American Airlines, Airbus A330, CLT-LHR, Economy


This Trip


After a slightly later anticipated arrival from Minneapolis, it was along to the main Admirals Club in Charlotte.

CLT

This was a fairly large space, which kept most of its previous furnishings from the US Airways days by the look of things.

American Airlines Admirals Club
American Airlines Admirals Club
American Airlines Admirals Club
American Airlines Admirals Club
American Airlines Admirals Club

It was large, a little on the busy side and had the basic Admirals Club food and beverages. So the same as most airline lounges in the US.

American Airlines Admirals Club
American Airlines Admirals Club

I won’t say too much about this lounge, as there isn’t too much to say about it really!

I later visited the Admirals club that was closer to my gate. This was in the new American style however it was much smaller. And just as busy!

Boarding

From checking the seat map around half an hour prior to boarding, this didn’t seem to be a particularly full flight.

Seat map

Unusually, boarding started a little late. For the second time today, a mechanical issue with the aircraft was holding things up.

American A330

At pretty much SDT, they announced boarding wouldn’t begin for another hour. Back to the lounge it was then.

After around 15 minutes in the lounge, boarding was announced. This wasn’t true though, and once back at the gate the ground staff said they “may” be changing the gate. But they weren’t sure yet.

Quite literally about 2 minutes later, boarding began. How confusing!

Once on board, again, I found this ex US Airways bird to be very clean an comfortable.

I had flown US Airways once previously between Philadelphia and Tampa and found their service not all that great. Although from today’s experience their planes are pretty comfortable.

There were USB ports at each seat, although not full power points from what I could see.

USB power

Underneath the window seats were reasonably large IFE boxes, but with the light load, they didn’t prove too cumbersome.

The one part of the aircraft that wasn’t comfortable was the temperature. It was pretty warm on board, although the cabin crew were pretty pro-active and came through the cabin opening the personal air vents.

Departure

Flight time was given as 7:14, and the captain apologised for the confusion on boarding.

Once boarding was completed, it turned out that it was a reasonably empty flight, meaning that after bit of swapping around, most solo travellers had a spare seat next to them. Myself included.

American A330 seating

We eventually pushed back and made our way over to the runway 50 minutes behind schedule.

IFE

Shortly after departure, I put a film on. Selection wise, it was identical to what was available on the flight between London and Dallas. However the system used here was far older. It was purely touch based. And not overly responsive.

Onboard Service

The crew started the dinner service around 30 minutes after departure. There was a choice of either chicken or pasta. Much like the flight out, it wasn’t bad, but far from the best meal I’ve ever eaten. 

American catering
American catering
American catering

Following this came a second drinks round, which seemed a little odd as it appeared most people just wanted to settle down for the short night ahead. Myself included.

Second Service

With just over an hour of the flight remaining, breakfast was served. This consisted of a pack containing a yogurt, some granola and a fig bar.

Arrival

Descent into London started around 35 minutes prior to landing. Despite the earlier delay, we had made up much of that time during the night.

The captain gave an update, saying we were passing through 20,000ft and that we were expected to land in 30 minutes. There wasn’t any holding mentioned, however being at 20,000ft with 30 minutes still left to run meant that it seemed more than likely. This was later confirmed.

Wing view

Arrival on to stand was made a few minutes adrift of schedule, so once more American Airlines not proving to be overly punctual. No big deal though, as I had no plans for the rest of the day.

Landing

My Thoughts

A generally fine flight with American Airlines on this sector. The ex US Airways A330 was FAR more comfortable than the native 777-300ER I flew on the first sector of this trip. Sure, I had a spare seat next to me, but even the legroom was more generous.

One potentially major issue I failed to mention though was the crew. They got the service done without fuss, but when it came to safety, they were lacking.

Upon descent, they secured the cabin and took their seats. As we were about to turn on to finals someone got up to use the washroom. Despite being in plane sight of the crew, not a word came from them. This then led to someone else getting up and doing the same. Despite being on final approach at this point, again, the crew said nothing.

This wasn’t the only issue I noticed. As I looked around, I spotted the passenger across the aisle quite obviously had their seat belt unfastened. To the point where the unfastened strap was hanging off the side of the seat into the aisle. How could they miss this???


www.aa.com

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