A Guest Trip Report: An Actual Doll Reviews American’s Los Angeles – New York First Class Experience

I’ve only had a couple of contributors to the blog over the years, otherwise everything has been written by me. I featured a work colleague (P.C.)’s trip report in Saudia business class to Pakistan, because there were limited reports on the Saudia product and it’s something that seemed useful to Delta members. I added was grateful for an outside legal perspective on the issues raised in the Supreme Court’s frequent flyer miles case as well.

Now I’m fortunate to share a trip report that simply was different than most others that have been offered on blogs before… one that’s all in good fun.

Constance Peters shared Pippi Peters’ report of her recent Los Angeles – New York JFK flight in American’s first class.

What’s different is that Pippi is Constance’s traveling companion, who only sometimes has her own seat. Here’s Pippi Peters’ Facebook page.

Hello, my name is Pippi and I travel the world thanks to my infamous suitcase filled with gold coins. Even though I am a rather small individual, I do appreciate a good First Class seat and this is a glimpse of my recent American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York in seat 1A.

I am a big fan of American’s Flagship Service between Los Angeles and New York, as the check-in, security, lounge and boarding experience is unparalled for a domestic flight.

About 3 hours before departure, I used the curbside Flagship Check-In at Terminal 4.

Once I told the bouncer agent my name (even though it’s visibly printed on my dress) I was escorted inside. From there, the check-in process took about 45 seconds, I received my boarding pass, dropped off my suitcase (not the one with the gold coins, another one) and got escorted to security, where I got to cut off all the Business Class passengers. I was on my way to the lounge within 1 minute, but briefly got stopped for trying to push over an Economy passenger.

The Flagship Lounge is located inside the regular Admirals Club across from gate 40. I had my boarding pass scanned at the reception desk and the agent handed me the key card that magically opens the sliding door to the Flagship Lounge.

The Flagship Lounge boasts great tarmac views, offers a warm buffet and a good selection of soda and booze (which I am technically not allowed to consume yet), though overall is a bit disappointing for an International First Class Lounge. What I do like about this particular lounge though (and the same goes for the Flagship Lounge at JFK) is the atmosphere and the crowd. I literally meet new friends I stay in touch with every visit.

As soon as it was time to board, I headed over to my gate and reached my seat 1A without having to stop once. American’s transcon flights are operated by an Airbus A321 and feature a First, Business and Economy Class. It is the only airline that offers 3-class service between LAX and JFK which always makes for an interesting crowd.

The First Class cabin is set up in a 1-1 configuration spread over 5 rows.

The seat converts into a flat bed with plenty of space between the seat and the window to put your bag, a book or a few glasses of Champagne hot chocolate.

Waiting at my seat were a huge pillow, a blanket, an amenity kit and Bose Noice Cancelling headphones.

The First Class cabin is never completely full and I really appreciate that American does not fill up the seats with complimentary upgrades. It feels very much like a private jet.

This was a daytime flight with a 11.20 AM departure and the lunch menu read as follows.

Since I am vegetarian and rather small in size, I only had sweet potatoes and broccolini, followed by a huge ice cream sundae. I also ordered a cappuccino which is one of the special perks of this flight.

The service was very quick and efficient throughout the entire flight and any request was promptly taken care of. However, on this particular route, I find the crew to be a bit on the cold side. I can’t quite wrap my tiny head around what it is, but the flight attendants are very, very passive and sometimes seem extremely annoyed.
I was contemplating walking back to Economy and handing out free drinks, but decided to stay in my seat and glance out of the window for the remainder of this 5 hour flight.

One of the perks of the Flagship Service is access to the Flagship Lounge at JFK after arrival. While my suitcase was being held at baggage claim, I had a great dinner at the Flagship Lounge overlooking the runways. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Maybe I will run into any of you on my upcoming flights. Keep an eye out for my red hair.


Thanks, Pippy! So that was different, right?

I much enjoyed my American A321 Los Angeles – New York JFK flight too, though it was only in business.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. all in good fun. But, is the flagship lounge at jfk really something to write home (is there a hoAbkut about?

    Perhaps using it on the way in is smart, somehow avoids departure choke points and crowding.

  2. Paying for a $2000 seat for a doll is… insane.

    Not paying for it, but pretending you did, is almost as insane.

    Why is this here?

  3. Lighten up, people! I think it’s clear this person didn’t pay for a separate seat for the doll, it’s her seat. Duh. Also, as a mom of a two and half year old toddler who’s currently obsessed with Pippi Longstocking (google it if you don’t know who she is) I found this post quite amusing. If you don’t have a small child (or were never a little girl) you likely can’t appreciate this post.

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