AAMAS-16: Dallas to London Heathrow

This series is written by Katie about her trip to AAMAS 2016 in Singapore, Singapore.

During my short layover in DFW I first walked from terminal C to terminal D. Once in Terminal D, I walked around and admired the American, Qantas, and Lufthansa planes as well as the mosaics on the ground. DFW Terminal 4 is a nice international terminal.

After walking around the terminal, I visited the Admiral’s Club. I got a glass of champagne and worked on my laptop for about 45 minutes.

Boarding was scheduled to begin at 3:05pm. Since the flight seemed rather full and I wanted to get my carry-on in a bin, I wanted to be at the gate when elites were called to board.

777-300ER at the gate, as seen from the lounge

Boarding took a long time to begin, which was a bad sign. I boarded near the beginning of the elites, but MCE already had plenty of passengers.

I had chosen 18D on the 777-300ER, a middle MCE aisle seat, since my normal last row MCE window seats were taken when I rebooked. I took this as an opportunity to try out a new seat type – and experience having unlimited aisle access! (preview: this would become my new go-to seat)

MCE ended up having two empty seats – 18A and 16B. I had been tempted to switch to my normal favorite – 18A – at the last minute when it became available, but was very glad I didn’t when I boarded as there was a elderly couple in 18B and 18C that I would have felt guilty about making get up repeatedly. The guy in the aisle could not stand without having someone else to lean on!

My middle seatmate – Bill from Missouri – ended up being a very nice older guy. His wife – who had been seated ahead of him in 17E – got an unofficial upgrade when a split cabin couple decided they wanted to be seated together. He was a bit talkative, but it made the flight more enjoyable.

The actual seat and IFE was exactly as I expected. The extra legroom and seat width in MCE is indeed nice.

Plenty of legroom for me

Shortly after take off, pretzels and drinks were served. I opted for the champagne, which is usually stocked in very small quantities on AA international flights. Most people around me opted for red wine, which was given in cups that were filled to the brim.

Departure drink and snack

Dinner service followed shortly, and was a selection of chicken and rice or bowtie pasta. Feeling the buzz from 2 glasses of champagne, I broke my ‘no meat dishes on AA’ rule, and opted for the chicken and rice.

Chicken and rice dinner

Both meals were served with a lettuce and tomato slice salad, cold pre-packaged bread with soft butter, a soft cheese wedge and dry crackers, a bottle of water, and a pre-packaged brownie. I enjoyed the brownie as always (atleast pre-packaged things are consistent) as well as the soft cheese. Everything else was edible, but nothing special.

The chicken and rice meal was better than expected – the sauce was tasty, the rice was not soggy, and the meat had no bad pieces. My biggest complaint – and the reason I generally avoid AA meat dishes – was that the chicken consisted of seemingly highly processed blocks. Nonetheless, I don’t regret ordering the chicken instead of the pasta today.

More drinks – including very full cups of wine – were served during dinner. I ordered a diet coke, and was pleased to be given the entire can.

Dinner was cleaned up a bit quickly for me. I had just finished my main dish and had yet to eat my brownie when the cart came through. Of course I could have kept my tray longer, but I opted to just keep the items I was not yet finished with.

Two more drink services were provided after dinner clean up. I was stretching by the exit door at the front of the MCE cabin and was even offered a drink there!

I ventured back to the rear galley shortly after dinner cleanup was completed. The flight attendants were eating left over economy meals and had set out leftover water bottles, bread, butter, crackers, cheese, and brownies from dinner for people to snack on if they become hungry.

I went to sleep soon after dinner. I had trouble reclining my seat at all. I assume the guy behind me – only about 5’5″ – had a knee protector. When I rang the FA call button and inquired why my seat would not recline, it suddenly worked.

I had trouble falling asleep, but eventually did. The guy behind me seemed to slam his table up and down at least 15 times during the night. I slept fitfully, but awoke when breakfast was being served feeling well rested.


Breakfast was a cold box – packaged in Austel, GA – with blueberry yogurt, granola, dried fruit, and a cranberry orange muffin top. I ate everything but the muffin top, as it just wasn’t very good (too sweet and dry).

It was interesting to note the lighting differences between economy and business. Business kept the upper lights on longer after dinner and turned them on for breakfast while economy kept the cabin dark until shortly before landing.

This Dallas-based crew did a great job on this flight. Meal service was friendly and efficient. A FA responded quickly when I rang the call button. Trash and meals were collected quickly and frequently. They did not seem annoyed when I stood various places throughout economy during the flight. They actually changed the cabin temperature when it was too cold. I give AA a hard time about service sometimes, but this crew was perfect!

Despite the late departure, we still arrived at 6:49am London-time. Our flight was a quick 8:15 take-off to landing.

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