My journey from London to New York on American Airlines was easily the best flight I’ve ever experienced on world’s largest airline. This review highlights business class onboard the 777-300ER.
American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Review
This flight was part of a $300 one-way basic economy ticket from Zurich to Los Angeles via London and New York. I upgraded using systemwide upgrades.
I’ve shared about all the drama surrounding the infant ticket, so we’ll just skip right to the flight.
American Airlines 105
London (LHR) – New York (JFK)
Wednesday, January 6
Duration: 08hr, 10min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 3J (Business Class)
As we walked down the jet bridge, the boarding door closed behind us: we were last onboard.
The reverse herringbone seats used by American Airlines are my favorite business class seats in the sky other than Qsuite from Qatar Airways. The cabin is divided into a mini-cabin of eight seats behind first class and a larger cabin of 44 seats, separated by a galley and lavatory, for a total of 52 seats in business class.
Let’s just say the flight was very lightly filled. In fact, there were only two other passengers in business class. We had the front cabin to ourselves, but could have had most of the rear cabin as well!
The seat includes a power port, a storage compartment in the armrest and on the table, storage pouch on the side, shoe compartment, and two reading lights (in addition to the overhead light). The IFE screen flips out. I found plenty of legroom in the cubby, though I was seated in the bulkhead row.
American Airlines uses Capser bedding, which was sitting in the seat in a sealed package. I did not sleep during the flight, but did curl up a bit and found the comforter quite warm. Business class seats transform into flat beds.
Seat pitch is 43 inches when upright and 75 inches when fully flat. The seats are 20.5 inches wide.
I want to give a huge shoutout to the entire crew, but particularly to Julie, who took care of Augustine and me (and later my wife when we switched seats…more on that below).
She was so attentive and so kind. The smile beneath the mask was unmistakable and she simply exuded the sort of warmth and care that made me forget all about the upgrade snafu.
Sure, she was attentive (so was her colleague Lorraine) during the meal service, but was also proactive in checking on us constantly. It felt like a private jet experience…the cabin was literally ours alone and service was directed at our pace.
Speaking of Augustine, the IFE was really all about six hours of one looping Mickey Mouse cartoon. We don’t have a TV at home, he doesn’t get much screen time on my computer or phone, and therefore flying is an extra special treat for him.
American had a pair of Mickey Mouse cartoons in its in-flight-entertainment library and you should have heard Augustine laughing. All of a sudden he would burst out laughing, which certainly endeared him to flight attendants. It was a cartoon about a race which ended in a crash…he just could not stop laughing at the crash and ended up looping this cartoon more than a dozen times during the flight.
Of course there were other selections as well, a comprehensive library in fact. I watched Tenet, the latest Chris Nolan movie (and I have to watch it again, like all of his movies…). There was a huge library of movies, TV shows, music, and games.
AA used Bang & Olufsen noise-cancelling headphones, which worked very well and I prefer to the old Bose headphones.
Wi-Fi was available in theory, but I tried connecting several times and it did not work. Thankfully, I had completed all my work prior to the flight.
Food + Beverage
Shortly after takeoff, service began with a choice of beverage and a package of smoked almonds (no warm nuts or hot towels during the pandemic). Menus were also distributed.
I had pre-ordered lunch for Augustine and me (and Heidi…), a feature I love about American Airlines. Sea bass for me and chicken for Augustine.
The meals arrived promptly with each course covered or sealed. While the vegetable antipasti appetizer and lemon tart were not great, the main course of grilled sea bass with mustard vegetables, warm potato salad, and asparagus tips was very tasty.
Augustine enjoyed his seared chicken with truffle jus, macaroni and cheese, and green beans.
The menu indicated cappuccinos were available and I asked the purser for one when she came by. Although she indicated they were “technically” for first class only, she cheerfully made me one (first class had one non-rev and seven empty seats).
Midway through the flight I helped myself to the self-serve “buffet” located between business class cabins. The smoked nuts were addictive and I consumed several bags!
Prior to landing, a choice of Thai noodle salad or a BBQ beef sandwich were offered. I love pulled BBQ beef, but it was a big mistake to order this sandwich…it was far too heavy, with flatbread extremely doughy. I was also offered the noodle salad, but was full and declined. At least the potato chips and fresh fruit were tasty.
Overall, the main meal was tremendous and the pre-arrival meal was not worth eating.
A water bottle was waiting at each seat.
A sealed amenity kit came in a “This is Ground” black leather case. It included:
- Ear plugs
- Eye shade
- Lip balm (from Allies of Skin)
- Hand lotion (from Allies of Skin)
My Exile To Economy Class
While I sat in business class for the first and last part of the flight, my wife took business class during the middle part of the flight. To be clear, I had offered her the seat the entire flight, but she declined and insisted I sit in business with Augustine #greatwife. She sat with baby Claire Marie in economy class, which was almost most empty.
But I did spend a couple hours back there, including during the mid-flight ice cream service. Augustine could have stayed in his seat, but he followed me back (and began watching the Disney cartoon in economy class…) and at one point Heidi wanted to talk to me so we were all in economy class.
Bottom line: this six-hour daytime flight would have been perfectly doable in economy class, though I loved business class.
The 777-300 lavatories are spacious in business class and have a large farm style sink with (faux) wood floors and plenty of space to move around. No additional amenities, though I liked the lemon-scented soap from C.O. Bigelow.
I really enjoyed my flight on American Airlines and look forward to flying in AA business again on the 777-300ER, especially once nonstop service between London Heathrow and Los Angeles resumes. All things considered, I’d say American offers a superior product to British Airways thanks to the seat, though the new Club World Suites on BA will level that playing field. But the highlight of my flight was Julie…what a treasure she is to American Airlines.