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

The Details

  • Flight: AA379
  • Aircraft: A321
  • Class: Domestic First
  • Seat: 4A and 4C
  • Route: Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)-Charlotte Douglas International (CLT)
  • Distance: 599 miles
  • Duration: 2hrs 5min
  • Departure: 12:09PM (delayed 1hr 14min)
  • Arrival: 2:28PM

The Preflight

To ring in 2020 and the New Year, my SO and I were going to fly to Abu Dhabi to celebrate. Our routing involved three legs: ORD-CLT, CLT-MUC, and finally MUC-AUH.

We began the day in the Flagship Lounge at Chicago O’Hare since we were flying international business on the second leg of our journey from ORD-CLT-MUC.

I really do love the views of the apron from the Flagship lounge.

Snowy Morning

My SO and I enjoyed a few glasses of champagne. Cheers!

Flagship Lounge ORD

The weather was constantly changing that morning, from snow flurries, to sunshine, to cloudy. It made from some beautiful views.

Apron View

Due to the snow, our inbound aircraft from Charlotte was delayed. As such our departure got pushed back by roughly two hours. At 11:15AM, an hour later than the original boarding time, my SO and I headed towards the gate. We passed by some beautiful AA aircraft including a B787-8 and A319.

The plane taking us to CLT today was an A321, registration N931AM, that was delivered to American back in 2017.


The Flight

American Airlines currently has two distinct sub-fleets of A321s. The Legacy US Airways (LUS) sub-fleet, dubbed “Classic”, features 16 Domestic First class seats, 15 Main Cabin Extra seats, and 156 Main Cabin seats. These “Classic” A321s lack in-seat power, have no IFE screens, and only have 36″ of pitch up front.

In comparison, the Legacy American Airlines (LAA) sub-fleet, dubbed “Enhanced”, features 16 Domestic First class seats, 36 Main Cabin Extra seats, and 129 Main Cabin seats. Each seat has a seatback screen and individual power ports. The first class cabin also has a very generous 39″ of pitch.

Our flight was delayed by about 45 minutes which resulted in an airplane swap. No complaints since we went from a LUS A321 to a LAA A321 (seat-back screens and in seat power!)

My SO and I were both seated in the last row of first class in 4A and 4C. There are a total of 16 seats in a 2-2 configuration.

Seat 4A

The LAA sub-fleet of A321s had both in seat power and IFE screens. Compared the the LUS A321s this seat felt positively luxurious. I pulled up the flight map immediately once I got seated.

Seat-back Entertainment

There was a generous amount of legroom at 39″. Each seat was 21″ wide.

Leg Room

The IFE remote was stored in the armrest. It was fairly clean and all the buttons were working fine.

IFE control

In the center armrest was a bi-fold tray table.

Tray Table

It was large enough for my laptop and a drink.

Tray Table

In between the seat backs was a cocktail tray.

Drink Holder

The flight attendants on this flight were simply phenomenal. Upon boarding, the flight attendant came by and offered to hang our coats. Once we got situated, the flight attendants came by to offer a pre-departure beverage (open bar!). I had a Bloody Mary and my SO had a glass of water.

PDB: Bloody Mary

Despite O’Hare having a dedicated de-icing facility, we were de-iced at the gate.

De-Icing at the gate

We had a fairly lengthy taxi to the runway. After about 30 minutes, we were cleared for takeoff.

About 15 minutes after takeoff our amazing flight attendants sprung into action. First up was a beverage service and I had a cup of black coffee.


Because our flight was under 699 miles (599 miles to be exact) the meal service was only a snack basket. We were encouraged to try all of the snacks and we shared four of them.

The chickpea puffs were our favorite while the sunflower seeds and rolled oats cookies were interesting.

Snack Basket

The rest of the short flight was uneventful. We were offered another beverage service and the snack basket made a second round through the cabin.

North Caroline

We had a smooth approach and landed in CLT just in time to make it onto our next flight.

Despite the weather delay, I found this flight to be very pleasant. The flight attendants were both friendly, warm, and personable and made the entire experience pleasant. Until next time American!

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