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Trek To Honduras With AA With A Lot Of Pics  
User currently offlineAF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4
Posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6766 times:

Flight 1:

YYZ-MIA – March 5th, 2008
Flt: AA 1409
A/C: B737-800
Seat: 11C
Booking Class: N
Planned Gate Dep: 06:25 E.S.T
Actual Gate Dep: 06:32 E.S.T
Actual T/O: 07:03 E.S.T.
Actual Gate Arrival: 10:01 E.S.T
Gate: B10


Flight 2:

MIA-SAP – March 6th, 2008 (Should have been March 5th)
Flt: AA 941
A/C: B737-800
10: 27D (originally 27E, score!)
Booking Class: N
Planned Gate Dep: 12:55 E.S.T
Actual Gate Dep: 12:57 E.S.T
Actual T/O: 13:05 E.S.T.
Actual Gate Arrival: 14:07 C.S.T.
Gate: D45


Flight 3:

SAP-MIA – March 19th, 2008
Flt: AA 944
A/C: B737-800
Seat: 10C
Booking Class: N
Planned Gate Dep: 07:00 C.S.T
Actual Gate Dep: 08:15 C.S.T
Actual T/O: 08:24 C.S.T.
Actual Gate Arrival: 12:22 E.S.T (DST +1 hr)
Gate: 1


Flight 4:

MIA-YYZ – March 19th, 2008
Flt: AA 1562
A/C: B737-800
Seat: 20A
Booking Class: N
Planned Gate Dep: 13:40 E.S.T
Actual Gate Dep: 15:15 E.S.T
Actual T/O: 15:40 E.S.T.
Actual Gate Arrival: 18:46 E.S.T
Gate: D48
RWY: 12 in MIA, 06R



Background:

From March 5th to the 19th I went to Honduras on a Global Outreach trip with some students from my school. We are in Honduras mainly to teach at a charity school founded by a close contact of my school. The school is located in Cofradia, Cortes Province, and if you want some more information here is it’s website, http://www.cofradiaschool.com/.

I had signed up for the trip in early November and we had been preparing since late December. I taught, (for the week were at the school) a Grade 1 class with one of my friends and a young Englishman named Tom, who was volunteering down there for a month. They were a great class enthusiastic and polite. I also got the “privilege” of teaching the not-so polite Grade 3s for a couple periods.

We also went, on the weekends to La Ceiba and Copan, the two major mainland tourist destinations. In La Ceiba we stayed at an Eco-Lodge and in Copan we stayed in the city itself. Needless to say, the weekends were a great way to relax!



March 5th:

I woke up at 2am and saw that in fact, the weatherman was right and we did have 2.5 feet of snow on the ground, and more falling. So I booted up my computer and checked my flight and it was surprisingly still on-time! So I get into the car and drive down the 401 (the busiest highway in North America) and it’s covered in snow! It took me 45 minutes to drive to the airport from Bayview and Eglinton which usually only takes 20 minutes.




So I get to the airport and most of my friends are already because we were told that we’d be checking through at 4:00 (if you weren’t there, you weren’t going) and I had arrived at 3:50. So we waited for the teachers to come, waited, waited, and waited. They finally strolled in at 4:55. Thanks a lot…

So we wait in the huge line at the AA counter, and get through with relative ease. I go through US immigration this time without going through Secondary (yay!). Then I dropped the bags off and went through security. This is the point I realized I had only 1 boarding card: YYZ-MIA, but I needed MIA-SAP as well. Oh well, not a big deal, I’ll just print one off at the gate. And I did. After security I proceeded to the gate but stopped at the café to get some breakfast. Ate it and then went to the gate and waited. I didn’t have to wait long and we boarded!

I got to my seat (11C) and of course it was an aisle but not a window, damn, but at least it wasn’t a middle seat!

We departed the gate at 6:32am, 7 minutes late (who cares?).

The flight was quite bumpy and was a “fun” flight because of that surprisingly enjoyable turbulence. Drinks were served and I got a coke (habit), but didn’t drink it seeing as it was 8 in the morning. The F/As were average.






Below: Taken on other side of a/c















At 10:01am we landed in Miami on-time and then the fun began!

About an hour into our planned 3 hour layover, lightning was reported on the field. I didn’t worry seeing as it looked like the showers would cool off and we would takeoff maybe only a little delayed. I had lunch at Islander Bar and Grill and then went to the gate and waited. While I was sitting about peacefully, my teachers were trying to get themselves on the flight that the rest of the group was on, as the travel agent f*cked up and put us on different flights. They sorted that out and got their bags from baggage claim and rechecked them under that flight. All seemed to going well. But then we got the notice that our flight was cancelled due to weather. Of course everybody was “explaining” to the gate agent that the weather was fine in Miami. I could only tell so many people that the weather was bad in SAP and another a/c could not be located (the CSR told us that over the p/a). So we got on the exact same flight the next day, and we were in Miami for the night! Global Outreach Miami! It seemed like in some places it needed the help  Wink

We tried getting the hotel from AA but they were booked up and we just decided to just claim the hotel when we got back to Toronto from the school (don’t worry it’s private, so in essence I paid for the hotel). We stayed at the luxurious Ramada Airport North (liquor and gun store adjacent). I was just glad to have a shower and a good meal (at Chili’s at the Westland Mall).



March 6th:

Well we woke up at 8:30am from a pretty comfortable sleep, and at 8:50 we left on the airport shuttle. We got to the airport at about 9:30 and we headed for security. May I just say, the TSA are hopelessly inept. I haven’t travelled in the US since the summer and I forgot how inefficient they are, and at that hell-hole that is KMIA. Anyway, after an hour in line, I get to the lines. Dude, take off your shoes before you get to the bins, is all I was thinking. I think most people are just plain retards when it comes to travelling. Last time I checked, most watches are metal. PUT IT IN THE BIN DUMBASS!

Then I went to the gate and got on the plane. We left at 12:57pm and took off 8 minutes later. Aaaaahhhhhh, finally going to Honduras.









The flight was relatively smooth and I had a coke, and actually drank it…

We got to the gate at 2:07pm {Central Time(3:07pm EST)}.


For the next 14 days, i am travelling throughout the Honduran countryside, bribing cops and teaching kids.


March 19th:

Wow, that was a fast 14 days! Anyway, I woke up at Tamarindo Hostel in San Pedro Sula at 4:15am and we departed for the airport at 5am. Witnessing a car accident on the way there (very cool, but no pics  Sad)

We got to the airport and checked in. All went normal throughout that process. Then we proceeded upstairs to pay our exit tax of $35USD (rip-off) and went through security. Security was much more organized and efficient than most TSA stations I’ve been to. I’ll leave it at that…

Then we proceeded to gate 1 of 5 and I got a really crappy muffin and a pineapple juice. We boarded the a/c at 6:20 (on-time). We then were told that the night before, they had a birdstrike on landing and they needed an AA mech. to sign the logbook. OK, that is reasonable, I know how airlines work, that’s fine. They then attempted to call the mechanic but he didn’t answer. So they sent a guy to his house to make sure he wasn’t dead and to bring him to the airport. So 2 hours later we pulled away from the gate and were on our way back to Miami. Over those two hours I practically memorized SkyMall, ask me about anything  Smile








The flight was a bit bumpy, I had to go to the lav but the seat belt sign was on for most of the journey so I held it in.

We got to the gate in Miami at 12:22, 30 min before departure. We actually went past the gate and had to backup and attach the jetway thus eating up 10 precious minutes. So we ran to passport control and of course, you have to take a tram there so all but two of our guys got on the tram and were off to Passport Control. I learned an interesting fact, Canadians can go through the US citizen line at passport control. Quite an advantage! I was the first out and headed to baggage claim (yes we had to do this crap). I immediately got my bag and dumped it off at the bag collection thing. Now another encounter with the TSA… we had 6 minutes to get to the gate. So I went into the Business/Elite line, sorry but I had no other choice. Besides I’m almost AA elite. So I got through the line and was fast as lighting going through the checks. I ran to gate D48 to catch the flight! Concourse D is long as hell when you’re under pressure! So I get there and the flight hasn’t even started boarding. So I get some lunch at the pizza place and walk around. During my travels, I see one of my friends from school, he was just starting his vacation (the lucky bastard). I get back to the gate and then my friend (who incidentally spent 2 ½ days in a Honduran hospital from a spreading bacterial infection) told me that the flight didn’t board until 1:40. Well, this is a guy you don’t trust with something like that so I checked and that was the departing time. We boarded 10 minutes later. The guy did show up on the plane to all of our surprise. Finally we’re off! NO WERE NOT!

The pilots needed to finish their paperwork and get mx to check something out. We boarded at 1pm and left at 3:15pm, 1h40m behind schedule. On the taxi to t/o a AF 747 landed right beside us, that made my day! We departed off RWY. 12
































































The flight was a bit bumpy and once again the seat belt sign was on most of the journey. But it was a nice flight and I had a window seat!

We got to the gate in YYZ at 5:46pm and we made our way through customs and then on to baggage claim.

Out came the bags. Everyone’s big backpack came out. Except mine. So I trundle over to the AA counter and get it sorted out. The last time I flew into YYZ my bags got lost, I think I may have a curse…

My bags were delivered the next day and I think the reason it was held up at YYZ (we knew it was at YYZ) was because I had large amounts of coffee beans that I didn’t declare as food on the customs form.



Conclusion:

I had a great trip and a memorable experience with AA. I know it would have turned many people off, but I would fly with them again, but I’d rather try some of the other US airlines first. At least I got 6,500 AA miles for this! I don’t blame AA for the delays and cancellations as they are inevitable. I had a good experience with most of their staff, and I found them to be professional. As for KMIA, I have always hated it, and I still do as the next picture will illustrate.




I want to thank you for taking the time of reading this and please comment or if you have questions you can post below or PM me. Thanks for Reading!


Liam spin 

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1336 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6710 times:

That was a very good report. I wish many other passengers had your patience. I did not see that final picture that illustrates your feeling for KMIA. What was it a picture of?


God bless through Jesus, Jeff
User currently offlineKPWM From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2288 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6696 times:

Great report, and a great experience teaching in Honduras. That stinks that you endured a cancellation and a few delays, but at least you got to your destination.

Quoting AF340 (Thread starter):
Over those two hours I practically memorized SkyMall, ask me about anything Smile

I've always wanted to buy the baseball that tells you the speed of your throw. I've never seen it advertised anywhere else but SkyMall.

Quoting AF340 (Thread starter):
So I got through the line and was fast as lighting going through the checks.

You were lucky. In my experiences, the TSA at MIA is real through. That's the only place I've ever been forced to walk through the thing that blows air on you and checks for drugs (I think that's what it does).

Quoting AF340 (Thread starter):
I had a great trip and a memorable experience with AA.

I agree. AA's Central American and Caribbean service is top-notch.



I have one question. How do you get involved in something like this? Was it through school? It sound like a great experience.



Anyway, a great trip report and a pleasure to read. Nice pics and a great take-off roll vid.
Regards,
KPWM



94
User currently offlineAF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6663 times:



Quoting Jeffrey1970 (Reply 1):
I did not see that final picture that illustrates your feeling for KMIA. What was it a picture of?

Oh of course, how could I forget that?

Here it is:


Quoting Jeffrey1970 (Reply 1):
That was a very good report.

Thank you very much Jeffrey!

Quoting KPWM (Reply 2):
Great report, and a great experience teaching in Honduras.

Why thank you, and it was a very good experience!

Quoting KPWM (Reply 2):
I have one question. How do you get involved in something like this? Was it through school? It sound like a great experience.

Yep, it was through my school. We have a whole bunch of trips S.Africa, Antarctica, China, India, Tanzania, and a couple others I can't remember right now. It is a great opportunity and I was very lucky to have it.

Quoting KPWM (Reply 2):
I've always wanted to buy the baseball that tells you the speed of your throw. I've never seen it advertised anywhere else but SkyMall.

It looked like a good buy!  Wink

Quoting KPWM (Reply 2):
You were lucky. In my experiences, the TSA at MIA is real through. That's the only place I've ever been forced to walk through the thing that blows air on you and checks for drugs (I think that's what it does).

Oh ya, every other time it has been utter hell. But I snuck into the Business class line so it wasn't as bad (those travellers know what they're doing).

Quoting KPWM (Reply 2):
Anyway, a great trip report and a pleasure to read. Nice pics and a great take-off roll vid.

Thank you very much KPWM I value your opinion!



Liam spin 


User currently offlineTUNisia From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1845 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6589 times:



Quoting AF340 (Thread starter):
ver those two hours I practically memorized SkyMall, ask me about anything

I seem to recall reading about a folding cane in the SkyMall magazine. It features a built-in LED light, crank, and built-in siren. How much is it?

also sent you a PM

Great TR btw!



Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
User currently offlineCytz_pilot From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 569 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 6154 times:

Hey AF340,

Great report, sounds like one hell of a trip!

WOW look at the 401! And your flight still left on time. That's Toronto for you...I've been places where that much snow just paralyzed everything.

You said you travelled from Bayview and Eglinton? Do you live around there? I worked at Sunnybrook Hospital for 5 years so that was my stomping ground for awhile.

Miami, never had the pleasure. The shot of all the hotels and condos from the plane looked really neat though. Glad you liked AA, I have had on and off experiences with them since being yelled at by one of their FAs for being in the wrong seat (which I wasn't), but the Skylink train at DFW is a guilty pleasure which will keep them as an option just to take a ride. 3 hour layover in DFW? Yeah baby!!! Big grin

-Chris


User currently offlineAF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 5977 times:



Quoting TUNisia (Reply 4):
I seem to recall reading about a folding cane in the SkyMall magazine. It features a built-in LED light, crank, and built-in siren. How much is it?

$59.99

Quoting TUNisia (Reply 4):
Great TR btw!



Quoting Cytz_pilot (Reply 5):
Great report, sounds like one hell of a trip!

Thanks guys!

Quoting Cytz_pilot (Reply 5):
WOW look at the 401! And your flight still left on time. That's Toronto for you...I've been places where that much snow just paralyzed everything.

It was quite a sight!

Quoting Cytz_pilot (Reply 5):
You said you travelled from Bayview and Eglinton? Do you live around there? I worked at Sunnybrook Hospital for 5 years so that was my stomping ground for awhile.

I live in Leaside and I go to school just north of Sunnybrook. Very cool!

Quoting Cytz_pilot (Reply 5):
Miami, never had the pleasure. The shot of all the hotels and condos from the plane looked really neat though. Glad you liked AA, I have had on and off experiences with them since being yelled at by one of their FAs for being in the wrong seat (which I wasn't), but the Skylink train at DFW is a guilty pleasure which will keep them as an option just to take a ride. 3 hour layover in DFW? Yeah baby!!!

Miami approach is nice one, as you go over the islands and warm looking ocean. The condos must be great for spotting and they provide a unique approach for KMIA. Sucks that you got yelled at by the AA f/a's you had. I can see that happening with one or two of the f/a's on my flight. I gotta say, I really do like NW, it would a nice trip if I got to layover in DTW or even MSP, both are great airports.

I wouldn't recommend Miami, but you might want to try it for the "experience"!





Liam spin 


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17126 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5738 times:

Brilliant TR Liam

The pics are really good, and I like the video.

What camera did you use??

Quoting AF340 (Thread starter):
we were told that we’d be checking through at 4:00 (if you weren’t there, you weren’t going) and I had arrived at 3:50. So we waited for the teachers to come, waited, waited, and waited. They finally strolled in at 4:55. Thanks a lot…

What a bad behaviour by your teachers.

So will you ever love MIA, or will it be always hated??

You gotta love that winglets.


Thank you for sharing'

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineAF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5588 times:



Quoting B747forever (Reply 7):
Brilliant TR Liam

The pics are really good, and I like the video.

What camera did you use??

Thank You! I used a Sony Cybershot DSC-W50. I didn't want to lose my Nikon (or get it stolen) so I brought this camera. It did a pretty good job.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 7):
What a bad behaviour by your teachers.

So will you ever love MIA, or will it be always hated??

You gotta love that winglets.

Yeah, but they made up for it by letting us go to bars in the evening!

If I get a good experience in MIA I might change my mind, but as of now I hate it.


Thanks!

Liam spin 


User currently offlineStarAlliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5345 times:

Outstanding TR Liam!

I liked the pics in Miami. My relatives are always saying I should go down to STX to visit. Nomally, the trip looks like this:

ORF-MIA-SJU-STX and v.v.

At least I got to see what MIA looks like. After your review, I think I'll opt for DFW to SJU (if I go). More miles anyways!



Roar, lion, roar
User currently offlineAF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5294 times:



Quoting StarAlliance38 (Reply 9):

Thank you Mark! And I would opt for the SJU or DFW over Miami. More miles and probably a better experience.



Liam spin 


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8578 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4470 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report and pictures, thanks.

I like MIA, spent many many happy hours spotting there, it's a neat place.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
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