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AA International First Upgrade?  
User currently offlineFlavio340 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3881 times:

After reading AA press report to improve their international "Flagship" service, I was wondering from our frequent AA fliers if they have noticed the improvements or not? I believe the old service had paper salt and pepper, no wet towel service and plastic silverware. Have these gone away? Also has the food improved at all, side note are there different choices than business? How is the entertainment system compared to business?

Thanks for the info.

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTranspac787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3208 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3815 times:

Quoting Flavio340 (Thread starter):
I believe the old service had paper salt and pepper

No longer used, even on domestic F.

Quoting Flavio340 (Thread starter):
no wet towel service

I don't think they ever stopped doing this?? But, if they did, it's definitely back now.

Quoting Flavio340 (Thread starter):
and plastic silverware.

They dropped this awhile back. Both domestic and international no longer use plastic.

Quoting Flavio340 (Thread starter):
Also has the food improved at all, side note are there different choices than business?

First does offer a few more choices than business, but the main difference is that in First, all of your food is served "on demand". They don't serve everyone during a single service, you tell them when you'd like to eat. In addition to this, everything is prepared in front of you, instead of in the galley. That is, for salad, ice cream, and others, you tell them what you'd like, and they make it in front of you.

Quoting Flavio340 (Thread starter):
How is the entertainment system compared to business?

This I can't really answer for you. I was on CDG-MIA in C a few days ago, and those personal AVOD players they have are quite nice. All CDG flights on AA are operated with 763's though, which are configured two-cabin C/Y...so, I can't tell you what the F offering was, only the AA 777's have international F.

Hope that helps.


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11613 posts, RR: 61
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3793 times:

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 1):
I don't think they ever stopped doing this?

Sadly, yes, they did, indeed, stop using real towels for a few months back around 2002-2003. They switched to using wet paper towels which were, needless to say, disgusting and pathetic to hand to someone paying thousands of dollars for a flight. The uproar from customers, and very high-value frequent flyers in particular, was so vocal and overwhelming that the stupid little paper towel escapade was stopped in a matter of months. Still doesn't excuse it, though.


User currently offlineAAJFKSJUBKLYN From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3790 times:

The entertainment system is the same in Fist and Coach and Business.

The for a short period of time used a heavy napkin type towel in lieu of a towel.

Domestic flights 2-3 hours still use the old salt and pepper paper-shakers.

Food service has changed, it has definately gotten better. CDG for instance has a tart, Fresh Fruit, Lamb Chops, Salmon, Steak etc. The ice cream Sunday remains on most flights over 4 hours I beleive.

AA.com has a very comprehensive run down on the food.


User currently offlineQQflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2282 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3624 times:

Quoting AAJFKSJUBKLYN (Reply 3):
The entertainment system is the same in Fist and Coach and Business.

Not entirely true. First class features approximately 20 on demand movie titles not available to business and coach. Also, First and Business get the infamous Bose QC3 noise cancelling headphones. The new video system being installed on all T7s will feature up to 60 movies and 50 CDs on demand for First and 20-30 movies and 50 CDs on demand for Business. The entire entertainment system will run from digital file servers, so there won't be any more tapes. Also, coach goes near on demand with movie cycles starting every 25 minutes and all seats, all classes will have access to 15 games. First and business will be able to create their own play lists from the 50 available CDs.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineEvan767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 week 6 days ago) and read 3555 times:

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 1):
First does offer a few more choices than business, but the main difference is that in First, all of your food is served "on demand". They don't serve everyone during a single service, you tell them when you'd like to eat. In addition to this, everything is prepared in front of you, instead of in the galley. That is, for salad, ice cream, and others, you tell them what you'd like, and they make it in front of you.

Isn't this a bad thing?



The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlineQqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2282 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 week 6 days ago) and read 3518 times:

Quoting Evan767 (Reply 5):
Isn't this a bad thing?

No. Passengers love having the various components of the service presented to them (from a silver, three-tiered cart) so they can customize the meal they eat. This definitely adds a taste of sophistication to the service. Also, passengers get to further customize their inflight dining with the ability to chose when they eat and what they eat. It's all about flexibility and presentation and this is the preferred method among First Class fliers.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineAAJFKSJUBKLYN From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3368 times:

I meant and was speaking about the entertainment itself, not the bells and wistles and how it is delivered to the passengers.sorry about that.

User currently offlineFlavio340 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3283 times:

Thank you all for the information it sounds as if progress is being made. Just one more question the upgrade on the 777's flight entertainment system will that be made with addition of the new business seats or will it be done separately?

User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3210 times:

Quoting Flavio340 (Reply 8):
Thank you all for the information it sounds as if progress is being made. Just one more question the upgrade on the 777's flight entertainment system will that be made with addition of the new business seats or will it be done separately?


Upgrade of the IFE is being done in conjunction with the new biz class seat installation at AFW. The "Pacific" configured 777 with the 2-2-2 first class layout are going through the mod line first. There they will get the Signature First Class seats along with the new business class seats. One aircraft has already been completed with two more currently undergoing conversion. As more go through the down time will decrease, that's due to the initial learning curve.

[Edited 2007-09-06 18:59:37]

[Edited 2007-09-06 19:00:05]

User currently offlineEvan767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3156 times:

Quoting Qqflyboy (Reply 6):

No. Passengers love having the various components of the service presented to them (from a silver, three-tiered cart) so they can customize the meal they eat. This definitely adds a taste of sophistication to the service. Also, passengers get to further customize their inflight dining with the ability to chose when they eat and what they eat. It's all about flexibility and presentation and this is the preferred method among First Class fliers.

At Delta they can customize their meal as well, but the flight attendants prepare it in the galley, with the exception of the appetizer. I figured this is a much better way of doing things to leave you a little quiet and privacy.



The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3092 times:

Quoting Qqflyboy (Reply 6):
No. Passengers love having the various components of the service presented to them (from a silver, three-tiered cart) so they can customize the meal they eat. This definitely adds a taste of sophistication to the service. Also, passengers get to further customize their inflight dining with the ability to chose when they eat and what they eat. It's all about flexibility and presentation and this is the preferred method among First Class fliers.



I'm going on vacation soon, hopefully I'll get to experience some first class service.  Smile


User currently offline44k From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2975 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 11):
I'm going on vacation soon, hopefully I'll get to experience some first class service.

Me too. The service and food in AA biz has been realy improving, I can't wait to try international F in the Flagship Suite. I sure will post a trip report once I do that  Wink


User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2960 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 2):
The uproar from customers, and very high-value frequent flyers in particular, was so vocal and overwhelming that the stupid little paper towel escapade was stopped in a matter of months.

And how in the world do you know about any "uproar"? Where do you get your information?

Arm chair quarterbacking at its best.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineDFW13L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2918 times:

Quoting Flavio340 (Thread starter):
I was wondering from our frequent AA fliers if they have noticed the improvements or not?

Yes, there are quite a few new touches. I flew in F LGW-DFW last week on AA79, Flagship suites configuration with the video tapes. I'm going to do a trip report on it soon, but haven't had time as of yet, and I just got a new computer so I have to deal with my photos and etc.

Some noticable things from memory, compared to the last time I flew transatlantic in first on an AA 777 in May 2006.

You asked about pepper and salt shakers. They are the tiny plastic ones where you peel the tape off the holes, and they are place in a tiny plastic holder.
Real towels are back, as mentioned above.
After takeoff, there are new appetizers. They still have the warmed nuts, but now also offer a cheese appetizer. This is in place of the veggie sticks in ranch dressing. It's more elegant but I liked the veggie sticks! The appetizer is called in the menu a marinated cheese antipasto. It was nice.

Then, when the meal service is starting, they have added tarragon shrimp to the salmon/champagne cart. I was served two shrimp plus a nice serving of smoked salmon on toast points with the usual accompaniments.

Most of the items on the menu now have a big connection with "Monte Vibiano" olive oil. Their olive oil has been a big deal on the duty free for some time, as I've made three purchases of their products in the past year. Now their olive oil is involved in the menu items.

First the salad, which is prepared at your seat, has not really changed. I do notice that the lobster tail is gone, which it has been gone for a year or more, but the shrimp in the appetizer makes up for it. It's a mixed green salad with substantial vegetables that can be added and tailored to the passenger's taste. The salad dressing selection is either pepper cream dressing or Monte Vibiano Olive Oil and balsalmic vinegar. It also comes with a "herbes de provence" chicken breast served chilled.

The bread basket: a selection of gourmet breads, but now with an option of butter or Monte Vibiano olive oil. I asked for the olive oil, and it was served in a small dish for dipping, and I got a nice rosemary bread to compliment the olive oil. I think that's really a nice touch they have done here.

The menu entrees seem to be better than ever before. I'll just mention the beef, which I'll type from the menu: Grilled Fillet of Beef accented by cherry and chocolate balsamic sauce, served with a cheddar polenta cake and asparagus and celery medley. I actually ordered the fish on my flight, which was a seared salmon in herb butter sauce, but reading this beef entree, I now realize that I ordered this preparation of beef at Capital Grille earlier this week!

When it comes to their wine selection, AA seems to be top notch for an airline. Here's the actual conversation I had with the purser when it came time for dessert. I had been enjoying the hearty red wine, Chateau Lynch-Moussas, which was very nice. I asked the purser if he had a nice port wine to go with the dessert and later the cheese. He said, "yes, but I need to check on something" A few minutes passed and he came back and said, "sorry for the wait. We had only decanted one bottle since it was a light load today. I just decanted another one for you." It was a Graham's Vintage Port.

I was rather impressed.

One difference I have noticed is that AA puts a lot into their wine selections for int'l first class and business. This year I have flown NW, CO, and AA in business and first (CO and NW only offer business). Also I have flown BA an DL in coach transatlantic-but I can't really compare them since I didn't get a business class menu. AA dedicates half the menu to wine, which is more emphasis than the others.

After the meal was completely finished, they came by with a box of Lindt chocolates and let the passengers take their pick.

Later in the flight, I was asleep when they did the mid-flight snack, but when I woke up and went to the lavatory, the purser told me that he thought I missed the snack service, but they had a large assortment of snacks available for the taking in a basket, which was on a cart in the galley. Sort of a Snack-Attack like they used to have years ago. That was nice to see. There were a couple pieces of chocolate still in the box of Lindt chocolates. In the basket were packaged cookies, granola bars, and things like that.

The second meal seemed about the same. Choice of a pizza or cold asian chicken on a pineapple slaw. The main difference with the meal is that they now serve and advertize Iced Tea served with mint, or chilled Lemonade, or a mixture of both. That was new! Maybe they are responding to Delta's unique beverage offerings.

Finally, before landing, there was a "pre-arrival beverage" where they suggested a chilled sparkling water with a fresh citrus garnish. You choose which fruit you want in the water. Lemon, Lime, or Orange.

I'm looking over the menu and it says in tiny print it's for LHR/LGW to US 3 class lunch/dinner/snack service.

Hope that helps!

Now I feel like I've done my trip report. Maybe I'll cut and paste a lot of this!


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11613 posts, RR: 61
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2910 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 13):
And how in the world do you know about any "uproar"? Where do you get your information?

I know a lot of AA frequent flyers, plus I know a lot of people at AA. Trust me when I tell you -- if you didn't already know it from personal experience -- there was, indeed, quite a large "uproar" over the paper towel incident, among other service "enhancements" AA thought up in the 2002-2004 period to save money.


User currently offlineFlavio340 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2854 times:

Thanks DFW13L this is what I was looking for, you said the purser said that it was a light load that day; how many first seats were empty? Also with the fish choice was it cooked properly I have always been told not to order the fish because of problems with cooking so far before a flight, it is usually dry or under cooked. Is decanting common on international flights I do not think I have ever experienced this on either UA or DL? Finally how does AA meals compare with CO and NW?

Thanks again


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 2759 times:

Quoting DFW13L (Reply 14):
When it comes to their wine selection, AA seems to be top notch for an airline. Here's the actual conversation I had with the purser when it came time for dessert. I had been enjoying the hearty red wine, Chateau Lynch-Moussas, which was very nice. I asked the purser if he had a nice port wine to go with the dessert and later the cheese. He said, "yes, but I need to check on something" A few minutes passed and he came back and said, "sorry for the wait. We had only decanted one bottle since it was a light load today. I just decanted another one for you." It was a Graham's Vintage Port.

I was rather impressed.

One difference I have noticed is that AA puts a lot into their wine selections for int'l first class and business. This year I have flown NW, CO, and AA in business and first (CO and NW only offer business). Also I have flown BA an DL in coach transatlantic-but I can't really compare them since I didn't get a business class menu. AA dedicates half the menu to wine, which is more emphasis than the others.

Airways Magazine recently had an article about the sommelier AA hired to pick the wines served on flights. Pretty interesting how the process works.

< http://www.airwaysmag.com/channels.html?article_id=141&channel_id=4 >


User currently offlinePresRDC From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 661 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2743 times:

Quoting DFW13L (Reply 14):
The main difference with the meal is that they now serve and advertize Iced Tea served with mint, or chilled Lemonade, or a mixture of both. That was new! Maybe they are responding to Delta's unique beverage offerings.

That's actually not new, but a reversion to a nice treat that was offered in F back in 2002 (and probably before).

I am happy to see it come back -- I always enjoyed it.


User currently offlineDFW13L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2670 times:

Quoting PresRDC (Reply 18):
That's actually not new, but a reversion to a nice treat that was offered in F back in 2002 (and probably before).

I am happy to see it come back -- I always enjoyed it.

I flew AA 777 J class back in 2000 or 2001 DFW-LGW and back and then didn't fly AA premium again until the end of 2003. When I flew it they either didn't have it, or I missed out on it! They did have the "snack attack" service back then, competing with BA's "raid the larder" or whatever it was.

Quoting Flavio340 (Reply 16):
Thanks DFW13L this is what I was looking for, you said the purser said that it was a light load that day; how many first seats were empty

First was booked 8/15 and Business was booked 22/35. Coach had about 80 open seats, so there were about 100 empty seats total on the flight.

Quoting Flavio340 (Reply 16):
Also with the fish choice was it cooked properly I have always been told not to order the fish because of problems with cooking so far before a flight, it is usually dry or under cooked.

The fish was ok. They cooked it properly, and the sauce made up for the dryness if it was dry. It did taste just a tiny bit fishy, suggesting that it wasn't as fresh as it could have been. But otherwise it was ok.


Quoting Flavio340 (Reply 16):
Is decanting common on international flights I do not think I have ever experienced this on either UA or DL?

That was the first time I've ever heard of them decanting a wine on a flight. Very impressive!

Quoting Flavio340 (Reply 16):
Finally how does AA meals compare with CO and NW?

I would put them in this order
1. CO
2. AA
3. NW

Here are the trip reports that contain pictures of the food (except for those I forgot to take on NW!)
Continental
Northwest

I'll post the AA one as soon as I can, but I'm halfway through writing one on a BA 747 now.

Matt


User currently offlineQQflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2282 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2585 times:

Quoting DFW13L (Reply 19):
That was the first time I've ever heard of them decanting a wine on a flight. Very impressive!

We've actually done this as long as I've been a Purser (since 2000). However, the decanting is done in the galley and it's not likely the passenger would know that it was decanted on board unless the flight attendant said something, as in this case.

I am glad you are noticing a positive change in AA's F and J service. As a Purser, I am becoming more comfortable with the product we offer. For a while there, it was slightly embarrassing. However, there have been positive changes made; the service is still a little more simple than it used to be, however, it is a decent blend of sophistication and practicality (for those that want to eat and sleep or eat and get straight to work).



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineFlavio340 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days ago) and read 2520 times:

DFW13L great trip reports I have read those before but it is good to re-read them to answer my questions. I look forward to reading your other trip reports.

QQflyboy do find that many of the F and J passengers are selective about their meal service? Let me elaborate a little, I know when I fly DL to Europe their menus have symbols next to them that say this meal choice is good for sleeping or working. Does AA have these? With this information though it seems that the best choices still go first then the next best so on and so forth. Regardless if the person wants to work or sleep or just fly, personally it does not matter because with two Bloody Mary's and dessert drink of Baileys its good night world see you at breakfast. BTW are there any further changes rumored? Also what would say is the percentage of NRSA that fill the F and J seats?


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