Review: AA Business Class LHR-DFW

Our ride to the airport was already waiting by the time we checked out of the Hilton Heathrow T5. The ride to the airport took 15 mins all in, and cost 50 pounds because the driver gave us a glare for not tipping “properly.” As usual the acted like he was doing us a favor and said his credit card machine was broken despite the fact that it looked like it was fully functioning.

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Introduction: Spring break in Spain
British Airways Club World DFW-LHR
British Airways T5 Galleries South Lounge @ Heathrow
The Westin Palace Madrid
Renfe Preferred Class Madrid-Seville
Renfe Preferred Class Lounge – Seville St. Justa
Hotel Alfonso XII Seville
Strolling through Seville
Sights and Sounds of Majestic Madrid
Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid Barajas
Iberia Business Class Madrid-Barcelona
The W Barcelona
Exploring Gaudi’s Barcelona
The Hilton London Heathrow Airport T5
American Airlines New Business Class LHR-DFW

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Business and First class passengers at LHR T3 have a special designated check in area on the outside of the terminal. It’s on the far end of the front foyer and is right next to the departure areas H entrance to the terminal.

 

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The area around the check in is lit in purple because T3 is Virgin Atlantic’s base of operations, and they pretty much want to stamp their presence on this terminal. I had to wait outside because the check in area was too small to fit all the passengers standing in line.

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As I was standing there waiting, a woman in a red trench coat caught my eye. She seemed appropriately dressed enough to be featured in a Sherlock episode 🙂 (As an actor, not in the other manner. I’m not Sherlock to get excited about ‘that’)

A Study in Red

Check In/Security: 

Check in was a rather slow process given that the team was having trouble print boarding passes. We had already arrived a little late at the airport so we were going to be cutting it close on this visit. After about 30 minutes, they were finally able to check our bags and hand us our fast track passes to get through security.

The Cabin:

We started from the hotel a bit late on this particular morning and check in took forever so there will be no lounge visit associated with this particular flight. Security was luckily a breeze, and we brisked walked over to the gate where boarding had already begun.

Upon boarding, I was happy to note that this flight was flown by a brand new 777-300ER featuring the reverse herringbone style business class seat. At the time of booking, American hadn’t quite completed its fleetwide refurbishment of seating so it was a risk, but for ~$1200 roundtrip, I couldn’t complain even if I got the older seat. This really made my day though because I was dead tired from all of my early morning photowalks in Spain.

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These seats are easily the most comfortable business class ones in the sky today. There is plenty of privacy and storage space for your smaller electronic devices.

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The nook in the corner had two charging outlets, Bose headphones, and the Cole Haan amenity kits that American offers now in this cabin.

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The window seat is ideal when traveling alone and already had the blanket and pillows on the seat. After I finished up taking pictures, I was offered a pre departure beverage of orange juice or champagne before the captain went on the PA system to announce our flight path. Apparently it would be a smooth 9 hours and 15 min flight on the way to DFW.

AA LHR-DFW (5)

There were no significant delays on this particular morning in Heathrow so we were airborne within 15 mins of leaving the gate.

The Food:

As soon as we reached cruising altitude, the flight attendants sprang into action. I ordered some Diet Coke to start off and this was served with some warm nuts. It’s definitely nice to drink some good old ‘American’ Diet Coke, after suffering through Coke Zero for a week. And the warm nuts were definitely a step up from the packaged mix that BA offers in their business class.

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I should note here that AA has a vegetarian inflight meal option, but no Asian vegetarian option so the menu usually consists of whatever vegetarian option they are having on board the flight on that particular day. This is probably why I like United better, they actually have an Asian Vegetarian Meal option!

The appetizer consisted of a salad, and tomato caprese along with some french bread. None of it was especially good, especially because they were ice cold.

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The main course was penne pasta with peppers, onions, and spinach, which was actually pretty good because how light it felt. It wasn’t sunken full of cheese as it normally is on American.

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The highlight of a flight on any American carrier (United, AA, or Delta) is the ice cream sundae. I had everything put on top of it from caramel to almonds to whipped cream. Yes it was incredibly unhealthy, but it really hit the spot.

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Service:  We had a great team of FAs on this flight to Dallas. They kept my glass full of Diet Coke, and were extremely efficient in bringing and removing trays. That says a lot because this flight was completely full.

Amenity Kit:

I can never be as good or thorough as my friend Darren was at Frequently Flying when reviewing these kits. I wonder what rating he truly would have given every time I do one of these for a post. The amenity kit is definitely a step up from what BA offers on their flights especially because the bag is quite nicely designed and durable for long haul usage. Contents are sufficient for a brief overnight, but nothing significant like what Emirates has on offer. 

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I slept for a good 6 hours on the way back from Heathrow to Dallas, and woke up just before landing in DFW. The seat overall is perfect for sleeping sideways or flat, and is certainly more than long enough for a six footer like myself.

I didn’t partake in the snack service before landing because the FA had mentioned that the entree was the same as what was previously offered for lunch after leaving Heathrow. Go figure, AA meal service disappoints yet again.


Bottom Line: AA easily offers the best seat between London and the United States on their 777-300ER (777W) aircraft. FAs are consistently nice when flying in and out of Dallas and meal service is efficient enough to get a decent amount shut eye on the flight. The entertainment system on new AA aircrafts is actually pretty good with entire seasons of Game of Thrones and Veep on offer for passengers, and more than a handful of new releases. Indian movie selection, however is below what United has to offer (something my parents pointed out). With that being said, my only gripe is that AA really hasn’t made any improvements in their meal service. The ice cream sundae for dessert is really nice, but the rest of it seems to be the same old pasta and salad they offer on every international flight. Furthermore, not having an Asian Vegetarian Meal on offer truly puts them behind the competition. A lot of people pay a premium for these seats and so AA could go a long way by making improvements to this part of the service.

Final Verdict (AA vs BA vs United to London):  I would take AA over BA or United on any given day just because of the hard product, which is leagues ahead of BA’s concept of hopping over your fellow passengers in Club World.  Between AA and  United, I would just choose the airline most convenient for me, which happens to be AA because I’m based out of Dallas. I still need to try Delta…...


What is your airline of choice for crossing the Atlantic? For service to London?