I was very excited about this flight. I have been accumulating frequent flyer miles with American for years. I had over 100 thousand, so I decided to use some of them. Business class is a great option when you are facing a 14-hour flight, but paying three thousand dollars more is not possible for me. Needless to say, I was thrilled at the idea of taking business class without paying the extra three grand.
I called American to upgrade my ticket and was told that there would be a 700-dollar fee since I booked my ticket on Orbitz and did not pay the ‘full price fare’. I was a little put off by this. It almost seems like false advertising. However, I elected to still take the upgrade since I payed an unusually low price on Orbitz. I had to wait three weeks before I found out that I got the upgrade. I was told that someone would call me to confirm and let me know that they were billing my card for the fee, but no one ever called me. Instead, they charged my card without my knowledge. I didn’t find out about it until I checked the status online after not hearing from them for so long. That was not cool, but I figured I would try to enjoy the flight.
At the airports, we were told that we had access to the Admiral’s Club VIP lounge. They were nice. Great food buffets a lot of drink options and a bar. It was much more preferable than waiting at the gate.
The plane was the new Boeing 777 Dreamliner, which was redesigned and implemented for the 288 and 289 flights about a year ago. It eliminated first class, so there is only economy and business class. Business class seats are great! They fold out into beds. You have a large TV with hundreds of movies, TV shows, music, games, etc. complete with Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones to keep you entertained. The WiFi cost an additional fee too; I was not happy about that, considering that they advertise WiFi but don't tell you about the fee until you are on the plane. The food was not as good as I expected. I tried the steak for dinner. It was not as good as first class on the old planes. It had a strange texture. I also tried the miso sea bass on the return flight, which was better. Overall, I would say the food is average and leaves a lot to be desired for the price. The flight attendants were nice and accommodating, although my wife had a guy that was a little impatient and rude for part of the flight.
The cleanliness of the plane was also a little disconcerting. I had to reach under my seat because I dropped something. I found a lot of crumbs, a nasty, used bandaid, and a sock. That was gross.They do a good job cleaning the parts that you can see, but it seems that they take shortcuts sometimes.
For the money and what you get, I would never pay for a business class ticket. I also would have reservations about paying 700 dollars for an upgrade again. The only clear and decisive advantage is the space. All of the other ‘perks’ like the food, the TV, the VIP lounges, the alcohol just aren’t worth the money. I think that in the future, I’ll use my miles for free flights, rather than upgrades.