American Airlines Looks To Return More A321T Planes To Service

American Airlines’ premium cabin passengers making the cross country trek between New York and the big West Coast airports of Los Angeles and San Francisco will welcome the news the airline is boosting its top-shelf Airbus A321T flights on these sectors. American Airlines took the A321T off the run to Los Angeles in October and reduced New York – San Francisco to just once a day. Now, American Airlines is reversing that move and dusting off more of its popular narrowbody Airbus planes.

American Airlines is sending its Airbus A321T back to Los Angeles. Photo: Airbus

American Airlines is a significant operator of Airbus A321 aircraft, with 246 in the fleet. A handful of those planes were specially configured into premium seat-heavy aircraft known as the A321T.

The planes were a big hit with business travelers flying from coast to coast. But as the business travelers stopped flying, so did the A321Ts. American Airlines scaled back its transcontinental flights and put older Boeing 777-200ERs onto the routes. It was a sensible strategic move but offered a less luxe flying experience for the airline’s premium passengers.

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The American Airlines A321T heads back to LAX

A look at the American Airlines booking engine indicates the first A321T flight from Los Angeles to New York (JFK) begins on Thursday, March 4. Initially, there is only one A321T flight a day (the remainder of the American Airlines nonstop flights are operated by Boeing 777-200ER aircraft). The New York-bound A321T flight is AA4. The five-hour plus flight departs Los Angeles at 14:00 local time and arrives in New York at 22:21.

In the opposite direction, A321T flights from New York to Los Angeles start the following day; Friday, March 5. AA3 pushes back at JFK at midday and lands in Los Angeles mid-afternoon.

This sole flight a day doesn’t match the almost hourly A321T flights between New York and Los Angeles passengers enjoyed just 12 months ago. But it is a step in the right direction.

American Airlines Airbus A321T flights from Los Angeles resume on March 4. Photo: Airbus

San Francisco A321T services to go double daily

Meanwhile, American Airlines’ other significant transcontinental route is between New York and San Francisco. Over the winter, the airline has maintained a single daily A321T return service. However, just as American Airlines sends its A321T’s back to Los Angeles, A321T services in and out of San Francisco are going double daily.

Right now, you can board an A321T out of San Francisco for the red-eye flight over to JFK. That’s a relatively painless flight if you are one of the lucky handful of passengers sleeping the night away in the first class cabin with its lie-flat seats. Other passengers may prefer to board the second A321T New York-bound flight beginning Thursday, March 4. That second flight is AA164 which departs San Francisco at 08:15 every morning and lands in New York at 16:52.

American Airlines A321T aircraft have proved popular with business travelers. Photo: Airbus

Also on Thursday, March 4, American Airlines supplements its daily 07:30 A321T departure from New York with a second San Francisco bound A321 flight. AA2652 will push back from Kennedy at 18:00 and land in San Francisco at 21:49. With a flying time of almost seven hours, that’s a perfect landing time for passengers whose next destination is bed.

The uptick in American Airlines’ A321T cross country flights is welcome news for passengers who fly up the front. The remainder of passengers who typically travel down the back may prefer to stick with the roomier Boeing 777-200ER. As business travel reboots, American Airlines will add additional A321T flights to cater to that market. However, as most airline CEOs expect business travel to take some time to bounce back, this may take a while.

Are you pleased to see American Airlines boost their A321T services? Post a comment and let us know.