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Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:23 pm


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American Airlines Flight 111: Roma Fiumicino (FCO) – Chicago O-Hare (ORD) Trip Report.

So the inevitable has arrived. Two wonderful weeks in the old continent have finally come to an end.

The beginning of this amazing trip took me to New York on a direct flight to CCS in Business Class. For those of you curious enough, here is the immortalized proof of that nice hop from the South to the North of the large American Continent.

AA Business Class: Caracas - New York (+Pics) (by 797 Sep 29 2010 in Trip Reports)

Merely a week later, a Boeing 777 took me from the 'Capital of the World' (as the AA pilot that took me there said on the PA), to the World’s Hub: London Heathrow. Unfortunately, there’s no record of that flight as the ‘International Flagship Service’ from AA on that specific route (JFK-LHR) was perhaps one of the worst I’ve had in transatlantic routings! And since I like to write reports on inspirational trips, then this was absolutely avoidable.

Just to have a quick taste of that trip, here's a photo of the T7 beast that took us across the pond to the UK:


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Good. After attending the Farnborough International Air Show for its three most important days, I went to one of the coolest airports in Europe to go to one of my favorite cities in the world. That was a flight in an AVRO-85 (first timer) from London City to Paris Orly. Amazing experience and I would totally recommend it for those of you who have the opportunity. LCY is a great airport with one of the most interesting approaches I have ever seen. In addition, the reverse-less AVRO-85 is an incredible machine with very curious capabilities. Also a must-do if you can! Here is the video of the landing in LCY:

London City Takeoff Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5RfbIL-kUU

London City Landing Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drlp08uj7h0

And here's a treat of what I saw at Farnborough!

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW MINI FEED:

A380 LANDING VIDEO

787 DREAMLINER TAKEOFF VIDEO

Back to my trip report, right after heading back to London (on a round trip from ORY), the next trip was down to my family’s hometown: ROME! My sister and I stayed there for 4 days and went to visit some relatives and do some work related business. Everything was great. Food, drinks, highways, food, drinks, cars… and of course, FOOD!. I believe I gained 400 kilos on the 4 days I was in Italy. Don’t blame me…

Down to business. Time to head back to America arrived. When I booked my tickets with AA, the schedule was as follows:

CCSJFKLHRFCOORDMIACCS

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Of these, only the CCSJFK and the MIACCS were booked in Business Class. The rest, in the good old Cattle Class – as fellow A.netter Ogre727 refers to it on a constant basis. (I keep referencing him on these terms!)

Anyways, looking at the long trip from FCO to ORD, and then a tight connection to MIA, I decided to give use to my most-desired miles.

I must say I live, eat, dream, and function in base of them AA miles. Since I joined the Citi program for collecting miles, they are ALL I care about. Therefore, spending them is quite a traumatic event to me. Nevertheless, I saw this as a good opportunity to exchange them for an opportunity to fly transatlantic in the fancy forward part of the plane... Why not?

So, I called the AAdvantage Gold Hotline and requested an upgrade for my sister and myself. I was given the unfortunate news that the Award Seats for my flight were fully booked, meaning I was going to be put on standby until further notice. I was depressed. I checked my reservation on a 6-hour daily basis and NOTHING!

Once I reached NYC, I continued to carry on with my impulsive duty. And there it was! All of the sudden my seating selection changed from the rear end of the 767, to the front. I literally yelled. I called my sister (not that she really cared) and wrote my friends just to let them know of the awesome hit.

All right... Enough blabbering. After a few days in Italy, the day to head over to the airport and begin praying to see some winglets in my 767 arrived. The flight was scheduled to leave at 11.30am and I woke up at 6, just to head over to the airport and enjoy my day. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel near FCO. I must say it was MUCH better than the regular Hilton, which is attached to the terminal and where the crew from airlines such as Emirates and Etihad stay during their layovers. It was cleaner, the rooms were in better shape, and the attention was superb. Must-do if you’re staying in FCO!

As we reached the stranded terminal 5 (where all US Airlines are located at), we headed over to the check-in counters. The place looked like a prison: Guards on the roof with automatic guns, ugly walls, pathetic pre-registering counters, and very limited spacing. Once we passed the pre-registering counters, we finally reached the actual check-in desks, which were much better.

Note the superior part of the hall, where the guards walk with their guns

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We checked-in in less than 10 minutes and were given our boarding passes immediately. Unfortunately, the check-in clerk gave me my boarding pass full of stupid markings, signaling the gate, boarding time and seat number – as if I were a darn first-timer. It looked hideous, full of them markings… I got pissed, so went straight to the automatic check-in kiosks and printed another set of boarding passes, just for my records! ☺

Anyways, once with the clean boarding passes in our hands, we went to have some farewell Italian breakfast in one of the airport’s cafes. The choice: two ‘Cornetti alla Marmellata’ (marmalade croissants) and a hot Cappuccino. Nostalgy, please come in!

With our stomachs full, time to head over to the boarding area finally arrived. Since T5 in FCO is separate from the rest, we had to take a shuttle to the main area. Naturally, we got to see some tarmac action, but nothing to interesting to be recorded.

Once we reached the terminal, we went to do some shopping at the duty-free shops. I got a Tumi wallet hoping to replace mine, which was already over 3 years old. Also some newspapers, magazines, gum, and local drinks.

Anyhow, having the privilege of being in the forward part of the plane gave us access to the terminal’s lounge. Accordingly, we headed down to the designed area and entered the nice lounge, which accommodates all the passengers of the non-SkyTeam Alliance carriers. Here are some shots:


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The Departures

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Once inside, we went for some more Cappuccino – trying to beat the sleepiness.

Cappuccino server

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Some Venezuelan heritage in Italy

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A taste of heaven with my favorite journal

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Bored down there, with no windows, I left my sister and went upstairs to see if our plane had any ‘things’ on the tip of its wings (like my sister calls it). Unfortunately, not everything is about luck. The plane came as plain as a cheeseburger with no ketchup. No winglets.

The 767 bound to JFK. Thanks to its delay, we were sent to a remote stand!

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My favorite Airline/Airplane in the world!

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Note the Rudder

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Our ride to ORD finally arrived, winglet-less

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According to the departure listings, our plane was supposed to park at gate G6 – where the other AA flight to JFK was about to depart. Unfortunately, the JFK flight was slightly delayed, making our plane head over to the remote stands. Have a look:

Parked at the remote stand

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With enough information gathered in my camera, I went back to my sister to get ready to head back up for boarding.

Roma Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) – Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
American Airlines Flight AA111
Boeing 767-323(ER)
N344AN
Business Class. Seat 4A/5B
Scheduled Departure: 11.30
Actual Departure: 12.41
Scheduled Arrival: 15.10
Actual Arrival: 15.50
Load Factor: 90%



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ryan C. Umphrey
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank Doering


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Paul Markman



Back in the main floor of the terminal we headed over to the assigned gate, where thousands of passengers decided to gather around and block any possible way out. The Business Class passengers were called in first to go through the small tunnel below that would take us to the buses. Unfortunately, Priority Access wont get you a private bus to the plane. All it does is let you board the bus first and then toss the coins and expect to be lucky to board quickly.


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The ride to the plane was fun, as usual. We got so see some nice planes from behind and finally reached the remote stand where our silvered bullet was parked. I must admit I love reaching a plane by bus. It makes it a lot more fun than using the good old jet bridges.

Meeting our ride from below

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Anyhow, I managed my way out of the bus without my carry-on (my sister took care of the job) while I snapped some photos of the B763. I believe spending 25K miles + $350 on my sister needed to see some return – somehow!


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The gates to... I'd say 'heaven' at this time!

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The last sniff of Italian air... for now!

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Finally, there it was. The Business Class I had been dreaming for the last 6 months! I was feeling so excited the Flight Attendants must have probably noticed. I tried to take some decent shots, but Italian passengers are always rushing and pushing behind, so I had to get out of the way very soon to let them through.

Apologies for the blurriness

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Our seats, located in Row 4, A and B, were FANTASTIC. Here are a couple shots.

Our place for the next 12 hours

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Other seats

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Finally inside the plane, on our seats, pictures taken, seat inspected, and environment checked - it was time to relax and enjoy! Not even 10 minutes passed when we were offered either a glass of Orange Juice or Champagne. Given the circumstances, I chose to go for the sparkling goodness.

Cheap-o 'containers'

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While other passengers were still boarding, I eagerly began to drift off and take the most out of this trip – regardless of any future eventualities.

...Still loading...

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Right before closing the doors, the Business Class crew team handed over the In-Flight Entertainment System, which unfortunately isn’t already hooked up to the seats. The media player came with the newest Bose Acoustic Noise Canceling headsets, ‘Quiet Comfort’ – which I definitely find it as a very nice feature of AA’s offerings.

The IFE inventory for this plane

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IFE Cart

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Already hooked up, quite nice IMHO

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Way to go, AA

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As I glanced at the IFE systems, the stair truck pulled back and we were free to go. Push back was slightly behind schedule and we were off to Runway 25.


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Pushing back

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Slats down, taxi to runway 25

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The cabin before departure - note the overhead bins and the spacious feeling

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Closer view to the Map Display

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Some other birds around FCO

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Let's race to Chicago, shall we?

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Not a long-haul, I presume  

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Off to Philly

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Off to Paris

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Uzbekistan

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Reaching the holding point of our departing runway, the captain announced the flight time to Chicago: 11 hours 10 minutes. I immediately noticed the windy environment in FCO, representing a quite strong crosswind for our takeoff.

Wind sock fully deployed

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At 0900 we lined up with the runway and rolled down to become airborne bound to the American Continent. Arrivederci Italia!


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Here's the video of our long takeoff. Cranck up them speakers  , quite nice sound coming out of those CF6-80C2B6 engines.

TAKEOFF VIDEO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7ZU-GHzzVY

Mediterranean Sea

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Cruise configuration

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Finally airborne, trying not to waste a second, I began using the media player and rolled into my comfy blanket.

IFE Startup

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Bose Headsets

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Passenger view of the scenario

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Gotta love the AA Artwork

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Our space

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The infamous "Leg Shot" only @ Airliners.net

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Needless to say, I began experimenting with the different positions the seat had to offer.


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Cabin View after takeoff

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Leveled at FL360, ready for meal time

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In a flash bite, the Menu was distributed along the cabin. Naturally, it was available both in English and Italian.

La Carte

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Closeup

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Wine List

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The Menu

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Somewhere over France

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Immediately after, the drinks cart came to us. I decided to go for my favorite drink: A double Scotch on the Rocks. Fantastic!

Flying the Levels with a Scotch on the Rocks

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It obviously didn’t come alone. Some nuts (not warm as the menu stated) joined the table to make a perfect pairing.


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Best pairing ever: Introducing Nuts & Scotch - only in American Airlines  

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The Moving Bar

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Drinking above the clouds

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After eating my sister’s nuts, and mine, the FA came to set up our dining table. We were handed some table clothes, and the usual paraphernalia.

The drinks cart came up once again and I decided to change for a nice red glass of wine. I went for the Santa Ema Barrel Select Reserve from Chile. Very nice wine! (I ended having over 5 glasses)  .


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Minutes later, the FA brought our first dish. The appetizer consisted on a Grilled Shrimp and Warm Smoked Salmon. I must disclose I’m not a big fan of Fish. Given the circumstances, however, I liked it this time! The setting was quite nice, all with the great not-plastic silverware.


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Ready to go

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Confession: I used to steal these when I was younger 

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The Shrimp

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The Salmon

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Right after I finished my first meal, the FA came with a plate of greens with a very thick Blue Cheese dressing. The veggies were very fresh and tasty. I was very satisfied. Enjoy the images.

The Salad

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In-between meals

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By the time we finished our salad, I looked out the window and we were leaving the European Continent for good. This was the last piece of land we’d see until we reached the Canadian grounds.

About to say goodbye to Europe

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And I say some winglets would look SO COOL on this plane! Bummer...

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My sister, not a big fan of food, hadn’t eaten pretty much of anything so far. She was quite exited for her next dish, as it was a nice plate of Pasta. Here it is:


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Always being a freak for proteins (and also not wanting to eat what my sister had) I had the Beef selection out of the Menu. Here’s the proof:


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The Gnocchi

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The Veggies

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Very well cooked. Thumbs up, AA.

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The plate consisted on a very well cooked piece of beef with potato gnocchis and steamed veggies. The sauce was a little bit too fatty and the gnocchi quite heavy. I was not a big fan of my dish – yet I ate it all!

My sister’s plate, on the other hand, was served warm. It wasn’t as hot as it should have been and that led to see my sister not finishing her food, once again!

Anyways, quite stuffed already, all I wanted to do was finish up with a nice dessert. Accordingly, the smiling crew came to us with a gorgeous cart full of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and of course, all the toppings you could imagine.

Dessert Cart

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For me, this is the best AA has in its repertoire. The sundae ice cream was amazing. I had the hot fudge dressing and nuts all over it. Here’s the immortalized proof of it (don’t drool your keyboards, please!):

Serving the madness

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Behold!

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Say hello

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Closer look

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Even closer look

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Random Look

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Cool Look

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Dig in...

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Geez..... that's enough 

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Finally full (thank God!), I decided to close my window shades, wrap myself again into the cozy blankets, and begin enjoying my dozing moment.


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I got the Premium Amenity Kit from the space below my seat, and got the goodies I needed to relax for a bit.


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All set, I began watching my first movie. What a nice thing to do. Those miles are never enough, I say!

From MY point of view 

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After the first movie finished, my eyes betrayed me and shut down for 5 hours! Wonderful!

I woke up, and there she was, my sister, eyes wide opened… didn’t sleep for a second, and was naturally hungry… I truly don’t understand women sometimes! She has this stupid prejudice that won’t allow her to ever sleep on a plane. Bahh…

Anyways, I woke up as fresh as ever and looked at the moving map display to see where we were:


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Too bad I missed the glaciers!


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T minus 3 hours...

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Back in America

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Although I couldn't see a thing! Nice cushion below

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The cabin right before the second meal service:


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Not really hungry by then, the crew came in with ANOTHER plate of food. This time, UNO’s Four Cheese Pizza… why the hell not?

Uno's Pizza

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Here’s the salad that came with the Pizza.


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Being the Godess of bad choices, my sister went for the ‘Turkey Sandwich,’ which in the end was ANYTHING but that.


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She obviously didn’t eat it… just carved through it. Geez!

In addition, my sister also got a salad... which wasn't touched as well!


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And to help the meals down our system, we chose the wonderful All-Star American Sparkling Red Wine, sugarless: DIET COKE.


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I couldn’t finish my pizza. I was stuffed. However, there’s always space for desert – yet again.

A very nice plate of fruits with hot (not warm!) chocolate cookies marked the end of an amazing overall feast.


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Cookie madness. AMAZING, warm, chewy. Gotta love AA's treats...!

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By the time I finished my fruit, the crew came with the Coffee and Tea cart. I decided to go for some black coffee to help my cookie through the way.

I insist, the AA logos and art are one of the best out there...

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Some milk would've probably won the competition, huh?

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The service was most definitely a positive thing out of American Airlines. I was very satisfied (unlike my sister!)

Over Canadian Airspace

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Right before entering the US airspace, we were given some sparkling water while we filled our immigration forms. What a nice way to fill those annoying I-94s, I say!

Sparkling Water & Lemon

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I love this picture... 

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Almost there!  
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Done with that, the purser came into the cabin to address passengers by their last names. I was very impressed by the nice lady. Here’s a picture of her greeting the passengers in the front row.


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Right after she addressed my sister and me as husbands (and laughed as she was stood corrected) we began flying over Lake Michigan. Depression began to kick in, as my trip as coming to an end.

Over Lake Michigan

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Set up for arrival. Sad mood!

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Over Chi-town!

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We immediately passed next to ORD and flew out for 15 minutes, until we turned back to make a very long final approach.

Passing next to ORD

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Turning left to join the final approach

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Some random airport along our approach path

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Here’s the landing for you to enjoy in video:

LANDING VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdST8Ynjf2M

That’s that. The flight was definitely over.

@ ORD

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An 11-hour flight turned out to be a 5-hour flight with lots of great things. I got to eat, watch two movies, sleep, eat again and enjoy every second of this great experience. All there’s left, is look forward for more opportunities like this one.

Conclusions:

American Airlines has a huge issue. Their coach service has nothing to do with their Business Class product. Not that it needs to, but the transatlantic, so called Flagship Service on their 777s coach is perhaps the worst I have ever encountered, after Iberia’s.

I would like to see a much better service in the back from now on. It’s not possible that for paying less you need to get a bus-like service with moody flight attendants and uncomfortable seats. True that the more you pay, the better the service. But there should be some boundaries that they need to attain.

Business Class, however, ended up being up the ranks. I loved every aspect of it.

The crew, albeit senior, was very polite and professional through all the way. They were courteous and always looking to make your trip enjoyable, and for people like me, unforgettable.

For those of you who travel the world in top-notch carriers, this must be a hilarious type of service, I know. But for an American carrier, I think it’s quite good to begin with.

I presume services in Delta and Continental surpass American Airlines for quite a gap. I think once AA upgrades its seats to a more lie-flat type, and revamps its brand, it will be able to compete with the big guys.

If any of you asked me, would you do it again? I would say, yes! Traveling up front, with all the comforts that come with it, makes the trip an all-different experience. I deplaned in Chicago as if nothing happened – and that, after an 11-hour flight, is priceless.

Unfortunately, Chicago was a mess. It took us 3 hours to clear immigration, leading us to miss our connection to MIA. Thankfully, we were placed in the next flight to MIA, always in Business Class. Obviously, the old Business Class that we all hate in those 757s which end up being more of a disappointment than an overall comfort .

For me, it means the world to fly up front. Every time I do it I try to enjoy every single nanosecond of it. This time, I truly touched the sky.

I've been told the AA Business Class service is way better in the 767 than in the 777 - given the large number of seats they have in the latter. I would indeed like to try that and establish a comparison. For those of you who've been lucky enough to try both, please do enlighten me!

I hope you enjoyed reading my report. I enjoyed living it, and writing it for you all.

All there's left now, are memories of an awesome trip!


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Comments are very much appreciated.

For those of you who'd like to see some more pictures from Farnborough, please go to this Facebook page for Airliners Magazine:

http://www.facebook.com/AirlinersMag

There, go to the Farnborough Air Show Album and enjoy!

Thanks all!

Enrique.
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
Avianca
Posts: 5365
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:39 pm

Great Report Brother! amazing, once we have travel together and have to make the licour stocks empty!

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Immediately after, the drinks cart came to us. I decided to go for my favorite drink: A double Scotch on the Rocks. Fantastic!

was it at least Buchanitas?

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
(I ended having over 5 glasses)

Didnt expect anything else from you!.

Btw, you should put in your next time a little bit more pictures of the Ice Cream! lol  
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
Luftfahrer
Posts: 976
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:27 am

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:04 pm

Another good report Enrique!

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Our ride to ORD finally arrived, winglet-less

I'm sure it won't be for long anymore. In a couple of years, they will all have them, and the non-wingletted aircraft will be the more special ones.  
Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Our seats [...] were FANTASTIC.

...especially in contrast to the old ones on AA's domestic F class.  
Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
the In-Flight Entertainment System, which unfortunately isn’t already hooked up to the seats

I don't quite understand why some airlines do this. It would seem the refurbishment didn't take place too long ago, so the technical prerequisites were certainly given to install it in the armrests or the seat in front.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
quite nice sound coming out of those CF6-80C2B6 engines.

Yes, the spool-up sound is quite distinctive. It is actually better audible when you sit before the wing.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Passenger view of the scenario

To be honest, when I first saw a picture of the IFE screen, I thought it was the FA control panel. Looks way too 'technical' for my liking.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Nuts & Scotch - only in American Airlines

Why? Do airlines like UA or DL not carry scotch on their airplanes?  
Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Confession: I used to steal these when I was younger

I can completely comprehend the temptation of that! Seems like we have similar penchants regarding airline merchandise.  
Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Dessert Cart

Yummie...

M.

[Edited 2010-10-02 15:53:36]
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
767747
Posts: 2216
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:25 pm

Thanks, Enrique for another good report!

Looks like you had a really good flight with AA in J .. the food looked pretty good! Seems like they really offered you a lot of meals; that's great!

I really like flying on the 767 .. its definitely a comfortable plane to travel in. The Business Class looked really nice; those seats look great!

I hope I can cash in some miles with AA soon, and take a trip up front in the near future .. I haven't flown in J or F with AA internationally ..

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
Avianca
Posts: 5365
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:29 pm

what I do not understand is that AA basically serves the same food on the second service in eco and business... in both cases the same pizza... just nicer presented.
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
MAH4546
Posts: 25995
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:35 am

Great trip report, very much enjoyed it.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
I presume services in Delta and Continental surpass American Airlines for quite a gap. I think once AA upgrades its seats to a more lie-flat type, and revamps its brand, it will be able to compete with the big guys.

Honestly, in my opinion it does not compare - AA's premium cabin service are far exceed that of other U.S. carriers, especially when it comes to food and the seat. Remember, on all but about one dozen Delta planes, you have a recliner seat that is not much different than AA's domestic business class on trans-cons. AA is one of the big guys, so it easily competes.

Coach is another story - AA is bottom of the barrel.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 4):
what I do not understand is that AA basically serves the same food on the second service in eco and business... in both cases the same pizza... just nicer presented.

Not exactly. The pizza served in coach is a very basic, microwavable margarita pizza.

The pizza served in business is Uno's pizza, with better ingredients and oven cooked.

One pizza is not always like the other, and the Uno's pizza is so popular among premium fliers that it is offered on every single trans-Atlantic west-bound return, with rotating toppings/stuffings every month.

[Edited 2010-10-02 17:39:43]
a.
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:06 am

There you have it. AA wins for catering once again. Great report!
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
EL-AL
Posts: 1471
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:01 am

Dude, you sould have started this report with a warning: "Do not read when hungry", i'm starving now!!

Seriusly, fantastic report - highly detailed with great pics. I didn't know AA has such good J class service, the american airlines are usually less good in JCL then others.

I flew out of FCO's T5 myself last year - it is using only for US & Israel flights. Bad expereance, I wrote a TR about it then EL-AL At It's Best: TLV-MXP, FCO-TLV (+pics) (by EL-AL Oct 12 2009 in Trip Reports)

Good job, I felt as if I'm flying with you.

LY

[Edited 2010-10-02 19:05:21]
every day is a good day to fly
 
Julian773
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:39 pm

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:41 am

Very good report!
I enjoyed reading it and the AA business cabin looks good as well!
Man that food really makes me hungry!!!!

Thanks for sharing

Julian
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1861
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:31 am

Great advertising for AA C.

I agree with you about the C lounges in Rome. It's unpleasant that there are no windows. After a while I had to go into the main terminal as it was more pleasant. But they had nice (fattening) fruit juices; apricot, peach.

I find AA Y transatlantic pretty good. Seats and legroom at 32" is not bad. Food pretty good except now they are back at serving these awful cookies as a desert. The choice of entertainment is very limited. I prefer AA Y than CO Y.
Their food in Y is even worse and the legroom on their 777s is 31". But the entertainment is better.

I also liked transatlantic Iberia in terms of seat legroom 32" and decent food but that was 3 years ago. Crew not the most charming though.

We have a lot in common. When I was a kid (a long time before you) I also used to nick the cuttlery, glasses and blankets as a souvenir. I am embarassed to admit that.

Thanks for a great report.

[Edited 2010-10-03 02:33:10]
 
777ord
Posts: 681
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:04 pm

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:50 am

fantastic report! Glad to see you got to enjoy AA J class service! It looks like they've really upgraded it in the last year or two! Your pictures of the meal are quite artsy. You make me miss my old job!!

I am curious, how was the LF from what you for the AA flights from FCO. That route is always packed! Yet, for some reason, seasonal!
 
TravelsUK
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:16 am

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
the purser came into the cabin to address passengers

Yee Gods! She, the purser, looks older than my Grandmother, as do the rest of crew for that matter. Are there no young good looking crew on AA?

Great TR by the way, the food looks very good indeed!

Cheers!

[Edited 2010-10-03 04:18:04]
757 flights 1 378 350 km 34.4x around earth 2024 h 18 min 74.3 days 12.0 weeks
 
DALelite
Posts: 1318
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:35 pm

i became a fan of your great TR lately.


cheers: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
 
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CARST
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:47 pm

Loved your TR, great pics! The food onboard looked delicious!!!
 
Globetraveller
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:01 pm

Hi there 797,

You have made me very hungry indeed. The catering really looked excellent and your numerous great pictures surely did it justice.

Thank you for all your efforts in putting this trip report and the previous one together.

Globetraveller
 
CF-CPI
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:52 pm

Kudos to you for the detailed pics of the food. It's enterprising to photograph your sister's alternate choices and give us a complete sense of the menu.

I looked at her 'turkey' sandwich, and perhaps I missed it .... where was the turkey? :

I noted the champagne on the menu was Pommery. Was this served in your welcome champagne or did they opt for a less expensive one prior to take off?

Finally, quite impressed with your chance to see the 787 up close. Next year at this time, I hope you'll fly on one and give us the type of detail you showed in this report!
 
CPAir
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:37 pm

Great report, with lot of information and sense of humor. Thanks for sharing.
 
sfflyer123
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:29 pm

That food looks fantastic! thanks for the excellent TR!
 
b707forever
Posts: 135
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:40 am

Gracias Enrique. I enjoyed reading the report and am so impressed you could sleep for 5 hours reclining. I slide down the seats and keep waking up, on Continental anyway, haven't tried the AA J seat. If it's not flat I can't sleep, like your sister!

The food and service looked decent. No, AA is not an SQ, AF, LH but they're OK. The sundaes are always good, as are the chocolate chip cookies. AA has always been a 'business persons' airline. They are reliable to get you from point a to b (most times) in a clean and professional manner - beyond that, I don't expect much, and definately next to nothing in the economy cabin, that's for sure.

Glad you enjoyed it... and yes, the pictures made me hungry too!
 
44k
Posts: 174
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:44 am

Thanks for the TR! A truly enjoyable read and view.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 1):
I presume services in Delta and Continental surpass American Airlines for quite a gap. I think once AA upgrades its seats to a more lie-flat type, and revamps its brand, it will be able to compete with the big guys.



You presume wrong. AA is definitely up there with DL and CO, and in some aspect are far better!
 
triple7man
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:39 am

Thank you for the TR. AA has had the ORD-FCO-ORD flight now for several years. When I flew JFK-FCO-JFK in the early 1970's it was on Pan Am or TWA in economy class. Usually it was very good.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
The crew, albeit senior, was very polite and professional through all the way. They were courteous and always looking to make your trip enjoyable, and for people like me, unforgettable.

Flight attendants, pilots and most everybody else bid according to seniority. There is no age limit as to how long flight attendants can work, and there are many with over 40 years. The service is usually very good.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
I've been told the AA Business Class service is way better in the 767 than in the 777 - given the large number of seats they have in the latter. I would indeed like to try that and establish a comparison. For those of you who've been lucky enough to try both, please do enlighten me!

The 777's have 37 seats in business, the 767's have 30 seats. All my international flying on AA has been on the 777 in first class. I have flown on the 767's (both 200 and 300) when it was 3 class.
It looks like the business class service is very comparable to first class on the 3 class flights. I fly between NRT and US several times a year and I always like the first class service on AA.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Confession: I used to steal these when I was younger

I did it when I was younger too!  
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
MasterBean
Posts: 173
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:25 pm

I love the photos of the food, I am now extremely hungry. It reminds me of my AA flight across the pond where we were given a snack box with every chocolate bar you could think of. Oh and the fact you could get Coke or Pepsi.
 
MAH4546
Posts: 25995
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:35 am

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
I've been told the AA Business Class service is way better in the 767 than in the 777 - given the large number of seats they have in the latter. I would indeed like to try that and establish a comparison. For those of you who've been lucky enough to try both, please do enlighten me!

Just saw this, and, yes that is correct, but the differences are slight. They usually involve better appetizers, the choice of cheese or warm nuts (only warm nuts on the 772) and a enhanced dessert service. I also believe 763 has a better wine selection in C, but I'm not a wine drinker, I stick to the hard liquor, so I don't know first hand.
a.
 
klkla
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:59 am

Nice trip report.

I have flown AA in international business before and never had bad in-flight service (mediocre maybe but never bad) but I hate those portable T.V. things. The selection is awful and they're cumbersome.

You seem very entusiastic, almost as much as MAH, do you work for the airline? If not, why so enthusiastic (not that it's a bad thing just curious)?

I noticed you started your thread with this image:


This is quite possibly the worst advertisement image ever for any airline. I've always thought this looks like a coffin, not a luxury business class seat. Just an observation about the ad, not the seat itself, which is actually comformatable enough for me. I would prefere full lie-flat of course but I have been able to sleep in these seats with no problem and they are better than recliner seats so AA should get some points for at least being consistant and converting they're entire international fleet all at one time.

Great report!
 
ogre727
Posts: 552
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:58 pm

Enrique,

Your trip reports are usually very good, but you have outdone yourself with this one... very good pics, thorough descriptions, interesting comments, etc.

Now, I have to say I have flown AA transatlantic quite a few times in J, and would never refer to the experience as "flying in heaven" like you have... but then again... you are young and impressionable...

Good job.
I am between the devil and the deep blue sea
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8303
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:58 pm

Nice report and pictures, glad you enjoyed your AA flight.

I have to say, from my experience, the AA J cabin on the AA 763 fleet is pretty poor, the legroom and space is way below par, and the lack of fixed IFE is inexcusable, what on earth were they thinking when they rolled out this product?

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
a Boeing 777 took me from the 'Capital of the World' (as the AA pilot that took me there said on the PA), to the World’s Hub: London Heathrow

- i like this, nice.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
I must admit I love reaching a plane by bus. It makes it a lot more fun than using the good old jet bridges.

- Agreed, just wish the buses were not so packed.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
the Business Class crew team handed over the In-Flight Entertainment System, which unfortunately isn’t already hooked up to the seats

- Yes, poor!

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
The infamous "Leg Shot" only @ Airliners.net

- See what I mean, it's poor.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
the FA came with a plate of greens with a very thick Blue Cheese dressing.

- Hmm, I don't like all the dressing they pour over the salads, it's far too much, a salad is supposed to be a light refresing dish!

All in all, not impressd with the catering or presentation, they still have work to do - I say that & I like AA.

Cheers

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
797
Topic Author
Posts: 1434
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:53 am

Hello everyone, thanks so much for the replies. I am very glad you all enjoyed the report!

Apologies for the late replies. I've been out and finally found some time to get back to your comments.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 1):
Great Report Brother! amazing, once we have travel together and have to make the licour stocks empty!

Thanks! I bet we'd manage to do that quite well!

Quoting el-al (Reply 7):
Dude, you sould have started this report with a warning: "Do not read when hungry", i'm starving now!!

I am terribly sorry. Will do for the next one  
Quoting lychemsa (Reply 9):
I also liked transatlantic Iberia in terms of seat legroom 32" and decent food but that was 3 years ago. Crew not the most charming though.

Iberia is the worst airline I've ever flown in terms of legspace and service... sure, on Transatlantic flights...

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 9):
We have a lot in common. When I was a kid (a long time before you) I also used to nick the cuttlery, glasses and blankets as a souvenir. I am embarassed to admit that.

Well, thanks to my thieving acts, I now have a wonderful collection of memorabilia from VIASA, Iberia, Alitalia, American, and United! So I don't regret it 
Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 11):
Yee Gods! She, the purser, looks older than my Grandmother, as do the rest of crew for that matter. Are there no young good looking crew on AA?

I often wonder if some accident should happen, who helps who? 
Quoting DALelite (Reply 12):
i became a fan of your great TR lately.

Thanks so much! This is the main reason for me to write reports! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting globetraveller (Reply 14):
Thank you for all your efforts in putting this trip report and the previous one together.

Not a problem! Stay posted for the next one which will be quite cool and unique... 
Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 15):
I looked at her 'turkey' sandwich, and perhaps I missed it .... where was the turkey? :

That's what I said... there was no turkey in it. And if there was, we didn't notice it! It was pretty bad.

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 15):
I noted the champagne on the menu was Pommery. Was this served in your welcome champagne or did they opt for a less expensive one prior to take off?

We had cheap champagne at the beginning, and in plastic cups - pretty cheap, IMHO.

Quoting b707forever (Reply 18):
Gracias Enrique. I enjoyed reading the report and am so impressed you could sleep for 5 hours reclining. I slide down the seats and keep waking up, on Continental anyway, haven't tried the AA J seat. If it's not flat I can't sleep, like your sister!

I am usually a good sleeper in airplanes, especially when wine and fatigue are mixed in! I did slide down quite a bit, but didn't stop me from dozing off!  

Thanks everyone!

Enrique
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
797
Topic Author
Posts: 1434
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:07 pm

Quoting klkla (Reply 23):
You seem very entusiastic, almost as much as MAH, do you work for the airline? If not, why so enthusiastic (not that it's a bad thing just curious)?

I am always very enthusiastic. If you read my previous Trip Reports, you'll notice how every time I fly in Business I tend to be overwhelmed with all the nice features and comforts. AA is my airline, yes... I fly them 90% of the time as I am in their mileage program and flying out of CCS and MIA narrows you options to basically zero...

Quoting klkla (Reply 23):
This is quite possibly the worst advertisement image ever for any airline. I've always thought this looks like a coffin, not a luxury business class seat.

I like it. I don't think it's a coffin. Although, I recently flew in TK 77W and A343 in J and you're right, they definitely are better than the J seat in AA.

Quoting ogre727 (Reply 24):
Your trip reports are usually very good, but you have outdone yourself with this one... very good pics, thorough descriptions, interesting comments, etc.

Thanks! I keep quoting you in most of them... shame!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 25):
I have to say, from my experience, the AA J cabin on the AA 763 fleet is pretty poor, the legroom and space is way below par, and the lack of fixed IFE is inexcusable, what on earth were they thinking when they rolled out this product?

Agreed. They need to revamp both the seats and the IFE... who knows, maybe it's something temporal.

Thanks for the comments!

Enrique.
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
MSS658
Posts: 2453
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RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:41 pm

Nice report! It looks like AA treated you better on this segment than on the CCS-JFK-LHR segments.

I love the angle that has been used for the mealpics.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
797
Topic Author
Posts: 1434
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:30 pm

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 28):
Nice report! It looks like AA treated you better on this segment than on the CCS-JFK-LHR segments.

You're right. This is what bothers me about American. They have such a different type of product in between segments that won't allow them to create a 'stable' brand. Although I immensely enjoyed both flights, clearly this leg on the 767 marked the difference.

Thanks for reading!

Enrique.
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
 
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fbgdavidson
Posts: 3871
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:19 pm

Very nice report! Great pictures!

I quite like AA's J seat for dayflights, it has lots of adjustability and is rather comfortable, although the seat in front does seem rather too close!

I do have a soft spot for the ice cream sundaes (even the pre-made ones you got on shorter domestic flights!) though even if I wished they did something more grown up   


Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Not even 10 minutes passed when we were offered either a glass of Orange Juice or Champagne.

10 minutes? Usually in premium cabins I get offered a drink within 10 seconds of finding my seat...

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
After eating my sister’s nuts

Bad choice of words  
Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 5):
One pizza is not always like the other, and the Uno's pizza is so popular among premium fliers that it is offered on every single trans-Atlantic west-bound return, with rotating toppings/stuffings every month.

My parents even got it in F on LHR-JFK!

If you're trying to instill some aspects of a premium experience into your product (as any airline should be doing with a business or first product) then I think Uno's isn't the best way to go about that....what next, Applebee's baby back ribs and Cheesecake Factory desserts?  
Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 15):
I noted the champagne on the menu was Pommery. Was this served in your welcome champagne or did they opt for a less expensive one prior to take off?

Is there less expensive champagne than Pommery NV?   

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 25):
- Hmm, I don't like all the dressing they pour over the salads, it's far too much, a salad is supposed to be a light refresing dish!

The American way...and I don't mean American Airlines..
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
lhr380
Posts: 2453
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:39 pm

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:22 pm

Why am I suddenly STARVING!!!! Those shots of the food could make it into inflight guides....

Great report on a decent old bird. Loving the 76 at the Moment and need to get on another soon.


Thanks again
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
al2365
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 2:48 am

RE: Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids)

Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:37 am

Enrique, Your trip report is excellent, the pictures and videos are great. Once again I have been proven correct on choosing to go with Continental (United) for all my long haul flying. American just does not par up to Continental (United).
IFE, seating, food, all of it is better in my opinion with Continental (United). I appreciate your enthusiasm though, I can tell you really enjoy flying in the front, can't blame you for that, but AA just is not up to par with International or Domestic carriers I have tried personally.

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