Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
In June 2018, I embarked on a summer trip with my family to Germany and Italy. My dad surprised my sister, mom and me with roundtrip business-class tickets he bought using American Airlines AAdvantage miles he had acquired over the years of flying with the carrier.
Our flight took off from Ontario, California, and we headed to Dallas for a layover before reaching Frankfurt.
This is what my business-class experience was like — from the airport lounge to the in-flight amenities on the nearly 10-hour flight to Frankfurt.
When we reached the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, we had about an hour and a half until boarding time for our flight to Frankfurt.
We headed to Terminal C and found the Admirals Club lounge that was closest to our gate. The lounge was quiet and not too busy, with ample seating, conference room space and an assortment of complimentary food and beverages. We tried tomato soup, rice, brisket, pasta salad and brownie bites. There were lots of snacks as well. The bathrooms and showers were very clean.
American Airlines provided several amenities for its business-class travelers going from the United States to Europe.
Each of us had a large entertainment screen in front of us and a seat that would fully recline into a bed. It was enjoyable to watch “The Disaster Artist” in a half-reclined position with my feet up while sipping red wine. The seats were spacious, and my family loved every minute of this flight.
There was personal overhead cabin space directly above our seats that was reserved for our use only. It was great to have my carry-on items right above me instead of having to walk down the aisle to get something out of my bags.
» Learn more: How to use travel rewards to afford first class
We were given Bose over-the-ear headphones for our entertainment needs which were more comfortable than any other airplane headphones I’ve used. Sadly, we couldn’t keep them. Additionally, each business-class passenger received a drawstring toiletry bag filled with a sleeping mask, earplugs, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, tissues, lip balm, lotion and more.
We also received a Casper pillow and blanket set that was super comfortable. The blanket was thick and long enough to cover my legs when I turned my seat into a bed.
In-flight food and beverages
Once we boarded the aircraft and settled in, the flight attendants walked around with a tray of champagne for us to sip while the rest of the passengers boarded.
About an hour after takeoff, the flight attendants took our orders for a late lunch/early dinner. I ordered the filet mignon for my main course and a glass of cabernet. The wine came out with a bowl of warm, mixed nuts while I waited for my food. Then came the small plate starter, a fig and goat cheese chicken roulade served with a sweet peach and ginger chutney. The bibb lettuce salad with feta cheese was accompanied with grapes and a dinner roll. It was fresh and crisp and came with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing in a mini-bottle, but the feta was a bit bland and dry.
The main course, a tamarind ginger filet came with rice and Brussels sprouts. The meal was hot and the filet was very tender. The tamarind ginger sauce for the steak served on the side was quite strong so I avoided eating too much of it, but overall the dish was delicious.
Finally, for dessert, I took the flight attendant’s recommendation and tried the ice cream, which was delicious. Two scoops of Haagen-Dazs cookies and cream were served in a glass cup with two chocolate wafer straws.
Breakfast was served about six hours later. We had a choice of a turkey sausage quiche or yogurt with granola. I went with the yogurt, which came with a fresh plate of fruit. The flight attendant brought a pastry basket and I chose a cinnamon roll to eat on the side.
Overall, I had a wonderful fight experience that was comfortable and relaxing.
Photos by Maria Can.
The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NerdWallet or its partners.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Why you should fly first class at least once, and how to afford it Which credit cards offer airport lounge access? NerdWallet's top travel credit cards