ydmine03 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 27 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 11070 times:
This is a report for my trip to St. Thomas for spring break. Apologize for the little commentary, but due to time constraints thought posting the pictures will also be very appreciated.
Very early morning ride to JFK
AA's Terminal 8
FEB 5, 2009
Sch Departure 06:25
Sch Arrival around 11:00
Very frustrating boarding process. A business class passenger got into a loud argument with a ground handling guy over checking his carry-on bag at the boarding gate. I sneaked on board with equally big bag while this was going on. Cabin crew wasn't not really assisting passengers during boarding, but instead was communicating multiple repeating messages to put large bag on top, and smaller underneath the seat. No jackets on top. Repeating this over and over became really annoying given the early hour. When the economy bins filled in (how wouldn't they with all seat occupied), various passengers and cabin crew got into an argument where should the remaining bags be placed. Cabin crew appeared very stressed over loosing the take off slot at JFK and communicated that we would need to wait for hours if everyone doesn't settle in immediately.
The breakfast available for purchase was pretty good.
The flight was full at 100%.
First sight of Puerto Rico.
It was great seeing ground handling in shorts, and feeling the warm climate upon exiting the aircraft in the middle of February.
FEB 5, 2009
Sch Departure 11:15
Sch Arrival around 11:49
Originally I had 2 hours to spare in SJU. However, when exiting the aircraft, I saw that the previous flight to STT was delayed and was just now boarding. AA personal was very friendly here and immediately put me on the earlier departure.
Tiny aircraft, very nice cabin crew.
Breathtaking approach into STT airport.
And now on the ground.
Continental jet from Newark had just arrived.
This is a tiny airport, with the check-in area in sight.
Passengers are greeted with a shot of rum upon arrival!
The baggage claim area, as well as all other “pre-security” areas are essentially outside.
And here are some cell phone shots on the ride to/from airport.
FEB 8, 2009
Sch Departure 18:50
Sch Arrival around 19:25
After 3 awesome days, it's time to go back home. Check-in with the AA.
After check-in, one fills out a customs form and goes through immigration as if returning from abroad. I read up on the special status of the USVI. It is a strange procedure nevertheless.
My plane to SJU.
This time I used the time in SJU wisely and took some shots.
FEB 8, 2009
Sch Departure around 20:30
Sch Arrival around 23:30
Plane to JFK.
I contemplated upgrading for a second, but them remembered the reports on flyertalk that business class to the Caribbean really isn't overrated. Passengers reported no entertainment system was provided. Also, the flight only offered snacks in business. Clearly not worth the miles, if “surviving” economy is an option.
chepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6097 posts, RR: 11 Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 9650 times:
Thank you for sharing your trip report to the Caribbean, nice to see pictures of my home airport (San Juan) while I was growing up.
That used to be quite the little bsutiling terminal, now it is dead. Nonetheless the AA SJU ground staff is usually a nice bunch.
SelcalCheckOK From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 46 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9380 times:
I just did this trip at the end of February in business. AAL1639 down to SJU is old business class, and AAL1692 is the new one. The new one is great, and definitely worth it if you can score it next time.
BOACCunard From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 846 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 8359 times:
Nice TR ... I haven't been to SJU or STT in ages. Used to with some frequency when I was a kid.
Do you know if you flew the same aircraft JFK-SJU and SJU-JFK? Both aircraft have the new interior in Y, which is only on one domestic-configured aircraft. Or is AA using international-configured 757s on these flights? (In that case, the biz seat would have been very nice had you upgraded.)
ydmine03 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 27 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7693 times:
Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 5): Do you know if you flew the same aircraft JFK-SJU and SJU-JFK? Both aircraft have the new interior in Y, which is only on one domestic-configured aircraft. Or is AA using international-configured 757s on these flights? (In that case, the biz seat would have been very nice had you upgraded.)
I am not sure as I didn't check the tail number, but from what I saw they probably are using the international 757's. Business class looked like the NGBC seats heavily advertised. Tend to save up the upgrades for trips w the girl, but will do another time. Glad you liked the report.