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Sunday, May 19, 2024
HomeFLIGHT REVIEWSAmerican AirlinesThe AA 'First Class' Flight That I Did Not Take

The AA ‘First Class’ Flight That I Did Not Take

TPOL is going to Vegas this weekend. The last time I was there was 2018. I was supposed to go after COVID in 2021, but I canceled (see No Vegas for TPOL). For this trip, I was supposed to leave from Medellin to Miami to LAS for 30k AA miles. Interestingly, the flight from MDE to MIA was in business, and the flight from MIA to LAS was in first.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

What I wanted to see was the difference between ‘business’ in a 737 and ‘first’ in a 737. Neither, according to Seatguru, are lie flat. Unfortunately, I had to cancel this trip and will now be flying in business from San Juan to MIA to LAS, both in 737 ‘business,’ oddly enough.

An executive platinum friend says that there is no difference between first and business on AA 737s. He claims it’s just an excuse to charge more. Ever the optimist, I said there must be something better about flying ‘first.’ Perhaps they offer more cookies.

What do you have to say?



  1. This is a pretty ill-informed post. Domestic flights on AA in the US, as well as a few nearby international destinations are marketed as ‘First’. Longer haul international flights on AA two-class aircraft are marketed as Business. On three-class aircraft, there is a true Flagship First product that is distinct from Flagship Business in both hard and soft product.

    • Ah you thought you had me. My SJU-MIA is labeled business and my MIA-LAS is also business. By your ‘informed’ logic, the latter should be labeled first as it was in the original itinerary.

      • Also, don’t miss the satire of my blog. AA can call it first all it wants, it won’t be first. That’s the point of the cookie joke.

  2. Fundamentally agree with you that US Domestic First isn’t First Class. I don’t know that it’s Business Class either. The same seat (a little better actually) is a Premium Economy seat on an international flight. That said the US seat is far closer to First Class than European Business Class is to Business Class.

    The current domestic seat is closer to the seat that was on a 707 in the sixties and was a First seat both domestic and international. Wide body aircraft and the market meant that First Class seats evolved to be so much better on international flights. Business Class was added internationally and was at first essentially the US domestic First seat. I travelled in International First Class for the first time in the late ‘90s. It was a big cushy recliner but not even lie flat. Today you get a suite with a door and a lie flat seat in Business Class.

    While Economy Class is worse than in the so-called Golden Age of flying, Business Class is better than First Class used to be. Keep up the good work on your well-informed posts.

    • Thank you for the detailed comment. I have only flown premium cabins domestically a few times. I’m flying coach on the way back but for 25k AA points I’m glad to be flying ‘business’ there. It’s crazy because in years past I’d never waste 25k points on a domestic flight, but that was when 67.5k points got you first on Cathay.

  3. As others said, if anything the J service would be fancier than F. I was elite on United for almost a decade and I believe there is one minor difference between short haul J and dom F. J gets 3 meal choices while F only gets 2! Don’t quote me on that though.

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