Time for something you’ve all probably not missed – it’s time for a snapshot, this time examining the passenger experience aboard American Airlines 87 between London Heathrow and Chicago
In case you’ve forgotten how we do travel write-ups on Economy Class and Beyond, I have two major travel writing styles:
- Trip Reports – These are full deep-dive reports taking you into the experience and the small things… as well as the big things!
- Snapshots – These are bite-sized reviews that show you the basic product in some nice gentle headlines (and normally, only images shot on the phone).
Today, we’re on the Snapshot. The full in-depth review is very near completion.
Check-in was a multistage process, with the VeriFLY requirements needing to be met first. For the USA, this included
- Passenger Assertation Form (completed in-app)
- Covid Vaccination 3D-barcode
- Pre-departure test.
Once these were validated by VeriFLY, I could proceed to check-in and generate a boarding pass.
At Heathrow, check-in was either at Zone D (for economy/no status passengers) or Zone C (for premium and status passengers).
At the check-in desk, my baggage was accepted for travel and a boarding pass was issued.
General security at Terminal 3 was busy enough. With the ticket and status I had, I was allowed to use the FastTrack lanes. This sped up security from tens of minutes to under 3 minutes.
The public area has changed very little, with some shops changing around – notably Dixons has left, with another travel technology vendor in its place.
I decided on the Cathay Pacific lounge at Heathrow T3, known both for its views and food. Whilst there were options, exhaustion was high on the menu.
Boarding would be from Gate 42 at Terminal 3. For those who don’t like waking, make time as it’s a good 15-20 minute walk through two satellite hubs to reach the gate.
The process was conducted by groups, with identity checks carried out at the gate.
Today’s aircraft would be an American Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, built out in a three-class layout (business class, premium economy and main cabin (split between Main Cabin Extra and Main Cabin).
In Main Cabin Extra/Main Cabin, the 10-across pain has arrived in full swing. The seat felt a little low for my liking, compared to other iterations of the AA economy seat (or I’ve gained height since lockdown).
The seat I had alas, has no direct window, with one to forward of me.
Whilst I had a 3-4-3 row, the section of my 3 remained empty, allowing me to spread out… or use it as a bed.
IFE aboard this aircraft is provisioned with a Panasonic EX3 IFE system, with a touch interface.
Mr Alice Cooper – Knowledgeable about Milwaukee – The Good Land. And still wants his Frankensiten fed.
Onboard connectivity was provided by Panasonic’s Ku connectivity solution. At
This cost was $35.
Whilst it was pretty fast, the system had a habit of signing out of periods of inactivity, as well as having trouble switching from device to device.
Service on this flight was made up of two witnessed points – a departures meal service and a pre-arrival snack.
The first service was a choice of a pasta dish or a chicken dish (black bean chicken with rice and kidney beans). The deapture snack was given out at the same time.
The second service was a choice of four-cheese or pepperoni folded pizza.
The aircraft landed a good 30 minutes early, even after taking a far-north route. It was docked at Gate M21, requiring a bit of a hike to US immigration and customs.
From landing to ground side, the process took around 40 minutes.
The full trip report featuring American Airlines 87 is coming soon!
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