The original plan for this trip involved a quick visit to Los Angeles and a 9:30 am Sunday departure back to DFW for a relaxing Sunday afternoon. However, approximately 10 minutes before boarding, as I was walking to my gate I heard the unfortunate news over the airport intercom that my flight had been delayed. At the time I didn’t think this was too big of a deal as delays are an inevitable part of traveling if you do it enough. I simply returned to the LAX Admirals Club to wait it out. Unfortunately this turned into a 10 hour delay without much warning, as it became an eventual 7:30 pm departure. Rather than staying in the Admirals club for this entire time I decide to use this as an opportunity to check out the Tom Bradley International Terminal and pop into the Korean Airlines Lounge courtesy of my priority pass. The terminal was awesome and I enjoyed my time in the lounge, for a complete review follow the link above. Overall I was very disappointed with the delay and how it was handled but by having access to certain lounges I was able to greatly improve my experience.
Pre-flight & Boarding
As the new hopeful flight time approached I returned to the Admirals Club since my flight was scheduled to leave from the gate adjacent to the club. I also wanted to wait out the rest of the delay here since the staff is more in tune with the aircraft, allowing them to give boarding updates upon request. During one of these requests the desk agent informed me that there were open seats in first class if I wanted to use some of my 500 mile upgrades. It would have been nice if she offered a complimentary upgrade given the 10 hr delay, but nonetheless I obliged and was instantly confirmed into international first class for my 3 hour flight. I returned to where I was sitting and snapped a picture of the plane, a 777-200 sitting directly outside the window.
Having been in the club for a majority of the day I saw how the crowd flowed throughout. Being here in the evening, right after sunset, was by far the most relaxing and least crowded part of the day.
Fortunately, not soon after sitting down they announced the mechanical issues were fixed on the aircraft and that we needed to head to the gate for an immediate boarding.
Boarding took place at gate 43 and it was actually quite hectic. Since this flight had been continually delayed throughout the day a lot of people, including myself, had multiple tickets for standby and confirmed seats on a later flight. Everyone who was originally on this flight wanted to leave on this flight, rather than waiting for the next one. This resulted in some issues with the system but I must say the gate agents were true professionals and handled this situation the best they possibly could. Soon enough they had everyone boarded and ready for departure.
Upon boarding the plane I was greeted with a friendly hello and “welcome to international first class… for three hours”. I enjoyed it and thought it was great that the flight attendants were joking around and trying to lighten the mood even with the 10 hour delay.
Since these seats are intended for 10+ hr flights they were more than adequate for the comparably quick 3 hour flight from LAX to DFW.The seat was very comfortable and everyone had plenty of room. The first class cabin on this aircraft consisted of 16 seats, 4 rows, of 4 across.
I found myself in the second row, seat 2J. The cabin was only half full and because of this I could barely see anyone else in the entire cabin.
Above is a view of the cabin across from where my seat is looking slightly backwards. This seat is part of row 3 and they slightly stagger the seats to offer more privacy.
Then above is a high up picture of my seat, 2J. As you can see the seat takes up 3 windows and there is a foot rest that can also be used as an additional seat during meals to dine with a fellow companion. The seat also swivels up to 90 degrees giving the option of a bed or a desk with a 35,000 ft view.
I found the seat to be very comfortable and I even laid flat for a good hour of the flight to take a nap after my long day at the airport. Keep in mind this is American’s outdated international first class and they are continually delivering new planes with a their flagship first class product and improved business class offerings. Nonetheless it is an excellent option for a domestic flight.
As annoying as it was to have a 10 hour delay, the flight attendants certainly did not let this get to them. It was probably the most attentive first class service I have ever had domestically.
Pretty soon after take off and before I could even get my video screen up and running they came out with drinks (which they took orders for before take off) and an assortment of warm nuts.
Even though this was international first class the food service was strictly domestic. I ordered the seasoned and grilled chicken with rice and green beans. It actually turned out to be pretty good. I would highly recommend it if you ever have it as an option.
Then for the grande finale they brought out vanilla ice cream with caramel encrusted toffee for dessert. The ice cream was very frozen but the glass was a little warm so it helped melt the ice cream and make it easier to eat.
The entertainment on this plane is the same as all other American Airlines flights with an in seat screen. It contains movies, TV shows, games, and music. The biggest issue here though is that this is one of their older products. The screen was not as clear and less responsive than on their newer products.
Then as you can see above, the screen is a little farther away and smaller than the current product they are rolling out and trying to promote. Nonetheless this didn’t stop me from flipping through the movies and turning on Suicide Squad. I watched for a little before eventually falling asleep after my entire day in the airport.
Even though I had a long day at the airport before my flight finally left, the actual flight was excellent. The service was great and the seats were about the best you could ask for on a 3 hour domestic flight.If you have this option when booking I would highly recommend it, but keep in mind you will only find this type of plane on certain occasions flying between American’s biggest hubs. While this was excellent for my purposes, I would not recommend booking this seat on a true international flight if there is anyway to take one of Americans other newer products. I would even say the actual seat on their 777-300ER flagship aircraft in business class is preferable over first class on the 777-200. Especially when factoring in pricing or mileage redemption differences. Also keep in mind on these 3 cabin domestic flights American sells the business class cabin as main cabin extra, so for a small up charge (complimentary with elite status) you can enjoy a business class seat on your next flight for the same price as economy. If anyone else has flown this product or has questions about an upcoming booking leave a comment below. Until next time!