After almost 24 hours of traveling already, it was finally time for me to board my flight to Europe. I was flying on American in Business Class from JFK to Manchester on an award booking.
The flight was initially delayed for 20 minutes due to a fuel pump issue, but the delay gradually expanded to be 70 minutes. I had left myself a fair amount of time to make my train connection from Manchester to Glasgow, which is where I was ultimately off to to visit friends, but this was going to be cutting it close.
The business class cabin on American Airlines’ Boeing 767-300 is in a 1-2-1 configuration, with all seats having aisle access.
The quirk of the layout is that the seats are staggered, with some seats being closer to the aisle, and some closer to the window (or center of the cabin in the case of the middle seats).
I’d researched this beforehand and found that the even numbered rows resulted in single seats closer to the window, thus ensuring more privacy, so I had selected 4A.
There was a bottle of water waiting for me, along with the amenity kit. For some reason, there was a light on the seat whose sole purpose seemed to be to illuminated the water bottle.
As usual, I looked at the amenity kit while I waited for boarding to be completed. It was the same as last time (another PSA retro look), with the addition of mouthwash, earplugs, headphone covers, a pen & tissues.
I also browsed through the business class food & drink menus for the flight.
As far as liquor & beer, they were exactly the same as what you’d find on a domestic flight. I’d like to see more airlines invest a tiny bit of effort on improving their liquor & beer selections. It wouldn’t cost much more to have some smaller, higher-quality brands offered. I imagine that even if the brands might normally cost a bit more, they’d be willing to offer a discount to have people sampling their beverages.
I started with the cheese plate, which was exactly the same cheese as what I’d just had in the Flagship Lounge. Which was also similar to the cheese I’d had on my flight the previous day. I get that suppliers are going to be the same, but there must be some way of mixing things up a bit. For my entree, I had the boursin crusted beef filet, which was surprisingly great for an airplane meal. Usually meat can be a bit iffy on a plane, but it was cooked perfectly. Everything was served all at once, which is nice on a fairly short red eye flight.
Then for dessert I had ice cream & my customary glass of port.
The inflight entertainment was accessed through personal Samsung tablets. After watching a mediocre movie (Avengers: Age of Ultron), it was time to try to sleep for a bit, so I set my seat into lie-flat mode.
I dozed a bit, but it was my second straight night of not-great sleep. The flight from New York JFK to Manchester is only about 7 hours, so once you take into account the ascent, descent, and meal service, it doesn’t allow for a full night of sleep.
In the morning, I had breakfast while watching episodes of one of the best shows on TV, Mr. Robot. It’s all over inflight entertainment systems these days, so I highly recommend checking it out.
The service on this flight to Manchester was fantastic. I’ve flown on USAirways Business Class from Philadelphia to Manchester in the past, and the service from the USAirways crews had always been a mixed bag, ranging from decent to outright surly. On this day, the American flight attendants were great. The only slight annoyance is that the Samsung tablets have to be returned with about 25 minutes left in the flight. I understand that they need to make sure they’re all returned before they do all the other preparation to do before landing, so it’s not their fault. I just wish that American had proper inflight entertainment screens that can be watched for the entire flight.
Thanks to our delay departing JFK, I had about a half an hour to taxi to the gate, deplane, get through immigration & customs, and then make it to the Manchester Airport train station.
Any drama about my chances was quickly quashed. Despite being one of the first people to immigration after exiting the plane thanks to being in business class, we unfortunately had arrived just minutes after another flight. I gave up any hope of catching my train, as did the guy behind me, who was in a similar situation.
Thanks to reasonably quick passage through immigration & customs, I ended up making it to the train station 15 minutes after my train to Glasgow had departed. It figures that this was the one time that the British train system ran on time. My ticket was a special airport ticket, which allowed me to rebook onto the next service, but only on direct trains to Glasgow, which meant that I had to wait an hour and 45 minutes before I could finally depart on the final leg of my long initial journey to visit friends.
Read more posts from my trip to Northern Europe:
A trip through Northern Europe & the Baltics – Introduction
American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco SFO review
American Airlines First Class Airbus A321T San Francisco SFO to New York JFK review
A quick layover in New York City from JFK airport
American Airlines Flagship Lounge New York JFK review
American Airlines Business Class Boeing 767-300 New York JFK to Manchester MAN review
Holiday Inn Express Glasgow City Centre Riverside review
Upperdeck Airport Lounge Glasgow GLA review
Aspire Lounge London Heathrow LHR Terminal 5 review
Hotel Skt. Petri Copenhagen, Denmark review
Copenhagen, Denmark – Museums on a rainy day
Copenhagen, Denmark – Nyhavn, Christiania & more
Craft beer in Copenhagen, Denmark – The Mikkeller bars
Aviator Airport Lounge – Copenhagen CPH review
Norwegian Air Economy Class Boeing 737-800 Copenhagen CPH to Riga RIX review
Radi Un Draugi Hotel Riga, Latvia review
Riga, Latvia – Exploring the Old Town
Riga, Latvia – Museums & a tough 20th century
Riga, Latvia – Street markets & food
Craft beer in Riga, Latvia
Lux Express Riga, Latvia to Tallinn, Estonia review
Hotel Bern Tallinn, Estonia review
Tallinn, Estonia – Exploring the views of the Old Town
Tallinn, Estonia – Exploring Patarei Prison
Craft beer in Tallinn, Estonia
Eckero Finlandia ferry Tallinn, Estonia to Helsinki, Finland review
Holiday Inn Helsinki – West Ruoholahti review
Helsinki, Finland – Exploring the food markets & city centre
Helsinki, Finland – Exploring the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
Craft beer in Helsinki, Finland
Finnair Lounge Helsinki HEL non-Schengen review
Finnair Business Class Airbus A321 Helsinki HEL to London Heathrow LHR review
American Airlines Flagship Lounge London Heathrow LHR review
American Airlines First Class Boeing 777-200 London Heathrow LHR to Dallas-Fort Worth DFW review
American Express Centurion Lounge Dallas-Fort Worth DFW review
American Airlines First Class Boeing A321S Dallas-Fort Worth DFW to San Francisco SFO review
Start making your travel plans now!
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