AA142 JFK-LHR 777-200ER N789AN
dep. 8:30 AM EST, arr. 8:20 PM GMT
On Tuesday morning (November 20th) I travelled from JFK to London Heathrow on American Airlines flight 142. I've never written a trip report before but I decided to give it a go because I thoroughly enjoyed this flight. So, here goes. Hope you enjoy it.
At about 4 a.m. I woke up, having had about three hours of sleep, and finished off the last of my packing for my week-long trip to England. Still somewhat bleary-eyed, I headed outside and walked a block over to Park Av., in order to catch a cab up to Grand Central. Got on the 5:10 a.m. bus to JFK, and because we had no traffic whatsoever, we arrived at the airport within about twenty minutes. Something that I noticed which seemed strange was the act that more than half of the ten people on the bus said 'Jetblue' when asked what airline they were flying. Following along with this trend, the lines inside the Jetblue terminal were enormous when we got there. I'm guessing that either they have a lot of early morning flights, or that I had just underestimated their popularity. But, in any case...
Got to Terminal 8 (AA Int'l) and found it fairly drab and boring inside. Check-in was simple and very quick, although there were a good number of people milling around the terminal at that point. The line for security was extremely long, but they managed to process us relatively efficiently. My carry-on was packed full with everything I was taking for the trip, and they did not check it. The guy at the checkpoint unexpectedly said to me "what's up Gabe?" Not the the kind of friendliness I'm used to in US airports, so I appreciated it. There were a couple of National Guard guys with massive rifles on their shoulders just passed the screening point. It reminded me of the guards they have in Frankfurt. That was somewhat reassuring.
Anyway, had an hour or so to kill before boarding. Unfortunately, there was nowhere to actually do that, so I sat on a chair by Gate 6 because it had the most windows, and studied the planes around me. I saw an AA 738, two 762s, an MD-80, a 757, and two A300s. Across the road at the BA terminal I saw a BA 744 and, briefly, also an SAA 744 taxiing along. My 777 was blocked by the jetway leading to the 738, and for some reason you couldn't see through the glass by Gate 8, so I only could really look at the tail of it. The tail, by the way, was spotless, and I felt like she must have been given a bath recently when I managed to get a better view as we boarded. What more can you ask for than an immaculate-looking 777?
As I boarded the plane the FA saw me looking at it and announced to me, "The 777, it's the best kind of aircraft to ride on! Did you know that?" I found that very funny and also nice. I let her know that I shared her enthusiasm and proceeded to my seat, 25C. It was just myself and another guy sharing the row of five seats. The flight time was expected to be quick, at 5h 44min.
After a quick taxi, we waited as an NW DC-9 and I believe a DL 732 took off in front of us. Our takeoff roll was short, and also very bumpy. And the sound of those engines at full power was incredible! Gets me every time, no matter how many times I hear it. We took off towards the west, quickly circled around and headed up over Hartford CT, ascending to FL370. From there we headed up over Nova Scotia, headed up north of Gander and then headed out over the Labrador Sea, after which we were amidst nothing but blue for a long time. Tailwinds were great and we maintained a steady average of about 660 mph throughout the flight.
The new AA seats are really quite comfortable. And the added legroom was a subtle but great difference. The interior of the plane looked very nice and clean. Bathrooms were spotless. The PTVs were a good size, but in the end I didn't find anything very interesting so I just listened to my own music and watched the moving map. The food was fine, although not by any means incredible. I slept about half of the flight, lying down on three seats. When I wasn't doing that, I would head back to the rear cabin where there was a completely empty bulhead row except for one of the seats, and I would sit and watch the moving map on the big screen there and just marvel at the beauty of the 777. Even now I can't stop thinking about how much I love that aircraft.
We made landfall over Northern Ireland, and headed down, reaching England and flying SE over Birmingham. We were put in a holding pattern north of LHR and then headed out over East London, turning back to the West and heading in a straight line towards the runway. It was great to see the lights of London getting bigger and bigger, and when we finally reached the airport, the landing was fairly smooth.
Overall, I had a great experience. This was my first time on an AA 777, and I was impressed. I hope you've found this interesting. Please let me know if there is anything that I should have added/subtracted from the report, and give me your thoughts and opinions.