Flight: John F Kennedy (New York) to (London) Heathrow
Airline: American Airlines
Flight Number: AA142
Plane: Boeing 777-200ER
Cabin: Flagship Business
This is my review of the American Airlines JFK to LHR daytime service.
Having flown more times than I can ever remember from the East Coast to London, it’s often the case that even if you leave JFK at ‘bedtime’, you end up in London before 6am.
Then you’ve the challenge of staying awake all day, which never happens – and now you’re in a jetlag cycle!
The JFK to LHR leg operated by American Airlines leaves JFK at 10:30 and lands at Heathrow at 22:10 – this means when you’ve landed you can go to bed and try and get back to ‘normal’ the next day.
For sure, it’s a day of traveling (as opposed to overnight) – but I’d argue 1 day of traveling trumps 5 days of being tired and out of it!
The flight leaves from Terminal 8 at JFK.
I’d actually come in on the Transcon from San Francisco, so it was a short walk to the lounge, and then after a 3hr layover, to the gate.
In time, Terminal 8 will become ‘the’ major international terminal for OneWorld carriers at JFK. In December of 2022, BA will move their operations to here too.
In anticipation of this, American Airlines have created the a new Flagship Lounge; you can see my review here.
This flight was operated by American’s 777-200ER. The Boeing 777 is a pinnacle of America’s huge fleet of over 900 aircraft!
I believe American only have one layout of the 777-200ER, which has 37 x Flagship Business seats, 24 x Premium Economy Seats, and a total of 212 Economy seats. There was no Flagship First on this plane.
My seat, 1L was a front-facing seat in American’s Flagship Business.
To try and reduce the length of these posts, I’ve reviewed the front-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 the Dos Equis, which I rather like. I personally prefer 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!
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!
Usually, I use the pre-ordering function on American Airlines. However it seems there was ‘confusion’ (aka idiocy), which meant not only was my meal ‘confused’ – but they’d also ran out of it!
That said, as I mentioned in my DUB/PHL review, not having single tray service on a transatlantic route seems to be a luxury.
Starters are offered as prawns and a salad. I don’t do prawns, so offered it to the Cabin Crew.
There were a number of main dinner options, which included;
- Braised short rib
- Roasted chicken breast
- Red snapper
- Spinach and ricotta pasta
I’d actually wanted to try the pasta, but as I mention above, it was unavailable.
Deserts included either a cheese plate or raspberry whirl cheesecake. Of course, there is always the ice cream sundae. Having flown a lot with American the last few weeks, I went for the cheese plate. It’s possibly not the most inspiring – but better than others!
Around an hour before landing, a ‘light dinner’ is offered.
Two options were available (1) toasted croque-monsieur sandwich; or (2) grilled vegetable salad.
I decided to go for the sandwich. However instead of crisps, it came with some weird lentil stuff, and a mystery cake.
I don’t always get the chance to write about snacks, but mid-flight snacks included; chocolate, crisps, fruit plates, and wraps. I was pretty impressed by this – its by afar better than BA’s offering!
The Amenities Kit offered on this flight was identical to the one on my PHL/DUB flight.
A pencil case by Shinola. I am told they are good manufacturers – but this looked cheap!
Inside the kit consisted of;
- Eye mask
- Ear plugs
- The world’s smallest pen
- Body lotion
- And a pretty rubbish toothbrush
Wifi was available for purchase at either $29 for 2 hours, or $35 for the whole (7 hour) flight. I didn’t bother at these prices!
The screen is big and well-sized for the seat.
I spent most of the flight working, 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!
The headphones given out on the flight are Bang&Olufson headphones, which are OK – but nothing special.
Despite this, and as 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 crappy Avis headsets.
On this occasion, the Cabin Crew were fairly nice.
I still found them somewhat prickly, for example when they wanted to lay the table I was told “the table is in there” [along with a stern look] – rather than “it’s dinner time, could I ask you to get your table out….”.
Perhaps these are nuances in the grand scheme of things; the Cabin Crew were a lot better than other flights – but you won’t find Qatar Airways cabin crew speaking to the passengers with the tone AA crew do!
Naturally, and as always whole headphone thing was less than the premium experience customers deserve – but becoming standard.
Landing in Heathrow
Landing was very easy. A short wait a Passport Control, and a short wait at baggage – and we were on our way!
There are many great things about American Airlines’ Flagship Business – the seat, the food, the drinks, the entertainment, etc. I just wish they could get better control of their Cabin Crew’s attitudes, as it so often tends to be a let down.
With that said, this is a great flight for minimizing jetlag, and I very much endorse it.
Score: 94 out of 111 – or 85%.