I decided to fly American Airlines First Class 777-300ER from Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG) because I couldn’t find any award availability on Cathy Pacific. I’ve heard from other travel bloggers that American Airlines First and Business Class are not much different from one another, except for a wider seat pitch and an extra meal.
With that in mind, I booked a one-way First Class award seat on Alaska Airlines for 62,000 miles plus $18 in tax to experience it for myself. At the time of booking, I searched on American Airlines website to see how much the seat was going for and it was priced $13,744 one-way.
American Airlines First Class 777-300ER
The airplane was a Boeing 777-300ER with First Class configured in a 1-2-1 seating. I patiently waited for my pre-boarding champagne, I looked behind me and noticed business class passengers already received theirs.
It was at least 7-10 minutes before my flight attendant welcomed me and offered me something to drink. He didn’t even greet me by my last name. Granted, It didn’t really bother me because I was flying for free (technically) but for someone who actually spent $13,744 on a seat, it might matter.
It’s the little things that make up the biggest difference when flying and choosing airline loyalty.
American Airlines First Class 777-300ER Seat
Similar to my United Polaris Business Class, Los Angeles to Shanghai last year, my seat came with a blanket, two pillows, a duvet, and pajamas.
The Amenity Kit came with standard travel items usually found in one (toothpaste, toothbrush, lip balm, eye mask, socks and tissue paper).
The Power compartment had two 110v outlets and a 3-prong for the Bose headset. Conveniently, next to it is a reading light that has two brightness settings.
I slipped into the new Casper Pajamas and they were very comfortable. I liked the pocket they added to the top. It felt like cozy hoodie without the hood itself.
First Class Meal Service
Before my departure, the lead flight attendant announced there was going to be a limited catering service on the flight due to American Airline dropping Gate Gourmet. When I heard this, I was thinking, “hopefully, it doesn’t impact first class too much.”
As normal service started, I ordered a whiskey neat and the flight attendant brought me warm mixed nuts. Since there was limited catering service, I never received a menu for the meal selection on my flight.
The flight attendant told me only two options were available, chicken or cheese ravioli. I took the chicken.The meal was sub-par to previous business flights I’ve experienced.
There was no mid-flight snack or beverage service. Most airlines provide one on international flights.
Surely, their desserts would be better right? Nope!
The only options were a chocolate cake or a cheese platter. Having a big sweet tooth, I was disappointed they didn’t serve any ice cream. United and Delta serve ice cream on their international flights to Asia.
The Bald Thoughts
If I had paid $13,744 for this seat, I would not be a happy flyer when I landed. One cannot predict unforeseen circumstances such as the contamination of food by Gate Gourmet at LAX. I think American Airlines should have been more proactive to find a quicker solution for their passengers. Especially those flying in Business or First Class.
One thing I did enjoy during my First Class experience was the flat 180-degree beds. Being 6’5″, my feet are usually crammed into the cubby hole when I fly business. Luckily, I didn’t have this issue with this flight. The wider seat in First Class and spacious leg room allowed me to sleep a solid 8 hours on the plane without waking up to any discomfort.
Sadly, that is the only nice thing to say about my American Airlines First Class 777-300ER experience.
I’m not flying to Hong Kong in the near future, but I would be interested to compare their level of service once the catering issue is resolved. But for now, I’ll stick with United Polaris or Delta One on my routes to Asia.