CMK10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3 Posted (12 years 11 months 4 weeks ago) and read 5799 times:
Half of my family are avid baseball fans and half of them aren't, my father being the leader of our rawhide worshiping group likes to take the ones that care on trips to see new ballparks, in the past we've done Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale (Florida Marlins), Denver, Phoenix (Arizona Diamondbacks), Houston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia and Tampa as well as the local New York teams. This year the Montreal Expos are playing 18 games down in Puerto Rico so my father thought it would be fun for us to go down there and see a couple, I couldn't agree more. Pre-flight
FRIDAY JUNE 6, 2003
American Airlines Flight 1635
Sched Depart: 9:30 AM
Sched Board: 9:00 AM
We all awoke and my dad drove us into JFK, the ride was relatively smooth until we hit an accident on the Van Wyck near the Jackie Robinson Parkway, anyone who ever drives into JFK from Manhattan, NJ or Westchester knows that the 15 minute delay we had was no big deal at all. We got to JFK and the parking situation has improved since I was there last, now that we're not under Orange Alert more spaces were open and we found one near the exit and Terminal 8 with no sweat at all. We then went inside and checked in at the Terminal 8 Admirals Club, my dad says "I'm too old to fly coach" so he had purchased himself a business class ticket, and then he was able to sticker upgrade my brother William leaving me in seat 20A and James in 22A, I asked the woman at the desk if she could give us two together but all she could tell me to do was ask at the gate. We sat around eating bagels (cream cheese gone as a cost cutting measure) as were the doughnut holes they used to have but the coffee was good and OJ was free so I was happy. After and a USAToday later we walked down to the gate. Security was a breeze and I didn't even need to use the Elite line (I'm AAdvantage Platinum), nobody was wanded and we walked to Gate 4X. Once there I headed to the desk to inquire about two seats together and while standing there I heard "Will Charles Kurtz please come to the desk" My name is Charles Kunz so I was like hey someone has a similar name to me. The woman told me she couldn’t give me two together so I turn around and see my father walking towards me. I then realized they paged me with my name wrong, so we went to an agent and I said to my dad, I think they're going to operationally upgrade me and the woman said "I wouldn’t have paged you if I wasn't going to." James and I were re-seated in 6H and J, my first operational upgrade! Flying
Seat 6J, Business Class
767-300, Couldn’t grab the N-number
Actual Depart: 9:32 AM
Actual Board: 8:56 AM
Flight Time: 3 Hours 13 Minutes at FL350
I walked down the jetway thinking to myself how great it is to fly oversold flights while my dad said how the upgrade was thanks to him, dream on buddy, im the one busting my butt on those two day MR's . I sat down in the last window seat on the right side (facing the front of the plane). The flight was 100% full in coach but only had 17 out of 30 business class seats taken. As this was a 767-300 it was reconfigured in the Premium Class cabin meaning there was more legroom and a better recline which I could definitely feel. As soon as most coach passengers boarded, the f/a came around with a tray of OJ's in plastic cups of which I drank two. Then the Captain came around and shook hands with every C class passenger, he and I talked a bit and I found out he was based at JFK and lived on Long Island. We then pushed back and taxied out by the IAB where not much was happening as most Europe flights had yet to arrive. We then took off and were soon over the water and all I could see was blue or white. They then started the movie Analyze That, I was interested but didn't want to see a censored version so I decided to pass. The f/a then came around offering beverages in real glasses, i had an OJ and then the meal selection. It was the same as I was offered DEN-LAX in First last year, either an omelet or a bowl of corn flakes. I went with the omelet and got a cheddar cheese omelet on top of salsa with beans and potatoes around it. Also a slice of grape fruit, some red grapes, three slices of honeydew and a strawberry. For breads they offered biscuits or cinnamon raisin bagels, I had one of each. All of the food was great, my only complaint was they could have warmed up the bagel which was a bit on the cold side, but still a great meal. My brother then went to sleep but I don't like sleeping on airplanes, I can sleep when I'm dead but I cant ride Boeings! So I sat and read A Clockwork Orange and listened to Black Sabbath. The Flight Attendants were excellent and wouldn’t let me have a dry glass so I had a cup of coffee, a water, another OJ and a Diet Coke. This necessitated the use of the bathroom but the extra space between the seats allowed me to get there without waking James, gotta love that huge pitch! Soon the movie ended, James woke up, my shade was raised, glasses were collected and I saw land. We flew over Hiram Bithorm stadium where I would be and touched down at SJU amidst a lot of AA 757's and ATRs, I haven't seen an ATR since they used to fly at JFK a few years back.
Sched Arr: 1:25 PM
Act Arr: 1:09 PM
------------------------ The Weekend, Dearth of Airplanes Commences-------------------------
We went to our hotel after getting a rental Camary, the hotel the Cabre Beach Hilton was a beautiful hotel and my room had a view of the Pacific, the rooms were large, pools and beach great, restaurants good and overall a great place to stay. The baseball games were enjoyable and extremely bizarre, the Expos beat the Rangers in both. Driving around PR is extremely hard if you don't know Spanish and the traffic is terrible, plus the people are more aggressive then New York, no turn indicators are used and people cut you off more then a rude clerk at the Post Office. Pre-flight
SUNDAY JUNE 8, 2003
American Airlines Flight 648
Sched Depart: 9:15 AM
Sched Board: 8:45 AM
We left the hotel after checking out on the TV, crazy stuff then drove the car back to the Aeropuerto. Once there we checked in at the nearly empty Elite line (although we coulda used the machine) then headed through security where my belt buckle and watch triggered the machine, funny that didn't happen at JFK. James's pack of Dentine Ice set the machine off so we both got the wand of doom. We went to the Admirals Club which really wasn't that good, it hard a great view but no internet access and the coffee was TERRIBLE, I made better instant in the hotel room on Saturday! Oh well no biggie, the facilities past security at SJU aren't the best, we couldn't find a news stand to buy candy bars or anything like that, just a bar and a duty free shop. Soon we went to the very crowded gate which had flights to JFK, BOS and DFW all full and all with big planes going out in an hour window, made for a crowded and confusing scene. Flying
Seat 16J, Main Cabin
Actual Depart: 9:12 AM
Actual Board: 8:42 AM
Flight Time: 3 Hours 15 Minutes at FL280
James and my father were upgraded and William and myself were in the middle of the bus, the agent let him board with me and the Group 1's even though he was a Group 5. This was my second consecutive full flight and I had seated next to me a woman with Alzheimer’s who's husband was a stroke victim and was in 17G. Right after we pushed back the f/a told me if the woman seemed off in anyway to hit the call button, unfortunately I didn't speak Spanish so I ended up pushing it four times in flight. After take off they showed a preview for the movie 2 Weeks Notice, i said no thank you as I figured how it would end (William who watched it told me I was right). This flight was one of the first with the coach seats put back in and it wasn't too bad, more comfortable then Delta's 757 two months ago, the seats looked odd though, different then the coach seats on a 767 or MD-80. Soon the drink cart rolled around with my cranapple and the meal cart offering a choice of corn flakes with raisins or a breakfast burrito. I love burritos so I took one of those, it would have been perfect if it didn't have freakin green peppers in it! Other then that it as good and it came with two slices of cantaloupe and a tub of OJ which I pierced with a knife rather then open up and be sprayed. The meal needed some sort of a breakfast roll or muffin but oh well. I spent the rest of the flight reading A Clockwork Orange then a 70's disaster book called The Prometheus Crisis which is good so far. A second drink service commenced before landing and one right after the meal, the coffee was good as it usually is on board and the Diet Coke was served canless, how sad We then came over Rockaway, the wheels were lowered and we landed and taxied around the IAB, past the DL terminals and a Song 757 around Terminal 1 avec LH A340 but sadly sans AF Concorde and docked in Terminal 9 next to an A300 going to SJU at 2:30, quite odd that we used T9, that’s usually for LAX and SFO flights.
Sched Arr: 1:06 PM
Act Arr: 12:49 PM
Gate 7 Conclusion
Had a great trip with AA just as I expected, on both legs the crew were excellent and made me be happy I gave AA the business, I earned a good amount of miles and I had a lot of fun in Puerto Rico which is definitely worth a visit, I must say though, don't rent a car, take cabs.
Gimme the comments, I want them.
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
Chepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6383 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5684 times:
Great trip report, I'm glad you enjoyed PR.
Small correction : The ocean next to the Caribe Hilton is The Atlalantc Ocean
(Im sure you were aware of that , just a small typo )
I agree with you , Puerto Ricans have horrible driving skills, but I asure you you were better of renting a car- taxi drivers just take advantage of tourists and treat visitors very poorly. I guess you were in the mess of cars trying to exit the Hiram Bithorn last night, not to mention the horrible traffic jam around 11pm- 12am tryingto get into Condado/Old San Juan .
About the newstand in the airports there is a very good one in front on Gate 9 (it has newspapers from all the major cities, magazines and candy)
By the way the Expos won once again tonight (not a baseball fan but they just said that in the local newscast)
Once again great trip report
Kimmykun From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 445 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5505 times:
Great report! I'm glad you enjoyed Puerto Rico. ^^ I was gonna correct the Pacific Ocean thing, but Chepos beat me to it. Heh.
Uh, if you ever visit Puerto Rico again and want to head outside the San Juan area, you'll need a rental. There's no real public transportation outside the metro area except for the very unreliable carros públicos. *shudder*
Anyway, I'm glad you had a good time on AA. I hear such bad things about them sometimes that it's good to see something positive about them. So, again, awesome report. ^^
FlyCMH From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 2348 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5460 times:
Sounds like a great trip to Puerto Rico. Driving in Puerto Rico can be quite an experience, as you found out. Hopefully once, if ever, the Tren Urbano is finished, that'll help aleviate some of the traffic problems.
CactusA319 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2918 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5296 times:
The late Dale Earnhart once visited Puerto Rico and said that driving a NASCAR race was way easier than driving around PR. I'd have to agree. But like Prinair said, if you can drive in PR you can drive anywhere. Even though the traffic sucks, you're better off driving as the public transportation system is inadequate and cab drivers are rip-off artists.
I've been dying to watch a major league game at Hiram Bithorn. I used to go there all the time to watch the winter ball games. Lots of fun and real cheap tickets to watch the latin major leaguers play. Maybe when my Cubbies go down there in September I'll head on down.
NWAgoldelite From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5168 times:
Great report, it was a pleasure to read. If you don't mind me asking, just how old are you? Also, why don't you join CO/NW, then you won't have to hope for an operational upgrade. With NW/CO you don't have to use those anoying stickers and upgrades are free.
CMK10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5127 times:
Thanks for the compliments, I've enjoyed your reports myself. I am 17 years old, 18 in October and I have thought about joining NW but they don't have as good a market out of New York as AA and their coach service is worse so if I dont get the upgrade I might worse off. Also, we're an AA family, always have been. My father and I are both Platinums, my dad actully just hit 6 Million Miles and my mother until recently was Gold so I'd have to spent more of my own money to keep NW eliteship.
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
GARUDAROD From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1566 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (12 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5037 times:
Nice report. I have to agree, if you can survive the driving in PR,
you can drive anywhere.
Im curious how did Hiram Bithorn compare to the other stadiums you have
been to? I know its an older stadium, but the atmosphere must have