I was recently invited as a lifestyle blogger to take a flight on one of the most important airline routes in the world when it comes to enticing the premium paying flyer: New York JFK to London Heathrow, on American’s newest gem, the Boeing 777-300ER. With a journey of over [3470 miles], I had plenty of time to enjoy and explore this beautiful aircraft. As American exits bankruptcy and seeks to merge with US Airways [despite the merger’s recent blocking by the Department of Justice], this aircraft may be the best example of how it plans to reinvent itself. “The plane’s sleek interior is setting a standard for luxury and innovation that will become a fleet-wide hallmark of the new American” says Rob Friedman, vice president of marketing for American Airlines, “but it’s also setting the standard on what the future flagship experience will look like on American Airlines.”
I found this aircraft to be luxurious and modern, but not over the top. American has finally come into the 21st century; mirroring the high-tech world we live in when not in the air. This jet is American’s first to offer international access to in-flight WiFi. So when toting iPads, iPhones, laptops and other gadgets you don’t have to worry about their batteries dying mid-flight. There are power outlets and USB ports at every seat on the plane! What a great plus for a 7 hour flight depending on prevailing winds. Color and lighting are key on this new aircraft, with mood lighting shifting shades in the cabin. As a lifestyle blogger, I was interested in the design/layout of this new jet; plus the different color palates for the carpet and wall coverings that changed ever so slightly from the front of the plane to the back. It’s subtle enough that passengers may feel its soothing effect more than they notice it directly.
Nestled in Business class, I was able to cross the Atlantic in what felt like my own private bubble with direct access to the aisle, a perk that was very significant. The pod-like seats are spacious and offered seclusion. Leaning back under the complimentary duvets and wearing a pair of Bose headphones handed out by the flight attendants I didn’t know I even had a neighbor. First class offered even more perks; pajamas and turn-down service where an air host made your bed-like seat with a soft pad, blanket and pillows.
Finally, the walk-up bar, with its soft white lighting, held an array of petits fours and sandwiches — not like I was hungry. In business class, for instance, I had a choice of beef, coriander lime chicken, grilled salmon or eggplant ravioli pasta. That was followed by a choice of a traditional ice cream sundae or a gourmet cheese plate for dessert, all of which I happily sampled; plus, I had several glasses of champagne before and after take off to celebrate the flight from New York to London.
If you are looking for understated luxury and pampering in your transatlantic travel, look no further than American’s new plane. The atmosphere, the food and the service were all major pluses as I jumped the pond, and I can’t overlook the benefit of constant contact via WiFi [if you want to stay connected] that the flight offered. Would I travel this route on this aircraft again? Of course I would- pass the ice cream sundae.
Photo credit: American Airlines