American Airlines Ends Los Angeles To Boston Experiment

American Airlines’ flagship A321T has disappeared from flight schedules between Boston and Los Angeles. Previously operating twice a day, the route will change to regular domestic planes from the 4th September.

AA A321T
The A321T has been removed from the Boston schedule from September. Photo: AA

There’s not much you can do to make transcontinental trips fun. Generally, we’re subjected to smaller, more basic aircraft with very little in the way of premium products. However, American Airlines’ A321T set out to change all that.

The A321T with its premium heavy configuration and flagship soft product offerings, has made long trips from coast to coast a dream. Relatively popular from JFK to both LAX and SFO, travelers from Boston were delighted when AA launched a service using this plane from BOS to LAX too. However, just weeks after it began, the dream appears to be ending.

As noted by One Mile At A Time, American Airline’s schedules from 4th September no longer have the A321T in place. The service with this plane between Boston and Los Angeles debuted on April 2nd, so has only been running for around 12 weeks. Clearly, the experiment didn’t pay off.

Why did AA cancel the A321T on the Boston route?

Simple Flying reached out to American Airlines for clarity on this but are yet to receive a response. As such, we can only make an educated guess at what the problem might have been.

As noted by One Mile At A Time, this was a bit of a strange service, in that American Airlines didn’t offer the A321T on every service. Two of the daily connections between BOS and LAX were operated by the T, while the rest used more run of the mill aircraft. This could be an issue for passengers keen to get a seat on the T.

American's A321T seat map
The premium heavy configuration of the A321T. Image: SeatMaestro

There’s also the issue of overcapacity. While plenty of airlines offer some lie flat business class seats between Boston and Los Angeles, the A321T has a LOT of premium seats. 30, in fact, which is around double the number seen on most other carriers. It’s highly likely that the demand just hasn’t been there, and the A321T makes more sense to deploy on a route with a higher premium demand.

Whether the spare A321T capacity will be deployed back at JFK remains to be seen. There are certainly other routes which would be interesting to see, but we’ll just have to wait to find out. As always, airline schedules are subject to change, so do check with your carrier before taking our word for it.

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What is the American Airlines A321T?

The ‘T’ designation of the AA A321 is unique to American Airlines. It simply means ‘transcontinental’, which isn’t very exciting, but in terms of passenger experience, they are very, very exciting. Unlike other A321s in AA’s fleet, these don’t have the standard 181 – 187 seats. They have far less, because this is an aircraft designed for the most premium of premium transcontinental travel.

A321T first
AA’s 321T is the only transcontinental aircraft with a proper first class cabin. Photo: Wikipedia

In total, there are just 102 seats, of which 10 are lie flat first class. This makes the A321T one of only two plane types in American’s fleet to have an actual first class product on board. There are 10 seats in first, arranged in a spacious 1-1 layout.

In keeping with the premium heavy nature of the T, there are 20 business class seats in a 2-2 arrangement. Although slightly shorter in length than the first class seats, and with a little less storage, they’re still amazingly luxurious for domestic flights. AA state that customers traveling on first and business can also enjoy “a chef-curated menu, as well as premium wines and amenity kits”.

A321T business
Business class on the A321T. Photo: Wikipedia

Back in economy, there are 72 seats in total, split equally between standard economy and premium economy. Standard offer 31 to 32 inches of pitch, while premium gives around another five inches of legroom. For economy passengers, there’s power at every seat, high speed WiFi and seatback entertainment.

Right now, the A321T is the only aircraft doing domestic transcontinental flights to feature three classes of travel. It can still be flown on routes between JFK and SFO as well as JFK to LAX. Occasionally it does the short hop between JFK and BOS. However, it will no longer be serving on the Boston to Los Angeles route.

Are you sad to see the A321T leave the route? Have you flown transcontinental on AA’s Flagship service? Let us know in the comments!

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Mike Pasquale

American should compensate those who booked Flagship first or Flagship Business on the A321T for a flight after 9/3/19 that has been switched to Domestic First Class with complimentary Lounge access at minimum. American’s current response is “If you don’t like the change, cancel your flight”. Not a very good response to a customer. Thanks American, for confirming that Delta and even UNITED are better for Transcontinental travel and Customer Service!