Review: American Business Class 787-9 Sao Paulo To Los Angeles

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Review: American Business Class 787-9 Sao Paulo To Los Angeles


American 216
Sao Paulo (GRU) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Monday, March 12
Depart: 10:30PM
Arrive: 7:10AM (+1 day)
Duration: 12hr40min
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Seat: 6A (Business Class)

While I fly American all the time, this was my first time flying one of their 787-9s, and for that matter my first time flying one of their planes with B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats (they also have these on select 777-200s), which are different than the reverse herringbone seats they have on 777-300ERs and A330s.

I boarded through door L2, and turned left into the business class cabin, which had a total of 30 seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration.


American 787-9 business class cabin

I had assigned myself seat 6A, the window seat on the left side in the third to last row. I find these seats to be really sleek, and I like the dark finishes that American chose, which remind me a lot of Virgin Australia (this is about the only regard in which American is as stylish as Virgin Australia, though).


American 787-9 business class seat

With this type of reverse herringbone seat, the TV is mounted on the seat in front. The benefit of this is that the TV doesn’t swivel, and doesn’t have to be put away for takeoff and landing, as is the case in some other reverse herringbone seats.


American business class seat 787-9

The tray table slides out from underneath the entertainment screen, and can easily be adjusted and also folded in half.


American business class tray table 787

As you can see below, the seat has a shoulder harness, which has to be put on for takeoff and landing.


American business class seat 787-9

The B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats have ample enclosed storage. To the left of the seat were two compartments — the compartment further back was a small storage unit, big enough for a phone or a pair of glasses. The other compartment had the entertainment controller, USB outlet, 110v outlet, and headphone jack. You can also store stuff in there, if you’d like.


American business class seat storage 787-9


American business class seat entertainment controller 787-9

Immediately beneath that was a screen with seat controls, which was easy to use.


American business class seat controls 787-9

Underneath that was a small, exposed storage compartment.


American business class seat storage 787

The literature pocket, as well as a reading light, were behind all of that and to the left.


American business class seat literature pocket 787

On the aisle-side of the seat was another large storage compartment, which doubles as an armrest. This has to be placed down for takeoff and landing, but can then be raised during the flight.


American business class seat storage 787

These reverse herringbone seats are also extremely comfortable in bed mode, and the footwell isn’t too tight.


American business class seat footwell 787

One of the other fantastic things about US airlines is that they consistently have individual air nozzles at seats, which is a feature that I really, really appreciate, since I tend to get warm on planes. Too many foreign airlines decide not to install these.


American business class air nozzles 787

Already waiting at my seat on boarding was American’s fairly new Casper bedding, which I find to be just alright.


American business class Casper bedding

There were also Bose noise canceling headphones, which is an area where American beats their competitors, as there are very few airlines offering such high quality headphones in business class.


American business class Bose headphones

Also at the seat on boarding was the Cole Haan amenity kit, which I consider to be fairly good for business class. It had socks, eyeshades, a pen, tissues, a dental kit, mouthwash, lip balm, lotion, and headphone covers.


American business class amenity kit

There was also a bottle of water at each seat.


American business class bottled water

I could immediately tell that we had one excellent flight attendant in business class. As I got to my seat, flight attendant Rob had a big smile on his face and said “welcome aboard young man.” Seeing his interaction with each passenger was just such a joy. He was one of those people who just seemed to be naturally happy, and can’t help but make everyone he interacts with smile as well.

A few minutes after boarding, pre-departure beverages were offered (water, orange juice, or champagne), and then a few minutes later the menus for the flight were distributed.


American business class menu

Boarding was efficient, and by 10:25PM the door closed, at which point the captain added his welcome aboard, on behalf of himself and his three colleagues in the flight deck. He informed us of our flight time of 12hr12min, and our initial cruising altitude of 31,000 feet.

One interesting thing about this flight is that there were four empty seats in business class. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen an empty seat in longhaul business class, since usually the cabins fill up with those who have upgraded, as well as non-revs. But this flight was different.

Once the door was closed the Brazilian purser added his welcome aboard, and screened the safety video. We pushed back at 10:35PM, and started our taxi at 10:45PM. The Dreamliner has such beautiful mood lighting, which was used for the taxi, as well as initial climb out.


American 787-9 business class mood lighting

As we taxied out the crew took meal orders. It was interesting to see the contrast between how Rob did it (who was working the other aisle), and how the purser did it (who was working my aisle).

As Rob took meal orders he’d say “welcome aboard, once again. Like I said earlier, I’m Rob. Have you had a chance to look over the menu? What can I get you for dinner? And do you want me to wake you for breakfast in case you’re sleeping?” Meanwhile the purser just said “do you know what you want?” Service on US airlines sure is consistently inconsistent.

At 11:05PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 9L. As we climbed out I browsed the entertainment selection. American has a solid entertainment selection.


American Airlines entertainment system


American Airlines entertainment system


American Airlines entertainment system

I decided to watch “Brad’s Status,” which I found to be sort of interesting, though I thought the ending was horrible.


American Airlines entertainment system

Before starting the movie I checked out the airshow for our flight.


Airshow enroute to Los Angeles

One of the other great things about American’s 787s is that they have wifi, and it’s reasonably priced. A pass for the entire flight costs $19.


American Airlines wifi pricing 787

The internet speeds weren’t great, though…


American Airlines wifi speed 787

The service began about 20 minutes after takeoff, with warm towels.


American business class warm towel

At that point the meal service began. The menu read as follows:

The drink list read as follows:

The purser and Rob rolled carts down each of the aisles with drinks to start. I ordered a glass of champagne and some sparkling water, and was offered (really chewy) warm mixed nuts to go along with it. American seems to have recently downgraded their business class champagne to Moutard Brut, which was drinkable, though not great. Drinks were served about 35 minutes after takeoff.


American business class mixed nuts, champagne, and sparkling water

About 20 minutes later the actual food was served. The appetizer, salad, and main course were all served on one tray, which I quite like for a late night flight. It’s one thing if you’re flying an airline like Austrian or Turkish, where the meal service is an experience, but on American you really just want to be fed something edible as quickly as possible.


American Airlines business class dinner service

The appetizer consisted of black-eyed pea hummus with cucumber and tropical fruit chutney. It was possibly the smallest appetizer I’ve been served on any airline ever.


American business class dinner appetizer — black-eye pea hummus

Then the salad consisted of seasonal greens with black rice and marinated hearts of palm, with balsamic vinaigrette, and was quite good.


American business class dinner — seasonal greens, black rice, marinated hearts of palm

For the main course I selected the Brazlian sea bass moqueca with basmati rice, snow peas, and cilantro. This dish was excellent, both in terms of how moist the fish was, and also in terms of the sauce. This was one of the best dishes I’ve had in American business class.


American business class dinner main course — Brazilian sea bass moqueca

Flight attendants roamed the aisles, and as each person finished their dish they’d clear the trays and offer dessert. I selected the cookie crumble ice cream, which was simple but good.


American business class dinner dessert — cookie crumble ice cream

Overall I thought the meal was good and efficient, and less than 90 minutes after takeoff service was done. On a late night flight like this, I appreciate that pace of service. I finished up the movie I was watching, at which point we had about 9hr30min remaining to Los Angeles.


Airshow enroute to Los Angeles


Airshow enroute to Los Angeles

Before going to sleep I visited the lavatory. There are two lavatories behind the business class cabin, though they’re shared with premium economy, so there’s often a queue. One of the lavatories was quite small, while the one on the other side was significantly larger. There’s also a lavatory in the front, but I guess they save that for the crew (I’m not sure if that’s actually a policy, but that’s what I was told).


American 787-9 lavatory


American 787-9 lavatory

At that point I tried to recline my seat, though found that it was broken. The purser spent about 15 minutes trying to fix my seat, though couldn’t. Fortunately seat 7A (right behind me) was open, so I could switch to that. I lucked out that there was an empty seat, as that’s exceedingly rare.

Once reclined I fell asleep almost immediately. As a side sleeper who likes to bend my knees with sleeping, I think the key is to sleep facing the window, because your knees can bend right near the storage compartment. If you face the aisle you have to bend your knees higher.

I woke up with about 3hr30min remaining to Los Angeles, so I got a solid six hours of sleep, and was feeling great. At this point we were approaching the Southern US.


Airshow enroute to Los Angeles


Airshow enroute to Los Angeles

I ordered a coffee, and got some work done on my laptop. The wifi was a bit faster at this point, as most people were sleeping.


American Airlines business class coffee

About 75 minutes before landing the breakfast service began.


American 787-9 business class cabin

The entire breakfast was served on one tray, and I selected the scrambled egg crepe with sautéed asparagus, chopped tomato salsa, and roasted chicken sausage. That was served with a side of fresh fruit, and a selection from the bread basket (which was described as banana bread or a croissant). The egg crepe was excellent, and a nice alternative to the usual omelet you’ll find on planes.


American Airlines business class breakfast

The “banana bread,” as it was called, was good too.


American business class breakfast — bread

30 minutes before landing the captain announced that we’d soon be commencing our descent. I undimmed the windows, and was treated to a spectacular sunrise.


Sunrise while approaching Los Angeles


Sunrise while approaching Los Angeles


View approaching Los Angeles

As we descended, Rob came around to each business class passenger, shook their hand, and said “it was a pleasure taking care of you today, come see us again real soon.” Class act.


Airshow approaching Los Angeles


Airshow approaching Los Angeles

At 7:20AM we touched down in Los Angeles on runway 25L. I’m surprised we didn’t have any delays, given the limited visibility.


Final approach to LAX


Final approach to LAX


Taxiing LAX

From there we had about a five minute taxi to Terminal 4. While the taxi was quick, we were parking at the far gate, which requires being towed in, so the engines were shut down, and then the process of being towed took a few minutes.


Arriving at gate LAX

American 787 business class bottom line

I feel like American does a good job with the fundamentals of business class. Business class is all about the seat and getting sleep, and in that sense this was an excellent flight, thanks to the reverse herringbone seat, the individual air nozzle, the solid pillow and blanket (though there’s room for improvement there), and the quick meal service. On top of that, American has good entertainment and wifi.

On this particular flight the food also happened to be very good, and the service from at least one flight attendant was excellent, so I’d say it was an all around great flight. Add in the fact that American is improving their lounge experience in the US with Flagship Lounges, and I’d say the business class experience on American is as good as ever.

I definitely have a slight preference for this reverse herringbone seat over the one on American’s other planes.

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Comments

  1. Not sure about the forward lav being for crew. I’m a regular in J on American, never been told this. I’d be inquiring with AA customer service on that one.

  2. really like the AA 789 in business and think i prefer this seat to the super diamond on the 77W. havent seen any empty seats in business when i fly this route, but i’ve never flown it on a monday night 🙂

  3. @Sam
    As a ConciergeKey, I can attest to the same, i.e., never heard of the forward lavatory being reserved for crew.

    Since when does AA allow Premium Economy passengers to use the J lavs? This is certainly new to me.

  4. I can’t think of a review that better summarizes my overall frustration with American. Minus the hard product, everything else seems like a roll of the dice: Will I have a friendly F/A? Will the food be edible? Will the crew elect to enforce an arbitrary lav use policy?

    I suppose these questions would be valid on other carriers, though the extremes seem to be more extreme on the US3. I’d almost prefer the service to be uniformly bad (rest assured that everyone’s suffering) rather than being able to look across the cabin and seeing other customers being served by a F/A who doesn’t actively hate their job.

  5. Just flew PVG-DFW on the 787-9 and used the front lavatory many times during the flight without any issues. I think this crew was full of s***!! 🙂

  6. @Lucky

    It is a great report. I would also rate this flight solid for an internat. C class. But a huge leap of service comparing to the last two F flights with TAAG.

    Why do you always get the nasty one from the FAs? You should have tipped Rob to stay on your side..I mean your aisle!..Seriously could not
    the purser be a bit more nicer and energetic like Rob..probably this purser was meeting Bloody Maria from TAAG in GRU for tea!..

    Eventhough in a red eye flight a compact serving of all the courses at once is sensible..I prefer the individual servings..that starter is really stingy..where is the rest? How did the starter and salad taste?

    Amenity kit is good comparing to others internationally..Bose headphones are the best..full stop!

    The BAE Superdiamond seat is one of my favs. So it is great to know in which aircraft they are installed..
    AA should consider offering mattreses..Hurray for the air nozzles!

    Breakfast looked dreadful but as you said it tasted good ..so we take your word for it.

    I find it disturbing that the front lav is reserved only for the crew..I would recommend to forward it to AA customer service..

    This flight is comparing to TAAG a far better service..I am sure some here like Lucky have wished that TAAG would have given an outstanding First class service..but those flights make this AA C flight more a First class service..

  7. @Taylor

    Good that you are the one who is frankly speaking over AA’s service this time…I do not always want to be the one who brings the bad news here..

    I agree with your opinion!

  8. Since 9/11, I am always uncomfortable using lavatories that are right next to the cockpit door. I’ve done it on EY 777s and CX 777s and no one bats an eyelid; but I can imagine that FAs on US airlines are also uncomfortable with passengers being near the cockpit, and may make up a false story about why you can’t use it.

  9. I find that the catering out of GRU and GIG to be quite good. Your menu was the exact same as my GRU-JFK flight in Feb. Next time get the quindim for dessert, it’s really quite good! Re: hit or miss on the FAs, on my recent JFK-GRU segment, the passenger behind me rang for the FA to hang his coat and she barked out “whaddya want” and when he gave his coat, she said “I already did coats.” In my experience on AA longhaul, FAs tend to be more like her, and less like Rob…

  10. @ chuck lesker

    I understand your point of view, but I am sorry to say frankly it is wrong! US FAs should know better how to handle a situation. That lav is definitely not only for the crew. So if the crew is afraid that something might happened as they do not trust any pax near a cockpit than these people are overreacting! Believe me I did not forget 9/11but it should not be like sword hanging on your head all the time..
    I have the feeling the purser did not like Lucky and just want to show him who is the boss on board..

    This “Bloody Marias” curse will be following Lucky for a while…

  11. @ brandote

    ..those arethe AA FAs I remember and hate..as if your taking them their breath away for every wish you ask for…still remembering Cindy’s high pitched Texan accent and wondering eyes from recent DFW-FRA and the sentence…”this is AA not LH we do not do that…”

  12. How much was the flight in cash or miles? Would be helpful for readers like me. Thanks man.

  13. I must not be as sensitive as a lot of you regarding FA’s. It doesn’t sound like the FA was ‘terrible’, or ‘nasty’, just not engaging. Its nice to have an engaging FA, but an efficient FA who provides the services as requested still creates a pleasant flight. Sometimes I can charm a flight attendant into being engaging, but it really isn’t that important.

    Having an inoperable seat on a full flight would suck though.

  14. I’m flying on this product from LAX to Japan on Saturday. I’ll see if the lav thing comes up or not.

  15. @W

    I am sure it won’t come up..unless you look so threatening like our mousey Lucky here or you are a kind of…..

  16. That food though, the struggle is real;)
    Flight attendants should be paid for helping customers board the plane. They are working during that period and yet not compensated. It’s similar to having public school teachers provide pencil and paper to students out of pocket. Disgraceful.

  17. Flew the 787-900 twice last week – LAX to HND, and NRT to LAX. The forward lavatory was available to use on both flights. This plane has an awesome hard product – one of my favorites so far from any airline.

    @ Marco – I once had a broken seat on AA – it was in transcon first. The FA tried to fix it, but to no avail. I just had to deal with it – I received compensation afterwards in the form of 20K miles.

  18. I don’t know if this is only my experience but it seems to me that the flight attendants who serve the right aisle are more friendly than the flight attendants (pursers?) who serve the left aisle on wide body aircraft. Is there a seniority-based assignment on who gets to serve which aisle?

  19. On the 23rd of March I flew J class on AA B777 from LHR to DFW and it had a similar style. It has been one of my best Business Class flight. Also the FA’s were awesome. I’d love to make a long haul flight again with them to be honest.

  20. Last year I flew on AA Business (ORD-LHR). We could not use the forward lavatory throughout the flight. FAs just said: “you have to use the other one”. No further explanation given.

  21. @ Daniel B

    so if the FA tells you “you are having chicken for dinner”..you won’t even ask why or what the other choices ?..

  22. @Myles. I used to ask. But after reading one of Lucky’s post (I think that it was him), where he was removed from the plane after saying to the flight attendant (who told him not to take photos) that he was NOT a threat.
    There are other well documented cases where when passengers say: “I am NOT a terrorist”, they are quickly removed from the flight. It seems to me that whenever pilots are called by the FAs to “handle” issues like this, pilots always take the easy way out and just get the passenger kicked off the flight.
    So yes, whilst I am sure you would ask that certainly appropriate question about meal availability – I do not. I value my AAsaver Award ticket which I had booked 330 days before…….

  23. Lucky, I had the same Lav issue on the 787-9 from DFW to Paris last year. As a CK, I called in and got a pretty apologetic response (and a voucher because I had a pretty unfriendly purser). I reached out to my AA contact and she mentioned this has been an issue with crews; some crews apparently don’t love the layout of the 787-9 and this forward lav issue is their way of managing traffic in the forward galley. It’s certainly not policy, so would suggest you write in as more complaints about this are needed to better correct the behavior.

    FWIW it seems to only be with crews on the 787-9, not the -8 or the 777-2.

  24. On my recent transatlantic flights, the FAs on AA, based in MIA have been just horrible! I like to maintain my EXP status, so I fly AA exclusively in the USA.
    On a regional flight from DFW to OMA, there was a fresh FA full of enthusiasm and a seasoned one who was graceful. I opened my heart to him and told him of the horrible, uninterested FAs out of Miami to LHR and CDG. He was not surprised to hear that but wanted me to report it. I did and someone from Customer Service did call me. I told them to just the various frequent traveller sites and there is almost an uniform bad opinion of the experience with the American Airlines FAs on International flights (with occasional exceptions). I fly QR once a month to Asia, and I just look forward to those flights. May be Al Bakr CEO of QR was right in his opinion about American FAz

  25. The front lav is NOT solely for crews, unless the flight deck crew is coming out into the cabin or is in the lav (they notify the F/As before they come out).

    Other than that, it is fair game for passengers.

    Company policy is that passengers can use any lav on the aircraft they want. F/As are not supposed to stop them.

  26. Lucky, I read your blog a lot and I use it to book business class trips. Thank you.

    I am sorry for the personal comment regarding food, but you so often order seafood and you wrote that you do not like pork. I find beef to be bad on planes, but for the sake of the quality of your reviews and as someone who personally doesn’t like seafood, can you review something other than seafood / fish? (like chicken or something?)

    The soft product is important to me as well as the hard product, but often I find not only the service, but also the quality of a meal is memorable in my choice of airlines. Based on the fact that you normally always order seafood, I cannot judge how good/bad the meal would be on future flights that I would book.

  27. That first airshow picture is really cool. Something about the direct path accounting for curvature of the earth and only plotting localities along the flight path really appeals to me.

  28. It’s pretty sad that the “slow” WiFi 31,000 feet in the air is faster than our “broadband” here in Australia.

  29. The 787-8 Zodiac seats get a lot of crap, but I think those are the only ones that have the “Zero-G” position, where the back is reclined and the seat bottom is tilted upward. I know the 77W seats don’t have that. And from the pictures, neither do the Super Diamonds.

    Also @Lucky, when have you not been able to use the screen on take-off/landing? The Zodiac ones securely latch into viewing mode position. I’ve had FAs pro-actively move them into that position before take-off. Those this could be because of the consistently inconsistent crew.

  30. wow thats a gorgeous plane. i’ve only flown business on the 77w, and its great everytime, fortunate enough to have had decent to great crew. also just returned from japan in ana biz and was fairly dissapointed. its weird but i felt that as a female i didnt get the ecxellent service that the japanese men received. soft product aside, its hard to beat AA’s hard product. and food was pretty good as well each time i hv flown AA. crazy to say that a legacy us carrier’s product is superior to a japanese airline but that has been my experience.

  31. Hi,

    I believe I once had this FA, Rob on my flight from GIG to DFW. Was indeed one of the few gems that you find within the average FA stock within the AA system. What I find always weird is how is it possible that a purser being worst than a FA from a customer service point of view. Aren’t pursers supposed to be the one driving the team to provide the best service and experience to a customer? I’ve had in multiple occasions where the FA is much more approachable than the purser which baffles me. Mind you this happens to on airlines like Qatar and Cathay (in this case the ISM).

    As for the portions of food on AA, I find that it is more than enough for me compared to the old style. Also I would prefer quality over quantity, but of course on AA, the quality part can be questionable.

  32. @Daniel B

    No offence to you but I find your comment especially the last sentence funny.
    It is your choice to behave as you wish but if I may say so..do not just give up it so easily..do not let the FA treat you so badly. We already know now that a majority of US FAs because of 9/11 or just pure evil are so vile with customer service. It depends how your attitude is..if it is difficult for you to be confrontational than leave it even it means accepting defeat..if you stand for yourself than be prepared for every reactions and stand your grounds…just saying.. chickening out is sometimes wiser than persisting against an uneducated red neck fool!

  33. @ mike

    hmm..sounds interesting a great FA within AA..he must be a rare species. The majorityof AA FAs I had encountered through the years are really like gems..on their own way!!…might try this US-BRA routes and hope to encounter this rare gem called Rob…

  34. I flew PVG-DFW on Monday on this plane. There was no issue using the forward lav, unless the cockpit crew needed it.

    I wasn’t terribly impressed, especially sharing the back lavs with Premium Economy. Also, there is no place to put the snacks out like there is on the 777-300. They shove them into the right corner of the forward galley.

    I’ll take the 777-300 over the 787-9 any day…

  35. Ben, I’m not sure I agree with you that business class is all about the hard product. On AA, that’s true, but the wonderful dining experiences are part of what make the J products on Turkish, Austrian, and Qatar Airways, for instance, stand out. If I am booking business class for a vacation that will be a consideration for me. Though I do agree that hard product takes priority (which is why I am less likely to book TK if traveling alone), but that’s just as well the case for F as it is for J.

    Perhaps you mean not to expect a great culinary experience in J, in general? I do agree with that.

  36. I had the opportunity to fly these seats DFW-NRT on the 777-200 earlier this year. I like them a lot, but I actually prefer the reverse herringbone seats on the 777-300. The only reason is that I like to sleep with my knees bent up in the air sometimes (long legs), and you can’t do this in the Super Diamond seats because of the placement of the (retracted) table and video console.

    Otherwise, the B/E Aerospace seats are great, and very sexy!

    Forward lav issue sounds like FA malarkey to me. That’s why I fly Delta now…the hard product isn’t always as great, but the food is much better, and the crews are sooooo much more consistently friendly and professional, which makes all the difference. With AA, you never know if you’re going to get the nicest Southern lady/gentleman in the world, or the wicked witch/warlock of the west.

  37. I flew AA from Buenos Aires to Miami in J about 10 days ago. The plane was a 777-200 configured with two business class cabins up front and coach aft of us. This was an identical configuration to one I flew last October DFW – NRT and return. Both flights had these seats which I found to be comfortable and well thought out, arrayed in a 1-2-1 configuration for both business class cabins.

    We took the two middle seats in the first row, 1 h and 1 J if I remember correctly. There was a loo on the port side up front which was, indeed, for everyone as I can testify. Next time I will go for rows 2 or 3, thank you. My wife slept well on the starboard side, no traffic to the single loo helped out a bit.

    We both enjoyed the seats, the selection of wines, and the decent selection of entertainment. That proved more important on the way down to Buenos Aires as we chose the day flight out of MIA (yes, there is a day flight to Buenos Aires from MIA) which means 9 – 10 hours of movies and meals. For the return, which was wheels up at 10:30 PM, all I really wanted was some sleep. For me, that kind of flight is a chance to pick at the food a bit, drink a couple of vodka sodas, and tighten up for whatever sleep is possible. The food was decent, but I had downed a gorgeous bife de lomo in Palermo before heading for EZE and could not do the on-board dinner justice. I chose a beef stew which was tasty if a bit dry and my wife chose a fish dish which was, of course, overcooked. We both skipped desert and the entertainment and tucked in for some sleep within an hour of taking off.

    The FAs were friendly and helpful. Only one of them actually spoke Spanish and the poor thing ran ragged all night as the others flipped all the Spanish speakers in the cabin to her. She took to us as I helped out with some translation issues so we got the royalty treatment. Really, all I want from the FAs is to be friendly, help me out a bit when I need something (which ain’t much or often), and bring the booze when my glass is empty. My expectations were well and truly met on the flight.

    In sum, comfortable seats, decent food, and friendly FAs made for a good J experience. I find the service and conditions on AA long haul flights to be as good as most, and better than many. We did a round trip Bos to HKG last year on Emirates (777 to Dubai, A380 to HKG) which was fabulous. We also did a J class BA flight Bos to Lisbon via LHR last year which was middling. We would have been better off on the trip to HKG connecting to Emirates in NYC so that we could enjoy the A380 for both legs of the trip, but I did not know that at the time.

    BTW the ride back from Buenos Aires was a Saver level (55 K miles each) flight. Trip down was a bit pricier, no Saver availability but plenty of Saver seats coming home. Likewise our trip to Japan last October was Saver (55 K miles) both ways. For a very brief moment there was plenty of availability DFW to NRT so we took advantage of it.

  38. GRU/LAX is not a Brazilian crew. They are LAX based.

    A recent memo issued to flight crews indicated that Premium Economy passengers were not to be denied access to the two lavatories located forward of their cabin. If it’s any consolation flight attendants would prefer they not cross into B/C territory. They (the PE passengers) also scrounge the mid-flight snacks/sandwiches which they are not entitled to. Policing the behavior of the PE folks is a constant hassle. They do not understand that, regardless of the upgraded amenities and status, they are still economy. During these extended flights it becomes necessary to position a crew member in that area to discourage them from hanging around and helping themselves to the products reserved for B/C. As to the single forward lavatory it’s not a matter of prohibiting customer use. Yes, you can use it. Crews would prefer that you use the two previously mentioned lavs, but policy wise we cannot stop you unless there is a period of flight deck transition and the cockpit door will be vulnerable. Often times we cannot predict when the pilots will require a physiological break. If one of you decides to utilize the lav at an inopportune time we must wait until the lav is vacated before we open access to the flight deck. And because some of you linger while you’re doing your thing it becomes a problem. Logistically it becomes the default lavatory for the 14 or so crew members, and if we can keep it free for crew use, especially the pilots, everything runs smoother. All we would ask is you first look to see if the two middle lavs are vacant and use them as your primary choice.

  39. @Dan

    Thanks for the infos from a crew!

    So folks what have we learned..C pax open your mouth and ask specifically if you want to know something important for you!

    And those greedy PE pax mind the boundaries and your place!..you are allowed to use C class lavs but hands off from our C class snacks!..it remembers me of BA’s PE raiding the ladder which is not intentioned for them..there should be a physical barrier between C class and Eco class which you can close after take off..or just shift them one level below..there.. they have their own space to roam around and harass each other..

  40. Someone in AA management must like fish, because your experience with the fish on this flight was consistent with the fish I had on LHR-LAX in F last year. In that case, it was Monkfish curry, which was the absolute best meal I’ve ever had on an airplane. I could have legitimately been happy with that meal in a restaurant. A good one.

  41. Lucky when your seat was broken you should have tried switch to a seat in Rob’s aisle (if there was one)

  42. haven’t flown international business, (only economy comfort) but I can attest to the surly American/Delta/United FA’s. They act like they’re doing you a favor when they are doing their job. They disappear for long stretches. People bag on SAS but at least they come through at regular intervals with water or soft drinks

  43. “Crews would prefer that you use the two previously mentioned lavs, but policy wise we cannot stop you unless there is a period of flight deck transition and the cockpit door will be vulnerable.”

    I don’t want to beat the lavatory issue to death. However, I did not see anyone mention the signs that are on the wall toward the front of business class that light up to tell passengers if the lavatory is occupied or not.

    If the light is green it means the lavatory is available. How can it be that a crew member overrides the sign and the policy of AA for having the signs that show when the lavatory is free or occupied? Remember, the rear lavatories are used not only by business class passengers but also by premium economy passengers. That is quite a load on those two lavatories.

    I take this flight fairly often. I agree, Rob, the flight attendant is excellent. I believe he is from Belgium even though he often has the Brazil assignment.

  44. I flew the 787-9 yesterday from pvg to dfw and found the seat the to be incredibly uncomfortable. The headrest hit me in the middle of my shoulders. very uncomfortable. my back/shoulders are still hurting today. anyone else experience this or was there something wrong with my seat?

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