1) AA1945 LAS-LAX
Seat : 4F
This was my first-ever trip on AA, seeing as it was my first trip to the US since Ansett went down, thereby making travel on UA (which I had always enjoyed) or any other Star Allaince carrier pointless.
Not too much to say about a 45min. flight, except to say that my experiences with any AA staff - either on phone res., or airport ticket/check-in counter or on-board, were very pleasant. Likewise, despite the horror stories your hear about them, I found the TSA staff at LAS to be pleasant, polite and even display a sense of humour.
The flight itself? We left the gate exactly on schedule, and took-off on RW25R, so I had a good last view of The Strip out the right-hand side. Being early evening, the ride over the mountains around Las Vegas was spectacular with the beginnings of sunset. Being in First Class, the drinks were served in an actual glass. Because I've never flown AA before, I have no idea if we got a better class of pretzel or not!
The only slight "gripe" I would have about the flight would be the scheduling. AA1945 is AA's last flight of the day between LAS & LAX, and as such is the last flight anybody connecting with QF flights to Oz can take (if they want the convenience of interlining the baggage and not having to change terminals at LAX, that is). But it does mean a 4-5 hour wait between flights. Another flight ex LAS a little later in the evening would be nice.
So... now at LAX! Had lots of time to kill, so I went to find some dinner in T4. Not much to chose from. I wound up at "Chili's". The food (burgers or tacos only) was fine, but the waitress just couldn't get anything right. She took my order, and that of another person sitting opposite me, at the same time. Thereafter, we got each other's meals, drinks and checks. We had to swap these ourselves, as the waitress dumped our stuff on the tables and ran off immediately.
Having "done" dinner, I spent the rest of the time in the combined AA/QF lounge. Very nice! Comfortable, quiet with a reasonable selection of drinks and snacks.
2) QF108 LAX-SYD
A/C : B744ER
Flt.Time: 13hrs 57min
It had been a while (12 months) since I had flown QF in international Business Class. Overall, still very nice, even without the new flat-seats. It was refreshing to be cheerily greeted on the upper deck, by a crew of young and enthusiastic FA's, as opposed to the sullen, bored geriatrics who staffed the flights in both directions (Y-class) SYD-HNL-SYD the previous month. It is amazing the difference this makes to the whole flight.
Once again, an exactly on-time departure from the gate. A pretty elaborate meal (sorry, forgot to grab the menu...) was served after T/O, but it was now midnight local time, and immediately after the seatbelt sign was switched off I got ready for "bed" (yeah...I wish!) instead of having a heavy meal.
The cabin was nice & quiet, and not too full (matter of fact, I later noticed that Business Class main deck was also pretty empty... don't know how full Y-class was), so I managed about 7 hours sleep on-and-off, which is pretty good for me. Later on in the flight I watched the last-half of a movie and played some games on the PTV system.
A nice breakfast was served 1.5 hours out of Sydney... juice, fruit, pastries and a choice of hot dishes ( eggs, sausages etc.)
Arrival into SYD was, after some ATC delays, still 15 min. before schedule.