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I recently reviewed the American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class product on a daytime flight between London and Los Angeles and I’ve been getting a few questions about which seats are the ones to choose and why I prefer some seats to others….so here are my thoughts.
The first thing to point out is that, unlike 3rd rate carriers such as British Airways, American Airlines does not charge for seat selection in its Business Class cabin.
It doesn’t matter how you booked your flight, what fare class you’re booked into, what airline status you hold or if you’re using miles to sit in comfort….all seat selections are free and can be made at the time of booking.
Which Business Class Seats On American’s 777-300ER?
The mini-cabin on the 777-300ER gets a lot of love from frequent flyers as it offers a noticeably more private feel.
The mini-cabin on American’s 777-300ER – image from SeatGuru.com
No one ever walks back from First Class and the Business Class lavatories are behind this cabin so there’s very little footfall here – the only people moving around in this area will be the 8 people with seats in this enclave and the flight attendants serving.
But it’s not all sunshine and roses in the mini-cabin.
My biggest priority on any aircraft is peace and quiet (especially on long haul flights) so I do my best to avoid seats near areas that I call “noise zones”:
Potential “noise zones” on American’s 777-300ER – image from SeatGuru.com
For me this rules out row 4 in the mini cabin as a viable option as it’s immediately ahead of the Business Class galley which can generate quite a bit of noise….especially when the flight attendants are crushing ice or getting ready for meal service.
Row 4 is also just ahead of the Business Class lavatories which just add to the commotion behind the row.
Row 5 (in the main Business Class cabin) is also ruled out for the same reasons.
I also think that you should avoid row 15 as this is the last row in Business Class and therefore only slightly in front of Economy Class so there’s an increased chance of being within earshot of children.
Also, the Economy Class lavatories are right behind these seats and people have a tendency to congregate here and chat – I know as I’ve recently flown transatlantic in seat 16J.
The lavatories are right behind row 15 in Business Class
If you like gazing out of windows avoid seats 11A and 11J – these seats are missing windows so you won’t see much during the flight!
The invention of x-ray glasses can’t come quick enough if you’re in row 11!
Solo travelers should always look to reserve one of the window seats as, thanks to the reverse herringbone layout of the Business Class cabin, these are nice and private.
My two favorites are 3A & 3J.
Image from SeatGuru.com
Couples may instinctively choose to reserve two seats together in the centre section of the aircraft but that may not always be the optimum choice.
The way the seats are structured there’s quite a big divider between the two centre seats and, while that is great for solo travelers who find themselves in a middle seat next to someone they don’t know (increased privacy), it’s a barrier to making easy conversation to the person seated next to you.
Take a look at these two pictures of a centre pair of seats and imagine you’re seated upright in one of them…….
…how easy do you think it would be to see the person sitting next to you let alone communicate with them in comfort?
Talking to the person next to you involves both parties leaning forward and looking around the central divide….not ideal and not all that comfortable.
That’s still a lot easier than communicating with a companion seated in front or behind you but, if you’re not that invested in chatting throughout the flight, choosing window seats may be a good way to go……that’s what Joanna and I do.
If you absolutely have to sit next to the person you’re traveling with then row 3 is still the best choice (seats 3D & 3G).
If I can’t get a seat in row 3 I generally look to book a seat in what I call the “safe zone”:
Image from SeatGuru.com
There’s not that much to choose between the window seats in this area and there is absolutely no difference between the centre seats. In addition, all seats are away from the “noise zone” so picking a seat here gives you the best chance of a quiet ride.
Still, I should probably call this the “safe-ish zone” if I’m being entirely accurate.
While you can protect yourself from noises coming from the galley and lavatories there’s absolutely nothing you can do about your fellow passengers – I’ve had some excellent, relaxing flights and I’ve had a few terrible ones too (which it why I wrote this blog post) so to a large degree luck plays its part.
Hopefully this post may help someone looking to choose a seat in American’s 777-300ER Business Class cabin and if anyone has any other suggestions for fellow flyers then feel free to post them in the comments section below. Thanks.