On July 16, 2014 I embarked on my journey to Hong Kong with American Airlines. I was a media guest to test their new service from Dallas International Airport to Hong Kong International Airport. Opinions and thoughts are my own.
After spending 2 hours and 30 minutes at The American Airlines Admirals Club “D Concourse” it was time to head out to my departure gate D23 which was right next to the lounge.
Departure Gate D23
The agents arrived to the gate rather early with 53 minutes to go until the boarding process, however we began our boarding ahead of schedule because the flight wasn’t completely full. They went on the PA and gave us an announcement that we would start our boarding process roughly 10 minutes early. Finally after 35 minutes – The agents went back on the PA and told us that we would begin the boarding process shortly. Passengers started to gather around the gate and my excitement started to kick in knowing that I am heading back to Hong Kong and flying my favorite aircraft – The Boeing 777-300ER. Shortly after the boarding began, passengers flying First and Business Class were the first ones to board, followed by the rest of the boarding groups. (Group 1,2,3,4).
I quickly settled into my Business Class Seat which was 10A – At my seat, I had a bottle of water, Bose Headphones, Food Menu & The Business Class amenity kit waiting for me.
Business Class Seat
As I was getting things ready for the flight I had a great surprise. One of the Captains from my flight came by my seat to introduce himself and welcome me on board. This was the first time that this has happened to me and I was speechless. Shortly after he invited me into the cockpit to talk travel and show me the beautiful flight deck on the Boeing 777-300ER. Out of all the years I have been flying American Airlines this was my first time being on the flight deck and my adrenaline rapidly increased. Captain Rob shared a few of his favorite destinations and also told me it should be a pleasant and smooth flight with a few bumps and chops over the Pacific as to be expected. I got to meet some of the First Officers as well as they were preparing the aircraft prior to departure.
Captain Rob and myself in the Cockpit
The boarding process ended, the doors of the aircraft were shut and the inflight safety video began to play. Our Taxi into the runway didn’t take longer than 10 minutes – The Captain went on the PA letting us know that we were number one for take off. Our take off roll felt powerful and our climb out was smooth. After 25 minutes, the seatbelt sign went off as we reached our initial cruising altitute. Captain Rob went on the PA welcoming everybody on board and letting us know our flight plan and estimated time of arrival in Hong Kong. The flight time from Dallas To Hong Kong International was 16 hours and 14 minutes from the moment we were airborne to the moment we touched down in Hong Kong.
View as we are leveled on our initial Cruising altitude
The Menu on board from Dallas To Hong Kong reads as follow
After 25 minutes, the cabin crew started their on board service – The Crew working my cabin was simply fantastic. Friendly, attentive and caring and all of them are commuters that now fly the Dallas To Hong Kong route. It was their second time flying this route and shared how much they love Hong Kong after visiting it for the first time. They also shared that this trip can be exhausting and long but once you do it – It gets better every flight. To start I ordered my typical drink Ginger Ale and of course having American Airlines signature hot nuts with 15 hours and 20 minutes to go until arrival.
American Airlines pre-meal snack
After having my hot nuts for a snack prior to my meal – Meal service began with the popular Asia starter, which is the Seared Ahi Tuna – one of my favorites. I’ve had this starter before from my LAX-PVG flight and LAX-NRT and I can’t get enough of it. Very tasty and the salad tasted better than ever, very fresh with a tasty dressing.
Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian slaw and Wasabi Sauce
Shortly after – I decided to go ahead and order the Pasta Duo Tortellini with pesto Alfredo and florentine manicotti with Mediterranean sauce – which also was very good. The sauce was moderate and not overflowing my plate, If you are flying American and have this dish as one of your meals, I highly recommend it.
Pasta Duo Tortellini considered inflight Dinner
Last but not least for dinner. The dessert cart came around the cabin and I ordered my simple sundae just the way I like it. Hot chocolate syrup and pecans. This is another American Airlines signature dish and one of my favorites. Keep in mind there is a large variety of options available as far as toppings goes and you can select all of them if you would like.
American Airlines on board Sundae
After dinner service was done – I decided to get comfortable into my pj’s and attempt of getting a few hours of sleep. We concluded dinner with 13 hours and 20 minutes to go until arrival. Overall dinner was delicious and the service on board was excellent. The cabin crew made multiple rounds to refill the drinks and asking if I needed anything else. Their attention to detail was top notch and the smiling faces of the crew and the great service was making the flight very pleasant. I was yet not tired at all, so I decided to play with the in flight entertainment screen and pressed the Air show to see where we were flying over.
Current Position at the time – Air show
With 11 hours to go until arrival – It was time to force myself to sleep and I prepared my bed in the sky. The Business Class cabin on the 777-300ER is one of my favorites. The seat has the fully lie flat feature. Your pillow and blanket will be on your seat. Within your seat will find three different lights (Mood lighting, reading light and overhead lamps). Prior to sleeping I set up my cabin seat with mood lighting – The flight attendant came around and dropped me off a bottle of water as well.
Business Class seat – 10A in bed position
I was successful on catching 4 hours of sleep – The flight was going smooth and I was enjoying the ride. After waking up from my first sleep I got up to walk around the cabin to stretch and use the restroom. I was able to exchange a few words with the flight attendants as well and notified me that there will be a meal coming shortly – I didn’t want to skip the meal so I waited for the service to begin.
Current position after waking up with 8 hours to go as we cross the Pacific
Shortly after – I prepared my seat for the meal service and inflight snack. There were 2 choices to select from (Char Siu Duck or Pastrami Sandwich). I went ahead and selected the Pastrami Sandwhich.
Inflight Snack – Pastrami Sandwhich with kale and broccoli slaw and for dessert there was fresh fruit
After finishing my snack – I went ahead to get some work done and catch up on some emails. The Wifi connection on board was simply incredible. The connection was fast, efficient and with zero interruptions. I was able to use all of my social medias with zero problem and access my emails. Texting my family at 33 thousand feet in the air over the pacific and getting instant responses was surreal to experience. We crossed the pacific and we were deadheading towards Asia.
International Wifi Connection Fee – I selected the $19 for the duration of the flight which I find it to be a good deal.
Air show deadheading towards Asia with 6 hours to go until arrival
I was not going to sleep anymore for what was left of the flight and continued to use the internet on board while also listening to the radio station called “Chill” via American Airlines in flight entertainment. If you are wanting to relax and listen to some good tunes – I recommend that radio station. Shortly after getting some work done, I went ahead to check out the walk-up bar on board which was one of my favorite features on board the 777-300ER.
Walk-up bar on American Airlines 777-300 – Dallas To Hong Kong.
- Sodas, Water and Wine.
- Fruits (Bananas, Apples)
- Lemon Cheesecakes (They were delicious)
- Chicken Wraps & Sandwiches.
- Cheese and fruit platter mix (also very good).
Air Show visual over Asia
With 3 hours and 49 minutes to go until arrival in Hong Kong the exhaustion kicked in slowly so I decided to get 2 more hours sleep before the pre-arrival meal. I was able to sleep for those 2 hours with zero problems and the cabin crew woke me up to have the pre-arrival meal. One thing I really liked about the cabin crew is that they were constantly aware of their passengers to make sure everything is ok and they have everything they need. The cabin crew asked me if I wanted to eat prior to arrival and I kindly replied “Of course, you all can wake me up when the service begins.” you can do the same thing or kindly let them know to wake you up before landing if you desire to sleep throughout the pre-arrival meal service. I woke up with 1 hour and 20 minutes to go until arrival as we were flying over Taipei.
The View from The Wing as we fly over Taipei
Pre-Arrival Meal with 1 hour 20 minutes to go until arrival
The pre-arrival meal service began and I decided to select the Dim Sums which comes with noodles and a salad – this was considered brunch on the menu. For dessert I ordered the black forest mouse mousse cake, it was my first time having that dessert on board so I didn’t want to skip it. Everything about this meal was very good and tasty, the dim sums were pretty good and felt like I was already in Hong Kong by the taste of it. The Salad was great but nothing fancy or extravagant and last but not least, the dessert had to be my favorite thing of the meal – It was delicious!!!!
Business Class cabin Mood lighting prior to landing – Beautiful.
With 30 Minutes to go until landing – The first officer came on the PA to let us know we are going to begin our descent into Hong Kong and letting us know the weather conditions and our estimated time of arrival into the gate. He kept the announcement brief and straight to the point and thanked us for spending the day with him as he flew us for 16 hours from Dallas to Hong Kong. My first time visiting Hong Kong I had a night time arrival, so this time around I was glued to the window to see the beauty of Hong Kong from the plane during day time.
Arrival Into Hong Kong & Taxiing to the Gate
Once deplaning the aircraft – I made my way towards customs and immigrations. The process didn’t take longer than 10 minutes. Something I really like about arriving in Hong Kong is how fast/efficient they are. You will be surprised how fast the line moves and how quickly the immigration process is upon arrival. Once you are clear – you will be able to make your way into baggage claim. I normally don’t check a bag but for this trip I was required a variety of clothes and the weather seemed to be off and on, so better safe than sorry, I ended checking my bag and it came out right away.
Baggage Claim – Hong Kong International
Shortly after collecting my bag – My driver was waiting for me to take me to my hotel The JW Marriott Hong Kong.
Bottom Line and thoughts from the trip:
- The Journey from Dallas to Hong Kong was simply incredible. First thing first, the service from the crew was incredible, they were all seniors and have been working years with American Airlines, it showed that they love their jobs and truly focusing on making the passengers feel just at home.
- The food on board and walk up bar food were delightful. I have zero complaints about the food and normally I would point out things they need to fix or improve as far as meals, but everything that I had on board was beyond fresh, rich on flavor and seemed to be done just right. All of the meals I had were perfect and just to my liking. I pre-ordered the meals via American Airlines and had made several requests and they were all met to meet my needs and wants.
- The inflight entertainment on board was phenomenal as usual. It is very similar if not identical to the A321T that I fly quite often from LAX to JFK and everything it offers is top notch. New movies, Radio stations, In flight air show and much more. It did not freeze once and it got the job done throughout the flight.
- The Business Class amenity kit was standard and nothing fancy, I have hundreds of those and thats something I would like to see American Airlines upgrade, maybe something similar to their First Class amenity kit? That would be a nice upgrade. I know they are improving their amenity kits on international routes so I am looking forward to the upgrade on my upcoming flight to London Heathrow from Los Angeles.
- Business Class cabin overall thoughts, the cabin was spectacular and always a pleasure to fly it. Keep in mind there is many great options within the cabin. Theres the “Mini cabin” which is more private and there is also the “Main cabin Business Class” which is not as private and secluded as the mini cabin. I would recommend 10A the seat I selected because I had no blocked windows and theres nobody seating next to you. Its a personal preference on what you like best, but you won’t be disappointed.
- The lie flat feature in Business Class is very comfortable and spacious, the little I slept throughout the flight I was very comfortable – I am a side sleeper so I slept just like If I was in my own bed at home.
- For those taking this flight in the near future – Your upgrades will clear with no problems. For Executive Platinums just use your VIP / System Wide Upgrades. From what I noticed at the gate, elites were getting their upgrades. But as always things may change so just consult with the agents or send a tweet to the great staff at @AmericanAir
- I have zero complaints from this flight because overall, it was one of the best flights I have taken this year and I have flown well over 100k miles this year and 90% of those have been International.
Will you be flying this route anytime soon? If so, when?
On my upcoming blog – I will share my arrival into the JW Marriott Hong Kong and discuss my thoughts and first impression of my room and amenities of the hotel/room.