- Introduction to Flying the Cycle
- A tale of Many Lounges
- 1 Euro-Business and 1 Economy Flight
- 3 business class flights
- 3 first class flights
- 3 hotel stays (1 SPG in Milan, Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro, Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport) — Which included varying arrival experiences
Lufthansa 747-400 Business Class
We started out flying on a business award on Lufthansa’s 747-400 aircraft. We did visit the Lufthansa lounge briefly, it’s biggest benefit was boarding from the lounge.
As far as the aircraft itself, it was nice, it was perhaps the first time I’ve been on a 747-400 since flying to Sydney on United back in 2012. Candidly (as I generally am), this wasn’t much better than United’s business class, in fact, it was 2-3-2 across on Lufthansa vs. 2-4-2 across on United. Besides that, I didn’t really think much of the hard product – I felt the folks behind me moving, and it wasn’t terribly private, as I heard the same folks having a loud conversation most of the flight. The blanket was nice. The service was more than sufficient.
Ultimately, the flight was good but not great. It was also a redeye leaving at 3:45pm.
American Airlines 767-300 Business Class
Our next business class flight was on American Airlines from Milan Malepensa to Miami.
This was American Airlines’ 767-300 staggered layflat product. This is also the product where American distributes tablets since the business class cabin doesn’t have conventional In Flight Entertainment (IFE). Overall, I found this to be enjoyable. I would gladly take the smaller screen to not have my movie interrupted by various Public Address notices. But maybe that is just me.
If there was one thing that I think could be improved, it is the fact that at least for my window seat, I could not drop the window-side arm-rest. That made the seat—which was otherwise spacious feeling—feel very narrow. I lost track of how many times I hit my shoulder against the arm rest as I rolled over… But hey, maybe that’s just me.
American Airlines 777-200 Business Class
Our third business flight was Miami to Rio de Janiero, again a new product from me.
This was the refit 777-200, with the seats that went both forwards and backwards. This is the one that is reportedly being jettisoned for a new seat from B/E Aerospace. Both my wife and I have backward facing seats, although my wife didn’t have anyone connected, and as a result, didn’t feel the regular jumping, jiving, and jigging that I felt, whenever my connected neighbor moved. Despite the lack of privacy of the Lufthansa seat, this was my least favorite seat of the trip.
The service was good for the late hour, and my wife told me that the steak with Bourson was phenomenal (for airline food).
The blanket was upgraded over the 767 flight we had taken just 6-8 hours earlier. But otherwise, this flight wasn’t terribly memorable. Would I fly the refit-772 again? Yes, over the old 772, in business at least. But would I choose the 772 over a 767 or a 777-300ER? No way. Hopefully the next seat–the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond Seat–will be better.