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ClassicLover
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Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Fri Jun 17, 2022 4:38 pm

For all the pictures that go with this report, please click here!

I have flown American Airlines many times, but always on domestic itineraries within the United States. For a change, I decided to try them on a transatlantic flight from London Heathrow to New York JFK. At the moment, I think AA has a better on board offering than British Airways, when it comes to the food and so on.

My flight from Dublin arrived on time and I got the bus transfer to Terminal 5, which is where some American Airlines flights are currently operating from. Since my connection was quite short, I had a very short few minutes in the North Galleries Lounge before heading on to my gate.

Passengers who receive SSSS on their Boarding Pass are subject to extra security checks before flying. At Heathrow, I arrived at the gate and flashed it at the staff, who advised boarding had not yet commenced. When they saw the SSSS, they immediately and smilingly took me through and downstairs to be checked out.

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Two tables were setup near the entrance to the aerobridge and a jolly guy set about checking me. Shoes off, a delve into my cabin baggage and a pat down later and I was good to go. Others were also arriving for the same treatment as I bid the friendly people goodbye and then I headed down to the plane.

AA101 – London Heathrow to New York Kennedy (LHR-JFK)
25 January 2022
Boeing 777-300ER – N735AT
Seat: Business Class 4A
Departure: 09:30 Arrival: 12:29


I was met at the door by a flight attendant who directed me forward to my seat. Within moments I had my cabin bag stowed in the overhead locker and I set about checking out my surroundings. The American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER comprises of eight seats in first class up front, followed by 52 business class seats. Eight of these are in a mini-cabin of their own and that is where I elected to sit.

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I sat in 4A, where there are two windows, as opposed to row 3 which has only one. I do like to see outside when flying! The seat itself is the Safran Cirrus II, similar to that used by other airlines such as Cathay Pacific. Boarding continued and I relaxed, enjoying the fact I had made the flight with no hassles.

During boarding the crew come around with a pre-departure beverage, as the Americans call them. I took a plastic cup of Champagne, and I’m in two minds about it. Plastic is light, which means less weight to haul across the Atlantic. However it comes across as cheap, plus it’s plastic – does it even get recycled? What a quandary!

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The amenity kit is from Shinola and the headphones are Bang & Olufsen which were quite fine. After the safety demonstration, we headed into the air. Hot towels were distributed while I was checking out the amenity kit, then I selected a documentary on Anthony Bourdain called Road Runner which was very good. The 15.4″ screen is pleasantly large and makes watching things very easy.

I already knew what I was going to get for my transatlantic business lunch, as you can select your meal in the 30 day window before the flight. My choice was the Sous-vide Flat Iron Steak with roasted fingerling potatoes, sautéed green beans, tomatoes on the vine and red wine sauce. There is no dilly dallying among the American Airlines flight attendants, and the lunch service commenced promptly after departure.

First, a tablecloth is laid on your tray, and next come the drinks you asked for (Champagne and water for me!), plus hot nuts. Lunch comes on a single tray and you choose what bread you want. There was a shrimp starter – or prawns if you’re not from the US - a nice salad and of course the main.

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From the shrimp appetiser to the salad to the Flat Iron Steak, it was all very good indeed. I would probably say the steak was a little overcooked, but it was no big deal. As you can see, I hoovered it all up quite happily. For dessert I was offered an ice cream sundae, which is something people always look forward to on AA. When asked what toppings I wanted, I directed the Flight Attendant to surprise me. I’m very easy when it comes to sweet things, so there was no way she’d make a wrong choice.

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Of course, it was as delicious as I remembered it to be, so I was quite content. While attempting to take a selfie with the sundae (I am very crap at taking good selfies), the crew member noticed and took pity on me, offering to take the picture. That was very nice of her indeed!

With a bathroom located right behind my seat, there wasn’t far to go when needing the facilities. I found thing spic and span and liked the more upscale choice for the basin.

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You can get snacks during the flight, and then before landing is another small meal. The pies, fruit and chocolate were nice, certainly different to the afternoon tea you get at British Airways. The crisps came to the hotel with me. Soon after, we descended into New York and landed.

American Airlines transatlantic business class is pretty good all round. The seat is on par with other world class airlines, with accommodating and friendly on board service from the crew. There is plenty of food offered so nobody is going hungry, nor are they stingy with the drinks. Quality of the food was great, which should be no surprise to anyone after seeing my clean plate. That coupled with decent inflight entertainment made for a lovely jaunt across the pond.

Have you flown American Airlines transatlantic business class before? What do you think of it? Thank you for reading - remember, to see all the pictures that go with this report, click here - and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
 
F9Animal
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Re: Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Thu Jul 07, 2022 3:28 am

Wow!! AA's food has come a long ways in the last 2 years! Great TR!
 
ozark1
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Re: Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Thu Jul 07, 2022 5:19 pm

I agree with the plastic cheap look of the predeparture beverages. It has to do with a combination of the FAA, the company and the time frame. We don't want the possibility of glass breaking, Or something that required an immediate evacuation. When the plane moves, we are required to pick up the cups. Every other part of the first class service has glassware and linen. Also catering can be late, and on a long flight, there is so much to do before we are ready to depart.Plastic cups are always stocked on the aircraft,so it is used in order to give something to the pax in the predeparture sequence.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Wed Jul 13, 2022 8:32 am

F9Animal wrote:
Wow!! AA's food has come a long ways in the last 2 years! Great TR!


It certainly has! Glad you enjoyed the read :)

ozark1 wrote:
I agree with the plastic cheap look of the predeparture beverages. It has to do with a combination of the FAA, the company and the time frame. We don't want the possibility of glass breaking, Or something that required an immediate evacuation. When the plane moves, we are required to pick up the cups. Every other part of the first class service has glassware and linen. Also catering can be late, and on a long flight, there is so much to do before we are ready to depart.Plastic cups are always stocked on the aircraft,so it is used in order to give something to the pax in the predeparture sequence.


Thanks for the explanation there, that makes sense. It's just different to what happens on other airlines, but each carrier has their own way of doing service. It stood out to me, that's all - I'd rather have the pre-departure beverage than not, so I'll take it in plastic any day of the week.
 
Aeroflot001
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Re: Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:32 pm

Hey Trent, I'm curious what was in the pies? Meat? They look like muffins. Thanks
 
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usxguy
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Re: Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:17 am

Aeroflot001 wrote:
Hey Trent, I'm curious what was in the pies? Meat? They look like muffins. Thanks


2 types of quiche I believe
 
subramak1
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:21 pm

Re: Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:59 pm

If a there is choice between AA and BA in business class, I will always choose AA 77W. It is a no brainer, you can book the food in advance, the seats are much more comfy and not claustrophobic. Plus the Sundae.
 
AEROFAN
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Re: Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Sun Aug 28, 2022 12:26 am

ClassicLover wrote:
For all the pictures that go with this report, please click here!

Have you flown American Airlines transatlantic business class before? What do you think of it? .


I have indeed. London to JFK and Rome to JFK in September and October 2019. Never again. Its J product is underwhelming. I would only ever chose to fly it again if the price is materially better than competitors flying the same route.
 
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ClassicLover
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

Re: Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Sun Aug 28, 2022 2:42 pm

Aeroflot001 wrote:
Hey Trent, I'm curious what was in the pies? Meat? They look like muffins. Thanks


They're listed as Mini Pies -

Steak and Ale
Chicken and Wild Mushroom

They are quite tasty and pretty innocuous.

usxguy wrote:
2 types of quiche I believe


See above :)

subramak1 wrote:
If a there is choice between AA and BA in business class, I will always choose AA 77W. It is a no brainer, you can book the food in advance, the seats are much more comfy and not claustrophobic. Plus the Sundae.


At the moment, the AA catering is definitely better than British Airways as well.

The new BA Club Suite is very good, but until the catering returns later in 2022, I'll try to stick to AA.

AEROFAN wrote:
I have indeed. London to JFK and Rome to JFK in September and October 2019. Never again. Its J product is underwhelming. I would only ever chose to fly it again if the price is materially better than competitors flying the same route.


Well, things have changed and AA catering is better than BA at the moment. That will change, presumably!
 
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vhtje
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Re: Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Wed Aug 31, 2022 9:32 am

ozark1 wrote:
I agree with the plastic cheap look of the predeparture beverages. It has to do with a combination of the FAA, the company and the time frame. We don't want the possibility of glass breaking, Or something that required an immediate evacuation. When the plane moves, we are required to pick up the cups. Every other part of the first class service has glassware and linen. Also catering can be late, and on a long flight, there is so much to do before we are ready to depart.Plastic cups are always stocked on the aircraft, so it is used in order to give something to the pax in the predeparture sequence.


Thank you for your detailed explanation. But why is that an issue for AA, and not other carriers? I've never flown F on AA internationally, but surely they don't also offer plastic cups to passengers in F?
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: Trying the competition: American Airlines Business Class, London to New York on the Boeing 777-300ER

Thu Sep 01, 2022 6:39 am

vhtje wrote:
Thank you for your detailed explanation. But why is that an issue for AA, and not other carriers? I've never flown F on AA internationally, but surely they don't also offer plastic cups to passengers in F?


US based airlines used to serve pre-departure beverages in glass, but stopped because of FAA rules. Inflight, glass usage is ok. Do any of the N registered carriers serve PDBs using glassware?

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