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July 25, 2015 / oneworld82

AA new business class rocks! LHR-DFW on AA’s 77W J

Flight AA51, LHR-DFW

Business Class, Seat 14J

B777-300, June 2015

Time to fly back home. I was scheduled to leave at 9.30am, but my flight was delayed 3 hours for, you guessed it right!, bad weather in Dallas. The scale of the flooding hitting the Lone Star State this spring is hard to describe – but flight disruptions help to give an idea.

I went to the airport at around 8am, and I just waited it out in the Admirals Club. My upgrade to business class cleared a couple of hours before departure, to my utmost relief.

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The Admirals Club at LHR T3 is, by far, the best AA lounge I have seen anywhere. It’s not spectacular (food offerings are VERY limited for a premium class lounge), but it’s better than anything else you would find in the US (and comparable to the Flagship Lounge in LAX, for instance). The lounge is big and usually crowded; while I did not use them this time, the showers are large and clean and well-kept (definitely better than BA’s).

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View from the lounge

View from the lounge

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I dozed off for a hour or so, as I did not catch much sleep the night before. Around 11.30a I walked to the gate, and after a short wait we started boarding the plane.

AA’s business class in the 77W is really a winner – think Cathay Pacific-level hard product-wise. The seat is very private, with a decent amount of storage space on the side. I like the mirror in he side compartment, as well as the variety of power ports offered. Also, I like how AA is trying to be refreshing when it comes to amenity kits in its business class cabin – a clear winner there.

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After settling down, pre-departure beverages were offered. I got some of the sparkling wine, probably a Prosecco or a Cava. Once we took off, I turned on my computer and – to my utmost surprise – the $19 I paid for the wifi were totally worth it, as the connection was fast and reliable to the vast majority of the flight. International connectivity is fast becoming one of those things that will be “must-have” soon. Does anyone know if AA will equip its retrofitted planes with international wifi as well? That would be a huge selling point in my opinion.

About 20 minutes after departure a hot towel was brought to customers and lunch orders were taken. I decided to stay away from the beef and opted for the vegetarian korma instead. I ordered a glass of champagne with my warm nuts, and I am sad to say that the bubbly stuff was cheap and worse than the sparkling wine offered pre-departure.

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The menu for the flight read as follows:

LUNCH

STARTER

Hummus and Pita

SALAD

Fresh Seasonal Greens with Feta Cheese and Roasted Almonds

ENTREES

Grilled Beef Tenderloin

Jalapeno Chicken with Cream Sauce

Tomato and Olive Crusted Tilapia

Vegetable Korma

DESSERT

Traditional Ice Cream Sundae

Gourmet Cheese Plate

Pecan Tart

LIGHT MEAL

ENTREES

Grilled Vegetable Flatbread

Charcuterie Plate

DESSERT

Border’s Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

In any case, a cold appetizer of salad, hummus, pita, dolmio, and cous-cous was offered, together with bread. I had this dish a few months back in first class coming back from LHR, and I liked it. I just think it’s offered too cold. The salad was good – you can hardly go wrong with salads on AA.

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Then the main dish was served, which was pretty good. Indian vegetarian dishes out of London are always a winner – so remember that on your next flight ex-LHR J The dish was vegetarian korma – rice and curry with veggies.

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After the main was taken away, dessert was offered. Happily for me, Westbound flights still feature Sundaes in business and first class. I had one with butterscotch, nuts, and whipped cream – just like I prefer it. After finishing the always-excellent sweet, I put my bed in bed mode and fell asleep for a sound 4 hours. The seat in lie-flat mode is very comfortable, and the cabin temperature was just fine. I rested pretty well, and when I woke up I started playing with the IFE. AA’s new entertainment system is excellent, but since I was not in the mode for movies I just watched a couple of shows.

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As I was a bit hungry, about three hours before landing  I went to check out the self-service bar area in the galley. There I found a nice selection of fruit, desserts, cookies, and little snacks, including sharp cheddar cheese. I, of course, got myself some cheese, which was very good.

About 1h15m prior to landing the snack was served. Choice was between flatbread and a charcuterie platter. I went for the flatbread, which was a fancier version of the old pizza. Not bad, especially because it was served with a refreshing salad.

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We ended up landing about 3 hours late in Dallas, but thankfully immigration and customs were a breeze thanks to the new kiosks.

Overall, this was a very good flight. How do Club World and AA new business class compare? Well, they both are good products – 4 stars overall I would say. AA wins in hard product and in food. BA wins in service and beverages. International wifi gives AA a slight edge overall.

Next on: Iberia business class, Qatar Airways First Class (A380) and Qatar Airways Business Class.

One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. Moritz / Jul 25 2015 4:57 pm

    Thanks for the great and detailed review! The AA Business Class looks better than expected. I love the serving on an Icecream Sunday, that’s really cool! Nevertheless, I’m sure you’ll love both, the QR Business and the QR First way more! I have been reading several great posts about it lately. I’m looking forward to your reviews! 🙂

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