Boston Stories and Tips

Manchester to Boston with American Airlines

When I visited Boston in September 2005, the most convenient way of getting there was to fly with American Airlines, which offers a nonstop service from Manchester, UK, where I live.

Booking is easiest via the American Airlines online website, which offers the most competitive prices most of the time (although I would recommend shopping around on other sites, such as Airline Network, etc.). The site also allows you to pre-reserve your seats, although not all seats (i.e. emergency exit seats, etc.) are available for booking. We paid approx £300, excluding taxes, per person. When I booked there was only one class (economy) offered for this price, but the plane shown also features a premium economy cabin, i.e. club class, seats with economy service, but we were advised that these seats were only available if you have a Gold or Platinum AA card or if they are released by the gate agents on the day. We really wanted to travel in this class, but no matter how many times I called AA, I didn’t get anywhere, so I just booked standard economy in the end.

Checking in: We arrived at Manchester Airport approximately 3 hours before the flight and joined a very small queue for the pre-flight security questions before we were very quickly and efficiently checked in. When we arrived at check-in there was a notice that you could pay £100 per person for the premium economy seats.

Boarding: The boarding procedure started about 40 minutes before the plane was due to take off, and we were able to board first as we were seated in row 1 to 9 of the aeroplane. We settled into our comfortable seats which were wide and spacious, with plenty of leg room and a useful tray between us.

The plane was a 777 and was not the newest plane in the fleet (I hope) but overall laws comfortable with a 3-3 configuration in economy and a 2-2 in premium class. The flight lasts about 7 hours, and on the outbound flight were served drinks, lunch, and a pre-arrival snack. On the return journey we were served dinner and then a snack for breakfast. The main meals were fine by airline standards, although the snack were pure sugar rushes on both journeys and not my ideal meal! The main meals were quite good, with a choice of two hot dishes and one vegetarian, all served with salad, bread, and dessert. Alcoholic drinks are also not included, so if you wish to purchase liquor, this will cost you $5/£3 per drink.

Comfort items provided included a pillow, blanket, and headphones, and the movie screens were shared and there was an abundance of kids movies (Shrek, Madagascar) on both flights, so taking a book with you would be my advice. Overall, the AA experience was every pleasant, as the flight was on time, and I would definitely fly to Boston with them again.

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