American Airlines, First Class Flight New York to London, March 2022

Details

  • Flight Duration: 7 hours each way
  • Seat: 2A, 1J - First Class Pod
  • Number of seats on plane: 8
  • Type of plane: Boeing 777-300ER
  • Cost: 150,000 American Airlines miles and $384 in extra taxes and fees.


Flying to the jumping off point

So, I don't live in a major hub for American and I have had some experience with the international first class extras you get before takeoff at certain airports, which is why I purposefully booked my trip to spend a lot of time in the clubs that had these additional treats, like the Flagship Dining, basically only available when you really fly actual first class out of the USA.

Since I used miles for this trip, every stage was in first class; one shouldn't have to suffer too much while getting to their pampered schedule.
On the first flight of my circuitous route to JFK, full breakfast service

Pre Departure Lounge

Flying First Class, not only do you get access to the American Airlines Flagship Lounge, a quality experience in itself, but you are invited to Flagship First dining, which is an exceptional and exclusive hideaway from the main lounge. You can spend your entire time in here waiting for your flight.
Ah yes, away from the world into a quiet and nice place Charisma serving champagne at the entrance (She remembered me on my return trip calling me 'Pictures!')
Many times they will just escort you from the check-in desk right to the dining, but I had work to do first, so I was given an invitation to use later in the day The first-class dining room entrance, seen by many, used by few The custom flagship cornbread, tasty
The seabass was great And then a flight of petite desserts Crazy amount of things to order
After leaving the Flagship Lounge, next stop is boarding the plane.

The Seat

The seat is a first-class pod in a very private setting, aisle or windows. 6 1/2 feet long, 21.5" wide seat. It encompasses 3 windows on the side of the plane, and converts into a full-length lie-flat bed that is wider and seems longer than in business class.
This is pretty private, and at the back of the cabin, nobody really would be going by me in that seat Lots of leg room This was a great bed, I fell asleep and woke up just before landing
Ahh, Massage, it did work and it was kinda nice on my sore back

The Cabin

The first class cabin is at the absolute front of the aircraft, and completely cut off from the rest of the plane.

It's not a really large cabin, but there are two dedicated bathrooms, the one on the port side is much larger, but both are decent, and you're not sharing with many other passengers.

Amenities

The amenity kit comes in a bag from Shinola, an American "rugged" fashion house based in Detroit, DS&D body lotion, lip balm, mouthwash, a pen, socks, sleep mask, ear plugs, toothbrush and toothpaste. The bag opens up to a sit flat container with walls and seems to me this is going to be ideal as my carryon kit case going forward.
Much better than the business class kit.  This one will do nicely
Also, there are PJs from Recliner brand. They are made from recycled bottles and cotton, and are stunningly soft and not paper thin either. Pretty nice to put on my pile of airline "flight wear" at home.

Preflight

Champagne, water or juice were readily available. Water was already at my seat.

Dining

The dining in first, well, it's outstanding. I had read recently that it was the same as business class, but it is not, it is really it's own product and of a higher caliber of food.
The tortilla soup is thick and tasty and was warming So, I always say you can never go wrong with the beef on an American flight.  This was the one time I was wrong; the filet was way overdone and dry, but overall they are still hitting a very high percentage of success on it
Very little to complain about here

Arrival

Arrival into LHR was almost a blur and I was still groggy from sleeping, landing into Heathrow. I collected my bags from the turnstile after immigration (they were well down the queue to arrive and when you fly first they are supposed to be first off the plane, but American has a huge issue with this "service" being consistent).

After clearing customs, I went to the British Airways arrival lounge. This time, since I flew first, I was able to have breakfast in the Concorde room. Astoundingly higher level of service than the regular area.
The ticket to your exclusive, relaxing, and individual experience My seat was pretty nice, and I had a lot of room
Now the BONUS! The Return Trip! American Airlines, flying out of Heathrow terminal 5, allows utilization of all the British Airways premium lounges including the exclusive and never before visited by me, Concorde Room lounge for First class ticket holders only.
The private area to begin your process leaving London Waiting for the American Airlines counter to open up (they have a couple in the British Airways area)
How amazing is this branding? This was just over the top delicious

The Cabin

Same cabin as the way out, but this time I took a picture!
A smaller more intimate space, but also the individual seats are more private

The Seat

Well, same type of seat (I know - shocking), but on the return trip during the day, no PJs.
Seated at the front of the cabin on this trip.  It's said this is not an ideal seat due to traffic, but it was absolutely fine
All your plugins, you can even push a movie from your device to the seat's screen through this area

Preflight

Champagne, water or juice as on the flight out, were readily available. Water was again already at my seat.

Dining

A different menu on the way back, Asian in style, and just amazingly good.
The beef cheeks were impeccable, AA hits a winner again with the beef
I think flying just in the USA will be a bit sad instead of this now Are you peckish between meals?  First class "take what you want" snacks

Arrival and continued flights

I landed at JFK, and since I had a connection, I was back into the Flagship lounge and again Flagship Dining while waiting to fly to Miami (yes, there is a method to my madness and I did this on purpose).
So on the way back, I dined again in JFK, this time the filet.  A great choice

Miami Flagship Dining

I have been trying for 5 years to get into this club, as it was the last Flagship lounge in the world I had not visited. Strangely, over these years I've been challenged by cancellations and closures, but today, that changed. As an extra treat, I was still eligible for Flagship First Dining.
Oh yes, I've waited a long time for this one My booth A very cozy area (about 1/2 the size of JFK)
Off the menu appetizer, this place feels like fine dining, and well, it is! The cornbread again! Omg this was so good, but after all these flights with meals and lounges with meals, I'm starting to not be able to handle any more food
A very Miami flavor and feel to the dishes and offerings.  Seems each lounge has a bespoke menu Tasty drinks available Champagne outside of the dining area, not as good as inside

Summary

This is a top of the line first class experience. Bang and Olufsen headphones are complimentary to use on the flight and are the best I have experienced. The bed is excellent, and sleep was quite good. The ability of the seat to achieve many positions also makes it a nice recliner when you are awake.

Tip: Since I find first class ticket prices for international flights a bit insane in price, I used miles. I suggest you do the same. JFK is usually the cheapest US departure point to Europe in case you're buying it. Also, try to fly through Miami, Dallas or JFK to London, as they all have first class and flagship first dining, but currently only back to JFK is flying out of Terminal 5 right now for the Concorde Room.



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