Recently on my super trip to the States, I flew with American Airlines for the first time. Having only ever flown long haul with Virgin Atlantic, and once with Thomas Cook, I didn't know what to expect. I have always been an avid Virgin Atlantic flyer, so this was going to be a new experience.
I flew from London Heathrow to LAX, an 11 and a half hour flight. I don't do things by halves! We flew in standard economy.
The check in experience was great; there was self service machines to get your boarding pass and then a separate bag drop which was, again, self service. It was very quick and I cannot complain at all!
The experience at the gate was also pretty good. They called boarding groups somewhat sporadically which didn't seem to make much sense, and they completely brushed over our boarding group so we just got up and got on!
We had pre-booked two sets of two seats at the very rear of the plane. We had great legroom, even though I am short and don't necessarily need it. The seats were wide and extremely comfortable. The seat back entertainment screens seemed very new and wide.
There were two windows for our seats which meant we had a pretty good view. There were blankets and a pillow on our seats when we sat down, and the cabin crew came round later with headphones if you didn't bring your own.
After take off, the cabin crew came round with drinks almost as soon as we were at a decent altitude. Unlike many other airlines, they provided full size cans of coke products. Included was also beer and wine, and spirits were a chargeable extra. They weren't stingy with their portions either; the glasses of wine were massive!
They also brought bags of pretzels and had a snack bar at the very rear of the plane, just behind our seats.
The plane itself was extremely clean and comfortable. There was a large galley area at the very back of the plane which meant people weren't queuing in the aisles for the toilet. The toilet itself was larger than I have seen with any other airline and was again consistently clean.
After another round of drinks, this time a hot drink, it was time for lunch!
It is no secret that airline food isn't gourmet - unless you are lucky enough to be in business class! However, my mind was blown with AA's food. There were really good options, and I was torn between all three. I eventually decided to go fo the BBQ chicken which came with mashed potatoes and green beans. There was also a bottle of water, a side salad, crackers, a bread roll, butter and Laughing Cow cream cheese. For dessert there was an apple crumble cake, which I had two of because my sister didn't want hers. The food was extremely good. The chicken was a full chicken breast with creamy mashed potatoes. The green beans were cooked nicely and the sauce was also pretty good.
Not too long after this, the cabin crew brought tubs of vanilla ice cream. Not a crappy tiny ice lolly, a proper vanilla tub!
The entertainment was brilliant; there was over 100 films to choose from, as well as TV shows, music and games. I spent the first 9 hours of the flight watching films, and the final 2.5 hours looking out the window.
We flew over the Grand Canyon (picture above) and it was a perfectly clear day where you could see for miles. There was a crystal clear view of mountain ranges, dessert and small cities all the time I was looking out the window.
As we came in to land at LAX, we had a great view of the city. The landing was perfectly smooth and we landed ahead of schedule at 13:30 local time.
Overall, American Airlines was amazing. The flight time felt no longer than a flight to Orlando and it was extremely comfortable.
The cabin crew were phenomenal. They were all "older" with over 20 years' experience each which was refreshing to have. They had a very practical uniform rather than the over the top ones you get with other airlines. They were extremely helpful, polite and attentive. At one point I had a drunken woman fall on me and right away a member of the cabin crew was there checking if I was OK and having a word with the other woman who they then refused alcohol to for the remainder of the flight.
The food was really good and had a great variety with constant service of drinks and snacks. The plane itself was in great condition with very comfy seats which didn't give me a numb butt after a few hours which was a massive plus for me.
I would definitely recommend flying with them to anyone!
Finding a bit of pixie dust in every situation.