American Airlines, Business Class Flight New York to London, October 2021

Details

  • Flight Duration: 7 hours
  • Seat: 9D - Business Class Pod
  • Number of seats on plane: 52
  • Type of plane: Boeing 777-300ER
  • Cost: $512 plus a system wide upgrade and $134 in extra taxes for the return.


Pre Departure Lounge

Flying Business Class, one gets access to the American Airlines Flagship Lounge, which is a good international lounge. Nice food offerings, alcohol above most others in the world (including many "First Class only" I have visited in Asia), showers and a lot of space.
I know a lot of people equate champagne with departure with "fancy", but it's never really been to my liking in flavor or body.  They don't serve cheap bottles here, so enjoyThe long but inviting entrance cementing your separation from the mundane world of the terminalThis is some high quality alcohol, drink up here if you don't like the standard fare on the flight, but not so much you get denied boarding
If you want to sleep for the entire flight, just eat here.  There are quality options and you can eat as much as you want

The Seat

The seat is a business class pod with shared openings in the center seats, the windows are isolated. 6 1/2 feet long, 20.5" wide seat. It encompasses 2 windows on the side of the plane, and converts into a full-length lie-flat bed.
Very odd screen placement, making it unusable during take-off and landing, but you can see your neighbor's...This is a comfortable seat for the many hours you will be spending in it

The Cabin

The business class cabin is at the front of the aircraft, and very separated from the rest of the plane. It's also cut in half, with 8 seats near first class (these used to be first class pods until they cut that class from 16 to 8 seats), with a minor barrier to first.

It is a large cabin, and the overhead space is pretty decent, and you need it, since the storage ability in your pod is pretty minimal.

Amenities

The amenity kit comes in a bag from Shinola, an American "rugged" fashion house based in Detroit, DS&D body lotion, a pen, socks, sleep mask, ear plugs, toothbrush and toothpaste. The bag is well built, with a long zipper that allows the bag to open up on two sides. Overall though, I found the items inside a bit lacking for what is needed for international flights and somewhat disappointing (bringing back Burt's Bees would be nice, American!).
This part I felt was really falling short of American's past offerings and seems kinda cheap

Preflight

Being covid times, they brought by a bottle of water for pre-flight service, and well, that was it.

Dining

The food was great. I always go for the beef on American international flights and in over 12 years, I have not been disappointed with that choice.
Nice food options, drinks are basic fare. I find the lounge alcohol betterWell, except for the wine, that's more selective on the flight and a higher grade than the loungeGreat presentation and it was really good
Snacks available as you want, just go get some.  Nice option on the 777-300s

Arrival

Arrival into LHR was a very straight forward affair, 30 minutes before we got all situated and flew around London a bit, then into Heathrow. I went to collect my bags from the turnstile after immigration, and it was third bag off the plane. Priority baggage works in London (not so much in JFK but that's going to be a different post at some point).

After clearing customs, I went to the British Airways arrivals lounge to clean up and have some breakfast (that's why I skipped breakfast on the plane) before taking the Tube into London and my hotel.
Relax, shower, order breakfast, and even drinks while gathering yourself to make your way into London


Summary

It's a very good world class matching business class. The Bang and Olufsen headphones are astounding, I left my Bose in my bag during the trip because these were superior. The bed setup is acceptable, and you can sleep the entire flight. Just set up your blankets and such before you buckle down but after you are fully situated in your bed. This keeps your blankets on overnight better.

So the price between basically everyone in the OneWorld alliance is identical on this route due to contractual obligations, but American has the best Business from JFK. On OneWorld, Finnair, British Airways, and Iberia are your primary choices to London.

Tip: If it's available, and you're alone, choose one of the single seats against the windows for privacy. JFK is usually the cheapest US departure point to Europe. Pre-order your food on the website. If the Heathrow arrivals lounge is open, utilize it (you have to be flying into terminal 5 to access it, but flights from JFK have been lately and it seems that is continuing).



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