warm cookies.
While I didn’t drink anything on this flight (I’m saving my thirst for my upcoming Saudia first class flight), here’s the wine list, for anyone who is interested:
One other thing that impressed me about the flight was the crew. They were genuinely friendly and proactive with the service. I’m not flying American enough nowadays to know with certainty whether anything is changing for the better, but at least this crew was excellent. I pushed the call button once to ask for some more water, and the flight attendant (non-sarcastically) apologized that I had to push the button.
So yeah, this was one of my better American flights recently — the food was solid and the service excellent.