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Circle Pacific on oneworld: CGK-HKG-YVR-JFK-LAX-MEL-SYD-CGK

Circle Pacific on oneworld: CGK-HKG-YVR-JFK-LAX-MEL-SYD-CGK

Old Jan 29, 11, 1:37 pm
  #16  
 
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Great report! Flying TPAC on CX in premium cabin looks very good.
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Old Jan 30, 11, 11:38 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
Never been to the Cabin @ HKG, now have some idea from your report. Would have appreciated some pics.
I will be on CX888 D (HKG-JFK, with stop at YVR) later this summer. Your report on hard product and service gives a glimps of what to expect (though metal might be different).
So sorry that I didn't take photos at the Cabin. I found it a bit small and intrusive to the lounge users at that time. I still like the Pier better for its tarmac views and larger space. Mac users would really like the new iMacs at the Cabin though.

CX888 is operated by 777-300ERs as opposed to CX838 which could be operated by A340s (like the one for my CGK-HKG segment) or 747s. Seats should be the same, though there would be 1 supper and 1 dinner since arrival at YVR for CX888 is around 8pm. I remember their roast pork rice served on Y (econ) was one of the best inflight meals I had!
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Old Jan 31, 11, 12:20 am
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Originally Posted by quirrow View Post
So sorry that I didn't take photos at the Cabin.
No problem. In tight quarters with lots of people, I see the issue.

Originally Posted by quirrow View Post
CX888 is operated by 777-300ERs ......... Seats should be the same, though there would be 1 supper and 1 dinner since arrival at YVR for CX888 is around 8pm. I remember their roast pork rice served on Y (econ) was one of the best inflight meals I had!
^. I think CX888 J has the same Herringbone design. Look forward to the "good eats" in the sky experience.

How did you like the Hyatt in Sha Tin? Easy to get to?

Thanks again for a great report!
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Old Jan 31, 11, 12:33 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
How did you like the Hyatt in Sha Tin? Easy to get to?
I like the Hyatt Sha Tin a lot and recommend it for people who have visited HK before or anyone who don't mind its suburb location. Like I mentioned, it is located very far away from any shops, though it is beside an MTR station (University MTR) and 1 or 2 stops away from Sha Tin MTR which has a huge shopping mall.

It also offers a shuttle bus departing at 9 and 11am, 3 and 7pm from the hotel to their sister property at Hyatt Regency in Tsim Sha Tsui where much of the shopping and nightlife is located at. Buses return with passengers after dropping them off. But the morning departure and last return trip could be packed. By taxi from the airport, expect a fare of maybe around HKD250-300? The rooms here are very spacious and go for their club rooms if possible as the lounge has a very nice view! Prices are very reasonable at this property compared to hotels in Central Hong Kong or Kowloon.
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Old Jan 31, 11, 6:52 am
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Very nice report. Thanks for sharing!
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Old May 18, 11, 12:18 am
  #21  
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Best Transcontinental Ride in North America: CX888 Vancouver YVR - New York JFK in J

Sorry for the long delay, but I just got around to posting the continuation of this Circle Pacific routing:

CX888 Vancouver International YVR - New York John F. Kennedy JFK
04 Mar 2011
B777-300ER B-KPO
Scheduled ETD/ETA: 2155 - 0600
Actual Time of Departure/Arrival: 2221 - 0555
Seat No: 11K

It was time for the next installment of my Circle Pacific trip which will provide me with 2 legs of my trip in exploring USA. The first leg will bring me to New York from Vancouver where I had spent some time with my family. My brother dropped me off at the airport early as I went to check in at the empty Cathay Pacific check-in counter. The friendly check-in agent welcomed me and handed me the boarding pass in a nice Business Class folder. I also noticed while checking in that Cathay Pacific will now charge passengers for every snowboard being checked in at a cost of C$75 each. Seems like even passengers in premium classes are not exempted from this rule. This will be actually my first time on Cathay's business class on the 777, having taken the YVR-HKG leg of this trip before on economy, it is a pleasure to experience the YVR-JFK leg on business in the front of the cabin!


Check in counter for Cathay Pacific


The Spirit of Haida Gwaii by Bill Reid at YVR

With my lounge invitation and the priority access, I was able to pass by the security screening without much wait and problems. It was onwards to the discreet elevator on the left after security screening to head towards Cathay's Business Class Lounge. It is worth noting here that the lounge is quite a walk towards the gate and it would take passengers up to 10 minutes to walk over to this remote gate. Being very early, I was perhaps the only one in the lounge when I arrived which allowed me to take photos of the lounge in a leisurely manner. The lounge at YVR is a bit on the small side and besides a small lounge area, it has a long table for dining, several workstations close to the restrooms and an enclosed first class lounge. In terms of food selection, it was alright as well, similar to the offerings at Pudong and Bangkok with some dim sum selection, cup noodles, vegetable snackers and salad platters.


Buffet Area and Long Table

I helped myself to some salad platter and dim sum for dinner since I wasn't that hungry and I expected to have some supper during the flight later which I am pretty sure beats the cup noodles at the lounge. For beverages, there was bottles of Evian mineral water for one to help themselves to as well as a variety of soda, juices and alcoholic drinks. A coffee machine is also provided for hot water and cups of espresso or cappuccino. Tea packets are also supplied complete with honey and lemon. Fairly standard lounge offerings then, and there was also an impressive selection of reading materials in the CX lounge, ranging from South China Morning Post to Financial Times as well as assorted magazines. Restrooms in the lounge was also furnished with the dermalogica amenities that could be found in the HK lounge. Overall it was easy to spend the next 2 hours in the lounge.


Salad and Vegetable Snackers


Dim Sum at CX Lounge

The view outside the lounge isn't too bad either at night as I could observe an EVA Air 747 and a Westjet 737 being prepped for pullback. I relaxed into the lounge with some magazines and a cup of hot tea with honey and lemon as I took out my laptop and began to check my emails and browse facebook for a bit. The internet in the lounge works pretty well and very soon I spent enough time in the lounge to decide heading out to the gate and at the same time explore YVR since it is one of my favourite airports in the world. From what I know, the lounge agent will call out passengers when it is time to board, but I decided to make the move before the call and walk around the departure terminal first since I know it will be quite a walk to the gate. The shops around the main concourse were still open then but as I went further towards the remote gate, the shops are already closed. Due to CX888 being a transit flight, passengers continuing their journey to JFK are sort of 'quarantined' in their own gate, and travellers taking the YVR-JFK routing have to be separated and waited outside the gate. Transit passengers were allowed to board first at 21:30 before the rest of us were allowed into the gate proper at around 21:45. Premium passengers were then allowed to board the plane first and upon boarding I noticed a clear advantage for business passengers seated in the front mini-cabin. Each passenger get their own overhead compartment, a far cry from my experience on the upper deck of the 747 when I headed to Vancouver.


A glimpse into Cathay First Cabin in the 777-300ER

Shortly after placing my bag on the overhead compartment, I got seated and noticed the Top Gear magazine in the rack which I took for some reading while the crew prepared for the flight. The captain soon announced that due to the curfew around JFK airspace, they weren't in such a hurry to take off and it suits me just fine since it would mean I get more time to enjoy the cabin! Crew that served the flight today seemed to be based in Vancouver and they seemed friendlier and younger than the ones that served my flight from Hong Kong. Seated at the front of Business class, I also managed to gain a peek into the First Class cabin in front and noticed 2 passengers occupying that cabin. Just before 22:00 the doors to the plane were closed and the stewardess came around to offer welcome drinks which included champagne, orange juice or water. I settled for a simple cup of water since I have already drank juices and tea in the lounge, and the flight attendant came back around with hot towel service. As I got down to explore the seats in the 777-300ER, i noticed the angle of the seat in the 777 makes it better for viewing out of the window compared to their angle in the A340 and the 747. Though with the new 777-300ERs of Cathay to be outfitted with the new Business seats, this piece of information seems redundant.

By 22:13 the plane reached the end of the runway and the captain announced for the crew to prepare for take-off, and we had a smooth ascent up into the skies at 2221. The captain did mention a traveling distance of 3933 miles and that they will attempt the flight in a time of 4 hours and 26 minutes, that's less than 5 hours and a bit shorter than what I had hoped for a shut eye in a night flight. The take off in a 777-300ER is always one of the best, only to be eclipsed by that of the A380. I do enjoy a quiet ascent and one that makes passengers feel comfortable. Now if only Cathay purchases some A380s...


Richmond and the Olympic Oval upon take-off

Once we were airborne, mineral water in bottles were given out to passengers along with amenity kits. Having had the ladies version in my flight to Vancouver, I accepted the male version of the kit, something which will come in handy for this trip. Purser Reiko then came over with menus for the night where supper will be served. The chief purser then came over and noted my various recent flights with Cathay and welcomed me on board as well as trying to make some small talk. It ended with her enquiring if I needed an arrival form. It should be noted that it was the first time a purser came over to say hello in a premium cabin though. Usually I appreciate the privacy given to me as a passenger and since I am not one who particularly enjoys attention, I would rather just them coming over quick when I press the attendant button. The welcoming on board and making sure one has everything they need for arrival was a nice touch though, and it made this short fight memorable nonetheless.


Amenity Kit and Inflight Shopping Catalogue


Inflight Entertainment and Magazines on board CX Business


Reading The Globe and Mail

Hot almonds were then served shortly and I requested for the Oriental Breeze, a CX signature drink which I had yet tasted since it was the second alternate set of CX Signature drinks list. I always seem to be onboard CX when they had the other set which had Cathay Delight and Pacific Sunrise in the selection. Oriental Breeze is the non-alcoholic drink and I enjoyed it better than Cathay Delight which seems heavier on the palate. It was actually a great drink for the night since it was a fruity concoction. Another 'memorable' moment was when StudioCX (Cathay's IFE) died on me again when I started it. The irony was how it never fails me when I am seated on the back in Economy but just hangs itself on more times than I have sat in CX's business cabin. That was when I started to humour myself by taking more shots of the cabin and browsing the nice Discovery magazine. There was also copies of The Globe and Mail when I boarded which is currently my favourite national newspaper.


CX Signature Drink - Oriental Breeze and hot almonds

For this transcontinental flight, the following meal choices was served:

Starters 頭盤


Seared paprika prawns with Caesar salad and Caesar dressing 燒明蝦凱撒沙律伴凱撒醬汁

Main Courses 主菜

Beef massaman with steamed jasmine rice and stir-fried Chiangmai vegetables 咖哩牛肉配白飯及炒蔬菜

Pan-fried cod with lobster sauce, creamy polenta, green beans, baby carrots and grilled peppers 香煎鱈魚柳伴龍蝦汁配奶油玉米餅,青豆,胡蘿蔔及烤甜椒

Light Choice 輕膳


Wontons in Noodle Soup 雲吞湯麵

Cheese and Dessert 芝士及甜品

St. Paulin, Brie, Bleubry 精選芝士


Fresh seasonal fruit 時令鮮果

Almond cappuccino cake 杏仁咖啡蛋糕

Tea and Coffee 名茶及咖啡


Praline 精美朱古力

Drinks List 飲料

Juices: Orange, Apple, Tomato 果汁:橙汁,蘋果汁,番茄汁

Soft Drinks: Coke Zero, Coke, Coke Light, Sprite, Perrier water, tonic water, soda water and ginger ale 汽水:零系可口可樂,可口可樂,健怡可樂,雪碧湯力,梳打,薑啤,巴黎礦泉水

Coffees 咖啡
Freshly brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino and caffè latte; regular or decaffeinated 特級咖啡,特濃咖啡,低因咖啡,泡沫咖啡, 牛奶咖啡

Teas 名茶
Hong Kong style milk tea 港式奶茶
Ceylon, Japanese, jasmine 錫蘭紅茶,日本綠茶,香片
Organic selection: camomile, earl grey, peppermint 有機系列:甘菊茶,伯爵茶,薄荷茶

Hot Chocolate 熱朱古力

Wine List

Champagne Deutz, Brut Classic

White wines: Blackstone Winemaker's Select Monterey County Chardonnay 2008 / Drouet Frères Le Mont Fleuri Sancerre 2009

Red Wines: Estancia Paso Robles Meritage Reserve 2007 / Château Rocher Corbin Montagne-Siant-Émilion 2004

Port: Dow's Late Bottled Vintage Port 2005

Aperitifs and Cocktails: Gin, Rum, Vodka, Martini Rosso, Martini Extra Dry, Campari, Sweet and Dry Sherry, Bloody Mary, Screwdriver

Whiskies: Chivas Regal 12 Years Old, Johnnie Walker Gold Label, Jack Daniel's, Canadian Club

Cognac: Hine 'Rare and Delicate' Fine Champagne

Liqueurs: Drambuie, Cointreau, Bailey's Irish Cream

Beer: International selection

CX Signature Drinks:
Oriental Breeze - A sour-plum tea and cranberry juice based non-alcoholic drink with honey and fresh lemon juice and a hint of rose water.


Cloud Nine - A refreshing combination of Vodka, Cointreau and Sprite with a refreshing touch of lemon flavour.

Some comments on the meal service was that Cathay seems to have a propensity for prawns as appetizers and they are usually great. I also enjoyed the servings of garlic bread and being a supper, I chose the lighter wontons in soup noodle which was warm and wonderful for a winter flight. For desserts, I was only able to get the fruit platter and there doesn't seem to be any further mention of the cake, though I was able to get 2 portions of the pralines which was really delicious and much better than the one given on the christmas eve flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver. I also tried the alcoholic version of CX's signature drink - Cloud Nine - before I retired for the night. So far, it seems I enjoy both Oriental Breeze and Cloud Nine better than Cathay Delight and Pacific Sunrise.


Business Class Cabin on descent into JFK

I managed to get a shut eye of about 3 hours or so after the conclusion of the meal. I was actually woken up as most of the other passengers started using the lavatory to freshen up and there was another hot towel service by the crew before preparations were made in the cabin for descent into JFK at around 05:30, and perhaps the pilot was trying to make it the first flight arriving into JFK that day to avoid the crowds and so passengers can be the first to disembark into a less crowded passport control. A short video was shown to passengers to familiarize themselves on US Security measures before the video turned into the camera view underneath as it showed the landing gear being lowered until the plane finally lands on JFK at 05:55. The outdoor camera view just reminds me of why I like the 777 more than the 747 on Cathay.


Lights of New York on descent


Landing Scene

There was priority disembarkation for business passengers but not before I took a parting shot of what I think will be the last time I sit on the 'Olympus' business class seats of Cathay Pacific. It was a long walk into passport control from the gate but there was no queue there when I arrived and it sure beats queueing up when taking a mid-morning flight. Managed to get out of the terminal after collecting my luggage by 06:48 which is not bad at all and makes this night flight on CX a great way to arrive in New York. Arriving at Terminal 7 in JFK, I headed towards the lone ground transportation desk to arrange for a super shuttle service to Andaz Wall Street, and it was a comfortable ride which came down to $18.50, for a total pf $22.00 with gratuities. The only drawback is perhaps when one is in a rush since I was the last passenger to be dropped off on the doorstep of the Andaz after a 2 hours plus ride. The flight between Vancouver and New York was comfortable, and allowed me to rest while reaching my destination relaxed. I always find the service on CX888/889 less than on par to other CX long haul service and it could be due to the timing of the flight at night which makes for a slower crew.


Cathay 'Olympus' Business Class Cabin

Last edited by quirrow; May 27, 11 at 10:42 am
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Old May 18, 11, 10:27 am
  #22  
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Very good trip report so far, quirrow ^

Almost everything I read about CX Business and First Class makes me want to try their two premium products more and more.

Your photography is stunning (although it would be nice to have the pictures slightly bigger, or the option to click on them to make them so?).

Looking forward to the next update - when can we expect that?
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Old May 18, 11, 5:26 pm
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I like the Olympic Oval photo!

Nice report, great photo's!
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Old May 24, 11, 5:44 am
  #24  
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Review of Hotels in New York

Andaz Wall Street

Great large bedroom and wonderful service from the host, Amy! I was even able to check in early for the day, since I arrived at around 10am. Lobby has cookies and guests can get free coffee to go when venturing out into the city in the morning. Upgraded into a large king room which has a soaking tub, and a separate shower. Though the sink and toilet are at opposite end, and I find the bathroom a bit dark. Room is perhaps suited for singles or couples since the window in the soaking tub opens out into the bedroom. Wardrobe that swivels was an interesting feature in the room, serving multiple functions to store my clothes and towels, as a mirror and as a shelving unit. Complimentary snacks and non alcoholic beverages in the Andaz was wonderful, and I had their energy bar, some packets of chips, orange juice and soft drinks.


Large king room at Andaz Wall Street


Soaking tub in the bathroom


TV console that doubles as a dressing table


Bathroom sink

Andaz 5th Avenue

No upgrades mentioned in the 5th Avenue, though I got assigned a room in the adjacent wing which necessitates a change of elevators on the mezzanine floor. There was a nice courtyard on that floor and an event was taking place along the function rooms located on the same floor which can make it less private when returning to the hotel in the evening. Service was of similar high standard as the one at Wall Street and the hosts seems to remember you just like the one in Wall Street. Room had double sinks and offered an additional amenity in the form of bath salts for the foot bath, but no tub. While the bathroom was brighter, the chair in the room was really uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time. The best part of this Andaz is its location which is of walking distance to the Rockefeller, Grand Central and even Times Square since it was just opposite the Public Library and Bryant Park. Selection of snacks is slightly different than the one at Wall Street, but still good, though I preferred the drinks offered at Wall Street. I was offered a checkout amenity and there was a choice of lip balm, hand sanitizer or lollipop.


Bedroom at Andaz 5th Ave


Bathroom at the Andaz 5th Ave


TV console and desk

W New York - Times Square

Having stayed at the W Hong Kong, I also tried out the W New York at Times Square on my return from Washington D.C. As I had a rental car with me, I went around to park at the Crowne Plaza which had slightly lower rates than the W which does not have its own parking. It was just a block away so there is no problem for me as it also includes in and out privileges. Check in was at the upper level of the hotel and I was given a room on the high floor at the 56th storey. Perhaps due to the crowd, the hotel seems less personal with the normal check-in style. Staff at the W was more indifferent and the Andaz definitely wins in service as it feels more like a boutique hotel. Room on the high floors were great for views of the surrounding area and I also had a partial view of Times Square. Location within Times Square was also convenient and I was able to have an early morning jog to Central Park and back, stopping for breakfast on the way back. Bedroom and bathroom design was modern and I liked the chaise lounge beside the window to view the scenery. A guest was complaining about the bathroom doors as he was staying with his children so I guess this hotel like the Andaz should be avoided for families. Room size was the smallest amongst the 3 hotels I stayed in New York but it was still a good fit for one person, and I have definitely seen smaller rooms. The hotel is located in a more noisy area and it shows by the more vibrant crowd with more interesting features like the water feature in the first floor reception. Definitely not a place to go if one wants more peace and quiet in their hotel choice.


W New York Times Square bedroom


W New York Times Square bathroom


Water feature in the ground floor reception

For my stay in New York, I would most probably stick with the Andaz though all the 3 hotels I stayed were really good and faultless. And since I am not a big fan of Times Square and its glaring neon lights, I don't see the location of the W as an advantage. Amongst the 2 Andaz, I would alternate on both with a slight preference for the Wall Street for weekend stays since its quieter on weekends.
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Old May 24, 11, 5:49 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Genius1 View Post
Very good trip report so far, quirrow ^

Almost everything I read about CX Business and First Class makes me want to try their two premium products more and more.

Your photography is stunning (although it would be nice to have the pictures slightly bigger, or the option to click on them to make them so?).

Looking forward to the next update - when can we expect that?
Thanks for the compliments! CX has a new business class that I hope to try in the future as well!

You could check out larger sizes of my photo on my flickr site. Still uploading some of my photos so the updates have got to wait for a while, apologies to all the readers here...
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Old May 24, 11, 5:57 am
  #26  
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Scenes from New York

Some photos from New York:


Yellow Cab along Wall Street


Runners and tourists along Brooklyn Bridge


Borough Hall Subway Station


Armani at 5th Avenue


NYC's Chinatown


Staten Island Ferry


Downtown NYC Skyscrapers


Rockefeller Ice Skating Rink


View of Central Park from Top of the Rock


Chrysler Building and Empire State Building from Top of the Rock


Great Hall of the Grand Central


Knotted Gun Monument at the UN Headquarters Entrance


Empire State Building


Yellow Cabs along Times Square


Guggenheim Museum


Exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art


Bow Bridge at Central Park


Brooklyn Bridge and Downtown Manhattan
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Old May 27, 11, 10:40 am
  #27  
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First Ride on American Airlines AA19 JFK to LAX on Business

AA19 New York John F. Kennedy JFK
14 Mar 2011
B767-200 N321AA
Scheduled ETD/ETA: 1030-1345
Actual Time of Departure/Arrival: 1040-1323
Seat No: 11G


Taking the Airtrain after dropping off my rental car

Initially I was due to be on AA1 which I was excited to try out since it was considered the 'flagship' service between New York and Los Angeles. Why I took AA19 in the end is a tale in itself. I checked out of my hotel in the W Times Square early and even had the time to top up my fuel before I headed out with the GPS navigation system to JFK. What I had not calculated into my drive into JFK was the terrible traffic which obviously extended my driving time to nearly 2 hours. After returning my rental Prius, I still have to board the airtrain to terminal 8 which happens to be the last stop amongst all the terminal. The 8 minute ride and a 2 min wait for the train meant I was already late to check in for my AA1 flight since I had check in luggage with me. Instead, my flexible Circle Pacific ticket got on the next flight of AA19 which is departing at 1030. It was fortunate that there was hourly departures between JFK and LAX. The biggest disappointment of the day has got to be me discovering that there was no lounge access on Business which I thought was really terrible for an international airline. I was, however, able to obtain Priority Access for security screening which was faster and there were no problem with the process. Upon crossing security, I decided to try my luck at the Admirals Club but was rejected as well since rules stipulates that unless it's oneworld sapphire and above, one does not get lounge access on 'discounted' business fares. I didn't realize that the Circle Pacific fares are discounted business. This left me a lot of time to explore terminal 8 which is AA's home at JFK.



Terminal 8 - AA's home terminal in JFK

Some highlights of walking around the terminal was the display of AA's logo through the years as well as spotting the 'Flagship Independence' which was headed for San Francisco. Incidentally, SFO was my final destination that day and I had my luggage tagged all the way to SFO, but because my return flight via South Pacific departs from LAX, I purchased a separate ticket on AA between LAX and SFO on Economy.



Evolution of AA's logo at JFK


AA Flagship Independence headed for SFO

Boarding commenced at 0945 and with priority access, I was able to board early and noticed that it was a full flight in business class. With only one entrance, even when one settles down early in the business class seats, all the rest of the passengers will still walk past, creating a lot of distractions. I was assigned an aisle seat since it was not the flight that I was due to take, thus I had not much of choice in seating arrangements. There were pillows and blankets already on the seats upon boarding which I placed on the overhead compartment. No crew came over to offer to take my jackets, though I was able to pass it to them after I got settled down on the seat. Only after most passengers have boarded was the welcome drink offered and the orange juice and water seemed most popular. It looks like alcohol went out of favor in a Monday morning flight. While waiting for the rest of the passengers to board, I explored the seats functions and thought they were more similar to a regional Business Class seat in intra-Asia routings. I was expecting something more like a shell-back seat. I was also disappointed in the worn state of the seats, and the dark blue colour of the cabin does not help in brightening the cabin ambience a bit.


767 Safety Manual


Business Class seats on the 767


Legroom on Business Class on AA's 767


Tarmac view at JFK

By 1030, the plane started its pullback and I noticed how HSBC seems to have advertisements on the jetbridge of airports around the world (London Heathrow, Jakarta, Hong Kong International and now JFK) we were soon taking off at 1040. Waking up early in the morning and navigating past New York's jammed streets meant I needed some shut eye before beverage service and warm mixed nuts were served at 1120. I ordered coffee with milk and sugar but as with most airplane coffees they taste bad. I miss Cathay's milk tea at that point in time. The flight attendant came around with hot towels after the first beverage service. Somehow the flight crew seemed to tease me in good fun, perhaps due to my age and being seated in the premium cabin. I found the crew serving this flight very friendly and cheerful though! So I would say the service really brought a more comfortable flying experience.


Flying past Manhattan


Coffee and warm mixed nuts

Headsets and PTV were handed out shortly but I was already using my MacBook air for my entertainment needs. I did, however, use the Bose QC15 headsets since the batteries on my own Audio-technica noise-canceling headphones have died out. The wonderful Bose QC15 headsets made me regret my audiotechnica purchase, so I guess I have to wait until I need a new set of headphones. While the state of the cabin leaves much to be desired, the seats have double seat back pockets which came in handy especially for my seat mate who was travelling with a computer he was using to work and an iPad which he was able to stow on the upper seat pocket.


Inflight Entertainment Kit for Business Class passengers on AA

Lunch menu were also handed out shortly and after flight attendants have completed passing out the menus and giving some time for passengers to peruse the menu, they took orders for lunch. The menu for that flight was:

To Start - Warm mixed nuts

Salad - Fresh seasonal greens offered with pepper cream dressing or premium extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Bread Basket - Assorted gourmet breads

Main Course
Mango Cilantro Chicken - Grilled mango cilantro chicken served with a mango ginger vinaigrette, roasted asparagus and sweet potato hash (An American classics item)
Salmon Niçoise Cold Plate - Mesclun mix with Yukon potatoes, kalamata olives, haricots verts, Roma tomatoes, egg, grilled salmon and balsamic vinaigrette accompanied by chilled ratatouille

Dessert
Ice Cream - Fair Trade chocolate ice cream topped with marshmallows and chopped walnuts
Fruit and Cheese - A selection of seasonal fruit and fine cheeses

Light Refreshment - Freshly baked on board cookies

Pre-Arrival Beverage

For Your Enjoyment - Chilled sparkling or still water with a fresh citrus garnish

Wines and Beverages

Sparkling Wine - Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Carneros Brut

White Wines - Boulder Bank Sauvignon Blanc / Montevina Chardonnay

Red Wines - Painter Bridge Zinfandel / Wente Vineyards Shorthorn Canyon Syrah

Spirits - ABSOLUT® Vodka / Beefeater Dry Gin / Bacardi Rum

Whiskeys - Canadian Club Reserve Blended Whisky / Dewar's White Label Scotch Whisky / Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch / Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey / Jim Beam Black Bourbon

Beers - Heineken, Corona Extra and select U.S. Beers

Brandy and Liqueurs - Baileys Irish Cream / Courvoisier V.S.O.P. Fine Champagne Cognac / DiSaronno Amaretto / Kahlúa

Other Beverages - Carbonated beverages / Still or sparkling water

Java City 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee, Nescafé decaffeinated coffee, Tea, Fruit juices, Milk


Salad with pepper cream or 'ranch' dressing

Lunch service started with salads and passengers had a choice of ranch or vinaigrette dressing. Took ranch dressing and finished the salad as all I had for breakfast was an apple. The salad was crunchy and fresh while the dressing made it all the more tasty! The gourmet breads offered were French sourdough or olive bread. By this time I miss the garlic bread offered in Cathay Pacific, though the bread served on AA was alright, though nothing to shout about. The main course was surprisingly good though it didn't look appetizing. For beverage service, I decided for a non-alcoholic flight and ordered Sprite and noticed that maybe it was a morning flight, not much pax were having champagne or wines.


Entree of Mango Cilantro Chicken

Dessert was a choice of ice cream or fruit and cheese and I went for the former. The chocolate ice cream with marshmallows and chopped walnuts was delicious and it was great accompaniment to my entertainment on the MacBook Air.


Chocolate sundae for dessert

While the service up till the end of meal service was very good, there doesn't seem to be any follow up service after dessert. I tried to call for the attendant after the dessert cup has been cleared as the table cloth and napkins haven't been cleared but there was no response and I didn't see any further signs of crew during the flight. As a result I just slipped the table cloth and napkin back to the upper seat pocket which was useful even for my laptop during meal service.


Business Class on the 767

Seat recline in the business class cabin of the 767 was also generous and very comfortable with ample of legroom in take off mode and it makes it slightly tough for one of short build like me to stretch out to take magazines or stuff. Speaking of magazines there were 4 different magazines, one for inflight shopping, a Spanish language magazine, the American Way - AA's magazine and a premium passenger magazine. These magazines seems to have less readership nowadays though as my seat neighbors were more engrossed on newspapers or their iPads. My seat neighbor was busy working on his MacBook Pro and soon enquired about my MBA as I began to stow it back to my bag to try out the Personal TV provided by AA. Well it seems that he was considering a change to the lighter MacBook Air for a change, and it definitely made sense for the frequent traveller. With regards to the personal IFE, the small screen and limited selections of movies didn't interest me at all.


Trying out the personal TV from AA

To pass the time I went back to reading some articles and discovered that Andy Roddick the US tennis player is an AA exec plat member and was featured in their celebrity traveller segment. I also took a shot of the cabin while cruising and noticed some of the passengers dong stuff on their iPad, relaxing for a nap or just watching some movies. I decided to take a nap shortly after and was able to have a good rest until 4pm NY time which meant I was able to rest for a total of one and a half hour. This was even though flight was slightly turbulent. as we crossed the nation. Announcement for landing was made at 1305 Pacific time and it was clear weather in LA. The plane finally landed at 1323 which meant I was still on time to catch my connecting flight which departs at 1445 for San Francisco.

Overall the flight with AA on Business Class was lacklustre at best and I wouldn't even consider paying for a seat in the cabin considering the limited service in-flight as well as the old hardware on board the cabin. While the crew was friendly, they didn't really make an impact on the flight and seemed to disappear right after the conclusion of meal service. I guess starting my flight with Cathay Pacific's Business Class has set the bar too high for AA.
quirrow is offline  
Old May 29, 11, 10:20 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
My only complaint would be that CX business class, the ottoman's are really showing its age and stinks sometimes. Tough to put my feet on there knowing that 10,000 feet has been there.
iaroundtheworld is offline  
Old Jun 11, 11, 5:36 pm
  #29  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Gold, IHG Spire Ambassador
Posts: 14,588
Thanks for the AA update. ^

I thought transcontinental AA Business got lounge access, but evidently not. Ridiculous policy, IMO.

AA’s Business product fails to impress me yet again.

When can we expect the next update?
Genius1 is offline  
Old Jun 12, 11, 10:48 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PIT
Programs: UA 1K, OZ
Posts: 7,473
Great report! ^ When's the next update coming?
dinoscool3 is offline  

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