American Air 777-200 Business Class Miami to Paris Review

In December 2017 my wife and I flew to Paris for 4 days on a mini-vacation. When flying and having to fight jetlag on such a short trip, flying comfortably and being able to sleep during the flights was crucial so we could hit the ground running and well rested. So we made sure we flew American Air’s 777-200 reverse herringbone business class for the 7 hour and 30 minute flight.

After spending some time at the American Flagship Lounge, which we really enjoyed, we headed to our gate, about a 10-15 minute walk, only to find American’s perennial problem of boarding before the posted boarding time, so we got to our seats when the business class cabin was pretty much full.

We settled into our seats, which have a great layout, on a 1-2-1 configuration with every seat having direct aisle access. We were in the rear mini-cabin, which only has 4 rows and it’s located behind the bar and in front of the premium economy cabin. The advantages of the cabin is that it’s quieter due to having less people, but you are also served last among all business class passengers. I prefer quiet and less foot traffic, especially when trying to sleep. Here is a picture of the larger forward cabin from our return flight.

The seat is the same design we used in our Virgin Australia 777-300 flight last year. There are a few storage compartments and a foot cubby that you could reach when the seat was semi-reclined, which becomes part of the bed when the seat is in bed mode.

The TV was large and there was an over the shoulder reading light that pops up and has three brightness settings.

There was also additional storage space in the armrest, which must be lowered for takeoff and landing.

There was also an electronic panel for seat controls.

There was a bottle of water and the amenity kit in one of the storage compartments.

The amenity kit was typical as far as business class amenity kits go, with socks, dental kit, wipes, earplugs, an eye mask, a pen, and some odd headphone cover pads that I have no idea what I was supposed to do with.

Bose headphones were also provided.

Shortly after take off I went to the lavatory and changed into my Korean Air pajamas and my Hyatt disposable slippers (yes, you read that right). American doesn’t offer pajamas in business class, save for flights to Australia, so I took my own Korean Airs and some Hyatt slippers which I planned to just leave onboard after deplaning (I had also packed my Singapore Air pajamas for the return flight, and I also took extra slippers from the Park Hyatt Paris during our stay).

Shortly after that, dinner service began. Below are pictures of the menu for our flight.

Dinner started with a hot towel, drinks and warm mixed nuts.

As starters we both had the hickory smoked rainbow carrots with goat cheese, and also a Southwest wedge salad, which were crisp and tasty.

You could preorder your entrée starting 30 days in advance up to 24 hours before the flight, and we both chose the surf and turn, which consisted of a pretty decent steak and shrimp. I never hold high expectations for steaks prepared at 35,000 feet, and I’ve had better steaks on other flights, but this one was pretty decent, so in general terms we enjoyed our meal.

After our entrees were cleared I had the chocolate mousse cake and my wife skipped dessert.

Throughout the service I found the crew to be efficient, friendly and courteous, although not very proactive in refilling drinks or asking if we needed anything else. They were just fine, and in the end they got the job done quickly, which is what matters most on a 7.5 hour flight where passengers are trying to go to sleep as quickly as possible.

Given the relatively short time to sleep, I headed straight to the lav to freshen up, brush my teeth and then made my bed and tried to catch some sleep.

Given our takeoff was at 6:30 p.m. and the short flight time, it was tough to fall asleep at first, but eventually I was able to doze off and managed about 3-4 hours of sleep, which was more than enough to land with enough rest and get used to the time difference that very same night. My wife wasn’t able to sleep, but arrived well rested as well because there is a huge difference between sitting down for 8 hours and flying on a lie-flat seat.

There is a walk-up bar that the crew sets up with drinks and snacks mid-flight, but given the short flight and us trying to sleep I did not visit it. Here are some pictures of the bar set up on our return flight from Paris.

About 90 minutes out of Paris the crew served breakfast, which consisted of fresh fruit, granola, yogurt and pastries. I had an orange juice to go along with it. The food was pretty tasty and the fruit indeed tasted fresh.

After breakfast I went back to the lavatory, changed out of my pajamas (and threw them in the trash), and went back to my seat and started cleaning up getting ready for landing.

The weather was pretty rainy in the area, typical for Paris, and while it wasn’t very bumpy, our plane actually got hit by lighting. It was pretty obvious as the entire cabin lit up. We landed uneventfully, as a plane getting hit by lightning is a non-issue.

After taxing we deplaned quickly and headed straight for customs, which we cleared quickly and then went on our way.

Overall impression:

The flight, food and seat quality was as expected. Food was perfectly edible, service was done efficiently, and the seat is comfortable for a quick hop over the pond. We really enjoyed our flight and would book it again in a heartbeat for any long haul trips.

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