[Please click above if you prefer to watch a video report.]
This year we were celebrating 4th of July abroad, Dublin to be exact. We flew SFO-LAX in First Class on an ex-US Airways plane the night before and stayed at The Concourse Hotel (aka Hyatt Regency LAX). We had the whole day to spend in LA, which was nice except it was crowded EVERYWHERE!
We arrived at LAX around 4:00PM and got past security soon after, thanks to TSA Pre-check. As usual, we went to the AA Flagship Lounge for a snack and a quick shower. While checking-in at the lounge, the agent mentioned that our flight was actually departing from the International Terminal, and at some point we need to walk over via the new Terminal 4-Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) Connector.
A few bites and a shower later, we were off to TBIT with plenty more time to visit the Oneworld Business Class Lounge. As Oneworld Emeralds, we actually have access to the Qantas First Class Lounge, but decided to visit the Business Lounge since we’ve never been.
After a 20 minute leisurely stroll to TBIT, we took the elevator up one floor to the lounge area and finally entered the Oneworld Business Class Lounge.
The lounge itself is huge! The décor is contemporary (though a little too dark for my liking). There is a full bar, a dining and buffet area with a decent spread, and plenty of seating throughout the lounge. Areas of interest for me was the circular bench,”fire pit” and the rather
gaudy artsy roundtable. They also had showers available, but I didn’t get a chance to see them since I just showered at the AA lounge. Service was also quite good, I saw some staff members and a manager roaming around the lounge talking to people, and asking if they needed anything.
Before we knew it, it was almost time for boarding. As we were about to get on the escalator down to the main departure hall, we saw a lady going up the DOWN escalator which I thought was really bizarre! Really? I mean was it too much for her to just go down and go around to the other side? Anyway, I just thought it was interesting that an adult would do that…
Back to the review, the new TBIT departure hall is really an impressive space. It is airy with high ceilings, huge LED displays, high-end shops…very modern. It was another 10 minutes walk through the long concourse until we got to our gate.
Upon arriving at the gate, boarding soon commenced and we were one of the first ones on board. We were greeted by a Chinese flight attendant at the door as she pointed us left to the mini business class cabin.
I was seated in 4J, while my companion was right in front of me in 3J. The mini business class cabin is just right behind First Class consisting of only 8 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. It is very quiet and cozy compared to the main business class cabin which has 44 seats. Waiting at our seats were the usual Cole Haan Business Class amenity kit, Bose Noise Canceling headphones, plastic wrapped pillow and duvet, bottled water, and the business class menu.
As we settled in, we were offered a pre-departure beverage. I opted for the champagne. There was a slight delay to our flight as there was a technical and catering issue that had to be resolved before we pushed back. Soon enough we were on our way to London. The Captain announced our flight time of 9 hours and 35 minutes. The safety video played as we pushed back from the gate. Take off was uneventful and the fasten seatbelt signs were turned off after about 10 minutes.
The service started with the crew passing out hot towels.
Then the drink cart came around and I ordered another glass of champagne. It was served with AA’s signature warm nuts in a ramekin.
Dinner service started with a cold grilled chicken, watermelon, and pineapple starter, and a small salad. Bread service was also offered, in which I got the pretzel bread.
For the main, I pre-ordered the beef filet which was served with penne pasta, and some green beans.
Dessert soon followed and I ordered the ice cream. For some reason, the ice cream on this flight was not the typical ice cream sundae. It was just ice cream in a glass with a wafer stick. I also had a glass of Baileys on the rocks to wash it all down with.
My drink was constantly refilled during the meal service, and empty plates were promptly put away when I was done.
After the meal, I went to the lavatory to freshen up and change into my pajamas (I brought my own). The business class lavatory on the right side of the plane, next to the galley is huge and it was easy to change into my pajamas without being a contortionist. The sink also featured a touchless faucet which I appreciate very much since I’m a bit of a germophobe. The lavatory was stocked with 3Lab hand lotion and face moisturizer.
Then, I went back to my seat and made my bed. I slept for a good 4 hours.
I woke up mid-flight and decided to check out the walk-up bar. I got a chicken wrap along with some sweets, a small ramekin of mixed nuts, and a bottled water.
I browsed the IFE for a little bit, but just decided to watch the excellent moving map as we crossed the Atlantic.
Like clockwork, 1.5 hours before landing, the Crew sprung into action to do the pre-arrival meal service. It started with a hot towel, and then the crew took our orders for the meal. I decided on the
frittata strata with potatoes and sausages. It was served on a single tray with some fruits, and I also ordered a glass of orange juice. A bread basket also went around and I got a cinnamon roll.
My tray was cleared promptly as I was done with my meal. Then I got up to change out of my pajamas and freshen up before the mad rush to the lavatory began.
We soon started our descent into London and we got some real nice views of the city before it got cloudy again as we approached Heathrow Airport.
Landing was smooth, and our taxi to Terminal 3 was relatively quick. We soon arrived at our gate and we said goodbye to the crew.
I’ve flown the LAX-LHR route before on American and the service was on par with our previous flights on this route. The crew was cordial and friendly, but not too engaging. The meals, as is the norm with US carriers were OK, but could greatly be improved. The seat…well as you already know this is my favorite type of business class seat, as it is spacious as it is private. A very comfortable flight indeed. I would give this flight a solid 8.5 out of 10.