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.
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.
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).
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 photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.