Posterd on 12 May 2011
American Airlines has done a lot over the years to spruce up the offerings on its business class flights. In fact, you might well think you are in first class with American, especially on their international flights between the U.S. and Europe, Asia and South America. The seats are bigger, the entertainment is better, the food is tastier and they’ve added a lot of thoughtful amenities designed specifically for business travelers, including more space and features to help you get work done on board.
American – Domestic Business Class
American’s revamped domestic business class is available on all of its flights within the United States. Since these flights are shorter, American has focused its domestic business class more on entertainment and work space, rather than overnight comfort, which makes sense. First of all, they have included Bose® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones for each and every seat, which for me, would be a welcome respite from the noise and chaos of the plane, especially when trying to work. If you are on board one of the Boeing 767-200 and Boeing 767-300 planes, which fly mostly from coast to coast, you will get an enhanced entertainment system with personal media players and hands-free programming.
The seats themselves have additional legroom and are all equipped with powerports so you can plug in your laptop or a DVD player. The seats are upholstered in either leather or cloth, depending on which plane you’re on, and they have leather adjustable headrests with six different positions. You can also request a premium duvet if the flight is long and you want to get some sleep.
American – International Business Class
American’s international business class flights are really where it’s at. They have done a lot to make this class stellar for business travelers, which is great given that most of these long-haul flights are somewhere between 6 and 12 hours. That is no small amount of time to be stuck in a plane, so at least American is making you comfortable.
American’s international business class features all of the same amenities as their domestic business class does, but with plenty of additions. You will still get the Bose® headphones, but in addition, you will always get the personal video and media entertainment centers with which to use the headphones.
International business class also still features the premium duvet, but in addition, you get a fantastic reclining seat that opens out into either a 61″ reclining pitch or a 76″ lie-flat bed, so you can get some real shut-eye on the flight. They also provide an amenity kit full of goodies, which includes a towelette, tissues, toothbrush and toothpaste, a pen, mints, socks, an eyemask and Burt’s Bees lip balm and hand lotion, all of which comes in a handy nylon pencil case bag. The seats also feature memory foam mattresses and the motorized function to move backwards and forwards, so you can actually give yourself more legroom or get up close to your laptop for work. There are also extendable tray tables, which interlock two tables together for expansive work space.
In the food department, American also does well with its business class menus. Each flight has a customized menu designed specifically with the destination in mind, so passengers on board a flight to Tokyo, for example, would be offered the choice between a seasonal traditional Japanese entree or an international gourmet meal. All of the international business class menus are created by American’s Chef’s Conclave, which is a group of internationally-recognized chefs who cater specifically for American’s premium business and first class passengers. The wine list is also extensive, featuring excellent vintages from premium vineyards around the world.
Sadly, it seems American does not offer dedicated business class lounges to all of its business class travelers. You must be a member of the Admiral’s Club to enjoy access to the Admiral’s Club lounges, which offer business amenities along with a bar and restaurant. Meanwhile, American’s fancy Flagship Lounges are only available to full-fare first class passengers.
As an aside, those traveling to London Heathrow on American’s business class can avail of the arrivals lounge, which offers showers, beverages and business services.