Review of American Airlines flight Dallas/Fort Worth London in First

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA20
Class First
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 09:00
Take-off 03 Oct 20, 17:10
Arrival at 04 Oct 20, 08:10
AA   #53 out of 116 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 463 reviews
JonathanL
By SILVER 1371
Published on 11th October 2020

Greetings ands welcome to another flight report! I will be flying American Airlines’ signature product; Flagship First on my flight from Dallas to London. It will be my first time in international first class, so it will be very exiting! After arriving from DCA I headed straight to the Terminal Admirals Club (all Flagship lounges are closed at the moment due to the pandemic). The lounge was nice enough though nothing special and it had limited buffet options. This is a far cry from the Flagship Lounges with sprawling buffets and amazing drinks.



Before long, I started my trek to Terminal D, where my flight was boarding from. On the way I spotted the very last plane in the old AA livery. 


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The boarding process was done via biometric boarding which is creepy top say the least! 


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Soon I turned left as I boarded the massive 777-300. 


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I walked through the business class mini cabin consisting of two rows of reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. 


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Beyond that is the Flagship First cabin with 8 seats also in a 1-2-1 configuration. 


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The cabin looked quite nice if not a little cramped. My seat, 1A, was a perfectly nice open suite. 


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Each seat had a massive array of Casper bedding including a mattress pad, a duvet, a lumbar pillow and a day blanket. The suite had a large chair, to the left of which was a storage compartment with 2 AC plugs and one USB port in addition to headphone jack. 


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On the side console there was a grove to put things such as a phone that also had a USB port. By that was a touch screen remote for the seat controls. To the side of the seat, under the side console is an inconveniently placed mesh pocket to store things. In front was a 16.5 inch touch screen IFE screen with a touch screen remote which was broken. 


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On the floor to the right was a handy shoe storage compartment which I appreciated. 


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The seat’s tray table was massive, enough to serve two meals on the tray, made possible by the ‘buddy seat’ that doubled as an ottoman. 



At my seat was also a business class amenity kit by ‘This is Ground’, which was quite nice and well stocked. 


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The cabin filled up quite quickly to the effect that all 8 of the first class seats were occupied. Soon after, the purser came by each seat distributing menus and bottled water. 


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Enter text here…



There was no proper pre-departure beverage service due to health concerns. The menu handed to me was branded ‘Flagship Business’ indicating that I’d be receiving the business class meal service rather than the first class one, which was rather disappointing. Soon after we were given our menus, our meal choices were taken as well as our drink to go along with the meal-I ordered the beef short rib, which is certainly not the most ‘first class’ main course. As we pushed back and the safety demo was performed, the lovely Bang and Olufsen noice cancelling headphones were handed out. 


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American’s headphone game is fantastic, perhaps the only industry leading aspect of the product. After a short taxi, we turned onto the runway and started our takeoff roll.


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 We had views of the Dallas suburbs on on our takeoff. Once we reached our cruising altitude, our tray tables were opened by the flight attendant and very small table cloths were distributed. Soon after proceeded drinks along with a package of mixed nuts, replacing the flagship warm nuts. 


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There was also no hot towel before the meal to minimize crew interactions. About 10 minutes later my meal was served. Presented all on one tray was a beef appetizer, my short rib main course, and a minuscule slice of cake for dessert. This was accompanied by a rather unappetizing bread roll. The purser kindly offered to unwrap the foil covered main course.


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 Right after I had finished, my tray was cleared and I asked for a coffee which was served shortly after. 


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I also enquired about having cappuccino and was told by the purser that he’d go check to see if it was broken. He never came back so I’m assuming it was either broken or that he didn’t bother looking. Note all beverages are served in plastic and paper cups due to health reasons. I was proactively offered a water refill during the meal service but nothing else beyond that. After the meal service one of the friendly flight attendants from business class approached me and offered to take pictures of me in the seat after noticing I was taking a lot of pictures. He was very nice and even offered pointers on how I should pose. I thanked him for his generosity and the proceeded to use the distinguishing feature of the Flagship Suite; the swivel function. The seat transforms into a desk and swivels towards the windows allowing you to work with a view. 


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It was such a cool feature, I couldn’t get over it! I worked for about 15 minutes watching the sunset as I typed on my laptop. I then decided to visit one of the first class lavatories which were nice enough, featuring a full length mirror and a proper sink with advanced temperature controls. 


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Normally it would be stocked with lotions and the like though due to the pandemic they were absent. Pajamas and slippers weren’t offered like before, which was disappointing. I approached the purser and asked if they still provided turndown service in first class to which he said they didn’t due to the pandemic though he offered to show me how to make the seat up into a bed. He eventually gave in and decided to make my bed for me. 


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The Casper bedding was phenomenal and super comfortable. While my bed was being made, I headed through the business class cabin to check out the onboard snack bar which had barely anything in it due to the health concerns of self service. There was also an amazing sunset during the meal service.


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I watched TV for about an hour and then went to sleep. 


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Just before I went to bed I was approached by one of the relief crew who addressed me by my last name and said not to hesitate to ask him for anything and explained the other crew were on break. The interaction was very pleasant and proactive of him to do so. I got some pretty good sleep and woke up for the breakfast service. 


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A useful feature of the seats is that they have a ‘privacy please’ light to indicate to flight attendants to not be woken up.


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 I was offered a choice of drink and a fruit plate for breakfast. The fruit was pretty fresh and tasty. It was accompanied by an alright cinnamon roll and granola and yogurt. 


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Halfway through the breakfast service the lights were turned on all the way with an announcement asking if there was a doctor on board since a passenger needed medical attention. The situation turned out fine, thankfully, and there wasn’t a need for a diversion. Soon we were descending into rainy London. 


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On approach one of the passengers in first class had an issue with their seatbelt not working so they were politely asked to take an empty seat in business class for landing. Just before touchdown an announcement was made stating all the UK health guidelines and also stating that paramedics were going to meet the aircraft due to the sick passenger and requested for us to stay seated until the passenger was offloaded. We had a smooth landing and taxied to our gate in Terminal 5 where paramedics were indeed waiting. 


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This caused only a 5 minute delay so it wasn’t an issue at all. I headed to immigration where I handed the border agent my quarantine papers. After that, I headed to baggage claim where my bag was one of the first to come out due to the priority tag on it. The flight was overall well rounded and pretty decent and for the price of 65,000 AAdvantage miles, I think it was a really good deal considering the up-charge to first class was only a 10,000 mile difference.

Follow my Instagram: @life_jonathanl 

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Verdict

American Airlines

8.1/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering7.0

American Airlines Admirals Club - A

6.9/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services6.5

Dallas/Fort Worth - DFW

8.6/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness8.5

London - LHR

9.1/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Overall the flight was pretty good thanks to the pretty good crew, decent seats, and amazing bedding. The disappointing part was the lack of first class service/amenities, making this flight essentially a glorified business class flight. That said, using miles offers an amazing value when you can get Web Special first class award availability.

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3 Comments

  • Comment 564891 by
    ISTFlyer GOLD 277 Comments

    Hi JonathanL and thanks for sharing this AA Flagship First report with us,

    It seems that the AAdvantage deal was great although you were unable to get the Flagship First soft product on this flight.
    It's also a bit cheap that AA stopped offering free premium drinks for international Business and First passengers in their Admirals Club. As you mentioned, it's a huge downgrade from the Flagship Lounges.
    The meals look a bit cheap compared to a J meal and it's not nice to not have a choice for breakfast; however, it's still better than what BA is offering.
    The seat, the crew, and the turnaround ( bedding ) service seem like the key points of your travel and I'm glad that you enjoyed the flight.

    I hope that you are enjoying your quarantine in the UK; once again thanks for sharing this report and take care.

  • Comment 565025 by
    PresRDC1 10 Comments

    Great report of a truly pathetic in-flight experience. No doubt the majority of the senior AA FAs are relishing being able to provide virtually no service.

  • Comment 565610 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5318 Comments

    Hey Jonathan! Thanks a lot for sharing these reports on AA during the pandemic. It's especially interesting to see this report in Flagship First. As you mention, it's a decent hard product, but isn't terribly differentiated from J, which is already a very good hard product. And now with the reduced on-board service and closed Flagship lounges, there's almost no difference between F and J at the moment.

    The one cool feature of AA 77W F is the swivelling seat that turns into an office with a desk...that's about the only thing that sets it apart from J anymore, and not sure that makes the price difference worth it at the moment. And wow, plastic cups in Intercontinental First...soooo tacky. They serve drinks in glasses in restaurants during the pandemic, there's no reason not to in First class on a plane...the sanitary reasons don't make sense...you have to touch a plastic cup, just as much as a real glass...dumb. Even the best champagnes taste bad in a plastic cup...my French soul shutters at the thought, haha.

    Thanks for sharing!

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