Airlines

My Flight: American Airlines Business Class review from London to Miami B777-300


I have recently travelled to Mexico and chose to fly with American Airlines from London Heathrow to Miami as it offered the best connection times, good value and I was keen to try its long haul business class product (having been quite impressed with its ‘transcontinental’ service between New York and San Francisco a couple of years ago). Here is how my flight went.

 

Check-in 

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777 check in london heathrow

Check in area at London Heathrow, Terminal 3.

The flight departed from Heathrow Terminal 3 (and interestingly, there was never a mention of the terminal on American’s pre-flight emails). I had seen this ‘flagship check-in’ area a few times and knew where to go. On arrival, there were 3 passengers waiting to be checked in and 3 agents on duty. I waited a good 10 minutes before my turn came and had what could be described as the most bizarre check in ever.

Instead of what would be a normal ‘Hello, where you are flying to today? How many bags? Can I have your passport?’, I was subjected to one the rudest interrogations ever – along the lines of ‘what do you do’, ‘why are you going to the USA?’, ‘can you repeat your company name?’, ‘please name 3 of the last clients you have issued an invoice to’ (for real!), ‘what does client x do?’, ‘how long have you been working for them?’, ‘who are you meeting in the USA?’. It was quite weird and after 5 minutes of this, I understood why the previous passengers were taking so long. I actually asked why the agent that was checking me in was being so rude (he really was, the tone of voice was quite something), and he told me he was carrying checks on behalf of the TSA. I fly to the USA a good 6-7 times a year (always with British Airways), and never ever this has happened before. Apparently it is standard procedure for US-based carriers, which I respect, but the way it was done was very poor. I have flown with American many times before (for example, on an international flight from Mexico to Miami on my return leg), and absolutely no questions at all. Not off to a great start…

 

Security

I used the fast track and was done in 5 minutes or so.

 

The Lounge

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777 AA lounge london heathrow

The not so modern lounge at Heathrow T3

My expectations for the lounge weren’t high – Mr. O had been on a flight recently and told me very politely I would be better off at ‘our usual’ lounge, but I insisted on having a look. Hello 1992! The lounge really was tired – and so busy (and loud) that it was almost impossible to find a seat.

I found a tiny table and after a while was able to order pancakes. I went to grab a coffee and looked at what else was on offer and wasn’t very inspired. I got my pancakes and they were so plastic I left them after the first bite.

I went to the loos (which were really quite good and modern, so a point there), and decided to cut my losses and made my way to the BA lounge next door (which I can use as a Oneworld Emerald) and had a made to order egg and bacon sandwich and a glass of Vintage Taittinger to make up for what just happened.

 

The Airport Experience

Heathrow Terminal 3 is a decent terminal (one of the oldies now) but has a good mix of shops, options to eat and a great Duty Free shop. I purchased some cosmetics and picked up an item I had pre-ordered at of the stores. It is no Terminal 5, don’t get me wrong. It took me 10 minutes to walk to the boarding gate.

 

The Flight

–          Welcome & Service

I had a very nice welcome onboard and was directed to the aisle where my seat would be. I have to say that throughout the flight, service was very efficient and pleasant, so no complaints from me.

–          The Cabin

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777-300 cabin

The very smart business class cabin on AA’s 777-300

The cabin was gorgeous and each business class seat seemed to offer a lot of personal space and privacy. It was similar to the flight I had been on before and it is one of the best business class cabins I have seen. It had a 1-2-1 configuration so every passenger has aisle access and I had a seat on the right side of the plane facing a window, which I had pre-booked.

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777-300 cabin 3

Cabin details

There are 2 business class cabins (one at the front, which just 2 rows, which I experienced on the return flight) and the main cabin, which is quite large with over 10 rows. Despite being a day flight, it was very quiet.

–          The seat

Seats are angled to one side and offer a lot of personal space – and privacy – and there are lots of well-thought details in terms of storage for personal items that you can use throughout the flight.

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777-300 seat

The AA Business Class seat

On your side, you have the seat controls and panels, which let you adjust your set, connect any devices and where you will also find the Bose earphones with American provides for in-flight use. I knew about this and that saved me having to take mine with me – and they were excellent.

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777 cabin details bose headphones

Details

The seat lies flat but I found it quite uncomfortable when I tried to sleep – there is something quite hard just behind your back, which I hadn’t noticed on other carriers before. I found that the best way to sleep was to have my head up a fair bit so that the back would go down a bit (kind of curved) and would be more comfortable.

–          Amenities

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777-300 red flower amenity kit

The amenity kit including Red Flower products

I wasn’t terribly impressed with the toiletry kit – the bag itself is OK but nothing I would want to bring home with me, and I couldn’t quite understand the colour scheme of the items inside? Red and orange socks? Wow. I wasn’t familiar with the brand chosen – Red Flower – which is an American organic beauty brand and it included some lotion, lipstick and a face towelette (which I used). Additionally, it had a pack of tissues (very handy) and toothbrush and toothpaste.

–          Drinks  

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777-300 cabin details

Champagne in a plastic glass…

I must confess I was not expecting to be served a glass of champagne (which was prosecco actually) in a plastic glass when I boarded – it really surprised me as to why this would have been done. Once we had taken off, I was offered a pre-lunch meal – and I decided to pick champagne (Castelnau was being served – really not my favourite) just to see what would happen. I was surprised to see it being served in a wine stemless glass – and baby, what a pour! The glass was quite large and so was the amount of champagne.

I ordered a Gin & Tonic (Bombay Sapphire and Canada Dry Tonic which tastes so different, but I will put that down to cultural differences), which was served in a similar glass. With regards to the other options being served, please see photo below from the menu. Drinks were served with American’s signature warm nuts, which were nice.

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777-300 main meal

The epic glass of champagne (which got warm quickly) and the meal served onboard.

I did a little research on the wines served as I did not know any of them – they ranged from $9 for the white and $17 for the red, which kind of tells you something about the selection. See more details on the photo below.
–          Inflight Meal 

I had pre-ordered my main course (the peri peri chicken) and the only available starter – herbed chicken with tzaziki. There were other main course options and I was told by the purser (who was very nice and came to introduce herself to everyone in the cabin when the menus were handed out) that my pre-order was confirmed.

In terms of mains, the options besides the chicken were kale lasagna and beef filet. There was also an option for an express meal with all 3 courses delivered at once.

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777-300 meal and drinks

Dessert and pre-arrival meal.

For dessert, I chose the tradicional ice cream sundae which was lovely. I had a peek at the ‘gourmet cheese plate’ which did not look very gourmet. I paired my meal with a glass of the Portuguese red wine which was OK.

Pre-arrival, we were served another meal and I chose the croque monsieur – it was a bit stale but it wasn’t bad.

Overall the food was OK, I wouldn’t call it great. Service was efficient.

 

–          Inflight Entertainment 

I had a large screen and everything worked perfectly. The choices in terms of movies and TV were very good and I really was spoiled for choice. I watched Burnt, Steve Jobs and also caught up on some episodes of ‘Ballers’ which I have started watching on BA.

flight review american airlines business class london to miami B777-300 cabin 4

I have to award top marks to the loos as they were very spacious, spotless and way more modern than usual. Decent lighting too.

Bose noise cancelling headphones were also provided and they were excellent. I had a power socket and a USB charger which worked well too.

 

Final thoughts

I had a good flight – I thought the service was excellent (John was my flight attendant and really was on the ball with everything. He was also quite chatty and funny and helpful). On my return flight it really wasn’t quite the same.

The food and drinks choices could do with an upgrade – I did not feel they were business class level compared to other airlines.

The Heathrow airport experience provided by American Airlines could be vastly improved – the lounge really was sub par, I am afraid and the check-in process has to be updated – maybe have a chat with the TSA agent after checking in? It really taints the experience having it as a ‘2 in 1’, in my opinion.

The cabin? Well, it is one of the best hard-products I have experienced – the business class seats are excellent (even with that hardness at the back when you lie flat), offering a lot of privacy and personal space. I was able to keep everything with me that I would need during the flight without having to get up and I appreciated it.

 

I would score it a solid 7/10.

 

Until the next flight…

xo

Mrs. O

 

Fact Box: My flight from London to Cancun via Heathrow cost £1800 and I found this flight with Google Flights, which may be the best website in the world. I am pretty addicted to it as you really can find fares you wouldn’t normally. A normal return to Miami from London would start from £2200.


Article was posted on
View Comments (13)

13 Comments

  1. Vanessa

    June 4, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Never seen the champagne in a plastic cup before! The seat looks good though, especially those little storage areas.

  2. Gary H

    October 29, 2016 at 11:29 am

    I read you review with interest, as I’ve just booked the exact same flight routing for April next year. I’m bemused by the check in procedure, I wasn’t aware that a US Government sponsored game of 20 questions was included in the ticket price.!!
    Can I please ask a question. I’ve never transited in the US before, so how does arrival in Miami work.? Do I clear US immigration there,and then re-enter ‘Airside’ for the ongoing connecting flight?? or is it just an ‘informal’ (!!!) check at a transit desk.??
    Also, for the record, I’ve just paid £1593 return for LHR / CUN ret. OK, it’s a non refundable fare,, but not a bad fare at all..!!..especially seeing it covers the Easter period.

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      October 29, 2016 at 11:52 am

      That is an excellent fare, wow! Miami is one of the few airports where you don’t actually have to pick up your bags and recheck them if you have an international connection – so this is the case. From memory, I think I had to switch terminals – make sure you know your terminal (for the second flight) beforehand because AA doesn’t signal this up on boarding passes for some reason. You will go landslide (exit after customs with no luggage) and then go to the other terminal (if the case), or go outside anyway, and then go through security again. You will be able to fast track, of course.

  3. Alex Gill

    May 30, 2016 at 11:31 am

    My partner and I flew LHR to JFK on the 777-300 in December 2015, and were also bemused by the questions at check in.

    Out check in got off to a bad start when the agent insisted my partner and I checked in separately. Once he had stepped back sufficiently far for her to proceed with my check in, I asked her if married couples had to check in separately. She said no, married couples can check in together. I then pointed out that UK law makes it illegal to discriminate against people on the grounds of sexuality, and asked her why my Civil Partner was not allowed to check in with me. She immediately apologised, and invited my partner to check in with me. OK, we are not obviously gay, but they should come up with a sensitive way of establishing whether or not two people travelling together are are a couple or not, and not just make assumptions. Perhaps asking “are you related”. Our booking information would show that we live at the same address.

    Then came those questions. Now after the awkward start to the check in, I though the check in agent was being deliberately difficult, until I heard people at the next desk being asked equally bizarre questions.

    I won’t repeat them, because I think they are probably a good way of trying to screen out terrorists, but it was a very odd experience.

    On to the cabin, I assume the pre flight drink being served in plastic is for safety reasons, so you can keep the drink during take off.

    Immigration at JFK was a breeze thanks to the new APC kiosks. It is not well advertised, but anyone travelling with a machine readable passport under the VWP can use these, which are in the line for US and Canadian Citizens at JFK.

  4. Ann-Kathrin Koch

    April 1, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Really good review, but wow, that is some check in! Did it at least make it easier on the other side going through TSA? If not I really don’t see the point and would feel pretty confused being interrogated by a check-in agent of the airline.

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 1, 2016 at 11:12 am

      No… it was normal immigration procedure which was absolutely fine and normal. I just don’t get the questions – and how then from Mexico to USA there were none.

  5. Anna Parker

    April 1, 2016 at 10:11 am

    haha, the plastic glasses (and prosecco) and the lounge were the low point for me too. But the small business cabin at the front and the headphones – big mprovement to BA

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 1, 2016 at 10:23 am

      The small business cabin was very good – but on that flight the service was so poor…
      The headphones are 100000% times better than BA for sure – I don’t know why others insist on having their own headphones when there is a clear market leader. I wonder with AA has a deal with Bose? I have no idea.

      • Ben

        February 27, 2017 at 3:52 pm

        Hi, really enjoyed this review. Can I ask if you had the choice of BA or AA same price etc which would you choose?
        Ben

        • @mrsoaroundworld

          February 27, 2017 at 5:07 pm

          I would go BA – I think the soft product matters and BA’s is ever so slightly better (although gutted they have changed the champagne). But wines way better… and food. And service. That question did make me think!

        • Alex Gill

          February 27, 2017 at 5:49 pm

          BA club world is a crowded high density cabin with (on the 777) a 2-4-2 configuration. They have about 25% more seats in the same space. You have to climb over peoples feet to get out of your seat, or have people climb over you, when the seats are reclined. The seats are narrower on BA than on AA. The aisle seats lack privacy. You are very close to the people next to you. You may be facing a stranger while the screens are down for take off and whenever meals and drinks are served. There is very little storage space. The overhead lockers are heavily used because of the high density seating. The only personal storage is an a drawer at floor level, which is inaccessible when your seat is reclined.

          AA, on the 77W, have a 1-2-1 configuration. You have direct aisle access to your seat. You have lots of storage. The TV screens are bigger. The beds are wider. The pillows are bigger. You get a proper duvet instead of a thin blanket. You get a decent amenity kit. You have space to hang your coat ) but the staff will come and collect it and hang it for you). It is very private; even in the middle pair, you cannot see the person next to unless you lean well forward (this may be a disadvantage for a couple travelling together). On my AA flights, the service has been excellent, and the food has been very good. I love the dessert trolley and the ice cream sundaes. AA Business Class is more like BAs first class. I us BA Club World for Avios redemptions. If I’m buying a ticket, I fly AA. I don’t care what brand the sparkling wine is; for me, comfort is paramount.

          • @mrsoaroundworld

            February 28, 2017 at 10:14 am

            This is why we all have options and different opinions – I do care about the soft product and I will fly AA for sure without a problem, but service with BA is usually way better. And I cannot wait for BA’s new Club World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

More in Airlines

flight review qantas first class 380 dubai to london first class suite 1300

My Flight: a review of Qantas First Class A380 from Dubai to London

@mrsoaroundworldJanuary 31, 2017
british airways first class seat 2 b 787 dreamliner

Finding more about the design of British Airways First Class Suites

@mrsoaroundworldJune 13, 2016
behind the scenes of heathrow britain busiest airport itv documentary ana silva oreilly

Behind the scenes at Heathrow Airport #britainsbusiestairport

@mrsoaroundworldMay 25, 2016

My Flight: British Airways Club World A380 from London to Los Angeles

@mrsoaroundworldSeptember 11, 2015
The screens (and a peek at the cabin)

My Flight: Jet Airways Premiere (Business Class) London to Mumbai

@mrsoaroundworldApril 1, 2015

My Flight: JetBlue Mint cabin (new business class service) from LAX to JFK

@mrsoaroundworldOctober 28, 2014
Apple Music

Disclosure

Please note that some of the links on this website are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link.

Love Travel. Love People.

Love Shoes.

Copyright © 2017 Ana Silva O'Reilly.

%d bloggers like this: