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American Airlines

American Airlines First Class Shuttle Review

A convenient, comfortable, and cost-effective way to hop through the Northeastern United States.

In a very, very crowded field of competitors all vying for the customers who transit the lucrative Northeast Corridor, American Airlines has perhaps the most robust offering.  Just about every hour on the hour for fifteen straight hours — from 6am to 9pm to be precise — every single day, you can fly AA between Washington, New York, and Boston.  It couldn’t get more convenient than that and, if you’re running late to the airport, no worries!  You can just get on the next flight without changing your schedule too drastically.  This level of flexibility is great for the business travelers who frequent these routes, and the comfortable seats and relatively cheap fares are just icing on the cake.

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On perceiving “good” value

The most recent review published on The Higher Flyer evaluates international business class onboard American Airlines’s now-retired fleet of Boeing 767s.  There’s nothing particularly exciting nor noteworthy about the experience, but with lie-flat seats, direct aisle access for all passengers, and upgraded dining options on offer, your expectations for a product marketed as “Flagship Business” are likely going to be met but not exceeded.  It delivers all that you could want in decidedly-average fashion, but because the fares are prohibitively expensive, it’s nearly impossible for me to recommend it.  When compared to significantly cheaper, if not better, alternatives, it’s the textbook definition of a terrible deal… although some might disagree with that assessment.  There’s an inherent ambiguousness to higher flying reflected here, and that poses an interesting question:  what makes a “good value” good?

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American Airlines 767 Business Class Review

A recently-refurbished plane remains retro thanks to an underwhelming premium product

Across its expansive fleet, American Airlines features eight different kinds of business class seats.  Naturally, as you might expect, some are better than others.  On one end of the spectrum you have excellent reverse herringbones found on its Boeing 777s and 787-9s.  On the opposite end, on its Boeing 767s, you have staggered seats that would’ve been state-of-the-art 15 years ago.  Of the these two extremes, they share unlikely commonalities:  AA installed them on its planes only as recently as a few years ago, and it typically charges comparable, astronomically-priced fares for both.  If the airline brings the goods — so tasty dining options and warm, amicable service (among other things) to complement a comfortable chair that reclines 180 degrees — then it can get away with this pricing model.  If it doesn’t, well, such a poor value isn’t “higher flyer” and it probably isn’t worth your time.  By those metrics, the business class experience on AA’s 767s is, while more pleasant than economy, probably one to avoid.

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You get what you pay for, including reclining seats, but…

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the fourth edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s daily newsletter gathering up and summarizing some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for February 18, 2020 — covers seat recline etiquette, as well as an exciting new airplane lavatory concept, harsh business class reviews, and some predictions for Alaska’s Mileage Plan following the recent AA/oneworld developments.

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Boeing’s in trouble, but that’s good news for higher flyers

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the third edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s daily newsletter gathering up and summarizing some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for February 13, 2020 — explores how Boeing’s tumultuous year indirectly benefits higher flyers, as well as some exciting oneworld news and surprising new American Airlines routes.  Today was a big day!

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The coronavirus threatens long-term damage to the travel industry

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the second edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s daily newsletter gathering up and summarizing some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for February 12, 2020 — covers the lesser-noticed effects that the coronavirus has on the travel industry, as well as an impending reshuffling in the World of Hyatt, American Airlines’s roll out of a less-crappy Oasis product, and a glimpse in to Delta’s future at Tokyo Haneda Airport.

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Arriverderci, Air Italy!

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the inaugural edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s newsletter gathering up and summarizing some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for February 11, 2020 — covers the fall of Air Italy, as well as coronavirus flight cancellations, a hot take regarding the Global Entry ban in New York, and a surprise announcement from Uber.

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American Airlines “StrAAnds” Dallas Cowboys in Philadelphia

American Airlines’s pathetic operational reliability record isn’t exactly a new development, and complaints have long been streaming in from major media outlets, “higher flyer” bloggers, and angry mobs in the Twittisphere.  Now the Dallas Cowboys, as of the evening of December 22, have every right to complain as well.  In addition to the delays that it has subjected its many millions of passengers to, AA has now failed one of the most famous (or rather infamous?) sports teams in the world.

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AAnother dAAy AAt the AAirport

Photo of the Week!

F 6.4; 1/100; ISO 400; 48mm.

Shot at Los Angeles International Airport.

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