Trip Report: American Airlines (A321) Domestic First ORD-PHX

The Details

  • Flight: AA2061
  • Aircraft: A321
  • Seat: 1A
  • Class: Domestic First
  • Route: Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)-Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX)
  • Distance: 1,440 miles
  • Duration: 3hr 22min
  • Departure: 5:15AM
  • Arrival: 6:31AM

The Preflight

I arrived at Terminal 3 of Chicago O’Hare at around 4:00AM in the morning for my flight to Phoenix Sky Harbor. Luckily, as an AAdvantage elite member I had my upgrade clear at the 24-hour window for both this leg and the following leg from PHX-SAN.

Check-in was a breeze and I passed through TSA Precheck within 10 minutes given the relative emptiness of the terminal at this early hour.

The Flight

Our A321, registration N157UW, was delivered to US Airways back in 2013. This A321 was part of the “Classic” legacy US Airways sub-fleet of A321s in the AA fleet that lacks both seatback entertainment screens as well as in seat power. The other sub-fleet of A321s, dubbed “Enhanced” include seatback entertainment screens and in seat power.

The “Classic” fleet of A321s features 16 First class seats in a 2-2 configuration over four rows. There are also 15 Main Cabin Extra seats and 156 Main Cabin seats.

Each First Class seat offers 36″ of pitch and is 21″ wide. This is actually three inches less than the “Enhanced” A321 First Class seats that have 39″ of pitch.

Boarding began promptly at 4:30AM for the scheduled departure time at 5AM. However, we pushed back 14 minutes late due to unknown reasons.

We had a very short taxi to the runway and had a very smooth climb westward towards Arizona.

Once in the air, flight attendants began the breakfast service. Options were identical to my previous AA morning flight and there was a choice between the Southwest Omelet or granola. I had the omelets which was quite tasty. Warmed biscuits were offered as well.

The rest of the flight was uneventful and I managed to nap for about an hour. We landed at 6:30AM local time in PHX. I had roughly 90 minutes until my connecting flight to San Diego. Thanks for the ride!

I was very grateful to have my upgrade clear at the 24-hour window for this flight. The seat was comfortable, food tasty, and flight attendants friendly. I look forward to my next flight with AA and hope the upgrade clears!

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