Hello and welcome to the next installment in this series of flights with American Airlines. As I had recently decided to leave DL Skymiles due to incessant downgrades to the program, I decided to do a Status challenge in order to try to reach top tier Elite status with AA in the fastest way. I needed fly do 30,000 miles in 90 days and thought there was no better way to knock a big part of that out than to fly on the longest flight in AA's system: Dallas to Hong Kong. The round trip from DCA to HKG via DFW earned over 19,000 miles.
Having arrived early from DC, I head directly to the Admirals Club to fix the problem with the DFW-HKG boarding passes that wouldn't print in DCA. The lounge agent is very warm and welcoming. I quickly explained my situation; she took a quick peek at my reservation and invited me to go to the assistance counter in the lounge upstairs to get my BP printed.
They're geniuses up there, and will have you fixed in no time she tells me, then calls her colleague upstairs to give him my reservation number and tell him I'm on my way up. I appreciated her going the extra mile by calling.
Sculpture in the elevator lobby on the ground floor.
The assistance counters are right there as you get off the elevators. When I get to the counter, the agent is already working on my reservation and greets me by name. I hear the sound of a BP printing out and boom, there it is! What a relief. The supervisor in DCA must've fixed the problem while I was in the air on the way to DFW as she had promised. All's well that ends well!
The club is rather large and pleasant with nice views of the tarmac.
What a beauty. I love AA's new colors. I know a lot of folks don't like the new livery, but I find it stunning and modern.
A little further you can see the 738 that brought me here from DC and the 77W that will take me to Hong Kong right next to each other.
I like the design of the club's bar.
Some champagne to celebrate finally getting my BP!
My long awaited Boarding Pass along with my brand new American passport that I'll be using for the first time. I had just been recently Naturalized :-) #America
The Admirals Club in International Terminal D is decent as US lounges go, but there's a much better lounge in this Terminal: The American Express Centurion Lounge
Let's go check it out.
We pass by our gate on the way to the lounge.
The Centurion Lounge is located upstairs. Dedicated escalators lead directly to the lounge.
We are warmly greeted by a very nice lounge dragon with a great Texan accent. As we checked in, I asked if there was a shower available, and as luck would have it, both showers were open. The lounge agent brings us directly to the showers while explaining the lounge layout, including location of the bar and buffet…important things to know :-)
The shower room is large with private toilet.
After a refreshing shower, I explored the lounge a bit. I like the design and colors of the lounge, though it would be nice to have a tarmac view.
Let's start with some Champagne. Cheers!
We then find a table so that we can get some food from the buffet. It's nothing overly fancy, but the overall food offering is definitely well above average by US lounge standards, which is a nice feature of the Centurion lounges.
The brunch buffet is very local Tex-Mex.
My 2nd breakfast of the day :-)
And another glass of champagne to finish
We left the Centurion Lounge a few minutes before boarding time to head to the gate.
Our flight is leaving from gate D23 today.
Boarding begins on time with First and Business class passengers. A very nice flight attendant, who we will also see on the return flight, greets us at the boarding door.
And here is the wonderful Business class cabin on AA's 777-300ER. Very good first impression of this rather large cabin equipped with full-flat reverse-herringbone Cirrus seats.
My seat for the next 17 hours
Window seats seem perfect for those travelling alone. They give you privacy, aisle access, and a view–which I would have personally loved had I been travelling alone.
But for two people travelling together, like we are today, the set of two seats in the middle are great.
The pillow and cover are on the large foot rest. The cover is not as nice and plush as those I've had on Delta in Business, but it is fine.
The Bose noise-cancelling headset are in a storage compartment in the center between the two seats. The remote control for the IFE along with the seat controls are also located in that area.
The compartment's door has a mirror inside which can also double as a privacy screen if you don't like your neighbor :-)
Storage space is well appointed.
The Herman Miller design amenity kit can be found there, along with a pair of slippers.
Contents of the amenity kit.
Menus were already on the center console upon boarding.
There will be three meals on this long transpacific flight.
The selection of wine and spirits, however, is not quite as good as what I'm used to on Delta.
The armrest on the aisle can be in an up or down position, but must be down for takeoff and landing.
Pre-departure drink. Champagne in a plastic cup, or course :-) At least it's a nice plastic cup.
As on all AA flights, information and announcements are displayed on the overhead monitors.
At the end of boarding, the mood-lighting comes on.
We push back on time as the safety video plays.
Here we go!
As an AvGeek, I like to look out the window a lot, but that's not so easy from the middle section especially wen all the windows were closed. Just one open on the other side…not that I could see anything.
The IFE is very modern with good content. There are even videos on the seats in First and Business.
The 77W fleet is equipped with international wifi so I decided to pay the $17, judging that to be a decent price for a 17 hour flight. Unfortunately, the wifi only worked for the first few hours then stopped working somewhere over Canada and didn't work the whole rest of the flight :-/
The tray table comes out from the center console.
About a half hour after takeoff, drinks are served. Once again, as a longtime Delta Elite, I naturally want to compare with Delta's product. DL has champagne flutes in International Business class, which is certainly nicer than the glasses on AA. However, these glasses are rather large. So while they are not as classy as a champagne flute, you get a lot, so I'm not complaining:-)
The FA came around several times with the bottle to refill drinks. Yes, please!
The appetizer and salad. Overall, it was good; however, the portions are smaller than on Delta and there is no soup like on DL.
Strawberries in salad. Interesting…it wasn't bad.
For the main course I chose the beef, which is usually risky on a plane, but t was quite good. The aluminum ramekin for the sauce is not particularly classy or visually appealing, but then agian Air France does it too…
Boursin encrusted beef filet with creamy demi-glace, mashed red-skin potatoes, and sautéed kale.
Like I said, it was good. The meat was tender and on the pink side, which I like.
As a proper Frenchman (well, I'm American now, but still French too :-P ), I chose the cheese and the dessert. I had a Port wine with dessert. Again, DL does better here with a Sauternes for dessert wine.
Cheese and Crackers….soooo American :-P
And a Cognac digestif to wrap things up.
And as if I had not drank enough, the FA comes around and asks if I'd like more champagne after the meal. Of course I had to say yes :-)
So basically, although the meal was kind of average for Business class, the crew's attentiveness and the flowing champagne more than made up for it.
Oh look, a US Airways glass made its way onto the plane.
The IFE is great with a large selection of movies, TV series, documentaries, music, etc. The touchscreen is very reactive, but there's no need to use it with the remote control right next to you. A cool feature of the remote control is that it displays the album cover of music you are listening to on its screen. You can also have the airshow on the remote control's screen, while watching movies etc on the main screen.
I put on some music and took a short nap in this very comfortable seat.
After napping for a bit, we headed to the premium cabin bar to check it out. We are still only over the Canadian North at this point.
The bar is a nice place to hang out and talk without bothering other passengers, most of whom are sleeping at the moment.
There is an impressive array of food on offer. I definitely won't be dying of hunger on this flight!
I brought back a little snack to my seat.
After stuffing my face, it was time for another nap :-) On this 17 hour flight, there is plenty of time for getting several full night's sleeps.
Here is the seat in full-flat position.
I woke up after we had flown past the International dateline and were now over Siberia. With about 8 hours of flight time to go, or the equivalent of a typical Transatlantic flight, we were only at the halfway point of the flight :-)
The lavatories were still in good shape and clean more than 8 hours into the flight.
I hung around the bar area for a bit and chatted with the FAs.
One of the FAs asks me if I would like more champagne…with pleasure!
The snacks at the bar are always well stocked and continuously replenished. As good as it looked, I wasn't hungry, and I was saving room for the mid-flight meal.
Although the cabin is dark, the sun is shining outside.
I had woken up just in time for the mid-flight meal. Although I wasn't terribly hungry, I did want to try it. I chose the Char Siu Duck with Lo Mein Noodles. It was quite good and not too heavy.
After eating…again, I started watching a movie and fell asleep…again :-P
I woke up just south of Beijing with about 2 hours left to go before landing in Hong Kong.
The pre-arrival meal was served shortly after I woke up. So I get to eat…again. This flight is going to put me in a food coma :-)
For the brunch I chose the Dim Sum, which I really enjoyed. I thought the presentation was nice and it tasted authentic. But then again I am not a Chinese cuisine expert despite my Asian roots.
The main Business class cabin is very long and was almost completely full–there may have been one or two empty seats. This route seems to be doing very well for AA. I imagine that having a oneworld hub at each end (AA at DFW and CX at HKG) has something to do with this success. Of course, a high load factor does not mean the route is making money, but it is positive that AA is filling the premium seats (even if some are upgrades).
We're almost there.
Welcome to Hong Kong!
Such a pleasant flight that I would have gladly stayed a few more hours in flight. I think it is safe to say that this is a very solid Business class product as I arrived rather fresh after this 17 hour flight.
We breezed though immigration, which I always find efficient, and were in a cab and on our way to the hotel in no time. Sadly no stamp for my new American passport which will stay blank for the time being :-(
We arrived at the Gold Coast Hotel Hong Kong barely an hour after landing!
As we were only doing this short weekend in Hong Kong, we decided to stay here on the beach away from the hustle and bustle of downtown and Kowloon. I definitely enjoyed the more relaxing environment and getting dowtown was still easy and only a half hour away. That's the great thing about Hong Kong, you're never really far from anything.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave comments/questions below.
AMEX Centurion Lounge
Dallas/Fort Worth - DFW
Hong Kong - HKG
An awesome flight with the New American! Or is it AAwesome :-P
Comfort - The Zodiac Cirrus seats are among the best Business class seats you can get. There is a lot of space, the seat in bed mode is comfortable and long, andthere is a good amount of privacy even in the center section. While AA was not the first US carrier to have Cirrus seats in Business class, I believe that AA went the extra mile and made more of an effort on the overall cabin ambiance (bar and mood-lighting) and with the seats finishes.
Crew - The crew was great! Professional, attentive and pleasant the entire flight.
Catering - This is where AA could probably do better. While the quantity was certainly generous, and the use of products like duck is a step in the right direction, the main meal was a little underwhelming. Again, as a longtime DL flyer, I have to say DL does better with international Business class catering. However, the food offering at the bar is great and probably better than most airlines, so this brings up the grade a bit.
IFE - The IFE was great, but I'm taking away some points for the Wifi not working.
1 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".