I checked in for the flight easily via the American Airlines app. I checked a bag with the friendly agent in the premium line, where there was no wait. Security was a breeze. Sadly, there is no lounge for American Airlines passengers is Maui, which is disappointing. Once at the gate, my name was paged over the intercom, and I discovered that I had been upgraded to a seat in the Premium Economy cabin. While I was hoping for an upgrade to the First Class cabin, this was certainly better than nothing.
Awaiting at my seat were the premium pillows and blankets that are typically offered in international business class. The seat also features a larger personal television, a tray in between seats for drinks, and footrests. There were several mechanical problems with the aircraft though, as the flight attendant later announced that people were either not able to turn off, or turn on, their individual reading lights, including one of the lights above me that pointed toward one of my seat opponents. The awesome and resourceful flight attendant came through later in the flight with tape and a piece of paper to put over the light to try to minimize the light seepage.
We were presented with a plastic packaged fruit and cheese tray, followed by a box containing either a veggie or turkey wrap. I went with the turkey wrap, which was good, and was served with a sweet Lilikoi bar for dessert, as well as Maui style potato chips. There was an initial drink service after takeoff, and then water was offered later in the flight, but there was not a second full drink service, which was disappointing. I did manage to get a bit of rest on the flight, which was appreciated.
Overall, while it is better than flying in the back, the seats were still cramped compared to other carriers' Premium Economy cabins.