Chatflights Reviews: American Airlines Flagship Business Class Miami to Los Angeles
Domestic air travel is booming in the United States and pent up demand is very much a thing. After a rough 2020 airlines are gearing up for a summer of revenge travel. With many international borders still shut, a majority of Americans have opted to play it safe and holiday domestically.
Miami has become a tourist hotspot during the pandemic mainly in thanks to its warm climate and relaxed covid restrictions. One airline that just so happens to have its hub in Miami is American Airlines who have deployed their flagship Boeing 777 aircraft on all flights from Miami to New York and Los Angeles during the summer season. We had the chance to try out their business class onboard the airline’s flagship service between Miami and Los Angeles.
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Our flights were booked using American Airlines AAdvantage miles. United, American and Delta all offer dynamic award pricing on most domestic and international itineraries. Domestic award pricing can in many ways be viewed as a double-edge sword as the prices are set based on supply and demand. During popular travel periods such as the summer you can expect the prices to be high, but if you’re lucky it’s possible to score a bargain every now and then.
Enter AA:s Web Special awards. We were able to book a one-way ticket from New York JFK to Los Angeles via Miami all in business class for just 20 000 miles and $5.60 in taxes. A bargain considering that the same flights usually sell for twice as much. The same flights booked with cash retail for around $1200 USD one-way so using miles is a solid deal. The biggest downside of AAdvantage is their lack of transferrable points partners as they don’t partner with any of the major banks. The only way to earn AA miles through credit card spend is via their own co-branded credit cards or by transferring points from Marriott Bonvoy.
American Airlines Flight 2283 Miami to Los Angeles
Our flight from Miami to Los Angeles departs from the D-concourse at Miami International Airport, the same concourse where most American Airlines flights depart from. Our inbound Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from JFK turned out to be the same aircraft continuing towards LAX so there was no need to venture across the terminal which is otherwise the case when transiting at Miami International.
Our two hour layover was spent in the Admirals Club. Lounge access is typically not given on domestic flights with the exception of premium transcontinental flights such as this one, where Flagship First and Business passengers can gain access to the Flagship Lounges. Unfortunately these lounges are still closed due to the pandemic and access is instead granted to the inferior Admirals Club.
The departure was delayed by 45 minutes due to bad weather, and the boarding process was rushed to get all passengers onboard as quickly as possible. Flagship First and Business passengers were allowed to board first, and we soon found ourselves in seat 7J which would be my home for the five hour flight to Los Angeles.
The Flagship Business cabin on AA’s Boeing 777-300ER consists of 52 seats in a reverse herringbone 1-2-1 configuration spread across 13 rows. The cabin is divided in two sections with a smaller mini-cabin right behind Flagship First consisting of 2 rows, and the main cabin behind door 2 consisting of 9 rows. Our seat 7 was in the third row of the main Flagship Business cabin.
The seat offers ample legroom in the upright position with a storage bin that’s big enough to fit a laptop bag. Privacy is decent as all passengers face away from each other, as well as the winged privacy shields which are placed near your field of peripheral sight. This creates a sense of privacy without actually being shielded from the other passengers.
Seat comfort is great in the upright, lounge and bed position. The seat offers a great level of adjustability and it’s easy to find a comfortable position. In the fully flat position the seat converts into a 78 inch long bed, with enough space for the legs to move around.
The seat also offers a 15-inch entertainment screen. US airlines excel when it comes to the selection of movies and TV shows onboard, and American was no exception. The entertainment system featured more than 250 movie titles and just as many TV episodes. The system can be controlled either via remote or via touch screen. We found the latter to be the most convenient option.
Shortly after getting settled into the seat printed menus are handed out by the crew. No pre-departure beverages are served as a way to minimize contact between passengers and crew. At the seat are a pair of noise cancelling headphones, an amenity kit, and bedding from Casper.
We depart Miami one hour behind schedule and service begins shortly after reaching cruising altitude. American Airlines have altered their onboard service due to the pandemic, and while airlines such as Delta only serve a snack box on their premium transcontinental routes, American Airlines still offers a full meal service.
Service starts with table cloths, and drinks run. Gone are the warm nuts and instead pre-packaged nuts are served.
Next up is the meal. American offers four choices of main course on this flight, and we opted for the Gorgonzola crusted beef fillet which was served with potato gratin and red wine sauce. Accompanying the dish is a small appetizer of beets with goats cheese, and a lemon tart for dessert. To drink we opted for a glass of the Italian red wine.
Ordering beef on airplanes is always a gamble and our low expectations were far exceeded after the first bite. The meat was incredibly tender, flavorful, and juicy. The beetroot and goat’s cheese appetizer was a bit too vinegary for our liking, but the lemon tart dessert was sublime. Overall this was a great meal, and compared to United and Delta who still offer a greatly reduced meal service on their premium transcontinental routes, American emerges as the clear winner of the three.
Following the meal service three hours remained of the flight. This offered us a great opportunity to try out the bed for a well needed nap. Snacks and drinks were available throughout the flight, and a self service snack bar had been set up in the galley. One hour prior to landing the crew made a second snack and beverage run. We arrive into LAX thirty minutes after our scheduled arrival time, and overall this was a great flight onboard American Airlines Flagship Service.
American Airlines offers a solid business class product on its premium transcontinental flights. While the service is not up to par with JetBlue’s Mint Business Class it’s still far better than what’s currently offered on United and Delta. The seat despite being nearly a decade old is still competitive and offers excellent comfort and privacy for a five hour flight, and we wouldn’t have any issues to spend a 14+ hour flight to Asia in the very same seat.
Overall for those looking to redeem their AAdvantage miles or book a cash ticket, American Airlines Flagship Business Class is a great product. Be sure to keep an eye out for the web special awards in order to secure a deal like we did.
Do you want to use your miles to fly with American Airlines in Business or First Class? Download the Chatflights app today!
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