When crossing the Atlantic between Europe and the United States, there are a myriad of airline options available. Hell, you can even cross by ocean liner if you want to. This time I elected to fly American Airlines transatlantic business class as I had never tried it before.
At the moment, the oneworld alliance airline has a number of routes operating out of Terminal 5 at London Heathrow, so I had to connect from Terminal 2 to there. With just 90 minutes between flights, I had just enough time for a quick pit stop in the British Airways Galleries North Lounge before heading to the boarding gate.
The Dreaded SSSS
Passengers who receive SSSS on their Boarding Pass are subject to extra security checks before flying. At Heathrow, I arrived at the gate and flashed it at the staff, who advised boarding had not yet commenced. When they saw the SSSS, they immediately and smilingly took me through and downstairs to be checked out.
Two tables were setup near the entrance to the aerobridge and a jolly guy set about checking me. Shoes off, a delve into my cabin baggage and a pat down later and I was good to go. Others were also arriving for the same treatment as I bid the friendly people goodbye and then I headed down to the plane.
AA101 – London Heathrow to New York Kennedy (LHR-JFK)
25 January 2022
Boeing 777-300ER – N735AT
Seat: Business Class 4A
Departure: 09:30 Arrival: 12:29
I was met at the door by a flight attendant who directed me forward to my seat. Within moments I had my cabin bag stowed in the overhead locker and I set about checking out my surroundings.
American Airlines Business Class Seat
The American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER comprises of eight seats in first class up front, followed by 52 business class seats. Eight of these are in a mini-cabin of their own and that is where I elected to sit.
The seat itself is the Safran Cirrus II, similar to that used by other airlines such as Cathay Pacific. Boarding continued and I relaxed, enjoying the fact I had made the flight with no hassles.
Time To Fly!
During boarding the crew come around with a pre-departure beverage, as the Americans call them. I took a plastic cup of Champagne, and I’m in two minds about it. Plastic is light, which means less weight to haul across the Atlantic. However it comes across as cheap, plus it’s plastic – does it even get recycled? What a quandary!
After the safety demonstration, we headed into the air. Hot towels were distributed while I was checking out the amenity kit, then I selected something to watch during my lunch. The 15.4″ screen is pleasantly large and makes watching things very easy.
American’s Transatlantic Business Class Lunch
I already knew what I was going to get for my transatlantic business lunch, as you can select your meal in the 30 day window before the flight. My choice was the Sous-vide Flat Iron Steak with roasted fingerling potatoes, sautéed green beans, tomatoes on the vine and red wine sauce. There is no dilly dallying among the American Airlines flight attendants, and the lunch service commenced promptly after departure.
From the shrimp appetiser to the salad to the Flat Iron Steak, it was all very good indeed. I would probably say the steak was a little overcooked, but it was no big deal. As you can see, I hoovered it all up quite happily.
The Famous Ice Cream Sundae
For dessert I was offered an ice cream sundae, which is something people always look forward to on AA. When asked what toppings I wanted, I directed the Flight Attendant to surprise me. I’m very easy when it comes to sweet things, so there was no way she’d make a wrong choice.
Of course, it was as delicious as I remembered it to be, so I was quite content. While attempting to take a selfie with the sundae (I am very crap at taking good selfies), the crew member noticed and took pity on me, offering to take the picture. That was very nice of her indeed!
Toilets, Snacks and Pies
With a bathroom located right behind my seat, there wasn’t far to go when needing the facilities. I found thing spic and span and liked the more upscale choice for the basin.
You can get snacks during the flight, and then before landing is another small meal. The pies, fruit and chocolate were nice, certainly different to the afternoon tea you get at British Airways. The crisps came to the hotel with me. Soon after, we descended into New York and landed.
American Airlines transatlantic business class is pretty good all round. The seat is on par with other world class airlines, with accommodating and friendly on board service from the crew.
There is plenty of food offered so nobody is going hungry, nor are they stingy with the drinks. Quality of the food was great, which should be no surprise to anyone after seeing my clean plate. That coupled with decent inflight entertainment made for a lovely jaunt across the pond.
Have you flown American Airlines transatlantic business class before? What do you think of it? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Mark Harkin via Wikimedia Commons.
I last flew AA Business class in late 2019. I flew JFK to Madrid and Rome to JFK. It was one of the worse business class products that I have ever experienced. The food was bland and tasteless. The seat was claustrophobic and seats facing the rare of the aircraft just a stupid configuration. The midway snack was abysmal. Entertainment offering was good. The lounge at JFK was OK; the lounge at Rome – they should not have bothered. The only way I would ever fly AA international business again is if the fare is substantially less than other carriers… Read more »
Sounds like it was pretty bad there. Sounds like you were on one of the aircraft with the Concept D seats – https://www.aerolopa.com/aa-788-type-1 – which I have yet to experience. At the moment, AA offer an arguably better product than British Airways when it comes to business class international food. This was my first time flying AA in business and it was good. Apparently they’ve upped their game! Anyway, I think your comments are fair. I wouldn’t fly an airline again if I didn’t like them.
The plastic “glasses” for pre departure drinks are for safety, so you dont have to rush your drink before take off. Real glass is used once airborne.
Fair enough, I’m used to other airlines offering the pre-departure drink in an actual glass, hence why I mentioned it. Thanks for the comment!
Flew AA 777-300ER, seat 4A, DFW-LHR Christmas day, then BA first, 787-9 (2D?) two weeks later LHR-ATL I’d flown AA’s 777 business before and was fine with it, but really looked forward to BA first on the Dreamliner. Well, it wasn’t bad, just not better than AA business. Too hot, brightly lit cabin for hours, no seat workings info card, subpar catering and so on. Both had very good service though. Live and learn.
Nice to hear what you think of both, and interesting to hear BA First was not better than AA business. I’ve not flown BA up front in years, as I can usually only do it by upgrading with points and you need to be quick to get those seats. Thanks for that!