[Click above for the video review.]
Airline: American Airlines
Flight Number: AA51
Class: Business Class
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Delivered: December 2014
Flight Duration: 10 Hours 25 Minutes
Distance: 4,750 Miles
We’ve received some request to see what traveling in business class is like during this COVID-19 pandemic, so this is one of our series of travel reviews during the 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 decent 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 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 10 hour flight across the Atlantic.
The BA Galleries South First lounge – The BA Galleries South First lounge, is our go-to lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5. The seats have been reconfigured for social distancing. The buffets are also gone and replaced with a la carte table service, which I think is way better now. The food selection was also great! We were stuffed!
What I didn’t like:
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 beef dish I ordered was pretty good, except for the beef being a bit dry. My companion also liked his salmon filet dish. The dessert was a bit of a letdown for me as I don’t like lemon-flavored desserts. The pre-arrival meal was OK, except the salad needed some protein. I wish they offered a hot dish for the second meal service.
It was OK…I guess:
The onboard service – I know the onboard service depends entirely on the crew, but I thought the crew was caring and charming. Debra, the flight attendant working our aisle tried her best to make the flight more comfortable for us. She 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 throughout the flight. I do miss the pre-departure beverage and warm nuts in a ramekin though…
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. The self-service snack bar for those mid-flight hunger pangs is also a nice touch. Sadly, no pajamas or slippers were offered, but the amenities were sufficient.
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