Review of American Airlines flight Rio De Janeiro New York in Premium Eco

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA 974
Class Premium Eco
Seat 14H
Aircraft Boeing 777-200
Flight time 10:06
Take-off 05 Oct 15, 21:00
Arrival at 06 Oct 15, 06:06
AA   #59 out of 112 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 331 reviews
jetsetpanda
By 2782
Published on 12th October 2015
Hi and welcome to the return portion of this series. Here is my schedule so far:

SFO-JFK on AA Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-11775.html
JFK-GIG on AA Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-11776.html
GIG-JFK on AA Y - you are here
JFK-LAX on AA J - http://flight-report.com/fr/report-11957.html
LAX-SFO on AA F - will not report


This was my second trip to Rio this year and I have succumbed to its charms. Few places in the world can rival the stunning layout of this gorgeous city flanked by beaches and mountains, but for me one of the most rewarding aspects of visiting Rio is dealing with the cariocas who are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people that I have ever encountered in my travels. A small bonus is at the end of this FR for those interested.

The first time I came it was raining and this second time was no exception. Despite having the best intentions to see all the major sights, the weather did not cooperate and therefore I had to improvise and switch to indoor activities instead. As the saying goes, maybe the third time is the charm and I must come back again. ;)

I decided to take a taxi from my hotel to the airport, so when I checked out at reception, the front desk agent told me that there was another guest heading there and asked if I wouldn't mind sharing the taxi. This would come as a blessing in disguise since that meant that I will split the cost 50/50. The taxi arrived shortly but there was a slight problem - the trunk of the car was very small and only one big luggage was able to fit in. Fortunately there were only 2 of us so I placed my luggage in the back seat with me. In the end I paid R$25 (about USD 6.30 or EUR 5.60) which was a couple of dollars more than what the airport bus would have cost.

Since I had plenty of time I got off at T1 along with the other passenger and walked a little bit. It seems that most European carriers operated out of this terminal and there was a long walkway connecting it to T2. My initial impression of GIG has not changed - this is an ugly airport that does not do justice to the city it serves. Hopefully Oderbrecht TransPort and Changi Airports Intl., who are the operators, can make some real improvements soon.

GIG Terminal 1.

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Walkway bridge connecting the two terminals.

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Some spotting.





AA @ T2

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By 16:15, the check-in opens and a friendly agent issued my boarding passes. She also mentioned that the lounge has moved to a new location and points to the back wall where part of the lounge can be seen. Instead of going down the stairs after security, the entrance is now by gate 40. Once you present your credentials to the GOL agent, she directs you through a hallway in the back where you take an elevator to the AA lounge.

GOL Smiles lounge entrance.

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On my way to the Admirals Club.




After a warm welcome I settled into a corner in the back and explored the lounge. The new location is brighter and more open than the previous one. The lounge consists of two seating areas with the buffet located to the immediate right of reception. It seems that today was the first opening day for this lounge because I saw some IT technicians testing the computers in the back and a staff snapping pictures. I spoke to one of the staff members about getting a shower later on and he told me that they did not have those available for now due to some maintenance issues.

Main seating room. There is little space to put one's plates in the lounge area so it is better to eat by the buffet tables. I also noticed that the power extension cord is not configured for U.S. plugs unlike the old lounge. One of the nice receptionists checked with me to see if everything was OK and advised me that this new location was temporary.




Adjacent seating area which has a view of the counter.




View of the counters.

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Computers in a hallway all the way in the back of the lounge. You can also view the counters from here.

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Buffet area.





My selections.




WC's are located right outside of the club. An improvement?




I noticed a small room with 2 showers at the end. I think they were inoperative.




After a while I left the lounge and headed to the gate. There were quite a few agents there.

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Boarding was smooth and I was greeted by a smiling FA at the door upon entering the aircraft. The cabin was set in mood lighting mode and the pre-dept. video was playing.

Here is a sample of the boarding music posted on youtube by a fan.



Cabin.

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My seat. The Y+ section was semi empty and in the end most passengers had a row for themselves. At the completion of boarding a passenger sat at the opposite aisle seat from my row and prevented me from having a bed while the people behind me stretched out and slept soundly. Aargh!




Dinner service began and I was given my special meal by a friendly FA. I ordered a diabetic meal and it consisted of grilled chicken with vegetables and rice, a salad, fruits for dessert, crackers and some processed cheese. The chicken was tough to cut and afterwards I requested a regular meal to compare.




Cheese course. How processed is processed?

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Regular chicken meal with mustard sauce. It was delicious with a sauce that tasted like crème fraîche mixed with moutarde à l'ancienne.

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Galley with beverages and snacks.

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After a few hours breakfast was served and this time I won the special meal lottery. I received a hot plate of scrambled eggs with roasted tomatoes and fruit while the rest of the passengers had some fruit and a hot croissant.

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We arrived in JFK earlier than expected and sat at the gate for a few minutes until Immigrations opened at 06:00.


**BONUS**

Rain followed me to Rio again and outdoor activities were extremely limited, so I decided to visit the famous Confeitaria Colombo and have a nice dinner at Cafe Lamas the night before.

Centro. I took the efficient and safe metro to downtown on my way to Confeitaria Colombo.

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Municipal Theater.

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Museum of Fine Arts.

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Petrobras Headquarters.

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Confeitaria Colombo

Founded in 1894, this magnificent landmark is a part of Rio's history and an amazing place to have a light meal or coffee break, especially on a rainy day.




Cafe Lamas.

Had a very carioca dish @ Cafe Lamas - Filé à Osvaldo Aranha which is tender filet mignon with a layer of crunchy fried garlic, rice, farofa and Portuguese potatoes. It's not a cheap dish, but worth every cent of it.




Sirio Libanes Rotisseria.

One of the best snacks that I have tasted in Rio were the cheese and chicken esfihas from the Sirio Libanes Rotisseria by Lago Machado. This place is quite an institution and these soft and slightly chewy pillows are out of this world. Just add a few drops of Pimenta Malagueta oil and you are all set.




Cashew drink and esfihas.


See more

Verdict

American Airlines

8.5/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment8.5
Meal/catering8.0

American Airlines Admirals Club

7.8/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment7.0
Services8.0

Rio De Janeiro - GIG

7.6/10
Efficiency8.5
Access7.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness8.0

New York - JFK

8.9/10
Efficiency8.5
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

This was a good flight on AA with professional and friendly crew.

It was nice to have an open seat next to me, although a full row for myself would have been better. I guess you can't have it all.

Catering was acceptable for Y and the breakfast this time was better than the outbound.

Informations on the route Rio De Janeiro (GIG) New York (JFK)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Rio De Janeiro (GIG) → New York (JFK).


Useful

The airline that is scoring the best average grade isAmerican Airlines avec 8.5/10.

The average flight time is 9 hours and 6 minutes.

 

19 Comments

  • Comment 148818 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    Como vai? It's uncanny how the pics you choose to illustrate your essays reflect the mood of the moment.

    Does the AA lounge qualify for the term airline corral? I always wonder when the restrooms are located outside the corral if employees wash their hands before touching the food selection. The showers should get any decorator fired from their job.

    I may not be up-to-date in ADA guidelines for meal selections, but processed cheese, rice, fruits and crackers are not the best choices for a 1800 kcal dietary restriction. How about beans in a feijoada, cruciferous and root vegetables in broth, fish, quinoa salad, brown rice?

    Finally, what's the deal with pax insisting in seating near you in an empty cabin? Your Bradley Cooper looks are a curse.;)
    Abracos amigo!

      0
    • Comment 327197 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2173 Comments

      Hola Caribel.

      It's uncanny how the pics you choose to illustrate your essays reflect the mood of the moment.
      - Thanks for that comment. I guess my photographic skills are half decent after all.

      The showers should get any decorator fired from their job.
      - I guess AA had to do their best with what they got when they moved to this temporary space. I sure hope that those showers will never be offered to premium passengers.

      How about beans in a feijoada, cruciferous and root vegetables in broth, fish, quinoa salad, brown rice?
      - Sounds wonderful. I encourage you to submit that thought as an idea. Perhaps your persuasive skills are more convincing than mine. ;)

      what's the deal with pax insisting in seating near you in an empty cabin?
      - Are fart bombs allowed through security?

      Thanks for your visit Caribel. Vuestra grata presencia es siempre bienvenida. ;)

        0
  • Comment 148825 by
    Esteban 3022 Comments

    Thank you very much for sharing, like the food bonus of Rio :)

    The AA catering did not impress me but I was expecting much worse. Seemed pretty decent.

      0
  • Comment 148841 by
    SMilano 1321 Comments

    Thanks for sharnig this nice FR and bonus of Rio :)

    The catering looks decent for a American career in Y+ class.
    The seat looks quite good too.

    A better flight than the outbound, isn't it ? :)

    See you

      0
  • Comment 148858 by
    Sukhoi47 54 Comments

    Thanks for this report.

    Too bad you missed the full flat in Y. Was that at least the other passenger's assigned seat or did he move at the last minute ?

    Considering the usual chicken/pasta AA meal I understand your need of both limiting risk with a special meal and anticipating the situation with the venues of the food report ;)

    See you

      0
    • Comment 327200 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2173 Comments

      Hi and welcome Sukhoi47.

      The passenger that ended up sitting opposite my row came just before the door closed and was assigned to the row by the window. There was a couple there and given how empty the cabin was, he was asked if he wouldn't mind sitting at an aisle seat to allow everyone to spread out.

      They say that variety is the spice of life and I wanted to try something different from the usual offerings. Sometimes you win, other times you lose. C'est la vie. ;)

      Thanks for your comments.

        0
  • Comment 148875 by
    Rl 777 710 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Seats look ice with modern IFE-equipment.

    Catering was better than I'd expected. The regular chicken meal looks tasty.

    Thank you for the bonus from Rio, wish I could visit Brazil some day.

    See you!

      0
  • Comment 148878 by
    lagentsecret 8721 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    The lounge food is decent but the beverages not

    It was nice to have an open seat next to your even not having a full bed like the other passengers

    The special meal is not appealing but the main of the regular meal looks good

    It's better to forget the breakfast ;)

    A great crew made this flight a good one

    Nice bonus

    See you soon for another leg

      0
  • Comment 148887 by
    jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2173 Comments

    The lounge food is decent but the beverages not
    - I trust your opinion. ;)

    It was nice to have an open seat next to your even not having a full bed like the other passengers
    - It could be worse. I see the glass half full.

    The special meal is not appealing but the main of the regular meal looks good
    - It was delicious. Wow, you actually said that about a meal in Y? :P

    It's better to forget the breakfast ;)
    - It was good. The eggs were not overcooked.

    Nice bonus
    - I try. ;)

    Merci Gilbert.

      0
  • Comment 149048 by
    KévinDC TEAM 3971 Comments

    Hahaha...I have to laugh out loud to myself, each time I read of your Special Meal misadventures LOL! Maybe one day you'll hit the jackpot...just thinking it's not gonna be on AA! :-P

    Hmmm...can't say this new lounge looks very appealing. It looks like a tacky Persian rug store. I'm not a fan of the decor, the ceilings are low, and it seems to be hidden away in the middle of nowhere. The lack of tables seems very impractical.

    Thanks for the yummy culinary bonus! Great report as always Adan!

      0
    • Comment 327330 by
      KévinDC TEAM 3971 Comments

      Oh and I forgot to mention...I see champagne flutes in one of your pictures, was there actual champagne of was it sparkling wine? You know these are very important questions for me :-)

        0
    • Comment 327341 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2173 Comments

      Hahaha...I have to laugh out loud to myself, each time I read of your Special Meal misadventures LOL! Maybe one day you'll hit the jackpot...just thinking it's not gonna be on AA! :-P
      - Just wait. One of these days I will get the last laugh. Don't they say that those who persevere shall find? ;)

      Hmmm...can't say this new lounge looks very appealing. It looks like a tacky Persian rug store.
      - Well, it's only temporary as the receptionist told me. I will have more interesting lounges to report in Nov. ;)

      ...was there actual champagne of was it sparkling wine? You know these are very important questions for me :-)
      - Forgive my oversight, I forgot that some discerning members are passionate oenophiles. :P
      It is Brazilian sparkling wine - Salton Reserva Ouro. I took a picture of it on my first report to the lounge.

      Thanks for your comments and support Kevin.

        0
  • Comment 150442 by
    NGO85 1581 Comments

    Lazarus is back from the dead, thanks for sharing Adan!

    On my way to the Admirals Club.
    - Super sketchy, I like it. I only with that fire extinguisher in the hallway was being used to prop the door to the lounge open.

    extension cord is not configured for U.S. plugs
    - Big fail for a US carrier. The lounge does not look very comfortable since the seats are right on top of each other with no space. The decor (paintings/lamps) at least bring a nice touch. Haha, I saw urinal trough at an airport on my last trip, I think it was in CPH. Nice food offering for an Admiral's Club though.

    prevented me from having a bed
    - I'm sorry you weren't able to enjoy EconomyFirst like me ;) The retrofitted B772s are light and day difference, I had the old configuration and it felt OLD.

    Cheese course. How processed is processed?
    - It's like queso, relax! You were supposed to make yourself some nachos as a snack mid-flight. The diabetic meal looks dry and bland, at least the Y meal had sauce that would at least add some moisture and flavor. The tray doesn't look bad compared to AA. Recent trips on NH and SK had better trays. For Y, that second meal is one of the best I've seen in a long time. That was also a diabetic special meal? I did a special meal on my last AA flight and Kevin accused me of being a copy-cat, but mine turned out okay too. The snack offerings in the galley are something that UA does not offer.

    Thanks for the food bonus of Rio, the tarts look really good. The esfiha is similar to an empanada? I need to get to South America at some point, hopefully my new home base will facilitate that.

      0
    • Comment 328459 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2173 Comments

      Lazarus is back from the dead..
      - Praise the Lord!

      If only with that fire extinguisher in the hallway was being used to prop the door to the lounge open.
      - If only by saying Open Sesame could suffice to open the doors into every lounge.... ;)

      Haha, I saw urinal trough at an airport on my last trip, I think it was in CPH. Nice food offering for an Admiral's Club though.
      - I'm heading there next week. :P The food is not that bad but it could be better. I wonder how the permanent AA Club in GIG would look like. I guess I should make a trip next year to find out.

      I'm sorry you weren't able to enjoy EconomyFirst like me ;)
      - Rub it in while you can. ;) Looks like my flight on UA to LHR on Sat. is packed so there goes any hope of stretching out.

      For Y, that second meal is one of the best I've seen in a long time. That was also a diabetic special meal? I did a special meal on my last AA flight and Kevin accused me of being a copy-cat, but mine turned out okay too. The snack offerings in the galley are something that UA does not offer.
      - Yes sir, the second meal was a diabetic one and surprisingly good. Ordering a special meal is like playing Russian roulette. I ordered a Hindu meal this time on UA SFO-LHR. We'll see. Technically UA doesn't offer snacks between meals and it's supposed to be BOB on transatlantic Y, but I have heard of FA's skipping the crackers/cheese with the cocktail service and placing those as snacks in the galley. I will report on that.

      Thanks for the food bonus of Rio, the tarts look really good. The esfiha is similar to an empanada? I need to get to South America at some point, hopefully my new home base will facilitate that.
      - My pleasure Michael. Esfiha is not as hard as an empanada. It is softer and a bit elastic, but just as delicious. You should go to South America. It's full of unexpected treasures. ;)

      It's always great to hear from you Michael. Thanks.

        0
  • Comment 150469 by
    NGO85 1581 Comments

    Looks like my flight on UA to LHR on Sat. is packed so there goes any hope of stretching out.
    - The return SFO-KIX flight was 100% full, so I know the feeling. Is LHR on a B744 with the old cabin that has no personal IFE?

    I ordered a Hindu meal this time on UA SFO-LHR
    - Oooh, Kevin's favorite.

    I'm heading there next week. :P
    - Bundle up, it was rainy last week. A very dreary time of year there :(

      0
    • Comment 328479 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2173 Comments

      Is LHR on a B744 with the old cabin that has no personal IFE?
      - No, it's a 772 and is only 1 flight that day. In a way it's good that it is not a 744. I've heard they go on mechanical quite often.

      Oooh, Kevin's favorite.
      - Great minds think alike. :P

      Bundle up, it was rainy last week. A very dreary time of year there :(
      - Thanks for the heads up. I've been watching the weather closely on weatherchannel.com and indeed it is rainy and cold. I just made a quick last minute hotel change yesterday and was able to snatch the Absalon for about USD 95/night. I've read is one of the top hotels per Tripadvisor.com.

        0

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