Flat bed seat

American Airlines Business Class LAX to SYD for USD 75

This was probably one of the easiest and quickest award bookings I had ever made.

American Airlines (AA) award redemption on AA operated flights and selected partner airlines such as British Airways and Qantas Airways are all bookable via aa.com and if the seat is available, bookings can be made in less than 5 minutes (if you have the miles available in your account).

AA Award Booking Page
AA Award Booking Page

However, having booked my seat only 6 days out, I was charged USD 75 as an award booking fee when bookings are made less than 21 days of departure.

To quote AA’s optional service fees:

AAdvantage award processing

  • $75 for award tickets booked or mileage upgrades requested less than 21 days prior to departure

  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, Platinum or Gold members using miles from your account are exempt from the fee

If I had booked this seat more than 21 days prior to departure, I would have only paid around USD 21 and 80,000 AAdvantage miles for a one way business class seat.

 

AA Award Booking Cost - LAX to MEL on Business Class
AA Award Booking Cost – LAX to MEL on Business Class

The cost of redemption when flying in Economy one way between LAX-MEL is 40,000 AA miles and 110,000 AA miles in First Class.

The 3 airlines with non-stop flights between LAX and Melbourne are Qantas, Virgin Australia and United.

While AA only flies non-stop to Sydney (no flights to Melbourne), I had to take a connecting flight from Sydney to Melbourne with Qantas (domestic).

I prefer to fly AA Business Class rather than Qantas Business Class on this long-haul 15-hour non-stop flight because their cabin configuration are completely different, 1-2-1 seats on AA and 2-2-2 seats on Qantas.

I had flown Qantas Business Class from MEL to LAX on A380 in the past and even though it was a comfortable ‘Skybed’, the seats did not have as much privacy as the reverse herringbone seats on the American Airlines B777-300.

So the extended hours of traveling definitely worth the extra comfort and privacy in a much more modern cabin.

Qantas Business Class on A380
Qantas Business Class on A380
AA Business Class on 777-300 (photo: TPG)
AA Business Class on 777-300 (photo: TPG)
AA Itinerary
AA Itinerary

 

Departure

AA International flights do not operate out of Tom Bradley International Terminal like most of the other international carriers. Instead, check-ins are processed at the same terminal as the rest of AA flights including domestic routes.

Frankly, I found the TSA checkpoint at this terminal to be quite faster than the Tom Bradley International terminal. Although it didn’t feel like you were going to travel internationally when departing from this terminal.

When flying in premium cabins on AA international routes, you’ll get access to the Admirals Club in Terminal 4. I had written about the AA Flagship Lounge in LAX & Chicago in the past but this visit felt slightly different because half of the lounge had been upgraded, the check-in desk were all brand new but the inside of the lounge is still similar to the old one.

American Airlines - Taxi at LAX
American Airlines – Taxi at LAX

 

The Flight

American Airlines 73 on B777-300ER

Route: Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia

Flight time: 15 Hours

Seat: 12A

Business Class: 52 Flat Bed Seats, Seat Width 26″ (66 cm) , Bed Pitch 75-78″ (198 cm)

AA Seat Map 777-300ER (SeatGuru)
AA Seat Map 777-300ER (SeatGuru)
Seat 12A
Seat 12A
Window Seat
Window Seat
Window Single Seat
Window Single Seat

 

AA Business Class Window Seats View
AA Business Class Window Seats View
AA Footrest on Window Seat
Footrest on Window Seat
AA View from Window Seat - Enough Privacy for Middle Seats
View from Window Seat – Enough Privacy for Middle Seats

 

AA Double Windows
Double Windows
AA Business Class IFE
In-Flight Entertainment System – Great library of entertainment selection
Bose Headphones - fave feature
Bose Noise Canceling Headphones – my favorite accessories on AA
Great space and personal storage
Great space and personal storage
AA Business Class Main Course
AA Business Class Main Course – Lobster Ravioli (can be pre-ordered online before your flight)
AA Business Class Desserts
AA Business Class Dessert
Breakfast
Breakfast
AA Business Class Amenities Kit
AA Business Class Amenities Kit by Cole Haan
AA WiFi Prices
AA WiFi Prices
Flat bed seat
Flat bed seat
AA Flat Bed Position
AA Flat Bed Position

The service was courteous and friendly, although it did take over 15 minutes to get attended after I pressed the call button (this would never have happened with Singapore Airlines – you’d get attended in less than a minute).

However, since it was a full cabin, I can understand how overwhelming it can be for the flight attendants to serve that many passengers.

In the middle of the flight when everyone else was sleeping I enquired about the ‘Anytime Meals / Snacks’ and apparently it was a self-serve system where you have to walk to the middle of the business cabin (bar area) and help yourselves with the food & beverage. It was not a big deal but I was disappointed how they did not have any hot food options for the ‘Anytime Meal’.

Flying into sunrise over the pacific
Flying into sunrise over the pacific

I slept for a good 6-hours and watched 3 movies, I had hoped for the flight to be longer so I can have a prolonged “me time” but I guess a 15-hour flight could be overwhelming for some.

Overall, I really enjoyed this overnight flight over the Pacific especially at the catch of sunrise while approaching Australia.

Why I love window seats
Why I love window seats
Sunrise when approaching Australia
Sunrise when approaching Australia
Descending into Sydney Kingsford
Descending into Sydney Kingsford

 

 

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