Airlines Reviews

American Airlines First Class 777-300ER Dallas to London Review

a seat in an airplane

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American Airlines First Class 777-300ER Dallas to London

I have had American Airlines International First Class booked a few times in the past, only for circumstances to ultimately result in their cancellation. It’s relatively hard to find seeing as though it’s only on the 777-300ER and ordinarily it’s filled with people utilizing system wide upgrades. This leaves award tickets few and far between. Needless to say, I was excited to try this product out despite knowing that the reputation is, while a solid product, it isn’t really exceptional in any distinguishing manner from business class. Comparing to other airlines like Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, etc that have extraordinary first class experiences that are substantively better than their business class products,  American Airlines fails to accomplish this in any meaningful way. And…that is true.

In fact, on my flight, 2 of the seats were inoperable and my IFE never worked. Seriously?!

an airplane at an airport

American is retiring this product in early 2024, or at least that’s the plan. I totally understand why – they have great business class products across their fleet and have a brand spanking new one coming out next year on the 787-9s and some A321s called the Flagship Suite. I’d argue the business class they currently have on the 787-9 is better than this first class, but the new suite will be head and shoulders better.

New American Airlines Business Class 787-9 and A321

Flight Details:

  • When: June 2023
  • Plane: 777-300ER
  • Route: DFW to LHR
    • Connecting from IND
  • Cabin: First
  • Price: 85k Alaska miles + $19
    • I could have used 100k British Airways Avios and $880
    • Or 87k Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and around $300
  • Seat: 1D

a seat in an airplane

Booking: American Airlines First Class 777-300ER Dallas to London

When I first started blogging in 2014 AA had one of the best award programs in the business and I had either Platinum or Executive Platinum with them. Shortly thereafter they merged with US Airways and it didn’t take long for the devaluation to occur. Then came spend requirements for elite status, and now the award chart is fully dynamic and top tier status is achieved with no flying and spend alone. This has resulted in prices being completely unpredictable and outrageous.

AA wanted 410k miles for my first class flight ( I originated in IND )

a white background with black textAlaska, now a One World partner, had access to this award space for a fraction of the price. Alaska is not a transfer partner of any airline, but I had status with Alaska for many years after leaving AA’s program

a screenshot of a flight scheduleAlternatively I could have redeemed:

  • 87 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles ( Cap1, Citi, Bilt, Amex )
  • 107k Etihad Miles ( Cap1 Citi, Amex )

Comparing American Airlines First Class 777-300ER Dallas to London to American’s different business class seats

The biggest thing to consider booking first class over business class is the value of the upgrade. Personally, I just don’t think there is enough of a bump up in experience to justify paying the extra miles or dollars to fly first. Sure you get a bit better lounge experience, but the actual flight experience is hardly differentiated. Same food. Same champagne. Same spirits selection. Same bedding. Seat is marginally larger.

This is probably why American has decided to do away with first class in 2024. It has several different business class seats and configurations, and there just isn’t a huge premium to be experience in first vs business. Had a business class seat been available, I would have prefered it to first and saved my miles for a future trip. But, alas, it wasn’t, and I was afforded the opportunity of flying a cabin I’d never done before.

The Lounge Experience: American Airlines First Class 777-300ER Dallas to London

Sadly…my flight from Indiana was delayed and I completely missed out on the Flagship First Class Dining Experience at DFW.  When AA first debuted Flaship dining they offered Krug champange and the food was reportedly outstanding. Over they years this has been watered down. I’ve never done it, primarily because of the limited access, so this was a major missed opportunity. DARN!

Lounge Access

If you’re flying on American Airlines in Flagship® First or Flagship® Business Plus on qualifying international or transcontinental flights, you automatically have access as defined by AA below.

Qualifying international flights

Flights between the U.S. and:

  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • New Zealand
  • South America

Qualifying transcontinental flights

3-class non-stop flights between:

  • New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX)
  • JFK and San Francisco (SFO)
  • JFK and Orange County (SNA) – traveling on A321T aircraft only
  • LAX and Boston (BOS) – traveling on A321T aircraft only
  • LAX and Miami (MIA) – traveling on Boeing 777-300 aircraft only

*Departing flight must be marketed and operated by American on the same day (or before 6 a.m. the following day). Customers traveling on airline industry non-revenue tickets are not eligible for access.

Guest access

Flagship® First – International

1 guest (children over 2 count as a guest)

Flagship® First – Transcontinental and Flagship® Business Plus

No guests

The Cabin: American Airlines First Class 777-300ER Dallas to London

The cabin is just two rows consisting of 8 seats that not only fully recline, but pivot to have a desk vibe. I actually never did this, but it is a feature that I saw others make use of..

a room with a television and a table

Choosing a seat

This is what the seat map looked like when I booked. At check in, a window seat was available so I chose 2A. After a delay in Indiana, my digital boarding pass changed, and suddenly I was in 1D.

a screenshot of a flight ticket

The window seats are much, much better than the window, but oddly none of the seats are private in any way.

a seat in an airplane

Amenities: American Airlines First Class 777-300ER Dallas to London

Shinola provides the amenity kit and it is quite nice! After the flight I tossed the innards and will now use this as my carry on dopp kit. You’ll also get a pair of noise cancelling headphones, which I didn’t get to use since the IFE didn’t work.

a brown leather wallet with small items on it

The Seat: American Airlines First Class 777-300ER Dallas to London

I found out the hard way that the seats are incredibly sensitive to things being in their way when moving into bed mode. I had to have the purser come over and he struggled to make it work. Finally, after many attempts we realized that my shoes, which were under the desk area, away from the seat itself was the culprit. Finally, it moved into bed mode.

The middle seats are divided by a screen that can be raised or lowered.

a desk with two monitors

There is a small vanity, but there isn’t enough room to really store much in the cabiner behind It, rather just plug things in. Odd. As you can see from the image below, my IFE just had “loading” the entire flight. Cahmon!

an electrical outlet in an airplaneThe seat slightly pivots to get into bed mode. Here you can see it set up for takeoff/landing.

a chair and desk in a planeStorage

One little bitty sleeve. It’s kind of crazy that business class on this plane has more places to stow things than in first class. Sorry for the blurry image, it was dark and I was sleepy lol. That goes for the overhead bins as well. I didn’t have my own!

a phone in a holder

Seating Controls

Most of the seating controls are done via this touch screen. It did a decent job but as I mentioned, I had problems getting into bed mode.

Bed Mode

The Casper provided bedding was superb. I was quite tired when I got on the plane seeing as though it was after 11pm Dallas time, Midnight my home time, and they kept the cabin nice and cool. One of the comfier beds I’ve had in the air

a bed with a blanket and a smart phone on a desk

 

Dining + Service: American Airlines First Class 777-300ER Dallas to London

The service was very good, no complaints. Attentive, professional, and friendly. Had a couple of very nice conversations. Seeing as though the flight was so late, I opted to just go straight to sleep and only eat breakfast. Nothing to write home about…yogurt and fruit.

a plate of fruit and cereal with a cup of coffee

Overall – worth it?

I was happy to experience AA first class before it’s gone. Is it worth the extra miles? No, but then again, it wasn’t an option for me to book business class. Was it worth 85k miles + $19. Absolutely. 85k to fly like this, with hardly any surcharges, is a darn good deal and if it were available again, I’d surely do it. In fact, i’d bake in enough time to enjoy Flagship dining and head straight to bed, just like I did on this flight. I woke up ready and rested for the day in London.

 

 

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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2 Comments

  • Christian June 13, 2023

    I’ve flown their similar first class on the 772LR IIRC DFW-INC several years back. everything was extremely mediocre except the seat was roomy and I loved the Captain Kirk rotating aspect.

  • Frank June 13, 2023

    Lol a packaged yogurt for First Class? Also, did they reset you IFE to see if it worked? You should complain to customer relations and get some miles back.
    AA is a disaster, I cant believe they still have this First Class product, they should rebrand it to Business Plus since that is what it is. I have had $9 wines offered in AA First Class. It’s a joke,

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