Heading out to Los Angeles for a 5 day business trip with a tight connection in Philadelphia it seemed prudent to start off by trying the pre-clearance facility at Dublin Airport.
This allows you to arrive in the US as a domestic passenger and no further security or officials to see – very handy if like myself you prefer to have a few drinks on-board the aircraft and always seem to find the immigration procedure troublesome.
I would say arrive from your Airline lounge no earlier than an hour before your flight to the preclearance if you are in the premium cabins, as it took me 5-8 minutes to clear through and after you’ve done it there is no lounge just a few coffee shops and general seating.
Today I would be flying on a ex US Airways A330 – newly painted in AA livery. I had been looking forward to it as the last time I had flown on this aircraft it had the old recliner Envoy seats not the cabin of 20 well appointed sleeper suites I would find on-board today.
I find this an impressive offering as a business class cabin, the suites are a little older than lets say AA’s new 777, but the fact there are only 20 suites with no First Class on-board makes it feel intimate and a little more special.
Once boarding was complete I had a look at the new amenity kits that AA are offering and I have to say they are pretty good….I used most of it throughout the flight and kept the case for the beach later in the trip.
I looked at the menu for today as I enjoyed my welcome drink (in plastic…urgh AA!).
We took off on time, around ten minutes into the flight we were served warm nuts and beverages, Mr sweet tooth that I am I chose disaronno (mainly because BA don’t offer it and it is smooth as silk!)
I checked out the IFE and was very happy to see some Bond films on the flight…7 no less 🙂
The cabin crew had been busy as I was browsing the 007 selection and it was time for some food. I chose the melon & Parma ham to start, followed by braised Beef cheek. Pretty tasty actually and the portion of the Beef was HUGE.
After that meal I had only enough room for the sundae…
Around an hour after eating I decided to get some sleep. The seat reclines to fully flat bed and is very comfortable. Good width and my feet didn’t feel squashed in either. One of the best I’ve slept in. Managed to get 3 hrs on a day flight….it must of been good.
When I woke up I asked for an espresso – but for my money it was too big…my eyes widened, so I followed it up with more nuts & Disaronno.
Around an hour and twenty minutes before arrival we were offered a light meal. Today was Croque monsieur, very good it was too and the salad was super tasty and fresh.
As we were on approach to Philadelphia I saw a Chinook helicopter taking off….cool machine…would love to fly in one of those someday.
All in all a great flight offering from American, great crew – so pleasant and polite, good food and fantastic equipment. Now off to the Admirals Club for another adventure.