AA86 Chicago O’Hare T3 to London Heathrow T3 in American Airlines Main Cabin Extra
A Celebratory Trip to Chicago
- So, Chicago eh. That’s really different.
- Take the National Express, Manchester Airport, British Airways Terraces Lounge
- BA1385 Manchester Airport to London Heathrow
- T5 – Pick a lounge. Any Lounge – British Airways Galleries South, Galleries T5B
- BA295 London Heathrow T5 to Chicago O’Hare International
- The joy of O’Hare and Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Experiments with a Canon 40mm lens
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Using Amazon out of your home country in a pinch
- Back to O’Hare, The New AA Flagship Lounge
- AA86 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow T3
- Terminal change shenanigans, British Airways Galleries North
- BA1386 London Heathrow to Manchester Airport
- Luggage delivery incompetence, last-minute changes, and CrossCountry Trains home
- Why celebrate?
AA86 Chicago O’Hare T3 to London Heathrow T3
American Airlines, Boeing 787-8, Seat 10K – Main Cabin Extra (Economy Class)
3953 Miles flown, 988+1,976 Avios earned, 20 Tier Points Earned
I was warmly welcomed aboard, and headed down to my seat in 10K – past the second bank of business class seats, and just past the first few rows of Main Cabin Extra.
After dumping my luggage in the overhead bin, I shuffled into my seat.
So, we’re aboard a Boeing 787-8 again. And we all know what that means – correct, crammed seats widths thanks to airlines being greedy and shoving 3-3-3 formation down the back of the plane.
There was one bright spot – the middle seat was free for the flight. I must be lucking out or something this trip.
The safety video with the creepy flying apart/coming together safety video played on the Panasonic ex3 IFE screen.
The IFE Screen (like the one I had on the outbound segment) was responsive to touch. There is also USB and mains power at seat – always good to see (but you’ll need to make sure you have an adaptor if you have a British Plug – the socket is slightly recessed, so it doesn’t make electrical contact)
With AA86 on the move, it was time for the plane to taxi around O’Hare.
With our plane reaching an appropriate point on the taxiway, AA86 began its turn for the runway.
The pair of GEnx engines spooled up, and AA86 headed into the sky.
With the plane climbing out of the airport, AA86 made a line that would cross the City of Chicago and over Lake Michigan (as opposed to looping around and up through North Illinois and then Lake Michigan). As a result I got a view of the downtown core before the plane begun crossing Lake Michigan.
With lots of wing.
With Chicago in the distance, I explored the IFE – after the welcome messages played. In the end, I went to my IFE selection of default. Yes – More “The Big Bang Theory”.
With the plane settling down, cabin service begun.
Meanwhile outside, nature was giving its usual awesome display of sunset.
For research and entertainment purposes, I fired up the in-flight Wi-Fi… and then switched it off, as I intended to sleep for this flight.. that and the cost wasn’t what I was prepared to pay.
Whilst $19 is a fair price for a full flight – I intended to be sleeping for this segment after the meal service – therefore I’d get little value from the Wi-Fi
First service followed in due course, with pretzels and cola coming my way.
Meanwhile, I looked around the cabin – and these 787s are starting to show signs of wear. Just check out the state of the window blind button…
I didn’t tire of the Big Bang theory – but I did feel the need to get myself up to date with the world. Thankfully, this plane is equipped with some Live TV channels – and one of them happens to be BBC World.
That’ll do nicely. And yes… It was live.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – there’s nothing like a familiar accent or voice after you’ve been away for a few days. BBC News fills this need quite nicely.
The main meal arrived in short time, with a choice of chicken or pasta. I went for the chicken.
I suppose Chicken in a generic sauce with mashed potato is best description for this. It was fine in terms of taste – if the portion was a little small, but utterly forgettable.
And they offered vodka too. This I can deal with.
With food inside me, and the lights going down, I settled down for some sleep.
With AA86 being a short transatlantic hop, its best to grab what you can in terms of sleep – especially if you intend to hit the ground running.
I woke up in time for the breakfast service, with a drinks service commencing. Perfectly timed.
The cold breakfast box made its way around, with the usual sugar loaded contents awaiting me – so there’s yogurt, a berry/apple mix thing, something grains and a muffin top.
With the cabin in wake-up lighting mode, the charity appeal played. It was time for us to wake up as the plane commenced its decent into London.
With the cabin check completed, the plane went back into darkness.
Outside, there was no sign of daylight. Early October mornings are the beginning of the darkness of winter.
With us being early, of course, we were chucked into a stack… because this is London Heathrow.
Eventually some bright lights of London came into view, with the plane making a river approach through London
With the plane descending through the early morning darkness, AA86 was nearing the of its transatlantic hop, and its destination of London Heathrow Airport
With our plane landing on 27L, our plane made the short taxi from the runway to the Terminal 3 complex.
Although it seems the thing of 787 windows fogging up on landing is also a thing with American Airlines planes as well as Qatar Airways ones.
Soon enough, our plane had found a gate it was happy with. The seat-belt signs were extinguished – marking the end of this flight.
With the signs off, everyone was up, and it was time for the great Heathrow Transfer.
Overall: A solid performance by American Airlines, with the right level of friendless and on-board service for this short evening transatlantic flight. Whilst the seat may be tight, it’s nothing an empty middle seat can’t help fix.
And a lot better than BA on the equivalent leg.
Next: Heathrow Transfer… or where are the shuttle buses?
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