Crossing the Pond the AAmerican Way: AA Business

Jarang sekali saya mendengar ‘terbang dengan maskapai Amerika’ dan ‘servis yang memuaskan’ dalam satu kalimat, kecuali kalau kalimat itu berakhir negatif. Setelah woro-wiri menjelajahi pelosok Amerika dan mencicipi beberapa penerbangan internasional dari/ke US, saya bisa dengan yakin menyatakan bahwa konotasi tersebut adalah benar adanya. Sangat disayangkan maskapai-maskapai negeri paman Sam kurang mengutamakan kualitas pelayanan di udara (yes, i know you say your flight attendants are primarily there for the passenger’s safety, but still…), di saat mereka menginvestasikan banyak sumber daya untuk memperbarui produk mereka. Kelas bisnis terkini American Airlines di armada Boeing 777-300ER dan 787 mereka adalah salah satu contoh bagus untuk menunjukkan bagaimana maskapai Amerika bisa memberi yang terbaik (hard product) dan terburuk (soft product) di saat yang sama.

The Flight

  • AA106 Business
  • New York (JFK) – London (LHR)
  • 20:50 – 7:50+1 (7h flight time)

AA did a great job in terms of cabin and seat design. The 1-2-1 layout provides direct aisle access from all seats, while the seat itself is fully lie flat and quite comfortable for sleeping. Ports to charge your handheld devices are easily accessible and the side table is wide enough to put books or computers on. The seat also provides good privacy and ample storage so two thumbs up for functionality! (I like the 787 variation more but the 777 seat is not that far behind) Their IFE screen is crystal clear and has a great interactive map view, as well as a decent variety of US tv shows. Plus, we arrived ahead of schedule so from a pure hard product perspective, this is as good as it could get.

20161201_aa_772_nrt-lax

Any of these flights could have made my ‘perfect flight’ list but unfortunately,  they both fall short on the service side. While the cabin crews were not proactively being rude, they were also not proactively treating you as a valued customer. I knew they wouldn’t bite me but at the same time I had the feeling that they were rather left undisturbed after the meal service was done. Speaking of meal, it was quite bland and not what you’d expect from premium cabin offering. In the end I spent most of my time in the cloud sleeping.

Final words

Whatever AA lack in service/soft product, they make it up in the seat. It is far superior from what British Airways/United/Delta/Virgin has with no real difference in pricing. This is a prime example of getting an upgrade just for the sake of sleeping (and maybe access to the lounge shower) so you can hit the ground running once you land.

Singkat kata, jangan lupa menyesuaikan ekspektasi terhadap pelayanan di udara dan dijamin anda akan puas dengan produk yang anda dapat.

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