Re: The operational status of NCC 1701-A...?
Sulu's comment about “Maybe we'll get the Excelsior” shows that rumours are that it's about to go into the field.
It really shows nothing of the kind. Sulu may not be up to speed on its status plus its still sitting in Spacedock at the end of The Voyage Home.
"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Jean-Luc Picard, "Encounter at Farpoint"