This review is part of a trip report:
- American Airlines Flagship Lounge Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – Terminal 3
- American Airlines Business Class – Boeing 787 Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR)
- Holiday Inn London – Heathrow Ariel
- Emirates Air Line London
- Plaza Premium Lounge London Heathrow (Terminal 2)
As most years I headed to Germany over the Christmas holidays. Because my work schedule was so crazy and I didn’t know when exactly I could fly, I booked my flight to Germany only about 1.5 weeks ahead. This is pretty short considering its holiday travel season as well.
I was looking to fly American Airlines and using my Systemwide Upgrades which I received by reaching Executive Platinum Status. My final destination was Munich, however booking the flight all the way to Munich would cost substantially more than ending the flight in London and booking a separate ticket to Munich. This also gave me the chance to spend a day in London.
My first leg was in First Class from Seattle to Chicago and this trip will be upgraded to Business Class thanks to my Systemwide Upgrade. This was also my first time flying the Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) and then right away in Business Class. American Air’s Dreamliners don’t have a First Class cabin at all.
After arriving in ORD I went to the Flagship Lounge and had a good breakfast before heading to the gate to get on my plane to London. I arrived early at the gate to try to get early boarding to take pictures of my seat and the cabin without interfering with the boarding process.
I stood in front of the Priority lane with plenty of space between the start of the line to let other people pre-board if there are any. Then a few minutes before official boarding start, an elderly couple came up to the Priority lane and asked me if I am in line. I told them, yes and the woman asked me if I want to go in front of them because they will stand right at the entrance of the Priority Lane. Why do people have to do this? Is there no common sense out there. Yes, they also flew business class and were in Boarding Group 1, which doesn’t mean that there could be any pre-boarders which will also use the priority lane and now these people will block the lane. I have seen this so many times, and it’s not because it was an elderly couple. So many people do it. Is everyone just selfish and doesn’t think 2 minutes ahead?
As I mentioned earlier I asked to pre-board and got the ok from the crew. So the staff started the announcement for pre-boarding and I passed the elderly couple to pre-board. Then these guys jumped in the lane right after me to rush on the plane, even tho it wasn’t their turn. Some people just don’t care! I went down the jetway to stow my carry-ons quickly and to take some pictures.
I settled into my seat 5A which was a window seat all the way in the back of the business class cabin of the Dreamliner. The American Airlines Dreamliner comes with Business Class as the highest cabin besides Main Cabin Extra and Economy Class. Only the two outside seats all the way in the back of the Business Class (5A and 5L) have a little extra storage compartment. It’s quite big but I never had any use for it during the flight. The seat has quite some storage pockets as well and you get a big part of overhead space.
The flight attendants came around and distributed the in-flight dining menu as well as newspapers. During the ongoing boarding process, they came around with a pre-departure drink with choices of Champagne, Juice or Water.
I got myself more acquainted with my seat and all the displays, buttons and other stuff. One of the great features of the Dreamliner is the electronically dimmable windows. There is a button right below the window which lets you dim the windows or you can use the on-screen menu on the TV. After takeoff, the flight attendants dimmed the windows from their central console but it seems once they dim the windows, you can’t undo it with your local controls.
The seat has quite a few power outlets and USB ports to charge your phones, laptop, and other electronic devices. Every seat gets its own noise-canceling Bose headset and an amenity kit. The bag with the pillow and blankets come with an instruction sheet how to prepare your seat to use it as a bed and which blanket goes where. I never used them during my flight as we left in the morning but would arrive late night in London. So I planned to stay up and first sleep when I get to the hotel, which would easier adjust me to the timezone change. (It actually worked).
As the last guest was onboard and everything was secured, we pushed back from the gate and rolled to the takeoff runway. All the seats in Business Class had an additional shoulder strap which every passenger hat to attach to its normal belt for takeoff. It was a short taxi without long wait times to take off and a smooth ride out of ORD as well. As we kept ascending to our cruising altitude, I flipped out the TV monitor and started watching movies. After reaching of our cruising altitude a flight attendant came through the aisles and noted our dining wishes. I kept watching movies and into my first movie they started serving the first meal of the flight.
I decided to go with the short rib hash with scrambled eggs as the main course. As a starter, they served yogurt parfait and fresh fruit. The short rib hash was delicious. As the dessert, I opted for the Dessert Trio.
After the meal break, I continued with movies. The flight attendants had set up a small snack bar in the galley with sandwiches, fruits and other snacks and beverages. The flight was overall very smooth without any major disturbance.
Shortly before landing, we got served dinner (according to our destination timezone). I chose the Lobster Mac and Cheese, which was so good that I wanted a second plate. The dessert was a mint chocolate chip ice cream.
During the final preparations for landing the flight attendants collected the headsets. They have to do this, so nobody steals them. Which seemed to be an issue at first. Remember, not everything what lays around in the business class is yours to take.
Shortly after we touched down in London and taxied to our gate. It was another great experience and my first flight aboard a Dreamliner. I was very surprised how quiet the Dreamliner actually is. I know the business class is up front and “far” away from the engines, but still, it was very quiet.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.