Trip Report: American Airlines (A321neo) Domestic First MCO-DFW

The Details

  • Flight: AA1710
  • Aircraft: A321neo
  • Class: Domestic First
  • Seat: 5A
  • Route: Orlando International (MCO)-Dallas Ft. Worth International (DFW)
  • Distance: 1,039miles
  • Duration: 2hrs 13min
  • Departure: 2:03PM
  • Arrival: 3:27PM

The Preflight

After arriving at the main terminal area, I made my way to the dedicated Priority Check-in counters American Airlines operates in Orlando.

While there wasn’t a line for checking in, the TSA lines were massive. The central security area was packed with passengers. Luckily, I had CLEAR which allowed me to skip through the PreCheck line which was a few dozen passengers deep. Within five minutes I was through security.

American operates out of Terminal B at MCO and our flight we departing from gate 54. Our A321neo, registration N427AN, was delivered brand new to American Airlines on Octoerber 29, 2020.

She was one of 70 A321neos that American Airlines plans to have in their fleet.

Boarding was supposed to begin at 12:55PM but due to heavy thunderstorms in the Dallas area it was pushed back until 1:25PM. Gate agents did a fairly good job of keeping passengers updated and upfront with news on the delay.

The Flight

American Airlines features 20 first class seats onbard their A321neos arranged in a 2-2 configuration. This aircraft featured the “Kodiak” Domestic First configuration which is American’s newest onboard offering up front. There was a hanging builhead screen that separated First and Main Cabin behind my seat 5A.

Each seat was 21″ wide and offered 36.5″ of pitch.

The seatback had a tablet holder, literature pocket, and USB port.

I appreciated the unrestricted legroom without any boxes underneath the seat.

It between the two seatbacks was a cocktail tray.

The seat recline button was located in the center console.

There was another small tray table that could be pulled out from the center.

Underneath the armrest was a storage bin as well as the universal power outlet.

The left hand armrest was where the tray table was stored.

The tray table was very sturdy and had a built in tablet holder which I appreciated.

It was massive and sturdy.

Boarding took just 30 minutes and the doors were closed at 1:55PM, 25minutes later than scheduled. The lead flight attendant also passed through the cabin to take drink orders before taking off. Three minutes later, we pushed back at 2:03PM.

The taxi to runway 36R took 11 minutes and we took off at 2:14PM.

Once in the air, I loaded the AA IFE on my tablet.

There was a fair amount of options despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Drinks were served 20 minutes after takeoff. I appreciated that all passengers were served a double of their drink of choice. I went with a gin & tonic that was also served with a slice of lime. American Airlines has had the best beverage service during the COVID-19 pandemic of any US carrier hands down.

Unfortuantely, the meal services have been severely reduced due to the pandemic. Food options included either a turkey sandwich of chesse plate.

The turkey sandwich was served with a packet of mustard and a chcolate chip cookie.

We had great views of the Gulf of Meixco was we passed over the Lousiana Coast.

We landed at 3:27PM local time in Dallas after on runway 35R.

Due to the thunderstorms in the area, the taxi ways were packed with delayed flights arriving and pushing back. Once at our gate, we were held in position due to another plane not having pushed back yet. It took almost twenty minutes for us to finally pull into our gate. This flight was a great reminder as to the impacts that thunderstorms have on DFW.

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