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American Airlines First Class Review

by Francis X. Gallagher

Jul 29, 2020
eFlyer Reviews

I left little time to drive from Bucks County to Philadelphia International Airport and hit a little bottleneck just before the city due to constant construction on I-95. All in all, the drive took 40 minutes and parking at C was ample but not empty (the economy lot appears to be closed to make staff more efficient).

Security check-through was swift, and I was pulled aside as I had an 8-ounce spray hand sanitizer, which was checked and cleared. I walked to the gate and waited in the first-class line until boarding. When preboarding was cleared, the gate agents had to field the typical questions from people thinking it was their time to board — over and over. I laughed, thinking “First flight.” Many in the airport had their masks below their noses and a few wore none at all. Announcements warned if you refused to wear a mask, you may be placed on the no-fly list.

I was first on board and was offered a bottle of water, a bag of S’Mores Bites and a hand wipe. The flight attendant introduced herself and checked all the passengers in first class by name. I was pleased to see and read the June issue of American Way magazine; after threats of doing away with it, AA is sticking with its in-flight magazine.

First-class seating is comfortable on the Airbus A319, and I chose seat 2C on the aisle. There appeared to be plenty of room for hand baggage above my seat and under the seat in front of me.  Some gent got all settled, putting his bags away in the seat in front of me and sitting down only to realize he was in the wrong seat and class — so musical chairs and bags proceeded and the next group of passengers settled in with takeout from Chick-fil-A.

The captain made the usual announcements but added the requirement for masks with the threat of making that darn no-fly list — as if not wearing a mask is equivalent to someone who threatens or causes an air incident. But this is the world we are in at this time.

The flight was calm and a bit boring with no entertainment screens and no power outlets I could see. Guess we’re just trying to get from one place to the other. The flight attendant did come around to offer a drink service, and she asked me by name what I wanted. American is serving alcohol in first class at the time of this review.

Passengers could access a vast number of movies and TV programming via the GoGo WiFi network. I still like the idea of having my own screen so I can multitask and work on my computer freely while watching a movie. I selected The Assistant — which will not be winning any awards, that’s for sure.

American Airlines

First Class
Philadelphia (PHL) to Tampa (TPA)


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


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