A Weekend Proposal: American Airlines Business Class – London to Chicago

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A Weekend Proposal: American Airlines Business Class – London to Chicago

Million Mile SecretsA Weekend Proposal: American Airlines Business Class – London to ChicagoMillion Mile Secrets Team

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American Airlines Business Class
Emily & Daraius heading back to the US

Trip Report Index:

This is a more detailed account of our weekend trip to London in October, 2011.

We got up early on Sunday and  ate breakfast in the lounge at the Hyatt Churchill in London.  After breakfast, we  checked out and went to the lobby where we were expecting our cab.  I had asked the concierge, the night before, to arrange for a taxi back to Heathrow airport.

However, the taxi wasn’t waiting down, but arrived after 15 minutes.  I’m not sure if this was because the driver was running late or because the concierge had not arranged the taxi.  That’s why I always plan in buffer time to our travel schedules.

We were soon on our way to Heathrow and the driver took it upon himself to explain to us the different neighborhoods and sights en route to the airport.  London taxis are exorbitant, but the taxis are very well maintained and the drivers are thorough professionals.

We checked in at the Flagship check-in for American Airlines at Heathrow, and soon we went through Fast Track security.  Sometimes Fast Track security can be hit or miss because the lines there are longer than the regular lines, but we manged to get through very quickly.

We stopped in the shops and browsed through the British sweets and crisps (chips).  One of our favorite travel experiences is to visit grocery shops in new countries and buy whatever looks interesting (that’s a long list!)

American Airlines Business Class
Shopping for treats

Since we didn’t have time to visit a grocery store in London, we stocked up at the airport.  Emily’s favorites were munchies, Mars and Lion bars.  I love Walkers crisps – Cheese & Onion, Prawn Cocktail, and Steak & Onion

We skipped the lounge, because we preferred browsing through the British treats in the shops.

Emily Jablon:  Actually, Daraius wanted to visit the lounge, but I told him that it was pointless walking for 20 minutes only to spend another 15 minutes in the lounge before walking to our gate.

Daraius:  We got on the plane and found an amenity kit, a pillow, and a blanket on our seat.

American Airlines Business Class
American Airlines Business Class Seat

Emily Jablon:  It was a heavy blanket, more like a light comforter! 🙂

American Airlines Business Class
You decide – blanket or comforter?

Daraius:  The amenity kit was the new Eames Dot Pattern version.  Darren from Frequently Flying did a great review of the amenity kit (better than anything I could do), so do check out his review and see where he ranked the kit on his 7 point scale.

AA Amenity Kit
American Airlines Amenity Kit (Picture courtesy of Darren from Frequently Flying)

We toasted ourselves to glasses of water.

American Airlines Business Class
Our Toast

And waited for our meal.

American Airlines Business Class
Waiting for the meal

The wine list.

American Airlines Wine List
Wine List

And the food menu.

Food Menu
Food Menu

We started with the salad, but 1 serving would have been enough for both of us.  I’m also not sure why the honey Dijon dressing was served in a wine glass.

American Airlines Business Class
Too much green!

I had the Shrimp and Scallops Sambal (Lime-marinated shirimp and seared scallops served with a sambal sauce, accompanied by jasmine rice with almonds, sauteed onions and leeks) which was quite nice and a welcome break from the regular menu.

American Airlines Business Class
Shrimp & Scallops Sambal

Emily had the Chateaubriand (Grilled fillet of beef topped with a green peppercorn sauce, offered with potatoes au gratin and sauteed mushrooms, leeks and onions)

American Airlines Business Class

We were very tired, so we skipped the dessert (Cheese Tortelloni Ice Cream Sundae or a Fruit plate) and went to bed.

Prior to landing we had a deep dish pizza which was okay.

American Airlines Business Class
Deep Dish Pizza

The service was surprisingly good!  The flight attendant was very warm and friendly and went up and down the cabin many times to check on her passengers and to make sure we were okay.

I’m so used to flight attendants on US airlines ignoring me, that I did feel a bit uncomfortable with all the attention.  I was waiting to find out what the catch was, but there was none.  The flight crew just did a great job!  Perhaps there is some truth to the notion that American Airline’s business class flight attendants are friendlier than their 1st class flight attendants.

We landed on time in Chicago and went to the Admirals Lounge until it was time for our flight to Kansas City.

This was a busy trip, but is my best award redemption.  I spent 200,000 American Airline miles to get Emily a business class seat next to mine, and it was worth every last mile!

Since this was a last minute trip, and I needed Emily to be on the same flight as me, I didn’t have much choice.  But I did manage to avoid paying the late ticketing fees for booking a ticket within a week.

I wouldn’t normally recommend spending double miles, but Emily and I will always remember this trip.  And that’s what counts!  Collecting miles is fun and exciting, but using them for unforgettable experiences is even better.

Bottom Line: There’s no way I could afford a trip like this if I didn’t collect miles and points.   Looking back, this was a perfect trip and I got really lucky.  The weather in London was unusually warm, the hotel suite was perfect, and I got to spend time with Emily.  She even said “Yes!”

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I love that you are a total romantic and take Emily on amazing trips around the world. That’s the dream! Now the question is will you have a destination wedding, or a family location wedding?

Million Mile Secrets

@Ken – You’ll get access to the Flagship First Class lounge if you have Milesaver First ticket or the business lounge if you have a milesaver business ticket. May is a nice time to visit because it is just before the summer rush, but still a little cool. Check out Rick Steve’s guide for things to do in London.

@Travel and Credit – It was a family location wedding in India. But the honeymoon(s) are still to come!

I was looking a few days ago for an award flight from LHR-DEN and it was 20k for mileSAAver coach, 50k for mileSAAver First/Business, 62k for mileSAAver First. That’s just seems great to me! I’m not sure if we’d have access to the lounges in the US with only a mileSAAver First/Business ticket though. Lots of availability for me though. When is good travel time for the UK? I wanted to surprise Kim with a trip to London for her Birthday May 9th, but she doesn’t have the time off work for another trip. Also, why does American make you shooese between “AA + Alaska Airlines” or “AA, American Eagle and AmericanConnection”? Wouldn’t you get better results if it just showed both?


Do you get to keep the Amenity kit after you get off the plane or they come to collect them like they do at economy seats?

sorry but maybe another stupid Q is, do you pay extra for the business class meal or it’s included in your ticket?

How many points/miles for business class from US to london?


wow, the AA food pics actually look quite good. Nonetheless, I would never risk flying AA business back across the pond. lufthansa would be a better alternative in my mind, or Singapore business from frankfurt to JFK

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