American Airlines 777 Economy Class Review from London (2013) Bottom Line
This was one of the first flights I took with the intention to review. My American Airlines 777 economy class review in 2013 pushed me to start reviewing flights, a hobby I have enjoyed since then! I had been inspired by other bloggers such as OneMileAtaTime, ViewFromTheWing, and ThePointsGuy. Although I did not know much about how to properly write a review then, I did take notes on the flight and compiled them for the review. Little did I know then that the review would take 7 years to be published. Not much has changed between American Airlines’ economy service between 2013 and 2019. The biggest change is that the economy extra mini cabin is gone (replaced by Premium Economy) and the food portions feel smaller.
Connection at LHR
I had been traveling with my family on holiday in Spain. We had flown British Airways from Barcelona to Heathrow and had to transfer from Terminal 5 to American’s home in Terminal 3. Since we were unable to properly check-in for our flight, we spent a while in the BA/AA transfer desk. Eventually, it was all sorted out and we were all seated in Main Cabin Extra (thanks to my mom’s AAdvantage Platinum status).
Boarding in Heathrow
Since we spent most of our connection time at the transfer desk, we had to rush to the gate which was about a 15-minute brisk walk away. When I was there I did not know of any lounges at the airport aside from the Admirals Club, but now I would prefer to spend time at the Cathay Pacific Lounge if I can. At the gate, there was a mess of people. There was a British Airways 747 boarding next to our 777-300ER. When we were finally able to have our boarding passes scanned we proceeded to board.
Cabin and Seat
When I took this flight, American Airlines had not yet been purchased by US Airways (although the deal had been announced). Everything on the aircraft was legacy American Airlines: the uniforms, the seat fabric, and the general feel of legacy AA flight attendants from JFK. The 777-300ER mini cabin had a generous pitch of about 36 inches. It was arranged 3x3x3 as opposed to the 3x4x3 in the regular economy cabin. It gave it a sense of spaciousness and seclusion; with one less seat per row, passengers felt more comfortable.
I had selected the window seat on the A-side of the aircraft. I found the seat to be comfortable and well-padded for a flight across the Atlantic to New York. The aircraft smelled like new and was probably under 2 years old. As soon as the aircraft was finished boarding, the captain came on the PA and thanked us for flying American. We took off after a short taxi to the runway.
Soon after we leveled off at our cruising altitude, the flight attendants began lunch service. Another benefit of the mini-cabin was that we would receive meal orders first, so they wouldn’t run out of each passenger’s preferred meal option.
The two options available were pasta primavera and beef stroganoff. I ended up ordering the beef stroganoff. It was served with a side salad, bread, cheese spread, and a cookie for dessert. Flight attendants offered each passenger their preferred beverage along with a small packet of crackers. The meal was okay (in my old notes I have the words “tasted like a $3 TV dinner”). Nothing was special, but when I compare the size of the meals they used to be bigger in 2013.
Throughout the flight, the flight attendants came by occasionally offering passengers water. At some point, I asked for some snacks and was offered cookies. They did the trick. About 90 minutes out of JFK, we were served the pre-arrival snack. It was basically a microwaved flatbread pizza with pesto. It was surprisingly delicious and was better than the main meal. I haven’t flown westbound from Europe on American in a while, so I’m not sure what the pre-arrival snack is now, but I don’t expect it to be any better (and probably worse nowadays).
Landing and Arrival
We had an uneventful landing at JFK and were through customs quickly. From there, we took the old American Airlines flight to San Juan on a 757.
Nothing about the flight stands out as spectacular, based on my notes at least. I guess consistency is key? It did make me very happy to see my scribbled notes from 7 years ago and reflect on all that has changed since then. I have been blessed to have graduated from college since then, enrolled in law school and one semester shy of graduating had the chance to travel and blog about it, and lived through countless life-changing experiences. If I could tell 2013 me anything, when I wrote down my in-flight experience, is to appreciate every minute of my life from then on. It is always easier said than done and to this day it takes effort to appreciate the little things and stop to smell the flowers, but I wish I was in less of a hurry to grow up then and had appreciated all the little details that made that holiday so special.