American Airlines, Business Class
THE FLIGHT: Flight AA39 from London Heathrow Terminal 3 to Miami International, departing at 12.15, operated by a Boeing 777-200.
THE CHECK-IN: The staff at check-in asked me a barrage of questions about my reasons for travelling and ultimate destination which made me think I should have just opted to use a self-check-in kiosk. They did point out a short-cut to fast track security though, for which I was grateful.
THE LOUNGE:The Admirals Club lounge was extremely busy due to both the time of day and the delayed departure of an earlier flight. I was able to find a seat, however, and took advantage of the selection of snacks, beverages, wifi and reading material. Boarding from the lounge was quick thanks to the nearby departure gate.
THE SEAT:Seating in the business class cabin was in a 1-2-1 configuration with alternate seats facing backwards and each having direct aisle access. Rear-facing window seats such as I had were probably the most private of the options. Amenity kits, blankets, pillows and Bose noise-reducing headphones were already laid out. The smart silver and grey seats, angled away from the widow, had power points and plenty of useful storage spaces. Controls for the flatbed seat were on a smartphonetype unit which was also used to select inflight entertainment options to view on the 16-inch pull-out screen. I was keen to get some work done onboard and opted to pay $19 for wifi access for the duration of the flight. The wifi was okay, if a little stuttering.
THE SERVICE: Newspapers and drinks were offered before take-off. Hot towels were passed round shortly after take-off and lunch orders were taken. I’d used the pre-ordering service several days earlier to select a trio of seafood, though I was given the option to change my mind. It was accompanied by warm breads and a light salad. There was a choice red and white wines and ice cream sundaes were offered for dessert. Snacks were laid out in the galley for the duration of the flight and a meat and cheese plate was served an hour or so before landing in Miami
THE VERDICT: I’d not flown with American for quite a while so I was impressed by this smart, spacious business class product.
THE DETAILS: American Airlines flies twice-daily from Heathrow to Miami. Return fares in business class start from around £2,101. See aa.com.
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2016)