A few days ago I wrote a post speculating about whether American might began flying their A321Ts (which are their three cabin A321s, with flat beds in first & business class) between Los Angeles and Boston. This was based on a rumor that JonNYC posted about on Twitter:
***_RUMOR_*** @AmericanAir to run an A321 (3-cabin transcon version) on the BOS-LAX route.
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) September 21, 2017
In the previous post I shared my thoughts on the likelihood of this:
- I could see American wanting to fly A321Ts between Los Angeles and Boston, given competition from JetBlue, and also given that Delta and United both recently introduced flat beds on their flights Boston and San Francisco
- However, the bigger issue here is that American only has a very limited number of A321Ts; I didn’t think they’ll pull back from their JFK-LAX/SFO routes, meaning that this just didn’t seem feasible, at least in the near future
Well, we now know what Jon’s rumor seems to be referring to. In an overnight schedule change, American added the A321T to the schedule between Boston and Los Angeles… for a limited time.
American will fly the A321T between Los Angeles and Boston between December 17, 2017, and January 5, 2018. The A321T will operate the following flights:
AA1360 Los Angeles to Boston departing 3:39PM arriving 11:57PM
AA333 Boston to Los Angeles departing 10:45AM arriving 2:29PM
In looking at the schedule, it seems like American is maintaining their normal number of flights between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco during this time, so it doesn’t look like the route is coming at the expense of other flights.
My guess is that they simply have an extra plane during that time that they don’t need. Airlines typically have a spare plane in a fleet so that they can rotate planes in and out of maintenance, so I suspect they/re not planning on doing any maintenance on one of these planes over the holidays, so figure they might as well fly it rather than park it.
But here’s what makes this so cool — American is selling their A321T first class as standard domestic first class.
If you book economy, you can select a business class seat for the same price as Main Cabin Extra (meaning many elite members can snag those seats for free).
Being able to book a flat bed for the price of economy on a transcon is awesome. Keep in mind that service presumably won’t be “enhanced” on this route, meaning that three cabin first will have standard domestic first class service, and business class will have standard economy service, meaning there won’t be free meals, pillows & blankets, etc.
American’s A321 business class, which you can book for the price of economy
Now to the bad news — as of now, fares between Boston and Los Angeles on American are crazy over the holidays. It’s not just on this particular flight, but all nonstop flights. The cheapest one-way economy ticket during this period is over $1,000. I suspect this may have to do with American being in the process of loading a schedule change, and that lower fares will be loaded soon.
If you’re traveling between Boston and Los Angeles during the holidays, this is most definitely something to consider, as you can’t beat booking a flat bed for the price of an economy seat, or an A321T first class seat for the price of standard domestic first class… assuming they drop the prices a little bit.