Review of American Airlines flight Dallas/Fort Worth Lima in Business

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA980
Class Business
Seat 1F
Aircraft Boeing 757-200
Flight time 07:00
Take-off 22 Nov 16, 22:15
Arrival at 23 Nov 16, 06:15
AA   #41 out of 74 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 531 reviews
KévinDC
By GOLD 4827
Published on 19th January 2017
Hello and welcome to the next leg in this series of Flight-Reports.

I had found some decent oneworld Business class fares to Peru over the Thanksgiving Holiday, which presented a perfect opportunity to go to Machu Picchu and check off one of those long-time bucket-list trips. Although LATAM had recently started non-stop flights between Washington-Dulles and Lima, the flights were not daily and the schedule did not fit my travel plans. I would therefore need to fly to Lima either via Miami or Dallas. The shortest travel time was via MIA, but the overnight MIA-LIM flight time is less than 5 hours, which does not give much time for sleep. So I decided to go through DFW–the 7 hour DFW-LIM flight would allow for more sleeping time so we could hit the ground running upon arrival.

Routing:

Washington IAD ✈ Dallas DFW | American Airlines, B737-800, Domestic First Class
Dallas DFW ✈ Lima LIM | American Airlines, B757-200, Business Class
Lima LIM ✈ Cusco CUZ | LATAM, A320-200, Economy
Cusco CUZ ✈ Lima LIM | LATAM, A320-200, Economy
Lima LIM ✈ Dallas DFW | American Airlines, B757-200, Business Class
Dallas DFW ✈ Washington IAD | American Airlines, MD-80, Domestic First Class


As mentioned in the previous report, my flight from DC had been delayed into DFW due to storms. The delay wasn't so bad and we still had about an hour to make the next flight. We had arrived in Terminal A and needed to take the train to International Terminal D. No need to rush, but we wouldn't have time to go to the Admirals club.

Coming down the escalator from the train at International Terminal D

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The gate was just to the left of the escalators and boarding was just beginning as we walked up. Perfect timing!

This 757 is in the new AA colors, but new colors don't mean new interior ^^

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At the time of the flight, only two Internationally configured 757s had been retrofitted with the new cabins and I knew, based on the tail number of this aircraft, that this was not one of them.

Both the older NGBC (Next Generation Business Class) cabins with angled lie-flat seats and the new cabins with full flat B/E Aerospace Diamond seats on international 757s have 4 rows of seats in a 2-2 configuration.

photo seatmap dfw-lim b757

The Business class cabin was about three quarters full when we arrived on board.

The seats across the aisle from ours in the first row

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Our seats 1D and 1F

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The 60" seat pitch. Standard for international Business class.

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View of the seats across the aisle also gives a good idea of the seat pitch.

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Cole Haan amenity kits were pre-placed in the storage areas between the seats

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Seat controls are located at the ends of the middle armrests. Definitely looking old school

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Shortly after getting settled in to our seats, the very friendly purser came to take our coats. A few minutes later she returned with a tray of pre-departure drinks–the usual choice of water, orange juice, or champagne.

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Boarding moved quickly and we pushed back a few minutes early.

The safety video played during taxi on the overhead screens as well as the small PTVs.

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Taxi time was only about 15 minutes and we were off.

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The overhead screens in Business class displayed the moving map for most of the flight. Again, old school, but I'll take an old school moving map over no moving map any day.
#AvGeekProblems

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Straightforward route this evening.

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The IFE is, unsurprisingly, an older generation in these older NGBC cabins.

Remote control

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The PTVs are very small, but considering that, in Economy, there are only overhead monitors, I guess I can't complain too much. Even the retrofitted 757s with the new cabins were not outfitted with PTVs in Economy, similarly to the recently refurbished 767s. As AA does not intend to keep the ageing 757 and 767 fleets around for too many more years, they have decided not to invest in nose-to-tail IFE.

It is interesting to note that AA did not install integrated PTVs in Business class on the retrofitted 757s, which seems like a step backwards, IFE-wise anyway. Business class passengers are handed Samsung Galaxy tablets

Like on the retrofitted 767s, as I experienced in 2015: Click Here for Report
Or the tired former US Airways International 757s, as I experienced in 2016: Click Here for Report

I was surprised that Bose noise-cancelling headphones were not distributed on this flight. Instead, the cheap coach earbuds were handed out. I'm not sure if this is a new thing for certain South American flights, but considering that DFW-LIM is about as long as Transatlantic from the East Coast (e.g. JFK-LHR/CDG), it would make sense to have full International Business class service. I have my own noise-cancelling headphones so it was fine, but I found that the ear buds cheapened the experience.

Despite the ancient interface, the IFE has decent content, though not as good as the newer generations, and the picture quality is mediocre.

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The service began shortly after takeoff with an apéritif service including warm nuts. Drink orders were taken by the purser on the ground, which saved time.

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As usual, I had pre-selected my meal choice on AA.com. There were four choices of entrées for dinner and, once again, I found the options to be rather creative.

photo dfw-lim meal

I had selected the prawns, which were quite tasty, though a bit on the dry side. Luckily, there was a sauce.

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The portion size was rather generous.

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The lights remained on during the beginning of dinner but were turned off shortly after all passengers were served.

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During dinner, the purser asked passengers if they wished to be awakened for the breakfast service. I declined, as it was a short flight and wanted to get as much sleep as possible.

I went to sleep with a little over 5 hours of flight time remaining.

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These old angled lie-flat seats aren't the best, but I did manage to sleep a solid 4.5 hours, so I can't say they're terrible. The late departure also helps to get a decent night's sleep.

I did not wake up until the purser came to ask me to return my seat upright for landing.

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Almost there!

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The Lima airport is located next to the Pacific Ocean in the Callao district.

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Seems to be principally an industrial port area

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It's always fun to see airlines and aircraft I don't get to see at home.

#AvGeek :-P

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We deplaned from Door 2L. Economy class pax were held from deplaning by the FAs until all Business class pax had deplaned.

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This is the only view of our bird I was able to get.

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Welcome to Peru! Machu Picchu, here I come :-)

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Thanks for reading! Coming next: a flight through the Andes with LATAM Peru.
See more

Verdict

American Airlines

7.0/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering7.5

Dallas/Fort Worth - DFW

8.3/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.0

Lima - LIM

7.1/10
Efficiency8.5
Access6.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

These cabins have certainly seen better days, but I was able to get some decent sleep, so the seats aren't terrible. AA is retrofitting the International 757 fleet surprisingly fast. As of mid-January 2017, there are already 9 retrofitted aircraft out there with the new B/E Aerospace Diamond fully lie-flat seats in Business. That is quite a fast pace considering that the first retrofitted 757 went into service in September 2016, and that there were only 2 retrofitted aircraft in service at Thanksgiving.

An AAwesome cabin crew on this flight--very attentive, friendly, and professional, especially the purser. A good crew can really make up for some of the shortcomings of a sub-par hard-product. Though, of course, a great crew and a good hard-product would be better! Many people don't like flying long-haul in 757s, but personally I love it if flying in a premium cabin. With only 16 seats in Business class and two dedicated flight attendants, the ratio of crew per passenger often makes for the most personalized service you can get in Business class.

Related

8 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 382512 by
    757Fan 616 Comments

    Another great report, Kevin. Looks like a good flight with AA in Business. Does AA provide only a 1 tray service in Business? I'm surprised for an international flight they plate everything all together on one tray. The food looks tasty though, and nice to get on a 757. I'll be sad when those are finally all retired as it's my favorite airplane.

    Looking forward to your next report.

    Matthew

    • Comment 382513 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 5946 Comments

      Thanks Matthew! The one tray service is only on short overnight flights that leave late in order to speed up the service to maximize sleeping time. I had the one-tray service of a JFK-LHR flight previously and, although it's not very premium, the flight was only 5 hours and I was glad to have to time to sleep rather than waiting for the next course. On longer flights/day flights, I much prefer a properly coursed meal.

      The 757 is my favorite plane as well. Aside from being beautiful, they are overpowered and so versatile. It will indeed be a sad day when they are all retired! A321s just aren't as sexy, lol, even if the new LRs will have near 757 capabilities.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 382514 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Thank you Kevin for another excellent FR.

    Good thing that you didn't have to rush to your gate due to your late inbound.

    AA used to have Peruvian crew working those LIM flights, Is that still the case?

    The food looks appetizing and the portions seem decent. Did they offer sundae for dessert?

    • Comment 382671 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 5946 Comments

      Thank you for your comments Adan!

      "Good thing that you didn't have to rush to your gate due to your late inbound."
      - Yes, I hate having to run through airports with bags and then you're drenched in sweat when you board

      "AA used to have Peruvian crew working those LIM flights, Is that still the case?"
      - I believe the Peruvian crews are still doing MIA flights. My crew was DFW-based.

      "The food looks appetizing and the portions seem decent. Did they offer sundae for dessert?"
      - Yes, they did have dessert, I declined as I wanted to sleep. It was the usual choice of Ice cream sundae, cake, or cheese plate.

  • Comment 382969 by
    Nick 172 Comments

    Nice report Kevin! Glad you made the most of the dated hard product you were dealt. I seem to always remember the soft product more than the hard product no matter what the hard product looked like.

    I've been on one of those 767 flights with the tablets and I find them to be pretty annoying. They're relatively small compared to most business class PTVs and can be awkward to set up with a good viewing angle. They don't have a map either. The FAs also collected them almost an hour before landing. I've been on one domestic flight (MIA-ORD) on an international, renovated 767 and they didn't even pass the tablets out.

    • Comment 382979 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 5946 Comments

      Thanks for your comments Nick! I tend to remember the soft product most as well, unless the hard product is fantastic, like AA's 77W J seats for example.

      Yeah, the tablet thing is annoying, especially when, as you mention, they take it away from you an hour before landing. This has been my experience as well. On the 767, there is a tablet holder, but on the LUS TATL 757 I took last year, the tray table was the only place to put it, which ended up giving me a sore neck from staring down at the screen for hours. Not to mention it's annoying to have to keep the tray table down.

  • Comment 383344 by
    Rl 777 806 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    It's always good to schedule a connection with a decent amount of time, so you're with some margins. Unless you're flying to some place where there is a flight departing hourly on the same airline.

    I'm a huge fan of that presentation of the meal, good job AA.

    Glad to hear you had a nice crew.

    The hard product is obviously not the best but it's still good to hear you were able to catch some sleep.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 383558 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 5946 Comments

      Thanks for your comments RI777!

      Yes, I don't like doing tight connections exactly for this reason. AA has definitely improved the presentation of the catering. The schedule of this flight leaving so late is also perfect for getting some sleep.

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