Author Archives: Vincent Chen

About Vincent Chen

Vincent is a prodigious flyer of economy (quelle horreur!) and an amateur bread baker. You can usually find him in the wee hours of the morning planning another airline experiment and on Twitter @vinchennzzo.

Flight Review: XL Airways Economy (A330-300) from Paris (CDG) to New York (JFK)

Updated Sept 22nd, 2019: XL Airways is seeking a bailout from Air France (Simple Flying).

Updated Sept 19th, 2019: XL Airways is experiencing temporary financial difficulties and has ceased ticket sales (OMAATForbesAirline Geeks).


XL Airways is a solid, acceptable choice for crossing the ocean. They offer an experience approaching a full-service airline–including a checked bag and at least one hot meal–but often at LCC pricing.

A friend and I took a quick trip to Europe back in December before the holidays, and XL popped up as an option to get home. Sometimes I mix and match one-way long-haul tickets to fulfill an itinerary, and the rise of low-cost, long-haul carriers like Norwegian, Level, and WOW Air have made this sort of last-minute jaunt a lot more accessible.

I first heard of XL in Summer 2015 when I had a similar last-minute need to get home. At the time I took Norwegian instead, but was intrigued by XL. What was it?

XL Airways bills itself as a “French airline specializing in long-haul flights.” With just four aircraft (all A330 variants) and twenty-two destinations, they primarily operate from French cities to vacation destinations both via regularly scheduled service and charter operations for tour companies.

XL Airways List of Destinations. Note: Many of these destinations are seasonal. NYC service for instance, IIRC is offered only in the warmer months and around the winter holidays.

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Review: American Airlines Economy (A321T) from San Francisco (SFO) to New York (JFK)

Hi everyone, I am happy to introduce my friend, Vincent, the newest writer on TWG.  We met through the SF Travel Hackers Meetup Group (now dormant) and we have stayed in touch over the years.  Here is his first post.  I hope you enjoy! –Grant


What’s it like taking American’s transcontinental A321T service in economy? It’s pretty good for domestic economy, there’s a responsive IFE, and they serve a complimentary cold meal.

A few weeks ago, I had the need to get back to the East Coast. Instead of flying my usual Southwest, I decided to work in American’s “premium” transcontinental service from SFO to JFK. I purchased the flight using my Chase Ink Business Preferred Card to further progress on my minimum spend requirement for its useful travel benefits. (If you’re interested in this card, I very much appreciate you using my referral links!)

I’m generally not a fan of red eyes as I get terrible sleep on them, but I can’t deny their utility. To my friends which travel frequently for work – or even leisure travelers with a specific schedule in mind – I can imagine them to be a godsend as they “save” an entire day. That is, you’re flying at night and not “wasting” the day.

Note: Since American calls “economy” and “economy-with-more-legroom,” “Main Cabin” and “Main Cabin Extra” respectively, I’ll be utilizing their naming convention for this post. But you’ll know it’s coach/economy.

Flight: AA 18
Route: San Francisco (SFO) to New York City (JFK)
Time: 11:30pm (Pacific) to 8:20am (Eastern) + 1
Duration: 5hr 50m
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Seat: 17F (Main Cabin)
Capacity: 70% Full

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