Flight: American Airlines Dublin to Philadelphia
Airline: American Airlines
Flight Number: AA723
Plane: Boeing 787-8 (Dreamliner)
Cabin: Flagship First
This is a review of my flight on American Airlines from Dublin to Philadelphia.
In summer months the flight leaves Dublin at 13:55, but in the winter months leaves Dublin at 10:55.
One of the major advantages with flying from Dublin (over, say, Heathrow) is the pre-US Clearance offered in Dublin. This means that flights from Dublin to the US land as domestic flights, and means all the immigration process for US arrivals is done pre-boarding.
If you can deal with Dublin’s ‘quirks’, it’s a pretty good thing to do!
The flight leaves from Terminal 2 at Dublin’s Airport, and I found checking in for the flight to be very speedy indeed!
After this, I had to negotiate Security. Unfortunately, this was less than fun – and despite being Fast Track, it was a frustratingly slow process.
Then it was off to the pre-boarding US Clearance area, before which there is a second Security check. I had been minded to visit a lounge before I got to the ‘US side’ – but was glad I didn’t! It was heaving!
After the pre-boarding US Clearance process, there is only one lounge – which is shared with American, Delta and United – and possibly Aer Lingus’ US flights.
This lounge is called the 51st & Green Lounge, which I review separately here.
This flight was operated by American’s 787-8. Pre-Covid, I believe this would have been an Airbus A330 route – however, during Covid American removed their Boeing 757, 767 and Airbus A330’s in favor of the Boeing 787 and 777.
American only have one layout of the 787-8, which has 20 x Flagship Business seats, 28 x Premium Economy Seats, and a total of 186 Economy seats. There is no Flagship First on any of American’s 787’s.
My seat, 2A was a rear-facing seat in American’s Flagship Business.
To try and reduce the length of these posts, I’ve reviewed the rear-facing Flagship Business suite here.
As I set out in that review – I consider that there is rather a lack of privacy to this particular seat!
Food and Drink
Upon boarding, Water, Orange Juice or Champagne was served. These were served in plastic ‘glasses’, which I wasn’t entirely sure about! BA and Qatar Airways, for example, offer ‘proper’ glasses.
Once taken off, drinks were offered with hot nuts – I had a beer. I personally preferred American’s range of beers to BA’s; American have a wider range (and better selections!).
American tend to have a fairly reasonable selection of wines. As I was having chicken, I took the Domaine de la Chaise Sauvignon Touraine, which can cost just £10 to buy! I guess it’s the best in its price range.
American also offered a good selection of spirits, soft drinks, a port, and so forth. All in all pretty good – and I’d say better than BA!
One thing I really enjoy about flying with American is their wholsome and hearty meals – and the fact it’s not served on one tray! This is a real gamechanger for me, the food by far surpasses BA’s single-tray service, offered to me on my flight to Miami (for example).
Starters are offered as antipasti and a salad.
There were a number of main dinner options, which included;
- Sirloin steak, served with potato gratin
- Chicken with mac n cheese
- Sea bass with potato salad
- Fried paneer with rice
I can find the beef a little chewy and often too rate on AA – so I went for the chicken. It was pretty good!
Deserts included either a cheese plate or lemon tart. Of course, there is always the ice cream sundae – which I picked!
The food was pretty good, it doesn’t have the edge on Qatar Airways -but it by far surpasses British Airways (for now, at least!).
Around an hour before landing, a ‘light dinner’ is offered.
Two options were available (1) toasted BBQ beef and brie sandwich; or (2) Thai noodle salad. The mini pies have gone!
I decided to go for the sandwich, which came with crisps, fruit and a chocolate mousse. It was also pretty good.
Having flown with American Airlines a lot, I’d always found their Amenities Kits to be excellent. Sadly, it seems they’ve decided to scrimp and save on these.
At my seat was a small pencil case looking thing, made by Shinola. I am told they are good manufacturers from Detroit – but this looked soooo cheap!
Inside the kit consisted of;
- Eye mask
- Ear plugs
- The world’s smallest pen
- Body lotion
- And a pretty rubbish toothbrush
Compared to the washbag that I got on my route to Dallas pre-Covid, the kit offered on this flight really was poor.
Wifi was available for purchase at either $25 for 4 hours, or $29 for the whole (7 hour) flight. To me it was a no-brainer to buy the full flight Wifi, and worked pretty well throughout the flight.
One thing I take my hat off to American for is that it’s possible to sign in and sign out of devices – meaning you can flip-flop between phone and laptop. This is by far better than BA’s ‘fixed’ system.
As I write about in my seat review, the screen is big and well-sized for the seat.
I had a whole stack of work to do on the flight, so I didn’t touch the entertainment – but a quick flick through showed a variety of movies, television and music.
Or, as I like to watch – the flight map! Must be a pilot thing!
I’ve written about many times the whole ‘Headphone Gate’ issue on American Airlines. This flight was no different. 90minutes before landing headphones were snatched off passengers and replaced with Avis headsets.
American Airlines have a problem. They have great food, nice drinks, a good hard product, good entertainment.
The Cabin Crew always let it down! I had Debbie mainly look after me – and she was just rude and abrupt. She also didn’t listen; I’d been quite clear I didn’t want berries in my ice cream sunday, and she put them in. Third world issues? Probably, but definitely a lack of attention to detail.
I also noticed that passengers around me (Mrs Gregory and Mr Smith) were addressed by name – but I was referred to “hay” or should that be “hey”?
The whole headphone thing was less than the premium experience customers deserve – but becoming standard.
Landing in Philadelphia
Landing was a dream – and it was off to Admirals Club to wait my next connection!
As I say above, there are SO many great things about American Airlines’ Flagship Business – but there were a few letdowns for me;
- The rocking seat, which I explain about in my seat review;
- The surly Cabin Crew. Why not hire people who want to be there?
- The Amenities kit
- The other half letdown was the over-crowded lounge. But I accept the lounge isn’t operated by American.
Other than that, it was an enjoyable flight!
Score: 81 out of 111 – or 73%.