American Airlines, Business Class
THE FLIGHT: American Airlines flight 78 from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to London Heathrow. The service was operated by a B777-200 with scheduled local departure and arrival times of 19.20 and 10.30 (the following day) respectively. I was travelling in the airline's Flagship Business class.
PRE-BOARDING: Iʼd checked in online and, with only hand luggage, headed straight for priority fast track security at Terminal D which seemed only slightly quicker than the regular line. Airside, I visited the airlineʼs main Flagship lounge, which was refreshed earlier this year at the same time as Flagship Dining was introduced for first class passengers. Gordon Ramsey is rumoured to have praised the cuisine on offer here.
THE SEAT: I travelled in seat 8H, one of the centre seats in a 1-2-1 configuration of angled, forward-facing seats (all seats have direct aisle access). The seat was spacious and had plenty of storage points – a couple that I only discovered when preparing to land – plus simple controls for adjusting the seat or converting it to a flat bed. The IFE screen was good quality and the entertainment available was pretty comprehensive and included some live TV channels.
THE SERVICE: Bedding, an amenity kit (by This is Ground) and Bang & Olufsen headphones were all laid out when I boarded. Drinks were offered pre-take-off while hot towels were distributed soon after take off and dinner orders were taken. I chose red snapper with risotto from the list of four options – the fish was good. For dessert I indulged in an iconic ice cream sundae with all the trimmings. Drink servings were generous! A breakfast of omelette or yoghurt and fruit was served an hour before landing. I paid $19 for wifi access for the duration of the flight but reconnecting was a faff each time it was left unused for 30 minutes. An arrivals lounge invite and fast-track immigration pass were handed out shortly before arrival, with the latter put to good use.
THE VERDICT: Crew were courteous and the smart, comfortable seat rewarded me with possibly the best night's sleep I've had onboard. My only moan was the finnicky wifi.
THE DETAILS: American Airlines operates daily flights from London Heathrow to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). Return fares in Flagship Business start from £1,664. See aa.co.uk.
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2019)