This is the fifth leg in an old series from the fall of 2016 that I'd never gotten around to finishing. As a result, these reports have inadvertently become part of a retro-report series–though two years wasn't that long ago, the last two reports in this series, which includes this one, will definitely feel retro.
For some background on this trip, 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. The flights between Washington, DC and Lima were bought as one ticket and these domestic flights on LATAM were bought on a separate ticket.
In this report, I'll cover a long-haul flight in American Airlines' old B757-200 Business class. AA operate flights from Lima to their MIA and DFW hubs. I specifically chose to connect in DFW, from and back to Washington, DC, for the longer flying times, which allowed for more time to sleep on these redeye flights.
After a day exploring the Peruvian capital, we arrived at the airport about 3 hours before departure (there is a short Lima tourism bonus at the end of this review)
The American Airlines ticket counter was not yet open for check-in at 3 hours before departure, which was surprising, especially as many passengers were already waiting.
We waited about 15 minutes for the counters to open, but luckily the line moved quickly. The check-in agent was friendly and efficient and informed us that the flight to DFW was running an hour late due to late arrival of the aircraft from MIA, but our connection to DC was not impacted as we had a few hours between flight.
We then went through security and headed to the Sumaq lounge. Despite having a hub at Lima, LATAM do not have their own lounge here.
The lounge isn't very big and was pretty crowded with so many redeye flights departing around the same time. There is an outdoor space with additional seating, but it isn't particularly pleasant as it is surrounded by walls.
Luckily the lounge had showers, so I was able to freshen up before the flight. It was a little too fresh, however, as the hot water wasn't working very well.
The food options weren't terribly exciting, but there was a cool fresh orange juice machine.
Like I said, nothing exciting. The only hot food was meatballs.
Throughout the stay in the lounge, I regularly checked the AA app for updates on the delay and the Flightaware app to check the progress of the inbound flight from MIA.
Shortly after the delayed inbound aircraft arrived from MIA, we headed to the gate.
By the time boarding began it was almost 2 AM (original scheduled departure was 1:10 AM).
Boarding began with Business class and we were among the first to board.
Our bird was in the new AA livery–at the time there were still quite a few 757s in the old livery.
Whereas I'd selected seats in the 1st row on the way down, I chose seats in the last row for this one.
At the time of this flight, only two internationally configured B757-200 aircraft that had been retrofitted with the new B/E Aerospace (now Rockwell-Collins) Diamond full-flat seats in Business class, which are the same seats as Business on the A321T (Premium Transcon subfleet). Thanks to the American Airlines Fleet Site I was able to know which tails had been retrofitted and kept an eye on the tail routings on Flightaware.
I was excited to find that this flight was originally due to be operated by one of the retrofitted birds…unfortunately, a last-minute tail swap in MIA due to a mechanical delay, switched out the plane for one of the older configurations. On one hand I was disappointed not to get to try out the new cabins, but on the other hand I was thankful that AA were able to minimise the delay by swapping aircraft in MIA.
To my pleasant surprise, the 2 cabin crew working Business were the same as the flight down from DFW. The purser remembered us and offered a very warm welcome.
My window seat in the last row of Business
Pre-placed on the seats were a large pillow, blanket, and amenity kits. The bags by Cole Haan contained the standard items: eye-mask, socks, ear plugs, pen, hand creme, etc.
View of the cabin from my seat
Menus were handed out by the other FA working Business.
There were four options of main dishes.
Shortly after getting settled in to the seats, the lovely purser came to offer pre-departure drinks. She offer the usual champagne, water, or orange juice. She also offered to make a Mimosa by mixing the champagne and orange juice–sounds good, I'll have that!
The cabin was definitely showing its age (about 10 years at the time)–as you can see some plastic panels in the seats across the aisle were being held in place by tape. Luckily, as of 2018, all International configured 757s have been retrofitted with new cabins.
Boarding was quick, luckily, and doors were closed so we could get on our way and try to make up some of the delay.
After a short taxi time, we were off and on our way to Dallas. The flight time was about 7 hours.
As we climbed above 10,000 ft, flight attendants were out in the cabin for the apéritif service. I went with some champagne, which was served with warm nuts.
The meal service began as we reached the border with Ecuador.
I had pre-ordered the main dish on AA.com
On shorter night flights like these, the appetisers and main dish are served on one tray to speed up service.
The appetiser of cured meats and cheeses
Mixed Grill Grilled beef, chicken, and pork with campanha sauce, white rice, and bacon braised kale
The mixed grill was very good, with surprisingly tender and well-cooked meat. The portion was generous, though, so I couldn't finish it all.
Here's a look at one of the other options
Grilled Salmon with caper lemon butter, primavera rice, and grilled zucchini
Ice cream sundae for dessert–typical option on U.S. carriers.
after dinner, I put on a movie and went to sleep.
I woke up after almost 5 hours of sleep as we were over Mexico approaching the Texan border.
There were two options for breakfast, one hot, one cold.
As I was still stuffed from dinner, I had the lighter cold option, which was a fruit plate–or rather, two fruit plates. I guess one is a side plate and one is the main, hah.
Here's a look at the hot option, which included an omelet and Canadian bacon.
Before we knew it we were beginning out descent into DFW
Passing by DFW Airport
We'd made up some time with the quick turnaround in Lima and shorter flight time and landed a little under an hour late.
It was a short taxi to international Terminal D, where we parked near this JAL 787
Last view of the cabin on deplaning.
There were some nice views of our aircraft coming out of the jetway. I love how 757s look in the post-merger livery.
Immigration and customs were quick with Global Entry and we were on our way to catch our connecting flight home to DC.
Thanks for reading!
⬇️ Lima Tourism Bonus photos below ⬇️
Bonus : Click here displayhide
Independent Sumaq VIP Lounge
Lima - LIM
Dallas/Fort Worth - DFW
You can't beat the cabin crew to passenger ration of these long-haul configured 757s, with 2 FAs for a maximum of 16 pax. The cabin crew were super friendly, and it was nice that they recognized us from the flight down. They were very attentive throughout the flight and especially efficient with the dinner service to allow passengers to maximise sleep.
The IFE was old-school, but the content was the same as on other planes with new IFE systems. I docked the IFE rating some more for the lack of noise-cancelling headphones on this route, which is as long or longer than many East-coast to Western Europe flights. AA's Bose headphones were not distributed on either of the flights to or from Lima. I'm not sure if this standard for flights to Peru, but luckily I had my own.
The catering was nothing fancy, but it was decent, and the portions were generous. I was pleasantly surprised that the mix grill's meats were tender and well-cooked.
The cabin was getting long in the tooth, but the angled lie-flat seats were perfectly fine for a 7 hour flight. I managed to get some decent sleep for a few hours. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to try a retrofitted 757 sometime soon.
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