Review: American Airlines 777-200 Business Class To Hawaii

FROM: DFW
TO: OGG
CABIN: Business
DATE: May 2021
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: A great way to fly into Hawaii from the Lower 48 as the seats and bedding were comfortable and the service was friendly.
45

We’re currently vacationing in Hawaii (which requires pre-travel testing), and in this post I wanted to review our flight here. Specifically, we flew American Airlines from Tampa to Dallas to Maui, with the second segment being operated by a Boeing 777-200.

In this post I wanted to review the experience on that 7hr40min flight, both to a give a sense of what service is like on American in the coronavirus era, and also to review American’s 777-200 business class, as I’ve never written about it before. On the return flight I flew United’s 787-9 business class from Maui to Chicago, and you can read that review here.

How I booked American Airlines business class

For our four tickets, I redeemed miles for three and paid cash for one:

  • Business class awards from Tampa to Dallas to Maui were available for 45,000 American AAdvantage miles one-way each, which is quite a good deal
  • I booked a paid business class ticket for ~$900 one-way for myself, which is quite a good price, and that will earn me lots of elite qualifying and redeemable miles

American 777-200 business class layout & seating

American has two types of business class seats on Boeing 777-200s. Some planes still have Zodiac business class seats, while others have Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats.

Our flight from Dallas to Maui was operated by a 777-200 with Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats, which I’d consider to be the better of the two business class seats. Ultimately this is a pretty generic product, which is to say that lots of airlines have these seats. However, I have to say that I find American’s version to be among the sleeker ones out there.

American has 37 business class seats on the 777-200 — there’s a forward cabin with 21 seats, and then a rear cabin with 16 seats. The two cabins are separated by the second set of doors, where there’s also usually a walk-up bar on long haul flights, though nothing is being offered there at the moment.

American Airlines 777-200 business class walk-up bar

I assigned us the four seats in the last row.

American Airlines 777-200 business class cabin


American Airlines 777-200 business class cabin


American Airlines 777-200 business class cabin

I was in seat 10L, the seat in the last row of the cabin on the right side.

American Airlines 777-200 business class seat

I really do like the Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats — they’re functional, and they have plenty of storage, with two compartments along the side of the seat.

American Airlines business class seat storage

The power outlets and entertainment controller are located inside one of the compartments.


American Airlines business class power outlets & entertainment controller

Then the seat can be controlled from a monitor next to these compartments.


American Airlines business class seat controls

The personal entertainment screen is in a fixed position in front of the seat, and underneath that is the tray table. This can be pulled out or pushed in, and when you pull it out far enough you can double the size of it.


American Airlines business class tray table & personal television


American Airlines business class tray table & personal television

The one downside to these seats is that the footwell is on the fairly small side, so when you recline your seat all the way it might feel a bit tight (but not problematically so, in my opinion, at least compared to some other seats).


American Airlines business class seat footwell

I appreciate how American has individual air nozzles on Boeing 777s, since not all airlines do. That really helps to avoid feeling too warm.


American Airlines business class individual air nozzles

For what it’s worth, below is a picture of the premium economy cabin on the 777-200, which is similar to American’s domestic first class.

American Airlines 777-200 premium economy cabin

And since most of us are flying a lot less right now than in the past, here are some wing views from departing Dallas and arriving in Maui — ah, I love flying!

View departing Dallas

View arriving in Maui

American business class food & drinks

Waiting at each seat upon boarding was a printed menu — the front side had the food selection, while the back side had the drink selection. Keep in mind that American still has scaled back service, and for that matter service may never return to how it was pre-coronavirus.

The menu & drink list read as follows:

While there were no pre-departure drinks, each passenger was handed a bottle of water during boarding.

Bottled water in American Airlines business class

About 30 minutes after takeoff carts were rolled down the aisle with drinks and packaged mixed nuts. I ordered some still water and a Diet Coke — all drinks were served in plastic cups.

American Airlines business class drink service

Shortly thereafter the meal service began — meals were all served on a single tray with everything covered, with an appetizer, main course, dessert, and bread roll. Fortunately American Airlines lets you pre-order your main course, so you can be assured that you receive your first choice.

The meal consisted of:

  • A sundried tomato tartar with white balsamic vinaigrette, farro salad, and microgreens
  • For the main course I selected the steamed sea bass with cilantro rice and ginger soy glaze
  • A raspberry cheesecake tart for dessert


American Airlines business class meal service

I am so, so embarrassed by my horrible trip reporting here, as this clearly shows you how rusty I’ve gotten. I took a picture of the meal with all the packaging (to show how it’s presented), then meticulously removed all the packaging to get a picture of the meal without it, and then somehow forgot to take said picture.

I didn’t realize this happened until I later went to retrieve the pictures, only to find I didn’t capture one. If you can find the kindness in your heart to forgive me, please do. Ugh.

Anyway, the meal itself was fine. The sundried tomato tart had a bit of an odd flavor, the sea bass was decent but not really restaurant-quality, the bread roll could have doubled as a weapon based on how hard it was, and the cheesecake tasted exactly like those Philadelphia Cream Cheese cheesecake tarts I would sometimes have a couple of decades ago.

After the meal I had a cup of coffee.


American Airlines business class drink service

A little over two hours before landing, a pre-arrival snack was served. This consisted of two options — a fruit and cheese plate or a protein bowl. The fruit and cheese plate had cheese and grapes, while the protein bowl had a slice of turkey, half of a hardboiled egg, dried apricots, a slice of apple, and some grapes.

Both snacks were served with packaged sea salt flatbread and some packaged chocolate.

American Airlines business class snack service


American Airlines business class snack service

All things considered the food was decent enough, especially given the times. While the main meal was a good size, I will say that I wish the pre-landing snack would have been a bit bigger, given that this flight is longer than a London to New York flight.

American business class bedding

While perhaps not as good as United’s Polaris bedding, American’s Casper bedding is solid. Each business class passenger was offered a blanket and pillow, which made it easy to get comfortable.

American Airlines business class bedding

There were no amenity kits offered on this flight, for what it’s worth.

American 777-200 entertainment & Wi-Fi

American Airlines has a partnership with Bang & Olufsen, and each passenger was offered headphones. While these are objectively pretty good headphones, personally I far prefer the Bose headphones that American used to offer — I don’t find that these have very good noise cancelation. Am I the only one who feels that way?

American Airlines Bang & Olufsen headphones


American Airlines Bang & Olufsen headphones

American Airlines has an excellent entertainment selection on 777s, though the only thing I watched was the moving map, since I took the opportunity to work for most of the flight.

American Airlines entertainment selection


American Airlines entertainment selection


American Airlines moving map


American Airlines moving map

Speaking of getting work done, American’s 777s have Panasonic Wi-Fi, though pricing sure has increased over time. A full flight pass cost $35, while in the past the most expensive pass was somewhere around $20, if I recall correctly. On the plus side, at least speeds were decent (for long haul Wi-Fi) and there were no data caps.

American Airlines 777-200 Wi-Fi pricing

American business class service

The crew on this flight was lovely. The flight attendants serving my aisle were informal and genuinely friendly and caring. They quickly responded to all requests, and were even proactive about further service, whether it was another cup of coffee, or a water refill.

While the crew was fairly senior, I was surprised they weren’t more senior, frankly. Dallas is a senior flight attendant base, and I figured with international flying opportunities being fairly limited, that it wouldn’t get much more senior than a Maui trip like this.

Bottom line

We had an excellent flight on American Airlines from Dallas to Maui. While service has been scaled back significantly, it’s a treat to fly reverse herringbone seats domestically, the bedding was excellent, I was able to get work done, the crew was friendly, and the food was edible.

It’s definitely a sign of the times that this is the first time in 16 months that I flew in a reverse herringbone seat.

If you’ve flown American’s 777-200 business class, what was your experience like?

Conversations (45)
Oldest comments are displayed first.

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Todd

    Lucky, I am glad you liked the service, hey its beats being in coach. Did you see that AA had premium economy fares from FLL-NRT for about $1100 roundtrip. I am hoping Japan is open by January. About a month ago I flew LAXMIASJU roundtrip business class all B777 for about $425 roundtrip, great service and good meals on the transcon

  2. Kinn

    I was lucky enough to start my spring semester of university remotely in South Florida, where I stayed for about a month. On the way home, in February, I took an AA 777-200ER from Miami to Charlotte in Business Class. Service was barebones, as I expected for such a short flight. I do, however, have a question: is Miami Airport more prone to delays than other AA hubs or am I imagining it? My flight...

    I was lucky enough to start my spring semester of university remotely in South Florida, where I stayed for about a month. On the way home, in February, I took an AA 777-200ER from Miami to Charlotte in Business Class. Service was barebones, as I expected for such a short flight. I do, however, have a question: is Miami Airport more prone to delays than other AA hubs or am I imagining it? My flight was delayed by over four hours, and I've had multiple hour-plus long delays at the airport prior to this one. Is it an MIA thing, a 777 thing, an AA thing? Or am I just really unlucky?

  3. Kamaaina

    Good deal for both cash and miles prices for that flight. AA has had some great miles redemption flights available lately.

  4. Jake

    Hi Ben - apparently AA has “better” catering on its DFW - Hawaii routes but not on their other Mainland -Hawaii routes (ORD, CLT...), I wonder how different that experience would have been. My understanding is ORD-HNL gets the same catering as any other domestic route, which is obviously pretty limited right now.

  5. David

    Ben - I hope you are wrong about service never returning to what it was pre-pandemic. One of the joys of flying premium class is the service and in most cases the food quality. If it doesn't come back, I don't see how airlines will be able to charge a premium price for what is essentially an economy service. Following that, with the reduced service in economy, you have the equivalent of Spirit or Southwest, without the attitude from the Big 3.

  6. Tortuga

    It's great to see a new flight review, Ben. Glad to see you got such a good price on those tickets!

  7. Jerry

    Interesting to see that price in wifi. I flew GIG-MIA in March '21 and it was still $19.

  8. Birk

    Flew this plane to OGG from DFW a few months back. Great experience all around.

  9. Andrew

    Lucky, indeed. I'm flying LAX -> HNL in a few weeks and AA has a far inferior a321neo for that business class journey.

  10. Andrew

    David - agreed. It's all the little things that bother me.

    Example: you're in a Starbucks. Self-serve napkins are gone. Because of the pandemic or TP hogging from 12 months ago? I have no idea but it clearly doesn't seem to be coming back.

  11. Eddie

    I was so pissed there was no pic of the real food, but fine, I still love you :P

  12. KS flyer

    I flew on the 772 a few months ago JFK-LAX in 10A. Despite the mild service adjustments the food was great (probably the best airline breakfast I’ve ever had), drinks plentiful, and incredibly friendly service both in the air and on the ground. I love the Casper bedding and overall it’s a very comfortable seat to be in, especially on longer flights. Like you I’m not the biggest fan of the Bang & Olufsen headphones...

    I flew on the 772 a few months ago JFK-LAX in 10A. Despite the mild service adjustments the food was great (probably the best airline breakfast I’ve ever had), drinks plentiful, and incredibly friendly service both in the air and on the ground. I love the Casper bedding and overall it’s a very comfortable seat to be in, especially on longer flights. Like you I’m not the biggest fan of the Bang & Olufsen headphones but they are good quality.

    Back in 2019 I flew on the 772 in business from DFW to HNL and they didn’t have amenity kits or the walk up bar stocked either (not a major deal breaker for me but the walk up bar is nice to have).

  13. R B

    [QUOTE] the bread roll could have doubled as a weapon based on how hard it was.[/QUOTE]
    LOL thanks for the laugh

  14. Brodie

    Recently flew LAX-HNL on the new $hit interior and boy is this setup night and day. The kids said they preferred coach on JetBlue. FML

  15. Ethan

    Oh, the old time Lucky when he travelled with someone he'd make sure his travel companion chose different main so he can get all photos out.

  16. DaninMCI

    I wonder why they didn't offer amenity kits? Seems odd. I bet they have warehouses full of them at this point. Out of DFW makes it even more strange.

  17. echino

    Looks like an economy class food and drinks to me.

  18. Sam

    I took this same flight 2.5 weeks ago, but walked on to the plane and was saddened to see the inferior seat option. I have to say though that I did enjoy flying backwards for the first time.

  19. steve64

    I was intrigued by the thought of dried mangoes. But those are apricots ;)

  20. Aaron

    I hope AA got a good deal on those grapes.

  21. D3kingg

    Just flew back KOA-PHX in First on the A321neo. Just like the photo above of premium economy with a blanket and Casper lumbar pillow is what I got. I got a solid 4 hours of sleep and woke up with calf pain. The pax next to me was refused a pdb. When I woke up the cabin was dark and saw a picnic basket in the galley with what I presume contained chips , cookies...

    Just flew back KOA-PHX in First on the A321neo. Just like the photo above of premium economy with a blanket and Casper lumbar pillow is what I got. I got a solid 4 hours of sleep and woke up with calf pain. The pax next to me was refused a pdb. When I woke up the cabin was dark and saw a picnic basket in the galley with what I presume contained chips , cookies , nuts , energy bars etc and was the extent of the good service on the red eye. You need a flatbed on a red eye. I’m a fan of the a321NEO but why fly first when you can get an exit row seat in economy. There are some sweet spots in the main cabin.

    @Ben there were plenty of car rentals. Why did you psyche us out last week with the article about car rental shortages in hawaii ? That was false narrative.

  22. Jon

    Thanks for your thorough reviews. This one has taught me what to avoid.... I like American, but this is one route I will avoid on AA. This cabin interior was a "fresh" look about 20 years ago - now it just looks old, bland and tired - and sorely lacking competitively. The food service looks like a coach meal on an inferior non-US airline and way worse than best in class coach.

    The old rickety...

    Thanks for your thorough reviews. This one has taught me what to avoid.... I like American, but this is one route I will avoid on AA. This cabin interior was a "fresh" look about 20 years ago - now it just looks old, bland and tired - and sorely lacking competitively. The food service looks like a coach meal on an inferior non-US airline and way worse than best in class coach.

    The old rickety seat reclines more than the seats in coach. That's it. No other redeeming quality that I can see.

  23. Weymar M Osborne

    I'm flying DFW-ANC on the 787-9 next month. Should I expect a similar product in terms of catering?

  24. W

    @Kinn - Florida routinely gets some daily storms around the summer time which frequently cause ground stops.

  25. W

    @Todd - MIA-HND is $300 RT in coach as well over many dates on AA.

  26. TLS

    With regards to the headphones is most likely due to in part at least, on-ear vs. over-ear, it makes a huge difference when it comes to noise cancelling.

  27. Bob Eldridge

    So curiously you failed to mention anything about wearing a mask for hours and hours and how the crew treated people when they took it off to eat and drink. Of my flight from MIA to LAX on the 777-300 they roamed the aisles screaming “ cover your nose”… I stopped counting after the 6th time. It’s a horrible experience in any class. Call me when the mask requirement goes away… soon I pray!

  28. Ak

    I am glad you got to fly. The limiting step, at least for me, is how expensive rental cars, hotels and especially meals have gotten.

    I get it. They need to recoup losses and the cost of business has gone up. Despite cheap airline tickets, these on-ground factors are gonna crimp many people’s travel plans.

  29. Michael

    Singapore Airlines to restart Narita to Los Angeles
    https://simpleflying.com/singapore-tokyo-la-restart/?fbclid=IwAR1pNfl-7qgquFvyLvltTXefrgObl8A13JA76f_YqVRW20XghnKjV9eb5To

  30. shoeguy

    AA's business class product (particularly this seat and the one on the 787-9) is quite solid. The seats offer good privacy, great comfort, and lots of comfort and amenities. The catering on AA was not amazing pre-COVID but what you've described is very much in line with what US domestic long haul to Hawaii is. I flew CO then UA EWR-HNL many times and this is basically what you'd get, a scaled down version of...

    AA's business class product (particularly this seat and the one on the 787-9) is quite solid. The seats offer good privacy, great comfort, and lots of comfort and amenities. The catering on AA was not amazing pre-COVID but what you've described is very much in line with what US domestic long haul to Hawaii is. I flew CO then UA EWR-HNL many times and this is basically what you'd get, a scaled down version of international business class. To Hawaii, it's not the food, it's the seat comfort. The Casper bedding is comfy. I actually think the UA Saks product is just OK, apart from the Cool Gel pillows.

  31. Nick Roscoe

    So great to see a flight review!!!! Was so excited to read this - thank you!

  32. K

    I just want to know why they insist on serving boiled eggs on flights?

  33. Reaper

    @AK, "I am glad you got to fly. The limiting step, at least for me, is how expensive rental cars, hotels and especially meals have gotten.

    I get it. They need to recoup losses and the cost of business has gone up."

    Less loss recover, and more just supply & demand. Tourist locations have brutal demand for one week or less rentals. If people won't pay the price, they can't sell at that price.

    My...

    @AK, "I am glad you got to fly. The limiting step, at least for me, is how expensive rental cars, hotels and especially meals have gotten.

    I get it. They need to recoup losses and the cost of business has gone up."

    Less loss recover, and more just supply & demand. Tourist locations have brutal demand for one week or less rentals. If people won't pay the price, they can't sell at that price.

    My experience:
    One week rental pricing in San Francisco starting this week: $1500 total
    Two week pricing: $500 total

    Yep, one third the cost, for twice the days. That's some crazy supply & demand.

  34. D3kingg

    @Weymar M Osborne

    Me too. DFW ANC on the 787 in first both directions. Jun 3-5. Zero expectations . Do you think there will be Alaska Air lounge access in ANC ?

  35. Gary

    Ben,
    I've noticed you like to book into the last row of business class when you fly. Can you explain why? I am curious if there is a privacy element or if there are other benefits why you make that choice. Thanks!

  36. David

    Whenever I first approach my business/first class seat, I am met by a mound of blanket and pillow piled on the spot where I am suppose to sit. What do you all do with that stuff so you can sit down?

  37. @mkcol

    What were the departure & arrival times?

  38. JGB

    Same exact food, exact menu, exact same everything on the DFW-HNL route. The only cool thing about the route is that a 77W was used so row 1 and 2 plus all of the biz cabin was “domestic first.” Snagged 1A. Funny seeing the quizzical look from those in row 3&4 pondering why their seat is different from that of the first two rows.

    Complaint: Panasonic wifi is used - therefore you’re forced to...

    Same exact food, exact menu, exact same everything on the DFW-HNL route. The only cool thing about the route is that a 77W was used so row 1 and 2 plus all of the biz cabin was “domestic first.” Snagged 1A. Funny seeing the quizzical look from those in row 3&4 pondering why their seat is different from that of the first two rows.

    Complaint: Panasonic wifi is used - therefore you’re forced to purchase an all flight pass for $35; couldn’t use my wifi monthly subscription...in a way they should have ‘allowed’ the use of the subscription since it was a domestic flight...how they’d do that technically I’m not sure.

    Nice to see a review again!!

  39. Ben Dover

    Good to see a new premium flight review, thanks.

  40. Lou

    Agree it looks like food in economy from days gone by!

  41. Ted

    @DaninMCI The answer is always “…for your safety”.

  42. Alain

    I really hate to admit, but this meal looks an overseas economy meal on any random carrier. There's nothing about it that looks premium. I feel concerned that "real" business class experiences and meals as we knew them BC may never come back! Hope you are wrong on that one!

  43. Lost Baggage

    You’ll pay all this money for business class only to find out that AA has lost your baggage. It has happen to me multiple times. I refuse you pay extra money just to find out your bag was misplaced somewhere.

  44. Harry

    Just returned from AA flights DFW to MIA 777-200 First; 2 days later MIA to LAX 777-300 Flagship First; returned today LAX to DFW 787-900 First. Ratings, Flagship First great, food OK but nothing to write about. DFW to MIA was bad. Service pitiful. Today out of LAX, I do like the 787-900 and service pretty good. Of course all the planes are international configurations with no where to go but domestic. This was about...

    Just returned from AA flights DFW to MIA 777-200 First; 2 days later MIA to LAX 777-300 Flagship First; returned today LAX to DFW 787-900 First. Ratings, Flagship First great, food OK but nothing to write about. DFW to MIA was bad. Service pitiful. Today out of LAX, I do like the 787-900 and service pretty good. Of course all the planes are international configurations with no where to go but domestic. This was about the wife and I gearing-up for next year's international trips assuming another bombshell does not hit.

Featured Comments Load all 45 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Harry

Just returned from AA flights DFW to MIA 777-200 First; 2 days later MIA to LAX 777-300 Flagship First; returned today LAX to DFW 787-900 First. Ratings, Flagship First great, food OK but nothing to write about. DFW to MIA was bad. Service pitiful. Today out of LAX, I do like the 787-900 and service pretty good. Of course all the planes are international configurations with no where to go but domestic. This was about the wife and I gearing-up for next year's international trips assuming another bombshell does not hit.

Lost Baggage

You’ll pay all this money for business class only to find out that AA has lost your baggage. It has happen to me multiple times. I refuse you pay extra money just to find out your bag was misplaced somewhere.

Alain

I really hate to admit, but this meal looks an overseas economy meal on any random carrier. There's nothing about it that looks premium. I feel concerned that "real" business class experiences and meals as we knew them BC may never come back! Hope you are wrong on that one!

Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT
  • April 6, 2021
  • Ben Schlappig
77
Review: Hyatt Carmel Highlands (Stay Away)
  • March 28, 2021
  • Ben Schlappig
32
Review: Thompson Hotel Dallas