Ilona Hanne flies American Airlines AA0072 from Sydney to Los Angeles.
Being 787-9 Dreamliner.
My seat: 30H. The plane wasn't very full, so while my seat was the aisle seat of the middle row, I actually had all the middle row of seats to myself, meaning I could stretch out and get a decent sleep. Staff moved people around the plane to maximise the use of space, meaning most passengers had at least one space next to them, if not more.
Flight time: Scheduled for just under 14 hours, we were slightly delayed and the actual flight time was 14 and a half hours.
Entertainment: Individual screens on the seats offered a wide range of programmes and films. As well as all the usual films, TV and documentaries, my inner geek was delighted with the dedicated Star Wars channel as well as a dedicated Marvel channel. Add to this the option of connecting to the inflight Wi-Fi for US$19 and there was no excuse to be bored. The Wi-Fi was excellent, enabling me to use my email, post smugshots on my social media page, read the Herald and even watch videos on the Herald page, all without any glitches or pauses.
Bathroom: Nothing out of the ordinary, but the staff certainly kept it clean.
Service: Despite the best efforts of one particularly obnoxious passenger, for whom nothing was ever going to be good enough, the crew maintained excellent service with a smile. Every effort was made to cater to passengers' needs, even when those needs were unreasonable and expressed in a rude manner. I never saw a smile slip on any of the crew, even when they were being subjected to a fairly lengthy tirade on the merits of gluten-free options and almond milk.
Food and drink: The menu promised great things, and delivered. As well as listing the food options, it also gave an indication of how far into the flight each snack or meal would be served, which was a nice touch. I opted for the sesame chicken with tabbouleh salad and sesame soy dressing, although had been tempted by the other meat option (beef stroganoff) as well as the vegetarian macaroni and cheese with vegetable ratatouille.
The meal was a good size and excellent quality. Looking around, my fellow passengers had nearly all cleaned their plates as well.
Throughout the flight the galley had a self service snack selection for passengers to make use of, well-stocked with a wide range of sweet and savoury snacks.
Luggage: A generous allowance of two checked bags of up to 23kg each, plus the usual 7kg cabin baggage and an extra laptop or similar bag allowed for plenty of shopping while in the US.
Would I fly again? Absolutely. The service was excellent on one of the most comfortable and relaxing flights I have enjoyed in a long time. I will be going out of my way to book with American Airlines in the future.