11 March 2006
Class: First (Z)
Load: First-100%, Main Cabin-65%
The scene at SFO was a mild one on this cloudy Saturday morning. I proceeded to the check-in area where a friendly gate agent immediately handed me my boarding pass, which I showed to TSA to enter the gate area.
I proceeded to Gate 63, a familiar site as I have done AA 24 plenty of times. Soon, boarding for First-class was called, and I met my seat-mate—a friendly elderly man who claimed to have 4 million miles+ and to be #45 on AA’s lifetime flier list.
I expected an elevated service on this flight, as it was transcontinental. Unfortunately, my expectations were not met. Menus were not even loaded on the flight, and our FA briskly asked for our meal option (omelet or cereal). I chose the omelet, and after quite a delay my meal was presented to me, with plastic cutlery and no salt or pepper shakers.
Our tailwind meant that our flight-time was cut by about 30 minutes, so our snack service was presented earlier as well. I chose the chocolate-chip cookie over the oatmeal raisin cookie, and enjoyed a nice glass of milk with the warm snack.
Soon we started our descent, and my seat-mate (who by now had made a comical mess with his finished newspapers) interrupted our conversation by pointing out that a Delta 737 was awfully close to us. I quickly grabbed this opportunity and got a shot of the bird. Our approach into JFK was spectacular, as I got awesome views of Manhattan.
Touchdown was smooth, and upon arriving at the gate, I was satisfied with the technical aspects of the flight but disappointed with the service. AA has really cut back on service in both classes, as my mid-con to ORD a year ago was more premium that this trans-con. Having burned my measly AA miles, I am sure to take my beloved UA from now on.
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[Edited 2006-03-14 00:01:23]