Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.
Today (October 28, 2020): Review of American Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER Business Class (Miami to London)
Early 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic forced international travel to shut down. While in lockdown, I ‘discovered’ some unpublished material of flight clips and photos on my computer, recorded over the past years. Since most of us miss flying longhaul, I decided to upload some of it on my YouTube channel and my travel blog (despite the so-so quality of the footage) to boost our morale in times of never-ending travel restrictions. Let me know if you want more of these flight trip reports, since I still have several of them in store.
Last year, I flew in a Boeing 777-300ER of American Airlines from Miami (MIA) in the USA to London (LHR) in the UK. The Boeing 777-300ER is American Airlines’ largest wide-body plane and flagship aircraft, operating selected longhaul routes to and from the United States. The overall experience was great, with a pleasant cabin interior, excelling seat layout, decent onboard amenities & catering, and very comfortable flat beds. American Airlines definitely offers one of the best Business Class hard products, although – IMHO – there’s no denying that it’s soft product & service is not as refined as most Middle Eastern & Asian carriers nor as polished as its domestic competitors Delta and United.
- Trip: Miami (MIA) to London (LHR)
- Airline: American Airlines (AA)
- Aircraft type: Boeing 777-300ER
- Aircraft registration number: N720AN (delivered to AA in 2014)
- On time departure: Yes (7.10 pm)
- On time arrival: Yes (8.40 am; + 1 day)
- Miles: 4410 miles
- Flight time: 8 hours & 30 minutes
- Seat: 10A
- Class: Business Class
In this review (more information & photos below my YouTube clip & slideshow):
- Cost of my ticket
- Business Class cabin
- Business Class seat (+ best & worst seats)
- Amenities & bedding
- Onboard internet
- Other inflight experiences
- My verdict (score)
1. COST OF MY TICKET
I paid 1550 euros for my return Business Class ticket from Frankfurt to Miami, with stop-over in London Heathrow, which is an excellent fare for a transatlantic flight. I booked the ticket directly on the official American Airlines website during a sale.
American Airlines calls its lounges ‘Admiral Clubs’ and the carrier manages two Admirals Clubs in Miami: one near gate D15, and one near gate D30 in concourse D (the latter lounge also features a Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining). This is a review of the Admirals Club near gate D30, which is open daily from 4:30AM until 10:30PM.
Located one level above the main concourse, the lounge is a modern, bright and enjoyable space. It comprises several sitting areas – some of them separated by partitions to add a level of privacy – with a wide variety of seat types, most of them equipped with power outlets. The main sitting area features large windows that offer a lovely view of the apron; while the rest of the lounge features indoor windows that looks out over the terminal one floor below.
At the center of the lounge is a dining area, which comprises several dining tables, a sleek bar, some high-top communal seating, and a buffet (although there are several buffet stations throughout the lounge). Complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks and light cold & hot snacks are offered (there’s even a taco bar), while wine, beer, premium brand spirits and healthy food choices are available for purchase.
Probably the best thing about the Admirals Club is the presence of American Airlines’ travel 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). Also, the facility features well maintained bathrooms, including spacious shower suites, and a well-equipped business center.
The Admirals Club Lounge at Miami or any other airport is only open to passengers flying First or Business Class on American Airlines and its Oneworld partners, and Oneworld Emerals & Sapphire Elite passengers departing flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or a Oneworld airline. Keep in mind that:
- 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 traveling 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.
- Passengers traveling 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.
- Access to the Admirals Club Lounge can also be bought through (annual or 30-day) membership or with a one-day pass ($59 USD; click here to find out more)?
3. BUSINESS CLASS CABIN
Entrance to American Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is via a sleek galley. Turning left leads to the cockpit, First Class cabin (8 seats; which I reviewed here) and a small Business Class “mini”-cabin (featuring 8 seats), while turning right leads to the main Business Class Cabin (44 seats), Premium Economy (28 seats), Main Cabin Extra (28 seats), and Economy Class (188 seats). The seats are arranged in an excellent reverse herringbone layout with a 1-2-1 alignment, so all seats have direct aisle access (no jumping over people’s feet here) and a significant amount of privacy. The 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.
Designed by James Park and his JPA Design House, the cabin feels sleek, modern and airy. The neutral color palette of subdued shades of grey feels elegant, with brushed aluminum trims and some wood paneling adding a touch of luxury. During the cruise phase of the flight, a blue and purple mood lighting compliment the overall soothing cabin ambiance. The cabin layout and design is very similar to what you find in the Business Class of other airlines, such as Air France, Eva Air, Finnair, and Cathay Pacific.
Click here for the seat map of American Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER.
4. BUSINESS CLASS SEAT (+ BEST & WORST SEATS)
American Airlines selected the excellent Zodiac Aerospace-made Cirrus Business Class seat for its flagship Boeing 777-300ER planes. With a pitch of 109 cm (43 inches) and a width of 52 cm (20.5 inch), the seat feels very comfortable, spacious and relaxing. Each seat is also located within its own shell, offering maximum privacy.
One side of the seat – located towards the cabin wall for the window seats or towards the plane’s center line for middle seats – features a large console. This console holds a reading light (on eye level), the wired handheld controller for the inflight entertainment, the power ports, a panel for the seat controls, and a storage compartment (with make-up mirror) for smaller personal items. This side of the seat also features a trapezoid shaped woodgrain working surface, with a bi-folding tray table hidden underneath; it’s very easy to slide the table out and swing it back and forth according to your liking.
Each Business Class seat has its own 15.4-inch HD touch entertainment screen. The screen is locked in the sidewall, but it is released and swings out towards the seat at the push of a button. The suite’s apex features a spacious footwell, which becomes part of the flatbed once the seat is reclined. The flat-bed has a length of 198 cm (78 inches) and the soft seat cushions feel very comfortable (this is one of the best Business Class flat beds in the skies).
What are the best Business Class seats? Click here for a seat map.
- The seats in row 3 and 4 are located in their own little private cabin and are therefore highly recommended.
- Solo travelers should go for the window seats.
- Travel companions should go for the middle seats. However, due to how private they are, they really don’t lend themselves all that well for traveling with a partner, as you have to lean forward when you want to have a chat (the consoles of both seats are located in the middle).
What are the worst Business Class seats? Click here for a seat map.
- The window seats in row 5 and 11 are missing a window and should therefore be avoided.
- I suggest to avoid the last row of the front cabin (row 4) and the first row of the rear cabin (row 5) due to its proximity to the galley and lavatories.
- I also suggest to avoid the last row of Business Class (row 15) which is in front of the Premium Economy Class bassinet seats.
- The only downside to the rear Business Class cabin is that all Economy Class passengers walk through this cabin during boarding (which can create a busy ambiance as you settle down).
5. AMENITIES & BEDDING
American Airlines’ Business Class passengers receive the following amenities during a longhaul flight:
- An amenity kit, which contains skincare products from Allies of Skin, dental kit, eye mask, socks, earplugs, mouthwash, pen, tissue pack, mints, credit card pitch, and a discount code for some products. American Airlines’ Business Class amenity kits used to be produced by Cole Haan, but are now designed by leather accessory company This is Ground.
- Excellent noise-cancelling headphones by Bose.
- A plush pillows and a decent blanket created by sleep technology company Casper.
Note that Business Class passengers on American Airlines’ ultra-longhaul flights (e.g. Sydney, Auckland and Hong Kong) will also receive pajamas, slippers and a mattress pad in addition to the above mentioned amenities.
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 served. Food was quite good, although not as sophisticated as compared to the gastronomic delights of Eva Air, Qatar Airways, or Austrian Airlines. I choose the following selection from the dinner menu:
- Starter: kalette & saffron orzo salad, served with cheese, kalamata olives, pomegranate seeds, and crumbled feta
- Main course: quinoa and panko crusted prawns, served with roasted rainbow carrots, zucchini noodles, ginger hibiscus reduction
- Dessert: ice cream
90 minutes prior to landing, breakfast was served. However, I skipped the breakfast service to rest as long as possible on this short, red-eye flight.
A large, private 15.4-inch HD entertainment screen swings out from the side of the Business Class seat’s side wall. 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 inflight entertainment system features an easy-to-use interface, that is controlled by touchscreen or handheld device. The Panasonic inflight entertainment itself features an impressive catalog of 120 movies, 150 TV shows, and more than 350 audio selections.
8. ONBOARD INTERNET
American Airlines’ Boeing 777 aircraft are equipped with WiFi. Rates are pretty reasonable when compared to other airlines. And I found the WiFi speed to be relatively ok, actually faster than expected.
9. OTHER INFLIGHT EXPERIENCES
# CREW: the crew did a great job and was very friendly. IMHO, American Airlines has the most service-minded crew of all USA airlines.
# LAVATORY: There are two bathrooms available for Business Class passengers onboard American Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER, both of them located in the galley between the two Business Class cabins. The carrier 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.
10. MY VERDICT
- Seat comfort (upright): 9/10
- Seat comfort (bed position): 9/10
- Food (quality): 8/10
- Food (quantity): 7/10
- Inflight entertainment : 8/10
- WiFi: 8/10
- Service: 8/10
- Cabin design: 8/10
- Overall experience: very good – 8,2/10
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Really enjoyed this review. Wonder how different it is now onboard from when you actually took this flight in 2019?
A very detailed and extensive description
of this flight !
I’m sure that in the next 100 years You will not have competitors :
they will remain in the dust for a long time …
Dear The Great Expert !
Thank You for Your kind Mission and for Your help in making the rest of many travelers unforgettable and rational !
Let even the mental reviews of Your Fans always know the way to Your heart !
You deserve it !
Dear Fans !
Let Your rest become for You as an actively pursue goal !
The traveler with the
same spirit ,
Thank you! Yes, post more of your “discovered” videos.
Thank you for your excellent info. I am excited about my upcoming flight despite the raging pandemic.