American

The Best Way To Book American’s A321 Transcon First Class

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American offers a pretty solid product in first & business class on their transcon flights. At least the hard product is great, while the service and food are just okay. American is the only airline still offering three classes of service from New York to both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

These specially configured A321 have 10 reverse herringbone seats in first class. Having direct aisle access from every seat in a cabin on a domestic flight is pretty awesome, though do keep in mind these are the same seats that American uses in business class on their 777-300ERs.

Meanwhile in business class American has fully flat seats in a 2-2 configuration. So the product is more in line with the hard products offered by Delta and United.

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American Is In “Advanced Talks” To Buy Stake In China Southern

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In 2015, Delta invested $450 million to acquire a 3.55% stake in Shanghai-based China Eastern. While investing in a subsidized airline is something that you’d think Delta would be opposed to, the intent was clearly that China Eastern would give them better access to Shanghai, which is a major market already, and will grow over time.

Well, it looks like Delta isn’t the only U.S. carrier that wants a piece of a Chinese carrier. Bloomberg is reporting that American is in advanced talks to buy a roughly $200 million stake in Guangzhou-based China Southern. Per the story:

“The negotiations focus on an investment of about $200 million by Fort Worth, Texas-based American in China Southern’s Hong Kong-listed shares, said the people, asking not to be identified as talks are confidential. The sale likely would take place through a private placement, one of the people said. China Southern has a market value of about $10 billion.”

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Why I Have ZERO Sympathy For U.S. Airlines Whining About Gulf Carriers

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For over two years now, the “big three” U.S. carriers have been trying to stop the “big three” Gulf carriers. The basis of their claim is that Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar, have been violating the Open Skies agreement because they’re government subsidized, and therefore the playing field isn’t level.

They argue that it’s not fair that a reciprocal agreement causes them to have to compete head-to-head with airlines that are really big government vehicles.

I haven’t been very sympathetic towards the arguments the U.S. carriers make. Many people have assumed that it’s because I love the glitz and glam of the Gulf carriers, and don’t think of the impact it has on U.S. jobs, etc. That’s not the case. My main issue is that the U.S. carriers are making their case so poorly, to the point that it really feels to me like they’re targeting and bullying three airlines.

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Details I Got Wrong About American’s New JFK Flagship Lounge

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Yesterday I wrote a review of American’s new Flagship Lounge at JFK. More accurately, the lounge is being marketed as the “International First Class Lounge” at the moment, until later this spring, when it formally opens as the Flagship Lounge. This is part of American’s massive lounge overahaul program.

The most significant change being made is that Flagship Lounges will be open to eligible international first and business class passengers, as well as oneworld Emerald and oneworld Sapphire members. Previously these lounges were just open to international first class and oneworld Emerald member, so obviously they’re greatly increasing the number of people who have access to this lounge.

Following my review, American reached out to clarify a few things, which I wasn’t aware of. Now that I understand these things, I’m a lot more excited about the new Flagship Lounge.

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Review: The New American Flagship Lounge New York JFK

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Last February, American announced that they’d be making some major changes to their lounges, including the following:

— American will be renovating and expanding their Flagship Lounges in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
— American will be adding Flagship Lounges in Dallas, Miami, and Philadelphia
— American will completely be changing access rules for these lounges; previously Flagship Lounges were open to those in international first class and oneworld Emerald members, while under the new rules they’ll be open to oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members, as well as all passengers in international first & business class
— American will be introducing Flagship Dining, where international first class and A321 transcon first class passengers will have access to a la carte dining at Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York

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American Is Getting A Big New Admirals Club At LAX Terminal 5

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Los Angeles International Airport is about to go undergo a huge game of airline “musical chairs.”

Over the coming months, Delta is vacating Terminals 5 and 6 (they have most of the gates at Terminal 5, and just a few gates at Terminal 6) in favor of Terminals 2 and 3.

This allows them to be closer to their partner airlines, and also closer to Tom Bradley International Terminal.

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Simultaneously My Favorite & Least Favorite American Flight

American-A321-1

We all have different preferences when it comes to what time of day we like to fly. Over the years I’ve become a morning person, so in general:

— I love a 5-6AM flight, as it allows me to avoid traffic heading to the airport, and allows me to avoid the crowds once I get there
— If I can’t do that, I prefer to take a flight leaving between 11AM and 2PM, give or take; I like to avoid the “morning rush” (around 7AM to 10AM) and “evening rush” (around 4PM to 8PM), and also don’t like to fly too late since I tend to go to bed early

Those are my general preferences. Of course this is more of an issue in some markets than others, as there’s more traffic to account for in New York City than in Paro, for example.

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American Is Adding Free Meals In Economy On Select Domestic Flights

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This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Late last year Delta ran a test where they served free meals in economy on select transcon flights. I guess the feedback was positive, as in early February they announced that they’d introduce free meals on flights between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco as of March 1, 2017.

But it gets better than that. A week later they announced that they’d expand free meals to a further 10 domestic transcon routes as of April 24, 2017, meaning that Delta will serve free meals on a dozen transcon routes.

Well, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given how competitive the airline industry is, but American is following Delta’s lead. American will be introducing free meals on flights between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco as of May 1, 2017. Per the press release:

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Today Only: Earn Additional Bonus Miles For Apple Purchases

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Online shopping portals can be a great way to pick up additional miles & points for purchases you’d make anyway. Just for following a specific link you can earn bonus points in addition to the ones you’d earn anyway for credit card spend.

It’s not uncommon to see huge mileage bonuses on high margin businesses (like flower shops, online dating sites, etc.). 😉 However, it’s rare to see increased mileage bonuses from retailers like Apple.

Today only (March 9, 2017), the American AAdvantage eShopping portal is offering four miles per dollar spent with Apple.

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Last Day For Two Great Citi American Card Sign-Up Bonuses

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Since early December, Citi has officially increased the sign-up bonuses on the American AAdvantage co-brand credit cards. I’m told that the increased offers will be pulled tomorrow, so if you’re interested you’ll want to apply within the next 24 hours. As a reminder, here’s what you need to know about these offers:

Between these two cards you can earn up to 100,000 AAdvantage bonus miles, which is pretty great. The details are as follows:

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GREAT Deal: 650 Bonus Business Extra Points On Your Next Flight

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American’s Business Extra program has a fantastic promotion at the moment, valid for both new and existing members.

For those of you not familiar, this program is run in addition to AAdvantage, meaning you can double dip — you can earn miles with AAdvantage and points with Business Extra for a given flight. Reader Sam F. wrote a post last year sharing all the details of this program, which is a no brainer to join.

Through this program you earn two points per $10 spent on eligible flights, so you don’t earn points as quickly as you would with AAdvantage, but I don’t think anyone expects that to be the case. The cool thing is that you can credit points from multiple people to your Business Extra account, and over time rewards should nicely build up

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American May Be Willing To Extend Expiring Systemwide Upgrades

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As I wrote about a few days ago, I have four American systemwide upgrades expiring on February 28 (though I’m in the process of trying to give them away). I guess I didn’t plan my travels well for this year, as I kept saving them thinking I’d have some great use eventually, but I didn’t.

Going back several years, American was typically happy to extend the expiration date of systemwide upgrades, or at a minimum, allow you to apply them for travel after their expiration date, assuming the space could be confirmed by the end of February. However, over the past couple of years they’ve gotten stricter.

Per View from the Wing, it looks like American is willing to extend the systemwide upgrade expiration date for some Executive Platinum members to May 31, 2017, which is a three month extension.

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American Seems To Be Delaying The Sale Of Premium Economy

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In late 2015 American announced that they planned on adding a premium economy cabin to much of their longhaul fleet. While the airline has long offered an extra legroom economy section, this is the first time they’re offering an actual premium economy cabin.

The premium economy cabin has debuted on American’s new Boeing 787-9 aircraft, though will eventually also be added to their A330s, 777s, 787-8s, and A350s.

Up until now American has been operating the 787-9 on several routes, though hasn’t actually been selling premium economy. Instead they’ve been letting passengers who have access to Main Cabin Extra assign seats there.

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