American Airlines 767 business class is far from their flagship product. It’s downright old. But as they operate the only (almost) daily nonstop between the United States and the capital of Uruguay, beggars can’t be choosers. Other options for our return flight included transiting Buenos Aires, or Rio de Janeiro, or Panama, among others.
But there were other perks of choosing this route. Business award availability is generally excellent. The flight clocks in at just under 5,000 miles, making Asia Miles a great option for the ticket. I used just 45,000 Asia Miles plus about $60 per person. Asia Miles has since increased the cost of a partner award of this length to 50,000 miles. Either way, it’s better deal than the 57,500 American charges using its own currency.
Arrival at Montevideo Carrasco Airport
After spending our final day in South America enjoying Montevideo, I requested an Uber ride to MVD airport from our hotel. The driver was pleasant and provided great conversation in Spanish. He is planning to visit the U.S. in the fall, with hopes to get married and immigrate. I wished him well with this plan.
Montevideo’s airport is small and sleepy for a country capital. I found it very easy to navigate. It’s a beautiful terminal as well.
We’d arrived three hours before departure, and the American Airlines counters were already open. This is the only American Airlines flight to the United States. It’s actually also the only direct link between Montevideo and the U.S.
Montevideo Carrasco has all of eight gates. Eight. It’s that small. Greensboro airport where I’ve flown for work a few times might be just as big.
Our American Airlines business class tickets allowed us to access the Aeropuertos VIP Club. It is quit nice, and the only lounge at MVD. It ended up quite packed prior to our flight. I saw some of the same folks on our flight that were in the lounge, so our flight accounted for many of them.
You can access the Aeropuertos VIP Club using Priority Pass as well, even if you’re not flying business. The only true long-haul flights that serve Montevideo are those to Miami and Madrid. We spent about 2.5 hours in the lounge before heading over to the gate to board.
Boarding and Cabin
We were among the first to board our American Airlines 767 business class cabin. When we left, it seemed like many were dawdling in the lounge, even though boarding had just been announced. Most showed up 5 to 10 minutes later. Everyone entered through the front door, which meant all traffic passed through the business class cabin. There are a total of 28 business class seats in the American Airlines 767 cabin.
We were seated in 4D and 4G, the middle seats in the row, which meant we were together and both had aisle access. Normally, I opt for a window, or multiple windows on the same side if reverse herringbone, but given the 1-2-1 straight layout, being next to each other seemed the better choice.
It was rather cold on our aircraft, something which my daughter commented on immediately. It had been a lovely day in Montevideo, but we both put on our jackets. I know aircraft climate controls can be fickle, and I’ve experienced planes both too cold and too warm. Too cold is definitely the better problem to have.
I did take a look at the other cabins while I had the chance. This was my first time on an American Airlines 767 (and it might be the last!). The premium economy cabin is tiny, featuring only 14 seats.
The economy cabin has the standard 2-3-2 layout for this aircraft type. The last time I flew this aircraft was heading for Beijing with my kids on a Delta 767 in economy class.
Even after taking a minute to grab some photos, there was hardly anyone else in the business class cabin. It would fill to over half full. I’m not surprised American offers a lot of business class award space on this route.
Pre-departure beverages made the rounds once the boarding door was closed. You could select between champagne, orange juice, or water. Of course I took the bubbly. 😉
My daughter got settled in quickly. I’d told her the goal was to board, eat, and then sleep. We’d wake up for breakfast just before we land in Miami. But there needed to be some sort of movie fix. It started immediately.
American Airlines 767 Business Class Seat
The American Airlines 767-300 business class seat is definitely a step down from their flagship product aboard most of their 777s. The cabin is arranged in a staggered 1-2-1 layout, and the footwell of each seat extends underneath the seat in front.
The cubby in front of the seat has the safety card and magazines. As this is a Latin American route, AA offers the Nexos magazine in addition to their standard magazine. I like to practice reading in Spanish. I know it may be silly, since I could do this at any time at home, but I find that the only time I end up doing so is when I’m flying.
To the side of the seat is a small cubby that contained the amenity kit and a bottle of water. I cannot get enough water flying on a 767. My sinuses and hands get so dried out. I definitely noticed an environmental difference flying the 787 for the first time recently.
At the edge of the armrest is the seat control. You can set it to upright, lounge, or lie-flat. You can also adjust different sections independently.
Overall, it’s not a bad seat in upright mode. I was pleasantly surprised with the comfort and space, given that this isn’t exactly a cutting edge business class product. However, it is the sleep mode that leaves a lot to be desired. The American Airlines 767 business class seat is confining. The narrowness of the seat (19.5 inches in width) does not help. I’m just under 5’11” and 150 pounds, and it was hard for me to get comfortable. I cannot imagine paying a lot of money for this if you’re a lot bigger. You’d likely be disappointed.
American Airlines 767 Business Class Service
Our flight took off at 7:53 PM, with an estimated flying time of 8 hours 57 minutes. Service started promptly after takeoff with flight attendants taking dinner orders. They also asked if you wanted to be woken for breakfast service. Directly following that was the hot towel service. I browsed the menu. The dinner options included grilled filet mignon, chicken breast, mero filet, and sweet potato gnocchi.
Here is the beverage list as well.
And the wine list, of course.
Dinner started with nuts and a beverage. I went with the Argentinian Malbec.
All of dinner was served shortly as one tray. There was no coursing. I almost went with the sweet potato gnocchi but changed my mind and went with the beef. The small plate sure didn’t look like poached salmon. 🙂 The food overall was good. Steak a bit overdone, but hey, it’s an airplane (however, I found out that you can get a fantastic steak in the air when I flew China Airlines in May).
Dessert was the roasted pear tart. I think it may have been the food highlight for me.
After dinner it was time for bed. There is not a lot else to say about the flight aside from the fact we tried to get as much as possible. Sleep was broken due to various issues, but by the time I sat up during the middle of breakfast, I felt pretty good.
Breakfast service was where things went slightly downhill. For the record, I’d asked to not be woken up. I figured if I woke up a bit late, it’d still be available. This turned out to not be the case. I asked the flight attendant, and he quickly said they were “packing things up”. Ok, then. We had about an hour until landing, and I can eat fast. I had to settle for an orange juice and coffee.
Yet not three minutes later I saw him pass by and take a tray to the premium economy cabin. What gives? My guess is that he didn’t want to deal with anything out of the normal. I almost flagged the flight attendant down again, but figured I’d get nowhere. The FAs were pretty indifferent on this flight, similar to what we experience on the way to Buenos Aires.
The tablet and headphones were also collected during breakfast service. At least that’s what I understood. Our tablets were gone by the time we went looking for them, and the headphones were collected shortly after I sat up. This, plus no food, made for a rather boring last hour of the flight.
I was surprised to find that the American Airlines 767 business class IFE is solely a Samsung tablet provided for each passenger. Not having in-seat screens on a long-haul flight is a new experience for me. Never mind the fingerprints! It was clean when I started.
The table for the IFE does need to be stowed for takeoff, but you can hold the tablet in your lap and still use it. I had a bit of trouble getting my daughter’s to keep from shutting off, but it eventually worked just fine. The tablets do need to be plugged in to function.
A movie was played on the fixed IFE screens throughout the plane. The last time I remember seeing this was during my flights to Britain in 2008. I mean, seat-back IFE has been the norm for ages now. Until airlines started pulling this in favor of personal device entertainment, at least on short and mid-haul flights.
Other Flight Notes
We touched down in Miami at 4:53 Uruguay time, exactly 9 hours after the wheels left Montevideo Carrasco airport behind. Even after meal service, it’s still enough time to get some decent rest if you can sleep.
Our flight experienced light turbulence for hours which made it hard to sleep. We’d encountered some heading to Buenos Aires, but not like this. It was intermittent, and just enough to jolt me awake when I was starting to drift off. This, plus how cramped I felt in the seat, meant I maybe only got 2-3 real hours.
I chatted with one of the flight attendants who mentioned the aircraft flying this route is slated to be retired sometime in the next two years. Given that it is one of American’s oldest aircraft in the fleet, this makes sense.
There was no WiFi available on the flight. I’m pretty sure American Airlines 767 aircraft offer it, but it as not working this flight. I didn’t care. Sleeping was the goal.
American Airlines 767 Business Class: My Conclusion
Overall, it wasn’t a bad flight, and a much better experience than flying economy or 9 hours through the night. We could have scored the same flight in coach for 22,000 miles per person, so the buy-up to business was fairly substantial. But even though we weren’t as rested as I’d hoped, it was still a nice enough trip. American Airlines 767 business class ranks at the bottom of my business class experiences for sure, mainly due to the dated hard product and indifferent service.