abrelosojos
Topic Author
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:50 am

Feedback always appreciated.




I > Background:
So after a great weekend (as usual) in London, it was time to go home to Caracas. American offered a surprisingly cheap F fare via JFK and MIA ... and given that F is the only way I roll these days (I wish), I could not resist.

I am not even going to try doing A.Net searches as I am sure there have been plenty of reports on AA's prestigious trans-Atlantic F product. In any case, here is my own unique take on it.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
American Airlines, Inc. (AA) is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported, passenger fleet size, and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. American operates an extensive international and domestic network, with scheduled flights throughout North America, Latin and South America, Europe, Asia/Pacific and the Caribbean. A founding member of the OneWorld alliance, American has been struggling of late and I want to see how it ends up with its 5 focused city policy.

American's website at www.aa.com is a joy to make reservations on. Crisp and clean, I was soon able to use my credit card and receive my e-ticket. What I love about the site is the ability to view and change flights and tickets ... and most importantly, chose and modify seat selections. All very cool!

b) At Airport:
American is the only foreign flag I can think of that has its own check-in mini-zone at terminal 3 at LHR for their F class passengers. Interestingly, these premium counters were relatively quiet, and an agent was quickly able to issue a boarding pass after confirming all the passport and visa requirements - always fun to show my VZ passport for entry into Venezuela and Liechtenstein for entry into U.S. (visa waiver) - and then get confused looks..

Anyways, boarding card and departure card in hand, I made it past fast track security and soon to the American Flagship lounge. The lounge is OK - nothing to write home about. The lack of dining options for a premium facility was a bit disappointing and I kept wanting more. Moreover, the lack of free internet in a F-facility was weird and I felt I should have just stuck with my usual combination of CX and JL lounges. Oh well.

45 minutes prior to departure, I made my leisurely walk to the gate which turned out to be a zoo. Thankfully, the priority lines made me skip the craziness of the boarding process that seems to increasingly be a hallmark of LHR departures.

Upon entering the 777, I was welcomed by the crew as I made it to my seat. It is here that I interestingly noted that American carriers are probably one of the few ones where the purser does not come greet F class passengers and/or take them to their seat.

As soon as I made it to my seat, a rather "blah" FA ("Mr. AA") came with a round of drinks. As I settled into the seat, the first thing you notice about American's 777 F-class product is how tired the interiors look. Perhaps, it is the rather dull lighting which makes the overall mood feel anything but premium.

As customary, while on the ground, and as I was being brought various goodies.

F load was 100% ... though a later chat confirmed that there were only 3 of us revenue paying First Class passengers.

Airport - External:

(LHR Terminal 3)


Check-in:

(First Class Check-In Area)


Airport - Internal:



(Post Security @ LHR)



Scenes of the tarmac:

NONE


Lounge

(American Airlines Flagship Lounge)

*
(F Class Section)

*

*

*


Boarding:


(Please stop the madness of LHR gates)


III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Prior to take-off, menus were distributed along with amenity kits. We were also given newspapers and Bose headsets. There was a champagne/OJ/water service as well. After take-off, cheap hot towels - where is the product differentiation from JCL here?, and a meal service. 90 minutes prior to landing, another meal service.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
As I mentioned, American's 772's looked tired. This was exacerbated with the lighting that made the interiors look far older than they should. Perhaps because I had flown a flight on 9W a few days earlier, these looked even worse than usual. Overall, not the best ambience for a flagship First class product.

On to the seat, American has an unique product. It is a lie-flat seat that swirls into position facing the window. While it does not have the privacy that Suites afford you, I personally am a big fan of this layout - especially as one can just switch off the rest of the cabin and just look out of the window. There are lots of little spaces here and there to store stuff - though, the lack of normal power point is a huge letdown. Come on American - the days of EmPower are SOO over.

Even though dated and showing age, the seat is actually very comfortable in all positions - including when being totally flat. It does not have the "bumps" and "folds" that have led to the downfall of many seats. Furthermore, the seat looks great in several "hang out" positions as well. Overall, not too shabby.

Another disappointing thing was the bathroom. Adding to the overall dingy lighting was a complete lack of amenities. Is this the best American can on her flagship intercontinental First?

Aircraft:
(772 - my aircraft taken much later on @ JFK)


Views from Aircraft:

(A Mini AA-reunion)

*
(More AA)

*
(And lots of AC)

*
(I just love BD's livery)

*
(380's in different livery - going to be increasingly common)

*
(But for me, still the Queen of the Skies)


General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

(SeAAt)

*

*
(Perfect View)

*
(Around the seat)

*

*
(Seat Controls)

*

(Legroom: My customary "brown shoe" shot)


Seat Recline + Angle View:


*


Cabin:


*

*
(Blanket ++)


(Bathroom: Showing her age + Where are the amenities?)


c) Meal + Beverage:
Possibly, the biggest disappointment of my American First class experience was in the "Meal & Beverage" department. As I have said in several reports, First class should be significantly above Business. In the case of AA, not only was the meals not befitting First, it should not even be considered a meal worthy of being loaded in JCL.

Service got off the ground on the ground with a glass of Nicholas Feuillaute ... nothing spectacular, but would do OK I guess. After take-off, I ordered a gin and tonic and waited for my meal. Choices for brunch included an Asian noodle, crepe, toast, and omelet. Seriously, that's it? Anyways, I chose the Asian noodle ... which was a bizarre and not really tasty. Moreover, served after a fruit salad, it just seemed wrong. Besides, the whole thing ... along with the rather stale croissant fell all over the place.

I had a few G&T's and fell asleep midway through the flight ... 90 minutes prior to landing, got a café and then had another rushed scallops meal served with warm nuts ... and another fruit salad. The whole two rounds of fruit salad just kept me wanting a real meal. Thankfully, AA's signature cookie was there at the end to neutralize my tongue after an overall extremely disappointing culinary affair.

(Menu)

*

*

*

*

*
(On Ground)

*
(1st Meal Service)

*
(Fruit Salad, Soggy Croissant, Yoghurt)

*
(Followed by some noodles ...)

*
(Coffee on board)

*
(2nd Meal Service)

*
(This time, measly scallops as main)

*
(Followed by surprise ... another fruit salad and a cookie ... perfect combo ... roll eyes)


d) Inflight Entertainment:
Americans IFE also was not up to the mark. It is a generation behind its competitors and I think it is time it thinks of updating it. I did appreciate the Bose headsets ... but the choices in the content and the quality of the screen left much to be desired. However, I must say that the content were at least more up to date and refreshed than I have seen on other U.S. carriers.

I ended up watching "Sherlock Holmes" ... though, in hindsight, wish I watched it on a good screen rather than AA's tiny monitors.

(Controls + Headset)

*
(IFE System)

*

*

*

*

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)


e) Crew:
I wish I could write a lot about the crew on American's flight. While there were no real nasty ones that stood out like the Korean purser on my United flight a few days earlier, the crew as a whole was utterly unmemorable. Perhaps because they had no pro-active desire to be there for the passenger, or perhaps because they never really did anything beyond the basics, I don't know ... but overall the crew just seemed to be in auto-pilot going through motions.

IV> Post-Flight:
Landing at JFK was on time ... but immigration took absolutely forever, and reminded me why I find JFK to be one of the ONLY TWO U.S. gateways I absolutely detest for international arrivals ... MIA is the other. Though to be fair, the quality of the facility at MIA has improvement significantly over the years. Now only if they can replace half the service professionals ... anyways, I digress.

(JFK Scenes - wish I could fly these!)


V> Impressions + Scores:
I have always been a fond of American's service on Latin America and domestic U.S. routes. Generally, I also enjoy the service offered by their AAdvantage program whose customer service usually is a notch above United. However, on this flight, I was thoroughly disappointed at the product offering. While the seat itself is good and innovative (when launched), the entire cabin felt tired and jaded. The meal service, the crew, and IFE all felt uninspired. Perhaps, it was symbolic of an overall airline that seems increasingly to lose its place in the world. This review reads quite "Blah" ... and the reason was because the experience was just that. "BLAH".

LHR - JFK is American's flagship route. It really needs to do much better than what I witnessed. I did not expect a Thai or Jet Airways like service complete with JD-Blue, pajamas, escorted service, popcorns, etc., but there is significant room for improvement on almost all fronts. Can't give a thumb up or down on this one.



VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
9.27: JET AIRWAYS **FIRST** (110): LHR-BOM: 10/2010
9.27: THAI AIRWAYS **FIRST** (108): BKK-LHR: 07/2010
8.66: Brussels Airlines (93): FIH-BRU: 01/2010
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.63: Jet Airways (88): JFK-BRU: 10/2009
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.54: Turkish Airlines (77): GRU-DKR-IST: 04/2009
8.36: Kingfisher (98): BOM-HKG: 01/2010
8.30: Jet Airways (74): KWI-BOM: 04/2009
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.05: Air India (80): CCU-JFK: 06/2009
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.82: UNITED AIRLINES **FIRST** (110): SFO-ICN: 10/2010
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.66: Sri Lankan (104): DEL-CMB: 07/2010
7.64: Royal Jordanian (91): AMM-YUL: 12/2009
7.61: China Southern (103): LOS-DXB: 04/2010
7.57: Pakistan Airlines (102): ORD-BCN: 06/2010
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.38: AMERICAN AIRLINES ** FIRST ** (112): LHR-JFK: 10/2010
7.38: CATHAY PACIFIC **FIRST** (109): HKG-LHR: 10/2010
7.25: Iran Air (88): BOM-IKA: 12/2009
7.23: Virgin Atlantic (81): BOS-LHR: 07/2009
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.11: Aer Lingus (105): MAD-IAD: 05/2010
7.11: Austrian (79): VIE-JFK: 06/2009
7.07: Privatair (84): BOM-FRA: 08/2009
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.82: Air Burkina (106): BKO-OUA: 06/2010
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.52: Emirates (99): LHR-DXB: 02/2010
6.39: South African (97): EZE-JNB: 01/2010
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.29: TAM Brasil (96): POA-EZE: 02/2010
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.21: Iberia (87): BOS-MAD: 10/2009
6.11: A SKY (107): OUA-COO: 06/2010
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
6.00: Gulf Air (75): BOM-BAH: 04/2009
5.88: African Express (89): DXB-NBO: 11/2009
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: SATA Azores (101): BOS-PDL: 04/2010
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.54: Ethiopian Airlines (95): ADD-BOM: 01/2010
5.46: Icelandair (83): KEF-BOS: 08/2009
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.21: Egypt Air (73): CAI-IST: 02/2009
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
7.00: LAN (94): IPC-SCL: 01/2010
6.41: Avianca (78): JFK-BOG: 05/2009
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.39: Condor (85): SEZ-FRA: 09/2009
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.52: Aerolineas (86): USH-AEP: 10/2009
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009
5.11: Air China (82): FRA-PEK: 08/2009

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.98: Air Koryo (100): PEK-FNJ: 04/2010
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.37: Felix Airways (92): SCT-SAH: 12/2009
5.11: Aero Republica (76): BOG-CCS: 04/2009
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:

(Amenity Kit)

*
Live, and let live.
 
jetblue777
Posts: 1200
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:13 pm

RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:25 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
always fun to show my VZ passport for entry into Venezuela and Liechtenstein for entry into U.S. (visa waiver) - and then get confused looks..

   So you have two passports?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Anyways, boarding card and departure card in hand, I made it past fast track security and soon to the American Flagship lounge. The lounge is OK - nothing to write home about. The lack of dining options for a premium facility was a bit disappointing and I kept wanting more. Moreover, the lack of free internet in a F-facility was weird and I felt I should have just stuck with my usual combination of CX and JL lounges. Oh well.

Wow. I'd expect that AA would have a flashy and excellent lounge at LHR considering their huge presence and LHR is probably AA's most prestigious int'l destination.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(F Class Section)

That looks awfully dull and tasteless. A big disappointment!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Please stop the madness of LHR gates)

WOW. Doesn't look very spacious.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(But for me, still the Queen of the Skies)

        

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Bathroom: Showing her age + Where are the amenities?)

I'm surprised! I flew with DL in Y last Feb and we had more amenities! Take note that the inbound flight was on an MD80! I also flew with OZ last summer and the amenities were excellent (mouthwash, toothbrush, hand moisturizer, cups, etc) even in Y class..

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Followed by some noodles ...)

That looks unappetizing.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Followed by surprise ... another fruit salad and a cookie ... perfect combo ... roll eyes)

 

What happened to their signature sundae?

Great trip report! However, based on your pictures and comments, AA seems to be doing pretty bad on their "flagship" route. I'd expect AA to go above and beyond especially on the JFK-LHR flights, which IMO the most prestigious route out there. I've read past AA TRs (J Class) and they seem to have better meal/service, so I guess AA is pretty inconsistent.

And I agree, AA's website is great. Their FF Program seems great too, OW flights for only 12.5K, unlike DL who charges who knows how many miles...

Once again, great TR as usual!

And you should try Asiana someday, I'm such a big fan and I can't wait til' you make a TR about them  

 
It's a cultural thing.
 
jrlander
Posts: 1025
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 1999 3:47 am

RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:30 am

Thanks for the wonderful, as always, trip report.

I've only flown International First twice - once on BA and once on AA. However, I have to agree with you about AA's product. While I liked the space available with AA's seat, the food and service were far far below what I experienced on BA's First, or even J on Air France and Delta. My flight was LHR-ORD. I walked into the F cabin to overhear two FA's complaining about their schedules loudly and where passengers could overhear. I watched two other set up two of the F seats to be used as FA rest beds, with two duvets each. Part of the seat was actually being held together by tape. The guy behind me had to go and ask for a newspaper and a drink before boarding had ended. Between the meals, flight attendents were hard to find, and not at all attentive. I was flying on points, but if I had paid the $ for that flight I would have been not just disappointed, but furious.

The food was mediocre, and the second meal was actually a small pizza! I always feel a bit bad about complaining about service when I'm fortunate enough (1) to travel internationally as much as I do and (2) to do it often in premium cabins (normally J). But I was anything but impressed!
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:33 am

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 1):

So you have two passports?

= I have more than 2  .

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 1):

Wow. I'd expect that AA would have a flashy and excellent lounge at LHR considering their huge presence and LHR is probably AA's most prestigious int'l destination.

= I would have thought that too.

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 1):

I'm surprised! I flew with DL in Y last Feb and we had more amenities! Take note that the inbound flight was on an MD80! I also flew with OZ last summer and the amenities were excellent (mouthwash, toothbrush, hand moisturizer, cups, etc) even in Y class..

= Ya - it was pretty shocking.

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 1):

That looks unappetizing.

= It tasted worse.

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 1):
What happened to their signature sundae?

= You know ... that is what I kept on thinking after the flight. I L O V E their sundae.

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 1):
I've read past AA TRs (J Class) and they seem to have better meal/service, so I guess AA is pretty inconsistent.

= Past JCL experiences on American have been better than this!

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 1):
unlike DL who charges who knows how many miles...

= Aah ... the famous SkyPesos! I used to be a frequent DL traveler - but between their silly program and AF and poor carriers, I moved on ...

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 1):

And you should try Asiana someday, I'm such a big fan and I can't wait til' you make a TR about them

= Coming soon ...

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
LX64A332
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:44 pm

RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:34 am

Nice TR!
However, just shows me once again I would never pay money for AA F!  
BTW, I've always wondered how you have a Liechtenstein passport. Have you ever lived in the principality, or are your family from there?

Cheers
LX64A332
SWISS remains Swiss. With Lufthansa. :D
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:02 am

Quoting jrlander (Reply 2):
The food was mediocre, and the second meal was actually a small pizza! I always feel a bit bad about complaining about service when I'm fortunate enough (1) to travel internationally as much as I do and (2) to do it often in premium cabins (normally J). But I was anything but impressed!

= Wow. A small pizza! Really? That is what they give you in YCL. I don't think you should feel bad for a service you are paying for.

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 4):
Nice TR!
However, just shows me once again I would never pay money for AA F!

= Agreed.

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 4):
BTW, I've always wondered how you have a Liechtenstein passport. Have you ever lived in the principality, or are your family from there?

= Haha ... I have been asked this so many times on A.Net   ... was born to a Spanish-Venezuelan dad and British-Canadian mom in Liechtenstein ... where she was born as well ... so hence an eclectic collection of passports.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
797
Posts: 1386
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:51 am

RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:09 am

Hola Alex!

Awesome report. I chuckled as two days ago was the first time I ever rode on AA's 777 First Class and i felt quite curious as to how others looked at this clearly worn and outdated First.

I must agree with you, AA has lost their track. They misplace how the Business and First Classes should be served. I find AA flight attendants to be extremely robotic and with not much will to do the job, they're nice... But just that, no extra effort.

The seat is indeed very comfortable. If you go back to Business though, it's quite bad. Cramped and tight. I like the 767's better.

I don't know why they randomly serve the sundaes (which are my weak spot as well!!!).

One question, was the before-takeoff drink served in a plastic or glass cup? I always get plastic, which is quite atrocious IMHO.

I really hope they introduce a new service with the arrival of their new 77W. It would be nice to see AA catch up with the world, I am a big fan and a big user of their services and would definitely appreciate an upgrade in all their services.

Thanks again and keep up the good work.

Enrique.
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
wheretonext
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:32 am

RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:12 am

Alex,

Another great trip report! It's a shame AA wasn't able to offer much in the way of service, especially in their F product. My experiences with AA have always been hit-or-miss. I've often wondered if continued deregulation would permit American air carriers to hire foreign workers to staff their international flights (like cruise lines) to improve their service.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
F load was 100% ... though a later chat confirmed that there were only 3 of us revenue paying First Class passengers.

So much for exclusivity.

Thanks, again! Looking forward to future trip reports.

-Matt
WhereToNext

[Edited 2011-04-02 21:19:12]
Next Adventure: TBD
 
aflyingkiwi
Posts: 428
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:52 am

RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:20 am

Hi Alex,

Great Report, I always look forward to reading your reports, especially now with all the F flying you're doing.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Anyways, boarding card and departure card in hand, I made it past fast track security and soon to the American Flagship lounge. The lounge is OK - nothing to write home about. The lack of dining options for a premium facility was a bit disappointing and I kept wanting more.

The lounge looks pretty boring, disappointing considering that LHR is one of AA's most important markets.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
On to the seat, American has an unique product. It is a lie-flat seat that swirls into position facing the window. While it does not have the privacy that Suites afford you, I personally am a big fan of this layout - especially as one can just switch off the rest of the cabin and just look out of the window.

AA's F seat looks pretty good, albeit being a bit dated. The looking out of the window feature is pretty unique & cool.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Bathroom: Showing her age + Where are the amenities?)

Shocking, you probably get better amenities in most Y cabins around the world.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Possibly, the biggest disappointment of my American First class experience was in the "Meal & Beverage" department.

Those meals just look uninspiring, definitely would make you wonder why you paid so much to fly F.

Looking forward to reading more reports.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi
 
bluejuice
Posts: 319
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:55 am

RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:25 am

Great report as usual!

As an AA EXP, I agree with everything you have posted. The "Flagship" F product is really lacking and the part about 3 revenue F pax shows how much it is really worth. I actually think you are too kind about the state of the interior. Most AA planes could use a deep cleaning at a minimum but realistically, a complete overhaul is due. IFE is seriously lacking as you observed. Food in F would be served in Y+ on many other airlines. In almost all their lounges, AA does not even serve real coffee. Rather it's a machine that adds hot water to some type of coffee concentrate. Yuk. International routes tends to go to the most senior flight attendants AKA the most burnt out. You can almost hear some of them counting their days until retirement.
 
Burj
Posts: 745
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:43 am

Very thorough and useful trip report! So chairs in the middle of the cabin do they also swing away from the aisle and face the center line of the cabin?

Why does AA even have a lounge at LHR? Why don't they use their OW partner, BA's lounges?
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
Posts: 4050
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:47 am

Quoting 797 (Reply 6):
Awesome report. I chuckled as two days ago was the first time I ever rode on AA's 777 First Class and i felt quite curious as to how others looked at this clearly worn and outdated First.

= Enrique - which route did you fly? Are we going to see a TR?

Quoting 797 (Reply 6):

I must agree with you, AA has lost their track. They misplace how the Business and First Classes should be served. I find AA flight attendants to be extremely robotic and with not much will to do the job, they're nice... But just that, no extra effort.

= Interestingly, I have had some really good crews on my MIA-CCS flights ... and some exemplary ones on domestic U.S. flights. Even American Eagle has good crews ... including this awesome Polish woman based out of ORD.

This crew was plain uninspiring ... but a little better than some of the Miami based crews I have found who I struggle to understand in both Spanish and in English! And for plain English speakers on board, I shake my head and smile because their English is worse than what I would find on some of the worst Latin carriers  .

Quoting 797 (Reply 6):
If you go back to Business though, it's quite bad. Cramped and tight. I like the 767's better.
Quoting 797 (Reply 6):


= Actually, I have never flown on AA-J ... only F or Y. But I have walked through the cabin and they indeed look cramped.

One question, was the before-takeoff drink served in a plastic or glass cup? I always get plastic, which is quite atrocious IMHO.

= It was served in a plastic fake champagne glass if I recall. What has been your experience?

Quoting WhereToNext (Reply 7):

Another great trip report! It's a shame AA wasn't able to offer much in the way of service, especially in their F product. My experiences with AA have always been hit-or-miss. I've often wondered if continued deregulation would permit American air carriers to hire foreign workers to staff their international flights (like cruise lines) to improve their service.

= That would create a riot ...

Quoting Aflyingkiwi (Reply 8):

Great Report, I always look forward to reading your reports, especially now with all the F flying you're doing.

= Sadly for you, liberating for me (hehe), this was probably like last F report for a while ... though, I promise the next one in queue is far more interesting ...

Quoting Aflyingkiwi (Reply 8):

The lounge looks pretty boring, disappointing considering that LHR is one of AA's most important markets.

= Yup. Makes you question their "Cornerstone" strategy ...

Quoting Aflyingkiwi (Reply 8):

Shocking, you probably get better amenities in most Y cabins around the world.

= Yup.

Quoting Aflyingkiwi (Reply 8):
Those meals just look uninspiring, definitely would make you wonder why you paid so much to fly F.

= I think this was the last self-pocket F trip I have made on AA ... though to be fair, unlike UA, there is a clear product difference between the two premier cabins.

Quoting BlueJuice (Reply 9):
Great report as usual!

As an AA EXP, I agree with everything you have posted. The "Flagship" F product is really lacking and the part about 3 revenue F pax shows how much it is really worth. I actually think you are too kind about the state of the interior. Most AA planes could use a deep cleaning at a minimum but realistically, a complete overhaul is due. IFE is seriously lacking as you observed. Food in F would be served in Y+ on many other airlines. In almost all their lounges, AA does not even serve real coffee. Rather it's a machine that adds hot water to some type of coffee concentrate. Yuk. International routes tends to go to the most senior flight attendants AKA the most burnt out. You can almost hear some of them counting their days until retirement.

= Sad when someone as experienced as an AA EXP says this. It really makes me sad to see AA in such a mess.

Quoting Burj (Reply 10):

Why does AA even have a lounge at LHR? Why don't they use their OW partner, BA's lounges?

= Perhaps because LHR is such a key market for them?

Quoting Burj (Reply 10):
So chairs in the middle of the cabin do they also swing away from the aisle and face the center line of the cabin?

= I have actually only sat in the window seat ... 1J or 1A (if not reserved for crew) are the best in the house ... but if I remember correctly, they actually move in to face the other person ... good for couples.

Thanks a lot for reading everyone.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
akhmad
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:22 am

Hi Alex,

What an excellent report of yours about AA FCL product. If I had not read your in-flight experience further on in your report, I would have ended up booking an AA flight just because the amazing website features sound too inviting to try myself.

But then, what a poles apart FCL AA and 9W are. Apart from the seat, I just miss the WOW factor during the whole journey. If this represents FCL, what would JCL and even YCL be like?

Thanks for sharing the valuable insight review of AA products.

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
lhr380
Posts: 2453
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:31 am

Nice TR   Love the pics.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
should have just stuck with my usual combination of CX and JL lounges. Oh wel

JL use the BA Galleries lounge now.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
American is the only foreign flag I can think of that has its own check-in mini-zone at terminal 3 at LHR for their F class passengers

It is a very weird set up Zone H. Its at the other end of the building compared to AA Check in, and a lot further away from security? Nice to see pics inside. I walk past it alot on the way into Zone G but have never taken a look inside

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
SeAAt

WOW!! I had not seen the F seat before, thats OLD!

That is also certainly one of the most interesting meal combinations I have seen. I would have been left starving after that kind of service! BA J you get A LOT more then that....
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
ba319-131
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:45 am

Hi Alex,

Good report, shame on the lack luster service and drab interior - I must say it does look very un-premium in that cabin.

I like the way the seat can be positioned to face the outside, quite a cool feature.

The dining offerings and presentation look very un-premium, if I'd forked out for F I'd be expecting more.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
the lack of free internet in a F-facility was weird and I felt I should have just stuck with my usual combination of CX and JL lounges

- The lounge looks quite dull from your pictures, perhaps try the BA Gallaries next time? much nicer.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Landing at JFK was on time ... but immigration took absolutely forever, and reminded me why I find JFK to be one of the ONLY TWO U.S. gateways I absolutely detest for international arrivals ... MIA is the other.

- I've been quite luck with all my JFK arrivals of late, though I agree with you on MIA, it's just dire for intl arrivals.

Cheers

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
The777Man
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:13 am

Hi Alex!

Very nice report and too bad with the extremely poor food offerings in First. Service in general seems not so great.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
AlwaysOnAPlane
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:51 am

Hi Alex and thanks for another great report.

Well I think your use of "BLAH" very much sums the experience up. The whole service just seems a bit behind the times. Dull lounge with poor facilities, old aircraft interiors with dull colours and bland food on offer.
I didn't know the seat spun on its base to face the window. That is quite cool to be fair.

Thanks for sharing your experience Alex

Cheers, Lee.
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:21 am

Hi Alex,

very enjoyable report as usual! AA's F Class product doesn't look good at all, I would expect much more. I cannot believe what kind of average and badly presented food they served. AA should have a look at Swiss' excellent new long-haul J Class which I recently tested...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
As I settled into the seat, the first thing you notice about American's 777 F-class product is how tired the interiors look. Perhaps, it is the rather dull lighting which makes the overall mood feel anything but premium.

These colors are awful!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Please stop the madness of LHR gates

  


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
triple7man
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:31 pm

JFK-LHR-JFK is probably the most prestigious transatlantic route, like you said. I fly AA in first class between the US and Tokyo a lot, and usually the service is very good. I'd like to hear your comments on one of our transpacific flights some times.
I usually find the in flight service to be very nice...once in a while we get f/a's who are like you describes...on auto pilot, but I have always found the transpacific service to be very good.

Thank you for your TR and I hope you have a better experience on AA next time.
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 4460
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:55 pm

Great TR! I have never flown AA in F overseas before, but next week will be my first time. I am flying DFW-GRU on Tuesday (probably anyway) and back on the 10th. Ill try and take some pictures and do a TR, but I can never figure out how to make them show up properly.

Which website do you use to get your pictures to show up?
It is what it is...
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:31 pm

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
If I had not read your in-flight experience further on in your report, I would have ended up booking an AA flight just because the amazing website features sound too inviting to try myself.

= Well, I have to give credit where its due. The website was upgraded a few years back and it is very good.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):

But then, what a poles apart FCL AA and 9W are. Apart from the seat, I just miss the WOW factor during the whole journey. If this represents FCL, what would JCL and even YCL be like?

= I have never flown in JCL on AA ... but funnily enough YCL is usually OK. What makes an experience is the crew and in general I have had good ones on AA. AAgain, I remain convinced that when seniority comes with entitlement, crews perform poorly.

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 13):
JL use the BA Galleries lounge now.

= What happened to the Sakura lounge? Is it closed?

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 13):
It is a very weird set up Zone H. Its at the other end of the building compared to AA Check in, and a lot further away from security? Nice to see pics inside. I walk past it alot on the way into Zone G but have never taken a look inside

= Ya. I think you would have flagged an alert by just walking in, clicking some pics, and dashing off  . Who do you use for your zone G check-in?

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 13):
I would have been left starving after that kind of service!

= I did! During the entire meal service, I kept on wondering when was the main course coming in!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 14):
I like the way the seat can be positioned to face the outside, quite a cool feature.

= Absolutely Mark.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 14):
- The lounge looks quite dull from your pictures, perhaps try the BA Gallaries next time? much nicer.

= Mark, I am fond of the Galleries @ T3 ...

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 14):

- I've been quite luck with all my JFK arrivals of late, though I agree with you on MIA, it's just dire for intl arrivals.

= Aah ... but which terminal @ JFK have you been arriving at?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
Hi Alex!

Very nice report and too bad with the extremely poor food offerings in First. Service in general seems not so great.

The777Man

= Lars, good to hear from you. I am going to be sending you an email shortly. Ya - service was BLAH.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 16):
I didn't know the seat spun on its base to face the window. That is quite cool to be fair.

Thanks for sharing your experience Alex


= Thanks Lee for stopping by. Ya, the highlight of my AA experience was the unique seat.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
AA should have a look at Swiss' excellent new long-haul J Class which I recently tested...

= When does the TR come PH?! LX - J is the BEST J cabin in Europe. I love everything except the way the dining table is placed - I might have hit it like 100 times!

Quoting triple7man (Reply 18):
I fly AA in first class between the US and Tokyo a lot, and usually the service is very good. I'd like to hear your comments on one of our transpacific flights some times.

= Depends. I have had some good AA FCL experiences on NRT - and some mediocre ones.

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 19):
Great TR! I have never flown AA in F overseas before, but next week will be my first time. I am flying DFW-GRU on Tuesday (probably anyway) and back on the 10th. Ill try and take some pictures and do a TR, but I can never figure out how to make them show up properly.

= Service on Latin America (especially ex-DFW) is usually good. How long are you in GRU? Our paths may cross and we can have a coffee?

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 19):

Which website do you use to get your pictures to show up?

= Photobucket.

Thanks AA lot everyone for stopping by.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
Carfield
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:24 pm

Thanks for another interesting trip report!

AA First Class is really nothing special and don't be surprised that the meals in business are identical and almost the same, except first class gets one more entree choice and the meals are plated individually rather than served in the casserole dish. These morning flights are always tricky to plan and AA has failed considerably and I am surprised that a proper lunch is not served... it should at least be a mini lunch with appetizer/salad starter, then a proper entree, and at least a piece of cake/mousse as dessert.

But then there are three revenue first class passengers and you never know if they pay F or just upgrade from J to F! I fly AA transatlantic only if I can upgrade to F because their J seats are horrible. If I have to pay J, I stick with other European carriers.

AA Boeing 777 is really showing its age and its lack of technological features is obvious. But the flagship suite is quite a unique design and is very comfortable in sleeping. I guess if I am paying J fares and getting this seat, I am more than happy!

Thanks for sharing again!

Just keep them coming!

With your UA report, I begin to wonder if US airlines should keep first class, as it has no incentive to improve service. Maybe a good combined business/first product is good enough!

Carfield
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:32 pm

Hola Alex!

Thanks again for this report. Having flown AA's 777s domestically in F, but only ever in J on long-haul, I must agree with you that this service is fairly disappointing, and certainly unbecoming of their Flagship route. I've seen much better catering in domestic F. Must be something about those Brits and their food.      Nevertheless, this TR (and indeed, many others, mine included) isn't so much an indictment of AA's product as it is a plea for some much needed updates. Your scores show that AA does everything respectably well, but nothing spectacularly, and I would agree with that. A revamp of their hard product (either some major refurbishment of their seats/monitors, or just a new product, along with a vastly improved IFE system), some minor attentions to detail (like amenities in the lavatory), and suddenly AA surges well ahead of some carriers, including all US airlines.

I was astounded by the catering on this flight. I've usually found that to be one of AA's strong suits, but this was entirely unbecoming of F meal service. I would certainly complain about this. As a paying F customer, you have a right to expect more (and usually, that expectation is met). As I said, that meal service is much worse than the last two meals I've had on AA long-haul J (MIA-EZE//EZE-MIA), and about on par with some of the better domestic F meals, save for the number of courses due to flight length.

But again, it's interesting that despite the comparatively negative experience, they still scored respectably. Lots of little gripes, but nothing so negatively memorable. Unfortunately, it seems AA is content to be unforgettable at this point.

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:45 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
= When does the TR come PH?

I still have to post two other reports, should be online in a few weeks.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:19 pm

Quoting Carfield (Reply 21):
AA First Class is really nothing special and don't be surprised that the meals in business are identical and almost the same, except first class gets one more entree choice and the meals are plated individually rather than served in the casserole dish.

= I knew that on UA the catering for F includes one additional menu option ... did not know this was also the case with AA. How disappointing. Is the entire menu the same ... or, is there one additional item?

Quoting Carfield (Reply 21):
These morning flights are always tricky to plan and AA has failed considerably and I am surprised that a proper lunch is not served... it should at least be a mini lunch with appetizer/salad starter, then a proper entree, and at least a piece of cake/mousse as dessert.

= I thought of that as well ... and do recognize it is a tad tricky. Why not reverse the service? Have a small breakfast and then a nicer lunch prior to arrival?

Quoting Carfield (Reply 21):
But then there are three revenue first class passengers and you never know if they pay F or just upgrade from J to F!

= And here we end up with the inevitable chicken/egg problem - with this kind of service, why would I bother paying for that full fare First class ticket like I did?

Quoting Carfield (Reply 21):
I fly AA transatlantic only if I can upgrade to F because their J seats are horrible. If I have to pay J, I stick with other European carriers.

= Yup. And as I mention, this would be my last paying F experience on a U.S. airline for quite some time. What is the point of paying the extra money?

Quoting Carfield (Reply 21):
Just keep them coming!

= Now that I don't have confidentiality crap to worry about, I am back with a vengeance ... though, more "exotic" reports coming up than F class stuff.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 21):

With your UA report, I begin to wonder if US airlines should keep first class, as it has no incentive to improve service. Maybe a good combined business/first product is good enough!

= What do you think?

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 22):
Must be something about those Brits and their food.

= LOL.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 22):
Nevertheless, this TR (and indeed, many others, mine included) isn't so much an indictment of AA's product as it is a plea for some much needed updates.

= Good way of looking at it.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 22):
Your scores show that AA does everything respectably well, but nothing spectacularly, and I would agree with that. A revamp of their hard product (either some major refurbishment of their seats/monitors, or just a new product, along with a vastly improved IFE system), some minor attentions to detail (like amenities in the lavatory), and suddenly AA surges well ahead of some carriers, including all US airlines.

= This is exactly right - it was a BLAH experience - nothing horrible. But the question is - at the price of intercontinental F, why bother with just a BLAH experience?

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 22):
I've had on AA long-haul J (MIA-EZE//EZE-MIA), and about on par with some of the better domestic F meals, save for the number of courses due to flight length.

= EZE is probably the best catered flight on the AA network along with DEL.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 22):
But again, it's interesting that despite the comparatively negative experience, they still scored respectably. Lots of little gripes, but nothing so negatively memorable. Unfortunately, it seems AA is content to be unforgettable at this point.

= Overall ... and from a business strategy perspective, AA just seems lost and at drift.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 23):

I still have to post two other reports, should be online in a few weeks.


PH

= So PH, where are the next reports from?

Thanks a lot for reading everyone.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:49 pm

I'd go one further than blah - that looks like quite frankly the crumbiest premium class "experience" I have ever seen.

The food - woeful

The cabin - bland

The seat - passable.

But that's my experience on AA in a nutshell. My last flight with them from JFK-SFO, 6.5 hours, with awful IFE, BOB food, and the dirtiest most unkempt looking cabin I have EVER had the displeasure to endure.

The check in staff were beyond rude, the cabin crew made up for it somewhat in that their manners were impeccable, though not especially warm.

Only real plus was T8 at JFK.

They are simply not an airline I rate at all. The brand speaks of an "American", product, one which is effortless and stress free. Sadly the effortless just seems to mean THEY make no effort.

Delta quite simply would wipe the floor with AA.

Sorry to any AA staff - its not really your fault that you have such a dreadful product to work with.
 
lychemsa
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:17 pm

The food looks awful. What time was your flight from LHR?

I recently flew AA, Y NYC to LHR R/T and these were my observations, similar to yours:

1. Cabins are getting shabby.
2. However seats are comfortable and 32" legroom bearable. Many airlines offer 31" and I feel the difference.
3. The entertainment in Y is limited. The volume / connection was so bad that after 15 minutes I could no longer watch the movie.
4. They have cut down on the catering. From London they always served a nice meal.

a) Instead of a nice cake they now give a cookie.
b) Instead of a decent starter it's back to the old lettuce like from NYC.
c) They used to serve a delicious filling Pizza; thick bread with a lot of cheese. It has been replaced by a
thin piece of bread with hardly no cheese and tons of pesto. Quite frankly horrible.
d) Quantity of main meal seems to also have been reduced.
5. Crews though were nice. And the steward who was close to 70 was a riot.
6. Their frequent flyer program keeps me with them; 40,000 miles to Europe between Oct 15 to May 15, vs. 60,000 now on United / CO/ LX and 60,000 to 90,000 on DL.
7. However need to connect in LHR costs $200 for an Award ticket vs. $80 on CO. BA charge $300 as they add fuel surcharges.
7. Great web site and excellent service on the ground.

Great report asusual. Thanks.
 
lhr380
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:41 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
= What happened to the Sakura lounge? Is it closed?

Ages ago! Not long after BA moved into the terminal. BA actually used the Sakura lounge when it first moved back into the terminal (After a brief stint in the Servisair lounge)

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
Who do you use for your zone G check-in?

I don't use, I work there. Walked past it today in fact and took a bit of a peek at it as I went past.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
767747
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:54 pm

Thanks for another good report!

AA is a very good airline, but this report certainly shows that they are lacking in several key areas. I feel like AA F has become something that should be replaced, as another reader commented on .. Or, an extreme makeover of the cabin and service needs to happen fast.

I've had many good flights with AA in both Y and F, and I've had flights where I was very disappointed in the service and how I was treated. Very hit and miss!

Hopefully they can get back on track a bit with their service!

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
797
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:33 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 11):
= Enrique - which route did you fly? Are we going to see a TR?

Alex, it was MIA - JFK. My trip began in CCS with a two-day stop in MIA. I decided to take AA614 just to use the 777 and its First Class, which on domestic flights is available for Business Class passengers. The BCL is used for AAdvantage members and Y fare paying passengers.

The flight attendants were very nice indeed. However a bit robotic.

The catering was atrocious. They've been serving the same dishes all over for the last 6 months: Chicken Parmigian or Shrimp Salad. I took the same dish back in October whilst flying to ORD and SEA; three weeks ago on a MIA-DFW flight; and now 5 days ago on the MIA-JFK leg. I find it hard to believe how they haven't changed this menu...

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 11):
= It was served in a plastic fake champagne glass if I recall. What has been your experience?

Yes, they do the plastic thing whilst on the ground... Hard to believe too. When airborne, they switch to glass.

Now, the impression of seeing a cheap plastic cup on a seat that costs over 3 grand is quite appalling, don't you think?

Oh, and by the way. I prefer JFK a million times for International Arrivals than ORD. The latter is a nightmare. I've had at least 4 disastrous experiences in ORD and don't look forward on doing it again anytime soon.

I wish the best for AA. But they need to catch up soon.

Saludos!

Enrique.
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
Quokka
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:07 am

Having just read your report on the BOM - LHR with Jet Airways, I could not fail to note the enormous gulf between them and the service provided by AA. It is almost as if you entered two different worlds.

The equipment does appear a bit shabby and is not helped by a rather dull colour scheme, although the rotatable chair position is different.

To be generous, I could hint that AA is trying to help its passengers cut down on the cholesterol and calories - plenty of fresh (I assume it was fresh) fruit and vegetables and little else.

But is the offering in line with what its passengers want? Does the majority of AA passengers stick them because they offer a convenient schedule and that is more important than the pampering expected by passengers in First in other parts of the world.

Thanks for sharing,
Quokka
 
Genius12
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:08 am

Nice report - shame that AA's product appears to be so bad. That is the main reason I will never fly AA transcontinental.

The AA lounge at LHR that your were in is the Admirals Club. The Flagship Lounge is accessed through a sliding door to the right immediately in the reception area (you need to get an agent to open the door for you). It's nothing special either, but does have upgraded food and beverages.

Within the oneworld alliance, both BA and QF offer far better intercontinental F products, and of course CX at the top of the tree.
 
crosswinds21
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:55 am

This TR is pretty similar to my experiences in AA F (although I have always enjoyed the food - perhaps that's because I've never taken a morning flight where the main meal is breakfast...the lunch and dinner flights are always really good). I think that a big problem with AA's F class is that there are too many seats and on almost all flights, it seems that the majority of passengers are nonrevs. And out of those that aren't, many are there on miles or on upgrades from J class. When almost noone is actually paying for the seat, it's undoubtedly hard to maintain a very premium atmosphere. I've written here before that I think that AA really needs to redo its F cabins, in that they should be reduced from 16 seats to something like 8. Additionally, maybe they should create a subfleet of 777s that don't have any F class at all (I don't believe that there is really much demand for paid F outside of LHR, NRT, and maybe a couple of other cities such as EZE). Your TR just confirms my opinion.
 
tommy767
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:31 pm

This a great report. I would say that your rating of 7.38 is actually rather generous with that sub par catering you recieved. Honestly, the only real thing going for AA these days if F and J catering and on this flight it looked barely edible. And no sundae? Did they run out of ice cream in LHR or something? You should definitely complain as IIRC back in 2005-2006 AA sneakily cut away from the F class menus for cost cutting reasons and elites spoke up and they revamped the menus back (and rather quickly I believe.) Based on few of the user comments, you have to wonder if AA is pulling the same s*** again with the catering cutbacks.

A real shame because I'm pretty sure at this point either UA or DL would offer a better product than AA at this point -- even with the catering. I've taken transcons with UA on PS and DL with business elite with far better catering than this flight.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
kfitz
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:48 pm

How would you personally compare the seat to the new United First Suite that you rode into ICN in? Obviously the IFE on UA is in another league, but how about the actual suite? Privacy? Seat comfort? thanks
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:48 am

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 25):
I'd go one further than blah - that looks like quite frankly the crumbiest premium class "experience" I have ever seen.

= Wow. That is pretty harsh  .

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 26):
What time was your flight from LHR?

= As indicated, this was the morning flight - and so was surprised that there wasn't more of an effort for a good lunch.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 26):
2. However seats are comfortable and 32" legroom bearable. Many airlines offer 31" and I feel the difference.

= Agreed. AA is more than passable in Y.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 26):
6. Their frequent flyer program keeps me with them; 40,000 miles to Europe between Oct 15 to May 15, vs. 60,000 now on United / CO/ LX and 60,000 to 90,000 on DL.

= This is the primary reason why AA's program is the 2nd program I accrue miles in. I like their award flexibility.

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 27):
Ages ago! Not long after BA moved into the terminal. BA actually used the Sakura lounge when it first moved back into the terminal (After a brief stint in the Servisair lounge)

= I think I am beginning to lose my mind - and now am trying to think where I used a Sakura lounge recently. Now thinking Frankfurt?

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 27):
I don't use, I work there. Walked past it today in fact and took a bit of a peek at it as I went past.

= May we ask who you work for  ? I will swing by and say HELLO.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 28):
AA is a very good airline, but this report certainly shows that they are lacking in several key areas. I feel like AA F has become something that should be replaced, as another reader commented on .. Or, an extreme makeover of the cabin and service needs to happen fast.

= I think they are a good airline that has lost its way. Service just reflects an overall lack of direction and focus.

Quoting 797 (Reply 29):

Alex, it was MIA - JFK. My trip began in CCS with a two-day stop in MIA. I decided to take AA614 just to use the 777 and its First Class, which on domestic flights is available for Business Class passengers. The BCL is used for AAdvantage members and Y fare paying passengers.

= I have done CCS - MIA way too many times and it is almost always the same. Though, to be fair, this is no different than on LH.

Quoting 797 (Reply 29):
They've been serving the same dishes all over for the last 6 months:

= Yup.

Quoting 797 (Reply 29):
I prefer JFK a million times for International Arrivals than ORD.

= You know, after MIA, ORD-JFK- and LAX are a tossup for the worst for me ... interesting how they are all part of AA's strategy no  ?

Quoting Quokka (Reply 30):
Having just read your report on the BOM - LHR with Jet Airways, I could not fail to note the enormous gulf between them and the service provided by AA. It is almost as if you entered two different worlds.

= Yup.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 30):
The equipment does appear a bit shabby and is not helped by a rather dull colour scheme, although the rotatable chair position is different.

= I love the chair!

Quoting Quokka (Reply 30):
Does the majority of AA passengers stick them because they offer a convenient schedule and that is more important than the pampering expected by passengers in First in other parts of the world.

= I think the FFP benefits probably play a large role.

Quoting Genius12 (Reply 31):
The AA lounge at LHR that your were in is the Admirals Club. The Flagship Lounge is accessed through a sliding door to the right immediately in the reception area (you need to get an agent to open the door for you). It's nothing special either, but does have upgraded food and beverages.

= No man. This was definitely the Flagship lunge - as soon as you enter the main lounge, the entrance is on the right hand side past where the attendant stands. The layout is very similar. Unless they didn't let me in ... which would be a little upsetting. I was a full-paid F!

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 32):
I think that a big problem with AA's F class is that there are too many seats and on almost all flights, it seems that the majority of passengers are nonrevs. And out of those that aren't, many are there on miles or on upgrades from J class. When almost noone is actually paying for the seat, it's undoubtedly hard to maintain a very premium atmosphere.

= Agreed.

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 32):
(I don't believe that there is really much demand for paid F outside of LHR, NRT, and maybe a couple of other cities such as EZE). Your TR just confirms my opinion.

= I believe the only cities for demand for a true F are probably LHR, GRU, NRT, and DEL.

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 33):
And no sundae? Did they run out of ice cream in LHR or something?

= I was thinking about that. Can some regular AA JFK-LHR flyers tell us what the deal is?

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 33):
AA sneakily cut away from the F class menus for cost cutting reasons and elites spoke up and they revamped the menus back (and rather quickly I believe.) Based on few of the user comments, you have to wonder if AA is pulling the same s*** again with the catering cutbacks.

= I am a lowly Platinum - do 3-4 paid F's with them to retain status as I have had a "falling out" with LAN's program  .

Quoting KFitz (Reply 34):
How would you personally compare the seat to the new United First Suite that you rode into ICN in? Obviously the IFE on UA is in another league, but how about the actual suite? Privacy? Seat comfort? thanks

= To be honest, I personally like the AA seats - both are very good for a night's sleep. However, the privacy on the AA seat is much better than the UA one. To be fair though, I have only tried UA F on the 747 and might have a different experience on a 777 or 767. I actually liked the old 777 F seats on UAL.

Again, thank you all so much for the comments and feedback.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
44k
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:12 am

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 1):
What happened to their signature sundae?
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Possibly, the biggest disappointment of my American First class experience was in the "Meal & Beverage" department.



AA Morning International First flight with breakfast service = AVOID !!! I'm not making excuses for the terrible catering, but had you taken a lunch or dinner flight your meal would have been far far better and quite enjoyable. And of course you would have had the sundae.

It always makes me cringe how much hate there is for AA on this board. While the AA F product definitely has room for improvement, it's not "the worst" out there as some claim. I think its very nice and very comfy, this particular flight was just not the best showcase for it. I've had great many flights in AA F and usually the catering is superb and on par or above other US carriers, that is as long as you avoid Breakfast. As with other US carriers, crews, unfortunately, can be hit or miss.

Thanks for the TR.
 
Genius12
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:49 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 24):
No man. This was definitely the Flagship lunge - as soon as you enter the main lounge, the entrance is on the right hand side past where the attendant stands. The layout is very similar. Unless they didn't let me in ... which would be a little upsetting. I was a full-paid F!

Your pictures are 100% the Admirals Club lounge.

This is what the Flagship Lounge looks like; http://www.businesstraveller.com/fil...erican-Airlines/AA-LHR-lounge2.jpg
 
lhr380
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:33 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 35):
= May we ask who you work for  ? I will swing by and say HELLO.

Your flight would have had 2 code share flight numbers on it other then the AA flight number, I work for one of those that happens to use Zone G as its main check in  
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:04 am

Quoting 44k (Reply 36):
AA Morning International First flight with breakfast service = AVOID !!! I'm not making excuses for the terrible catering, but had you taken a lunch or dinner flight your meal would have been far far better and quite enjoyable. And of course you would have had the sundae.

= Is the sundae not offered for AM flights? I think a better and less-cost cutting measure would have been to offer a small breakfast and then a better lunch. Also, I was disappointed to find out through the course of this thread that F class catering is exactly the same as J class one  . Is this really true?

Quoting 44k (Reply 36):
It always makes me cringe how much hate there is for AA on this board. While the AA F product definitely has room for improvement, it's not "the worst" out there as some claim.

= I don't think there is "hate". It just works for some, and not for others.

Quoting 44k (Reply 36):
I've had great many flights in AA F and usually the catering is superb and on par or above other US carriers, that is as long as you avoid Breakfast. As with other US carriers, crews, unfortunately, can be hit or miss.

= Agreed - hence, its rating is kinda in the middle.

Quoting Genius12 (Reply 37):

Your pictures are 100% the Admirals Club lounge.

This is what the Flagship Lounge looks like; http://www.businesstraveller.com/fil...2.jpg

= Hmm. I wonder why I was shown the J class lounge then. Time to take down that score  .

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 38):
Your flight would have had 2 code share flight numbers on it other then the AA flight number, I work for one of those that happens to use Zone G as its main check in  

= I was gonna guess QF but then realized from memory that QF only uses "G" for premium ... so I will guess the airline that really needs to move out of zone "G"   ... to join its fellow comrades at a nicer place. Am I right?

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
The777Man
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:04 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
= Service on Latin America (especially ex-DFW) is usually good. How long are you in GRU? Our paths may cross and we can have a coffee?

I wish I could agree with that statement......

Flew DFW-SCL last July in Y on a 763 and couldn't believe that it had no PTVs. The controls for the audio were the same as on TW's L10111s !!! ONE movie was shown on the main screen for a 9h 20min flight although they did have a lot of TV programs. Meal was okay and service was okay as well. I did not write a trip report.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
lhr380
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:07 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 39):
= I was gonna guess QF but then realized from memory that QF only uses "G" for premium ... so I will guess the airline that really needs to move out of zone "G"   ... to join its fellow comrades at a nicer place. Am I right?

You just might be! However I like T3. You get a proper airport atmosphere in there, and airside Oneworld have a nice set up. All the Oneworld airlines are along the same desk, with a nice Welcome to Oneworld Flight Connections logo on the wall. From left to right looking at it you have AA Prem desks, AA, JL, AY IB QF CX and then BA. RJ is done at one of the AA desks.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
abrelosojos
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:38 am

Quoting The777Man (Reply 40):
I wish I could agree with that statement......

Flew DFW-SCL last July in Y on a 763 and couldn't believe that it had no PTVs. The controls for the audio were the same as on TW's L10111s !!! ONE movie was shown on the main screen for a 9h 20min flight although they did have a lot of TV programs. Meal was okay and service was okay as well. I did not write a trip report.

The777Man

= Wait a minute ... you flew a 767!!!

Saludos,
A.

PS: Too bad about your experience ... though, I'd be happy flying a real L-10 these days!
Live, and let live.
 
JDAirCEO
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:29 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 24):
I knew that on UA the catering for F includes one additional menu option ... did not know this was also the case with AA. How disappointing. Is the entire menu the same ... or, is there one additional item?

They are the same entrées.
The differences are the cheese or vegetables with the warm nuts, soup and appetizer are typically different or you get more, the salad includes a protein and is prepared at your seat, entrées are plated differently, and the sundae is made at your seat. It at least looks better than J and since there are less passengers, even though more food, the service is typically done earlier and you can grab more sleep or relaxation. Maybe your's was just an off experience?
An MD-80 is great... in first class
 
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shamrock604
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:12 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 39):
= I don't think there is "hate". It just works for some, and not for others.

I think that's probably a fair assesment - even though my own remarks were a bit harsh!
 

Personally, I find the whole AA experience far too drab, lifeless and bland. It's the ultimate "corporate" looking airline. Its like being in some god-awful office in a business park in the suburbs. Grey and Lifeless.

When I board an aircraft of one of the World's largest airlines, and an American Icon, I expect cleanliness, freshness and the attention to service and warmth I have come to expect from all things American. Thankfully, you can still get it on Delta and Continental....  

Joking aside, perhaps the reasons I dislike it are the same reasons that offers may find it appealing.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:57 am

Great report as normal.

AA seem behind the curve with the J seat, the fact it does not lie flat which i understand will change at some stage in the near future but looking at this F product, apart from the swivel part which looks great the actual seat offerings, monitor etc looks dated to say the least. They need to spend some serious $$$ and raise the bar.
 
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fxramper
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:26 pm

I try and avoid LHR for business travel. I use AA quite a lot on long hauls, especially to Asia, and it's missing a lot compared to other carriers. It's robbery comparing the amount of money spend for a Business class seat and how little you are offered on the flight.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Perhaps because they had no pro-active desire to be there for the passenger,

This trend has been present since 2001 at AA.
 
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NZ107
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:34 am

Hi Alex,

Another great report showcasing the US Legacy carriers' premium cabins. Now you've done UA and AA, when's DL's turn?  

Since when did the US airlines' premium cabin offerings etc start declining? Around the Chapter 11 sagas? What you've shown us from this and the UA flight that they are far behind the times of other carriers. The massive number of upgrades points to a lot of things but the substandard service expected for F travel must be a reason why people aren't prepared to pay full fare for it. Oh well, their loss.

The only awesome thing I see about AA F is the swivelling chair so you can face the window! That is beyond awesome. Too bad that's the only positive comment I have for their product from seeing this. The croissant in the lounge looks rather similar to the one served onboard and those meals didn't seem to be anywhere near F standard. How often is a salad a main? Doesn't seem very substantial.

Anyway thanks for sharing.. I'm less likely to be wanting to try AA F now! I guess in 20 years time when I might be in a position where I could possibly fly F, the product would have changed - hopefully for the better.


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
abrelosojos
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:29 am

Quoting jdairceo (Reply 43):

They are the same entrées.
The differences are the cheese or vegetables with the warm nuts, soup and appetizer are typically different or you get more, the salad includes a protein and is prepared at your seat, entrées are plated differently, and the sundae is made at your seat. It at least looks better than J and since there are less passengers, even though more food, the service is typically done earlier and you can grab more sleep or relaxation. Maybe your's was just an off experience?

= Good to hear from a veteran AA F-flyer on the difference in catering between F and J. I am a little disappointed to hear that it is the same in content ... which is strange given AA markets the F cabin differently. Perhaps, it was an off-experience ... but, what's with not receiving that ice-cream sundae! Perhaps, they got the memo that I should be toned fit before summer  .

BTW, what routes do you usually fly AA on?

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 44):
I think that's probably a fair assesment - even though my own remarks were a bit harsh!

=  .

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 44):
Personally, I find the whole AA experience far too drab, lifeless and bland. It's the ultimate "corporate" looking airline. Its like being in some god-awful office in a business park in the suburbs. Grey and Lifeless.

= This is a really good way of looking at it. Come to think of it, it did feel VERY cubicle-y.

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 45):
Great report as normal.

= Way too kind. Thanks.

Quoting fxramper (Reply 46):
I try and avoid LHR for business travel. I use AA quite a lot on long hauls, especially to Asia, and it's missing a lot compared to other carriers. It's robbery comparing the amount of money spend for a Business class seat and how little you are offered on the flight.

= Ya. I agree. BTW, do you see a difference on AA on LHR vs. Asia?

Quoting fxramper (Reply 46):

This trend has been present since 2001 at AA.

= Do you think it is a result of post TWA acquisition, or a victim of the ensuring downturn.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 47):

Another great report showcasing the US Legacy carriers' premium cabins. Now you've done UA and AA, when's DL's turn?

= DL has no F  .

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 47):
Since when did the US airlines' premium cabin offerings etc start declining? Around the Chapter 11 sagas? What you've shown us from this and the UA flight that they are far behind the times of other carriers. The massive number of upgrades points to a lot of things but the substandard service expected for F travel must be a reason why people aren't prepared to pay full fare for it. Oh well, their loss.

= Agreed. Also the eternal U.S. "chicken vs. egg" problem.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 47):
The only awesome thing I see about AA F is the swivelling chair so you can face the window! That is beyond awesome.

= Agreed Nicholas.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 47):
How often is a salad a main? Doesn't seem very substantial.

= Catering on this flight was very "confused".

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 47):
Anyway thanks for sharing.. I'm less likely to be wanting to try AA F now! I guess in 20 years time when I might be in a position where I could possibly fly F, the product would have changed - hopefully for the better.


Cheers,
Nicholas

= Nicholas, I have a sneaking feeling you'll fly in F before the next 20 years!

Thanks all for the comments.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
797
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RE: American AA 115: 10/2010: LHR-JFK: << First >>

Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:45 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 11):
= It was served in a plastic fake champagne glass if I recall. What has been your experience?

Alex,

Here's a photo of the plastic madness I took on a previous flight (FCO-ORD).



Cheers!

797
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