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Saturday, October 6, 2012

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

June business class menu on AA32
June business class menu on AA32 

I have never had any meals served by American Airlines (AA) before. Not even in economy as I would usually bought my food at the airport instead of paying $10 for a cold sandwich. So I am "excited" to try out their meals to see how they compared to other carriers. Oh of course, I am also excited to get my first pre-departure drink too! As you might know, Japan Airlines (JAL) still chooses not to serve pre-departure drinks in premium cabins even after a change in Japan aviation law.

The FA brought out the pre-departure drinks in a tray
The FA brought out the pre-departure drinks in a tray

Shortly after everyone settled down. The friendly flight attendant (FA) brought out the pre-departure drinks in a tray. Water, orange juice and sparkling wine were offered. All these were served in plastic glasses. Usually I would pick the sparking wine as my first drink but not today as I had enough of that at the lounge with a semi-empty stomach, so I opted for the orange juice instead. The passenger sitting next to me declined for the pre-departure drink but the very proactive FA tried to persuade him to at least have the water and he took the water :)


AA pre-departure range juice served in a plastic glass
AA pre-departure range juice served in a plastic glass

For some reasons, AA chose to use plastic glasses for their pre-departure drinks. Not sure why but definitely make it looks less premium when sparkling wine is served in a plastic glass. Not to mention it's not quite environmental friendly. These plastic glasses were collected before takeoff.


June business class menu on AA32
June business class menu on AA32

June business class menu on AA32
June business class menu on AA32

June business class drinks menu on AA32
June business class drinks menu on AA32

A tiny towel were handed out at the beginning of lunch service
A tiny towel were handed out at the beginning of lunch service

The takeoff was quite smooth with almost no turbulence. In fact I didn't recall having any turbulence during the entire flight (which is a good thing for me as I am kind of scare of flying LOL). After we have reached cruising altitude, menus, the IFE units and tiny towel were handed out.


AA's signature warm mixed nuts
AA's signature warm mixed nuts

AA's signature warm mixed nuts
AA's signature warm mixed nuts

The lunch service started with AA's signature warm mixed nuts. Since they don't have Sky Time :P, I ordered Coke instead. The same proactive FA was walking around the aisle offering a second serving of the warm nuts and I politely declined. The nuts aren't bad but it's just I am not really a nut person, and I need to save some room for the heavy meal ahead (you probably have guessed what I picked for my main course by now :P)


Fresh salad without dressing as I requested
Fresh salad without dressing as I requested

Fresh salad and gourmet bread
Fresh salad and gourmet bread

Hands down the best bread I had on any flight
Hands down the best bread I had on any flight

Next is the Fresh green salad. We were offered with classic Caesar dressing or premium extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar as the dressing. It might sound weird, but I actually prefer my salad without dressing. So the FA simply gave me what I want :) The salad was as fresh as it was advertised on the menu. The FA was also passing out fresh gourmet breads too. And I have to say, this is hands down THE BEST bread roll I had on a plane! Everything was just perfect. It's fresh, warm, soft and delicious! The FA offered me a second serving of the bread but I once again declined politely just to save some room for the main and dessert :(


AA's American Classic dish - Chicken Pot Pie
AA's American Classic dish - Chicken Pot Pie

AA's American Classic dish - Chicken Pot Pie
AA's American Classic dish - Chicken Pot Pie

On today's lunch menu, two choices of main course were offered - the healthier Lemon Dill Salmon and the not so healthy American classic Chicken Pot Pie. Since I am flying the American Airlines today, of course I had to opt for the American classic right? ;) When I was presented the pie, I was a bit disappointed as I thought it is too small and I would left hungry. But I was wrong! The pie was so heavy that I could barely finished it LOL. The crust of the pie was OK and crispy but the filling was kind of a let down. It was way too salty for my taste.


Ben & Jerry's ice cream as dessert
Ben & Jerry's ice cream as dessert

Ben & Jerry's ice cream as dessert
Ben & Jerry's ice cream as dessert

At this point I was kind of full but then we still have dessert! Again I was presented with the dilemma of picking the healthy fruit and cheese or the unhealthy but good Ben & Jerry's sweet cream and cookies ice cream topped with chocolate shavings as my dessert. I thought since my doctor probably would have yelled at me for eating the chicken pot pie already, why not go all the way with the unhealthy choice LOL I don't know why but I always crave for ice cream when I fly and this ice cream didn't disappoint me. It's nice to have the ice cream served in a glass instead of its paper/plastic container. I appreciate it when the airline makes the effort to present the ice cream nicely. And now I am really full! :D


Freshly baked on board cookie and milk
Freshly baked on board cookie and milk

After meal service, we were given bottled water and the cabin was dimmed. I wasn't sleepy at all so I just keep watching movies from the IFE unit and patiently wait for the other AA signature dish :) AA serves this freshly baked on board chocolate cookies which I heard is heavenly (ok who could resist a fresh chocolate chip cookie right? :P). And you can't serve cookie without milk right? I think you can also pick sparkling or still water with a fresh citrus garnish too but of course I chose to have milk with my cookie! The cookie is warm and moist but now I have to worry about how to burn off all of the fat and calories I got from today's super unhealthy meal.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the service provided by AA on this flight. The service was spectacular with the friendly and proactive FA I had! The only complain I had was the chicken pot pie. But other than that AA has far exceeded my expectation in many ways (maybe I have set my expectation too low LOL). Kudos to the excellent crew who made my flight an enjoyable one :)

Next up will be JAL check-in and lounge service at New York JFK.

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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