REVIEW: American Airlines First Class

(SFO-JFK), May 2016

The Flight:

Having just arrived from Tokyo, I was eager to get on my flight and sleep and get back home to NYC. Unfortunately, my AA flight was delayed 2.5 hours due to some bad weather.

I wasn’t unfamiliar with the herringbone seats and layout as I have flown Cathay Pacific business many times throughout the year. These seats were much of the same — comfortable but maybe a bit tight in length when fully laid flat.

There was no pre-flight beverage, probably due to trying to get up in the air as quickly as possible. I spent the time instead looking through the Cole Haan amenity kit. The offerings inside were a bit lacking but I did enjoy the actual leather kit and the AA pen included since I like to collect pens from each airline.

Of note, using the USB to charge my iPhone still messed with the entertainment system so I had to use the power plug.

The Food:

The menu was handed out before takeoff. I chose the Wagyu Meatloaf because I don’t know how I could ever turn down wagyu — even against my better judgment given that this was AA and not an Asian airline. Unfortunately, this did disappoint. The texture was strange and the pomodoro sauce did not pair well with it. In retrospect, I should’ve probably gotten the Shrimp Sliders.

The Dip Duo was lacking as well. Both the dips and pitas were a bit cold and hard, which actually made it hard to dip. This entire meal wasn’t memorable but after having amazing food on JAL and still being full, I didn’t care too much. But if I had paid for this flight or used miles just for this flight alone, I would be really disappointed — especially because I’ve had better food on AA business before.

At least there was ice cream and the champagne was crisp, cold, and plentiful.

The Details:

Japan Airlines First Class — Tokyo (HND) to San Francisco (SFO)
American Airlines First Class — San Francisco (SFO) to New York (JFK)
Flight #: JL 2 / AA 276
Duration: JL ~9.5 hours (12:05AM — 5:25PM)
AA ~5.5 hours (9:30PM — 6:01AM)
Price: 62,500 AA miles + $43.86 in taxes and fees. (32.5k for just SFO-JFK)

Final Thoughts:

I was definitely disappointed in this first class product. I’ve had better experiences on AA flying business class or even its short haul premium. I would definitely hesitate to pay for first or even spend any extra money or miles to upgrade.