Skip to content

American Airlines' most premier domestic route is finally back

May 05, 2020
3 min read
American Airlines' most premier domestic route is finally back
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

American Airlines is bringing its swankiest domestic jet back to the skies.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we've seen airlines make drastic reductions to both domestic and international routes. As the epicenter of the virus, the New York metropolitan area lost many of its flights across all major carriers, including AA's flagship transcontinental route from JFK to Los Angeles.

American was the most extreme of the U.S. big three, as it grounded its entire fleet of 17 Airbus A321s — dubbed the A321T — dedicated to serving this premium route.

For more travel tips and news, sign up for our daily newsletter

Well now, beginning on May 7th, the Fort Worth-based carrier is planning to restart its flagship transcontinental service from JFK to Los Angeles (LAX).

The current flight schedule confirmed by an American spokesperson is one daily round-trip starting on Thursday through June 4. Specifically, the May schedule is as follows:

  • LAX — JFK
  • AA 2 8:00 a.m. — 4:25 p.m.
  • JFK — LAX
  • AA 306 5:15 p.m. — 8:40 p.m.

This is great news for those looking for the most exclusive commercial option flying between the coasts. American's A321Ts sport just 102 seats across three cabins: 10 in first, 20 in business and 72 in coach. AA's the only carrier to offer a dedicated first-class cabin on the highly competitive route, so if you're looking to maximize social distancing, Flagship First is your best bet.

Related: Review of AA A321T in business class JFK to SFO

Related: American Airlines joins Delta and United in extending elite status and more

Sign up for our daily newsletter

In fact, I recently flew the A321T from LAX to JFK; my review will be published next week. I was quite impressed with the amenities and service, and definitely appreciated the exclusivity of the cabin.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Xd35nhZYX/

Delta, JetBlue and United also offer lie-flat seats on transcon routes. JetBlue's Mint has been operating between the coasts since the outset of the pandemic, and Delta's been flying at least one lie-flat-equipped jet daily on the route.

United, on the other hand, downgraded most of these premium routes to Boeing 737s that just sport recliners.

Though AA is starting once-daily JFK-LAX service on Thursday, it's taking a measured approach to the resumption of its other flagship transcon route, JFK to San Francisco (SFO). Starting two months later on July 7, American plans to fly thrice-daily between JFK-SFO. (American boosts JFK-LAX to thrice-daily on June 5).

At the moment, there's a decent amount of saver award and upgrade space for coach and biz. Unfortunately, I haven't found one date with award space for Flagship First, but there's some upgrade space.

Related: The ultimate guide to getting upgraded on American Airlines

Note that the Flagship Lounge at LAX and Flagship First Dining facility in JFK and LAX is currently closed and inflight service is modified on these routes.

American Flagship First Dining at LAX (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Nonetheless, if you have to get across the country and you're looking for the most luxurious way to do so, this route's for you.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023