American Airlines‘s premium transcon service will soon fly to Boston. The carrier is adding two daily trips between Los Angeles and Boston Logan on the A321T aircraft, making it the only airline to offer first class and business class on the route. The new service starts on 2 April 2019 with seats on sale beginning 3 December 2019.
The carrier operates six daily trips between the two cities, the most frequencies among the four airlines flying nonstop. JetBlue converted its service on the route to the Mint premium product beginning in late 2016. United Airlines operates the route with premium-configured aircraft but does not market the service it as the “Coast” premium transcon service. Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines also operate nonstop service on the route.
By introducing the A321T on two daily flights between important business markets like LAX and BOS, we are delivering on our promise to create a world-class customer experience. – Vasu Raja, Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning for American
In order to add the two daily transcon trips to the schedule American says it will “optimize our schedule and retime some flights to accommodate two trips between LAX and BOS on the A321T using our existing fleet.” That’s bad news for those hoping to see growth in the dedicated fleet. Expansion of the premium offering beyond these two flights is also unlikely based on that plan.
It also appears to be bad news for one of the scheduled frequencies between Los Angeles and New York’s JFK airport. While not specifically mentioned in the company’s statement the “retiming” drops one frequency on the JFK-LAX service to make the aircraft available for the transcon operation. The new schedule appears to hold through to the busy peak summer season.
Premium cabin passengers can take advantage of Admirals Club access in Boston and Flagship Lounge access in Los Angeles. Passengers in first class also get access to the Flagship First Check-in and Dining options in Los Angeles.
Flagship First and Flagship Business customers have access to meals designed by chef-partner Sam Choy as well as a lumbar support pillow, duvet, mattress pad and other bedding from sleep experts Casper. The aircraft also offers 36 Main Cabin Extra seats, which include extra leg room and complimentary beer, wine and spirits. All customers enjoy free movies and TV shows with seatback entertainment. High-speed satellite Wi-Fi provided by Viasat is available for purchase with bandwidth sufficient to support access to personal subscription video streaming services.
The A321T is not a stranger to Boston. American Airlines operates the plane on JFK-BOS-JFK flights between its transcon trips today. The short hops do not receive any of the premium services on board, but the comfort factor remains in place. Delays on the short hop have produced challenges for American over the years, with the more premium transcon suffering delays or cancelations because the planes get stuck in Boston during adverse weather. It is unclear if the retimed schedule keeps the type on those flights.