On my return from a conference, I had the opportunity to fly American Airlines from Dublin to Charlotte in Business Class. The flight departed Dublin, Ireland mid-morning and arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina ahead of schedule right before 1:00 p.m.
The 7-hour, 50-minute flight was flown in an A330. The Business Class Cabin was set up as a 1–2–1 seat configuration with a total of 20 seats.
There are two bathrooms in the cabin – one forward and one aft of the cabin.
Each seat in the business class cabin lays flat and has power points for USB, 110 and 220-volt options.
Awkwardly, the seating area does not have storage around the seat besides the overhead compartment which is ample.
In-Flight Entertainment (IFE)
The IFE System has an ample selection of movies, television programs and games available at no-cost to the passenger. Each seat is equipped with a Bose QC15 Noise Cancelling Headset which was collected an hour before arrival.
I found the 12-inch screen to be a bit small when compared to the size of the seating area.
The Business Class Cabin was offered pre-departure beverages consisting of water, orange juice and champagne. Flagship Business menus were distributed and preferences taken before gate departure.
Immediately upon leveling at cruising altitude, initial beverages and peanut mix were served. Since it was still early in the day, I chose a mimosa.
Shortly after the initial beverages, the main meal was served.
The dessert options were delicious – ice cream sundae, cheese platter or caramelized orange cake.
Self-service in-flight snacks were available throughout the flight in the aft portion of the business class cabin which included wine, soft drinks, fruit and other snacks.
Approximately 2-hours before arrival, a light meal was offered. I chose the barbeque cheese toastie which with the recently added Voodoo Ranger IPA beer.
I found it very unusual but it was the very first transatlantic flight in which an amenity kit was not made available to the premium cabin.
Other Interesting Facts
I had never flown from Dublin to the United States directly so I learned a few interesting facts which include:
US Pre-Departure Clearance
Dublin offers the only European pre-departure clearance of U.S. Immigration and Customs option. This basically allows you to clear Immigration and Customs prior to departure from Dublin. Additionally, it allows for two very distinct advantages:
- Not having to deal with Immigration or Customs clearance upon arrival to the United States.
- Ability to hand carry your Duty-Free purchases to your final destination versus having to pack them in your checked luggage at your United Stated port of entry.
If you are travelling in Business Class from Dublin Terminal 2 into the United States, you are granted access into the 51st and Green Lounge which is located at the end of the terminal once you clear the U.S. Pre-Clearance Customs Checkpoint.
The flight left on time and given that we had pre-cleared U.S. immigration and customs in Dublin, we pulled right into the gate in Charlotte and walked directly into the terminal. This allowed us to go directly to our respective connecting flights without having to collect our checked baggage or pass thru security again.