American Airlines business class offers two different types of seats on the Boeing 787-8. You might get the Concept D seats, which face backwards and forwards, or the Super Diamond seats which all face the same direction.
I was supposed to be on an aircraft fitted with the Concept D seats (per the seat map here) but it was eventually swapped for Super Diamond. What I didn’t realise was that my assigned seat in row five had no window on the new plane.
Check-in for American Airlines flights opens at around 7am at Dublin Airport, so I arrived and was swiftly sorted out. Next, I headed through fast-track security at Terminal 2 with little waiting. This is followed by, as Irish travellers know, U.S. Preclearance, something offered at both Dublin and Shannon Airport.
What this entails is going through security again (shoes off this time) and then going through immigration and formally entering the United States. There is a fast-track for business class passengers which saves time, so I used that, lined up and met the U.S. Immigration agent who was very friendly. From there I was done and I headed to the 51st and Green lounge to relax before flight.
AA723 – Dublin to Philadelphia (DUB-PHL)
2 February 2023
Boeing 787-8 – N872AN
Seat: Business Class 5A
Departure: 10:40 Arrival: 13:10
Being an American Airlines business class passenger, when it was time to board I was one of the first on board. I hadn’t noticed on the seat map that my row had no window until I arrived at my seat.
American Airlines Business Class Seat
Crestfallen, I hoped that perhaps there would be a no show and one of the window seats would be free. I kept an eye on everyone but it turned out they were all taken. A first world problem perhaps, but I was still not a happy camper. I don’t select a window seat to then not be able to see outside.
In all my flying, this has never happened to me, so I vowed this would be the first and last time that happened. Anyway, I was offered a welcome drink and took a Champagne, stowed the Bang and Olufsen headphones and relaxed. Eventually boarding was complete and we headed into the sky and set course for Philadelphia.
A Drink To Begin
When flying American Airlines business class, you can select your main meal 30 days before flight. I noticed the menu was exactly the same as when I had flown the same time a year earlier. Once again I went for the flat iron steak, curious to see if it was as good as I remembered.
Flight attendants wasted little time starting the proceedings, and soon I was being offered a drink. Happily they were serving Duval-Leroy Champagne, which I had once had when flying SWISS from Zurich to Dublin. This is quite nice and it was accompanied by the usual warn nuts.
Shortly, the first course arrived, featuring a leafy salad along with a prawn dish. All of that was duly consumed and the crew brought out the main course, the flat iron steak. Alas, the meat was not nearly as tasty as the same dish out of London the year before.
Not that it was bad mind you, but it tasted like an inexpensive cut and wasn’t great. Everything else was perfectly okay though, so I finished it all. For dessert, you can’t go past the famous American Airlines ice cream sundae. So delicious and must have for me!
While this was a day flight, we were plunged into darkness for most of the rest of the flight. This is pretty common on the Boeing 787, where the crew can control the electrically dimming windows. Perhaps a godsend this time, because I had no window anyway and would have been jealous of those who could see out.
After watching something on the entertainment, I headed to get some snacks. Passengers in American Airlines business class have plenty of treats to choose from, so you’d be hard pressed to go hungry on a flight.
Another Sundae and Another Meal
During the flight I got chatting to a very friendly crew member for a while. He offered to get me another sundae and of course I accepted, because I really quite like them. Eventually, it was time for the pre-landing snack which are pies, fruit, crisps and a chocolate pot.
I think this is pretty decent and I always enjoy it. After that, the crew cleared everything away and we arrived in Philadelphia on time. From there it was off to my connecting flight.
Despite having no window, American Airlines business class is very good. I’ve used them a few times now on transatlantic flights and find the product to be very consistent and quite comfortable. The crew are usually pleasant, as they were on this service.
For those wanting to compare flights, economy class on AA transatlantic is reviewed here, and you can see what things are like in premium economy here. It was nice to have experienced all classes of service really.
What do you think of American Airlines business class? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Jakkrit Prasertwit on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
We just flew MAD to PHL in AA Premium Economy for the first time. Excellent flight and service. The worst part of the flight was deplaning and having to wait 3 hours for our connection to LAX. PHL is the most depressing airport in the world. We’ve felt more comfortable and safe in Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Ruanda. AA has to clean up its PHL gate act.
I was really impressed with AA Premium Economy when I flew it in December. It’s a great product all round. Philadelphia airport is nothing to write home about, that’s true!
Great review. I hate when they turn the cabin into a cave on daylight flights. Worse than no window. Glad to see the suggestion that crew can unlock your individual window.
Thanks Kathy, appreciate the kind words! And agreed!!
I am so happy you got there alive! It’s TRANSPORTATION, right? Food, blankets and pillows? FOOD? On an airplane? Are
You kidding? It’s made 3 days before and loaded into a meal cart on a catering truck and the FAs warm it up. The beer and wine have been cooled and warmed up for weeks in the commissary. From beverage cart to beverage cart. If this is your life I truly pity you. How gross, my sympathies.
I’m happy I’m alive too, Julia. Thanks so much for your insights!
Julia is complaining about airplane food being made 3 days before and warmed up on the flight all while 99% of America eats out of the frozen foods section of their grocery store where foods are cooked months in advance and then frozen long enough to lose any conceivable nutritional value…
So what do you eat when you fly, Julia? Does your carry-on convert into a “picnic-basket”?
I had a similar issue when flying PHL to DUB. In my case, an itinerary from Minneapolis to Krakow was rerouted in 2019 to get around a strike at Heathrow. So I ended up with the last, completely windowless, seat in premium economy. The setup was a little odd, but the flight so short I didn’t really care. Fortunately, AA PE is among the better PE products in OneWorld (good seats and decent food, etc., unlike, say, CX).
I have to agree, Premium Economy on AA was a real revelation when I flew it at the end of last year. Really impressed with it – it strikes the right balance between value and comfort. It’s strange with no window for me. I really missed it! I’ll certainly be more careful in future.
Just flew Business class to London on American from Philadelphia. Agree with the quality of service but I thought the food was awful. In the future will eat supper in Centurion Lounge and skip plane meal. Flight home was on BA and food was very good. Service on both carriers is much the same.
I will agree, the quality of the food on BA is generally better than what is served on American. I don’t know if I’d ever go so far as to skip the on board meal. In economy class yes, I’ve found the offering to be boring, but in Premium Economy and Business the food is usually quite good. Thanks for the comment!
Like a lot of online journalists they don’t have a clue, don’t you check the seating arrangement before booking. One journalist last week thought the Maldives was in the Caribean, and they’re getting paid to write this drivel
Hahaha! Good grief, the Maldives in the Caribbean? That’s terrible! For me, I did check the seating plan very closely, however once it swapped all the window seats were already taken. The aircraft was changed quite late in the piece. Thanks for the comment!
Don’t you read the article before commenting?
From the article above: “I was supposed to be on an aircraft fitted with the Concept D seats (per the seat map here) but it was eventually swapped for Super Diamond. What I didn’t realise was that my assigned seat in row five had no window on the new plane.” End quote.
Well that’s a beautiful review, even though a couple of issues spotted. Regarding the window darkness, happens to me, too. I always request the Purser to unlock my window as I’d like to enjoy the view, plus keep my circadian rhythm in sync with destination. Next, alcohol (wine) presentation at the snack station. Unless a flight attendant was also stationed to serve it, AA was in violation of a Federal Regulation that requires alcohol to only be served by a working crew member. Oops! Again, thank you!
That’s a good idea, I’ve never asked them to unlock my window specifically before. I’ll keep that in mind for my next flight. Regarding the alcohol rule, there was a crew member stationed in the galley there, that is who I was speaking to during the flight. That is who poured me a drink, so while the drinks are in the self-service area, I don’t believe they are self-service. I didn’t know about that rule though, so it’s good to know. Thank you for the comment!
Do they offer a decent amenity kit?
It’s a small blue fabric pouch from Shinola with eye mask, socks and a few other bits in it. Nothing earth shattering, but also nothing like a giant bag of waste.