Suffice it to say that this trip was probably the easiest way I’ve ever qualified for elite status, and the first time I ever paid for business class internationally and upgraded. Given the amazing deal I got along with the promotions American was running (double elite qualifying miles, 20,000 bonus miles, etc.), I’d say it was a pretty darn good value.
American’s international first class definitely can’t compete with the first class products offered by most Asian and European airlines, though for a business class fare with an upgrade, it’s a spectacular value. The seats are very comfortable with plenty of personal space. My only complaint would be the lack of bedding, though that’s something they’ve addressed in the meantime, given that they now offer turndown service and pajamas in international first class. As is usually the case on US airlines, the service was inconsistent, ranging from a mediocre crew on the outbound to a spectacular crew on the return.
While the meal service was no gourmet dining experience like what you would get on Lufthansa or Singapore, the food was simple and tasty, so I have no complaints there. I’ll trade the caviar on Lufthansa or Singapore for the ice cream sundae on American any day of the week (I realize I’ll get hate mail over that). 😉
Anyway, thanks for reading and for your patience, as I realize this report was rolled out over a long time. I already have plenty of travel planned in business and first class on American over the coming year, and I’ll be sure to report back on those experiences.