Trip Report: American Airlines (A321) Domestic First DFW-SAN

The Details

  • Flight: AA2758
  • Aircraft: A321
  • Class: Domestic First
  • Seat: 1A
  • Route: Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW)-San Diego International (SAN)
  • Distance: 1,170 miles
  • Duration: 3hrs 6min
  • Departure: 5:01PM
  • Arrival: 5:44PM

The Preflight

After coming in from Chicago O’Hare onboard the American Airlines B787-8, I had a four hour layover in Dallas. I spent some time in the various Admirals Clubs at DFW before making my way to Terminal C 10 minutes before boarding.

Our A321 flying us to San Diego, registration N987AM, was delivered brand new to American Airlines in August 2016.

Boarding began promptly at 4:13PM. Next to our gate was one of the old school Maddog MD-83s in the retro-silver AA livery.

The Flight

American Airlines currently has two distinct sub-fleets of their A321s. One sub-fleet, the “Classic” flew for US Airways and have 16 First, 15 Main Cabin Extra, and 156 Main Cabin seats. These legacy US Airways A321s lack any entertainment screens and no seats, including First, have power.

The other sub-fleet, legacy American Airlines A321s are “Enhanced”. These aircraft feature 16 First, 36 Main Cabin Extra, and 129 Main Cabin seats. All “enhanced” A321s offer an individual seatback entertainment screen and USB port.

Our aircraft today was an “enhanced” A321. These First seats offer 38″ of pitch which is two inches more than First class in the “classic” fleet. Each seat was 21″ wide. I found these seats to be fairly comfortable but they were definitely worn in. The 16 First class seats were arranged in a 2-2 configuration between rows 1-4.

Since I was in the bulkhead seat, the IFE screen and literature pocket were built into the wall. The IFE remote was stored in the left armrest and the tray table was stored in the right armrest.

I enjoyed the 15.4 inch HD touchscreen monitor on the bulkhead. Below the screen was a USB port.

Unlike my previous flight with AA, the service on this flight was no where near as good. Predeparture beverages were not offered and my seatmates attempt to get a glass of water was shot down immediately. We pushed back 13 minutes late at 5:01PM and had a brief taxi to the runway.

Service began 20 minutes after takeoff with a beverage service. I had a glass of white wine poured in the galley and water. A ramekin of warmed nuts was provided as well.

For dinner, I opted for the grilled chicken with Shiitake mushroom sauce and twice baked potato. While the chicken was tender, I found the sauce over salted and potato uninspired. There was also a bland side salad.

A hot bread basket was passed through the cabin as well. Options included whole wheat, sourdough, or cheese (no pretzel rolls…)

The refills of alcohol were also very generous.

As the sun set over the horizon, there were some great views of various cities along our flight path.

Closer to San Diego, flight attendants came through the cabin with cookies. The two options were snicker doodle or a delicious chocolate chip.

On approach to runway 27, we had the classic views of downtown San Diego. Since it was three days before Christmas, there were a lot of green and red lights. We touched down 15 minutes earlier than scheduled and taxied directly to the gate.

In all, this flight was what I expected from American Airlines. Average service in an average seat with an average meal. Nevertheless, I always appreciate being able to sit up front and look forward to the next flight with AA!

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