American’s swankiest jet will operate 14 flights on a new limited-time route

May 16, 2022

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Update (5/20/2022): American confirmed to TPG that these special flights will feature the airline’s signature Flagship onboard service in both first and business class, which includes multi-course meals, upgraded bedding and amenity kits.

A handful of American Airlines planes offer the most luxurious domestic configuration you’ll find in the skies.

American’s Airbus A321T, the carrier’s transcontinental version of the A321, seats just 102 passengers in a three-cabin configuration. It sports 10 Flagship First suites, 20 lie-flat Flagship Business pods and 72 coach seats, half of which are in an extra-legroom Main Cabin Extra configuration.

In fact, it’s the only domestic jet to feature both a first- and business-class cabin. (For context, Spirit Airlines packs 228 passengers onto the same type of plane.)

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It’s no surprise, then, that American usually deploys its 16 Airbus A321Ts on its most premier domestic routes, mainly on flights from New York and Boston to Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Every so often, you’ll find the plane shuttling between Miami and the West Coast or between New York and Boston for repositioning.

But, this September, the A321T will be deployed on a very special mission, as first seen in Cirium schedules and later confirmed by the carrier.

From Sept. 7 through Sept. 13, American will fly an A321T once a day on the 2,176-mile route between Toronto (YYZ) and Los Angeles (LAX) — a route that the airline doesn’t even typically operate.

(Map courtesy of Cirium)

Not only will the airline fly the route for a limited time, but it’s also going to deploy its swankiest domestic jet to fly the service. If you’re wondering why, it turns out that the Toronto International Film Festival will be held from Sept. 8 through Sept. 18.

American seems to be betting that it can capture the market of Hollywood executives traveling (commercially) to Toronto for the festival.

In a statement confirming the move, an American Airlines spokesperson shared:

American is excited to once again offer nonstop service between Los Angeles and Toronto for the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Between Sept. 7 – 13 we’ll offer one daily flight on the customer-favorite Airbus A321T aircraft. We last operated this route for the TIFF in September 2019.

No other U.S. airline flies between the two cities. (Air Canada and WestJet are the other airlines serving the market, with up to six total daily flights in each direction.)

Turns out, this isn’t the first time that American has flown an A321T between Toronto and L.A. The airline did the same thing back in September 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, according to Cirium schedules.

In fact, the airline used to operate the route with once-daily service (on a much less premium Airbus A319 or Boeing 737-800) until December 2018, but it has since pulled out of the market entirely.

American’s limited-time A321T run in 2019 seems to have worked well enough previously to convince the carrier to bring it back for 2022.

Of the Big 3 U.S. airlines, American seems to be the most aggressive when it comes to capturing the premium market in Los Angeles. It’s the only carrier to fly a three-cabin jet on select domestic flights, and it also offers a comprehensive set of luxury travel options, including Five Star airport escort services, Blade helicopter transfers and P.S. private suite terminal experiences.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

One-way fares on the new route start at $516 for coach, $3,778 for business and $5,390 for first class. There is currently no saver award availability on the route, but you can purchase dynamically-priced Web Special awards starting at 30,000 miles for coach, 62,500 miles for business and 90,000 miles for first class.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the soft product — food, drinks and onboard amenities — will be provisioned for these one-off flights, but we’ll update the story when we learn more.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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