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Review: American Air Business Class LHR-LAX 777-300ER Mini Cabin
The Mini Cabin was high on my list to try out. The cabin is just 2 rows ( 3,4) and right behind first class. It’s separated from the main business class cabin by a galley and basically provides service akin to First Class. Drinks and food are hand delivered by flight attendants rather than served via a cart, and the whole experience is far more intimate. Or so I had heard. I hadn’t been able to experience it yet! I was SOOOOO excited that Miles was shaking his Bon-Bon when he caught Ricky Martin eye’s boarding the plane as part AA’s 5 star service. Now we were even more excited to try out American Air Business Class LHR-LAX 777-300ER Mini Cabin
My Flight got delayed
Sometimes when things go wrong they actually go right. I used the One Way car rental trick to get to Heathrow from Sheffield for almost half the cost of any other transportation, and when I got to check-in my flight was delayed by over 2 hours. I asked the desk agent if any of the seats were available in the mini cabin: NOPE!
A little aside. At this point I had already confirmed a mini cabin ticket in the fall from LAX-LHR, but if I could experience it sooner, and on the longer leg from LHR-LAX, I’d much prefer it.
The thing is….whenever flights get delayed, people’s plans get messed up. Soooooo, this provides a great opportunity for upgrades, rerouting, seat changes, etc. Sooooooooo
I thought I’d keep an eye on it via expertflyer’s seat map. Heathrow has free Wifi and I also had access to the the British Airways Galleries lounge as well as the Admiral’s Club which both provide free Wifi. It was once I arrived at the Admiral’s club to give it a review that I actually noticed that 3 seats had opened up in the Mini Cabin. BAM BAM BAM.
In case you didn’t know, the people who check you into the lounge can change your ticket right there. Most often they will do more for you than a regular agent at check-in. CAUSE YOU’RE JUST SO PREMIUM 😉
So I went back to the front and asked the desk agent to switch me to 3J
WE GOT MINI CABIN!!
BOOM BOOM BOOM. I was stoked. After hanging out in the lounge for a couple hours I made my way to the gate in Terminal 3. The crowd was insane. The process requires that you go through another security check point before entering the gate holding area. If you have to go to the bathroom make sure you do before going through the check point. There aren’t any facilities on the other side. We were in the for about 45 mins and then boarding commenced.
The Deets on American Air’s 777-300ER Business Class LAX-LHR
- When: June 3rd, 2016
- Route: LHR-LAX
- Duration: 10:30
- Class: Business Class
- Seat: 3J
- Program: Aadvantage Platinum
- Miles Earned: 27,126 Aadvantage
- EQM earned: 10,900
I love turning left
Business class is amazing, but often times passengers board between business and First class. When this happens only the First Class passengers will turn left to their cabin while the business class passengers turn right with everyone in economy. It means that getting situated in your seat is a bit hectic as a few hundred people file down the aisles. When you’re in the mini cabin, you turn left, and you’re secluded… To sip champagne and kick back. BYAH!!!!!
My Seat: 3J
These seats are all reverse herringbone and are up to 78 inches long. I had no problem completely stretching out and found the width, at 26inches, to be ample.
Everything about the seat is the same as when I flew in the main business class cabin. The ONLY difference is the location in the cabin. In fact, looking at the First Class cabin my thoughts on whether it was really prudent to use extra points for First remains the same: it isn’t. The seating is slightly bigger, IFE is slightly bigger, but they get service and most food options that are exactly the same as business.
So I asked… is it worth plopping down 85k vs 57.5k? I just don’t see it. If you had a revenue fare and an SWU was expiring I’d say go for it, but the marginal value associated with the bump in class isn’t that great. However, on this flight Ricky Martin was in 2J, so if you’re looking to live la vida loca or be creepy and take pics of a sleeping Ricky it may be worth it. Miles did shake his bon bon.
Pillow and Blanket
The service was great
I have to say that the service was a notch up. However, the main business class cabin was excellent. I have found some of my best service on AA despite reading and hearing some horror stories. In my experience it’s been attentive, respectful, friendly, and personable. Anyways, it was within 60 seconds that I was asked about a drink and if I needed anything or assistance with my luggage. The fact that there are only 8 passengers in the cabin means the staff can more easily manage their duties and your comfort.
When you are seated on the window you get some extra storage under the ottoman. I flew on a 777-300ER from LAX-MIA in the middle and that storage wasn’t there. So if you’d like to keep a small bag in the seat with you, I’d highly recommend choosing a window seat. It’s also very easy to talk to a passenger across the aisle. Miles can sometimes be a chatty Cathy given how seldom people see a Monkey flying so lux.
For Business and First Class passengers American offers Bose Quiet Comfort headphones. They are amazing and Miles loves them. The screen is 15.4″ and offers literally hundreds of movies and tv shows. I actually prefer to use the hand held remote vs the touch screen, but both options are available and quite reliable.
Soon after take off the lights were all dimmed. It’s a day flight and we arrived before sundown so I wasn’t expecting the lights to be turned down so quickly. As a result we all ate in the dark…at like 6pm.
Waiting at the seat is your menu. The flight attendant will come and ask for your meal selection before take off. I chose the Shrimp and an Ice Cream sundae.
After some warm nuts and a refill Miles was served a starter salad. It was good not great.
Salmon and Shrimp. This was shockingly quite good. Not something I would order all the time, but if were to have gotten it at a Thai restaurant I wouldn’t have been disappointed. I’m not a huge shrimp on a plane type of monkey, but the combination was good. Sauce was the perfect amount of spice.
The sundae was amazing. Miles almost did a lap through first class shaking his BON BON
I’ve given up meat and as such I picked around the Waldorf Salad. It was just ok. In hindsight I could have done without it.
Shortly after the meals concluded I stretched out and relaxed. Watched a few more movies. Here’s a shot at the lie flat in the day light.
This is such a great product. The only thing I’m not sure I love about the mini cabin, and maybe it’s just 3J, is that I only had 1 window. Not that it’s that big of a deal, but when I was back in the main business class cabin I had 2.5 windows and it made the seat seem much roomier. That’s a personal preference sort of thing, but worth considering.
As a whole, the cabin is more private, feels exclusive, and the service is a touch more attentive. I think American has really hit the nail on its head with this product and I look forward to flying it again regardless of the cabin. I’m scheduled to try out Air Berlin in a few weeks and it’ll be interesting to try it out as a One World comparison.
A few landing pics:
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- London Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf Review:
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- LHR-LAX American Business Class 777-300ER – mini cabin
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