Review: American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Sao Paulo to New York

Filed Under: American, Travel

After seven flights back and forth between Brazil and the US, I was rather excited for the final journey back home, flying Sao Paulo to New York to Los Angeles. And I was happy that it was on American, since all I wanted to do was sleep, and they have the superior hard product (reverse herringbone vs. the staggered seat on Delta).

After a quick visit to the Admirals Club we headed down to gate 22, where our flight began boarding at 10:20PM.

Departure gate

American 950
Sao Paulo (GRU) – New York (JFK)
Sunday, December 1
Depart: 11:05PM
Arrive: 6:05AM (+1 day)
Duration: 10hr
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 4A (Business Class)

My upgrade for this flight cleared way in advance, so I had my choice of seats. I chose seat 4A, which is in the mini cabin located in front of door 2L. I prefer the mini-cabin for how private it is, and especially since most passengers board through door 2L, so it’s very quiet during boarding.

American 777-300ER business class, seat 4A

American 777-300ER business class, seat 4A

Waiting in the storage compartment next to the seat was an amenity kit, headphones, and a bottle of water.

American 777-300ER business class, seat 4A storage

American 777-300ER business class mini-cabin

It was only a few minutes after I stepped on the plane that I could tell it would be a great flight. I’m generally pretty critical of American’s JFK based flight attendants that work international flights (I find the more junior JFK based flight attendants working domestic flights to be friendlier), but the flight attendant working my aisle was amazing. Her name was Paschal, and she was from the Netherlands, grew up in in Tennessee, and now lives in New York.

I don’t mind when JFK based flight attendants have a bit of attitude, as it’s almost “cultural.” And Paschal sure had attitude, but in a good way. I don’t think I’ve ever heard as many one liners coming from a flight attendant before the door even closed as I did from Paschal.

Anyway, as boarding finished up menus were distributed for the flight.

American 777-300ER business class menu

Shortly before pushback the captain came on the PA to advise us of our flight time of 9hr23min, which would put us into New York early.

Emirates 777-300ER

We began our pushback on schedule, and I browsed the entertainment selection. I decided to watch the One Direction movie, because, well, why not?

American 777-300ER entertainment

We taxied out to runway 9L, and were airborne by around 11:15PM. The climb out was smooth, and about 30 minutes after takeoff the dinner service began. The menu read as follows:



And the wine list read as follows:



Service began with drinks and hot nuts. After six flights on Delta with only packaged almonds pre-departure, I was quite excited about American’s hot nuts.

Hot nuts and Diet Coke with lime

Next the starter and salad were served on one tray. The appetizer consisted of mozzarella and prosciutto.

Dinner service — fresh mozzarella and prosciutto appetizer and mixed green salad

For the main course I ordered the fillet of beef. While the beef out of Sao Paulo on Delta was amazing, sadly the same wasn’t true for American’s.

Dinner service — grilled fillet of beef main course

Then for dessert I had an ice cream sundae (and a moment with Harry Styles, clearly).

Dinner service — ice cream sundae and Harry Styles

One of the (theoretically) exciting aspects of American’s new 777-300ER is that it has an onboard cappuccino machine. I’m a cappuccinoholic, and the business class menu even lists that “espresso and cappuccino are also available on the 777-300 aircraft.” However, in my experience that’s really only intended for first class and not business class.

Fortunately Paschal was awesome, and she was kind enough to serve me all the cappuccino my heart desired. And I have to say the presentation was pretty snazzy as well!

Dinner service — cappuccino

I spent a couple of hours after dinner browsing the web, thanks to the fact that the 777-300ERs have wifi. The speed was pretty good as well, since I assume most people on the flight were sleeping. Eventually I managed to nap for a couple of hours, and then about 90 minutes out of New York the breakfast service began. The menu read as follows:


I selected the continental option, which consisted of fruit, granola, yogurt, and a croissant.

Continental breakfast

We began a gradual descent around 45 minutes out, and touched down in New York about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Our taxi to the gate was quick, and thanks to Global Entry and Pre-Check we were in the American Flagship Lounge waiting for our connecting flight to Los Angeles within 20 minutes.

This was a really pleasant on the whole. I love American’s new reverse herringbone hard product and the fact that they have wifi on international flights, which to me are two of the most important features for business class nowadays. While the food wasn’t especially good, the great service from Paschal more than made up for any shortcomings in that regard.

As I always say, it’s really tough to beat the value of booking economy on one of American’s 777-300ERs and upgrading to business class with one of the eight systemwide upgrades that I receive as an Executive Platinum member annually.

  1. It seems any resistance to serving espresso/cappuccino in business class could be quickly remedied by showing the offending flight attendant the printed menu, which plainly states its availability.

  2. Curious, will be flying this route in a few months, I have no status on AA and was just going to buy a ticket and try and upgrade with miles. Any strategy tips for this would be appreciated. I really don’t want to fly coach for such a long flight!

  3. @ Nick — In general I’d call and try to find a flight that has confirmable upgrade space, because if you waitlist the chances of you clearing decrease quite a bit as other people will jump you in terms of priority. So I’d try and find confirmable space.

  4. @Mark S. – seems like you’d be right. Wonder if Lucky has experience to the contrary.

    @Lucky – I teased you about Seattle turning you into a hipster in your Hyatt Sao Paolo review. Maybe not, but perhaps just a coffee-phile. You looked forward to AA for the seat for sleeping…them promptly ordered a cappuccino. 🙂

  5. @ John — This flight was back in November, so the A321s weren’t flying yet. Stay tuned, I’ll be flying the A321T next week.

  6. Btw Ben, was that a normal croissant? It looks like a cragel (a croissant and bagel hybrid), which is apparently the “cronut of 2014.”

  7. @ AAAmy — I have flights booked in the next month in both first and business class, so stay tuned. 🙂

  8. Hey Lucky-
    Do you plan on trying out one of B6’s enclosed suites on their transcon a321s in the coming months?

  9. @ Tom — I don’t have anything booked on it, but if they have good introductory fares again I’ll probably give it a try.

  10. Nice trip report, and it seems you have had a good flight experience with some Dutch courtesy 😉
    Although I do think you must have misinterpret her name. I have never heard of Paschal for a female only Dutch names I have heard so far for a female is either Pascal or Pascale (mainly the latter). I could be wrong, since the first names I hear nowadays in the Netherlands are pretty strange from time to time.

    1 question more OT: Would you consider flying Delta on this route again? Or will it always be AA, because of their product?

  11. I was flying in J on 77W LHR-JFK and was denied cappuccino despite the menu stating clear as day that it was available. Was told it was only for F.

  12. Another great report. I have the choice of BA’s A380 or AA’s new 777-300ER from LAX to London. Which would you choose?

  13. @ Joe — While BA’s food and service will probably be a bit better, I’d probably do American for the better seat and wifi, assuming you’re talking about business class.

  14. I love Paschal! It’s great to work with her always… I’m also JFK based flight attendant with American. I just had to say one thing here… My motto is do what I can and don’t do what I don’t want to be done. I try my best to accomodate as much as I can but unfortunately depends on whom I work with get in my way. Last month, I tried to give pajama and cappuccino to “4A” Executive Platinum Passenger and my purser said that’s for my first class passengers only! I was marked after that and purser and galley (2 works up front) watched me like police, I could not get anywhere near the closet or the coffee machine… Why do I have to lie? No extra PJ today, coffee machine’s broken, etc… I wish I can just say “those mean one over there said I can’t because you are in business class!!” So please bare with us. If our answer was not instantly and we came back and said no, it is true that the control freak purser and galley work that day! Also a few of the 777, the cappuccino machine is broken and not fixed forever…

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