When you fly with American Airlines between Australia and the USA, you get to fly on its Boeing 777-300s, the latest and greatest version of this many-faced 777. The plane has taken cues from previous generations and learned from each of them to be better than ever, while American Airlines has rounded it off with some extra touches of its own.
American Airlines (AA) is obviously an American airline, so you’ll typically find a lot more of the pre-flight benefits on the US side of your flights than the Australia one.
Fortunately it’s a codeshare and oneworld partner with Qantas, so business class travellers on eligible AA flights can take advantage of those facilities instead.
This means you can find lounge access around Australia and New Zealand with Qantas. On international flights, you’ll be able to access the Qantas International Business Lounges in:
In the USA, Qantas also has its own International Business Lounges in Los Angeles and Honolulu. Here you may be able to choose between AA and Qantas lounges. In LAX in particular you might opt for the Qantas lounge. It’s reputedly a lot nicer than the AA admiral’s lounge and will probably be less crowded.
Whether or not you get a business class express check-in on the Australian side will probably depend on your flight and departure, although you can generally expect to find it around the USA.
Frequent flyer perks
AA has its own AAdvantage loyalty program, which will allow you to earn loyalty miles as you fly. Conveniently for Australians, AA is partnered with Qantas, so you can also earn Qantas Points when you fly in Business Class on the 777-300.
Space and seating
You may fly on the AA Boeing 777-300 if you’re flying between Australia and the USA. There are 52 business class seats which are arranged in a 1-2-1 layout, offering direct aisle access no matter where you sit. Each seat offers excellent privacy for travellers. The window seats are skewed away from the aisles, while the middle seats are skewed inwards but have a generous divider between them.
The wraparound design of each seat shell further accentuates the privacy and puts you well into a capsule of your own. Each 52cm wide seat transforms into a fully flat bed for a good night’s rest, helped along by complementary mattress pads, blanket, pillow, pyjamas and slippers.
In seat mode, you might be struck by the distinctive steps in front of you, serving as a pseudo-footrest while the seat is upright. There’s also a leather footrest further back to take over while your seat is reclined. This leather footrest forms part of the bed and adds extra length when the seat goes fully flat.
On either side, you’ll find a generous storage space, including small cupboards where you’ll find the headphones, two small side tables and other storage spots down at leg level. The side tables can fold out into an inflexible but roomy table. It can’t be adjusted as closely as some other airlines let you, but the generous size helps make up for that.
The seats, however, are closely adjustable. Lumbar support and a six-way leather headrest let you mould the chair to satisfaction. Each seat is more or less the same and there’s no real bad seat. The possible exceptions are the row 11 window seats, 11A and 11J, which are missing their windows and the front row of business class, by virtue of being closest to the lavatories.
To increase your comfort, you’ll also receive bedding including a duvet, pillows, pyjamas and slippers when you fly in business class. You’ll also receive an amenity kit stocked with a range of moisturisers, earplugs, a dental kit, an eye mask and socks.
You can entertain yourself or work with the help of inflight Wi-Fi and satellite phone, but it’s not complimentary. Instead, you can order up to two hours of Wi-Fi for US$12, four hours for $17 or the entire flight for $19. The satellite phone is charged by use through credit card.
You get an in seat power outlet though, as well as a plus-sized 39cm wide touch screen with movies, TV shows, radio channels, music and games. They might be best enjoyed with the Bose QuietComfort noise cancelling headphones you can find in the mini-cupboard to your side.
Dining and refreshments
You’ll start with a pre-take-off beverage, with a choice of water, juice or champagne, leading into post-take-off nuts and beverage service.
Dinner is served in multiple courses, with appetisers and then salad followed by your choice of several mains. Or entrées as they will probably be called. Dessert will offer another tricky choice of several options.
If you’re feeling peckish later, you can get a range of chocolates, cookies, popcorn, chips and fruit at the walkup bar, situated at the front of the main business class cabin between rows 4 and 5. Heartier fare is also still available.
You can expect similar quality, but not spread across so many courses, for breakfast and lunch.
Where can I fly?
You’ll find American Airlines running the 777-300ER on flights between:
Brisbane (BNE), Melbourne (MEL) and Sydney (SYD) and Los Angeles (LAX).
Sydney (SYD) and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (DFW).
Sydney and San Francisco, California (SFO)
There’s a lot to love about American Airlines, the 777-300ER and business class. Put all three together and you’re in for a good flight.
You’ll find the comfort you can usually expect from business class, plus a well-thought-out seat arrangement that offers a good deal of privacy and storage space no matter where you are. When everything else is equal, large and clear entertainment screens, a good pair of headphones and generous portions of good food plus a snack bar can make all the difference.Back to top
Pictures: American Airlines and Shutterstock
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