Up close with American Airlines' Sydney-Los Angeles first class suites

By Chris Chamberlin , June 15 2015
Up close with American Airlines' Sydney-Los Angeles first class suites

American Airlines will fly to to Australia from December, bringing with it the carrier's Flagship Suites in first class on journeys between Sydney and Los Angeles.

Creating even more choice for business travellers and high-flying executives at the very front, AA's Boeing 777-300ER first class suites complement Oneworld partner Qantas' familiar A380 product on the same route, while still being a little different.

Arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, there's space for just eight first class passengers on each of AA's Australian flights, all of whom enjoy direct aisle access – as you'd expect.

Couples or business associates travelling together can open a divider to chat between the middle seats, or can also spot each other across the aisle if a duo wasn't available:

That's a little different to first class on Qantas' A380s – also flying between Sydney and Los Angeles – where each suite is on its lonesome...

... but sports a 'companion seat' that can be used to host business meetings or to share a meal during the flight:

(The TV folds away, allowing your guest to sit where the pillow is resting.)
(The TV folds away, allowing your guest to sit where the pillow is resting.)

The AA journey begins with a Mimosa before take-off and an amuse-bouche shortly after departure, along with an amenity kit, pyjamas...

... and a mattress, duvet and pillow for your fully-flat, 198cm long, 73cm wide bed (below) – 14cm shorter than the bed in Qantas first class, but noticed only by the tallest of travellers.

The seat's armrests lower to provide additional comfort...
The seat's armrests lower to provide additional comfort...

During waking hours, meals are served on chinaware and can be followed by AA's signature ice cream sundae: the perfect midnight snack.

That's best enjoyed while taking in a movie – and with around 250 to choose from along with 180 TV shows and 350 audio tracks, you're sure to find something to enjoy on your supplied Bose QuietComfort headphones and 17-inch monitor...

... located directly above an ottoman, allowing you to stretch out during take-off and landing.

Need to get some work done? You can either fold out the 'regular' meal table and plonk your laptop on that...

... or can convert the suite into more of an office space – here's how it works.

While also doubling as the bed, your chair can actually swivel to the side, from this...

... to this, where you can unfold a second tray table that's perfect for a laptop, while using the regular meal table for additional storage on the side.

All Flagship Suites in first class offer travellers two multi-country AC outlets that accept Australian plugs without an adaptor, along with a handy USB slot for keeping your phone recharged.

Inflight Internet is also available, but once you've finished working for the day, tilt your chair back and enjoy a civilised wine tasting – of course, with cheese on the side.

Also read: American Airlines Sydney-LAX business class: what to expect

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

I somehow think that the first class seat looks so similar to business class, that I actually thought the only difference is the service.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 316

That swivel to the side trick is definitely a  differentiator from biz class.. Also the size and mattress

Qantas Platinum

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 48

Thanks Chris, I wonder if this leg could be upgraded with QFF if it's part of a oneworld alliance round the world business class ticket. Doing this in December so may want to give it a try.

You can't use Qantas Points to upgrade flights on AA aircraft unfortunately, but do enjoy business class!

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 298

The rotating chair is a great idea.

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

Too bad the Food and beverage service in AA F is not the true First Class Service we are used to recieve as compared to EY, EK, QF, SQ, etc.

Another major annoyance is the lack ot curtain between cabins as well as between the cabin and the galley. For "security reasons" AA has a glorified mosquito mash curtain which will result in galley lights glaring into the cabin at all times....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

Any news on which LAX terminal are they departing from?

I suppose high flyers are keen to find out if they can use the QF Lounge in TBIT.

While all AA international flights arrive into LAX at TBIT (assuming no pre-clearance at departure point), all AA departures are from Tetminal 4. So no access to the QF lounges at TBIT. There are however Admirals and Flagship lounges at T4. Another thing to consider if you are flying on AA metal on the LAX/SYD sector...

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 269

The SMH reported on June 10: It will depart from the luxurious new Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), giving customers access to Qantas's new business and first class lounges.

 

I assume this information was in the announcement as the report includes quotes from AJ and Doug Parker.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 593

IFE is pretty bad for first class...small screen and limited choice compared to the other First on offer.  Should match well with qf first.

19 Jun 2015

Total posts 1

I wonder how many are aware that AA's International F product is basically the same service as their J product. I believe the only difference is a soup course during the first meal, and a larger amenity kit, unless they are still handing out the legacy kits where they are identical. Crews are also somewhat cold, and indifferent on the average as this route will defiinitely go very senior.  

In the end, those who want a true "F (P) product, should stick with QF. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jun 2015

Total posts 1

absolute genious how the suite turns into a functioning office.


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