AIRLINE – AMERICAN AIRLINES
CLASS OF TRAVEL – BUSINESS CLASS (Long Haul)
AIRCRAFT – 777-300
ROUTE – HONG KONG TO DALLAS
Having flown with other US carriers in recent years, I was certainly not expecting anything out of the ordinary as I boarded the American Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Dallas. However, my experience was actually a rather pleasant one.
Perhaps it was that initial lack of enthusiasm that led to my subsequent surprise as I entered the extremely well presented Business Class cabin, located just past the First Class section. Displaying just 10 Business Class seats, the 1-2-1 seat configuration offered direct aisle access from every cleverly angled seat, and the sleek combination of grey leather and fabric upholstery gave the cabin a beautifully modern finish. The space around the seat was very generous, offering access to a side table and mini storage cupboard, housing some very fancy Bose® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones, a bottle of water and a handy personal mirror.
It wasn’t long before my shoes had been slipped off and I was wearing the complimentary slippers found in the handy side storage compartment, along with the amenity kit. A soft cotton covered duvet and fluffy pillow was also available, providing additional comfort for the long journey ahead.
After fumbling around trying to find the headphone socket, I eventually had to ask a member of the crew for assistance. Located inside the personal cupboard on the wall facing away from the seat, I would have been impressed if other first time passengers had found it themselves.
Less difficult to locate were the in-seat charging facilities, an AV input, iPod station as well as the ability to connect to WiFi after take off (at a premium of course).
The large screen with its touch sensitive display was simple to use, offering a huge selection of films, TV programs, games and audio files to choose from. Unfortunately some of the films I tried to play would not start, even after the cabin crew very kindly reset the system for me. Nonetheless, I was quite happy to take my pick from the other 200 or so films on offer, although I can imagine this may have troubled other passengers.
Accessing different areas of the system required a simple swipe to the left or right, which reminded me of one of those dating apps. On that note, I was rather surprised when a ‘request to chat’ came up on my screen from a gentleman seated in the row across from me. I had no idea what was going on until he tapped me on the shoulder and explained that he was simply ‘trying out’ the inflight conversation function to see if it worked. Finding this a tad creepy, I smiled politely indicating that it appeared to work very well, before shuffling around awkwardly, eventually replacing my noise cancelling headphones into position and sinking back into my seat. Perhaps I would have been more eager to enjoy this function with friends or colleagues seated elsewhere in the cabin, but as I was traveling alone, I was more interested in sinking into a champagne induced coma.
Other than having the ability to annoy fellow passengers from the comfort of my own seat, other handy inflight functions included being able to order soft drinks at the touch of the screen, which I rather liked.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Welcome drinks were offered promptly, including Lanson which was surprisingly served in a plastic party cup. Dinner choices were taken whilst on the tarmac and a hot towel, warm nuts and beverages were given out shortly after take-off. My second glass of Lanson was generously large, this time offered in a glass beaker! Had I mentioned my fondness of slipping into a champagne induced coma beforehand?
The main meal was delicious, consisting of a parma ham starter, glass noodle and mango salad followed by my choice of chickpea masala with saffron rice and dal. To finish I selected the smooth and succulent blueberry cheesecake.
A particularly well-stocked snack station was available throughout the flight, which of course I took full advantage of, helping myself to sandwiches, wraps, fruit salad pots and miniature deserts as I worked my way through the films available. Halfway through the flight, a light meal was offered which was a rather salty smoked salmon sandwich with potato salad and fruit selection. Another light meal of quiche and salad was also available around 1.5 hours before landing. There was certainly no chance of going hungry on this American Airlines flight!
Having traveled mostly on Middle Eastern and Asian carriers in recent months, I was pretty astounded at how comfortable my flight with American Airlines was. The staff were welcoming and provided a good standard of service. I did notice a number of crew members who chose to avoid eye contact throughout the flight but once you managed to get their attention, they were helpful enough. All in all, my American Airlines flight experience was very well received and thanks to their recent aircraft retrofit, they are steadily competing against some of the other great airlines out there.
Around an hour before landing, we were interrupted by an in-flight announcement, informing us that it was time to hand in the lovely Bose® headphones. I was pretty surprised and after voicing my obvious disappointment with a member of the crew, I was quickly offered a pair of basic blue plastic earphones for the final part of the flight so I could finish my film. Just make sure you ask for a pair once they take away your noise-cancelling headph0nes, or even better, take your own on board!
A surprising 4/5
Check out and compare ScrubySnacks’ other airline reviews:
British Airways Review – Club World (Business Class)
Japan Airlines Review – Sky Suite II (Business Class)
Hong Kong Airlines Review – Business Class
British Airways Review – World Traveller (Economy Class)
Cathay Pacific Review – Economy Class