Airline Review: American Airlines Hong Kong-Dallas
Summary: American Airlines has shrugged off the negative stereotype of a US carrier and delivers a very competitive business...

AA has shrugged off the negative stereotype of a US carrier and delivers a very competitive business class product on its long-haul routes to Asia, discovers Nick Walton on a recent American Airlines flight to Dallas.

Check-in/The Lounge

I checked in at HKIA but also used the airline’s very intuitive app, which allows you to track your bags and also offers flight and airport info. I headed to oneworld partner Cathay Pacific’s The Bridge lounge as it was closest to my departure gate. While it was very busy (as it often is) they make a pretty good martini. The boarding process on to the Boeing 777-300ER was speedy and on time.

The Seat

American Airlines operates a three-class Boeing from Hong Kong, with 52 newest generation Flagship Business seats. Mine, 15J, was located on the starboard side, and was a dream for travellers on ultra-long-haul routes. Similar to those used by CX, American’s lie-flat seats are 20.5-inches wide and are set in a reverse herringbone configuration.

There’s plenty of privacy, especially for window seats, and storage space galore, as well as a large monitor offering access to AA’s extensive collection of films and television shows. Also at shoulder height are intuitive controls for the entertainment system and seat, USB and AC ports, and a reading light.

American Airlines Flagship Business

A Cole Haan amenity kit contained all the essentials for flying, including a dental kit, eye mask and moisturizer and lip balm. Each seat also offers access to the carrier’s high-speed inflight wifi system.

When in bed mode this seat is blissfully comfortable, especially with AA’s fluffy duvets and a rather limp pillow bolstered by rolled up AA pyjamas. You can stretch out, and roll easily, even with your seat belt on, and I managed to get a good nine hours sleep mid-way through the flight, which is pretty good for any ultra-long-haul journey.


During pre-flight preparations, the crew seemed stretched and while they were friendly enough they only passed twice in the 40 minutes before departure, to pass out plastic glasses of champagne, and to offer newspapers. A young crew member named Doug slipped me another glass of wine as if it was contraband. Crew were still taking orders as we taxied, a process that must have been sped up by the fact that half the dishes on the menu were not available. When I asked one attendant named Folton why this was (leaving only fried chicken or the vegetarian option) he said: “well, we start from the front, you should have pre-ordered”.

Dining – Dinner

Dinner service commenced an hour into the flight and started with a roasted Portobello mushroom with ratatouille and a truffle balsamic vinaigrette, which was surprisingly good; followed by fried chicken with chilli sauce and black sesame steamed rice, which was succulent and well-balanced but perhaps a little meagre in its proportions. I skipped AA’s signature ice cream sundae (although many passengers ordered it) and opted instead for the cheese plate, which included a Stinking Bishop cow’s milk cheese and a rather good Pecorino.

American Airlines Walk Up Snack Bar

As this is a rather long flight, AA also offers snacks throughout the journey, many of which are available at a self-service pantry located between business class cabins, which offers seasonal fruit, sandwiches, Deep River potato chips, Boom Chicka Pop popcorn, and Ginnybakes cookies.

Dining – Brunch

Brunch was served as we flew down the centre of the US, with the offer of a perfectly adequate American breakfast of scrambled eggs, unsmoked British bacon, roasted potatoes and herbed tomato; or a continental breakfast with seasonal fruit, yoghurt and granola. This was complemented by mixed berry smoothies, and pain de chocolat.


American Airlines’ hardware is very hard to fault; the 777 is a dream to fly on, the seats are modern, user-friendly and very comfortable, entertainment options are impressive and the dining was leagues above what you might expect. If the carrier can inspire its older crew the way it has its younger staff then American Airlines will continue to be a force to be reckoned with, in Asia and beyond.

Hong Kong-Dallas Fort Worth in Flagship Business from US$5,838. 

Note: The author travelled on a fully paid business class ticket with the airline’s knowledge

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About the Author

Nick Walton

Nick Walton is Group Managing Editor of Artemis Communications, a leading boutique magazine and content solution company and publisher of The Art of Business Travel. A former travel editor of the South China Morning Post, he heads up the group's travel and lifestyle magazines, which include Alpha Men Asia, The Edition, Mirandus, Ikhlas, The Journal and Explorer Magazine.