First-Class Travel

by Mark Ellwood


Your jet: Boeing 777

Killer app: The really cool podlike seats that swivel—doing away with that awkward, leg-tangling clamber for the bathroom

Amenity you'll want to steal: One of the hand-selected vintage reds, such as Domaine Sauvestre (sweet-talk the cabin crew, and they may just give you a bottle)

Ultimate itinerary: Los Angeles to Newark to hit the talk show circuit (Stewart, Letterman, Lauer & Vieira) and promote your latest movie, before heading back to the left coast for a toothless chat with Jay.

Life up front: U.S.-based airlines haven't been known for flawless first-class service since the days when Pan Am was around, but AA's newly reimagined cabin is a happy exception. The so-called Flagship Suite, with a comfy 1-2-1 configuration, was extended to the rest of the fleet's 777s. You get those swivel seats, leather headrests, a fully flat six-foot six-inch bed, and one of the best airborne wine lists around (more than 60 different vintages at any one time across the fleet). And for any country-crossing celebs, AA's LAX-EWR route is a staple (yes, Jessica Simpson, we saw you guzzling red wine in the first row).The airline also added a 7,000 square-foot First Class Flagship Lounge at its JFK hub—which largely serves Atlantic-hopping types whizzing to London for the weekend. It allows up to 100 passengers to graze at a gratis bar and buffet, lounge in front of the plasma TVs, or duck into a spa-style shower for a pre-flight freshen-up.

Platinum card–smashing price: Los Angeles to Newark, from $2,340 round-trip

American Airlines
Tel: 800 433 7300

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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