hello, coming back from MIA where I experienced Florida winter (22-25 centigrades = dutch very nice summer) and posting a short report.
AA63 friday 10th december, departure from CDG2A with a 763
we had booked a departure on a friday morning to avoid saturdays hassle...forget it!! we arrived 2 hours before closing time at check in and after queueing and going thru questioning à la El Al we ended up at the counter right at closing time!!
as a consequence, after we go through security, where by the way I have to take out my shoes and my friend not (we have EXACTLY the same pair of shoes) , we have to run to the gate where we are amongst the last pax to board.
I feel strange boarding AA63, the shoebomber flight: but I love the AA shiny metal so much ... what the heck!!!
the cabin looks nice and the blue leather headrests of the seats are cool : comfortable and adjustable, much better that on lots of competitors.
I am flying cattle but no regret since I notice biz has no PTV and the room in Y is enough for me; seat is comfy too.
by the way the lack of TV displays in Y cabin is quite shocking: one projector in front with 2 small LCDs on the sides, and then only 4 CRT 15 inch TVs in the middle: what if you have a window?? you have to be superman to watch TV!! and we're talking about a 9 hours 1/2 flight here!!
anyway I am in the middle and not concerned by this but still...I flew a Martinair 763 AMS-MIA which was better equipped
take off is 1/2 hour late because of congestion (usual nowadays....) and uneventfull; then cruising in blue skies
FOOD!! actually it was very good... a roll with butter, green salad with french dressing, choice of chicken or beef with mash potatoes and green beans, and apple cake, everything was tasty, my only regret is I could have eaten 2 of these portions...either my friend and I found the portions to be un-US and very European.
Crew: indifferent for most of them, one of them (woman) must have been a New Yorker (parisian could go too) as she was speaking loud and a bit aggressively to people. at one point I went to the toilets and was just stretching close to the door, she came to me:
-sir, are you going to the toilets?
-I just did
-so return to your seat as you must not congregate close to the lavatory!
-ok ( I wanted to say: don't you need to be numerous to "congregate"?? but since I look middle eastern already, I shut up and didn't want to be the cause of a landing in Bangor )
she also yelled at a poor french woman who inadvertently pushed the FA call many times...since the 60 something woman pax could not understand her barking she said loud in front of everybody YOU-ARE-PUSHING-THIS-BUTTON!! PLEASE-STOP!!
I found it was a bit rude and embarrasing for the pax...
landing was a bit hard but who cares since we where @MIA
helas, the new regulations with Homeland stuff ruined our welcome....2 hours in line to have its face photographed and being fingerprinted....of course we had to be in the line where the most people were rejected or put on the line for re-examination.
anyway our turn came and it went like a breeze, the officer was quite friendly actually.....but still, 2 f*cking hours!!!!
then customs (for bags I mean): after 5 years working @CDG1 I thought it was a dump...no way!!!!!!!! MIA is the dump nowadays
I experienced airports in Subsaharan Africa and MIA looked very much the same except for the top notch tomocromograph installed in haste.
total chaos and total depression, we just couldn't wait to get out of there.
one week of Miami winter with sea,sun and...food (Nexxt cafe is coolio)
AA62 to CDG friday 17th december
check in is less complicated than @CDG except for the TSA part where of course we have the honour to be selectee...contrarily to my fears, nothing extraordinary with the TSA as the guys weren't too nosy.
AA boarding gate @ MIA (E8) is such a disapointment: one lousy duty free with supermarket look alike items, one small news stand, everything gray and no light or air....ridiculous....but then again I am used to CDG 2F or Schiphol
boarding is on time and full of French setllers returning to Homeland for Xmas.
CREW WAS GREAT!!!
this crew was absolutely funky : all of them men, except one tall lean woman with a hairdo from the 50's and half-glasses on her nose; one of the guys also had a hairstyle from "happy days" or something : blond combed hair to his neck with a moustache.
servicewise, they couldn't help you more, asking all the time if you wanted to drink or if they could do something for you, for example, my friend wanted to drink water only and they were making all the possible proposals for fear he didn't dare asking for anything else
I am seriously thinking about mailing AA to tell them this crew is the best ever. (a friend ex AA empoyee told me to do so as she assured it counts for them)
all of them were adorable and caring throughout the entire flight: I couldn't believe it after what I heard about AA.
food was the same as on the 1st leg except quality and taste were lower:
butter was not butter but hardened corn oil (awfull),green salad was plasticky, beef stew was good though ( I dont take beef usually but that's all that was left), cake was chemically flavored.
that's a trend I noticed on NW already: the same meal made by LSG in Paris is much nicer than the meal made by LSG in the US...
4 hours sleep
breakfast was average: hot croissant (didn't taste like croissant...) with a pack of raisins and a disgusting 0% fat yoghourt....containing 20 grams of sugar (please explain the 0% fat if you have to counter with 4 lumps of sugar)
flight was uneventfull and 2 hours shorter (westerlies helping)
hard landing again...
immigration and customs are a joke and the whole process took 1/2 an hour.
ps :to my surpise bags were delivered quickly
voila! for 370 euros all taxes I would definitely take that flight again and even recommend it