American Airlines Business Class Brussels to New York

With boarding for American’s flight to New York called in the British Airways lounge, it was time to head to the gate. As our upgrades had yet to clear, we asked after having our boarding passes scanned.  One seat was left and I was at the top of the list.  I learned two things:

  • It’s great to be an Executive Platinum as the airport upgrade list places all EXPs above all non-EXPs.  (It’s far less fun when your companion doesn’t inherit your status and falls into the latter.)
  • The UK Passenger Service Charge (not to be confused with the UK Air Passenger Duty) is well worth the price to connect at LHR on the return for increased upgrade space.  In comparison, AA blocks 2 business class seats on its 757-200’s for crew rest (for a single crew member), making an already tough upgrade tougher.

American 171
Brussels (BRU) – New York Kennedy (JFK)
Tuesday, September 18th 2012
Depart:  10:17AM
Arrive: 12:43AM
Duration:  6 hours, 35 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 777-223ER (N198AA)
Seat: 3E (Business Class)

The wine and beverage lists were the same as those offered on the New York to London flight that I took a week prior.  The meals read as follows:

While American’s flight attendants normally practice FEBO (Front Even/Back Odd) for their starting point in taking meal orders, the purser took orders from the front.  My speculation for the neglected back is the presence of the crew rest in 4AB.  Thus, by the time she reached me, the pasta dish, the lone vegetarian option on the menu, was gone.  The purser told me she’d do what she could.

On AA’s two-cabin international service, business class has a choice of marinated cheese or warmed nuts.

The prepacked roll is a clear sign of a vegan meal.

I didn’t see any black olives as promised by the menu, but this felt far more on-menu than a vegetarian/vegan special order meal.

I chose the cheese plate over the sundae for dessert.

Shortly before landing, we had another meal service.  I opted for the pizza.

Our pilots announced at Brussels that we would likely arrive early to New York, but low ceilings at JFK delayed us ever slightly, eating up the time we had saved crossing the Atlantic.  As the lone apparent arrival at the time to JFK Terminal 8, US CBP was painless.

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