American Airlines 767 Business Class to Peru
At my high school, it’s required that each senior spends a month completing a service project. Projects sites range from nursing homes to elementary schools. I chose to work at a local nursing home for veterans. Though the majority of seniors worked somewhere in the St. Louis area, a few lucky seniors managed to secure positions at sites elsewhere. International service project sites included Honduras, Peru, and Russia. Two of my closest friends decided to complete their month of service in Lima, Peru at a local YMCA. I had initially hoped to be a part of this service project but due to space at the host house, did not make the cut. However, I still managed to make my way down to Lima.
My friends and I had been communicating for a while about the possibility of me flying down for the weekend to hang out. Finally, we set a date. On the final weekend of our senior project, I jetted down in business class to meet my friends in Lima, Peru. I thought it was only right to completely glance over the fantastic weekend in Lima and the amazing work my classmates are doing across the globe and go right into a review of American Airlines’ 767 in Business Class.
Leave it to me to focus more on the flight down to Lima than on the actual city!
|Cabin of Service/Seat||Business/2A|
On The Ground
My inbound flight from St. Louis arrived a little after ten in the morning. This meant that my layover was going to be a grueling five or so hours. Hoping to shave a few hours off of my layover, I visited one of American’s rebooking desk where I inquired about an earlier flight. I was willing to take LATAM if I had to. Unfortunately, the agent at the rebooking desk informed me that I was on the earliest flight to Lima even if I wanted to make a connection elsewhere. I admitted defeat and made my way to the American Express Centurion Lounge.
For some reason, I thought that because it was mid-morning (typically a slow time for air travel), I’d be one of the only guests in the Centurion Lounge. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. Upon entry into the Centurion Lounge, I spent a good three minutes walking aimlessly in hopes of finding a place to sit. Finally, a single chair opened up and I made myself as comfortable as I could. I spent a total of four-ish hours at the lounge, most of which was spent watching an orange man with tiny hands being sworn into the highest office in the world. After my anxiety about the inauguration had peaked, I enjoyed a snack and a shower. Soon, it was off to the departure gate.
Gate lice, gate lice everywhere. American Airlines flight 972 would depart from gate D31. D31 turned out to be way too small to accommodate every passenger so I spent around twenty minutes sitting on my duffle bag near a trash can was gate lice pushed me closer to the receptacle. Finally, my inner gate lice revealed itself and I spent the better part of boarding, fighting twenty very entitled business class passengers. I guess I was one of those twenty.
Roughly a quarter of the passengers on my flight felt the need to board early so, after twenty minutes of pre-boards, the gate agent finally called business class prompting every passenger to make a b-line for the jetway. Needless to say, this might have been one of the worst displays of boarding I’d ever seen, a title that would be taken by the crowd in Lima boarding my return flight home.
On-Board American Airlines 767 Business Class
Once on board, one of the flight attendants took my jacket. For the most part, the crew was moving around the aircraft preparing for departure. Ten minutes into boarding and business class passengers seated on the opposite aisle were presented with a pre-departure beverage, menu, amenity kit, and immigration form. My aisle was not so lucky. I had to ask a flight attendant for an immigration form. After the flight attendant handed out our immigration forms, she came around with pre-departure beverages, amenity kits, and menus.
Aided by a massive amount of pre-boards, boarding didn’t take long. Unfortunately, the aircraft’s electrical system wasn’t working properly and maintenance was called on board. The flight ended up being delayed for roughly forty minutes while maintenance and the flight crew worked on the electrical system. Fortunately, the electrical system was fine, however, passengers lost the ability to charge devices and use the overhead monitors due to the electrical system failure.
The Boeing 767 taxied out to the runway and forty minutes after scheduled departure time, American Airlines flight 972 was en route to Lima, Peru.
Hot Towels, Warm Nuts, Welcome Beverages
Shortly after takeoff, the crew was in the aisles. Once again, the aisle I was seated in was last to receive service. While those seated on the opposite side of the aircraft enjoyed drinks, nuts, and hot towels, I waited fifteen minutes while the other crew members hung out in the galley.
As always, the hot towel was refreshing. I opted for a Coke with my warm nuts.
After the hot towels were collected, the purser went through the aisle and took meal orders. I ordered what was on the menu, however, the purser was looking for a more straightforward answer. “Ok, I’ll have the beef.” Though I understand there was a language barrier between us, I hate referring to courses in premium cabins by the type of meat/fish served. Fillet Mignon sounds so much more premium than “the beef.”
Thirty or so minutes later, I noticed that the flight crew had yet to hand out the tablets used for in-flight entertainment. American’s Boeing 767s don’t feature built-in in-flight entertainment so tablets are offered in business class in place of a seatback screen. I realized that the flight attendants might not be handing out tablets because of the loss of power in the cabin. Without AC power, flight attendants would be handing out tablets with a very limited supply of power. However, I thought it was worth a try to get a tablet so I got the attention of one of the crew. She said that she wasn’t planning on giving out the tablets or Bose headsets but decided that she’d do so anyway. Tablets and Bose headsets were distributed. Due to the lack of power onboard, I ended up going through two tablets over the course of a five or so hour flight. I go further into detail about the in-flight entertainment onboard below.
Soon after the crew distributed the tablets and Bose headsets, the meal service began. I was surprised to receive a paper menu on such a short international flight. Even more surprising was what was offered on the flight. There were four entrees to pick from for the dinner service and two entrees for the snack service. Dinner would start with an appetizer, then a salad, followed by the main course, and finally, dessert. The snack service was delivered all at once.
Appetizer and Salad: Melon Manchego Carpaccio with Lime
To start off dinner, a light dish consisting of melon manchego carpaccio and an orzo salad was served. I found the carpaccio to be just okay while the orzo salad was fantastic.
Main Course: Tamarind Ginger Filet of Beef
I decided to roll the dice and ordered a steak. On recent flights, the steaks I’ve had were tender and juicy. Of course, my streak would have to come to an end sometime. My streak ended on AA972 to Lima. The steak was very dry and lacked any distinguishing flavor. Luckily, I had a ramekin of ginger sauce to smother the sad excuse for a steak down. The two sides, the rice and brussels sprouts, were equally as underwhelming. Luckily, I had a glass of vino to make the bland main course a bit more enjoyable.
Dessert: Good Ole’ Fashioned Ice Cream Sundae
The subtitle says it all. It was vanilla ice cream, drenched in butterscotch, topped with whipped cream. Of course, it was amazing. Anyway, there goes any weight I had lost in the past week!
I ordered the bruschetta over the chicken sandwich. I was surprised by how fresh and flavorful the tapas was. Additionally, the flatbread was seasoned and hot making for a very authentic bruschetta. A pretty hefty serving of both mozzarella and prosciutto were also offered. Accompanying the bruschetta was a small chocolate Peruvian truffle. The truffle was tasty and melted in my mouth.
Overall, I was surprised by how sizable the meal service on this flight was. Though the flight was only five-ish hours, two meals were served and both were substantial.
American Airlines 767 Business Class Amenities
Another pleasant surprise on this flight was the wide array of amenities. Again, I was really just expecting the traditional meal service offered in North America and pillow with duvet. When the crew came around with American’s Cole Haan amenity kits, tablets, Bose headsets, and offered full in-flight service I was overjoyed.
Duvet and Pillow
American offers the same duvet and pillow in business class across its entire network. Occasionally, this is the same duvet and pillow offered in first class. Sometime at the end of the year, American changed the color of duvet from a light gray to a much darker gray and added their new logo. Other than the cosmetic changes, the duvet is the same. It’s a little thin but still comfortable. The pillow is downright comfortable as it’s generous in size and plush.
American plans to retire their entire fleet on Boeing 767s in the coming years. Because of this, the airline decided to pass on adding in-flight entertainment on retrofitted aircraft. However, American does still offer in-flight entertainment in business class in the form of a tablet. As I mentioned, because the aircraft was experiencing issues with the onboard power outlets, many passengers had to limit their use of the tablets. As for content, American’s tablets tend to have less content than what’s offered on aircraft with built in in-flight entertainment. I watched a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory and Bob’s Burgers, and The Hangover.
Cole Haan Amenity Kit
America offers a pretty standard amenity kit onboard most of its flights. The amenity kit is actually quite nice as it’s designed by Cole Haan. The amenity kit included a dental kit, CO Bigelow toiletries, socks, eyeshades, earplugs, and a pen. For a short(-ish) flight like this one, the amenity kit was more than adequate.
American Airlines 767 Business Class Seat
There are 28 seats in business class. The seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 pattern meaning each passenger has access to the aisles. The seat found on American’s retrofitted 767s are manufactured by Thompson and are found on Delta, Austrian, and Swiss. I’m a pretty big fan of this seat as it allows for access to the aisle, reclines fully flat, and is fairly private.
In order to maximize space and privacy, make sure to select an even numbered row. Since the seats are staggered, even-numbered seats are closer to the windows than odd-numbered seats. This means that even numbered seats feature a console that separates the seat from the aisle adding privacy and making the seat seem more spacious.
The seat is pretty basic in terms of electronics and storage. There is shoe and laptop storage as well as a storage compartment located above your shoulder. Two AC outlets are offered as well as one USB outlet. As I mentioned above, all outlets were inoperable due to issues with the electrical system. Surprisingly, the electronic seat controls still worked even with the power issues. Noteworthy is that the seat control panel isn’t operated by physical buttons which means that if you lean on the control panel by accident, the seat moves. This proved problematic anytime I’d lean over the control panel.
Overall American Airlines 767 Business Class seat found on retrofitted aircraft (which is pretty much all of AA’s 767s) is a great product. It’s a much-welcomed improvement over American’s angled lie-flat 2-2-2 layout found on older 767s.
The crew was obviously based in Lima or at least Miami. I say this because every crew member I interacted with (minus the pilots) was fluent in Spanish and spoke Spanish unless they had to make an announcement over the PA. This made for a bit of a language barrier as I was one of the only non-Spanish speakers seated in Business Class. This language barrier also made many of the interactions I had with the crew seem cold and curt. However, from the interactions I saw among Spanish-speaking passengers and the crew, it appears as if the crew was professional and welcoming.
I was surprised by how substantial the in-flight service was on the this fairly short flight down to Lima. The crew served all dinner courses and even served the light meal. Additionally, the crew made the most out of a bad situation with regards to the lack of onboard power. The crew helped passengers with the in-flight entertainment tablets, ensuring that passengers had access to the most fully charged tablets on the aircraft.
American Airlines offers a fantastic business class product on its Boeing 767s. The newer lie-flat seats with all aisle access are phenomenal and made the flight fly by. Simply put, this flight was a great start to a fantastic weekend in Lima.