Friday, January 30, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

American’s new 777-300 planes bring luxury to long overseas flights

 

ABOARD AMERICAN FLIGHT 137 — Boarding American Airlines’ new Boeing 777-300ER, passengers are greeted by soft mood lighting and an archway leading through a walkup bar.

Bose noise-canceling headsets, bed slippers and amenity kits with Dermalogica and Akhassa products await premium travelers at their seats, along with menus offering a choice of four entrees and several wine and liquor selections.

And by the time flight attendants serve made-to-order sundaes a few hours into the flight, it’s clear that business class is more than just hot towels and a few more inches of legroom.

“You spend a lot of time on an airplane so we wanted to make sure the design and the finishes allow for a peaceful journey,” said Fern Fernandez, American’s vice president of global marketing. “We’re in the business of transporting you from point A to point B, but we want to make it in a comfortable sort of fashion that puts you at ease.”

American received its first 777-300ER, now its largest plane with seats for 310 passengers, in January 2013. It currently has 10 in its fleet, with 10 more on order from Boeing. It flies the aircraft on flights from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, Los Angeles and New York to Hong Kong, London and Sao Paulo, and Fernandez expects the incoming 777-300ERs will be used on similar, long international flights where there is demand for a premium travel product.

For the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier, new airplanes with premium cabins and older aircraft retrofitted with modern finishes and comfortable seats are critical to winning back corporate customers lost during a two-year stint in bankruptcy court.

Frequent fliers and high-spending business customers want two things on a long flight: aisle access and lie-flat seats, said Brett Snyder, founder of CrankyFlier.com. With the introduction of the Boeing 777-300ER, which has both features in business and first class, American is finally catching up to competitors United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which already have lie-flat seats in business class on their long-haul aircraft.

“If you’re looking to compete with international carriers, you need these premium products,” said Snyder, who experienced American’s new 777-300 aircraft on a flight from Los Angeles to London’s Heathrow Airport last summer. “I think it’s a great product, and it’s something they can build off of.”

American is in the process of retrofitting its older Boeing 777-200 aircraft and Boeing 767-300 aircraft with similar lie-flat seats for business class and more legroom in the carrier’s “main cabin extra” product. And recently, the airline began operating Airbus A321 aircraft on its transcontinental routes that feature three cabin classes, whereas its competitors like United, Delta and Virgin America only have two classes of seating.

Maxine Peng, American’s manager for China, said Chinese consumers have more disposable income and want to spend it traveling to far-off destinations like the United States. American launched its first flights between DFW and Shanghai on June 11 and will use an upgraded 777-200 on the route this fall.

“We think our travelers will like the new retrofitted 777-200, which will arrive in the China markets this year,” Peng said.

On the 777-300, used on Flight 137 from DFW to Hong Kong, the business-class seats stretch out into flat beds 6 feet, 4 inches long, while first-class seats recline flat with an additional 4 inches. First-class passengers also receive a turndown service and pajamas to keep for the long flights.

Two meals are provided on the 16-hour flight between Texas and Asia, and passengers can request to have their food served at their convenience. And the snack bar is fully stocked for several hours, featuring banana pudding, brownies, fresh fruit and sandwich wraps. A wine tasting is also offered to first-class passengers.

All travelers can purchase Wi-Fi Internet connections for the entire flight, and each seat has a power outlet and USB port to charge mobile devices. And all cabins of service have access to the in-flight entertainment system with touch-screen monitors and hundreds of movies, television shows and audio programs.

“You can fly around the globe 15 times and not view the same content twice,” said Alice Liu, American’s managing director of onboard products and connectivity. “It’s a great way to entertain our customers.”

For Jose M. Gonzalez, flying the Boeing 777-300 from D/FW to Hong Kong made it easier for him to start his new job as consul general for Chile in Hong Kong right away. Gonzalez said he paid for a business-class seat instead of first-class because he felt there wasn’t enough of a difference in service to spend the extra money on first class.

“It was a very easy flight,” said Gonzalez, who planned to be in the office the next morning. “Now, American Airlines has very good planes and with the kind of services on board an AA flight is wonderful.”

Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Solano summit focuses on ways to end poverty

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Fraud among challenges immigrants face, Fairfield panelists say

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Teens earn right to perform with symphony

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
From classical to Queen: Chamber Players are ready

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Photographer has a passion for color

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Cadets learn skills for future careers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Girls on the Run expands, seeks volunteers

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Sports aircraft company CEO recalls effort to locate in Solano

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
‘Souper Bowl’ coming to Solano County

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
SolTrans announces changes to bus routes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Fairfield police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

California’s snow survey shows far less snow than last month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
State to move more than 2,000 inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Boy Scouts reaches settlement in sex abuse case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Doctors starting to shy away from non-vaccine advocates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Protestors shun sister-city relationship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
City event criticized for Mexican mafia connection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Attorney General nominee wins GOP endorsements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Police: Family killed man over child custody dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Killer says his ideas influenced family suicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

NASA astronaut memorial stirs memories for shuttle veteran

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
‘Anonymized’ credit card data not so anonymous, study shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Fort Hood gunman Hasan says he wants to keep top lawyer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Simultaneous attacks in Egypt’s Sinai kill 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Indonesian investigators: Crashed AirAsia flown by co-pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Gas blast at Mexico children’s hospital, at least 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ukraine: Russia-backed rebels overrun another town in east

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Deadly San Francisco blaze spurs look at fire alarms

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: A12 | Gallery

California meets judges’ prison crowding goal 1 year early

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 30, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My cousin’s 14-year-old son sleeps in the same bed as his grandma

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Jan. 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Jan. 30 through Feb. 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘The Thorn Birds’ author Colleen McCullough dies at age 77

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hilary Duff, George Lopez help in search for stolen dog

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Justin Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in online video

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Musician Geezer Butler arrested in Death Valley altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lil Wayne sues mentor’s record label for $51M, seeking split

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway’s ‘An Act of God’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Review: A tired gimmick weakens thriller ‘Project Almanac’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bernie Mac widow drops malpractice lawsuit against doctor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Desert stars: Celebs converge on Phoenix for Super Bowl 49

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Vanden boys pull away from feisty Fairfield 86-66

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7

 
Serena aims for 19th major in Aussie final vs. Sharapova

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Marshawn Lynch talks about why he doesn’t talk to the media

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Gronkowski and Chancellor make for must-see Super Bowl matchup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Signups for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Chevrolet polishes its mid-size truck

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Prospect of Chinese cars in US still remain years away

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Senate passes Keystone XL bill, battles loom

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
McDonald’s under siege as new CEO steps in

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Obama seeks spending spike for defense, domestic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
Who wants a bite of Hershey…jerky?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Gloria Elizabeth Neal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9