The airline with the best average rating is Delta Air Lines with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 6 hours and 24 minutes.More information
Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by this report. This is the continuation of our trip to Vietnam that became a reality after a Cathay Pacific "mistake" fare that was honored. Feel free to visit the SNA-ORD report for more background on the planning, etc.
CX seems to park at 47 much of the time, from my observations, and today would be the same. We deplaned through L2 so we were not the first off the aircraft but we were among them. We both have Global Entry so the process of entering the US was painless an quick. There's a lot of walking but it felt really good after a long flight. We have our luggage with us and mobile boarding passes for our next flights so back airside efficiently.
Jennifer was leaving earlier and flying to SNA via DFW. It was the fastest way home and she was keen to see the kids before bed and relieve our child care providers of their duties. Her flight was a simple cash flight. She was in F on the 757 with lie-flats rippe(with ripped out IFE) to DFW and F on the 737-800 to SNA. She sent me a picture of the 757 interior and the holes where the TVs used to be and captioned it "WTF?" The 16 hours in CX F changes your perception of things.
I intended to get home on points and found the very unusual AA F redemption at the Saver Level for 50,000 AA miles. The catch was an 8 hour layover at JFK and a 23:30 arrival into LAX. There were no J Saver seats that afternoon and routing via AA hubs were also limited. I was up for the experience and went ahead and booked the F seat.
By virtue of coming off the CX F flight we were both entitled to use the very good American Flagship Lounge. My seat in Transcon F allowed me to use the excellent Flagship First Dining but did not allow for guesting privileges. Jennifer only had a short layover so I spent some time with her in the Flagship Lounge and walked her to her flight leaving from 44.
The elevator drops you right at the reception desk and we were quickly checked in. I was given the invitation to use the dining room at my leisure.
We had a look around the lounge.
There's a buffet with a variety of hot and cold dishes and soups. Neither of us were ready for food. I would wait for the restaurant of course and Jennifer had pre-ordered meals for her flights.
A self service bar.
The center of the lounge had a wine and Champagne bar as well as a craft cocktail station.
There's also a quiet room with a few comfortable chairs with ottomans. I spent some of my layover in here napping and found that everyone during my stay honored the quiet label.
I walked Jennifer to her aircraft and felt a tinge of jealously for her riding on the 757.
AA looks to be all 777 for transoceanic flights from JFK, judging from my spotting.
I walked back to the lounge and visited the Flagship First Dining facility.
I was shown to a table of my choosing by the friendly, and probably board, staff. I never saw more than 4 tables occupied. The room is separated into two areas. There is a dining room and a bar area.
The wine selection. The Krug Grand Cuvee is still on the menu.
After dinner drinks.
They serve food too! Thanks goodness because that drink list looks too good but not on an empty stomach.
Dining with a 777 view. My kind of restaurant.
I was in a cocktail mood after enjoying beers in Southeast Asia and beautiful wine on board the airplane. I started with the Spin Move.
I requested the Tuscan sausage & white bean soup to start. I was very pleased with the wholesome and hearty soup. The portion size was small, which I appreciate. The crouton, however, was inedible and stale.
A gin basil lemonade was up next and really excellent, balanced, and refreshing.
Originally I had requested the eggrolls but they were not available so I went with my second choice. The crab stuffed shrimp were nothing like I had imagined. It was more crab under shrimp. Again I appreciate the tasting portion but found the dish not to my liking. The prawns were cooked correctly but the flavor was off and a bit fishy.
Overall I was pleased with my appetizers and also the service. The staff were well intentioned and friendly, I said goodbye and mentioned that I was here for another 5 hours do they will see me again to resume the meal!
After dining I was ready for a shower and a nap. The shower rooms are very spacious and were readily available when I sought one out. There is no desk to check in, just locate an open and clean shower room and help yourself.
After a very refreshing shower and armed with some boxed water I sought out a seat in the quiet room for a nap. The seats where you can put your feet up on an ottoman are quite few but I did locate one and was able to put my head back and nap for about 90 minutes.
With about 3 hours remaining until departure I popped back into the dining room and was welcomed back with no need for credentials. That's a good thing as they take your invitation on the initial visit. The woman I encountered first offered to show me to "your table" and sat me at the table I previously occupied. These little service marks sure add to the overall experience of spending time in the lounge.
My drink order was taken, gin martini up with olives, and I was offered bread. She mentioned it was fresh baked and smells very good in the kitchen. How could I decline that? She was right, the bread assortment was warm and seemingly fresh from an oven.
To resume the meal I asked for the beet and burrata salad. I know it's almost cliché to have one of these on a menu these days but there's a reason, it's good!
I skipped the main and went on to my favorite treat, a bit of cheese. I couldn't decide on a pairing so I opted for the Pagodes de Cos d'Estournel Bordeaux and the Quinta do Noval 10 year Tawny. The Bordeaux is on the list that is exclusive to the FFD facility. The other wines on the list are in both the Flagship Lounge and FFD.
An espresso to finish.
The QR A350-1K wandered past while I was enjoying the espresso and the water from the puddles made the hot brakes steam.
I enjoyed my stay in the lounge and found the service made up for some of the misses food wise. There was genuine effort from the staff and a desire to make guests comfortable and provide a good experience. I thanked them each for their care, I'd been there much of the day after all, and left to board the flight.
Boarding was underway when I arrived at the gate and I was able to tag on the end of the Group 1 line.
I selected 5A, the last window seat on the port side, for this flight and the 10 seat F cabin would go out full, as I'm sure it almost always does. You can see 5A is missing the window that would be closest to the seat.
The menu, headphones, and amenity kit are at the seat as I arrive.
Ample storage around the seat .
Casper pillow and blanket provisioned.
I was greeted the purser Ramona and she had an immediately friendly and lovely way about her. This didn't translate into excellent service but she was lovely and engaging. Case in point I had to ask for something to drink before we departed where at least some others were offered a beverage of their choice. I'm sure just a case of getting sidetracked and forgetting.
A look at the menu. I had pre-ordered the beef Bolognese.
Can you ride on an airplane without a dog these days?
Cabin lighting was dimmed for taxi and takeoff.
Headphones and IFE are both excellent.
Just getting started.
Service started with a warm towel and offer of beverage.
I requested the Castelnau and it was served with some olives and a cubic meter of warm nut mix.
The table was nicely laid.
To my surprise the soup arrived first as Ramona had forgotten the burrata small plate I had ordered. It doesn't make a difference to me. The mushroom soup as very rich and creamy. Not as earthy as the mushroom soup on the CX flight earlier today.
Eventually a roll was offered from a basket.
The burrata was served next and it was anything but a "small plate". There was a baseball size hunk of cheese. I found it odd that the cheese and tomato were undressed. I asked if there was a dressing or some olive oil and was given a small bottle of olive oil mixed with balsamic. The dish was fine but I only tried a couple of bites, it was a huge portion.
The salad came next and was also massive. So much so that I asked Ramona to skip the main pasta dish. The salad was OK. Seemingly boring but if you dig around you can find some green beans.
Dressing was served on the side.
A Woodford on the rocks for dessert.
The F lav is a standard A32x size with zero amenities.
I setup the bed after dinner.
I woke as announcements were made to prepare the cabin for arrival.
Despite the long taxi from the north complex we arrived on the gate early. Oh, and there was a gate, which is a bit of a story if you're familiar with AA ops at LAX…
Now any sane person would jump in the Uber and head home. Nobody has ever accused me of sanity. Everyone is asleep at home anyway so I went to see what's cooking at the LAX FFD of course!
At LAX the initial check in is downstairs. Upstairs you show your invitation to another set of of staff and then you are escorted to the FFD room. The hallway leading to FFD has some wonderful AA nostalgia with an LA emphasis.
There was only one other table occupied when I arrived and I was quickly shown to my favorite table. The window ramp views are excellent.
The "Flagship First Dining Collection" wines were the same as on offer at JFK. I didn't look closely enough at the rest of the list to see if it matches.
The Cocktails take on a local flare and were all different than JFK.
I started with the Scofflaw cocktail and it must have impaired my judgement as I also ordered raw oysters in an American Airlines airport lounge. Nothing good can become of this. I asked for the pork belly lettuce wraps too.
The roasted tomato was a bit overpowering for a subtle oyster but I'm happy to report freshness and food safety wise there were no ill effects.
The lettuce wraps were really quite nice.
I had a go at the Far Eastside too, a well balanced and tasty cocktail.
I poked around the Flagship Lounge on the way out. It was very quiet at this hour, just before closing.
The Ground Service: We were through quickly with our carry on baggage and mobile boarding passes. I suppose we could have gone through he Flagship First check in area for a more posh experience but it didn't occur to me at the time.
The Lounge: There are several lounges involved here. The AA Flagship lounges ae great Business Class lounges. Heck the one in JFK has an a la carte, prepared to order, menu is you sit on"the bridge" side, in the opposite direction of the main lounge. Then there's the AA Flagship First Dining which is really quite good. The food is not extraordinary but there is generally something to enjoy, The cocktails are quite fun and interesting too. It's the quiet surroundings, personal service, and fantastic views that really set the FFD apart. Kudos to AA.
The Cabin: It's as good as domestic F cabins get in the US. Direct aisle access, spacious aisle, good privacy, and flat bed are all fantastic features for a transcon flight.
The Crew: Ramona was well intentioned and kind. Polished and attentive she was not.
The Food and Beverage: There sure is a lot of it on offer. I don't' understand the portion sizes. Doesn't the crew give feedback that much of the food is still on the plate when cleared? Bottom line is eat in the lounge.* (*unless you're an avgeek and like to document EVERYTHING)
Overall: The FFD lounges are a hit and well worth spending some time in. The rest of the experience is only slightly ahead of Business Class.