I was super lucky to score an American Airlines Business sAAver award from Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles on US Airways during the World Cup. I booked a one-way Business Class award ticket from Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles via Charlotte (GIG-CLT-LAX) using 50,000 American Airlines miles.
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The Sights and Sounds of FIFA Fan Fest in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro International Airport Proair Sala VIP Lounge
US Airways GIG-CLT 767-200 Envoy Business Class
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After hanging out at the ProAir Sala VIP Lounge, I headed towards the gate 30 minutes prior to the 10:05pm departure time on US Airways flight 801 (US801). I noticed that my boarding pass had SSSS on it which meant I would be subject to an additional thorough security search before boarding the plane.
After I was thoroughly searched like a criminal as onlookers stared, I was greeted by a cheery US Airways flight attendant who wore a headdress with the colors of Brazil. I especially loved the Brazilian flag decorated on the plane.
The plane was a 2-2-2 internationally configured Boeing 767-200 (762) in Business Class which is also known as Envoy Class.
This was my first time flying on US Airways Envoy Business Class and I chose an aisle seat for this 10 hour red-eye flight. The seat can be adjusted to an angled lie-flat seat using the electronic controls.
The seat was spacious with two small cubbies in the front.
Shortly afterwards, the flight attendant handed out a US Airways branded Envoy Business Class amenity kit.
As a pre-departure beverage, the flight attendants offered me a caipirinha (Brazil’s national cocktail) which was quite refreshing.
During this time, I had time to go over the Business Class menu. The menu read as follows:
Food connects us to the world. Today’s menu features regionally inspired, flavorful cuisine for you to enjoy. We’ve thoughtfully selected a four-course culinary experience for you including award-winning wines and a delectable dessert.
On behalf of all of us at US Airways, thank you for traveling with us.
To Start – Warm mixed nuts with your preferred cocktail or beverage
Appetizer – Classic shrimp cocktail
Salad – Fresh seasonal greens with julienne tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Choice of aioli dressing or balsamic vinaigrette
A selection of warm breads
Tenderloin of Beef – With green peppercorn demi-glace, fingerling potatoes and mixed vegetables
Sesame Encrusted Breast of Chicken – With teriyaki glaze, served with snow peas, sautéed cherry tomatoes and jasmine rice
Seared Atlantic Catfish – With savory seafood sauce, saffron risotto and steamed asparagus
Orzo Pasta – With cream cheese sauce, grilled zucchini and eggplant
– Seasonal Fruit Tartlet
– Ice Cream – Pineapple and coconut
– Cheese Plate – Gruyere, Camembert and Gorgonzola
Mid-flight Snack – An assortment of fresh fruit and refreshments are available in our galley throughout the flight
Breakfast – Offered prior to arrival
– Mushroom and Broccoli Quiche – Served with grilled mixed vegetables, Nuremberg sausage and a seasonal fruit salad
– Fresh Fruit Bowl – Fresh seasonal fruit served with granola and yogurt
Warm breakfast breads
Here’s the wine, beer, and beverage list:
After the flight reached cruising altitude, the flight attendant served warm mixed nuts with a beverage of my choice and I had the usual cranberry vodka with lime.
Business Class dinner was served on one tray and I had the Tenderloin of Beef with green peppercorn demi-glace, fingerling potatoes and mixed vegetables. The steak was quite tough, but I liked the classic shrimp cocktail appetizer and the potatoes.
For dessert, I had pineapple and coconut ice cream which wasn’t that good. I’m not sure how US Airways could mess up ice cream, but they did.
Dinner service was quick and it only took an hour and a half which meant there were 8 and a half hours left on this long 10 hour flight. After dinner service, I slept for a good five hours on the angled flat seats before waking up again.
While I was using the lavatory, I noticed that the mid-flight snacks were just sitting on top of a cart in a galley. The mid-flight snacks were basically the standard US Airways snack basket and a fruit basket.
One and a half hours prior to landing, the flight attendant served the pre-arrival meal which was breakfast. I had the Mushroom and Broccoli Quiche served with grilled mixed vegetables, Nuremberg sausage and a seasonal fruit salad. The quiche was really overcooked and simply inedible along with the mushy grilled vegetables.
This flight was simply catering from hell and I’ve never been on such flight with worse food on an international long-haul flight. The lead flight attendant was sweet and couldn’t have provided better hospitality despite the food. My drinks were being topped off consistently and I loved how the dinner service went by so fast with trays being cleared quickly. A quick dinner service is very important to me when all I want to do is get as much sleep as possible on a 10 hour flight.