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

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA 973
Class Premium Eco
Seat 14H
Aircraft Boeing 777-200
Flight time 09:41
Take-off 02 Oct 15, 21:35
Arrival at 03 Oct 15, 08:16
AA   #62 out of 113 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 332 reviews
jetsetpanda
By 4263
Published on 4th October 2015
Hi and welcome to this JFK-GIG segment. My schedule is as follows:

SFO-JFK on AA Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-11775.html
JFK-GIG on AA Y - you are here
GIG-JFK on AA Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-11903.html
JFK-LAX on AA J - http://flight-report.com/fr/report-11957.html
LAX-SFO on AA F - will not report


After arriving late in JFK and running to Duty Free to make some last minute shopping, my connecting flight actually left at 22:19 instead of 21:35. When I checked the monitors upon arrival into JFK it was still showing on time.

I arrived at the gate and it was boarding already. I was greeted by a friendly FA at the door and made my way to the Main Cabin Extra section which still had some empty seats. It seemed that today's flight was not going to be full and I ended up with an empty seat next to me.

Even though my trip was in Y, I still looked forward to the experience. I believe that flying in the back of the bus is a reality check that we need to keep our perspectives balanced. Besides, some of the most interesting people that I have met onboard have always been flying in Y contrary to the frosting environment up in the premium cabins. As a matter of fact, I had an interesting conversation with an Armenian guy sitting at the other end of my middle row who worked in IT and was traveling with his boss.





The crew on our flight seemed upbeat and very proactive. I saw a lot of smiling interactions with passengers which is always a good sign. What a drastic difference from my MIA-GIG flight a month ago.

Once the door closed the captain made an announcement asking everyone including the FA's to sit down after take off due to the unstable weather. About 45 min. after take off, the service began and drinks were offered along with dinner. I had ordered a special diabetic meal just for fun and at first was offered a choice between chicken or pasta. I reminded the FA that I requested a separate meal and this was delivered quickly.

I smelled a spicy dish and this looked promising. Unfortunately it turned out to be bland despite the enticing smell. The main dish consisted of some chicken slices served over grains with beans, corn and a side of French beans. There were 2 cantaloupe slices for dessert which was healthy and some balsamic vinaigrette in a bottle which elevated the meal a bit. However, there was no cheese or cracker on my tray.




Some mood lightning was in order to make the experience more civil. :P

photo DSC08067 (1024x683)


I asked for a second regular meal and the FA obliged by bringing me the pasta dish a few minutes later. It was a macaroni and cheese with pieces of broccoli and red pepper strips. I thought it was very satisfying but some would disagree with all that melting cheese as sauce. Let's just say it is an American dish on an American carrier.


Salad with two red cherry tomatoes.

photo DSC08076 (1024x683)


Condiments (not that much different from J)




Cheese and crackers.

photo DSC08069 (1024x683)


Dessert was a cheap packed brownie.

photo DSC08075 (1024x683)photo DSC08080 (1024x683)


I brought the tray back to the galley and the FA who was sitting stood up and insisted in taking the tray from me. Nice service attitude.

Galley with drinks, pretzels and leftovers.

photo DSC08083 (1024x683)


I checked out the entertainment system and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of foreign films and all of them were unedited. I saw a good Iranian and Norwegian one.

photo DSC08082 (1024x683)photo DSC08088 (1024x683)


Soon breakfast was served and it seemed that the cost cutting has continued. A few years ago AA used to serve a croissant with yogurt. The breakfast today was some packaged flat muffin with yogurt and orange juice. My special meal consisted of yogurt, a container with water instead of orange juice and a lemon cookie. By the way, when I asked for tea, I was served barely half a cup.

photo DSC08091 (1024x683)photo DSC08099 (1024x683)

We arrived a few minutes late which was not a big deal. Here's a look at the cabin.

photo DSC08100 (1024x683)

See more

Verdict

American Airlines

8.3/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment9.0
Meal/catering6.0

New York - JFK

8.1/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Rio De Janeiro - GIG

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Delays keep following me and this flight was not different. However, the inconvenience was minimal and we arrived less than 15 min. late which is not terrible. I wish that the delay leaving out of JFK would have posted earlier so that I did not have to run.

The crew on this flight was friendly and approachable, unlike the one that I had last month out of MIA. I received better service flying in Y than in J if you can believe it.

Catering in Y is disappointing for the most part, unless you fly an airline like TK. Next month I will be testing another product in Y but this time with UA SFO-LHR. Let's see how the new and improved UA Y catering scores.

The entertainment system on AA is surprisingly good in my opinion with a solid selection of uncensored films both classic and foreign. Who would have thought?

Related

15 Comments

  • Comment 147852 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    Glad to read you made lemonade out of lemons. :) Flying Y is about pleasant service and entertainment.

    The concept of pasta drowned in cheese sauce is very European. Alfredo, Mornay and English Cheddar sauces come to mind.

    As for dessert, you'll make lots of friends on board, if before the flight, grab a Godiva truffle box from the duty free shop and share. ;)

      0
    • Comment 326347 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2156 Comments

      As for dessert, you'll make lots of friends on board, if before the flight, grab a Godiva truffle box from the duty free shop and share. ;)
      - Nothing like chocolates to improve someone's mood. I once gave an AC crew a box of chocolates, but that was right after they upgraded me from LHR-YYC as a gesture of gratitude. :P

      Thanks for your comment Caribel.

        0
  • Comment 147912 by
    KévinDC TEAM 3911 Comments

    Hahaha...you and your Special meals. When will you learn they're not good? LOL. Like I said before, the only probably decent ones are Hindu Meals (HNML) if offered. I'd tasted some back when I worked for airlines and they were usually good. The diabetic meal looks like it's Quinoa. I can't stand Quinoa, it has no taste, but I've been trying to force myself to eat it because it's healthier than rice, but, yuck. The pasta actually looks decent. Most U.S. carriers have gotten cheap and put brownies or cookies in the place of a real dessert. The breakfast is the epitome of cheap and cost cutting. At least I had a warm croissant sandwich on my HKG-DFW in Y.

    Visually the new cabin looks nice--basically the same as on the 77W. The 1st Y cabin is 3-3-3 and the 2nd is 3-4-3. Are the seats in the 3-3-3 cabin any wider? Or are they the same seats, but with wider aisles? This is such an odd configuration to me.

    Thanks for sharing!

      0
    • Comment 326348 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2156 Comments

      Hahaha...you and your Special meals. When will you learn they're not good? LOL.
      - Perhaps I am like a hopeless romantic thinking that I will strike gold one of these days. :P

      The breakfast is the epitome of cheap and cost cutting. At least I had a warm croissant sandwich on my HKG-DFW in Y.
      - Just when you thought it couldn't get worse. But wait, it can actually get worse and AA can always fall back to what US used to served on transcon breakfasts in Y - a packaged buttermilk pastry. It gives me shudders to even think about it.

      Are the seats in the 3-3-3 cabin any wider? Or are they the same seats, but with wider aisles? This is such an odd configuration to me.
      - According to seatguru, the main cabin seats measure 17-18.5 in. and the ones for Main Cabin Extra 18-18.5 in.

      Thanks for your comments Kevin.

        0
    • Comment 326349 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2156 Comments

      Being EXP you have the choice of any seat without charge ?
      - That is supposed to be the way.

      The diabetic main looks quite good and you had a whole grain bread : you need to bring some harissa with you and it will be perfect
      - I will get some along with ketchup packets. :P

      Having fruit as dessert is great much better than this brownie
      - For sure, but it's a pity that the fruit was not ripe.

      Of course it's not a sauce !
      - I take your word for it. :P

      A good IFE choice and a great crew and you have a rather good flight
      - Don't forget the good seat. ;)

      Thanks Gilbert for your support.

        0
  • Comment 147931 by
    lagentsecret 8415 Comments

    Thanks for sharinng this FR

    Being EXP you have the choice of any seat without charge ?

    The diabetic main looks quite good and you had a whole grain bread : you need to bring some harissa with you and it will be perfect

    Having fruit as dessert is great much better than this brownie

    but some would disagree with all that melting cheese as sauce
    Of course it's not a sauce !

    A good IFE choice and a great crew and you have a rather good flight

    See you soon for the inbound legs

      0
  • Comment 147951 by
    indianocean 4720 Comments

    I never thought that diabetic people have to eat dietary. The tray looks so small and the meals so light.

    I asked for a second regular meal--> I was wondering if you were full from the previous meal and I was right. (LOL)

    Glad to read that you had friendly cabin crew.

    A bientôt pour le retour Adan.

      0
    • Comment 326350 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2156 Comments

      The tray looks so small and the meals so light.
      - It' supposed to be healthy. ;)

      I was wondering if you were full from the previous meal and I was right. (LOL)
      - For the sake of giving an objective report. :P

      Glad to read that you had friendly cabin crew.
      - They can make or break a flight.

      Thanks Bernard for your support.

        0
  • Comment 148344 by
    Chibcha 406 Comments

    I found it really ironic that you've seem to have had a better flight this time than on the MIA-GIG run...well that's how it goes.

    I really like AA's new interiors (not so new now I guess). IFE looks great.

    Keep the FRs rolling!!!

      0
    • Comment 326728 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2156 Comments

      Gracias Chibcha.

      Yes, ironic that I received better service in Y than in J. It might have something to do with the crew base. So far on all my flight to/from JFK the crew has been very nice.

      IFE was very good in my experience.

        0
  • Comment 148358 by
    NGO85 1579 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report with us Adan!

    I believe that flying in the back of the bus is a reality check that we need to keep our perspectives balanced
    - I've done several TPACs in last couple of weeks in Y, and you are absolutely right. It is a reality check and at the end of the day, it's not that bad (depending on carrier).

    The crew on our flight seemed upbeat and very proactive. I saw a lot of smiling interactions with passengers which is always a good sign.
    - Always a good omen.

    I see you went for the second row of MCE, I hate the restrictive feel of the bulkhead rows with the fixed armrests.

    Let's just say it is an American dish on an American carrier.
    - I think you need a reality check, wait until you see what UA offered on a recent TPAC flight I was on the other day. I envy your AA meals... They served you a lemon cookie as part of your diabetic meal?

    so that I did not have to run.
    - A little exercise doesn't hurt :P

    Next month I will be testing another product in Y but this time with UA SFO-LHR. Let's see how the new and improved UA Y catering scores.
    - I'll push my UA TPAC series out fast so you can see all the 'hype'. It's never too late to change your reservation :)

      0
    • Comment 326730 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2156 Comments

      I've done several TPACs in last couple of weeks in Y, and you are absolutely right. It is a reality check and at the end of the day, it's not that bad (depending on carrier).
      - When you are a frequent flyer who has been spoiled flying up front (and this is relative by the way. I would never consider myself to be in such condition when I compare myself to how some members travel), the realization of stepping into a Y cabin is similar to the 5 stages of grief that one goes through. In the end you accept it and find out that it is not that bad a you said.

      I see you went for the second row of MCE, I hate the restrictive feel of the bulkhead rows with the fixed armrests.
      - Bingo. I was also praying for a vacant row so that I could convert the middle row into a sofa bed by raising the armrests.

      I'll push my UA TPAC series out fast so you can see all the 'hype'. It's never too late to change your reservation :)
      - Don't you scare me now. I already canceled my original SFO-CPH leg on SK through Lifemiles and paid USD 50 for that privilege. The reason is that I was able to get some extra days off and decided to leave earlier to Europe and do a LIS trip before arriving in CPH. The best flight was on UA according to the schedule for the day that I wanted to depart and I resigned myself to fly with them thinking that at least the catering would be semi-decent with the new enhancements. ;) Well, at least I should be able to access the UA Club in LHR T2 (and perhaps do some lounge hopping to SQ, AC and LH if I get matched to *A Gold - crossing my fingers.)

      Thank you Michael for stopping by.

        0
    • Comment 326746 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2156 Comments

      They served you a lemon cookie as part of your diabetic meal?
      - It was sort of low carb and wheat/gluten free. Yes, it was a bit unsettling to be served a cookie for a diabetic meal at first.

        0
  • Comment 148415 by
    KL651 3456 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.

    At least the diabetic meal is healthy but it does really look like a meal you'd have while on a diet.

    The regular option looks better.

    Usually indian veg meals are really good. UA serves them as a third option on TATL flights and they've always been tasty.

    The breakfast is indeed insufficient for a flight of this length. It looks like what you get on shorter TATL flights.

    Looking forward to your FR on UA. See the differences of the new service on flights to Europe.

      0
    • Comment 326756 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2156 Comments

      Bonjour Etienne.

      I thought that the regular meal option was very satisfying. If it had fruit as dessert instead of that cheap pack of brownie it would have been better. The Indian option is a good idea. I had it before as a special meal flying on AA, CO and BA, but never on UA.

      The breakfast on this flight was pathetic. However on my return from GIG-JFK I had scrambled eggs while the rest of the cabin had a hot croissant.

      My series in Nov will be one of the busiest ones that I have ever taken. Just to give a preview it's a round-the-world starting with UA SFO-LHR and TP LHR-LIS in Y, then all J on IB LIS-MAD-LHR, BA LHR-CPH, TK CPH-IST-HKG and CX HKG-SFO. Stay tune. ;)

        0

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