As part of my whirlwind mileage run to Dublin Ireland last month I had the opportunity to sit in Business Class on the newish American Airlines 77W from London to Los Angeles. I had booked an elcheapo ticket thanks to the FLIGHTDEAL and their dogged approach to finding the best and cheapest flights worldwide. In any event thanks to them I had this great deal and then used one of my eight hard-earned upgrade coupons to bump myself up to Business.
Upon boarding the plane I took a seat in 9k. This plane offers four classes of service. First Class with two rows (8 seats) in a 1-2-1 configuration with all seats offering direct isle access. Business Class has 52 seats also in 1-2-1 configuration and also direct isle access, there is a min cabin too and it offers a private feel and only 8 of the total Business Class seats. The balance of the plane has Main Cabin Extra and Economy Class. If you want a review on that products check out my review here. What I love about the Business Class seat, is that they offer a pretty darn private seat and environment. Since the seats are in a reverse herringbone pattern, the seats on the window angle towards them, and the ones in the middle angle tword each other, so with this type of setup you have a private space to call your home for the next 10 hours as was the case for me. If you’re traveling with someone else and want to talk to them the middle seats are best.
Shortly after settling down the flight attendant came buy and took my coat and offered me water, OJ, sparkling wine or a mimosa. As is my norm I went with the sparkling wine. It was fine, nothing special but works in getting you pumped for the next 10 hours of your life in luxury. I then started to check out the seat and all of its features.
- A large table for dining in and working
- A small storage cabinet for the BOSE Noise Canceling Headphones they provide and a selfie mirror
- Side table
- Standard power and USB
- A decent sized TV (touch screen if you like) and of course a fancy remote control.
- Plus the ubiquitous and always awesome Eames Amenity kit with Red branded products (featuring lotion and lip balm)
Not bad for a free upgrade huh?
The Seat and Entertainment:
The seat itself is great. As I mentioned above its super private. It’s also lie-flat and I really mean lie-flat 180 degrees flat. So when it’s time to hit the sack, you can, and be comfortable doing it. They don’t offer a duvet for the bed but do have a large pillow and soft warm blanket. If you’ve flown on the new American transcon a321’s in first or Cathay Pacific Business class you’ve had this seat before, if not check out my pictures or reviews of those planes and flights.
As for the entertainment, it’s great. The TV is huge and with an easy to use remote or touch screen you can get what you need fast. They have about 50 movies to choose from (with lots of current and old hit and misses) plus a wide range of TV selections too. I always find myself rewatching Big Bang Theory, Modern Family or some other great comedy.
The menu is not too bad either. Sure it’s not like the one I just experienced on Lufthansa First Class (where I’m wiring this trip report from), but for a US flagged carrier offering business class it was fine. My biggest complaint about the menu is not offering premium spirits like you’d get on any Asian or European carrier flying the same type of route in Business. When people are paying 4-5 thousand dollars roundtrip or even more you’d expect to see other sprits then Jack Daniels, Bacardi white rum or Bombay Sapphire Gin. Sure decent products but there’s so many other quality premium brands that they could provide and give an even more elegant experience. Ok rant off.
The appetizer consisted of a Caprese Salad with a nice pesto sauce and a sweet balsamic reduction. I really enjoyed it, pretty fresh tomatoes and a tasty medley of cheese and sauces. Yum. As for the salad with creamy herb dressing it was passable. A few over wilted greens, but still good. I did get some bread too, but frankly can’t remember what it was I’m guess pretzel roll, that’s my usual standby on AA.
The entree on the other hand was not a hit frankly a gross miss. And to think I pre-ordered it because it sounded so good and I like to get my first choice. American does offer an innovative option in that between 1-30 days prior to your trip you can order your entrée online and guarantee that you get it. It’s not a bad way to go, and even when I pick a clunker like this, at least I get what I chose to order. The steak with sauce, potatoes and celery and squash was just gross. Let me clarify the starches and the sauce were good. But the steak was overdone, and I had no way to cut the meat with the knife provided. It was tougher then shoe leather, and after two bites I gave up. Unfortunately the flight attendant didn’t notice I had not liked my food, nor had complained, so it’s on me to have requested something else if it were still available.
Lastly for desert, Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla ICE CREAM with caramel, nuts and whipped cream. Yum, Yum extra Yum. Just the doctor ordered. I find ice cream sundaes on planes to be just decadent, even though there are so many other amazing options, this one just makes me feel like I’m a King. I can still remember the first time I had a sundae on a plane it was back in 2000, when my now wife and I choose a bump on an oversold United Airlines flight from San Juan to Chicago after a cruise and they put us in Business Class for our troubles for the connection from Chicago to SFO. Back in the good old days UA used a lot of International configured planes on the route and we got one, besides that we got a proper sundae. I had never heard of such a thing and ever since I long for the inflight sundae.
About an hour and a half before touchdown, they offered a lite lunch snack. I choose the chopped salad with chicken, and again got some over wilted greens, but overall a nice light meal prior to landing. Not much else to say about that meal other than to was good.
The one other cool thing American has done is have a self-service bar between the mini-Business cabin and the main one. It’s a pretty cool touch and they had tons of snack options and petite fours available. They also had sandwiches, chips cookies, fruit and water. I loved it. It was a nice use of the space.
Overall tis was a great flight. The staff were friendly and the food good minus one item and the seat, it was just what I needed after flying to Dublin the day before. I had plenty of rest and relaxation, plenty of entertainment for the flight too.