For our most recent trip to Europe, my wife and I experienced American Airlines Flight 206 from Miami to Milan in Business Class on their Boeing 767-300 aircraft.
Our experience on this flight is just one of many interesting ones that occurred during our last trip, Milan & London, for a New Year in Europe!
Like our experience with the WILDLY INEFFICIENT AMERICAN AIRLINES CHECKED BAG POLICY… And some aditional posts from this trip still to come…
But for now, lets stick to the experience at hand… AA 767-300 Business Class
The Decision & Booking
Why Milan and why did we choose this flight in particular?
Simple answer, really. We wanted to be in Europe for the New Year, we had AAdvantage miles to spend, and we NEEDED preferred Business Class!
Award availability was scarce all around our peak travel date: the day after Christmas, December 26th. After searching the BA website (my preferred oneworld award search tool) for each and every flight to Europe originating in the East Coast USA, I managed to find us 2 Business Class awards from Miami to Milan (MXP)! 57,500 AAdvantage miles and a few dollars later, we each had a Business Class ticket to Milan!
We have never been to Milan and we were excited to experience Northern Italy. Plus, it is a great jumping off point for other cities, given the 3 international airports wishing 1 hour of the city center!
Note: Strangely, when I searched today I was not able to find even one Business Class seat at the Saver level on this route through the end of the schedule…
The Pre-Flight Experience
I have covered in detail the silliness that happened during our connection from Tampa. Long story short: we were delayed, meaning a tight connection and no time to see the MIA Centurion Lounge!
By the time we arrived at the gate 20 before prior to the boarding close, there was not a passenger in sight as everyone had already boarded. We came aboard and took our seats 4D & 4G in the completely full Business Class cabin.
The Seat & Configuration
Is it business class? Is it lie-flat? Yes to both? Great! Then I really don’t care much how they are configured, but for the sake of this review I will dive into a bit more detail. The seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration with alternating aisle- facing wide armrests – meaning some seats have a nice buffer between seat and aisle, while others seem to be “one with the aisle”.
Since I was traveling with my wife, I selected the two seats in the middle of the 1-2-1 and offered her 4G as it was equipped with the wide aisle-facing armrest.
AYP Tip – Select even numbered A seats, odd numbered D seats, even numbered G seats, or odd numbered J seats if you want to have some buffer room between you and the aisle!
Once in our seats, I quickly located the seat controls, started messing around, and put the seat’s lie-flat claim name to the test.
There were 2 things I really did not like about the seat (which have been mentioned in a few other reviews I read):
- The tray tables make absolutely no sense. First, there is the tray table in front of you, but that is really intended to hold your personal entertainment device (more on that later). In addition, there is a foldable tray table in the arm rest that is impossible to maneuver. It requires a perfect mix of gentle angling and brute strength which I apparently do not possess (but my wife does?!)
- The foothold is a wee bit small. I stored only my size 10.5 sneakers in the little foothold yet still had issues when it came time to fully recline.
The In-Flight Entertainment
While we are on the subject of preferring the AA 777, let’s talk about in-flight entertainment. The AA 767 does NOT feature in-seat video screens… bummer. You DO get access to TV and movies though, accessible via a personal entertainment device and Bose noise-cancelling headphones, passed out by the flight staff post take-off.
From the time of lift-off to the time of the personal entertainment device & Bose headphones in my possession = 8 minutes! A bit annoying as I would have preferred the convenience of in-seat entertainment, but it’s not a deal breaker…
What is more bothersome is the abrupt collection of such entertainment devices. I watched 2 movies on my device then set it aside to get some rest. Around the time I closed my eyes, I could hear an attendant collect my device & headphones. AA seemed very paranoid that their devices would fall prey to sticky fingers, and I guess I can’t blame them, as I am sure they have been burned many times before!
When I awoke with 2 hours left in the flight I had no entertainment device and didn’t want to be a bother and re-request, so I ended up alone with my thoughts for a while…
I love amenity kits. I am pretty easy to please in this department. Take a nice designer toiletries bag and stick a mini toothbrush in it and I’m all set. AA did not disappoint.
The Cole Haan kit had much more than just a little toothbrush and featured C.O. Bigelow travel essentials, a mask + socks combo, and more:
The Food and Drank
Following the receipt of our individual portable entertainment devices, the crew began the meal service. I was famished – a state I frequently find myself in… well that, and stuffed to the brim. It’s really one or the other with no happy medium, but less about me and more about the meal service!
Water bottle? Check. Warm nuts? Check. Champagne? Check.
With the basics out of the way, let’s get down to the real meat and potatoes (or in my case, meat and rice)!
The Small Plate:
To begin the meal, each passenger was presented a Quinoa Mango Pepper Salad Timbale, a Super Grain Salad and a bread selection of his/her choosing.
The Main Plate:
A few days prior to our flight, I noticed it was possible to select your meal preference for the flight, but I didn’t bother. None of the options looked so appetizing that I feared they would be gobbled up (literally) prior to my selection. I considered the chicken dish, but when it came time I went with the Korean Braised Short Ribs – which did not disappoint!
I’ve been on this planet we call Earth for 27 years now. Over those years I have faced thousands of dessert selections. Not once have I ever opted for fruit over ice cream.
The streak continues – thank you Ben and thank you Jerry…
I was tempted by the wide selection of alcoholic beverages. However, I kept it to my original selection of Castelnau Brut reserve NV Champagne, plus one, or two or three (who’s counting?) of the St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon.
Flight Attendant: “Would you like to be woken up for breakfast?”
Me: OF COURSE! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day…
Eggs, sausage, potatoes, fruit, juice and coffee – though the breakfast selection was simple, it did the trick!
For more on the food and drink selection, check out the full Business Class menu below:
The Flying Experience
I’m not sure what the deal was over the Atlantic that night, but the turbulence was pretty terrible. So terrible that a deep sleeper like myself had trouble staying asleep. I realize that turbulence is just a part of flying but DANG – I’m sleepin’ here!
Other than turbulence, at the flight was comfortable and our flight attendants took care of us.
Would I fly this route again on the 767-300? Gladly. It was an overall pretty good experience. Plus – it took us to the beautiful city that is Milan!
There are a few things that I would change about the American Airlines 767-300 Business Class product. Like the in-flight entertainment and that dang tray table – but for the most part I was content with my flight experience. Given some additional AA availability around my travel dates, I would have loved to ride in a 777 with the reverse herringbone configuration, but maybe next time!
Have you ever experienced American Airlines 767-300 Business Class product? What’d you think!?