[Click above for the video review.]
Airline: American Airlines (AA)
Flight Number: AA39
Class: Business Class
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Delivered: December 2012
Flight Duration: 9 Hours 55 Minutes
Distance: 4,422 Miles
Hello everyone and welcome to another trip report!
We’ve received some request to see what traveling in business class is like during this COVID-19 pandemic.
American has modified and cut some of its service and amenities in flight in order to minimize passenger and crew interaction and enforce physical distancing for both the passengers and crew’s safety. They also enforced a facial covering policy on all their flights, except for when actively eating or drinking. Regardless, I thought AA still offers a very good business class product and value for this route. The seats are very comfortable for sitting, dining, and sleeping. Other than the pre-departure beverage, hot towel, and warm nuts service, I thought the service was about the same. The food could use some work, but I hope this changes after the pandemic passes.
What I liked:
The Seats – I really like American’s cirrus seat, which is also used by other airlines like Cathay Pacific and EVA Air for their long haul business class products. While not fully enclosed and private like the QSuite, the seat is spacious and intuitively laid out. It was comfortable for sitting and dining upright. The seat also reclines and converts into a fully flat bed. And yes, there are also personal air nozzles on this aircraft! –Score!
The Onboard Service – I know the onboard service depends entirely on the crew, but I thought the crew was caring and charming. William, the flight attendant working our aisle was apologetic of the reduced service and really tried his best to make the flight more comfortable for us. He offered refills for all my beverage orders. The other flight attendants were also accommodating to my requests. I also liked that the crew adhered to their mask policy and constantly reminded passengers to wear their face covering through out the flight.
The IFE – AA’s Panasonic IFE is among my favorite in the sky. The interface is intuitive and responsive. There was also plenty of media content and my favorite Voyager moving map app to keep me occupied during the 9.5 hour flight across the Atlantic.
What I didn’t like:
The BA Galleries North Lounge – The BA Galleries South First lounge, our go-to lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 was unfortunately closed during our visit, so we went to the North Lounge instead which is smaller and limited in its offering. They used to order a la carte dining served at your table, but because of the lockdown in the UK, food selection was limited to only pre-packaged cold snacks. Not ideal if you’re hungry for some real food. They did have a full bar and a hot beverage station though. Also, the business center, kids play area, and showers were all closed during our visit.
It was OK…I guess:
The Food – American isn’t known for their in-flight catering, add that to the fact that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and you would think it’s a disaster, but the food wasn’t all bad. The lemongrass prawn appetizer was tasty and flavorful. The corned beef & cabbage dish I ordered was actually pretty good, except for the beef being a bit chewy. The dessert was also decadent and delicious. The pre-arrival meal was OK, except the tuna on the Nicoise salad was a bit too fishy for me and I wish they offered a hot dish for the second meal service. I also missed the pre-departure beverage and warm nuts in a ramekin.
The Amenities – AA offers a business class amenity kit, Bang and Olufsen noise canceling headphones (collected 45 minutes before landing), bottled water, and a full size pillow and duvet set. Sadly no pajamas or slippers were offered, but the amenities were sufficient.