Review: American Airlines First Class in the Boeing 777 from London to New York
I had it on my list for quite some time, to take a look at the new first class of American airlines. In the past I didn’t get the chance and didn’t make sense, since 7 hours are not enough for first class, especially when you can have a nice Business Class product in the 777.
But now on my trip to Hawaii it really made sense, especially cause I wanted to look at the new A321 Transcon product.
As always I started in Berlin Tegel, where I had visited the British Airways lounge for many times and described it in my reviews, so I don’t want to take it up again. In London flights board from Terminal 3 for American Airlines, so I took the bus from T5 to T5. Passing security control in T3, I realized it was completely empty on this Friday afternoon. I then went to Cathay Pacific first class lounge.
Lounges im T3 in London
Cathay? Yeah right. In T3 you find many lounges. Travelling with OneWorld carriers and having first class tickets or an Emerald Status, you can use the flagship lounge of American Airlines, the ones by British Airways or Cathay. To make a better choice, here are some brief advices:
British Airways First Class Lounge in T3:
Separate restaurant area for first class passengers, extensive offer of food in the restaurant and as buffet. Beverages of all kinds, Champaign and spirits. View only from the restaurant. Many showers and worth a visit.
American Airlines Flagship Lounge in T3:
Weaker offer of food than British Airways, big lounge with comfortable seats and places to work. Snacks and beverages sufficient. Unfortunately no view.
Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge:
Different than the lounges I already described you get a nice view on the takeoff point from here and therefore it’s my first choice. Small buffet with warm and cold dishes, freshly made pasta on request and enough beverages.
Since I personally put an emphasis on view and still don’t drink any alcohol, the choice was easy to me. If you’re at T3 for the first time, whether in business or first class, just do some “lounge hopping” and experience the different offers. Access is granted to all OneWorld members.
We started at Gate 42, which seems to be kind of “at the end of the world”. It’s the gate’s last terminal, but doable. I don’t quite understand why we had to cram out our passports and answer questions like “did anybody give you something to take with you?”, but it is what it is. We got a “security bump” in our passports and off we went. Nearly on time at 4:20 P.M. boarding started, even though the crew arrived just shortly before.
Arriving on board we were navigated but not accompanied to our seats. Not that I needed that, but other airlines don’t act like that. It might be because the crew was late today and they warted to takeoff on time. Shortly after we were offered beverages and stuff to read. It’s strange to get a plastic cup, whether you drink water or Champaign, but this is American and not uncommon here. They didn’t continue the plastic stuff after takeoff though.
Amenity kit, pillows and blankets were already placed at the seat, so we were ready for takeoff.
Arranged in a 1-2-1 constellation in first class, middle seats were separated through an adjustable separation for more privacy. The seat was well proportioned, could have been a little softer but is a matter of taste in the end.
You find storage at many places of the seat. For example in the foot area for shoes, infront for magazines and under the second table, which is a kind of desk towards the window, for your notebook. It’s quite sophisticated and increases comfort.
But the seat is interesting for another reason, justifying the second table towards the window: it can be skewed for 90 degrees to the side and therefore offers extra space in the foot area under the third window. So you can use the second table as desk, sit comfortably and enjoy a fantastic view on the clouds. THIS is a ways to work.
To work you often need power, which is provided sufficiently on board. In the little cupboard you find a mirror, but also two fully functional international sockets, a USB socket (even one for your phone) and audio plugs. Also headphones can be plugged in and hung up.
The seat can be adjusted via touch remote, which can be found on the window side. It comes with pre set up positions for takeoff, eating, lounge or sleeping and can of course be manually adjusted as well, including massage function.
Under the “desk” you find a shelf for small stuff, water bottles or bag pack. If you don’t want to eat alone you can invite guests to sit on the ottoman, unfold the table and eat together.
My company though of the light as too dark, I think it’s sufficient. But that’s a matter of taste. I prefer not too high light, because it doesn’t annoy me as a neighbor when somebody wants to read or so.
After the meals and work you should have a little nap, also to accustom to New York times. Therefore you can transform the seat into a flat bed with the ottoman as extension. The seat itself gets a little bedding and then becomes a comfortable and soft bed for a good night. So… good night!
After eating on the connection flight to London and in Cathay lounge, I continued on board. As Amuse-Bouche American Airlines served “Chicken Parkoa with Mango Chutney”, which was a little hard but delicious. We then got salmon or “herb crusted beef tenderloin” as alternative. I took the beef, which was really good and then salad with honey mustard dressing and no the mushroom soup.
Warm buns, salt and pepper and a nicely prepared table with white sheet and round the experience.
But then it was time for one of the four main courses. My decision was easy: beef with gnocchi. It really delicious and the beef was nicely pink, not too well done. My company had muscles, which is why today you see more than one course ☺.
Then we got what main course and starter cannot replace: the dessert. Different than at many other airlines, at American Airlines you get a special menu for it. Besides the classic and for American Airlines typical ice cream sundae with topping of choice, I took the special sundae. Today it’s a “mocha Sundae with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and coffee topping”.
A quick look on the beverage menu: Besides the Champagne Moutard Vintage 2008, they serve two red and two white wines. Additionally there is a special selection that’s not on the menu and three dessert wines with a wonderful port wine I took a sip of. The big choice of spirits can be seen on the picture.
The service was very fast and saves you time to sleep or work.
Here a shot of the food before landing at JFK. The pizza was delicious.
But also inbetween nobody had to starve, because American Airlines builds up a little buffet during the flight.
Amenity Kit, pajamas and bed
The amenity kit is one you can also use afterwards. It doesn’t come in a typical bag form, but is a bag for iPad, iPad Mini, Kindle or any other tablet. So it’s not thrown away but also used afterwards.
Of course you also get pajamas in first class, coming in a decent black bag, which is also perfectly suited as shoe bag. The pajamas come in grey with small stripes and feel very high-quality. Anyways, I took my BA A380 pajamas, which I also use for my fundraising campaign.
Besides the thin blanket, which you can put simply over your legs when sitting, you can also have a thick one to sleep. I personally find the blanket very important, because it ensures relaxed and deep sleep, which is not problem here.
American Airlines provides first class passengers the BOSE noise cancelling headphones that guarantee distraction-free enjoyment of the boards program.
It contains many entertaining movie, reports and shows and is perfectly suitable, if you have some time to spend. You can also use the Wi-Fi, if you want to work, which is fast and not too expensive. The package for the whole flight costs 19 Dollars and can be used on several devices, but not at the same time.
Of course, the flight map cannot be missed.
With the new first class American Airlines developed a beautiful new product. Especially the possibility to turn the seat is a real added value, besides Wi-Fi. The difference to the really good Business Class product is not too big, so it really makes sense to use the latter.
With an international ticket like now this is different. The ticket was definitely interesting at 4.500 EUR (paid by my client) and therefore are all other tracks (JFK-LAX-OGG-LAX-JFK-LHR-TXL) with AA or British Airways.
For all who collect miles at BA , the flight in first class get you 1.340 points and almost 50.000 Avios miles. This is almost (+160 tier points) OnwWorldEmerald status and at the same time the highest.
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