American Airlines, Boeing 777-200, economy class, New York to Rome

THE ROAD

New York (JFK) to Rome (FCO), flight AA236

THE PLANE

Boeing 777-200 (B772). American Airlines claims the largest fleet in the world, made up of Boeing and Airbus planes.

THE LOYALTY PROGRAM

An advantage. Members earn points on American, oneworld and other participating airlines as well as travel and retail partners.

TO CLASSIFY

Economy seat 30C. When checking in at the airport kiosk, I skip the option to upgrade to Premium Economy for US$180 ($260).

DURATION

Seven hours and 36 minutes, non-stop.

CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSION

For a passenger in the main cabin, it is rated at 1.1 tonnes. Pay to offset emissions on myclimate.org.

FREQUENCY

Daily departures from New York JFK at 4:50 p.m., arriving the following morning at 7:15 a.m. at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport.

HEALTH

No COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination required to enter Italy. Masks are no longer required on planes or at airports in the United States. More than half of the passengers and all the crew members I interact with are maskless.

REGISTRATION

JFK Terminal 8 is busy when I arrive, but it’s a far cry from the chaotic horror show of delays and cancellations we talk about in the US. I arrive two hours before takeoff and that’s enough time to comfortably complete the flight, even with a last minute gate change.

HEADQUARTERS

There are 146 standard seats in the main cabin in a 3-4-3 configuration. The seats are 17.1 to 18.1 inches (43.5 to 46 cm) wide with a pitch of 31 to 32 inches (78.7 to 81.3 cm). Free headphones are provided and there is a USB charger and power outlet for charging computers and phones. It’s a complete flight. The man in front bows before we’re on the floor and I instantly regret not paying for the Premium Economy upgrade.

LUGGAGE

The rules for free checked bags are complicated, ranging from zero to three free bags up to 50 pounds (23 kg) depending on AAdvantage or oneworld status, destination, codeshare agreements and fare class. I am entitled to one free checked bag, plus one carry-on bag and one personal item. Air ferries fill up quickly and some passengers have to stow their luggage away from their seat.

ENTERTAINMENT

There’s a good selection of new movies and TV to watch on the seatback touchscreen, plus seat-to-seat chat and in-flight Wi-Fi (two hours for $29 or the length of the flight). flight $35).

There are also video games, although I question the wisdom of having games on a touch screen that is strapped to the seat in front. The kid behind me enthusiastically taps his screen repeatedly, playing Battleship. Is it too late for this update?

SERVICE

Dressed in navy blue, with red, white and blue color accents, the American crew members look professional and well-presented. With the flight nearly full, they work effectively as a team to serve dinner and then dim the cabin lights as quickly as possible on this red-eye flight.

FOOD

Dinner is served shortly after take-off, a choice of chicken in barbecue sauce with rice or pasta in tomato sauce. It’s okay, but it leaves me hungry for the delights I’ll eat in Rome. Also on the platter: green salad with ranch dressing, a very hard roll, a cinnamon brownie, cheese and crackers. Two rounds of drinks are offered, including red and white wine. Throughout the flight, pretzels are available in the kitchen. Before landing, we are handed a breakfast basket containing yogurt and a cereal bar.

ONE MORE THING

If you are going to the United States or Europe, be prepared for crowded airports and full flights. Arrive early, have your documents in order and wear comfortable shoes.

VERDICT

This non-stop flight was the best choice available on the day in terms of price and schedule. I was relieved to not encounter any delays or lost luggage, which in the current climate feels like a win.

OUR SCORE OUT OF FIVE

★★★½

Kristie Kellahan traveled at her own expense.

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