Is first class worth it from SFO to MIA?

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Old Jan 10, 18, 11:09 am
#1
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Is first class worth it from SFO to MIA?

I'm flying from SFO to MIA in June. Wondering what first class is like on these flights and whether it's worth paying 2x over main cabin extra. The flight out is a 738-800 and the one back is an Airbus A321. I don't fly American often so I'm not familiar with the first class product.

On many domestic airlines I've found that first class is not worth it because I'm essentially paying for a wider seat (not important to me as I'm tall and lean) and food, and the food is typically terrible.

That said, I know that the first class product has improved on some domestic carriers/routes, so I'm wondering if that's the case here. Thanks.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by switters View Post
I'm flying from SFO to MIA in June. Wondering what first class is like on these flights and whether it's worth paying 2x over main cabin extra. The flight out is a 738-800 and the one back is an Airbus A321. I don't fly American often so I'm not familiar with the first class product.

On many domestic airlines I've found that first class is not worth it because I'm essentially paying for a wider seat (not important to me as I'm tall and lean) and food, and the food is typically terrible.

That said, I know that the first class product has improved on some domestic carriers/routes, so I'm wondering if that's the case here. Thanks.
Your experience with domestic first class on other carriers is more or less exactly what you'll get with AA. On the 321 & 738 you'll have a larger seat, slightly more legroom, free booze, and a meal that can vary from mediocre to inedible. Whether that's worth the cost is up to you .
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Old Jan 10, 18, 11:26 am
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I think you've answered my question! Thanks.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 11:28 am
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Depends on how much you drink.
To me, that and the additional comfort of the seats that make it worth it (depending on how much extra it is). I also enjoy the hot nuts and have occasionally had a decent meal. I certainly don't count on the meal though.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 11:34 am
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Meal-wise, you'll get warmed nuts, appetizer (if dinner), salad, entree, and a dessert choice of sundae/cheese plate. If you're flying breakfast and want to be in F solely for the meal, then breakfast is a bit meh, but lunch and dinner is pretty good with plenty of food and booze.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 11:37 am
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Both of these planes suck up front for a transcon flight. Nothing special about either whatsoever.

Only thing you're really paying for is alcohol, crappy food, and a marginally better seat, so as mentioned upthread, it really depends on how much you can drink.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 11:41 am
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I would (and do) pay for F on this route as I fly it a few times a year. The return flight is quite long and it's a much more comfortable ride up front.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 12:02 pm
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When I was a newly-minted EXP, I was traveling weekly from PHL-LAX on American. In my state of immaturity, I redeemed all of my systemwide upgrades for those flights. I cringe thinking about it. NOT worth it unless the 321 is a 321 Transcon (sharklets). I did it on LUS airplanes
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Old Jan 10, 18, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by PHLGrump View Post
When I was a newly-minted EXP, I was traveling weekly from PHL-LAX on American. In my state of immaturity, I redeemed all of my systemwide upgrades for those flights. I cringe thinking about it. NOT worth it unless the 321 is a 321 Transcon (sharklets). I did it on LUS airplanes
Even with the LAA sharklets.. domestic miles + copay is only 15k + 75 USD (vs 25k + 350 USD internationally)... so if i need need need a domestic UG, better to miles+copay it vs using a SWU.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 12:12 pm
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If I was going to pay for First Class I would try to find flights through LAX or DFW that would give you an international plane for part of the flight.

In June there is a 772 from MIA-LAX some days (AA275 at 5.30pm) and DFW has 757s and 763s between DFW and MIA.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by pdac1975 View Post
Depends on how much you drink.
To me, that and the additional comfort of the seats that make it worth it (depending on how much extra it is). I also enjoy the hot nuts and have occasionally had a decent meal. I certainly don't count on the meal though.
I don't drink at all on airplanes, so that's no benefit at all. And I'm kind of a food snob so I will often bring my own on the plane rather than suffer through the mediocre meals. It's a different story on international flights in J or F, but the only domestic airline that has decent food in F is (was) Virgin. So sad they're gone.

I decided to go with an exit row in main cabin extra both directions. I do appreciate the comfort of F especially on the return flight, but I think in this case I can live without it.

Thanks everyone.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
Both of these planes suck up front for a transcon flight. Nothing special about either whatsoever.

Only thing you're really paying for is alcohol, crappy food, and a marginally better seat, so as mentioned upthread, it really depends on how much you can drink.
I agree that the food is middling to bad, but for me, the seat is more than marginally better - especially if the flight is full. 5-6 hours sitting in a 17.3 seat isn't fun at all. Working in the back is nearly impossible, while up front I'm productive.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by switters View Post
It's a different story on international flights in J or F, but the only domestic airline that has decent food in F is (was) Virgin. So sad they're gone.
JetBlue reportedly has pretty good food in their "Mint" first class. I assume they don't fly SFO-MIA, but they might do SFO-FLL? That would also be full lie-flat seat.

As someone with broad shoulders, I do put meaningful value on the wider FC seat. Legroom less important vs. an extra legroom coach seat. Depending on fares, sometimes it's worth buying an extra coach seats next to me, especially when there's two of us traveling (so it's only a 50% increase in cost, vs. 100-200% for first class).
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Old Jan 10, 18, 2:40 pm
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As is the case with all these "is it worth it" questions nobody can answer on your behalf. Whether it is worth double the price depends on those prices too....$200 versus $400? $1000 versus $2000?

Read up the benefits of the aircraft you're looking at and decide how much you'd be willing to pay for those services. If it's less than AA is asking it isn't worth it to you, if it's more than AA is asking then it is.

Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
JetBlue reportedly has pretty good food in their "Mint" first class. I assume they don't fly SFO-MIA, but they might do SFO-FLL? That would also be full lie-flat seat.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by switters View Post
I'm kind of a food snob
This phrase combined with "AA" in the same sentence effectively cancel each other out.
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