Content of the material
- How I booked American Airlines business class
- Onboard power
- American business class service
- Fares and AAdvantage Awards
- Denver International Airport
- Philadelphia International Airport
- In the air
- Wider seats
- Chef-inspired dining*
- Free entertainment*
- Wi-Fi and power
- Shinola and D.S. & Durga amenity kit**
- Casper sleep set
How I booked American Airlines business class
For our four tickets, I redeemed miles for three and paid cash for one:
- Business class awards from Tampa to Dallas to Maui were available for 45,000 American AAdvantage miles one-way each, which is quite a good deal
- I booked a paid business class ticket for ~$900 one-way for myself, which is quite a good price, and that will earn me lots of elite qualifying and redeemable miles
Most of our planes have AC power outlets and/or USB power ports, and we’re in the process of installing even more access to power on other planes.
American business class service
The crew on this flight was lovely. The flight attendants serving my aisle were informal and genuinely friendly and caring. They quickly responded to all requests, and were even proactive about further service, whether it was another cup of coffee, or a water refill.
While the crew was fairly senior, I was surprised they weren’t more senior, frankly. Dallas is a senior flight attendant base, and I figured with international flying opportunities being fairly limited, that it wouldn’t get much more senior than a Maui trip like this.
Free power poles and dozens of charging stations are part of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s Customer Care Program at LaGuardia Airport. It’s easy to find a place to plug in at LaGuardia and many of the power stations have USB ports, too.
Philadelphia International Airport offers at least 200 charging stations throughout the secure side of all seven terminals. Most of the Airport’s charging stations are identified with “Power Up at PHL” branding (the kite in the logo is a reference to Benjamin Franklin’s experiment with electricity conduction). The charging stations include: cubes consisting of a bench, work table and power outlet; stainless steel stations consisting of a stool, work table and power outlet; power tables consisting of a flat surface with power outlets and USB ports; window mullions consisting of power outlets and USB ports with seating nearby; power outlets mounted on pillars with a work table and seating nearby; and tables in food court areas with power outlets and chairs.
The Airport is installing additional power outlets and USB ports in Terminal A-East and more power tables in Terminal A-West and Terminal F.
In addition to the PHL charging stations, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines offer charging stations in their gate areas (Gates D6, D8, D10, D12, D14, D15 and D16 in Terminal D and E11 to E17 in Terminal E, respectively) and several concessions in the Airport offer power outlets in their establishments.
Charging stations can be found in the following locations:
- Cubes: Terminal A-West (each location has a cube of 4 charging stations with power outlets) at Gates A14, A15, A16, A17, A18, A20, A21, A22, A23-A25 and A24-A26
- Power Tables: Terminal A-West (multiple power outlets and USB ports) across from Gate A18 between Maki of Japan and companion care restroom; across from Gate A17 next to the men’s restroom; and between Gate A15 and the LEGO Liberty Bell. Terminal C near Gate C22. Terminal E at Gate E9. Terminal F near Gate F25 between the men’s restroom and ATM.
- Stainless Steel Charging Stations: Terminal B (multiple power outlets) across from Cibo Bistro near Gate B4. Terminal C near Gate C17 between Burrito Elito and Tech Interaction. Terminal D at Gate D1. Terminal E near Gate E10.
- Charging Outlets on Pillars: on the B/C Connector between InMotion and Johnston & Murphy and between Tumi and Brooks Brothers.
- Window Mullions: on the B/C Connector (multiple Power Outlets and USB Ports) between Starbucks and Vino Volo and Terminal D on the bridge between the concourse and the secure exit.
- Charging Tables: Food Court areas (power outlets); in Terminal E (four tables with six outlets per table); Terminal F (six tables with three outlets per table; three on each side of the food court)
Fares and AAdvantage Awards
For comparison, we researched multiple round-trip flights operated by American in 777-300ERs configured with three premium cabins. Our tickets were 21-day advanced, restricted lowest fare tickets during the peak summer travel period. Premium Economy fares can command a premium over Main Cabin of anywhere from 35% to more than double that. Stepping up from premium economy to business costs three to four times more. Upgrading from business to first costs as little as $708 extra between New York and London to as high as $2,409 between Los Angeles and London.
AAdvantage award travel on the same flights were unavailable at the lower MileSAAver awards redemptions, so we resorted to the higher redemption level AAnytime Awards. This has become a bigger trend as AA moves to a dynamic award-pricing model. Premium economy award tickets must be booked using a special desktop tool at AA.com.
Although American offers the ability to use miles to upgrade cabin classes when there’s availability, premium economy isn’t available as an upgrade from Main Cabin. For now, upgrades from Main Cabin skip premium economy and clear in business class.
Over the years, my experiences have been mostly positive, despite mixed reviews about AA’s flight attendants. Cabin crew can make or break a flight. Flight attendants are able to provide more personalized service when they have fewer passengers to look after.
One of the key measurements is the cabin-crew-to-passenger ratio. Flight attendants are able to provide more personalized service when they have fewer passengers to look after.
For instance, in American Flagship First on a 777-300ER, two flight attendants are dedicated to eight passengers: one in the cabin and one in the galley. This results in a ratio of 1:4.
This ratio more than doubles for AA Flagship Business. For example, in Flagship Business on an AA 777-200ER, there are four flight attendants dedicated solely to the 37-seat cabin, resulting in a 1:9 ratio of flight attendants to passengers.
Although it is marketed as a premium product, AA’s premium economy does not have dedicated flight attendants. Instead, the flight attendants are shared with the Main Cabin and Main Cabin Extra. This results in a single-course, trolley-based service that’s not much more “premium” than in the main cabin.
Denver International Airport
There were plugs everywhere at this airport’s four concourses. There are also battery charging stations with high stools that offered plenty of seating and space to charge electronic devices before boarding a flight.
Philadelphia International Airport
It’s easy to find the power outlets in this airport because of the Power Up at PHL branding. You can find outlets in food courts and restaurants, and airlines also offer their own branded outlets including Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue.
In the air
More legroom and wider, adjustable leather seats with extendable foot and head rests.
Chef-inspired meal with complimentary beer, wine and spirits.*
*On flights with full drink service. The number of drinks served may be limited.
Free entertainment* Free, personal on-demand entertainment with larger monitors and noise-reducing headphones. Inflight entertainment Wi-Fi and power Never miss a beat while you’re on board with Wi-Fi. Plus, every seat includes power outlets and USB ports. Wi-Fi and connectivity
Shinola and D.S. & Durga amenity kit**
Get comfortable with travel essentials from leading design and lifestyle brands Shinola and D.S. & Durga.
Casper sleep set
We’ve got comfort covered with a pillow and blanket created alongside sleep technology company Casper exclusively for us.
**Only available on international flights
- Business programs
- Gift cards , Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.
- American Airlines credit card
- Trip insurance