The second leg of my outbound to Europe was in Business class on American Airlines’s newly retrofitted 767-300s. It’s a two-class plane (i.e. no First class), with eight rows of seats in a 1-2-1, staggered configuration. Basically, this results in all the seats being forward-facing, with cut outs for your seat in the ottoman of the seat in front of you. My seat looked something like this:
Well, it looked exactly like that. I was seated in 4A, which is a window seat on the left aisle. This gave a really private feeling, as there was a table between me and the aisle which minimized disruption as the flight attendants walked up and down the aisle.
Pre-departure service included sparkling wine (yay!), which I gladly imbibed
because I needed to fall asleep as soon as meal service ended, and wine makes me very sleepy. Similarly to my previous transcon, First class flight, every passenger got an amenity kit and pair of Bose headphones for use during the flight.
After takeoff, the flight attendants came around with warm nuts and a selection of drinks. I had my glass topped off and eagerly awaited meal service, for which I had ordered the pecan-crusted tilapia as my main course. Before that arrived, however, I got my appetizer, which included a delicious (like, would order from a restaurant) beet-quinoa salad with glazed balsamic dressing. I also got my first (but hopefully not last) world-famous AA pretzel roll, which totally didn’t fit with what I was eating but was nonetheless delicious.
After I finished my salad, I had my plate replaced with my main course, which, to be generous, was passable. It certainly tasted like fish, but the pecan-crusting was lost in a sea of butter, and the vegetables on the side were lifeless and pale. Ah well, can’t have it all. I got another glass of champagne to ease my sorrows.
For dessert, I got a cup of chocolate ice cream, of which I had two scoops before
the alcohol kicked in deciding that I wanted to get some shut-eye. I converted my seat to its lie-flat position and promptly fell asleep.
My one complaint about the seat is one that others have noted, which is that because of how small the foot cubby is, your feet actually get really hot during the flight. That actually woke me up for good about four hours later from what was otherwise a pretty solid chunk of sleep. I recognize that I’m just quibbling here, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Breakfast was done ad-hoc as passengers woke up. I had a fruit salad with yogurt and a cinnamon pastry. The man next to me had the omelette, which looked fairly good all told, but I’m not really one for eggs on a plane (and besides, my stomach was still on Pacific time, so it wasn’t really in the mood for anything too heavy).
And then there was sunrise. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves:
Oh right, and the Alps were also pretty damn beautiful:
And before I knew it, the flight was over. It was a pretty good length — 8 hours — just long enough for a solid slumber but short enough so as not to feel endless, and I would definitely take it if given the chance again. Thankfully, American flies this plane on a number of routes from the East Coast to Europe, so I’m sure that chance will come up again.