Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: American Airlines Flagship Service From Chicago To London

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Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: American Airlines Flagship Service From Chicago To London

Million Mile SecretsMother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: American Airlines Flagship Service From Chicago To LondonMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Emily:  We left the lounge a little before the boarding announcement was made so that we could get settled in the plane early.  But the plane was delayed ~10 minutes, so we hung out by the gate.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Emily, Connie, Judi & Daraius En Route to London!

The agent made an announcement which I didn’t catch, but Daraius said that we (along with a few other passengers) were asked to go to the gate.  So we went to the gate and chatted with a very friendly American Airlines representative, who wasn’t the gate agent, but said she was from “premium services.”

I’m not sure why she paged about 6 of us to come up and chat with her, but she had just returned from Bombay/Mumbai, so my mom and Judi were excited to ask her about her stay there.

Daraius:  I’m always suspicious of these encounters, and I wondered if the rep paged us because someone had googled our names and found the blog (I don’t like special treatment), or if it was because I was a lifetime Gold elite member, or something else.  The agent mentioned that they had started chatting with customers on certain routes when I mentioned that this was the first time that we were paged to the gate just to chat.

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Emily:  We soon boarded the plane, which looked exactly like we had left it two years ago!  Except that this time, there was a fancier amenity kit and a welcome note.

American Airlines Flagship Service
American Airlines Flagship Service Seat

Here’s a short video of the cabin.

My mom and I posed for a picture by the seat.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Emily & Connie

The cabin was worn down, but it was spacious and the seats were large.  A blanket and duvet were on the small footstool.

American Airlines Flagship Service
American Airlines Flagship Service Blankets

We had the 4 seats in the center so we could all sit together.  It was fun watching my mom and Aunt Judi fiddle with the buttons and scan the menu.  They were so excited!

American Airlines Flagship Service
Connie & Judi Were Excited!

The amenity kit was new and nice—it was Eames designed and large enough to fit an iPad in, and certainly different than the regular amenity kits.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Connie with the American Airlines Amenity Kit

There was a welcome aboard note placed by our seat (which we didn’t notice the last time).

American Airlines Flagship Service
Welcome Aboard Note!

It came with the usual toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, moisturizing cream, eyemask, earplugs, and socks.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Inside The Amenity Kit

We also got new pajamas with a bolder design.  My mom and Aunt Judi loved their amenities and their pajamas!

American Airlines Flagship Service
Connie Likes the American Airlines Pyjamas

I really liked the black and white stripes with the red piping.  The pajamas were comfortable too, but they only had large/extra large sizes left, and usually I am a small or medium.

American Airlines Flagship Service
New Models for American Airlines!

We also got slippers to wear, but they kept falling off my feet.

American Airlines Flagship Service
American Airlines Flagship Service Slippers

Everything was so new to my mom and Aunt Judi and they were impressed by the small details, like the wrapped blankets.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Wrapped Blankets!

Daraius:  There was an American Airlines pilot in the cabin, and he mentioned that American Airlines may be resuming their non-stop flights to Delhi and potentially even Bombay/Mumbai once they get their new 777-300 extended range aircrafts.  I’m not sure if there is any truth to this, but wanted to pass it along.

Emily:  Soon it was dinner time and we got our menus.  There were starters…

American Airlines Flagship Service
American Airlines Flagship Service – Starters

…entrees…

American Airlines Flagship Service
American Airlines Flagship Service – Entrees

wine…

American Airlines Flagship Service
American Airlines Flagship Service – Wine Menu

And even wine tasting!

American Airlines Flagship Service
American Airlines Flagship Service – Wine Tasting desserts!

There were also desserts!

American Airlines Flagship Service
American Airlines Flagship Service

Daraius was happy to be eating again!

American Airlines Flagship Service
Food & Flight = Happy Daraius!

For dinner, I ordered a Greek salad with feta cheese, cucumbers, and pepperoni with 2 dressing choices.  I ordered the sour cream and herb dressing which went nicely with the salad.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Greek salad with feta cheese, cucumbers, and pepperoni

For the entrée, I got pasta with mushroom alfredo and Italian sausage for dinner.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Pasta with mushroom alfredo and Italian sausage

For the wine pairing, I got the Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve, and Daraius had the Domaine des Rochers Pouilly-Fuisse.  I preferred my pinot gris to Daraius’ drier pouilly-fuisse.

For the starter, Daraius had the bacon wrapped scallops served with jicama corn salad and cilantro cream…

American Airlines Flagship Service
Bacon wrapped scallops served with jicama corn salad and cilantro cream

…followed by corn chowder.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Corn Chowder

He liked the small salad that came with his meal the best, which is extremely unusual, so either the food was bad or the salad was excellent (he does like cilantro)!

I liked my salad as well, but there was not much feta cheese.  Our bread options included a pretzel roll, a wheat breadstick, and an herb roll.  The pretzel roll was the best.  The other breads tasted a bit like cardboard.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Breads

For the entree, Daraius had the seared shrimp served with Veracruz sauce, Mexican style cream rice, and bell pepper medley.  My mom and Aunt Judi also had the shrimp.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Seared shrimp served with Veracruz sauce, Mexican style cream rice, and bell pepper medley

We shared some of the cheese, crackers, and 5 pieces of grapes!

American Airlines Flagship Service
Cheese, Fruits & Crackers

For dessert, I ordered the specialty sundae which was a caramel apple crisp sundae with Ben and Jerry’s vanilla ice cream, caramel, apple rice crisps, and candied pecans.  It was yummy!

American Airlines Flagship Service
Sundae

Daraius got the traditional ice cream sundae with hot fudge, pecans, and whipped cream.  He also had a glass of icewine.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Icewine & Sundae

Daraius and I swiveled our seats so that we could sit together for dinner.  Also, it was easy to lean over and talk to my mom and Judi and make sure they were fine.  We were happy to see that they were chatting together nearly the entire flight.  They have been friends for 55 years and only get to see each other once every few years, so I guess they had a lot of catching up to do!

American Airlines Flagship Service
Can we Eat Now?

After dinner, my mom and Judi relaxed…

American Airlines Flagship Service
Enjoying The Flight

…while Daraius & I went to sleep.

American Airlines Flagship Service
Daraius in Bed!

I had breakfast in the morning, which comprised of fruit, an omelet, potatoes and steak.  Daraius slept through breakfast.

American Airlines Flagship Service
American Airlines Flagship Service – Breakfast

Before the flight landed, we were each given a box of chocolates and the friendly crew came to say thanks and wish us a pleasant trip.

American Airlines Flagship Service
American Airlines Flagship Service – Chocolates

Daraius and I noticed a definite improved food quality and improved service.  The flight attendants were much more friendly than they have been in the past, and we appreciated their kind manners.

However, the seats were still older and less stylish than those of other airlines, but we still had a lot of fun on the flight!  We landed in London with only 1 hour 15 minutes to make our way to our next British Airways flight.  Forget visiting the lounge, but would we make the flight…?

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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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Looks like you had a fun trip. Enjoyed the food photos!

Thanks for your tips, it looks like you guys had a blast on your flight! We’re hoping to travel to India here soon, possibly combine India with a trip to the Philippines. I am new to the miles thing, and figure I’ll give it a try because I have racked up quite a bit of miles flying back and forth to South America on United. What do you think about transferring miles on United? My husband has some but they aren’t really doing us any good sitting in his account not getting anywhere close to Premier status, but it looks like they charge $15 per 1,000 miles to transfer them. That doesn’t sound like a deal to me. Thoughts?

And don’t listen to those people such as @Ron and @Steve23. Their comments are vile and I am sure they are just uneducated people who spend their time lurking on the internet and being rude to make themselves feel better. People with class don’t say things like that. I appreciate your blog! It’s helping us learn the ropes of award travel.

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Sharon – Personally, I’d rather have my family travel less and be on the same flight than to be separated. But it depends on your (and your family’s) preferences.

@Genevieve – I wouldn’t transfer the miles to your account, since he can book tickets for you or anyone else using the miles in his account. Just make sure they don’t expire in his account!

I enjoyed reading your blog and thanks for the review on AA flagship first class. I just completed booking my family’s 3 week trip to China this coming December, the challenge is that there are five of us. I was thrilled to get five first class seats from shanghai to LAX on American Airline, then onto SFO where our home is. My question is, assuming you have flew Cathay pacific to HK before, if Cathay opens up first class seats two weekes before my return flight, would you recommend paying the fees to switch to Cathay, granted we would have to fly from Shanghai to HK, stop for a few hours, the HK directly to SFO, and we may not be able to go together in te same flight. Thanks.

@Food Wine and Miles- We were so lucky to be able to treat them! They did seem to enjoy the flights.

@Scott- The pjs were nice, but they fit Daraius much better than they fit me!

@Lively- Thanks! We’re so lucky that we were able to share it with her!

@Rene- Thank you very much. I bet you just made her day!

@Lucy- I agree, you should have seen them review the menu. I wish I would have gotten a picture of that. They were overjoyed with the selection. 🙂

@Justin McClelland- First is a nice experience, and business class is also nice. We’re lucky to have found such a great hobby!

@Susan- Glad you are enjoying the posts! First Class definitely makes the travel experience more enjoyable. We don’t travel in First or Business for domestic flights, but for long haul flights, first and business are really nice.

@Elena- Thank you! It was exciting for me to share India with my family. 🙂

I have never flown international first class before so I was wondering if it is customary for people to get into the PJs. It just looks so weird but makes complete sense if you want to get some sleep. You guys nailed it by saying the hard products were inferior while the food was great.

In a previous post, I mistaken the mom for the friend. Why does Emily call the friend her aunt. It was a bit confusing for me to follow. Like others, I must comment on the fact that your MIL looks very good for her age. That means Emily will probably look very good as she ages too. You are one lucky man.

They look like they are truly enjoying themselves in first class.

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Jonathan – You do get PJs in most international flight flights (United being a prominent exception). Judi looked after Emily as a girl, so she calls her “Aunt Judi”

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