You will need to check in around 3 hours prior to departure. Do mention to them at check in that you will be transferring at Chicago to your final destination of Memphis.
You can (and I certainly would) take foodstuffs onto the plane to eat, do not, infact never, rely on the airline to fully provide (especially any American carrier). The foodstuff you mention is fine and I would buy some more items airside to take on board. What you're taking on is not enough for the whole duration of the flight.
Leave any uneaten fruit behind on the plane!!. Water is fine, if you have some water to sip during the queue at Immigration so much the better. There is nowhere to sit and no cell phone usage is allowed.
Certainly take along a laptop of something of that ilk to watch films on, they still use overhead screens on some aircraft!!.
AA will provide coffee free of charge with the meal service. You should be able to go to the galley and receive a cold drink on request, they usually leave water out for passengers.
Hopefully 4 hours will be enough time for you to make the next flight; do bear in mind that the clock will start ticking on this as soon as the plane from the UK lands, not when it arrives at the gate.
Be fully aware of where you have to go particularly if you have to change terminal buildings. If you end up going landside you will have to clear security again.
Ime American Airlines does not always have individual tvs on their transat flights so I would pack a laptop with a few movies. Drinks are free though (inc wine!!) But they only come three times in economy. Food is not worse than on other companies (with the notable exception of freaking UA, boak). You can get self service water but not coffee. Where are you staying in Memphis? Most of the food options are around Beale so you may not have to stuff yourself before arriving there. I do not want to freak you out but the Chicago - Memphis flight is usually in v small planes.
2 things: I would skip coffee if you intend on sleeping on the plane.. I am guessing you will fly into O'Hare and go through immigration there: be prepared for a vvvv long queue with nowhere to sit and no cell phone use allowed. Main advice is to take something to read! Can last up to3h. Get rid of any food you may have before that point, they inspect bags and trust me you do not want to have to do that staring at DH who had forforgotten a british apple in his bag and cost us 1 extra hour Will come back with more tips
First part of the trip is 8.5 hours from Manchester to Chicago leaving at 10.40 am. So here's my list of silly questions
Food, I dont like to eat too early in the morning but will probably have a bit toast at the hotel. Can I take something to eat on the plane, I was thinking maybe pre wrapped brioch and bananas, is that allowed? I'm assuming I can buy coffee on the plane. There is a meal included but I've heard plane food is terrible so I'd like a bit of a back up. Or would I be better having a proper cooked breakfast at the hotel/airport?
What currency will be used on the plane? flying with American Airlines so assuming dollars?
Any tips for sleeping on the plane? have got a neck pillow, eye mask and ear plugs and have booked the main cabin extra, so hopefully a bit quieter than the rest of the plane.
Will the cabin crew get annoyed with me if I ask for lots of coffee, what I mean is do they have set times for going round asking if you want anything or do you just ask as and when (obviously not when they are serving/clearing meals)
Once we get to Chicago we have 4 hours before our next flight, so hoping that will be enough time to get our cases, go through immigration, change terminal, check in and get a coffee and sandwich? It sounds like I want to eat all the time but by the time we get to our hotel it will probably be equal to around 3.30/4 am (UK time) so will just want to go to bed.
Any other tips/advice? BTW it's just DP and I, no children.