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What It's Like to Fly American Airlines Business Class

American Airlines is one of the country’s best known airlines, and Business Class is an important choice for many business travelers. It’s a hybrid between First Class and Economy, though in many ways it is similar to First Class in its seating and amenities. The difference is in the price, so it makes perfect sense for frequent fliers to choose the Business Class option.

There are two types of seats in Business Class, with some people preferring the Aerospace Super Diamond model rather than the Zodiac model. The difference is that the Zodiac seats rock a bit, so while they are not rocking chairs they may be a bit unsettling for people who like a more stable seat. One thing is for certain: if the flight is delayed after you board, being in the Business Class section makes the wait far more tolerable.

There are strategically placed lavatories so you don’t have to worry about waiting in line to do your doody.

Arriving at your seat, you will find an 18 inch IFE screen for watching movies or entertainment. One problem is that you can’t adjust the screen to increase or decrease the pitch, but this is made up for somewhat by being able to increase the brightness easily. Underneath the screen is a pull out table that is about 17 inches long, good enough for most in-flight tasks.

Your seat can be adjusted to lie flat, an essential feature on First Class seats and equally as nice in Business Class. It takes no more than 30 seconds to go from upright to flat, extending to a length of 78 inches. Unless you are taller than 6’ 4” this is more than enough room for you to stretch out completely, whether you are just lying down or want to take a nap.

Inside one armrest you will find a set of Bose headphones for in-flight entertainment and relaxation. On the other side is a compartment big enough to stick your tablet into or perhaps a water bottle for easy access. You will also find two USB ports for your mobile device charging and the remote control for the screen.

The recommendation from frequent flyers is to try and get a window seat. This may not be easy, but it depends on two factors: the number of people flying Business Class and the total number of Business Class seats available for your flight. The number can vary from 12 to as many as 26, so you want to check the seating arrangements on the specific model of airplane before booking. The reason for making a window seat a priority is privacy. There are no privacy dividers in the middle seats, which may not be all bad if you are feeling sociable during the flight.

Before you settle down into your seat you will have to pick up the pillow and blanket waiting for you at your seat. Then you can scan the wide selection of movies and entertainment, ranging from a kids-only Disney movie channel to some of the latest movie releases. For those wanting some music to relax with, there is an equally wide selection of albums to choose from. Finally, there are several live TV broadcasts that will keep you abreast of current events.

Wi-Fi is always an issue on longer flights, and in American’s Business Class you will have to pay between $10 and $20 for access, based on a per hour usage. The upload speeds leave something to be desired, but even at home, upload speeds lag behind download speeds by a large margin. So unless you are doing serious work that requires getting your work out fast, this is not a major issue.

Food is essential on longer flights, so you are offered a selection of wines at the start of your trip. There are also the standard hard liquor offerings and non-alcoholic choices. About 30 minutes into your flight you will be asked about your choice of meal. That is prepared by several choices of breads and a small appetizer plate. You can expect the beef, salad, and fish menu choices, as well as vegan alternatives for the main course. The end of the meal always brings dessert, and American has one of the best signature ice cream dishes in the industry. If you prefer, there is a fruit and cheese plate alternative.

Finally, the service from Flight Attendants is critical to a Business Class flight, and once again it will depend on a number of factors. The more people flying Business Class, the more people there are to tend to. Flying in airplanes with smaller Business Class sections will likely get you more personalized service. However, you can expect far more than an attendant offering you a can of soda and a bag of chips once during your flight.

The price for a round trip Business Class ticket from New York to Los Angeles will be around $1300. That may seem like a lot but when you consider this is a one stop flight, the extra comfort and amenities will make your flight considerably more enjoyable. If you have to get right to business after landing, the extra money will seem like a bargain.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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