This review is part of a trip to Germany.
- Lounge Review: Admirals Club Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Terminal D
- Flight Review: American Airlines First Class – Boeing 777 Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Frankfurt (FRA)
- Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Frankfurt Airport
- Lounge Review: JAL First Class Lounge / Sakura Lounge Frankfurt (FRA)
- Flight Review: American Airlines First Class – Boeing 777 Frankfurt (FRA) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
- Lounge Review: Admirals Club Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Terminal A
I was planning again a trip to Germany during the holidays and started doing some research. American Airlines was the chosen airline for that trip because I have some System Wide Upgrades (SWU) left. They would expire end of the year if I don’t use them. Originally the plan was to book a trip from Seattle to Munich or at least from Seattle to Frankfurt and from there on Lufthansa to Munich.
To apply the System Wide Upgrade, I called the American Airlines Reservation Desk and started to work with them to look for flights. I was flexible on the travel dates but we couldn’t find a date where I could be confirmed for an upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class. The agent told me I can book a flight and get on the wait list but that’s a huge gamble if I won’t get the upgrade confirmed. I did some more research after our conversation and found a cheap business class fare from Dallas/Ft. Wort to Frankfurt. I called back the Reservation Desk of American Airlines and they were able to confirm me for a First Class upgrade if I buy Business Class. They could confirm me as well for my flight back from Frankfurt to Dallas. The price for the ticket was just under $3,000 USD. Now I had to get from Seattle to Dallas. One option was to add this leg to the existing reservation to Frankfurt. This would also apply the SWU to this flight but after talking to an agent, the price for the whole trip would now be $9,000 USD. No, thank you! I decided to go with a separate ticket, also on American Airlines to requalify for Executive Platinum status. The one-way ticket in Economy Class was roughly about $200.
Early this year I got lucky and American Airlines was able to also book a ticket on Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Munich in Economy for only ~$300 USD more including baggage fees. This time, if I wanted to add a ticket to Frankfurt, they wanted $3,000 USD from me. To much. I decided to buy a separate round trip ticket in Economy which was roughly about €210, plus baggage fee for my two bags. Which turned out to be €125 after getting one bag light enough. Now I was set for a trip in long haul First Class to Germany.
Before boarding, I enjoyed the service of the Admirals Club not too far from my departure gate. When I got to the gate, they were just about to start pre-boarding. I lined myself up for the priority lane and was one of the first people after pre-boarding.
I stowed my carry-on bags and took some pictures of the seat and first class cabin. As mentioned before, this was my first time flying transcontinental first class. The 777-200 has a 1-2-1 seat configuration. When I flew business class earlier this year on the same type of plane, they had 2-3-2. Back then I was lucky that the seat next to me was broken and therefore unoccupied.
First class filled up pretty quick and the flight attendant came around with pre-departure drinks. I settled for Orange Juice. The flight attends distributed Pyjamas and Newspaper if desired. Slippers, Bose headset, amenity kit, pillow, and blanket were already at every seat.
The kept boarding business and economy class and just before pushing back of the gate, the flight attendants collected the empty glasses. We pushed back about 10 minutes late from the gate but no further delays to take off.
Once airborne I moved my seat in the right position, about 40° facing towards the window. This allows me to fully recline the seat. I pulled my monitor from the in-flight entertainment system out and plugged in my Bose headsets. The movie selection was good and throughout the flight I watched a lot of movies I missed this year.
However, the cabin is a bit outdated. There are no power outlets except the 12V cigarette lighter outlet. I was lucky and had a car charger in my carry on to charge my phone but no 12V charger for my laptop. Nowadays there should be 110V power outlets on every seat. American Airlines domestic planes are pretty good if it comes to power outlets.
This was the only downside for me on this flight.
After a while in the flight, the flight attendants came around and distributed the menus and took orders for the in-flight dining. The menu had a big selection of different items.
My course started off with a Shrimp Tikka, followed by a “Spanish Saffron and Chickpea Soup”, Chimichurri Filet Mignon, and for dessert an Icecream Sundae. The food was excellent and especially the steak. No complaints here.
After the meal service, I used the in-flight entertainment system. A big selection of movies, TV shows, music and more is standard nowadays. The only downside here was the super tiny monitor. Compared to what you get in American Airlines Airbus A321 First Class, this is a baby toy. Hopefully American will start upgrading their fleet soon.
The flight attendant offered a turndown service and to prepare my “bed”. I greatly appreciated the help and service you get. I brought my seat in a comfortable position to keep on watching movies. The sleep was pretty good on the plane. As I woke up again I kept watching movies and we were almost at Frankfurt. The flight attendants came through the cabin to write down our breakfast choices. I chose the three cheese omelet and along with it coffee.
I opened the window shades and saw a beautiful sunrise over Germany with a thick layer of clouds underneath the plane. This was the last time I should see the sun for that day. Frankfurt had a thick layer of clouds over it.
Just before landing the flight attendants distributed a small gift for every passenger with some chocolate in it.
After touchdown, we taxied for a few minutes to the gate and had to wait for another plane to get out of the way. Because I had the last seat in First Class, I was the first person of the plane. After leaving the plane I headed for the baggage claim, which was easy to find by following the signs. As an EU-Citizen, you can use the automated passport control systems. It kinda works like Global Entry in the U.S.A. I put my passport down had it scanned, they took a picture and the gate in front of me opened. That was it. Took me maybe a minute to get in, read my passport, have a picture taken of me and get out.
From here on I went to the baggage claim and ready to collect my bags. Overall it was a great flight. American’s First Class is pretty good. I was happy to be finally able to sit in first class on a transcontinental flight.
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.