01 Apr REVIEW: AMERICAN AIRLINES PREMIUM ECONOMY (MIA-LHR) AND FLAGSHIP/ARRIVALS LOUNGES
Premium economy is a relatively new addition to the American Airlines fleet and I got to experience it on my recent flight from Miami to London Heathrow. I love AA’s business class on the transatlantic routes as I think it’s the most functional (albeit not the most service-pleasant!) option so I was quite eager to see what they have to offer in premium economy. Having just done the same route in premium economy on BA’s old 747, which was far from impressive, I thought that AA would easily beat that. And I was right! Let’s see why:
American Airlines Flagship lounge (MIA)
As a BA Gold/oneworld emerald I had access to AA’s flagship lounge at MIA. AA’s lounges used to be a big NO-NO for most travellers but in the last few years AA has embarked on a renovation spree which has seen most of its international lounges completely transformed. Some of the lounges are still under renovation but thankfully the flagship lounge in Miami finished its renovation a while ago.
The lounge is pretty huge and has a ton of seating space. The space is not exactly ultra-modern and doesn’t have a lot of character but it’s very functional.
There are loungers where you can (theoretically) snooze for a bit
And there’s also a big tv room
There are also private shower rooms that you can request but unfortunately, I didn’t have time to try them out
Food-wise, there’s a main buffet area where you will find lots of cold and hot items
Apparently, there’s also usually a chef (in the far left corner of this picture) who makes fresh Latin-inspired delicacies but when I was there he didn’t make an appearance 🙂
The food variety was pretty good and the quality was not bad either but I definitely wasn’t blown away. Again, pretty functional! There’s a also a Flagship dining restaurant but that’s reserved only for First class customers
There’s also a self-service bar/drinks corner where you can help yourself to some champagne, wine and spirits
Premium Economy on the 777-200
The flight to London was operated by a 777-200 and boarding started right on time. It was actually quite a long walk (at least 10′) from the lounge to the gate so I arrived a bit late.
Premium economy is arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration so if you are travelling solo you should opt for one of the 2-seaters on the sides.
I was quite impressed with the seat, especially after having experienced the “ancient” BA seat on the 747. This felt a lot more modern, cleaner and just all-around sleeker. The was a pillow and a blanket waiting in my seat and I was particularly impressed with the pillow. It was quite long which I don’t ordinarily like but on a plane it really helped with neck support as it covered the entire width of the seat.
There’s a quite a lot of legroom, especially in the front row
and you can also use a footrest
which is controlled via the buttons on the side of the seat. The only disappointing thing is that the seat doesn’t recline that much.
The IFE was very impressive and came with a large screen, lots of entertainment options and even live tv! What a difference compared to the awful IFE on the BA 747!
A nice pair of headphones was provided which I didn’t think were noise-cancelling but definitely above average for premium economy.
All seats come with a multiplug and a USB port! It’s also worth noting that the plane had WiFi which I didn’t test this time but on previous occasions I’ve found quite fast and reliable
And there was also a small amenity kit with the basics
The menu was simple but well executed and you could also pre-select your main. I didn’t have dinner as I wanted to sleep right away but the food looked pretty decent. I tried some of the breakfast and I must admit, I was very pleased, especially given that this was premium economy (you have to put everything into perspective!). The service throughout the flight was very good (shockingly for AA!) and the flight attendants were generally quite jovial.
American Airlines Arrivals lounge
AA operates an arrivals lounge at LHR’s T3 which is open to all First/Business class passengers as well as oneworld emerald members. I decided to stop by and try some of their breakfast as I wasn’t really in a hurry to get home.
The lounge is located after you exit T3 (after customs) and it’s open until 2.30pm
It’s not very big but is’s a nice space overall. There are quite a few “throne-type” chairs where you can work from
There’s also an office-like space
In the same area, you will also find the restaurant/eating area
There’s a pretty extensive buffet
As well as an a-la-carte menu that you can order from
I tried the poached eggs on avo toast and they were delicious!
You can also refresh in one of the private shower rooms which were very impressive
From start to finish, I was very pleased with the overall experience on AA. The lounge in Miami was spacious and ultra-functional without though being memorable. The premium economy experience was the highlight and I would definitely try it again in the future. I would imagine it’d be ideal on a day flight from Europe to the US. The arrivals lounge in LHR was a nice, final touch to the trip and would recommend it as a quick stop before you start your day in London. Good job American Airlines!