Review of American Airlines flight Madrid New York in Premium Eco

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA95
Class Premium Eco
Seat --
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 08:10
Take-off 04 Mar 22, 13:25
Arrival at 04 Mar 22, 15:35
AA   #70 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 598 reviews
Chibcha
By SILVER 1036
Published on 4th April 2024

introduction


Hello amigos, and welcome to this 4-part FR series on a trip I made to Washington DC two years ago.

The US had lifted its restrictions to travel from Europe, and there was a chance to attend a conference in DC. This would be great, as I could also visit my friends that I hadn't seen since 2018. Prices were reasonable still….so it was a no brainer. A nice week away in the US.

Iberia briefly operated a MAD-IAD flight before covid, but it still hadn't reinstated it back then. So now the question was which connecting flight would be the best. In the end, the best option in price, also meant the most-straight forward one (I didn't want to risk any last minute restrictions in any other connecting point), and arriving to my preferred airport: DCA.

Thus, AA and IB offered the following routing:

MAD-JFK in AA (772)
JFK-DCA in AA -American Eagle really- (E75)
DCA-JFK in AA (E75)
JFK-MAD in IB (A330)

I had never flown on AA's 772s, E75s nor IBs A330s, so it was all a question of new experiences (something I strive for when picking flights). I also "gifted" myself an upgrade to Premium Economy on the MAD-JFK hop, to try AA's product and have a "fresher" arrival to DC, so I wouldn't be jetlaged and screwed for the friday night.

And so it was, my little USA trip was on!



At madrid barajas adolfo suarez airport


I took a cabify from my flat to MAD. Took less than 20 minutes at the mid-morning traffic. 

I was greeted with beautiful views of the Sierra de Guadarrama with some snow still.


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MAD still looked a bit like a ghost town


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AA has a fairly big operation ex-MAD, flying to DFW, MIA, JFK (CLT*) and (PHL*), I'm not sure the latter two were reinstated back then. And so, AA occupied a fairly big check in area at T4


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I had my documents checked and the routine questionnaire for US-bound flights. As there weren't many people around, I was able to get through with this and the check in in no time.

With my documents in hand, I was off to T4S, to have breakfast at IB's Velázquez Lounge


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Food offerings were generous, but not varied.


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I settled with some croquetas, a tortilla sandwich and some pieces of sausage. Not amazing at all


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As I had to go through additional checks, I went to my gate with enough time, and waited for boarding to be announced


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At T4S, you can (almost) always count with your regular AV 787 flying to/from Bogotá, Cali or Medellín


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Sadly this was the best view of my ride (to the left)….


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On the other side of the pier were company Dreamliners, 


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inside AA's 777-200


Boarding was called by groups, I was Group 3 if I'm not wrong…so it was pretty quick. There were lovely views of the Sierra while a BA 787 took off to LHR


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It's been more than 10 years since the brand change and it still doesn't grow on me…


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AA's 772s are RR powered. I've always wondered why they went with RR and not PW or GE


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The Premium Economy cabin was pretty much full (my seatmate was already seated) when I boarded.  Here is a view of the seats I took midflight:


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My seat was provided with a plush pillow and blanket


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Some H20


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And great legroom as I was in the bulkead.


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No AmericanWay (RIP) waiting for us this once…


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Seat controls…


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The view


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No menus handed out…but we have our drink offering:


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enroute to JFK


I don't know why and how, but our flight was full. Once the "boarding completed" was announced, we got on our way to RWY 36L.



We took off towards the Northwest, providing us with gorgeous views of Madrid and the northern suburbs



We then turned north again, passing near Manzanares el Real and its reservoir


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I opened my plastic bag with the pillow and blanket, which also contained the amenity kit and headphones.


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Perfect for our short hop over the Atlantic


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Thick clouds meant no natural-IFE crossing towards Galicia…


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And as we neared the Atlantic, service began. First with pretzels and apple juice


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Then the full blown meal.


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If i'm not wrong, we were offered the classic "chicken or pasta", I went for the first and it was quite good


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I asked for some Ginger Ale to drink (oh how I missed it)


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After service was cleared, the cabin was dimmed and I was offered  another Ginger Ale, and midway through the flight we were offered some ice cream (sweet!)


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We didn't fly that way over the north, so no interesting views. No probs since I was going to have a nap


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And so, it was time for the second serving. It was cold, but it tasted delicious. Way better than the lame sandwich and box IB and AF hand out.


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We flew over BOS, providing great views of Beantown.



Then we flew over Providence, RI. Our arrival was more or less <font _mstmutation="1" _msttexthash="706264" _msthash="0">imminent[/font].  


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But it seemed JFK was quite congested so we began to zigzag over Long Island


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And then I remembered I had a connecting flight, I had to go through the CBP….oh oh, I was in a hot mess. My connecting flight was shown


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Fun fact: during those days, AA decided to try flights from JFK to CLO, BOG, MDE (and maybe CTG) (spoiler: none of them survived)….and a fellow passenger was taking the JFK-CLO flight, the price must have been amazing to take such a long route to Cali (but who am I to judge, I did MAD-DFW-BOG)

In the distance, one could see Manhattan…


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And JFK's ATC tower


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An AM 737Max was going to land in parallel with us


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As we were going to land in RWY 22R, the right side of our 772 was granted gorgeous views of Manhattan



And now…our long taxi to Terminal 8



This would be the happy end of the story. But no.

Our gate was occupied, so we had to roam around and wait until it was freed ( I so my connection time becoming tighter and tighter…).


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I ran to get off the plane quickly. At the end of the gate, an AA agent was waiting for me with this. 


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But would it help?

Stay tuned to Episode 2!

See more

Verdict

American Airlines

10.0/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering10.0

Iberia Velázquez Premium Lounge - 4S

7.1/10
Comfort10.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services7.5

Madrid - MAD

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

New York - JFK

8.8/10
Efficiency10.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

AA's Premium Economy product on transatlantic flights is one of the best I've tried so far, and this was still during the pandemic!
The seat is confortable enough, catering and IFE were great. No complaints, just compliments!

MAD was great as usual. The Velázquez, like the Goya Lounge are a bit underwhelming for a primary hub lounge. They did their job though.

I rerserve my comments on JFK so I don't spoil part 2.

Thanks for reading, saludos!

Information on the route Madrid (MAD) New York (JFK)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 8 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Madrid (MAD) → New York (JFK).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est American Airlines avec 7.2/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 8 heures et 30 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 648137 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 6921 Comments
    Hola!

    I criticise AA a lot, but they do have a pretty good Premium Economy product, as you show here. The catering is premium and served on china, similar to what we have in Domestic First class, whereas a lot of other carriers don't make an effort to elevate the meals in Premium Economy. And yes, by pandemic service levels, the catering was quite good. I flew AA W during the pandemic and was impressed that there hadn't really been any evident cost-cutting as far as the catering went. The only thing that I didn't like during the pandemic is that no alcohol was available in long-haul W or Y...which obviously was more for cost-cutting reasons than sanitary reasons.

    Transiting in JFK is always a gamble! Between the ATC delays and slow immigration, there's always a high risk of missing a connection when coming in from an international flight. I hope you make it! I'm glad that the MAD-IAD flight is back and I'll be taking it later this year!

    Thanks for sharing!
  • Comment 648192 by
    jettoajet GOLD 131 Comments
    Nooo... you can't leave us hanging! Anxiety levels are through the roof! I hope you made it though. The whole experience seemed quite pleasant, and seems you had plenty of space in the bulkhead row as well. Catering didn't look too shabby either. Cute little amenity kit as well!

    I eagerly wait to hear if you made the connection?. Thanks for sharing this FR!

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