Time for my next trip report.....I think this is my fifth on a.net now. My last couple of international trips have been on NW and UA, so I figured it was time to do another one on AA. Since it's in the middle of the winter for the US and Europe, it's an excellent time to nonrev it!! So, my whole trip ended up being DEN-ORD-BRU-ORD-DEN. Simple enough, with a 27 hour stay in BRU. Didn't see much, but what I did see was quite cool. I will definitely want to be going back to BRU to stay for quite a bit longer the next time.
14 January 2008
Block time: 08 hours, 05 minutes
Seat: 2A, Business Class
Business Class: 98%
Photo © Bernardo Andrade
As much as I hate connecting in ORD, it is a much more convenient option out of DEN as compared to the alternative of JFK. Anyhow, I took the earliest flight to ORD, AA1210 at 805a. I had a near 5 hour layover until my BRU flight, so I walked around ORD for awhile. I got to see some of the Asia heavies depart...AA to NRT and PVG, UA to NRT and HKG. After what seemed a very long wait, boarding for BRU finally began. The load in Business was going to be very full....I was really counting on there being zero upgrades in order for me to get Business Class!! So, by dumb luck, there were, in fact, zero upgrades, and I got Business. Even after the one other nonrev got on, there was still one seat left up front.
N394AN sitting at the gate at a snowy ORD.
AA's NextGeneration Business Class seat has had a bit of a hot & cold reception on a.net. Personally, I totally love it. Excellent seat controls, and a ton of random yet very useful features. Most importantly though, I find the seats to be very comfortable, especially when in the full lie-flat bed. While AA's domestic service has gone downhill in recent years, AA's international service is outstanding...the best I've personally ever had. The menu offers a huge variety of choices, so here is the complete "ensemble" of what I had:
Warm mixed nuts
Marinated Cheese Antipasto
Smoked salmon and herb-marinated shrimp
Fresh seasonal greens and an assortment of fresh vegetables offered with a sour cream and herb dressing
Assorted gourmet breads offered with a choice of butter or Castello Monte Vibiano olive oil
Fillet of beef accented by a red wine onion sauce, offered with roasted butternut squash, haricots verts, and mushroom risotto
Ice Cream Sundae with choice of hot fudge, butterscotch, seasonal berry toppings, whipped cream, and pecans.
Assorted Lindt Chocolates
One of AA's trademarks.....personal Ice Cream Sundaes. Drool.............
Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the dinner service other than the dessert above. After dinner, I fell asleep for the rest of the flight.
My short stay in BRU was very enjoyable. I visited the small nearby town of Zaventem, which was quite neat. Although I didn't get to see much of BRU, I do intend to go back for a much longer visit.
16 January 2008
Block time: 09 hours, 15 minutes
Seat: 2A, Business Class
Business Class: 50%
Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages
My return flight, BRU-ORD, was even more open than my outbound flight to BRU. About the same load in coach, but only a half-load in Business. I was the only nonrev on the flight too, so nearly everyone on the flight had a ton of room to spread out. The boarding process actually took quite a long time, for having so few people on board the plane. The gate agents made me wait until literally the last minute to get my seat assignment. It would have been much nicer to get it earlier, but such is life!!
View out my window at 2A, of the ramp at BRU.
After a short taxi and impressively strong takeoff, we were on our way back to ORD. Here are some pictures of the new AA Business Class:
The wide-open Business Class cabin enroute to ORD.
Privacy divider in between seats.
Personal entertainment device...sorry for poor lighting.
Overall cabin view.
AA89 BRU-ORD was easily the best flight I've ever been on. The cabin crew was the most nice nice, outgoing, friendly, and professional bunch of people I've ever had the privilege of meeting. They made the flight a true delight... one that will be a very long-lasting memory for me. I'd like to extend my greatest personal thanks to them on here, as well as on paper to AA. I know my word as a nonrev probably doesn't matter at all to AA, but I still feel it's the least I owe the FA's, to send my highest compliments to the company.
Thanks for reading, and all comments & responses appreciated!!