16th October 2015 at 09:00 #547809
Anonymous16th October 2015 at 09:00 #547810
I am eternally grateful to American Airlines, for such was the awfulness of a flight from Dallas to LHR in the back of a 777 a few years back that I swore from that point onwards Economy travel was to be a thing of the past. Roll the clock on a few years and we find ourselves in an aged 767 in business class. And surprise surprise, so many things to like!
As we only had hand luggage (excessive by any other carrier’s standards) we proceeded straight to security having completed a US customs form in readiness for pre-clearance.
American use a DAA lounge shared with other airlines. The room is oddly proportioned – not a huge amount of seating, double height ceiling and harshly lit. There was only a moderate breakfast offering which would have been a let down had we not filled up at our hotel.
An announcement was made when we it was time for us to proceed to US immigration and customs pre-clearance. Perhaps there was a priority line and we were too dozy to notice, but it was a slow moving queue as we were soon to discover largely due to the over-chattiness of the agent – not something you usually suffer from in the US. By the time we reached the gate it was clear that we were one of the last to board.
After a cheery greeting we settled into the old-style seats about which so much has been written. Well sorry but I loved every inch of it. It was by far the most comfortable aircraft seat I have ever sat in – with so many different positions to choose from there was something for everyone. Even when it came to sleeping I did better in the semi-upright position that I do on some of the rock hard fully flats out there. I know I must be in a minority of one, but honestly if I could buy one of those bad boys I would.
Prior to take off menus and amenity kits were handed out. The latter were from the retro set of collectibles celebrating all the airlines that American has bought out (ransacked?) over the years. OK, they don’t express it like that, but I doubt an ex-TWA employee would be too flattered by the nod to their past! Dinky shots of champagne and juice were served in small plastic stemmed thimbles – didn’t bother with that.
After take off the charming Purser introduced herself addressing us by name and took lunch orders. There followed a drinks run with AA's signature warm nuts.
An announcement followed that there were no IFE tablets on the flight – not a problem in this age of IPADs and laptops. In any event there was an overhead screen.
Lunch included a shrimp appetiser, salad with choice of dressing followed by entrees which we had pre-ordered, beef, fish, pasta. All were extremely tasty in a typically American highly seasoned way. But the piece de resistance was the icecream sundae that followed with choice of toppings and sauce. I skipped the wine as suffering from a cold, but drinks were regularly refilled. I also declined the second meal – a tasty looking grilled cheese with potato salad and cookies.
Such was the attentiveness of the crew that two passengers ended up completely hammered and somewhat rowdy. The Purser discretely enquired of me whether they were causing a disturbance to which I offered a resounding “Yes”, following which she had a quite word with them and things settled down. They continued to receive regular top-ups and rather alarmingly could be heard discussing their hire car pick-up. Last seen making a beeline for the nearest Starbucks at O’Hare.
The service was friendly and professional – we were addressed by name throughout, (Mrs Hermes also referred to as ‘little lady”). At the end of the flight a crew member thanked each of us by name for our business – a nice touch I thought.
Loved it all and would do it again even in a non-refurbished 767.
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