[Click above for the video review.]
Airline: American Airlines
Flight Number: AA26
Class: Business Class
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Delivered: December 2012
Flight Duration: 10 hours 35 minutes
Distance: 5,487 Miles
As most of you by now know, American (AA) is my US carrier of choice. I’ve been loyal to them for over 5 years now after my frustration with United and Delta’s frequent flyer programs. If you’ve read my last review on American, you’ll know that AA recently changed their operating aircraft on the LAX-HND route from a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to a 777-300ER (B77W). American’s B77W offers 4 classes of service from First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy Class. Business Class is fitted with 52 Zodiac Aerospace flat bed seats, all of which have direct aisle access thanks to the reverse herringbone configuration. These are among my favorite business class seats in the sky. They are both very private and comfortable for both lounging and sleeping. It also helps that AA keeps their cabin very cool during the flight, so it was very conducive to sleep. And did I mention they have air nozzles? 😉
Much like other US carriers, American certainly needs improvement in their premium cabin service, but we surprisingly had a very good crew on this flight. The flight attendant working our aisle delivered very good service. She wasn’t the most polished, but nonetheless she very professional and attended to all our needs. The catering on this flight was pretty good and fresh, well except for the pre-landing meal.
What I liked:
Haneda International Airport – This is one of my favorite airports in the world. I like it because of its proximity to central Tokyo and its compact size. It’s relatively easy to navigate in and out of the airport.
The JAL First Class Lounge at Haneda – Because of our Oneworld Emerald Status, we had access to the JAL First Class Lounge in Haneda. There’s plenty of food and beverage options including made to order food. The lounge is expansive and offers plenty of seating to lounge and relax before the flight. They offer shower rooms and there’s even a relaxation room with massage chairs.
The Seat – The reverse herringbone configuration is one of my favorite business class configuration, and this seat is my favorite among all in terms of privacy and comfort. The seat is well laid out and everything you need from the tray table, seat controls, and storage are all within easy reach. AA offers a Casper branded pillow and duvet, but sadly no mattress pad on this flight. Regardless, I slept for 6+ hours right after the meal service.
The Onboard Service – The flight attendants delivered excellent very good service for a US carrier. The flight attendant working our aisle wasn’t all smiles, but still very friendly. Most importantly, she attended to all our needs during the flight. Pre-departure beverage service were offered, along with hot towels after takeoff. Our glasses were also proactively refilled, and our plates promptly cleared when we were finished.
The IFE – This is one of the things AA does right. The IFE system offers a plethora of media content. There are hundreds of movies, TV programs, and games to keep you busy during the flight. Their moving map app is also excellent.
The Cabin Temperature – AA keeps their cabins cool during the flight and I love it because I’m able to fall asleep easily. The air nozzles also helps keep you cool.
What I didn’t like:
The pre-landing meal – Sadly, AA’s All American Breakfast plate was a bit of a letdown. The canadian bacon and potatoes were hard as rocks. I just ate a few bites and gave it back. The highlight of the meal was the fruit smoothie that they give out to all business class passengers before the meal service.
It was OK…I guess:
The Food – In my experience, I usually find the onboard catering from Japan very good. The cold salad greens and prawn appetizer dish tasted fresh, and the beef filet was very tender. My companion had the salmon, and he mentioned it was a bit overcooked, but still good. For dessert, I had the ice cream sundae and it did not disappoint. My companion had the red bean and green tea tart, and he said it was very good — light and not too sweet. I slept through most of the flight, so I didn’t have the mid-flight snack, but I did have breakfast prior to landing.