/ / / / / /

Sitting Up Front: The First Class Experience on American Airlines

May 14, 2010 at 9:30 AM | by | ()

Depending on the type of plane that you board, you either walk right past them all, or you are forced to turn the other way and never even see them. We're talking about the first class or business class seats. The back of the plane is where why find ourselves nine times out of ten, but we can always dream about the promised land. That's why we wanted to share what we know about flying in the front of the plane, and what it takes to get there. Check out what we found:

· How Much Does It Cost?
If you’re a hotshot and heading to Los Angeles for an important meeting, then you have two different options on American Airlines. They offer both a business class and a first class seat between JFK and LAX. We checked out some fares for the first week in June, and business seats are around $2,600, while first class seats are about $5,300. You’d be leaving on flight 1 and returning on flight 2, which is just a cute little sidenote.

More room to stretch your legs after the break...

· Can I Go For Free?
The best way to burn up your frequent flyer miles is spending them on super classy overseas adventures, but we won’t blame you if you want to fly out to California in style. The cheapest mileage amount for business class seats is 50,000, and for those looking to head to a more premium class of service, it’s 65,000 miles in First. Heading up front if you booked a seat in the back will cost you 15,000 miles in addition to a $75 fee; however, there’s a lot more to this formula if you have a more substantial fare type or belong to one of American Airlines’ elite frequent flyer programs.

· How’s The Food And Drink?
If you’re flying around the United States, the food and beverage options aren’t that exciting. There’s hot entrees for flights that are over two hours in length, and what you get depends on the time of the day. They do breakfast, lunch and dinner up front, and have special meals if you’re heading to somewhere neat like Hawaii. Those sitting in the front can say aloha to macadamia nut chicken with pineapple papaya marmalade.

In-flight service gets quite the upgrade for overseas journeys. Mojito shrimp and flat iron steak are just a couple of the options cooked up by the airline’s team of chefs. If you’re headed to Japan, you can even order a traditional Japanese meal, but you need to call and let them know you’re all about the chopsticks ahead of time. As with most airlines, wine, spirits and beer are all free up front.

· Can I Lounge Around Before The Flight?
Being in the front allows for some certain perks even before you step onto the airplane. Depending on which fare class you’ve been booked into, admission into the Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge is yours for free. The Admirals Club is your basic airline lounge, but the Flagship Lounges in JFK, MIA, ORD, LHR, and LAX offers more selection, and perks like the complimentary buffet. Champagne and other premium beverages are available, as well as Bose Music Stations at the one in Los Angeles. Sounds good to us!

· How Comfy Are Things In The Front?
Travelers aboard Boeing 767 and 777 airplanes might consider taking home a souvenir, because the soft cotton duvet and oversized pillow look pretty luxe and will be on your seat before you board. Just make sure not to get too comfy, because you need to stay awake to play with the in-flight entertainment and enjoy that comfortable seat. There’s usually even a spot to plug in your laptop to get all that, uh, work done.

The best seats on American Airlines are on their Boeing 777s. The Flagship Suite First Class features swiveling seats—so you can talk your travel companion—as well as a fully flat seating option. Again, try not to sleep through the flight, or paying the extra cash wasn’t worth it. Unless you're an insomniac who can only sleep on planes.

· Anything Special At The Airport?
Feel free to pass all the commoners complaining about the checked baggage fees as you make your way to the first-class check-in line. Ideally these lines will offer expedited service and extra friendly customer service; however, we’re not making any guarantees. Priority baggage delivery promises that your checked bags will be first off the plane, but again, no promises.

If you sit up front more often than you sit in the back, be sure to let us know about tips, tricks, or amenities we might have missed in the comments below!

Related Stories:
· The Flagship Experience [Official Site]
· American Airlines - Cabin Comfort [Jaunted]
· First Class Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo of a Delta airplane: lrargerich]

[Photo of in-flight comfort: American Airlines]

Archived Comments: