Route: GRU – LAX
Date: August 11 2016
Flight No. AA216
Departure Time: 10:30pm GMT-3
Duration: 12hr 30min
This flight was our leg home after visiting Brazil during the 2016 Olympic games. Granted we did not do a lot of Olympic related things. We did watch a lot of Olympic matches on TV. Other than watching news, there were limited english tv options in Sao Paulo.
We left the Grand Hyatt 4 hours before our flight, and it proved to be a good decision. The drive to the airport took over an hour. During the ride, I was struck by how similar Brazil is to Nigeria. In the middle to traffic, people were selling any sort of items you needed, water, snacks, etc. It is similar to a mobile connivence store, but on the road. It is very sad, but glad that at least they are striving for better lives, mostly sad. Towards the end of the hour drive, I used Google Translate to inform him which terminal we were departing from. We said our Obrigado (Thanks) and Chaos (Goodbye) and headed into the airport. The airport was large and full of action. American Airlines had a seperate line for first/business class passengers and we were issued boarding passes for the Sao Paulo and Los Angeles legs of the journey to New York.
We left the lounge to start boarding, I was very tipsy and very very excited. I’ve always wanted to fly on a 787 dreamliner and now here was my chance. The plane had a new feel to it, I believe it was just a few months into its service.
Prior to boarding I snapped a few pictures of some American Airlines planes.
Lining up for boarding GRU international airport
Once on the aircraft, we settled into our seats. We chose seats seats 7L and 7H.
We thought that the fact that the seats were in the mini business cabin would offer more privacy. Boy did we make a mistake. As you can see in the image above, the mini business cabin is located right in front of economy. This caused 2 issues, economy passengers filed pass you as they walked to their seats. One lady even remarked “Wow! This is nice!” I feel uncomfortable whenever I am getting something others aren’t. Granted this did not cause me to offer up my seat. The second and more real issue is that there was a baby who cried for most of the first half of the flight. Thank God for noise canceling headset. I commiserate with the child’s parents.
After boarding one of the flight attendants came and offered to hang up the hoodie I was hanging in my suite in the plane’s closet. I said no thank you. I was not used to that level of service. I explored the seats, in particular the electronic window shades. In a 787 there are no window blinds, you press a button and the windows develop an electronic tint and the idea is that outside light will be blocked. Great concept, but it still let in a fair bit of light. I played with the buttons for 5 minutes. Each window facing business class seat has 2 windows, and there are 2 shade controls near each window. Unfortunately, both windows must be dimmed or undimmed you cannot have alternate dim levels for each window.
The seat looked a bit narrow, especially when compared to the reverse herringbone seats on AA’s 777W. I liked the touch screen remote, you can multi task with them. Movie on big screen and flight map on remote screen. Very cool.
I changed into my flying shorts (it gets too hot on the plane sometimes and shorts are cooler) right before push back. I continued to explore the seat, see pictures below.
Business class passengers also get Bose noise canceling head phones, these were a life saver due to the crying child behind us.
After take off, dinner was served. The dinner was not really tasty, it was well presented but did not taste great. The dinner was nothing special.
I walked around the cabin a bit. The 787 had high walls and was very spacious.
I found the breakfast to be much better, I had sliced fruits and eggs, I did not care much for the salsa. I’m guessing that they were going for some type of Tex-Mex breakfast. In comparison to the dinner this was much better.
Soon after breakfast, we began our decent into Los Angeles. We were greated with great views during landing.
|Airline Review Scores: 3.1/5 – AA’s business class is a solid way to fly. The food is a major disappointment and keeps it from competing favorably with other airlines. If AA fixes the food situation,and repairs the seat this would be a much more competitive product.|
|Seat & Bed||2.5/5||Despite the lack of storage, the seat was comfortable and spacious. The middle seats are notorious for shaking the other passenger when the other seat is being adjusted.|
|Entertainment||4/5||Great selection, I got to watch a movie in French. The system even lets you multi task. Touch screen remote and noise canceling headset is a winning combo.|
|Bathroom||3/5||Clean bathroom, good size. It had a window (which could be closed). Nothing amazing.|
|Amenity Kit||4/5||American Airlines recently updated their amenity kit. It included a pen, which was a nice touch. Overall. Nothing spectacular, no slippers.|
|Food & Drink||2/5||Dinner was mediocre, breakfast was much better.|