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American 77W First Class to London

American 50
4:55P-8:05A (sked)
4:50P-7:40A (actual)
August 4, 2014
First Class
Seat 2J

Boarding had already started when I arrived.  I navigated modest gate lice and followed the crowd down the jet bridge to 2L.


Couldn't resist this one.

Crossing thru the galley and a left turn thru the J mini-cabin to First.   First impression?  Meh, this is the best they could do??

Seats were OK but I found them a little narrow compared to other real First Class seats/suites.  Some of the controls were in strange or inconvenient positions.  But the worst part was personal storage, or rather the complete lack thereof.   Sorry, but this almost feels like J+ seat.  Indeed, United 777 First to be more comfortable and more functional.  And no curtains between the galley and the cabin means daylight all night long. 

Another problem is the staggered cabin configuration which means that seats 2A and 2J are almost in the J cabin.  Seriously, who designed this??

Still with the plastic PDB glasses... not very First Class.

All in all, a good crew led by Purser Brian but between the casual US attitude and AA soft product limitations, it's still AA.  And of course the fact that our two FA jump seats were on opposite sides of the plane, the usual American chit chat so all can hear.  Ugh.

Most quality airlines leave a big buffer space between and the cabin, and use CURTAINS to block the view, light and mute the noise.  Not AA, who didn't even think to install curtains.

And quite possible the thinest, cheapest "curtain" between F and J on an international flight...

AA continues to compete ith BA for the smallest, cheapest hot towel in the skies...

Although American offers Dining on Demand, and I was given the option, I decided to have dinner "right after take-off".  My bad, as "right after take-off" meant just that... right after take-off.  Yikes.  One round of drinks and our crew rushed right into dinner.  In an attempt to slow the pace, I ate slowly indeed not starting some of the appetizers for a few minutes after they had been presented.  Today's menu.  I had pre-ordered the beef. 

And the wine list.   I've said it before and will say it again, Ken Chase must have something on AA, for I have no idea how he can keep his job with garbage like this.  Most of these are $12 wines.  

First Class salt and pepper shakers.  Seriously??

The mushroom soup was very good.

Naturally, my beef was well done and not very good.  Can't imagine how well done it would have been had I waited to eat.

My specialty sundae was excellent.

The vaunted First Class snack counter.  Meh.

At least the lav is attractive.

After dinner, I tried out the Wifi, priced at $18 for the flight.  Well, you get what you pay for.  Connectivity and functionality was next to useless.  Even emails took forever to download.  And forget about surfing the web.  Purser Brian converted my seat to a bed and I slept for a couple of hours.

Middle of the night and light is streaming in from the galley.  Why does this airline have to be so stupid sometimes??

Still full from dinner, I passed on breakfast.  Great views of London on our approach this morning.

We arrived at Heathrow about half an hour early, apparently before the gate folks were ready and it took 15 minutes to hook up the jet bridge,
A tour of the J mini-cabin while waited...
All in all, American's new 77W is a big disappointment.   I think the old 772 First Class seats and cabin is a better hard product.   American could have done so much more with this plane and cabin.   In the end, it's still American and a North American service attitude.  You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy.  Service is too casual and lacking in the detailed training that you see on Asian and Gulf airlines. And the hard product it simply not very good.  Who on earth approves and signs off on a First Class cabin without curtains to block light and mute some of the noise?  Who designs and approves a First Class cabin with two seats partially in the Business Class cabin and then installs flimsy curtains between the two cabins?