Review: American Airlines First Class New York to Dallas (LGA-DFW)

Festively decorated gate area
Festively decorated gate area

Read more from this trip – Christmas in Argentina:


Flight Details:

  • Date of flight: December 25, 2019
  • Where: New York LaGuardia (“LGA”) to Dallas Fort Worth (“DFW”)
  • Flight time: 4 hours 17 minutes
  • Departure / arrival time: 3:45pm-7:03pm
  • Flight #: AA1608
  • Seat: 5F
  • Paid flight / points: Paid – economy / upgraded

I was originally booked in economy for this flight, but I was keen on playing the upgrade game. Upgrades on American’s LGA-DFW route are notoriously hard to clear for several reasons 1) some companies pay for First Class on flights over 4-hours and 2) there’s A LOT of of Concierge Key and high EQD Executive Platinum elites who fly this route. I did have a sliver of hope: It was Christmas Day and the aforementioned business travelers were likely home with their families. As luck would have it my upgrade cleared a full 72-hours out, the maximum possible as a Platinum Pro elite.

Aircraft: 738 (Boeing 7370-800) First Class Seat
Aircraft: 738 (Boeing 737-800) First Class Seat


The First Class cabin is setup in a 2-2 configuration with a total of 16 First Class recliner seats. After taking a number of fights in European business class recently without premium seats this was definitely an upgrade.

Mood lighting in American Airlines 737 First Class cabin
Mood lighting in American Airlines 737 First Class cabin

Recommended Seats

The seats in the First class cabin have a respectable 40-42″ of pitch and are 20.4″ wide. Seats 4A-F and 5A-F are the sweet spot on this aircraft. Seats in row 3 have slightly less leg room due to the proximity to the bulkhead and should be avoided. Seats in row 6 are adjacent to the economy class cabin and should also be avoided.

American Airlines Boeing 737-800 (738) Seat map Source: Seat Guru
American Airlines Boeing 737-800 (738) Seat map Source: Seat Guru

In-Flight Entertainment

The in-flight entertainment system (“IFE”) has a 12.1 inch touch screen display. While not as crisp as the screens on American’s newer aircraft I was thankful to have a screen at all. American is in the process of eliminating IFEs from their aircraft as part of Project Oasis. You can check to see what’s playing on your upcoming flight here.

In-flight entertainment system (“IFE”)
In-flight entertainment system (“IFE”)

There’s a small remote control located in the armrest if you don’t feel like using the touchscreen, but from my experience the system is more responsive if you use the touchscreen.

Remote control for IFE
Remote control for IFE


I could tell as soon as I walked on board that service was going to be great on this flight. Perhaps it was the holiday spirit in the air, but upon boarding I was greeted with a smile by the purser. Before the economy class cabin was even fully boarded the First Class flight attendant came around and offered to hang coats and took orders for pre-departure beverages (“PDBs”). I ordered a Jack Daniels and Diet Coke.

Pre-departure beverage
Pre-departure beverage

Food and Beverage

Shortly after takeoff the flight attendant came around and took drink orders. I decided to order a second Jack Daniels and Diet Coke 😳. The drink was accompanied by a healthy serving of warm mixed nuts served in a ceramic ramekin.

Drink and warm nut service
Drink and warm nut service

Since I was upgraded 72-hours out from my fight I had the opportunity to pre-order my meal. I was excited to see the Zoës Kitchen charcuterie cold plate as an option. I heard rave reviews about this option from my giraffe friends who frequently fly American and I was excited to try it for myself. The plate comes with prosciutto, salami, Ciliegine mozzarella balls, roasted tomatoes, Castelvetrano olives, Stacy’s pita chips and Zoës hummus trio. The presentation was great and it was very tasty. I highly recommend pre-ordering this option.

Zoës Kitchen charcuterie cold plate
Zoës Kitchen charcuterie cold plate

After the meal the flight attendant insisted that I have some mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. I had to accept just for the picture of course 😉.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream
Mint chocolate chip ice cream

Overall Verdict

First Class Giraffe Approved

I was pleasantly surprised by this flight. I’ve flown this route countless times in both Economy Class and First Class, but this flight ranks among the best. The service was excellent, the food was great and I was able to relax and enjoy some movies.

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