Go Back   > >
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 5, 17, 1:52 pm   #16
  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Charlottesville, Va. USA
Posts: 1,009
I too read ahead. Great TR as usual. I was blown away by the F menu. I haven't flown AA Int. F since Jan. 2015. I flew ord/pvg and the food was horrible. Hard to believe they will keep up this level of catering.
jmj9905 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 17, 9:04 pm   #17
FlyerTalk Evangelist
  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold, SPG Gold, AMEX Platinum (US)
Posts: 17,376
Looks really decent. Honestly, I'd give a pass to AA for the temporary lounge. Yes, it's s**t but it's temporary, no?

The F&B on AA looks really rather decent, I had no idea they served LPGS in F! I know that on some routes AA and BA have harmonized their product offerings in premium cabins. For a while on transatlantics BA were doing the made to order sundaes in F. I've also had the dessert wine listed on QF in First.

Pro Tip:
Star Alliance Golds get free FC upgrades on the Heathrow Express. Just buy a standard class ticket and show your *G card when seated in F onboard...also you mentioned £32 return, that's actually the one way fare for FC. It's supposed to be £55 return.
http://heathrowt2.staralliance.com/offers
https://www.heathrowexpress.com/tick...s/prices-fares
Whilst you lauded it the HEX actually gets a fair amount of stick in the UK, primarily over the cost relative to the distance/time. When compared to a car service/taxi it's not bad, but it takes you to Paddington which isn't handy for a lot of London and compared to other train services, which admittedly are less convenient (Tube/Heathrow Connect) it's several multiples more expensive.
Fraser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 17, 9:24 pm   #18
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA-VNY
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP
Posts: 17,417
American First Class to London


The short walk back to Gate 41.







Los Angeles LAX to London Heathrow
American AA 136
777-300ER (77W)
7:40p-2:15p +1
May 1, 2017
Departed 8/8
Seat 2A


Wow, T-35 and we're already on Group 9. When I booked this flight some six months ago, I had Mrs. SFO777 in 1A and I was in 2A. Fast forward to yesterday and I'm now in 1D with 2A assigned to someone else. No idea whether this was a FAM thing or what. When Mrs. SFO777 decided that she was not going to come along, I cancelled her ticket and moved over to 1A. Lo and behold I board and the doufuss in 2A is sitting in 1A. Huh? When the FA intervened and we found out that his boarding pass said 2A, I told him to stay there and I took 2A. Definitely not a FAM type so no idea what that was all about.



Pleasant cabin with 1-2-1 staggered configuration.





Seat was comfy but not very private as you're pretty much exposed to the rest of the cabin, and vice versa.





Lots of pillows, duvets and blankets clogging up the seat.





Service tonight was excellent. Friendly, professional and impressive.



But then there was Mr. Detroit Piston in 2D, yapping on the phone the entire time prior to push telling his friends that he was in First Class. He was no doubt also trying to impress the world with his sense of fashion.







Tonight's menu...



OK, this is encouraging. But let's see how this translates into the real world at 35,000 feet.












And the wine list. Whoa Nellie. Pinch me. This is American Airlines??
Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle? Are you kidding me? Etude? And a 1er cru Chablis?





Yep, still going strong in 2D.



Like the Energizer Bunny.



The AA amenity kit.



Different packaging and colors from last week's JFK-LAX flight, but the same basically useless stuff.











And we're off.





What a gorgeous night for flying.







One cool feature the AA continued with the new International First Class seat is its swivel capabilty which let's you turn your space into an office, especially with Wifi, $19 for the entire flight.



Showtime, AA style. And the same old tiny hot towel.







Jeez, they try so hard and then cheap out on a dopey salt and pepper shaker.







Despite having had dinner 2 hours ago, I decided to sample the menu. Apparently working backwards on the menu, the Tomato and Lentil soup with Grilled Cheese Crouton was first. This was delicious with just enough kick to make the dish really memorable.



The Lump Crab salad seemed to be missing the crab. Nevertheless, it was nice and very fresh.



The Lobster Salad Deviled Eggs were different but very tasty.



For my main, the Slow-Braised Lamb Osso Buco was spectacular.



Melt in your mouth and extraordinary flavor with lots of spices that was simply a knockout.



But wait, it gets even better. The Warm Louisiana Praline Bread Pudding was to die for. OMG.





Our FA proactively asked whether I wanted the bed made and she made it as I changed in the lav.



I slept like a baby for 5 hours.



The snack counter in the First Class galley. No I did not have anything more to eat. LOL.



Presumably this is the Business Class snack bar but for the life of me, I cannot remember taking the pics. Memo to self: too much alcohol not good.







And Lily O'Brien's chocolates handed out on our descent.

















The forward Business Class mini cabin as we exited thru 2L.



The long trek from our gate to customs and passport control.













Fast track worked great and I was officially in the UK a few minutes later.







Other than the sorry excuse for a temporary First Class Lounge, this was one very impressive day with American. Excellent service, great food and wines. But is this the kind of service anyone can consistently and reliably expect on American? I lucked out tonight with a great crew, but others report a much different experience. Unfortunately, there are far too many senior AA flight attendants just mailing it in. If AA can weed out those bad apples and continue with this kind of catering, there may be hope. On this flight alone, AA cracks the Top 20 International First Class products and certainly ahead of BA. But I've also heard reports that this type of enhanced service may be route specific. If that is indeed true, that is just a special kind of stupid.

Last edited by SFO777; May 9, 17 at 4:45 pm
SFO777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 17, 10:25 pm   #19
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA-VNY
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP
Posts: 17,417
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-CIVC View Post
The QF lounge is indeed wonderful and makes flying out of LAX a very pleasurable experience. The only letdown is the extremely stringent lounge dragons who have denied me access multiple times but this will now become moot as I turn 21
21? OMG, that seems so long ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 757 View Post
Great report so far, SFO777 as always! Looks like you had a good flight with AA in F. Food looks good and glad you had a nice flight with them after your last JFK-LAX flight. My wife and I are planning on going to London later this year - it's been a while since I've been, and she's never been. Getting excited for this trip after seeing your pics. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you 757. Indeed, much better than JFK-LAX. It's like 2 different airlines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by When I Travel The World View Post
Excellent report so far looking forward to the rest. That AA lounge is awful compared to the CX F lounge.
Thanks When I Travel The World. Even for a temporary lounge, it's pretty gross.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneworld82 View Post
I am glad you were impressed by AA First Class catering - I had the same, great experience ex-LHR in November - not mentioning the great Philipponat Clois de Bois champagne!
Thanks oneworld82. The problem with AA is the inconsistency. If it wasn't for the free ticket, I would never had chosen AA based on the garbage that they serve even on premium transcons. And would I trust them to be consistent and not pull the plug on what I experienced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post
So MrsSFO pooh poohed a trip to London. So noted! Would of been a great time to go to London. She could of brought Prince Phillip a present and wished him all the very best after "retiring". Another great report. Thanks.
Thank you Annalisa12. I never even thought to suggest that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBOSman View Post
Agreed. Tough to do better. It also has my vote.
The QF F lounge food is better than AA will ever put out, and that's not really a major shot at AA . Heck, it is probably better than almost any airline's current F food . It's a low single digit number if any are better for sure...
Very low single digit. LOL. Thanks TheBOSman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
But you knew that before you even went in. I suppose you just wanted (1) photos for drama's sake; (2) the jealous masses who were waiting in the AC to only wish they had AA F lounge access, and (3) to hear a million tiny violins play for the lawsuit-worthy trauma you suffered by even having to look at the AA Buffay.
Yet somehow, I have a feeling that you will almost have enjoyed your flight to LHR, even if the AA Caviar Service isn't quite to your liking.
Always the wise guy Eastbay1K. But you definitely nailed it on #1. I did indeed want to document how bad it was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenole View Post
I had much the same as you in the QF lounge.
Wasn't keen on the raw fish - prefer the salt and pepper squid.
The Korean dish was ok. Meat was a little bit crunchy and not enough spiciness. The kimchi was cold or is it supposed to be like that?
The cake was nice although my mango slices were hard and I prefer them really really soft. The champagne really does help things along though
There are a few nice items in the AA Flagship lounge but no idea how long some of them have been left out for. Handy drinks fridge and prefer the mochas from the AA machine than what QF do.
Thanks very much xenole. Crispy pork belly does tend to be crunchy.
Agree on wondering how long some of those dishes in the AA Flagship Buffet had been sitting out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nequine View Post
Yikes at how awful that AA lounge is!
The fact that this is best they could be for a temporary lounge tells you a lot about AA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
At the beginning I thought: Hey, they improoved! But then I saw the lounge.....
LOL. I knew you would like those pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewdog11 View Post
Couldn't resist reading ahead on the blog. As always, great photos and attention to detail! All I can say about the onboard F&B is "WOW!" It seems like you got the almost-nonexistent double-rainbow unicorn of great catering and great service.
I flew AA F from LHR-DFW earlier in the year and was similarly impressed. The FL at LHR has improved and the onboard catering seemed significantly better. I had a pork belly dish which was spectacular, and the rest of the meal was great. No LPGS, but drinkable champagne nonetheless.
The chintzy pre-arrival "meal," on the other hand, was an embarrassment (I bet you could find it with the other Great Value products in the frozen section at Walmart).
Service was good, but no offers for turndown service. Perhaps it is because it was a day flight, but I've yet to see this consistently offered (or, rather, offered at all).
As an aside, I LOL'd at the side shots of ole boy in 2D. Great TR!
Thank you brewdog11. The flight was excellent but AA is so inconsistent that I'm not sure I would go out of my way to fly them again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jc94 View Post
Compared to most of the Air Canada MLL (as in, all of them in NA) that looks excellent.
LOL. That's a scary thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmj9905 View Post
I too read ahead. Great TR as usual. I was blown away by the F menu. I haven't flown AA Int. F since Jan. 2015. I flew ord/pvg and the food was horrible. Hard to believe they will keep up this level of catering.
Thank you jmj9905. Yep, I'm not convinced that they'll keep it up either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
Looks really decent. Honestly, I'd give a pass to AA for the temporary lounge. Yes, it's s**t but it's temporary, no?
The F&B on AA looks really rather decent, I had no idea they served LPGS in F! I know that on some routes AA and BA have harmonized their product offerings in premium cabins. For a while on transatlantics BA were doing the made to order sundaes in F. I've also had the dessert wine listed on QF in First.
Pro Tip:
Star Alliance Golds get free FC upgrades on the Heathrow Express. Just buy a standard class ticket and show your *G card when seated in F onboard...also you mentioned £32 return, that's actually the one way fare for FC. It's supposed to be £55 return.
http://heathrowt2.staralliance.com/offers
https://www.heathrowexpress.com/tick...s/prices-fares
Whilst you lauded it the HEX actually gets a fair amount of stick in the UK, primarily over the cost relative to the distance/time. When compared to a car service/taxi it's not bad, but it takes you to Paddington which isn't handy for a lot of London and compared to other train services, which admittedly are less convenient (Tube/Heathrow Connect) it's several multiples more expensive.
Thanks Fraser. You are correct on the Heathrow Express price being £55 return. And thanks for the free *G upgrade tip. Next time. Indeed, the LAX FL is temporary but they could have come up with a much better plan and solution. Even for a temporary lounge, it was a disgrace.

Last edited by SFO777; May 5, 17 at 11:02 pm
SFO777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 17, 10:44 pm   #20
FlyerTalk Evangelist
  
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Over the Bay Bridge, CA
Programs: Jumbo mas
Posts: 27,447
Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Always the wise guy Eastbay1K. But you definitely nailed it on #1 . I did indeed want to document how bad it was.
I just tell it like I see it, most typically, sans photos.
Eastbay1K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 17, 11:56 pm   #21
  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: GM on VX, UA, AA, HA, AS, SY; Budget Fastbreak
Posts: 1,678
Another great TR so far - looking forward to the rest! I'm surprised that Mrs SFO777 eschewed the trip, considering La Premiere for the return. Did AF have another premium sale for LHR-CDG-LAX? I fear they don't use their La Premiere for SFO but think $3k would be worth La Premiere on the better plane.
gaobest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6, 17, 12:10 am   #22
  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: WAS, YOW, HNL
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA Exec Plat, DL Diamond, AmEx Cent, Misc Hotel Bling
Posts: 4,504
Eagerly anticipating the Air France report....I feel like it's the one product I have left outstanding that will blow me away and make me question my love of Lufthansa and Cathay....
ironmanjt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6, 17, 12:35 am   #23
  
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Southern California
Programs: AA EXPLAT, Star Alliance Gold, SPG GOLD, HH Gold
Posts: 82
SFO777 such a pathetic excuse for a flagship lounge, was hoping (clearly not happening) that the F dining experience would be completed by the time the fiancee and I leave to LHR via DFW mid June. Your report gives me some hope on our upcoming RT to LHR just not sure if it will be catered identically (assuming not) but minus the Pistons fan of course no thanks! LOL

Keep up the great work and appreciate the updates!
Levi Maeschan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6, 17, 6:57 am   #24
  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: BOS
Programs: AA EXP (AC), DL/UA G (SC/UC), Marriott LTG, Omni PLT, Hyatt Exp, Fairmont Prem, Kimpton IC, Hilton G
Posts: 973
The Flagship check-in area looks nice, so I suppose there's hope for the lounge. Still, I'm surprised that AA even has that space open given the state of it. For crying out loud, I've been in VFW halls with better ambience and cuisine, LOL.

Still, the onboard service in your trip reminds me of better days when AA was the premier domestic airline in terms of F standards. And for oneWorld, which your report tends to confirm, I'll still take AA F over BA F any day. Thanks for sharing, SFO777!
CHOPCHOP767 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6, 17, 11:03 am   #25
Four Seasons 5+ BadgeSPG 5+ Badge
  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Programs: Some
Posts: 4,826
Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
LOL. I knew you would like those pics.
offerendum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 7, 17, 1:15 am   #26
  
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: points traveller
Posts: 216
subbed
diningdecadence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7, 17, 7:43 pm   #27
  
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 14
This beats what United offers by a mile!
byromania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7, 17, 11:05 pm   #28
  
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sydney Australia
Programs: No programs & No Points!!!
Posts: 7,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkCron View Post
Mr. Detroit Piston was talking to me on the phone. Said, "you wouldn't believe the nerd sitting next to me, He keeps taking pictures. Probably his first time ever in First Class." lol
lol

You know the first time First Classers as their true identity is revealed when they can't work out how to pull out their tray table!
Annalisa12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7, 17, 11:08 pm   #29
  
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sydney Australia
Programs: No programs & No Points!!!
Posts: 7,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
I just tell it like I see it, most typically, sans photos.
I can't do a Trip Report as I was having a meltdown trying to post ONE picture let alone 30.

If I ever did one I'd have to hire a secretary or geek to post them for me!
Annalisa12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7, 17, 11:22 pm   #30
  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: GM on VX, UA, AA, HA, AS, SY; Budget Fastbreak
Posts: 1,678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post
You know the first time First Classers as their true identity is revealed when they can't work out how to pull out their tray table!
I rarely fly so usually I look totally clueless because of user error and my thoughts of pure joy when I'm seated. I'm always taking pictures of myself and my child during the flight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post
I can't do a Trip Report as I was having a meltdown trying to post ONE picture let alone 30.

If I ever did one I'd have to hire a secretary or geek to post them for me!
I have the same trouble - I don't understand how to post pics on FT while using only an apple phone. I'd love to do TR but just can't comprehend how to post pictures.
gaobest is offline   Reply With Quote
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Thread Tools
Search Thread
Go to Top
Forum Jump
Contact Us - FlyerTalk - Archive - Top