WannabeFlyboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 10 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 12674 times:
I have been lurking on A.net for almost a year now; I really enjoy reading all the trip reports on this forum and have made countless airline, itinerary and aircraft type choices based on the reviews and feedback I have read about on this forum. I finally decided to contribute to the community by writing my very own trip report!
I do want to apologize beforehand for the quality of the pictures, I recently bought a little digital camera and used it for the first time on this trip, when I downloaded the pictures I was disappointed at the quality of the pictures, will make it a point to carry a better camera on future trips.
1 ) Background :
I have been flying pretty regularly over the last year or so from SFO to RDU and back. I typically take the red-eye flight on American: Flight 18 from SFO to JFK and connect from there on and American Eagle flight to RDU.
I thought this would be the right candidate for my first trip report since I have experienced some of American's best service on this particular route. Unfortunately having taken this route numerous times before I knew that our 767 would more likely than not be equipped with the older business class seats. Also, since it is a red-eye flight and most people choose to sleep though most of the flight the service is curtailed to a small snack service.
2) At the airport:
I got to the airport about 2 hours before the flight and headed straight for the first class check-in counter to check my bags. There were absolutely no lines at this time of the day and check-in and security was a breeze.
After clearing security, I headed straight to the Admirals Club. The SFO Admirals Club is just average, it gets pretty crowded during the late evenings since there are flights departing to MIA, JFK, BOS, ORD, LAX and DFW, all within the matter of a few hours.
The snack selection as in all other Admirals Club is very minimal, generally consisting of pretzels, nacho chips and fruit. There's also the regular tea and coffee and a bar with free sodas and paid alcoholic drinks. I do prefer this admirals club to the one in RDU which is way more crowded and where one is lucky to even find a seat in the evenings.
I was surprised though to be only one of four people in the club that night, although the club got progressively more crowded as departure time for AA 18 got closer. I did manage to get a few pictures of the club before I boarded my flight.
Pretty deserted looking club :
SFO Admirals Club 2
SFO Admirals Club 1
3) During the flight:
Date : Aug 3
Airline: American Airlines
Flight No.: AA 18
Routing: San Francisco (SFO) -- New York (JFK)
Scheduled Departure Time: 10:00PM
Actual Departure Time 11:54 PM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 6:25 AM
Actual Arrival Time: 7:15 AM
Equipment: Boeing 767-200
Seat # : 9A
The club cleared out about half-hour before departure time. Boarding was announced as soon as I reached the gate. I find the boarding process on the twin-aisle AA 767s a lot quicker than on the single-aisle AA MD-80s, 737s or 757s. Boarding took no more than 12 - 15 minutes from start to finish.
I was a little disappointed to find that our jet was the 3-class 767 with the old business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. These seats have manual seat controls and do not go completely flat like the next generation business class seats.
Picture of the seat controls :
Each seat had a good size pillow and a nice blanket. As soon as boarding was complete and the aircraft door was closed, safety announcements were made and the folks by the windows were asked to close the window shades to keep the cabin dark as the sun would be rising as we got closer to NYC.
Welcome drinks consisting of a choice of water, orange juice or mimosa were served (Cocktail for a welcome drink was a pleasant surprise (normally the choice on this flight consists of water or champagne)). A bottle of Spring water was also offered:
We pushed back about 50 minutes past our normal departure time quickly took off. Soon after take off the captain announced our estimated time of arrival into JFK and predicted a smooth ride. The FA then announced the snacks that would be available for purchase in the main cabin and that 'Kung Fu Panda' would be playing on the main screen.
J-Cabin service started about half an hour into the flight, which seemed like for ever, I noticed that the F-cabin service started atleast 15 minutes before our service.
Our FA did rounds of the cabin looking for people that hadn't dozed off, he took the order for our drinks and also asked if one was interested in the entertainment system.
Drink service consisting of Champagne and warm nuts :
Champagne and Warm Nuts
The entertainment system consisted of the Archos 704 media player and the Bose QC3 headphones.
The AA Archos 704 has some great content loaded on it: a range of new and classic movies, music videos, games, news programmers and music.
Archos Media Player
I selected the movie "O Brother, Where art thou?"
O Brother, Where art thou? playing on the Archos Media Player
Our FA did another round to get our choice of snack : Ahi Tuna or a Cheese Plate. I opted for the Ahi Tuna. Our meals were presented to us with a few minutes.
The snack consisted of a snow pea salad, caramelized onions, some kind of lentils side, Ahi Tuna steak with dipping sauce. A small loaf of bread with butter and Land O'Lakes butter and a Ghirardelli Chocolate square.
Ahi Tuna steak dinner
The Tuna steak was simply awesome, probably one of the better meals I have had on AA in a long time. It hit the spot and quickly put me to sleep... I am not sure if they did the wonderful round of cookies with milk after I dozed off. I woke up to our captain announcing our initial descent into the NY area with about 20 minutes remaining to touch-down. Hot towels were passed followed by a quick drink service: choice of: sparking water with a slice of fresh lime or orange juice.
4) After the flight (Admirals Club JFK):
Touch down was smooth and we taxied to the gate in a few minutes. I rushed to the Admirals club in the Terminal to take a quick shower and grab a bagel for breakfast.
Breakfast at JFK Admirals Club
The JFK Admirals club is one of the better in the AA network offering nice views of the aircraft and terminals.
View from JFK Admirals Club
It is quite airy and with plenty of space, never seen this club too crowded in the early mornings. The snack choices are pretty limited though.
JFK Admirals Club
JFK Admirals Club
The showers are also probably among the nicer ones, although I prefer the ones in DFW better. Since there are only about 3 showers in the club one typically has to wait for their turn in the mornings.
JFK Admirals Club Bath Room
JFK Admirals Club Bath Room
JFK Admirals Club Bath Room
JFK Admirals Club Bath Room
I quickly showered up and headed to my gate to board my American Eagle flight to RDU. Unfortunately I was asked to check in my bags at the gate since my carryon bag was too big to fit into the overhead bin of the Embraer 145. I was extremely disappointed to have checked in my camera as I caught a glimpse of the mighty Emirates A380 taking off for San Francisco during our taxi to the runway.
Overall my flight experience on AA 18 was great and the sight of the gorgeous Emirates A380 made my day
Hope you guys enjoy my first trip report and apologies again for the bad quality of the pictures and the missed opportunity to photography one of the first A380 takeoffs from JFK.
WannabeFlyboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 10 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 12044 times:
Quoting Ansett767 (Reply 1): Interesting reading and pics - good luck fine tuning the camera... and looking forward to more trip reports (esp. with the new seats!)
Thanks Ansett767 ! I have a trip coming up this weekend in J on AA 292 (ORD - DEL) - the longest flight in the AA network and probably the best flight to test the Next Gen Business seats! Expect a trip report in the next couple of weeks...
WannabeFlyboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 10 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 11819 times:
Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 4):
Quoting WannabeFlyboy (Reply 2):
I have a trip coming up this weekend in J on AA 292 (ORD - DEL)
Lucky guy!!! I've wanted to take that flight forever but it consistently goes out full in First and Business. You have confirmed C-class, not upgrade, right??
Yeah, confirmed C-Class , used a AA eVip for the upgrade, was waitlisted for a little bit, but it cleared a couple of weeks back.
Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 4): No doubt. Three meal services!! Mid-flight snack is large enough that it's really not a "snack". Personal pan pizzas - drool.....
Nice !!! going to be my first flight with a 3-meal service! Esp. looking forward to the much hyped Vermilion Restaurant dinner served on this flight.
Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 4): did they hand out menus on the flight, or did the FA's just walk around and take your meal orders??
9 out of 10 times menus haven't been handed out on this flight. On this particular flight they weren't handed out, but, I did preserve one when I got it a few months back, It's called the "Midnight Raid" :
Fbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3691 posts, RR: 29 Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10208 times:
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6): I'm still amused AA are still flying these old 762's when DL & UA havbe retired them from service, more so as many seemed to have pretty old seats etc in them - hardly what top $$ paying pax want.
These 762s might be the workhorses of the AA fleet but they are very comfortable to fly aboard in a premium cabin, well at least in F. I've written a couple of trip reports on them and the combination of decent FAs and upgraded product from regular domestic F make them a nice ride.
They've recently reupholstered the seats in F and J which makes it feel a little more up to date and they are installing new seats to First Class. They used to be on the 763s when they were three classes internationally but are now being given a new lease of life on the 762s, along with the onboard internet. I'm not sure whether the Boeing Signature Interior, or some new o/h bins and sidewalls are being installed (I doubt it) as that'd make quite a difference.
Anyone know the long term plans for the 762s? What will they be replaced with? 787s or is it just speculation at this stage?
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
Davescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2290 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10194 times:
I hope AA goes with the 787 for the 762 replacement. That said, I also hope they will think about the 748. I think it could be a good choice for some expanding routes. But, until the order comes through....
That said, I find even the "old" 762 seats (in J) to be comfortable, esp for a long flight.
However, I am a BA convert, so don't generally fly AA anymore. And domestically? No, sorry...I'm on a blue and gold diet.