Review: American Business Class 777-300ER Dallas To Hong Kong

Introduction
American Business Class 777-300ER Dallas To Hong Kong
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui
Cathay Pacific “The Bridge” Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge Hong Kong
American Business Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to Dallas


After an uneventful flight from San Francisco and a night at the Element DFW Airport, we made it to the airport at around 10AM for our 12:15PM departure. Our flight was leaving from the D Concourse, which was especially convenient, given that the American Express Centurion Lounge is located there.

We spent about an hour in the lounge (including a 15 minute massage), before going to our departure gate, D23.

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Departure gate DFW Airport

We got to the gate at around 11:30AM, at which point first and business class boarding was already underway.

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American 777-300ER DFW Airport

American 137
Dallas (DFW) ā€“ Hong Kong (HKG)
Wednesday, September 10
Depart: 12:15PM
Arrive: 6:05PM
Duration: 16hr50min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 4J (Business Class)

I had selected seat 4J, which is located in the mini cabin, consisting of just eight seats spread across two rows.

American’s new business class consists of reverse herringbone seats which are among the best in the industry. Not only are they incredibly comfortable for sleeping, but they’re also private, given that they face away from the aisle and have a nice “shield” right near where your head goes.

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American business class seat 777-300ER

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American business class seat 777-300ER

The entertainment screen pops out from the seat in front of you, and there’s an ottoman of sorts for your feet. If I had one criticism about the seat it’s that there’s not much vertical space by where your feet go, if you stick them all the way onto the ottoman.

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American business class seat 777-300ER

The seat also has ample storage. There’s a compartment to the side of the seat which has room for headphones, bottled water, etc. There’s also a mirror there.

Waiting inside the compartment were Bose headphones. I do love how American has Bose headphones in both first and business class internationally — it amazes me how some of the world’s top airlines use really cheap headphones in business class.

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American business class seat storage 777-300ER

Below the side console is even more “open” storage. There’s plenty of room for shoes, a laptop, etc.

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American business class seat storage 777-300ER

The seat controls are located next to the side console, and it’s where the reading light, seat controls, and entertainment controls are located. All are intuitive.

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American business class seat controls 777-300ER

Also waiting at the seat were a pillow and blanket. While it’s not Westin Heavenly Bedding as on Delta, American does have decent pillows and blankets in business class.

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American business class pillow and blanket

Already waiting at my seat upon boarding were the amenity kit and a bottle of water. Within minutes of settling in, one of the flight attendants offered me a pre-departure beverage (I selected water) and the menu for the flight.

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American business class bottled water, menu, and slippers

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American business class menu

American’s amenity kits are rather boring, though do have all the essentials.

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American business class amenity kit contents

While first and business class were full, economy was only about half full on this flight, so boarding was efficient. At around noon the captain came on the PA to add his welcome aboard, informing us of our flight time of 16hr25min, which he expected would put us into Hong Kong on schedule.

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American 767-300 DFW Airport

We began our pushback at 12:10PM, which was five minutes ahead of schedule.

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Pushing back DFW Airport

The safety video began to play as we taxied to runway 18L, which we reached within five minutes.

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Taxiing DFW Airport

Once there we were number one for takeoff, and after a long takeoff roll were airborne.

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View after takeoff from DFW Airport

I quickly “extended” the entertainment screen and turned on the airshow, so that I could appreciate just how long the flight was.

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American business class airshow

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American business class airshow

I spent the next 20 minutes looking out the window, though when departing Dallas there isn’t much to speak of in the way of views.

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View after takeoff from Dallas

Once we passed through about 20,000 feet the crew began their service, starting with shutting the curtains between first and business class… if you can even call those things “curtains.”

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American business class mini-cabin 777-300ER

I browsed the entertainment selection further. American actually has a decent selection, with a fair number of movies, TV shows, etc. Nowadays I don’t really have the attention span for movies, so I browsed the TV selection instead.

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American business class entertainment selection 777-300ER

I decided to watch an episode of the HBO series “Looking.” Meh.

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American business class entertainment selection 777-300ER

About 45 minutes after takeoff the service began, starting with hot towels.

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American business class hot towel

After that lunch was served. The lunch menu read as follows:

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And the wine & beverage list read as follows:

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Service was efficient — the flight attendant primarily working my aisle got the job done but wasn’t overly friendly.

Service began with the cart being rolled through the aisle with drinks and hot nuts. I had a Diet Coke with lime, water, and hot nuts.

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American business class hot nuts and drinks

About 15 minutes later the cart was again rolled through with the appetizer and salad. There was also a bread basket, from which I selected some pretzel bread.

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American business class appetizer and salad

The appetizer consisted of Thai chicken with watermelon and a mint dressing.

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American business class Thai chicken appetizer

Then there was a salad with assorted greens and feta cheese.

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American business class seasonal greens

For the main course I ordered cashew chicken, which was surprisingly good — I loved that it came with a ramekin of nuts.

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American business class cashew chicken main course

Then for dessert I had ice cream with a little bit of chocolate sauce.

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American business class ice cream sundae

All-in-all it was a good meal for business class on American. It was by no means “gourmet,” but was entirely edible.

One of the best things about American’s new 777-300ERs is that they’re equipped with wifi. After lunch I tried to connect, though it wasn’t working. After checking with the crew, they informed me that the wifi wasn’t working as the antenna was “broken.”

I was pissed — I boarded a 17 hour flight with stuff I had to get done, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to count on it working as advertised. I realize there will be service interruptions, but if the antenna was actually broken and they knew it wouldn’t work, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect they’d inform passengers in advance so they can plan accordingly.

With that in mind, I decided to nap for a bit, and did manage to sleep for about four hours.

After a nap I worked on some trip reports on my laptop. In looking at the menu I noticed that they had Hong Kong style milk tea, which is one of my favorite drinks on Cathay Pacific. So naturally I ordered one. Kelly, one of the Mandarin/Cantonese speakers aboard, made it for me. She wasn’t the flight attendant primarily working my aisle, but was an awesome new hire.

It’s actually something that was interesting about the crew. The four (or so) Mandarin/Cantonese speakers on the flight had been hired within the last few months, and were hard working and friendly. Then the other flight attendants weren’t quite as good.

Anyway, the Hong Kong style milk tea was great — unlike on Cathay Pacific it wasn’t made with powder, which is a good thing.

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American business class Hong Kong style milk tea

I decided to roam the plane a bit, and checked out the walk-up bar located between the two business class cabins. It’s near door 2L (where passengers board), and is one of the cool features of the new 777-300ER.

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American business class walk-up bar 777-300ER

Between meals they set up food at the bar. In this case they had finger sandwiches, wraps, tomato & mozzarella, and a bunch of different types of cookies. Of course they were all gone in the first half of the flight.

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American business class bar snacks 777-300ER

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American business class bar snacks 777-300ER

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American business class bar snacks 777-300ER

I then wandered to the back of business class — the second cabin is huge, so I really do prefer being in the mini cabin, because it really does almost feel like first class. I also have a slight preference for the “J” side, since the bathroom on the right side of business class is twice the size of the bathroom on the left side.

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American 777-300ER business class cabin

At this point we were over Alaska, slowly approaching the halfway point of the flight. Man, this is a longhaul!

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American business class airshow

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American business class airshow

By chance I tried to log onto the wifi again, and was thrilled to find it was actually working. I guess it wasn’t broken entirely, but rather just not operating for the first several hours of the flight.

American’s wifi prices are exceedingly reasonable on international flights — you can’t beat $19 for wifi with unlimited data. Thanks to the fact that an announcement was made that it was broken, not many people seemed to be using it, which meant it was pretty fast.

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American 777-300ER wifi cost

After getting a bit of work done, the crew offered passengers the mid-flight snack.

The snack menu read as follows:

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I selected the roast beef wrap, which was served with slaw, spicy aioli, and fruit.

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American business class mid-flight roast beef wrap snack

Meanwhile my friend had the grilled chicken, which was served with udon noodles and fruit.

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American business class mid-flight grilled spicy chicken snack

After the snack I worked for the next five hours or so. With about three hours to go to Hong Kong I was tired once again, so decided to take a nap.

I woke up to a frantic crew announcement, whereby the flight attendants were announcing that all service had to be suspended immediately as everyone had to sit down now.

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American business class airshow

Go figure there wasn’t any turbulence, so after 15 minutes they announced they could resume their service.

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American business class airshow

I slept through the “brunch,” though the menu read as follows:

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My friend did have the three cheese omelette with beef, which was served with salad and a cappuccino mousse tart. Interesting combo, all around.

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American business class three cheese omelette

Our descent into Hong Kong was gradual, and there were some amazing views on the approach. The picture below doesn’t at all do it justice, but we had a clear view of Victoria Harbour, which is rare.

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View on approach into Hong Kong

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View on approach into Hong Kong

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View on approach into Hong Kong

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View on approach into Hong Kong

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View on approach into Hong Kong

We touched down on runway 7L at around 5:35PM, well ahead of schedule.

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View on approach into Hong Kong

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Touchdown in Hong Kong

Our taxi to the gate took about 15 minutes, and as usual my eyes were glued outside the window the whole way in.

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Taxiing to the gate in Hong Kong

I couldn’t help but take note of the lineup of an Air France A380, Emirates A380, and Lufthansa 747-8 — sexy!

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Taxiing to the gate in Hong Kong

Almost as glamorous as the lineup of an Air China 737, Air China 737, Dragonair A321. šŸ˜‰

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Taxiing to the gate in Hong Kong

For a moment I was concerned we had actually landed in Sydney, as we parked right next to two Qantas A330s and a Qantas A380.

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Taxiing to the gate in Hong Kong

The door to the plane was open by about 5:50PM, at which point we made the roughly 10 minute walk to immigration. In my experience in Hong Kong in the evenings there’s either absolutely no queue for immigration, or a super-long queue. Fortunately in this case there was no queue, so we were through immigration and on our way to the hotel within minutes.

American business class bottom line

All things considered this was a lovely flight. I have to say I think it was the longest feeling flight I’ve been on. Most of my ultra longhaul flights are in first class, and there definitely is a comfort difference between first and business class. You might not notice it on a six hour transatlantic flight, but on a sixteen hour flight…

American’s new 777-300ERs really are competitive and a joy to fly. The food on the flight was edible, and between the three meals and walk-up bar, I don’t think anyone went hungry. Wifi on an international flight is awesome, despite the initial scare of it not working.

And while the service from the more senior flight attendants was unmemorable (which I’d consider to be a compliment compared to some of the memorably bad service I’ve had), the new hire flight attendants were all great.

Well done, American!

Have you flown American to Hong Kong yet, and if so, what was your experience?

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

Comments

  1. Lucky, I’m dying to know how was your experiences at OZ A380 F compared to those of KE.
    And R U staying at Grand Hyatt Incheon ?? (near ICN)

  2. Alvin’s right on, wrong identification there….the last plane in the lineup is Dragonair not Air China, and most likely A320. The only other narrowbody KA flies is A321….definitely not a 737.

  3. Your experience with the new-hire was interesting because it matched my own (although mine was in Coach :)). AA135 LHR-LAX back in August: Most of the crew were the usual ‘average service’ crew but one guy, very young so clearly a newer member of the cabin crew, was fantastic – friendly, helpful and pro-active. It made my first TATL in the back (for over 6 years) slightly less painful….although having seat 16J helped a bit too! Hoping to see more and more new hires on my LH routes.

  4. Though LH usually flies 747-8I’s to HKG, I’m pretty sure that’s a 747-400. The engine nozzles are way too big to be the GEnX’s that the 747-8i have, versus the large nozzles of the GE-CF6, the engine of choice for LH and their 747-400’s. The other giveaway is the winglets, which the -400 has, and the -8i doesn’t have. If you have a larger version of the photo, send it to me, as I’m curios which one it is.

  5. “Itā€™s actually something that was interesting about the crew. The four (or so) Mandarin/Cantonese speakers on the flight had been hired within the last few months, and were hard working and friendly. Then the other flight attendants werenā€™t quite as good.”

    My experience indeed. I like these Asian flight attendants, younger (not directly mentioned above, but I’ll bet the farm), energetic, actually looking to make you enjoy the flight, moving efficiently(not larded down by fat). American conterpart are older, maybe cant retire from bad economy, slower, dont know what service is – individualism, just wanted to feed you then go to sleep.

  6. @ mclots — I’ll have a post with my initial thoughts tomorrow! And nope, not doing the Grand Hyatt Incheon — I’m in the city.

  7. I took this flight on August 26 and had a very similar experience, at least until we touched down at HKG. But that day instead of getting a gate, they put us on a remote stand and we had to be bussed to the terminal. It was not well organized and we were packed in like sardines. In the extreme heat and humidity, the bus transfer was a decidedly non-premium experience.

  8. Lucky, how could you not like Looking? It was one of he best shows on HBO this year and Jonathan Groff is so cute!

  9. Lucky, many people on flyertalk consider row 4 on AA 77W noisy because of the galley directly behind it. Noisy enough to disrupt sleep. What’s your experience? I have only taken row 9-11 on AA 77W before, and hope to hear your opinion. row 3 and 4 are definitely a lot more private.

  10. @ Mark — I’ve sat in row four a handful of times and never found it to be especially noisy. I’d still take it over the main cabin any day, personally.

  11. Another resident of Seoul here, long time reader. Must say this blog has helped me out more than once over the past year booking tickets. Next time you hit Korea send me a email we should get the Seoul readers together for a few beers

  12. Ouch to no views from Dallas, given that I am from here. But, true. Would you take AA over Cathy Pacific on this route? (I’m assuming not, but interested in your comparison).

  13. Hey Lucky nice report. I’d like to know what you thought of the noise of the galley since you were in the mini-cabin.Sounded like you were able to sleep just fine. One my one trip DFW-LHR AA 50 in the late afternoon, I found it incredibly noisy any loud due to meal service. Plus they left the lights on way longer then they did in the main C cabin, so that also made it hard to sleep. Wondering if I was juts not lucky :).

  14. Sitting down with the morning latte, yippe Ben’s got a blog update, lazy wake up. Defineatly moving it from Aviation to Entertainment. Then “friend comment” another long term follower! Was the champagne so bad in business you went for melted ice? DFW has some of the longest long hauls in the world, when traveling to USA and they say we can get you to DFW my first reaction is where am I? Almost got booked in SYD-DFW anything more than 12 hours needs a stop over even in F. On long haul the food @ the bar is normally allowed to run out for the second half of the flight.

  15. @ Joe — Soon they’ll have a reconfigured 777 with a new business class but no first class product, which I wrote about here:
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/09/24/americans-new-777-200-business-class-first-picture/

    In terms of their 777 with a first class product, here’s what you can expect:
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2012/07/02/lost-in-translation-american-airlines-first-class-los-angeles-to-tokyo-narita/

    As far as Cathay Pacific vs. American, if booking a paid economy ticket I’d book American so I can upgrade to business class. But if flying confirmed business or first, I’d choose Cathay Pacific.

  16. Another awesome report Lucky! Wow I’m surprised First and Business class were both full yet economy was only half-full. Do you think Business class was overbooked and thus they had to upgrade some J folks to F?
    After the flight, would it be reasonable to send a complaint to AA that the antenna was broken and thus you weren’t able to do some work? Obviously all AA can do is apologize but I’m curious whether they’d be willing to give a few AAdvantage miles in lieu of your inconvenience.

  17. @ Joey — Business was presumably mostly full with upgrades, while there were at least five non-revs in first class. So it was full in the sense that the seats were occupied, and not that they sold them (unfortunately for them).

    Ultimately I’m happy the wifi eventually kicked in and it is a third party that provides the wifi, so I didn’t really feel like complaining.

  18. @jaimie, the armrest on the aisle side pops up. @lucky, this is essentially the same hard product as the one offered in F on the A321, correct?

    just finished two CX legs to HKG and back. outbound via YVR with a 2-hr stop where we weren’t allowed to leave our seats. ends up being close to 20 hours BIS. not pleasant — and that’s even with the amazing friendliness and service in CX F. just so so long to be sitting on a plane. really wears on you. enough complaining.

    i was chuckling reading this report imagining how an AA FA would react to some of the same requests that CX FAs are more than happy to oblige.

  19. I was on this flight the day before you in 3J. The miso glazed sea bass was good enough that I ordered it again on the same flight a couple weeks later. Wifi was working as expected, FA’s were old hags who should have retired in the 80s. Much better male FA’s on the 138 flight.

    A couple of commenters above mentioned that this plane was loud, I agree. Someone else asked if you’d take AA over CX. Normally, no I wouldn’t, but if I take AA metal, I can burn a SWU and bump up to J I’d do it in a heartbeat (and did, twice) since my company does not pay for business class.

  20. Lucky, how do you know there were 5 non-revs in first? Assuming they weren’t flight crew members in uniform, how did you know?

  21. Hi Lucky!

    Hope you are enjoying Seoul on your current trip. Considering it my second home after LA, hope you get to check out the city areas north of Han river- Gangnam is too jaded and overrated. The spirit of Seoul and korea is definitely north of the river- visits to several palaces and sections of old town dating back several hundred years back should give you unique experience. Don’t hesitate to wander off into back alleys, there are a ton of hidden gems and interesting shops.

    Lastly, next time you transit through ICN, be sure to check out the only official Chinatown in all of Korea, in Incheon. They got some of the best dumplings around.

    Enjoy your trip and look forward to your report (and eventual meet up with your favorite non-Taylor person in the world)

  22. @ JohnB — Flight was F5 (meaning five seats were left for sale in first class) and there was no one on the upgrade list.

  23. @ Al — Because I booked a cheap economy fare and was lucky to upgrade to business class. No way to get first on a reasonably priced paid ticket.

  24. Ben- You wrote, “I had selected seat 4J, which is located in the mini cabin, consisting of just eight seats spread across four rows.” I think the mini cabin has just two rows.

    Why does Air France fly a A380 to HKG? Is there that much demand?

  25. Can you use Systemwideupgrades on flights with an AA number but operated by another airline?

    It’s worth spend more (money or miles) just to fly AA First Class?

  26. @ AlanT — You can’t, it has to be American metal. As far as whether it’s worth it to spend the money on American first class, all depends on the route and cost, in my opinion.

  27. Didn’t you mean to put 16hr50min under the flight information instead of 15hr50min? Otherwise a flight time of 16hr25min would be way behind schedule.

  28. Regarding the food, the selection appears to be meat, meat, or meat. Even the omelette has meat in it. šŸ™‚ Would be nice to have some fish for example. And there’s no choice of appetizer, just one selection. Guess we’re spoiled by EY and CX…

  29. Hi Lucky,

    I will be flying from DFW to HKG in early December. I have the seat choice of 3D, 3G or 7J. Which one would you recommend? Especially for 7J, I’m just wondering if there is good HK skyline view when the night falls. Am I gonna be able to see anything? Or I should just stick with either 3D or 3G for the privacy?

    Thanks a lot.

    Nick

  30. Hi Lucky, I just booked Dfw-Nrt-Cgk this coming April.
    Never flew on 1st class before, so I’m really pumped up.
    I live in Atl and been looking for the flights for a while before i decided that route.
    The reason was mainly because i can’t find JAL or Cathay flight from other airports “Jfk and Ord” that will work with the layovers and they don’t have 1st class availability at the moment, and i better book 1st class cabin before the devaluation.
    Question is,
    Do you think they’ll charge me extra points if suddenly 1st class from JAL and Cathay open up and i decided to change my otinerary. Since they are from the same class.
    And worst case scenario, I’ll still be flying on AA-777 from Dfw-Nrt, do you know if that’s the older 777-200, or the 777-300er?
    Thank you.

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