Now that I have a functioning monitor once again, I can post a few photos.
Despite American's mess-up with my seat assignments, a lovely British Airways flight attendant found an empty upper-deck window seat, so I did, in fact, get to have a total aviation-nerd-heaven trip:
A couple of things: first, the text on the screen is in Arabic, which makes sense if you're flying to Dubai. Second, the screen shows the plane has just gone over Italy's big toe. We had great views of the Alps and the Italian peninsula on the way down. (More on our route in a moment.) Third, the seat faces backwards, which may not be at all obvious from the photograph. Finally, I didn't realize that the upper deck curves too much to get really close to the window. So while I'm awfully happy to have sat up there, I'll probably not sit up there again unless it's an overnight flight.
About the route. Does this look odd to anyone else?
Compare with the great circle path that I expected:
I understand not wanting to fly over Iran, but then again, why not? British Airways flies London to Tehran, so I'm sure the overflight isn't a problem. It also looks like we skirted around Iraq as well, which, again, is not unfriendly (officially) to Britain. Anyone have an answer? If I'm able I'll get a shot of the return trip for comparison.
More later, with photographs of the world's tallest building.