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AA First Class AUS-CUN Round Trip  
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3277 posts, RR: 45
Posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 7244 times:

This is my first trip report, so go easy on me  Smile

Aside from the $150 upgrade fee for booking the upgrade inside two weeks, this was one of the most enjoyable, not to mention easiest trips I've been on in a long time.

Leg 1:
Tuesday March 21st 2006
AA 1381 departs 7:55 am AUS-DFW
MD-82
N443AA

After rising with the hope of another trip to Cancun at about 5 am, my parents and I left our house for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at about 5:30, and arrived before 6. After parking the car in an off-airport covered lot, we caught the shuttle over to the airport. Check in and security were easy (first class lines sure do go faster than the regular ones  Smile ) and I managed to scarf down 5 breakfast tacos (!) from the Salt Lick, a local BBQ joint, we headed upstairs to the Admirals Club, where we were invited in, despite not having an Admirals Club membership (I swear that in the past if you are flying international in a premium class, you were allowed in as well, but maybe thats only transoceanic). The first of many nice gestures by AA on this trip. After waiting up there for about 30 minutes, we went down to gate 17, where ship 443 was waiting for us. Boarding commenced about 5 minutes later, and as always, I went up and had a chat with the pilots. Pushed back 3 seconds early (by my watch, but who's counting!) On an MD-82, seat 6F sure is a quiet one. Sun was shining right in my eye as we took off on 35L and flew the short 28 minutes up to DFW.

Leg 2:
Tuesday March 21st 2006
AA 315 departs 9:46 am DFW-CUN
757-223
N643AA

After taking the Skylink around from our arrival gate in terminal C to the new international terminal D, I'd have to say, as my first time in there, it was amazing. Very spacious! Our departure gate was D37, and what wound up being most of the people on our flight were already there. Sat down in the seat, watched CNN for 30 seconds, and boarding began for flight 315 to sunny Cancun. Once again, I had a great chat with the pilots, we were extremely light, and made it all the way up to FL390. Only 7 people in first class (out of 22) and it didn't appear to be any fuller in cattle class. The perks of being so light is we pushed back a full 10 minutes early. After a taxi to the south side and a cross over back to the east, we had little traffic in front of us (one Eagle EMB145) we departed runway 35L and made our right hand turn toward the Gulf of Mexico. Seat for this flight was 4A, which made for a nice steady whine of the Rolls Royce powered 757. Next perk was being given a second meal of a cheese omlette, first was pancakes. A very nice gesture by a very nice flight crew. After what seemed like forever, we finally began our decent into CUN, an early arrival (can't say exactly how early, I forgot to check my watch, but it was at least 15), and a short taxi into gate 15. I now ask for your complete and undivided attention as I reveal to you the most exciting part of this trip. So...for anybody who has been to Cancun before, you know the lines at Immigration can be real long, especially during the spring break season, frequently an hour or more. After already getting flustered that they towed the plane into door 2L, which meant that I wasn't necessarily going to be in the first few people off, I made like a rocket across the terminal, leaving my parents (who walk slower than I do) to themselves, I get to the top of the stairs, breathe a sigh of relief that the line wasn't to the stairs, nor could I see any sign of anybody in a line (noise, bags etc...). I walk down the stairs at a steady, yet eager pace and when I get to the bottom, I stop and nearly faint. For the first time in history, I was able to walk straight up to the immigration stand. My parents slide in a few seconds later, and we get our passports stamped, and we're through! Very exciting. After trying to figure out which baggage carousel we're on, I finally look at my watch and stop it at 2:32. AA 315 is slotted for 2:37, and we made it through Immigration in under 2:30. Wow! You see, its never been a problem to have to wait for your bags in Cancun, because by the time you get through Immigration, they've usually already been offloaded and taken off the carousel. So another good omen that this was to be a good vacation is our bags (all 5 of them) were in the first 20 off the cart, and we quickly pass through customs with a lucky push of my left forefinger, the stoplight said PASE in green letters, indicating we wouldn't have to have our bags searched. We were on our way, and made it to our condo a little more than an hour after we touched down. Great trip.

Leg 3:
Wednesday March 29th 2006
AA 1688 departs 14:36 CUN-DFW
757-223
N606AA

After a great vacation, we found ourselves back at the Cancun airport with relative ease. A pretty painless check in, line was about 10 minutes long, even in first class, a testament to how mobbed the rest of the American Airlines check in was. Passed through security with ease, and ate a good lunch at TGI Friday's. On to gate A6 (aka 19) where my 757 had just pulled up as AA 2063 from DFW. After offloading equally few from my DFW-CUN flight, we waited about 25 minutes, and began boarding for AA 1688 to DFW. Another good chat with the pilots, this time about the presence of US C-17s and C-130s, and the pending arrival of Air Force One into CUN, and a briefing of routing, weather, altitude etc... and I found myself in 6A again. Pushed back right on time, but waited on the ground for about 30 minutes for planes in front of us to take off, intermixed with arriving traffic on Cancun's only runway, 12. After finally getting airborne, we took off over the ocean, and turned back to the NW with a great view of Cancun's Zona Hoteleria. Absolutely beautiful! Ride was smooth, and relatively quick at FL360, as I had homework to do. (groans) Another light load today, only 10 in first, about 75% full overall Arrival was on time onto 17C, and a relatively easy taxi over the south bridge to D24. This time I was the first one off the plane, but same result, immigrations agents were waiting for us, and again, quickly through immigration. Bags finally caught up with us, and we cleared customs, and re checked our baggage, re-entered security, and took the Skylink around to gate C35, all with ease.

Leg 4:
Wednesday March 29th 2006
AA 1083 departs 19:23 DFW-AUS
MD-82
N203AA

Boarding commenced shortly after I got back from buying more batteries for my digital camera (well its actually my mom's, but what does it matter?) and I had another chat with our pilots (first officer was a U-2 and SR-71 pilot in the US Air Force, very cool!). We pushed back a minute early, and taxied over to runway 18L, via the north bridge. Takeoff was again very quiet from seat 4F, and the flight was a short, smooth, uneventful one. Flight attendants were very very friendly, and really seemed to be interested in your well being. Short hop down to AUS, 35 minutes at FL220. Landed on 17R, and found ourselves at gate 14 6 minutes early. Longest part of the trip was waiting 20 minutes for the baggage claim to start. Picked up our bags, rode over to our car, and drove home.

Trip was extremely enjoyable. Flight attendants were very nice, but professional, and AA continues to be my airline of choice. I really do feel at home on them, and I feel a bit outta whack on other airlines. I feel at times like AA really does know Why I Fly. (sorry, I couldn't resist  Smile) Planes were clean, and First Class was nothing over the top, but it was very nice. Nothing like a little extra legroom! I have yet to run into one of the notorious AA flight attendants that I hear about all the time on this forum that are rude, pushy, and easily irritated. Not a single one failed to give a sincere smile to me, which grew when I flashed one at them. Very great trip!

Hope this wasn't too long for ya! Enjoy!

Cheers,
Cameron

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4506 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6965 times:

Nice report Cameron and hope you had a good time in CUN.

One question - how did you find the seats on the AA 752 compared to the seats on the MD-80? The old first class seats on the 752 are said to be pretty bad and just wanted to get ur op on them.

Edit: Go Longhorns!

[Edited 2006-03-30 20:17:18]


PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3277 posts, RR: 45
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6840 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 1):
Edit: Go Longhorns!

Amen! 2 outta 3 national championships isn't bad. I was fortunate enough to attend the Rose Bowl the past 2 years. Can't complain when we're one of the 8 best teams in the 3rd sport either. Softball is #1 right now, too. Its a good time to be a Longhorn.

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 1):
how did you find the seats on the AA 752 compared to the seats on the MD-80? The old first class seats on the 752 are said to be pretty bad and just wanted to get ur op on them.

I actually prefered the 752 seats. While any first class seat is better than no first class seat, I felt like because the plane is wider, and both the 752 and MD-80 use the 2-2 config, there was more room in first on the 752. I don't think the seats were any wider, but I do think there was more room between them on the 75'. The only bonus you get in my eyes on the MD-80 was the adjustable headrest, but as much as it can be a bonus, it can also get in your way. The seats were noticibly newer on the MD-80, and they had the same design as the business class seats on the 777, with the recline lever instead of a button, but obviously without the other perks of the 777 seats, lumbar support, footrest, PTV etc, merely the same format. I personally prefer the leather on the 757, even though they're showing their age, and I'm not a huge fan of the light tan seats, I prefer the navy blue on the MD-80 (I am biased though, it is my favorite color), it's easier on the eyes but give me leather over cloth anyday. The seats on the 757 are 1.5 inches wider, and have an inch more pitch. It just felt roomier in first on the 757, MD-80 is still too cramped compared to others.

As far as aesthetics, like I said, the 757s show their age, both because its easier to spot stains and abnormalities on the light-colored leather, and they're also just older seats.

But quite frankly, I'm not flying first class to look at the seat, I'm flying it to sit in it, and comfort-wise the 757 takes the cake.

Some people prefer the cloth seats to leather, but my personal preference is leather.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlinePensacolaguy From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 546 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6829 times:

Nice trip report..Pictures would of made it Great, though.
Did you see any hurricane damage in CUN?


User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3277 posts, RR: 45
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6820 times:

Quoting Pensacolaguy (Reply 3):
Nice trip report..Pictures would of made it Great, though.

As soon as I get them uploaded, I'll give you the pictures I took at the airport in CUN. I can also upload videos if someone will tell me if it can be done, and how. Nothing spectacular, though. I did see a Cubana Yak-42 on takeoff roll which got me excited, I was pretty proud of the way that picture turned out.

Quoting Pensacolaguy (Reply 3):
Did you see any hurricane damage in CUN?

At the airport specifically it looked like most of the damage had been cleared up, but in the hotel zone, many many many hotels were still closed, and even more were still being repaired, even if open. It was very sad to see Cancun in the state it was, but the people were very optimistic, and hopefully it will see a bigger crowd next year.

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineBoeingfanyyz From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 991 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6787 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
For the first time in history, I was able to walk straight up to the immigration stand.

Lucky you! If any of you have read my trip report (which I would highly recommend you do) AC First Class: YYZ-CUN 763, CUN-YYZ 319 (by Boeingfanyyz Mar 26 2006 in Trip Reports), you will see that I had a tough time with the lines!

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
I made like a rocket across the terminal, leaving my parents (who walk slower than I do) to themselves

Well arent you the sweetest son!!!

One thing that I was really surprised at, however, was how many AA flights actually serve CUN. Must be a very profitable route.

Cheers,
Boeingfanyyz  airplane 



"If it aint boeing, it aint going!", "Friends are like condoms...they protect you when things get hard!"
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3277 posts, RR: 45
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6730 times:

Quoting Boeingfanyyz (Reply 5):
Well arent you the sweetest son!!!

One thing that I was really surprised at, however, was how many AA flights actually serve CUN. Must be a very profitable route.

lol, had there been a line, they would've thanked me once they caught up.  Smile

AA really does have a lot of flights to CUN. 4 from DFW, 4 from MIA, 1 from ORD and 1 from JFK.

I did read your trip report, and had a good chuckle when I saw your trouble with the lines.  Smile Of course, its only made better in hindsight because I know what you went through, but didn't have to. Its an effective method for reminding everyone that they're here, now just slow down! Nice TR!

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4506 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6713 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 2):
Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 1):
Edit: Go Longhorns!

Amen! 2 outta 3 national championships isn't bad. I was fortunate enough to attend the Rose Bowl the past 2 years. Can't complain when we're one of the 8 best teams in the 3rd sport either. Softball is #1 right now, too. Its a good time to be a Longhorn.

Hehe. I actually hate football and I went to USC undergrad (yes, the trojans...not the south carolian one). And I still say Go Longhorns.

Thanks again for the report, look forward to seeing the pix.



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3277 posts, RR: 45
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6663 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 7):
I actually hate football and I went to USC undergrad (yes, the trojans...not the south carolian one). And I still say Go Longhorns.

Come on man! Where's the school spirit?!

Hook'em!

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3277 posts, RR: 45
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5640 times:

Wow, I just realized that I forgot to put the pictures up here, so for anyone that wants the few pictures, and a couple videos, here they are:


Landing at CUN. Taken from 4A

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l244/Longhornmaniac8/CancunPictures020.jpg
I was quite excited to see the Yak 42 at CUN. Neato!

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l244/Longhornmaniac8/CancunPictures021.jpg
Looking down Runway 12

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l244/Longhornmaniac8/CancunPictures023.jpg
Looking at beautiful Cancun


Landing at DFW on 17C

Enjoy!

Cheers,
Cameron


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