This post is written by Katie about her American Airlines flights from Austin to Tokyo during her second 2016 mileage run to Kuala Lumpur.
My Austin to Tokyo legs were both on American Airlines – Austin (AUS) to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and ORD to Tokyo Narita (NRT). With these two American Airlines legs, I began my last mileage run on the way toward earning American Airlines Executive Platinum.
This trip has me traveling from Austin to Kuala Lumpur with an overnight layover in Tokyo, two days in Kuala Lumpur, and then a return to Houston.
Check in at AUS was quick due to being able to use the priority line. The normal main cabin lines were really long for both desk service and self-tag baggage drop.
I checked my bag to Narita – as that was what happened automatically and what I preferred – and then breezed through security using TSA Pre.
I walked to both ends of the airport and back before heading to the Admirals Club lounge for some quick wifi time before boarding. The women serving as greeters at the lounge were very friendly.
The flight from Austin to Chicago was completely full this Thursday morning. My 500-mile upgrade had cleared about 48 hour before departure though, so I had plenty of space in First class. The crowded flight and busy boarding did mean we did not get any welcome drinks.
Turbulence was pretty rough for 50 minutes after the 8am take off, so even the flight attendants remained seated. Breakfast and drink orders were taken over an hour into the flight at 9:10am.
Breakfast was a choice of bread pudding with apple topping or egg strata. I opted for the egg strata since I figured it would be less sugary – but the bread pudding sure smelled good.
|Breakfast in first class from Austin to Chicago|
The egg strata came with roasted potatoes and sausage in the same dish. There was also a high quality fruit dish – with pineapple and kiwi – served on the tray as well as coffee. Shortly after receiving my tray, the flight attendant came around with a basket of biscuits and cinnamon raisin rolls. I opted for the biscuit, which was fluffy and warm.
I finished my breakfast at 9:50am, although breakfasts were still being served to the back of the cabin. This – as well as meal selection – is why it is better to sit near the middle of the first class cabin if possible. This way, whether they start at the front or back of the cabin, you will be served in the middle.
During my layover at ORD, I walked around the airport before heading to the Admiral’s Club. The Admiral’s Club was really crowded today!
I attempted to get my JAL boarding pass – and/or seat assignment – from the JAL agent in the lounge for my Narita to Kuala Lumpur segment. Although she could see my current seat, she was unable to change it or print my boarding pass – and seemed really surprised about this.
Boarding for AA153 from ORD to NRT began before scheduled. The flight – at least in economy – ended up being almost completely full after 9 people cleared off of the standby list. I only saw one open seat in the economy cabin.
|Main Cabin Extra on the American 787|
My Main Cabin Extra 9H seat ended up being a good choice – plenty of space and I lucked out that the woman in the middle seat beside me was rather thin (and shy but friendly).
Shortly before push back, the purser announced that our flying time would be 12 hours and 6 minutes flying and 12 hours 50 minutes gate to gate.
Although I generally like the Dreamliner, the arm rests are literally a backache as they are substantially too low.
We took off a bit late at 1:30pm after taking a long time to push back after the cabin door closed.
|I opted for white wine since there was no champagne on this flight|
Warm disposable towels were distributed shortly after take off. Although sparkling wine is usually shocked in very limited quantities on American flights, the flight attendants claimed none was stocked on this flight.
|Chicken and rice dinner in American Economy|
Dinner was a choice of meatballs and pasta or chicken and rice. I opted for the chicken and rice, which was processed chicken in a soy sauce with rice and some veggies. It was okay, but certainly not great.
The meal came with a small salad that looked particularly small in its container, noodles, a roll with soft butter, and a pre-packaged brownie. The meal was edible and decent sized, but nothing special.
|Seat-back entertainment in Main Cabin Extra|
I watched a movie during dinner and then blogged for a while before attempting to work for a bit.
|Mid-flight snack in American Economy|
I slept restlessly until the mid flight snack of a sandwich, rice crackers, and caramel ice cream. After the snack, I struggled to fall back asleep for a couple hours, but eventually did and slept until the arrival meal 1 hour and 30 minutes before landing.
|Arrival meal in American Economy|
The arrival meal was a choice of a breakfast sandwich or chicken and rice. Both choices were served with a small fruit dish and a bottle of water. I ordered black tea with my meal, and the flight attendant had to go to the galley to make it but it was brought specially to me about 10 minutes later.
The landing was surprisingly smooth into NRT. We did not taxi long and deplaned relatively quickly.