American Airlines will introduce its first three new Airbus A321s – each configured with just 102 seats – into service on January 7 on the New York JFK-Los Angeles route and will build up its A321 transcontinental schedule until the type is operating 18 round-trips a day on two routes by mid-June.
On January 7, American Airlines will begin offering two daily round-trips between New York JFK (IATA code JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with its initial fleet of three of the specially configured A321s.
American will also introduce A321Ts on the New York JFK-San Francisco International Airport (SFO) route, on March 6.
The airline is taking delivery of 17 A321s (out of a total of 65 A321 current engine option aircraft it has ordered) in the 102-seat configuration, according to Jim Carter, managing director for American’s Eastern sales division.
Of the 65 A321ceos American is receiving, only these 17 will feature full international/transcontinental First Class and full international/transcontinental Business Class seats, as well as Main Cabin Extra and Main Cabin seating. (American says it will be the only carrier to offer a full three-class configuration on the two prime transcontinental routes.)
American is designating these 17 aircraft as “A321 Transcontinental” jets or “A321Ts”. The ‘T’ indicates that they will be operated only on American’s two prime, high-yield transcontinental routes linking New York JFK with Los Angeles International and San Francisco International airports.
As American continues to take delivery of Airbus A321Ts, it will add more daily A321T round-trips on the New York JFK-Los Angeles route until it is operating its full schedule of 13 daily round-trips on the route with A321Ts by June 11.
The airline plans to increase its initial two round-trip A321T schedule on the JFK-LAX route to five daily round-trips on January 15; six on January 31; eight on February 12; nine on April 1; 11 on May 8; 12 on June 2; and 13 on June 11.
By that time American will have retired all of the Boeing 767-200ERs it now operates on the route.
American’s initial A321T schedule on the JFK-SFO route calls for the airline to operate two daily round-trips with the type from March 6; three a day from April 1; and a full daily schedule of five round-trips a day from June 11.
As with the aircraft used on the JFK-LAX route, the 102-seat A321Ts used on the New York-San Francisco route will have 10 First Class flat-bed seats in individual pods – each with direct access to the aisle, in a 1+1 row configuration – and 20 Business Class flat-bed seats in a 2+2 row configuration.
The window seats in Business Class do not have direct aisle access.
All the flat-bed seats in First Class and Business class are 81 inches long when fully extended. (Each First Class seat has a 43-inch pitch when fully upright.)
However, the First Class seats are 27 inches wide and the Business Class flat-bed seats are 22 inches wide.
The personal in-flight entertainment screens for each First Class and Business Class seat are all of 15.4-inch diameter. All tilt and all are touchscreen- and HD-capable.
In addition, each American A321T will have 36 Main Cabin Extra seats – each Main Cabin Extra seat row (rows 11 to 16) is identified by a small blue-and-white sign on the storage lockers above each row – offering 35 inches of seat pitch and six inches of seat recline.
(A tip for the frequent traveler: Row 11 on the right-hand side of the A321T, an exit row, offers four or five additional feet of legroom. Row 11 on the left side, also next to an emergency exit, offers slightly less legroom than do the seats on the right , but still offers a considerable additional amount of legroom compared with all other Main Cabin Extra seat rows.)
At the back of the aircraft, immediately behind the Main Cabin Extra seating and in the same cabin compartment, are 36 Main Cabin (Economy) seats.
Each of these seats offers a seat pitch of 31 inches and four inches of seat recline. All the Main Cabin Extra and Main cabin seats have 8.9-inch-diameter seatback in-flight entertainment screens. All are HD-capable. American is offering Gogo’s upgraded air-to-ground technology (ATG-4) Wi-Fi throughout the aircraft.
American’s new A321Ts each have two galleys, one midway along the aircraft cabin and one at the rear. The mid-cabin galley serves the First and Business cabins, offering premium in-flight dining and beverage service in these cabins. There are ample washroom facilities for all cabin classes.