American Airlines 777-300/ER business class Hong Kong to Los Angeles

01. Introduction: One…I mean…two final rides on the United Airlines 747
02. United Airlines 737-800 economy class San Diego to San Francisco
03. United Airlines 747-400 upper deck Polaris business class San Francisco to San Francisco
04. United Airlines 747-400 upper deck Polaris business class San Francisco to Seoul
05. Asiana business class lounge, ICN
06. Asiana Airlines A330-300 business class Seoul to Hong Kong
07. Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers
08. The Bridge – Cathay Pacific business class lounge, HKG
09. American Airlines 777-300/ER business class Hong Kong to Los Angeles
10. American Airlines ERJ-175 first class Los Angeles to San Diego

HKG is easily my favorite airport in all the world (LAX is a close second), so I’m not even going to try and explain my reasoning for leaving the lounge 2 1/2 hours before my flight to Los Angeles was scheduled to depart. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am so much of an AvGeek that I actually enjoy wandering up and down busy airport terminals more than I do drinking margaritas in swanky lounges. Especially here in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong airport terminal interior

I don’t know what it is exactly about HKG, but even a white boy like me born and raised in the midwestern US can feel right at home here.

Hong Kong (HKG) – Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Monday, October 23, 2017
Aircraft: 777-323/ER
Registration: N722AN
Duration: 12 hours 14 minutes
Seat: 8J (business class)

American Airlines 777-300/ER side view

American Airlines 777-300/ER (N722AN) side view illustration by

american airlines 77W seat map

Seat map of this American Airlines 777-300/ER (courtesy of showing my seat (8J) for this flight to LAX.

HKG-LAX route map

Our route from HKG to LAX this evening.

Hong Kong international airport interior

Did you ever hear about the guy who lived in the CDG airport terminal  from 1988 to 2006? I feel like I could totally do that here. There’s food, shelter, and plane watching galore…everything anyone would need for a happy life!

The sheer amount of international traffic coming and going at all hours of the day at this airport is mind-boggling. Even more interesting is the fact that a good 90 percent of the traffic is of the “heavy” variety – you just don’t see so many 737s and A320s here as you would back home at LAX or JFK, and it’s almost comical to see one of those little guys buzzing around the apron in between all of the A380s and 777-300s parked at the gates. This is a proper airport with proper airline traffic, and it’s very hard not to be mesmerized by it all without even noticing. It goes without saying that those 2 1/2 hours of wandering and planespotting went by in a flash.

SANspotter selfie HKG

Man I love this place!

SANspotter selfie American Airlines777-300

Oh wait. I was standing next to the wrong airplane in the previous pic, so I had to do again with my ride home to LAX this evening.

American Airlines 777–300 Hong Kong international airport

A better picture of this bird without any annoying travel bloggers blocking the view.

Gate 29 Hong Kong international airport

Gate 29 was ours this evening. Check out that 20 minute early departure time!

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for watching this airport at work caused me to nearly miss the fact that they adjusted our departure time to be about 20 minutes earlier than originally scheduled. This doesn’t happen often in my experience, and I’m not sure why they did it today, but I’m not complaining about arriving home 20 minutes earlier. Thankfully I happened to be near the gate when they announced the boarding process, and once the initial shock wore off I was in line and one of the first on the plane. After the first class passengers of course.

American Airlines mobile boarding pass international business class

I’m ready, even 20 minutes early.

Boarding American Airlines flight in Hong Kong

All the lowly business class passengers such as myself had to wait until first class was fully onboard.

Hong Kong international airport jet bridge

After a brief stop by security agents who seemed eager to rummage through my dirty underwear, I was released and set free down the jet bridge.

Boarding American Airlines flight Hong Kong to Los Angeles

Friendly greetings for all as we board flight 192 to LAX.

The American Airlines 77W business class product is one that I’ve been wanting to try for a very long time, so I was more than anxious to get on board and get situated. First impressions were very good of course, but I was slightly disappointed that the seats were very similar to what I had experienced in Delta One from Atlanta to Seattle last year. The seats weren’t exactly the same, but they were very close and I was feeling a whole heck of a lot of déjà vu as I was settling in. It should also be noted that I wasn’t feeling very much disappointment, because I quite enjoyed that Delta One experience and I knew for a fact that I would be comfortable all the way home to Los Angeles tonight.

 American Airlines 777–300/ER business class seat.

American Airlines 777–300/ER business class seat.

American Airlines 777–300 business class seat

Spacious enough to get up and walk around in. That’s my kind of business class seat!

American Airlines 777–300 leg room

Plenty of legroom here – I almost wished I was taller.

American Airlines 777–300 seat controls

Oooh! Cool gadgets to play with later.

American Airlines blanket and duvet business class 777–300

One look at this pillow and duvet sitting on the foot rest, and I knew they were going to be all over the floor on take off. Unfortunately there was no other place to put them except for the overhead bin.

American Airlines 777–300 business class cabin

Once everyone was seated, I popped my head up like a curious meerkat and snapped this pic of the cabin. Quite stylish I must say (the cabin, not me).

American Airlines 777–300 cabin pic

Here’s a wide angle view looking forward towards the bulkhead. Yep, still a good looking cabin from any angle.

American Airlines 777–300 business class seat privacy

And if you’re curious, here’s a picture of my view from a seated position. The privacy is quite good in these seats!

View looking forward American Airlines 777–300 business class seat

Popping my head up one last time for a quick look directly forward. OK, I’ll sit down now.

American Airlines 777–300 engine

One of the best sounding aircraft engines in existence today. Make sure you check out my video of this flight to hear that thing in action  – the best noise is at the 6:30 mark, so turn those speakers up!

Unfortunately for me and everyone else sitting in the immediate area, the guy sitting directly behind me had a nasty cough which had me thinking “Zika virus” for the first 20 minutes or so. Seriously, it was a gnarly cough and I doubt that I would even be on an airplane if I sounded like that. It was bad, and I feared the worst thinking that I was going to be sick in a matter of days – no doubt. Just the thought of spending the next 13 hours in close proximity to this guy and all the germs he was spewing wasn’t making me a happy camper. All I could really do at that point was just to forget about it and focus on the fact that I was sitting in a kick ass business class seat about to be wined and dined by a world-class cabin crew. At least they seemed world class so far, as every interaction up to that point had been really good – not quite Asiana or Korean Air good, but close. It was a good start.

American Airlines 777–300 safety card

American Airlines 777–300/ER safety card. Unfortunately, there’s nothing in here regarding how to deal with a very sick passenger behind you hacking up a lung.

American Airlines international business class amenity kit

Perhaps there’s some antibacterial spray in the amenity kit that I can use to defend myself against all those germs…

Speaking of interactions with the flight attendants, there were many while sitting there at the gate before departure. Champagne and orange juice were distributed on trays within minutes of sitting down, which was a nice complement to perusing the menu and amenity kit which were already on the seat upon arrival.

American Airlines international business class pre-departure drink

Nothing but the finest tap water from China for me!

Once everybody was situated, the flight attendants began coming through the cabin and taking dinner orders even before pushing off the gate. I had totally forgot that I pre-ordered the duck entrée on the American Airlines website a month and a half ago, and was kindly reminded of that by the flight attendant when he got to my seat. I can’t even remember why I pre-ordered a meal in the first place, because it’s very rare that I ever know what I’ll feel like eating two hours from now let alone six weeks in advance. The good news is that the duck still sounded really good so I stayed with my initial choice.

Once the meal orders were complete, pajamas and newspapers were distributed. I passed on both. Geez – we hadn’t even pushed off the gate yet and I found the service to be very attentive. Hopefully this was a sign of good things to come!

The sun had completely disappeared by the time we were taxiing out to the runway, which made me realize that we had been sitting at the gate for a very long time – it was very bright and sunny when they started the boarding process. A quick check of my watch revealed that we were still right on time though, so a long wait at the gate must have been built into the schedule right from the beginning. The only bummer now was that it was so dark that I couldn’t see anything outside. Oh well.

Pushing off the gate Hong Kong international airport

Pushing off the gate under near complete darkness. There goes any opportunity for spectacular sunset departure shots.

Cargo 747 Hong Kong international airport

What was once the dominant aircraft here at HKG, the Boeing 747 is now relegated to the cargo ramp out of sight from the main terminal.

American Airlines 777–300 business class

My home for the next 12 hours. We haven’t even taken off yet and I had a feeling this was going to be very comfortable flight.

Pillows and blankets falling on feet during take off

It was too dark to get any decent departure shots, but I would like to take this opportunity to show you this pic of the pillow and duvet spilling over my feet during take off. I told you this was gonna happen!

American Airlines 777–300 business class video entertainment

Since there wasn’t anything to see outside of the window, I played with the entertainment system a bit during climbout. I’ll tell you what, American Airlines has one of the better A/V systems in the sky at the moment!

The attentive service by the cabin crew continued immediately after take off and within 10 minutes I had a steaming hot towel in my hand. Not only that, I hadn’t even finished wiping my hands yet before another flight attendant swooped in with a tablecloth in preparation for the commencement of the meal service. “At least they aren’t ignoring me” I thought, which ended up being really funny because they never came back to pick up that hot towel. Oh well, no business class experience is perfect, but this was getting darn close before that little misstep.

American Airlines 777–300 video screen

She must work out.

American Airlines international business class pre-dinner snack

The pre-dinner snack service: warm nuts and ice cold water. Hopefully the guy behind me was drinking orange juice. Come to think of it, I should’ve been drinking orange juice as well, because I needed all the vitamin C I could get in order to be sure that I wasn’t going to catch whatever it was that he had…

American Airlines flagship business class menu

OK, now we’re getting to the good stuff. Here’s the cover of the American Airlines flagship business class menu.

American Airlines flagship business class menu items

Dinner and snack options on the left, with a welcome message on the right. I wonder if anyone actually ever reads the welcome message? I vote for using that space for more food items.

American Airlines flagship business class full menu

The full spread, showing breakfast options on the right. But I’m not even thinking about that yet…

Dinner was served in courses, and that duck was spectacular. Of course I was still a little bit nervous as I ate due to feeling the lingering effects of a mild case of food poisoning that I had the night before, but I was able to eat it all without feeling even the slightest bit ill. I would’ve been so disappointed if I had to pass on this meal service because of a bad stomach. The meal in international business class is usually the best part of the experience, so at least I didn’t have to miss out tonight.

American Airlines flagship business class appetizer

I have no idea what “Halloumi” is, but it was quite tasty and a nice complement to the fresh green salad.

American Airlines flagship business class main course dinner

I can’t remember the last time I had duck, but I’m quite sure that this was some of the best that I’ve ever had.

SANspotter selfie American Airlines business class

I wonder what I was thinking about that olive?

American Airlines international business class ice cream sundae

The only time that I ever eat ice cream is on airplanes, so I might as well continue with tradition and take the opportunity to be a total pig.

And like I usually do when I find myself on airplane, I ate way too much. More than I would even think about eating at home. Why do I do this to myself? Mental note: I need to eat more sensibly while traveling, because this isn’t healthy and I’m sure that I would feel much better eating lighter.

They left the cabin lights off during the entire meal service which I quite liked. A dark cabin sets the mood perfectly for a good meal in my opinion, and it also eases the viewing of whatever is on the video screen just 2 feet in front of your face.

Watching video entertainment American Airlines 777–300 business class

Feeling fat and ashamed, there was nothing else to do after dinner but to sit there and watch video. I love traveling, but it can be so unhealthy times.

Flying over Korea transpacific flight

Coming up on Korea just after the meal service was complete.

Despicable Me 3 happeed to be my movie of choice this evening, followed up by a stand-up comedy show that wasn’t funny enough to keep me awake for more than 30 minutes after my meal tray was taken away.

In typical SANspotter form, I slept for exactly 4 hours before having to wake up to use the lavatory. What is it about me sleeping for exactly 4 hours on airplanes anyway? That’s what happened on the flight from San Francisco to Seoul 2 1/2 days ago, but thankfully this time I was able to fall back asleep again despite the cabin being illuminated by mood lighting. They never turned those lights off, which is OK by me because I quite like the ambience of a dimly lit cabin for sleeping.

American Airlines 777-300 first class lavatory

I was so tired that I inadvertently used the first class lavatory instead of the one reserved for business class passengers. It’s quite fancy in here!

American Airlines 777-300 first class lavatory

I’m almost disappointed that the toilet isn’t gold plated.

American Airlines 777-300 first class lavatory

When was the last time I posted three pics of an airplane bathroom in the same trip report? I was quite liking this one!

American Airlines 777–300 business class self serve snack bar

Adjacent to the first class bathroom was this self-serve snack bar, which was very similar to the one on my Air China flight from Beijing to Los Angeles two years ago. I’m glad more and more airlines are starting to do this.

American Airlines 777–300 business class at night

Not everyone was asleep tonight. There were some night owls over there on the other side.

Flying over the Pacific ocean

Several hours later, I turned on the video screen for a quick location check. Still a long way to go this point.

Sunrise over the north pacific

A quick peek out the window revealed the very early stages of a beautiful sunrise out there over the North Pacific. I was dead tired at this point, but getting any more sleep now was hopeless. The photographer in me was starting to get excited about nabbing pics of that big engine right outside my window all lit up by a beautiful sunrise.

Sunrise transpacific flight

Slowly but surely it’s getting lighter out there!

Sunrise American Airlines 777–300

Well, I was hoping to see the inside of the engine lit up by that low morning sun, but this is as good as it got. Check out that wing flex though…

Approaching continental US transpacific flight

In range of the continental US now. Almost home! A little breakfast first would be nice first…

American Airlines 777–300 cabin lights on

Speak of the devil – the lights just came on, so that means breakfast must not be very far behind.

The lights were turned on with an hour and 40 minutes of flying time remaining, and unfortunately there was no smooth transition into the breakfast service. There were no hot towels and tablecloth placements this time. The flight attendant simply showed up at my seat with the tray, set it down, and walked off. Not that I’m complaining – I was still dead tired at that point, and any human interaction would’ve been difficult at best. I sat there in silence picking at my luke warm but decently tasty breakfast…which wasn’t technically even breakfast considering that it was late afternoon in Los Angeles at this point and the day was just about over. A sandwich or some soup would’ve been more appropriate I think.

American Airlines flagship business class breakfast

Breakfast is served.

SANspotter selfie American Airlines 777–300 business class

Don’t bother me. I’m not awake quite yet.

American Airlines 777–300 business class cabin

A nice look at the overall cabin on my way back from the business class lavatory. I was tempted to use the first class lav again, but I didn’t want to push my luck.

Flight attendants came through the aisles with hot towels about 10 minutes before we began our descent into LAX, and from there I converted back into AvGeek mode and had my nose to the window all the way in to Los Angeles. I love arriving into LAX from Asia – coming in from the Northwest, flying the downwind approach right over the top of LAX, then making the big right-hand sweeping turn back to the airport is an awesome homecoming every time. I’ve said many times before, and I’m going to proudly say it again: I love LA!

Trans Pacific flight approach to Los Angeles

On the descent into the LA basin.

Flying over LAX

An awesome view of LAX in it’s entirety. I remember my days of being a hardcore aviation photographer, standing up on Imperial Hill watching transpacific flights like this on approach into LA from out over the ocean. I’ve got a lot of great memories from LAX over the years!

Flying over the city of Los Angeles

Making the turn back to LAX in order to get lined up for our 24R approach.

SANspotter selfie American Airlines business class

This may look like a self-portrait of a enthusiastic traveler feeling the anticipation of arrival, but the reality was that I was concentrating 100% on the GoPro in my other hand trying to get that ultimate airplane selfie. Unfortunately, I failed miserably. I wish I was more photogenic!

Flying over downtown Los Angeles

That’s downtown LA in the distance.

Touchdown at LAX

Welcome to Los Angeles!

American Airlines 777–300 LAX arrival

Pulling off the active runway, but this flight isn’t over yet. It’s gonna be a long trek over to the other side of the airport.

American Airlines terminal LAX

Some familiar tails out there now. Almost there…

American Airlines arrival in Los Angeles

That’s it. American Airlines flight 192 from Hong Kong has arrived.

The good news is that I didn’t feel overly exhausted as I was walking off the plane and into the terminal. Hong Kong to Los Angeles is a very long flight, and I knew for a fact that I would’ve been completely wrecked if I was stuck back in economy class for the past 13 hours. It’s at those moments that I feel very thankful for making the effort to be proactive about accumulating the amount of airline and credit card points needed in order to travel in premium cabins such as this. It’s a lot of work to scrape enough points together to do these kinds of trips, but it’s oh so worth it when arriving home after a big one and still feeling halfway human.

Once through passport control and immigration, it was off to find that little regional jet that was going to take me home to San Diego…

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