First Class to Hawaii on American Airlines
I began my two week vacation to the Hawaiian Islands on Monday. During the trip I’ll be visiting Lanai, Maui and The Big Island with reviews, photos and even a few videos to follow. So, if you’re stuck at work for the next two weeks but would like to take a virtual vaction, feel free to live vicariously through my travels.
I arrived at DFW airport a bit early, so since there was time to kill I did it in the travel lounge. Terminal D has every airline lounge imaginable, so being a member of the Priority Pass program I stopped by the club for some refreshments and relaxation.
The lounge in terminal D is quite nice with lots of free snacks, drinks, and good work space. There were only a couple of other people in the club at the time so it was very quite. It also had some great views of the runway and airplanes, and I snapped this shot from the club.
Just to make sure we’re kicking off the vacation in style, we’ll be traveling first class all the way to Hawaii via American Airlines on a Boeing 767. I snagged seat 5A so I could have a window view along the 4,000 mile journey. The weather was great so the air was pretty calm. And the ride was, well… nice and comfy.
Being a frequent flyer I’ve traveled first class many times, but never on a trans-oceanic voyage. Lets just say that there is a huge difference between first class on a 747 as compared to a 767. I’m going to try to explain all the little nuances before I forget.
- Now, American Airlines is not known to have the most luxurious first class cabin around, but it’s definitely nothing to sneeze at. The seats are completely powered and infinitely adjustable from sitting straight up to reclining all the way to a laying down position.
- Unlike the cattle section at the back of the plane, first class actually has two trays so you can keep a ton of stuff in front of you at the same time. Better still, the trays can be pushed together to create one large work surface about 18-20″ square.
- The amount of legroom you have is downright impressive. I’m about 6’1″ and with the seat all the way back I could not even touch the seat back in front of me with my legs all the way out. Here you can see my backpack standing completely up under the seat in front of me. And this didn’t interfere with my legroom! Additionally, with the seat in full recline mode I’d say that it would accomodate someone about 2-3 inches taller than me.
- Since the rear tray can be slid forward to connect with the front tray, the seat also has the ability to slide forward about a foot in order to allow you to work in that area like a desk.
- Although they were selling crappy food in the back of the cabin, in first class we were treated to a four course meal designed by celebrity chef and TV host Sam Choy. The food still tasted pretty much like airline food, but hey it’s free and they aren’t getting anything in the back of the bus!
- First comes a small dish of warm tropical nuts accompanied by your choice of wines and followed by a nice warm, moist towel to freshen up with.
- Next was a salad comprised of fresh greens, asparagus, tomatoes, radish ribbons, cucumbers and a roll.
- The main course was a choice between short ribs topped with soy ginger sauce or four cheese ravioli.
- Desert was your choice of a hand-made hot fudge sunday or fruits and cheeses.
- In addition to normal overhead lighting which is controlled by a button on the armrest, there is also a dual-level LED on the seat in front that can be used to illuminate the front tray when it’s dark in the cabin.
- The armrests between the two seats can be raised to create a fan-like divider for privacy when sleeping beside a stranger. On the other side, the armrest will recline down below the seating surface in order to allow you to hang over a bit without discomfort.
- Since the chairs have the ability to recline outward at the feet to raise your legs, they also have built-in foot rests so that your feet have a platform to rest on.
- At the opposite end of the chair, the headrest will expand upward and even swivel to different angles as well as fold in on the sides to cradle your head as you sleep.
- One last thing… in first class you get a nearly full sized pillow as well as a large thick quilted blanket to snuggle up under.
The real question that everything boils down to is, is it worth it? And this is a difficult question to answer, so I’ll give 4 different justifications:
- You’re on a business trip with tight schedules and you need to arrive fresh and mentally prepared. If it can make the difference between closing a huge deal and going home empty handed and tired then by all means it’s an investment.
- If you’ve got frequent flyer status and you’ve accumulated a boatload of miles, I can think of worse uses for them than spoiling yourself rotten with a top of the line vacation.
- You have so much money that it just doesn’t matter if you waste it or not.
- Everyone should do this at least once in their life.