American A321 Transcon Routes and Top Transcon First Class and Business Class Awards

American Airlines A321 transcon routes between NYC JFK and Los Angeles LAX / San Francisco SFO are now open for booking, including award bookings (thanks to TravelSort reader Mark for the tip). While the first A321 starts flying January 7, 2014, it will take until May 8, 2014 for all of the daily transcon flights to be operated by the new American A321s.

Here's American's A321 transcon First Class:

American A321 Transcon Routes and Top Transcon First Class and Business Class Awards

 

And American's A321 transcon Business Class:

American A321 Transcon Routes and Top Transcon First Class and Business Class Awards

 

Best of all, there's decent award availability right now for AA A321 First Class:

American A321 Transcon First Class Award Availability

 

And *great* award availability for AA A321 Business Class:

American A321 Transcon Routes and Top Transcon First Class and Business Class Awards

 

It's great to have another flat bed option between NYC and SFO and NYC and LA, especially as clients and readers have reported somewhat mixed experiences recently with United's Premium Service, even with the changes to the product earlier this year. I've flown United BusinessFirst with a flat bed in the 757-200 and had a pretty good experience, but it certainly won't be confused with top international business class products.

Here's how I would rank the currently available flat bed first class and business class North America transcon awards, based on the product and the miles required:

Top U.S./North America Transcon Awards

1. Cathay Pacific First Class NYC JFK – Vancouver YVR

If you're flying to or from Vancouver or the Pacific Northwest, Cathay Pacific First Class is hard to beat. The problem is that it can be very challenging to find award availability. For a trip report, see my Cathay Pacific First Class Review: NYC JFK to Vancouver YVR

Award Cost: 37,500 Avios + ~$32 one way (or ~32K AMEX points, with current AMEX Membership Rewards 20% transfer bonus to Avios) or 32,500 AA miles


2. Cathay Pacific Business Class NYC JFK – Vancouver YVR

Cathay Pacific's Business Class is one of the top international business class products, even if it pales compared to Cathay's own First Class. And it's a lot more available on the NYC to Vancouver route than First Class.

Award Cost: 25,000 Avios + ~$32 one way (or ~21K AMEX points, with current AMEX Membership Rewards 20% transfer bonus to Avios) or 25,000 AA miles

 

3. American Airlines First Class on the A321 NYC to SFO or LAX

American, with its new A321s, will be the only U.S. carrier to offer a first class on the domestic transcon. It's basically international business class, so of course for the same number of miles I personally prefer Cathay Pacific First Class, but then, these are different destinations so this is your best bet when flying to SFO or LA.

Award Cost: 37,500 Avios + ~$32 one way (or ~32K AMEX points, with current AMEX Membership Rewards 20% transfer bonus to Avios) or 32,500 AA miles. Don't forget that if booking an international round trip with AA miles, you could include this as a free one way. See Maximizing the Value of Your Ticket with Stopovers and Open Jaws.

 

4. American Airlines Business Class on the A321 NYC to SFO or LAX

Again, for the same number of miles, I'd prefer Cathay Pacific Business Class, with its herringbone configuration and greater privacy, but since that's only to Vancouver, this is a good bet if AA's A321 First Class isn't available as an award for your date or if you want to save miles. It could also be a better bet if you're traveling with a companion, since the seats are in pairs.

Award Cost: 25,000 Avios + ~$32 one way (or ~21K AMEX points, with current AMEX Membership Rewards 20% transfer bonus to Avios) or 25,000 AA miles

 

5. United Airlines Premium Service BusinessFirst 

By most accounts the new BusinessFirst seats are more comfortable than the old Premium Service seats, but there's also less pitch than in the old First Class, so these may be less comfortable if you're tall. 

Award Cost: 25,000 United miles + $2.50

 

6. JetBlue MINT Business Class JFK to LAX (JFK to SFO to be available by end of 2014)

If you must be in an enclosed suite, JetBlue's new MINT Business Class offers 4 private suites within its business class, and all business class seats are flat bed and 6'8, which is helpful if you're a tall passenger and don't fit well in one of the above products. See JetBlue Mint Private Suites and Flat Bed Business Class Now on Sale.

Award Cost: Varies by flight; typically 35,000 True Blue points each way

What are your favorite first class and business class U.S. / North America transcon flight awards?

Related Posts

Cathay Pacific First Class Review: NYC JFK to Vancouver YVR

AMEX Membership Rewards 20% transfer bonus to Avios

JetBlue: New Private Suite on A321 Unveiled

 

Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel through us.

If you enjoyed this, join 90,000+ readers: please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-Star Hotels with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partner Amenities!

Share This:

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

avatar