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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sampling oneworld Premium Services: American Airlines Los Angeles to New York JFK Business Class Cabin

AA32 on June 2 2012
AA32 on June 2 2012

AA32 flight path (Source: FlghtAware)

Flight: AA32
Date: June 2 2012
Aircraft: Boeing 767-200
Seat: 7A (Business Class)
Scheduled Departure Time: 13:45
Actual Departure Time: 13:40
Scheduled Arrival Time: 22:07
Actual Arrival Time: 21:58

The boarding time listed on my boarding pass is 13:15, 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. So I walked over to gate 46A at around 13:15 and was expecting a line and chaos around the gate. To my surprise, AA had finished boarding everyone who waited at the gate already!? There was again no line at the gate. I guess they must have started boarding much earlier. And the flight ended up departing right on time and arrived JFK a bit early! (Somehow FlightAware's departure and arrival times are different than the ones listed on AA website)

AA LAX Gate 46A
Where are other passengers? LOL

Today's flight is operated by a a three class configured 767-200. Although Los Angeles - New York JFK is one of American Airlines' (AA) flagship routes, the plane and the hard products are very outdated. The business class cabin has a 2-2-2 configuration with a recliner seat. Beforehand, someone told me AA provides one of the narrowest business seat with the smallest pitch amongst its competitors. Given I didn't really pay for the upgrade (Thanks benolaa on MilePoint again for his generosity!), I am extremely happy with it. AA will be upgrading its fleet and a lie-flat business class is coming to this route.


2-2-2 configuration on AA 767-200 business class cabin
2-2-2 configuration in AA 767-200 business class cabin

After conducting some researches, I haves decided to give the bulkhead seat 7A a try mainly because I would rather have a reduced legroom than have my neighbor sitting in front of me reclining into my lap (well a bit exaggerated :P).  I haven't tried the non-bulkhead seats, but even with reduced legroom, I didn't find that to be a problem for me. Not to mention 7A is one of the few seats in the cabin to have an aligned window. As I like looking outside the window and take random pictures, this is an added bonus :)


Seat 7A in AA 767-200 business class cabin
Seat 7A in AA 767-200 business class cabin

Bulkhead in front of seat 7A in AA 767-200 business class
Bulkhead in front of seat 7A in AA 767-200 business class cabin

Legroom of seat 7A in AA 767-200 business class
Legroom of seat 7A in AA 767-200 business class

The entire seat only have 4 triggers to adjust the seat mechanically. You can use them to recline, extend and adjust the legrest, and extend the footrest. I would say the recline of the seat is pretty good but then I was quite different for me to find a comfortable position for the legrest and footrest.


AA 767-200 business class seat controls
AA 767-200 business class seat controls

The seat also come with a small center console which you have to share with your neighbor. Since there's no clear divider and lack of storage space in the seat design, my neighbor has taken up most of the center console throughout the flight leaving me with even less spaces to place my personal items and I couldn't really use the center console as my armrest :(  On the center console side of the seat, there's a small cocktail table. I personally don't like using these small cocktail tables because I believe I will just knock off the drink and spill it everywhere :P You know sometimes you just forget you have a drink there! The main table is on other side of the armrest. Not sure if it's a design flaw of my table was broken, the table isn't level and more like V-shape with a dip in the middle.


AA 767-200 business class seat cocktail table
AA 767-200 business class seat cocktail table

AA 767-200 business class seat main table
AA 767-200 business class seat main table

AA 767-200 business class seat main table
AA 767-200 business class seat main table

AA provided duvet and pillow in the business class cabin. The pillow is actually quite big, much bigger than the one I got in JAL long-haul business class! :o And the material used for the duvet does not cause ESD problems either. I usually avoid the JAL business class duvet because it always causes ESD! But I didn't use the AA pillow for sleep as this is a day time flight. Instead, I used the pillow to provide lumbar support :)


AA 767-200 business class duvet and pillow
AA 767-200 business class duvet and pillow

There is no inflight entertainment units built in to the seats. Instead AA provides Samsung (or should I say SAME-sung…sorry I am an Apple fan boy :P) tablet Galaxy Tab 10.1 as the IFE. It comes with Bose QuiteComfort 15 headsets too, which is one of the best noise-canceling headphones in the market. In fact I own a pair myself too :P Content wise, AA actually provided very decent western contents (they have even more western choices on JAL international flights) and there were a couple of movies that I was interested in. The Samsung tablet has a very nice screen too but in the middle of one of the movies, the IFE unit was frozen and I had to reboot it. Also, the power adaptor kept falling off from the tablet. Every time it fell off, I got a pop up message on the screen and it was quite annoying to be honest. But the biggest problem I had with the IFE is that there's no room for me to place it during meal service! Luckily I was sitting in the window seat and could place the IFE unit against the wall. I have absolutely no idea how other passengers can possibly enjoy the IFE while having the meals at the same time.


AA 767-200 business class inflight entertainment unit
AA 767-200 business class inflight entertainment unit

AA 767-200 business class inflight entertainment unit
AA 767-200 business class inflight entertainment unit

AA 767-200 business class Bose noise canceling headphones
AA 767-200 business class Bose noise canceling headphones

AA 767-200 business class IFE main menu
AA 767-200 business class IFE main menu

AA 767-200 business class IFE unit
Not a problem when it's not during meal service

Coming up next is the lunch service on AA32 :)

To read other parts of this "Sampling oneworld Premium Services Trip Report", you can find the complete index from the Introduction post. There's also a Trip Report Index page which contains indices to all of my trip reports.


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