Today (March 25, 2015): Trip report: American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER (77W) Business Class Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR).
On March 20th 2015, I flew in a new Boeing 777-300ER of American Airlines (AA) from Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR). The Boeing 777-300ER is AA’s largest wide-body plane and is currently being introduced in AA’s fleet to replace its older wide-bodies. AA currently operates them on selected routes to and from the United States. The overall experience was brilliant, with a new cabin interior, updated amenities, onboard WiFi, and very comfortable lie flat seats. This is currently the single best Business Class product to fly across the pond (although British Airways’ Airbus A380 Business Class is not bad either).
For my trip report of American Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER First Class product (London to New York), click here.
American Airlines features in my top 10 list of best airlines for longhaul Business Class. In addition, their loyalty program AAdvantage is the best in the world (even for UK or EU based travelers, and you can read here why)
- Trip: LAX-LHR
- Airline: American Airlines
- Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER (77W)
- Flight Number: 136
- On time departure: yes (8.08 pm)
- On time arrival: yes (1.21 pm)
- Miles: 5456
- Flight time: 10:13
- Seat: 9J
- Class: business (D)
In this review (more information & photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- American Airlines Lounge at LAX
- Business Class cabin
- Business Class seat (& what seat to choose)
- Other inflight experiences (crew, bar, lavatory, WiFi)
- My verdict (score)
1. AMERICAN AIRLINES LOUNGE AT LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The American Airlines Lounge at LAX is located after security in Terminal 4. Entrance to the lounge is on the Concourse level across from Gate 40. The lounge area itself is on the first floor and comprises two separate, bright spaces, the Admirals Club and the Flagship Lounge, both of them offering superb tarmac views through the large floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Admirals Club Lounge, with its comfortable chairs, is a quiet, relaxing escape from the regular craziness of the terminal below. Complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks and light snacks are offered, while wine, beer, premium brand spirits and healthy food choices are available for purchase. There’s also free high-speed WiFi. PCs with internet access are available for those without desktop or Ipad. If you want to refresh, eight showers are available. Probably the best thing about the Admirals Club is the presence of AA agents that can work a lot faster on rerouting your ticket in case you encounter flight troubles (which was luckily not the case for me). Access to the Admirals Club Lounge at LAX or any other airport is only possible through paid (annual or 30-day) membership or with a one-day pass (click here to find out more), although membership is complimentary for holders of an Citi/AAdvantage Executive World EliteTM MasterCard. First and Business Class customers who do not hold Emerald or Sapphire tier status with the oneworld alliance are not eligible to access the Admirals Club when travelling on solely domestic flights within the U.S. or between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico (except Mexico City), the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean. However, customers travelling in First or Business class on U.S. transcontinental flights between JFK-LAX, JFK-SFO and MIA-LAX (and vice-versa) are eligible for Admirals Club access.
Besides the Admirals Club Lounge, AA has a second lounge space at LAX, called the Flagship Lounge. The latter is accessible to First Class passengers on AA marketed and operated, three-class international or transcontinental flights. You can also gain access if you are a oneworld top-tier customer departing on or connecting to any oneworld marketed and operated flight, regardless of cabin flown. The Flagship Lounge a step up from the Admirals Club Lounge. The decor is the same, but it’s quieter and more serene. The food & beverage options are much better as compared to the Admirals Club Lounge: a full buffet (featuring soup, sandwiches, salads, snacks, and a light dinner) and excellent top shelf drink were offered (complimentary). The Los Angeles Flagship Lounge also offers music stations with comfortable chairs where travelers can sit back with Bose headphones, listen to music, and relax (but be sure to set an alarm for your flight time since the music and the noise-canceling headphones might lull you to sleep).
From the lounge, it was a two minute walk to gate 41 where the magnificent Boeing 77W was ready for boarding.
2. BUSINESS CLASS CABIN
When entering through the massive boarding door, you immediately notice the nice Business/First Class bar. Turning left leads to the cockpit, First Class cabin (8 seats) and a small Business Class “mini”-cabin (featuring 8 seats), while turning right leads to the main Business Class Cabin (44 seats), Main Cabin Extra cabin (30 seats), and Economy Class cabin (220 seats). Thanks to the herringbone layout in a 1-2-1 alignment, all Business Class seats have direct aisle access (no jumping over people’s feet here) and a significant amount of privacy. The Business Class seats on the sides are angled toward the window (about 2 windows per seat, offering great views), while the seats in the middle are angled towards each other.
Click here for the seat map of AA’s Boeing 777-300ER.
3. THE BUSINESS CLASS SEAT
Each Business Class seat has plenty of storage space for all your personal items, as well as a smaller storage compartment that contains a mirror, a bottle of water, an amenity kit and noise-canceling Bose headphones. Oddly enough, however, the place to connect those headphones is also ‘hidden’ inside that cabinet. Next to the seat are the seat and entertainment controls, reading light and power port (each seat features a universal AC power outlet and USB port). Every part of the seat, including the seat back, head and leg rest are adjustable. The seats feature a large tray table in addition to a work surface so you can eat and work at the same time, which given the nice, extended meal services is a productive and nice touch. There’s a large footrest in front of every seat. When tired, you can recline the seat into a very comfortable, fully flat-bed (this is one of the best flat beds in the skies).
What are the best Business Class seats on AA’s B77W?
- The seats in row 3 and 4 are located in their own little private cabin and are therefore highly recommended.
- Solo travelers should go fo the window seats.
What are the worst Business Class seats on AA’s B77W?
- The window seats in row 5 and 11 are missing a window and should therefore be avoided.
Each seat comes with a nice blanket and a decent pillow. The seat cabinet contained one of the newly introduced, limited-edition heritage amenity kits. Inspired by the nine airlines that came together to build AA, these collectible kits are designed in the colors of each airline’s livery. The bag contained essentials like an eye mask, earplugs, wash cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, skin lotion, a pen, and socks.
Just under 45 minutes into the flight, I was served an assortment of warm nuts. I also ordered a soft drink with ice and lime.
Soon thereafter, dinner was offered, all served on a single tray. Food was actually quite delicious, although not as refined as compared to the gastronomic delights of Singapore Airlines or Austrian Airlines. The starter consisted of Thai chicken with grilled five-spice pineapple, watermelon and Asian mint dressing. It was served with a house salad with artichokes, roasted tomatoes and feta cheese, with a choice of creamy Italian dressing or balsamic vinaigrette. As an entrée, I choose the seared halibut with gremolata, with sautéed tomato fennel, lemon risotto and broccoli. For dessert, I ordered the Black Forest mousse cake.
90 minutes prior to landing, breakfast was served. I choose the broccoli and red pepper strata, with smoked chicken sausage and roasted potatoes.
The large, private screen (15.4-inch or 40 cm) swings out from the side of the seat suite. However, it doesn’t tilt up and down, so unfortunately, watching the screen from the near or fully flat-bed position is almost impossible. The Panasonic inflight entertainment itself features an impressive catalog of 120 movies, 150 TV shows, and more than 350 audio selections. You can select what you want by scrolling on the touch screen.
7. OTHER INFLIGHT EXPERIENCES
# CREW: the crew did a great job and was extremely friendly. Kudos to all of them! IMHO, AA has the most service-minded crew of all US Airlines and I hope that will not change with the US Airways merger.
# BAR: after the main meal service, a walk-up bar stocked with snacks and refreshments was set up in the galley for Business and First Class passengers. It was a very nice spread of a large assortment of snacks (a visual delight!) that was constantly replenished during the flight.
# LAVATORY: AA has put a lot of effort and money into the design of its premium cabin lavatories with porcelain sinks, wood siding, granite floor texture and luxurious toilet products. All lavatories were kept clean during the flight.
# INTERNET: WiFi was available for purchase once on board the aircraft: a 2 hour pass for $12, a 4 hour pass for $17, or a duration of flight pass for $19. I found the WiFi speed to be relatively ok, actually faster than expected.
8. MY VERDICT
- Seat : 9/10
- Food: 7/10
- Inflight entertainment : 9/10
- Service: 8/10
- Cabin: 9/10
- Overall experience: very good : 8,4/10