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Of American Airlines’ four daily flights between London Heathrow and Dallas Fort Worth, two are currently operated with the Boeing 777-300 aircraft. The remainder are operated with the Boeing 777-200.
A few weeks ago, we reviewed American Airlines London Heathrow – Dallas Fort Worth on its Boeing 777-300 aircraft.
Here’s our review a return flight to London Heathrow on the Boeing 777-200. These aircraft have been retrofitted with a different seat the Boeing 777-300 and there are radical differences.
This flight was a connection at Dallas Fort Worth, so we’re unable to comment on check-in and security, other than that it can appear to be very busy.
Ordinarily, flights to London leave from Terminal D, but this flight departed from Terminal A. From relatively limited experience of flying from Dallas flights can change terminals at short notice. To change terminals, if you are airside there is a shuttle train. If you are landside you can take a shuttle bus.
The nearest lounge was the American Airlines Admirals Club Terminal A. US airline lounges are never going top the charts of most favoured worldwide lounges. But this lounge does have a lot going for it. It’s bright with a good ceiling height, there’s lots of room and seating choices. Not entirely sure of whether it’s solely by virtue of frequent flyer status or also cabin but you should receive chits for two free drinks from the bar. The catering is relatively limited: soups, a borderline meagre selection of salad options, and cookies. It really wouldn’t take much effort to give it a bit more pizzazz. Amusingly, there was a giant dispenser of Coca-Cola.
As is to expected from American, boarding started efficiently 40 minutes before departure.
The layout of the cabin requires an explanation.
This is a three class aircraft, with the business class cabin divided into two. There are 37 business class seats across ten rows in a 1-2-1 configuration, save for row 6 before the galley which has just one seat. All seats have direct aisle access. However, the precise layout alternates by even and odd rows.
On odd rows, the window seats face backwards towards the aisle and the centre seats face forward and inwards.
On even rows, the window seats face forwards towards the window and the centre seats face backwards out towards the aisle.
Here’s a window seat on an odd row facing into the aisle:
Here’s a wide and closer view of a pair of centre seats on an add row each facing the centre of the cabin:
Here’s the view from a window seat facing towards the aisle on an odd row, and to the right of the picture you can see a centre seat on an even row facing into the aisle.
There are a lot permutations of individual preferences according to whether you prefer to face backwards or forwards; enjoy a window view; having your head positioned near to the aisle; and whether you’re travelling with a partner. This is a far cry from the simple window or aisle preference of the Boeing 777-300.
There’s one other thing you can not fail to notice: the sheer abundance of grey.
With the exception of the carpet, almost every fixture and fitting in the cabin is grey! The Boeing 777-200 business class cabin had a similar scheme to this before it was retrofitted. It was overpowering then and it is overpowering now. There are shades of corporate America here. It’s almost as if travelling business class must be seen to be a strictly utilitarian experience.
Let’s turn to the seat itself.
Again, it is very different to the Boeing 777-300 seat.
It is a narrower seat. There is a control panel at shoulder height. There is a smartphone style touchscreen to adjust the seat, as well as separate preset buttons for the upright and fully flat positions. There is also a reading light and controller for the in-flight entertainment system.
The relatively narrow width of the seat is compensated for the fact you have plenty of room to rest your elbows when seated upright.
There is a footstool. This is much smaller than the foot stool on the Boeing 777-300. This leads to practical difficulties. You can’t really use it for storage. Also, when seated upright your feet won’t reach it if you’re of average height. There’s also little room to position your feet when sleeping.
The seat has a small storage unit for personal items. Interestingly, there appears to be no requirement for the TV screen to be stowed for take off and landing.
There are also literature pockets immediately to the left and right hand sides of the seat.
In terms of comfort for sleeping, the seat did feel relatively hard. However, the main issue is the aircraft itself. When you’ve become accustomed to flying overnight on the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787, you forget just how noisy the 777 is. To make the inevitable comparison to BA Club World, whilst this a better seat for a day flight, when laying flat you do have more room at the shoulder and the foot in Club World.
In terms of amenities, bedding, an amenity kit, and noise-cancelling headphones are positioned on your seat before take-off.
Food and Drink
Here’s is the menu:
Poached Shrimp Remoulade
arugula, lemon wedge, New Orleans remoulade sauce
Baby Spinach and Arugula Salad
strawberries, heart of palm
Korean Braised Short Ribs
brown basmati rice, kimchi pickled red cabbage, bulgogi sauce
Red Snapper Tagine
celery and carrot couscous, sautéed vegetables
Buffalo Skillet Chicken
jalapeño cheddar corn cakes, Gorgonzola, golden beet and carrot slaw
Bulgur and Feta Stuffed Portobello Mushroom
roasted golden beets, crumbled fontina, arrabbiata sauce
Traditional Ice Cream Sundae
vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, butterscotch, seasonal berry toppings, whipped cream, pecans
Gourmet Cheese Plate
smoked Gouda, jalapeno Jack, sharp cheddar
Key Lime Tart
Traditional American Breakfast
scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, roasted potatoes, herbed tomato
Fresh Fruit Bowl
granola, Greek yoghurt
Like the Boeing 777-300, there is a self-service bar area, albeit it is smaller. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a night flight it didn’t seem to stocked with much.
To give the crew credit, there were much more engaging than the crew on the outbound flight.
The crew made light work of dispatching the meal service efficiently.
On arrival, it was a quick and painless journey through immigration at Terminal 3.
Luggage was already on the carousel on arrival in the baggage hall. It was then a visit to American’s well appointed arrivals lounge in Terminal 3, which we reviewed last year.
If you are travelling on a route like Dallas, or Los Angeles and New York JFK, where there is a choice of the Boeing 777-200 or 777-300, then the 777-300 is a clear preference by some margin.
You can’t go wrong as far as seat selection is concerned. And it simply feels a bigger and more spacious seat and cabin.
As for American Airlines, whilst it does lack warmth, you can’t fault its overall efficiency.