A Vastly Improved American Experience on the 777-300ER (Trip Report)

American, Trip Reports

The last time I flew American in Business Class, it was on a tired old 767 with inadequate seats. So when American invited me to take a ride on the new 777-300ER with fully flat beds, I couldn’t wait to see the contrast. It was like night and day. American has put together a really nice product on that airplane, but some of the smaller details need to be refined for this to be a truly superior offering.

[Disclaimer: American provided my flights without charge]

American 777-300ER Outside

Only a couple weeks earlier, American put the 777-300ER on the LA-London route, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to try it out. American arranged for the trip, sent someone along with me, and packed in a couple meetings on each end (as you saw in my recent post on the oneworld Global Support Centers).

Flagship Check In LA

I was told my name was on the list for Flagship Check-in even though it’s usually only for First Class, super duper Concierge Key elites, and people who pay for Five Star service. I’ve written about Flagship before so I’ll skip the details here except to say that I was escorted to security by the awesome gentleman in the hat above and was told to cut ahead of everyone else in the premium cabin line. Pretty swanky, but as more of a do-it-yourself person, this doesn’t appeal to me that much.

After seeing the oneworld Global Support Center, I was taken up to the Admirals Club and saw both the regular club (where food and drink cost money) and the Flagship side which has free food and drink for First Class passengers only. American does have nice lounges at LAX.

Soon after, it was time to get on the airplane. I was told to get on before everyone else so I could walk around the airplane to see the various cabins. My escort was given the all-clear saying that the cabin crew was onboard and ready for me, so we headed to the airplane.

This airplane was brand-spanking new. It was delivered less than a month earlier and had only been flying for two weeks. Nothing quite like that new airplane smell. But I stepped onboard to find a harried crew running around trying to get ready for the flight. They didn’t look all that happy that someone was being brought onboard before boarding and for good reason. As they described it to me later, there’s 20 minutes of prep work on that airplane and they get 10 minutes to do it. According to these flight attendants, they call the 777-300ER “the Beast” because of how difficult it is to work.


How so? Well the crew was told about me in advance. I don’t like when that happens, but it did mean that the crew decided to start unloading all the problems on me. It didn’t seem like it was done out of spite for the airline but more as a desperate plea for help to get things fixed.

For example, the Business Class galley is right next to the stand-up bar and the lavs. But the lavs are right in the way of the flight attendants and there seems to be a constant tight squeeze as passengers and flight attendants try to get around each other. The doors in the galley are also built strangely with some being on the wrong side of where they should be. These doors are also spring-loaded and when they close, they auto-latch the carts into position. So if you need to go in and out, it can take a lot of skill to balance everything. The flight attendants even went so far as to demonstrate to me the balancing act. Not well-planned at all. Somebody needs to fix these things.

June 24, 2013
American 136 Lv Los Angeles 750p Arr London/Heathrow 215p (on June 25)
Los Angeles (LAX): Gate 41, Runway 25R, Depart 1m Early
London/Heathrow (LHR): Gate 340, Runway 27R, Arrive 14m Early
N723AN, Boeing 777-323ER, Gray American Flag, ~99% Full
Seat 7A
Flight Time 9h53m

First Class Cabin 777-300ER American

But let’s get back to the customer experience. The First Class cabin is small with only 8 seats, but it looks pretty nice. I didn’t spend much time there before we went back to coach. The Main Cabin Extra section has the standard 9 seats across while the regular coach section has a tighter 10. I was told by my escort that the seats in Main Cabin Extra are the same width as in Main Cabin, but it certainly didn’t look that way.

Main Cabin Extra 777-300ER

The width wasn’t a problem for me in either area, and the seat pitch in coach seemed average if not a little snug. But with a big screen and a power outlet, there wasn’t much to complain about.

Coach 777-300ER

Then it was time for me to get to Business Class where I’d sit for both flights. This seat, similar to what US Airways has on its fleet already, is excellent.

Business Class Cabin

The seats on the sides are angled toward the window. The screen is big and swings out from the right side of the suite (though it doesn’t tilt up and down, unfortunately). On the left, there’s a little cubby where you can put things right beneath a ledge. Immediately on the left, there is a remote for the TV, a light, seat controls, and a variety of outlets and media connectors. Oddly enough, however, the place to connect the noise-canceling headset is inside a cabinet. I have no idea why anyone would ever do that. I actually had to ask where it was, because I couldn’t find it. And you either need to get up to plug it in or use the mirror that’s inside the compartment.

Business Class Seat 77W

By the time I got oriented, boarding was just about finished. We buttoned up and pushed back. Soon, we were in the air on our way to London and I took at look at the menu. Inside, there is an insert telling people to use the Arrivals Lounge upon arrival. One problem. It closes at 2p, before the LA flight arrives. Why the heck would they hand this out to everyone on this airplane when nobody would be able to use it? Strange.

But back to the seat. Being angled toward the window provided a fantastic view of the setting sun for hours. I don’t believe that it ever got completely dark on our flight but it was close. The peak of darkness was probably over Wyoming or Montana before the sun started unsetting on us.

Perpetual Sunset

I was pretty tired, but I decided to have a full dinner service. That didn’t really work out well. They brought out the first course, and the salad looked disgusting. The mood lighting made the leaves look brown. When I turned on my personal light, it fixed the problem quickly, but I was so tired that I just ended up drifting off.

Brown Lettuce

When I woke up, my main course was sitting on the tray. I tasted it and it was good, but I really wasn’t hungry enough, so I faded back into sleep. The next time I woke up, it was gone.

The flight had a little chop much of the way, but in a rare moment of smooth air, I put the bed flat, grabbed an eyeshade, put on the noise-canceling headset, and fell asleep for a few hours. That’s two flights in a row that I got some meaningful sleep, but in this case, the seat really made the difference.

When I woke up over the Atlantic a few hours out of London, I watched a movie and then had a good omelette for breakfast. We had the obligatory 15 minutes of circling before being allowed into Heathrow. I particularly enjoyed the awesome view of the BA 747 in the holding pattern.

British Airways 747 in Holding

After landing, I met up with a friend and did a mini-pub crawl. The next morning, it was time to head back home. I haven’t been to Heathrow’s Terminal 3 in awhile, but I like the relatively new courtyard area for drop off. American has its Flagship Check-in in a little office off the courtyard. I have a complaint about this.

Flagship Check In London

Apparently this was American’s first effort to do a Flagship-style check-in, and it is open to Business Class and Executive Platinum unlike the ones in the US. American says changing that in London would have angered too many people, but then it seems to me it should have a different name. It’s just confusing, especially since most people who depart from London will end up departing from a US airport to come back anyway.

Once checked in, I met with a PR and a sales person from American based in the UK and they told me more about their business. I asked them about the merger and they seemed fairly excited, though of course a little nervous. If I’m them, I’m feeling great about all the new flights that are coming into Europe. It should make the airline much more competitive.

After that, it was time to head through security. My bag was mostly empty since I was gone for one day, but they still found something to require searching and re-scanning again. It probably took me 10 minutes after I had gone through the metal detector before I was on my way.

Lounge at Heathrow

I went and checked out both the Admirals Club and the Flagship Lounge. The Admirals Club (above) actually seemed like a nicer space even though the Flagship Lounge is more exclusive. I sat in the Club until I realized it was only 25 minutes before my flight. Oh crap. I said goodbye to my escort, who was taking a different flight back to Dallas, and raced down the long concourse to the gate. I wasn’t the last one onboard, but it was getting toward the end. I was just glad to have made it.

June 26, 2013
American 137 Lv London/Heathrow 2p Arr Los Angeles 520p
London/Heathrow (LHR): Gate 34, Runway 27R, Depart 22m Late
Los Angeles (LAX): Gate 41, Runway 25L, Arrive 2m Early
N719AN, Boeing 777-323ER, Gray American Flag, ~99% Full in Business
Seat 9A
Flight Time 10h26m

I got on the airplane and realized it was the same crew working our flight as on the day before. They recognized me from the last flight and welcomed me onboard. We didn’t push back for 20+ minutes, and I assume that was just a Heathrow delay, but no announcement was made to tell us one way or the other. Once we did push back, we were airborne quickly.

Since the day was just beginning in the US, my plan was to log on to the internet and work straight through. That didn’t happen. I got on ok for a few minutes, but by the time we hit the Irish Sea, it was down. Maybe 30 minutes or more later, it came back up but only with spotty and excruciatingly slow service. It didn’t return to a more normal, functional speed until we were more than halfway to Iceland.


Food was served and the options were the same as when I flew back from Ireland a couple months ago. I opted for the salmon, and it was fine, if not a little dry. And of course, the ice cream sundae was excellent. But I ate quickly and kept working.

Wifi held up over Greenland and one of the flight attendants came back and asked if I had been able to get online. I told him yes, so he asked if I could help another passenger who was struggling. I went up and realized just how convoluted the T-Mobile sign up process is. This is T-Mobile Germany (so when you go to website, it thinks you’re in Germany and sometimes shows websites in German). To sign up, you have to create an account with T-Mobile. And the account has to be turned into a t-mobile.net email address. You don’t need to know that, but they say it anyway. So this passenger thought you just put your email address in. If you do that, it just errors you out. Let’s hope T-Mobile can fix that.

But more importantly, Panasonic needs to fix the connectivity problems. When we got to Canada, it went down again. I think it was down for about an hour to an hour and a half, but I didn’t track it exactly.

The View From the Business Class Seat

In the meantime, I decided to flip through the entertainment system and find something good to watch. There was plenty of content on there and it kept me busy until internet came back online. I decided to stop by the lav to freshen up a bit. American has put a lot into the premium cabin lavs with porcelain sinks and wood siding. But coach lavs aren’t like this, so if you’re at the back of the business class cabin, you may want to head forward if you want something nicer.

I got back to my seat, and war broke out.

The person across the aisle had lowered my window shade much of the way down while I was gone. Oh hell no. If you want your window shade down, get a window seat. But I was feeling friendly, so I left it partially down. My neighbor decided to build a blanket wall across his seat in protest. In the end, this was more of a cold war, and we continue on our merry way.

Landing at LAX

For the rest of the flight, I worked online and enjoyed the view. I can’t overstate the awesomeness of the seat angling toward the window. You just look ahead and get a panorama of the world passing by. What was strange was that I barely reclined my seat the entire flight. It was like sitting at a desk in my office, getting work done. The flight really was great.

After landing, I hopped off the plane and was redirected down, over, outside, up, down, and over again into the Bradley Terminal customs area. After that, I was ready to go home.

This will be my last trip report for awhile. I haven’t mentioned it here, but my wife is due with Cranky Baby #2 a mere two weeks from today. So I won’t be back in the air for a couple more months. (And now we’ll see how many of you actually read this entire, looooong report.)

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67 comments on “A Vastly Improved American Experience on the 777-300ER (Trip Report)

  1. Ooo, congratulations. And a bigger congratulations for going 8 months without mentioning it – I’ve tried that myself and it’s quite hard…

  2. So you are the guy that leaves the shade up during an international flight. It wasn’t just the guy across from you that you were having a cold war with…trust me, the flight attendants in the galley were also wondering who the guy is that won’t lower his shade! Hey Brett, Congrats on your soon to be new arrival and thanks for the great trip report. I love the trip reports!

    1. Joe – I sure am. I love staring out the window, especially when over Canada and the US on a Transatlantic flight when there’s a lot of great terrain to see. But I also like watching interesting cloud formations and just staring out the window in general. If I’m on a 787, I’d be willing to dim the window to some extent. And on my last Korean trip, I had it down because the flight attendants physically lowered it on me and there wasn’t much to see anyway. If people don’t like the light, that’s what eyeshades are for!

      1. I am glad to see this; I like the window view, too. I’m curious you’re feeling about the light above your seat. I fly to Australia pretty often. The return flight is a daytime flight–it leaves around 10a–and QF typically makes the cabin PITCH black. Last time, I had my reading light on (I was reading!) and passengers asked me to turn it off.

        1. CP – I can’t imagine someone asking you to turn your light off at your seat. That’s the whole point of that thing – you shouldn’t be forced into darkness if you don’t want to be!

      2. Cranky, I agree 100%! They give those eye masks out in biz and 1st class for a reason. It is not your job to make sleeping conditions perfect for everyone else, well, because everyone else is different!! The only time I have sat biz class on an “overseas” flight was MSP to HNL on a Delta A330. And yes, I kept the shade up, and really enjoyed the stretch where we left the western coast for the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. A close second was when the Hawaiian islands started popping up. I say keep the shade up and enjoy the view!

  3. Wow, is it really that long ago, that baby #1 arrived? Time just flies by.
    Thanks for the nice trip report and all the best for you and your family.

    1. Ralfinho – Not quite as long as I might prefer. There will be about 18 months in between the two. We’re going to be busy.

      1. If you think giving birth in 18-months is close, the sister of a close friend of mine gave birth to two daughters within a years time. Infact mother & daughter #1 have the same birthday. I don’t know why, but I find that so cool.

  4. Congrats on the baby. And it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who leaves their shade up. I love watching the world go by and never get tired of it. I would have been in the middle of the cold war right with you.

  5. Friendly suggestion: add a very short executive summary or conclusion to these posts with the summarized pros and cons (maybe quick bullet points?). And congrats on the new addition!

    1. Tory – So what would you have liked to see as a summary for this? I always consider the title to be the best, incredibly short, summary. How would you have put together a more hefty summary?

  6. As you know I’m a pediatric resident (now in my last year of residency) and your blog has been my stress relief through medical school and residency. So I’m ridiculously excited for your family as you welcome #2! Congratulations!! I am sad the trip reports are on hold (rightfully so). However, if you decide you could use a guest reporter who you send on these trips to evaluate the offerings, I absolutely offer my services! Free!! :) I’m a great writer (I have to chart on oodles of patients everyday) and love flying! Enjoy your family and congrats again.

    1. Hovig – You aren’t the only one who has offered! In general, I turn down the vast majority of trips that are offered to me. I only take trips that I think provide really interesting fodder for the blog. I did have someone take a trip for the blog once (Emirates to Dubai) because I thought it would be really interesting and I couldn’t do it. But in general, I try to avoid too much of that.

      I don’t want to overdo it with trip reports on the site anyway, because I think too many and they get really annoying. I’m feeling that way with this trip already combined with the Korean one. So I’m happy to be taking a few months off from trip reports to get back to more normal stuff.

      1. I love the trip reports the best! If you need a guest author I would be interested too! I write a blog about living in the Virgin Islands.

  7. Congrats on the little one Brett!

    Great report, i loved matching up what you wrote here with what you tweeted on the trip home.

    1. Ben G – Yeah, I was having a lot of fun with Twitter on the flight (when internet worked). Live tweeting the cold war and having others chime was an excellent way to pass the time.

  8. Congrats on the baby!

    Nice trip report and hope they resolve the soft product. Although it does seem the F/As were fairly attentive on these flights.

    1. Sanjeev M – I don’t know that I’d say the FAs were that attentive, actually. They were fine, but they certainly kept coming back to me more than others simply because they wanted to show what was wrong with the airplane. In general, the service was probably best categorized as good but nothing incredibly special.

  9. First of all, congrats on the new addition!!

    One question for you. Those flight timings seem a bit odd, with a 5:20 P.M. PDT departure and a 2:15 P.M. local time arrival. What’s up with that? That strikes me as a “worst of both worlds” if you’re a business traveler, as it’s an early enough departure that you lose a half a day of work leaving, and a late enough arrival time that you lose the entire day in London, too. Then again, it looks like a lot of flights to LHR from LAX feature late morning-early afternoon arrival times, so is this just an occupational hazard flying from the West Coast?

    Sorry for what’s probably a dumb question. When you live smack dab in the middle of the country flying wise, you get used to convenient timings pretty much everywhere you want to go.

    1. MeanMeosh – I think you’re mixing up the times a little. It’s a 745p departure out with a 215p arrival in London. The return is at 2p arriving LAX at 520p.

      This is set up to mesh with BA’s flights, I would assume. Here is the combined schedule going east today (slight tweaks from when I flew)

      BA 335p – 955a
      BA 545p – 12p
      AA 750p – 215p
      BA 930p – 345p

      And the return:
      BA 940a – 1255p
      BA 1205p – 310p
      AA 2p – 520p
      BA 415p – 715p

      So they get more coverage throughout the day this way. In the winter, it changes. Eastbound:
      BA 425p – 1040a
      AA 645p – 115p
      BA 845p – 255p

      BA 1025a – 130p
      AA 12p – 315p
      BA 3p – 605p

      It would be nice if they had a very early arrival into London, but nobody seems to do that. I assume it’s mostly a slot issue and those with shorter flights get higher priority for those morning arrivals. If we need to arrive early into London from the west coast, then we have to go through SFO on United into London (and it doesn’t operate all year).

      1. I did the LAX-LHR flight once on AA (originating in SAN) on the 777-200, and it was one of my better flights to Europe. Not because of anything spectacular about the flight itself (in fact the PTV IFE system in front of me was broken and only the map worked), but because I actually managed to sleep on it. I normally don’t sleep well on planes, but I guess with the late enough departure my body was tired enough, and the early afternoon arrival time meant that by the time I got to my hotel in London, I could check in right away and only had a few hours to get through before it was local bedtime.

        Compare this to connecting on the east coast, where you leave the west coast in the morning, about 8ish, fly for 5 hours to the east coast, then have an hour or two layover before the evening transatlantic departure. Not that much real time has passed, so you don’t really start to get tired until you’re getting close to your landing. You arrive early in the morning, and you can’t check in to your hotel for several more hours.

  10. You’re kidding – right?

    You get rock star treatment from AA and you opine that it was a nice trip? No kidding! What an investigative reporter you are!

    Next time, forego the company ass kissing and fly anonymously in coach. Let’s see how you like THAT!

    1. Coach flyer – I strongly prefer to fly anonymously but when airlines arrange trips, I don’t always have that option. Believe me, I would much rather avoid the ass kissing and experience it as any business traveler would. But am I about to buy my own coach ticket to London just to turn around so I can write a report? Not until you’re all willing to pay to read this blog.

      So what it comes down to is whether or not I think taking these trips will provide interesting blog content. These trips are far from being boondoggles. I’m not sitting on the beach and getting mai tais delivered to me. These are incredibly hard trips that have no downtime – I’m usually in one place for less than a day and the only time I spend in the hotel room is when I pass out from exhaustion. Is it nice to sit in business class? Sure, but I have to record everything and don’t really have the chance to just sit back and enjoy because I’m always working.

      That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun, but it does mean that I would turn down far more of these if I wasn’t thinking about what would be interesting to blog readers. You should overhear the conversation between me and my wife before I go on these trips. I’m often not as excited as you might think.

      In the end, I do it because I think it’s interesting for readers to get the perspective. While this was a nice flight, I didn’t hold back from criticism at all. I hope that people at least find it interesting and potentially useful for future travels.

      1. I know many of your blog readers are serious business travelers that probably do fly internationally in F or Buiz class and enjoy hearing about what the airlines are doing. Personally for me I rarely get a domestic upgrade and when I fly over oceans it’s leisure and I don’t spend the $$$ to upgrade. In that sense these trip reports are fun to read about whats happening in the front of the plane. I still enjoy them, even if as a coach traveler I do have a bit of envy. One thing that is always true, travel for work is still work and being home is always better. Keep ’em coming.

    2. I have a friend who is an automotive analyst. He isn’t expected to purchase every car and truck he reviews. However that doesn’t preclude him from writing a fair and non-biased reports. And, companies continue to loan him vehicles regardless if his reviews are high praise of heavy laden with constructive criticism.

    1. Same here. Congrats on the second rug rat, hope it is a cute little girl. Maybe in ten years you will be able to travel with your wife and kids, I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to travel with babies in tow.

  11. Congrats on #2 baby. Thanks for the nice review. Would love to see one on Economy since that’s the only class we can ‘sometimes’ afford these days.

  12. Nice trip report, CF. Congrats to you and your saintly wife! ( I am just assuming she must be saint!)
    As for the window shade, I like to leave it up, but I used to feel guilty about it. I got over feeling guilty.

  13. Congrats on the forthcoming Cranky #2 (actually, it won’t be #2 who will be cranky…it will be your wife)

    I can’t imagine anyone subscribing to your blog and not reading the entire report

  14. For someone who’s experiences may have caused them to be “…missing significant subtleties (although the commenter seemed to have bit of a problem spelling “subtleties” (previous post), I must say reading your trip report was a wonderful experience. Yes, the window shade matter. Drives me crazy. And, when a window row seat lacks a window, well…!

    Anyway, these reports give me a wonderful insight into how the “other half, or whomever, lives!” And perhaps, to keep me from becoming too depressed on what I’ve been missing, how about listing the fare I would have paid for that seat, say, on a 7-day advance basis. Would add a little perspective on value, or the lack thereof.

    If airlines truly cared about us customers, why don’ they hire people like you to make regular “how are we doing” trips to give them feedback of the type you are the king in being able to identify and describe. Personally, I don’t think they care what you or I think. But maybe, these days, airline customers don’t care, either. Very sad!

    Oh yes. Congrats.

    1. JayB – Well, if you can find a seat in I class, business class is going for only $3872.60 with a 14 day advance purchase and saturday night stay. Of course, I say “only” because that’s a great deal for business class. But it’s still a lot of money.

  15. The biz class seats seem all but identical, except for the color, to those on my recent flights on CX ORD-HKG and HKG-JFK. Oh, and on the westbound flight over the arctic I opened my window shade for awhile to look at the vast expanse of snow or ice. But I dutifully lowered it again after all of five minutes as all that white plus a low sun really lit up the cabin at a time that would have been dark back at ORD.

  16. Brett,
    You are so biased that you have zero credibility when ?reporting? on anything relating to AA; it?s actually laughable. You clearly have an agenda to portray AA negatively, and of course it will all miraculously change in 4Q13 after your hero Parker assumes control. Your motives are so transparent that it?s totally implausible that you aren?t being compensated (either directly or through quid pro quo) by US Airways or an intermediary.

    Also, it seems as though you have spent too much time around flight crews as you have turned into quite the whiner. Did the mood lighting make your salad look unappetizing? Oh you poor baby! LOL Now it?s time for all your fanboys (Nick?) to jump to your defense and flame me. Have fun fellas.

    1. Realist – you have the right to express an opinion, but at least try to do it politely and in a reasoned manner. CF blogs for free – he has no obligation to write for you. There is no need to resort to sarcasm or cheap attacks.

    2. As much as I hate to respond to Realist’s angry rants, I will remind all readers that if they want to see what airlines have provided to me, they can always go to crankyflier.com/ethics. The only thing US Airways has provided me was air transportation to and from media day and the leadership meeting. They have never paid me for anything nor have they given me any free transportation other than what I’ve mentioned.

      So by Realist’s argument, I should be writing much more positive things about American since they gave me a business class ticket to London. But of course, that has nothing to do with what I write.

    3. Realist,

      If you don’t like his writing or the blog I’d suggest you simply not read it. Cranky has always been very upfront about who pays for what when and if you engaged your brain before typing you’d realize that if Cranky had an anti AA bias they sure as heck wouldn’t be giving him free flights etc.


      Awesome trip report. Very fair, well written and enjoyable. I get what the time away from your family means and I for one appreciate that you do it for the sake of a free blog. I hope AA and others take your comments to heart. Good and bad. And congrats on kid #2!!

  17. I much enjoy your reports and often wish that I had the ability/time to tag along with you. I’d like to see some of the other airlines (United, are you listening?) match your trip on AA and then have you do a comparative story as to how things match-up. Congratulations to you and the lady carrying your next offspring. Well done. And thanks for the nice writing.


  18. noise-canceling headset you have to use a mirror to plug it in or stand up, how dumb is that.

    I think it would bug me to sit an an angle while going forward, guess you have to try it and see.

    Soon a family of four traveling, that means spit seating on narrowbodies and no pretending to be asleep so mommy takes care of the baby…..lol

  19. Brett–I, too, read your entire trip report (as well as the one on Korean) and was especially interested in it, since my wife and I flew in Envoy class CLT-LHR in June on USAirways. Living in Charlotte, we are often on USAirways, but this was our first experience together on an international flight, and I must say I was very impressed–service, seats, food, etc. From your description, it sounds like American can learn a few things from their new owner. Nice report and congrats on Cranky #2!

    1. Jeremy – I really don’t even remember the size of the knife. I guess that means it was probably normal or it would have caught my eye?

  20. Brett,

    Congratulations to you, your wife, and big brother-to-be! And yes, I read all your posts end-to-end, even to the end of the Comments section.


  21. Congrats on Cranky Jr. #2! Even though I feel you have bias toward anything Parker does I enjoy reading your blog and have supported you by purchasing your book (hey, it’s something!). I am strongly against the merger personally, but respect the views of yours and others. Looking forward to your return soon (some airline is bound to earn a Cranky Jackass award inside of 2 months!).

  22. PS – I, too, am one of those who like to open the shade and check out the barren tundra below. But all things good in moderation – I do it occasionally and only part way up. Sorry light haters!

  23. Great report as always, Brett. Trip reports are still my favorite feature you do. Always will be! I read the whole thing and congrats to you and Mrs. Cranky on your impending arrival. The world needs more airline dorks!

  24. Congrats on the new addition to your fleet! It looks like AA needs to do some tweaking to the aircraft based on flight attendant feedback. However AA shouldn’t be getting that feedback via your blog. The crew knew you were some kind of VIP. They should have had their “game face” on and not vented.

  25. First things first, Congratulations for the new baby.

    I was surprised to see you categorize economy class screen as big. To be honest I expected a bigger screen. and I say that having flown Emirates in the last month to europe on their 773s. Even their handset was touch enabled and served as a fantastic second screen.

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