American Airlines, JFK-LHR, 777-300, First Class

Whilst travelling back from Grand Cayman I was able to do a deal with a member of American Airline’s AAdvantage scheme to upgrade from Business to First on AA’s new 777-300 aircraft.

My connecting flight from Miami was a decent walk to the Flagship Lounge which was pretty busy at around 4.30pm when I arrived. I left at around boarding time and walked to Gate 2, right at the end of the terminal. Just as boarding was supposed to start, the agent told us that boarding was delayed, on the instructions of ‘Tower’. As there was no definite time for departure now, I went back to the lounge. After about 30 minutes we were sent as boarding had actually started.

Before getting on, there was a moment to take a picture of the huge tail, over the jetbridge:
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Walking down the jet bridge I was welcomed on board and directed to my seat, in the second row of First Class. (There are only two rows). Boarding was via 2L and so there was a moment to walk through the mini Business Class cabin to my seat.
My initial impression was that the seat felt quite private (not as much as with Singapore or Emirates of course), but still pretty nice:

Headphones, paperwork and menus were waiting. I quite like this as you can have a look during boarding and taxi. The Bose headphones are in a little compartment at head level (when seated) and the socket is in that cupboard also. Cleverly, there is a mirror inside to check for ‘eye-shade hair’ when you wake up.
There were no pajamas available so I could not get changed.

Taking my seat I had a moment to look around the cabin.

There is plenty of overhead space, except over the centre of Row 1, where there is oddly none.

The cabin feels much smaller than the older 777s. Of course it is two rows rather than 4, but also because the new seats are so high there is less of an open and airy feel. Personally I quite like the enhanced privacy.

When sitting for take-off and landing, you have to have your seat facing forward. However, it can be move about 25 degrees to line up with the footrest once in the air.

The blanket, duvet, pillow and bed pad are all in the plastic bag under the TV.

The remote control is under the cupboard at head height, and you can also control the display by touching the screen.

As I tested out the seat I found that cleaning had left some ‘souvenirs’ of the last passenger:

The crew introduced themselves and I asked whether I could have the meal fairly quickly as I wanted to sleep. The answer was that the meal ‘sort of flows’ which was a bit disappointing. However, in the end the meal service was pretty quick.

Wine and water were offered pretty quickly, with warm nuts:

DINNER
Amuse-Bouche
Bacon Wrapped Date and Apricot with cantaloupe

Starters
Shrimp Escabeche with peruvian purple potatoe salad
Herb crusted beef tenderloin with fingerling potatoes, goats cheese and tomatoes

Soup
Sweet Potato with red curry

Salad
Seasonal greens with fresh vegetables, hearts of palm and sweet and spicy pecans

Entrees
Grilled Fillet of Beef, with foyot sauce, roasted root vegetables and garlic sauteed broccolini

Chicken Tikka Masala
Seared Tilapia Fillet
Whole Wheat Penne Pasta with a choice of sauces

Dessert – well a menu for dessert is promised in the main menu but this didn’t appear – much like the pajamas! Ice-Cream sundae or Fresh Fruit Salad were offered by the crew.

I was keen to get some sleep and so set the bed up myself using the control panel on the right:

The bed is pretty long and I was able to stretch out nicely. Before bed the crew offered a breakfast pre-order card which I declined as I wanted to sleep as long as possible.

The cabin remained cool during the flight which was great and I woke, just an hour before landing as we crossed Ireland. The crew offered breakfast, but I declined.

We made up the boarding delay time in the air and got to Heathrow pretty much on time. Leaving by Door 2, it was a long walk to UK immigration. Several planes were all getting in to T3 at the same time, but as the IRIS machine was working I was though pretty quickly. Lots of Customs staff were ready in the Green Lane, but I assume they were targeting key flights.

The First Class Amenity kit comes in a handy tablet case, which my iPad has recently adopted as its new home.

OVERALL

It’s a great plane and I prefer the seat to United’s First Class. The service was good and I am now looking for ways to try it on the longer segment to/from LA, as I think it would be great to enjoy for a longer period. A measure of how much I enjoyed it is that I will try to get 77W whenever flying American.

Comments

  1. The seat actually rotates a full90 degrees so you can use the shelf next to the seat as a desk, if needed..

    Eric

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