Limited Time: Transcon Lie-Flat Business Class for the Price of Economy

Sep 24, 2017

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Every few months we share how you can fly lie-flat business class on American Airlines domestic routes. Well, another route just got added to the list — at least for a short time.

From December 17 to January 7, American Airlines is temporarily running its three-class A321T aircraft between Boston (BOS) and Los Angeles (LAX). This aircraft is specially configured for premium transcontinental routes, with a heavy focus on premium seats. The A321T only has 102 total seats in the entire plane versus 181-187 on the airline’s other Airbus A321s. Here’s the schedule for these A321T flights:

  • AA 333 — Boston (BOS) 10:45am Departure ⇒ Los Angeles (LAX) 2:29pm Arrival
  • AA 1360 — Los Angeles (LAX) 3:39pm Departure ⇒ Boston (BOS) 11:57pm Arrival

Designed to offer VIPs an exclusive experience between the coasts, the 10-seat first class cabin is configured with just one seat on each side of the aircraft:

American Airlines A321T First Class Featured

In business class, American Airlines uses the B/E Aerospace Diamond seat — not to be confused with the Super Diamond — with five rows in a 2-2 configuration. While this cabin arrangement doesn’t provide all-aisle access, tired travelers will appreciate the lie-flat seat for the long transcon flight. There’s a solid in-flight entertainment system, power ports and plenty of storage nooks.

Business class on AA's A321T.
Business class on AA’s A321T.

Currently, the only transcontinental routes that AA is utilizing this aircraft for are JFK-LAX and between JFK and San Francisco (SFO). With increased competition from JetBlue Mint on transcon routes — including routes out of BOS — it wouldn’t be surprising for AA to step up its transcon offerings. So, rather than being surprised by the addition of the A321T to the BOS-LAX route, I’m instead surprised that it’s just a temporary offering.

But here’s where it gets even better: American Airlines is selling the business class seats as part of economy. This economy classification means that you won’t get a hot meal, an amenity kit or a premium pillow/blanket, but you’ll still get all of the benefits that come with the hard product — particularly the lie-flat bed for the long flight.

AA A321T biz as part of economy

Note that the business seats are classified as “Main Cabin Extra (MCE).” These seats will be free for Platinum, Platinum Pro, Executive Platinum and Concierge Key elites to choose at booking. Gold elites pay 50% of the standard cost from booking to check-in but are able to select any remaining MCE seats for free at check-in. Non-elites will have to pay full price. Currently, the MCE premium on these seats is $64 one-way for a window seat and $67 for an aisle seat. Meanwhile, the exit row in the standard economy cabin is pricing at $70 one-way.

This isn’t the first time American’s given its customers a chance to fly the A321T seats for the price of economy. On the short hop between BOS and New York City’s JFK, AA also sometimes flies the A321T as a two class flight. Economy and business class seats are sold as part of economy, and the A321T first class seats are sold as first class.

While the BOS-JFK route is a fun way of getting to test the B/E Aerospace Diamond business class seats, those flights are only scheduled for 1:21 hours. Instead, this temporary BOS-LAX A321T route gives you almost seven hours to enjoy the seats.

Finally, if you want to try out the A321T first class cabin, it’s being sold on this route at business class award rates. So, you can fly this excellent product cross-country for just 25,000 AAdvantage miles one-way. On other regular A321T routes, this first class seat would cost 50,000 miles one-way. And there’s even award availability on some dates (note: these are going to disappear quickly):

  • 12/20 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 12/21 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 12/23 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 12/24 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 12/25 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 12/26 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 12/27 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 12/31 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 1/1 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 1/3 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 1/6 LAX-BOS – 1 business class award
  • 12/19 BOS-LAX – 1 business class award
  • 12/29 BOS-LAX – 1 business class award
  • 1/1 BOS-LAX – 1 business class award

Award availability LAX-BOS in A321T

H/T: One Mile At A Time

Are you going to try out the A321T on this route?

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