AMERICAN AIRLINES B777-300ER, PREMIUM ECONOMY, LONDON HEATHROW- DALLAS FORT-WORTH
American Airlines has been gradually rolling out its premium economy cabin across its long-haul fleet, and it is now on the majority of its 20 daily flights from London Heathrow as well as flights from Manchester.
The premium economy cabin on this B777-300ER is separated from business class by washrooms (four in total, two of which are for business class passengers and two of which are for premium economy and economy passengers).
The configuration is 2-4-2 with three rows at the sides and four rows in the centre. The configuration is AC – DEGH and JL. Each seat has in seat power both from a traditional plug (EU, US or UK) and a USB power socket. Seat pitch is 38 inches.
The seats are in dark-grey leather and are noticeably more spacious than the seats behind. There is a limited overhead locker space with the over wing doors obviously stopping lockers in those areas and the centre lockers being smaller in capacity than the side ones, but on this flight it wasn’t a problem, despite the cabin being full.
Obviously flight loads differ throughout the year, but on this flight both premium economy and business were full or close to it, while economy was probably only half-full.
The seats to avoid are centre seats E and G. Best seats are the front row seat, particularly those at the doors (16AC and 16LJ), though bear in mind people will end up standing here either to stretch their legs or wait for the washrooms, so they aren’t perhaps the quietest choice.
These washrooms are also used by economy passengers from the front of the main cabin. You can get cold feet by the doors, so keep your shoes on or pack an extra pair of socks.
I was in the back row, so I could recline my seat without worrying about the people behind because of the cabin divider. However, the one problem with this row is that there may be a bassinet in the row behind you.
When we boarded we were told that there had been a problem with the IFE system trying to load new content, and as a result it was not working. This would have been a bitter blow for many, I imagine, but since I was working the main inconvenience was not having the flight maps and also the information about the progress of the flight.
The meal choice included main plates of coconut curry chicken, steamed rice and vegetables or tomato and mozzarella-filled fiorelli pasta, leek sauce, pickled peppers and grana Padano cheese. I chose the latter which was fine without being exciting. I asked if they had any Tabasco sauce but they did not. Dessert was apple crumble, fresh cream with blueberries.
The drinks choice consisted of several different beers, including Sam Adams, or a white wine of Reserve de Sainte-Helene ColombardChardonnay, France and a red of Villa Chavin Reserve Tempranillo Syrah, Spain.
Although this was quite a long flight, it passed fairly quickly. I worked, then read and slept a fair bit. The person on the inside of me was also a heavy sleeper and so didn’t disturb me wanting to get up and go to the washroom, and when I got hungry halfway through the flight, I walked to the back of the aircraft through the main cabin and found some crisps and chocolate bars to eat.
Around 90 minutes before landing there was another meal, which was a Mediterranean salad, tzatziki sauce, sautéed asparagus, roasted aubergine, roasted bell peppers, fusilli pasta, and a dessert of chocolate and salted caramel pudding.
This is a comfortable premium economy seat with all the power you need to work and enough room to sleep for night flights. It’s a shame the IFE and wifi didn’t work, but I probably wouldn’t have used the wifi because generally I find it very frustrating with slow speeds and frequent dropped connections, but I would certainly have enjoyed watching a film or tracking the progress of the flight.
Left: Touchscreen IFE system; Below: B777300ER premium economy seats