American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Flight 962 Dallas/Fort Worth – São Paul, Brazil – Review

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The author's seat in business class

The author’s seat in business class

The new business-class cabin on the 777-300ER has 52 seats or pods in a 1-2-1 configuration, a layout identical to first class.  Seat pitch is 75” (an increase of 15” over the earlier business-class seating) and width is 25” with the armrests down (20” with them up).  The pod’s overall width is 44”.

Window seats are oriented towards the window while the center seats are slanted towards each other in a V-like configuration.  (Unlike Lufthansa’s V-configuration in business class, there is a solid partition between the seats so there is no possibility that a passenger might accidentally kick a neighbor.)

There is a very small ottoman that becomes part of the bed.  (Unlike the ottoman in first class, this one is not suitable for guests.)  The bed itself is a true 180º lie-flat bed that extends to 6’ 3 with a width of 25” (again, with armrests down).

Ample storage space is available, starting with the very large overhead bins.  I placed my smaller bag under the ottoman, and my smartphone in a conveniently-placed net.

Each seat provides a USB port for charging, a video input, and an AC power outlet. DSC_0786 These are hidden behind a panel at shoulder level.  For in-flight entertainment, each seat has a 15.4” monitor that swivels out for optimal viewing.  Entertainment options include 180 movies, 250 television programs, and 350 music tracks.


Our flight, the airline’s second daily departure to São Paulo, was operated on a Boeing 777-200 until this flight.  The 777-300ER pushed back two minutes early at 8:35 p.m. for the nine hour and six minute flight from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to São Paulo Guarulhos Airport, covering a distance of 5,161 miles (8,305 kilometers), well under the aircraft’s maximum range of 7,930 miles (12,762 kilometers).

The flight was captained by American’s chief pilot, John Hale with first officer Bill Elder, the airline’s 777 fleet training manager, in the right seat.

Shortly after pushing back, DSC_0799a water cannon salute from DFW’s fire department saw the flight off and the very quiet takeoff received an enthusiastic round of applause.  For takeoff, business-class passengers were asked to lower the aisle-side armrests to facilitate a quick exit in the event of an emergency.

The cruise altitude was 31,000 feet, and there was some light to mild turbulence for the first few hours.  The flight plan called for a route from DFW over New Orleans, the Gulf of Mexico, Miami, the Dominican Republic, the eastern Caribbean, Venezuela, and the Amazon River Basin in Brazil, although the crew had to deviate from the planned route near the end to avoid weather conditions.  The new aircraft landed in São Paulo early and we were at the gate at 10:22.

Click here to continue to Page 3In-Flight Service, Dining, and Arrival

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