jyatlantic
Posts: 152
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:14 am

AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:37 am

AA 24 (7:47AM—3:56PM)
11 March 2006
Class: First (Z)
Seat: 1J
Aircraft: 763
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.



As we chatted away our plane pushed back on time, and soon we were in the air after a 29-second roll. I got a spectacular view of a jet on final to OAK.


http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b17/jyatlantic/IMG_2814.jpg


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.
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b17/jyatlantic/IMG_2824.jpg

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.
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b17/jyatlantic/IMG_2827.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b17/jyatlantic/IMG_2843.jpg






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.


Please feel free to comment or contact me! Also check out my other trip reports (in profile). Thanks for reading.

[Edited 2006-03-14 00:01:23]

 
semsem
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:14 am

From what I read UA is better than AA on international Y class now. AA used to be great until they downgraded.
 
bravo7e7
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:18 am

Excellent Report James! I always thought that SFO-JFK was supposed to be premium for AA, competing with United's Premium Service. In reality, I got the same exact thing, and more on an IAD-LAX transcon on UA, which is not one of their signature routes in two class F.

Here is the meal:
http://photobucket.com/albums/y96/br...?action=view¤t=IMG_3056p.jpg
http://photobucket.com/albums/y96/br...?action=view¤t=IMG_3058p.jpg

Quoting Jyatlantic (Thread starter):
Having burned my measly AA miles, I am sure to take my beloved UA from now on.

Definitely! Especially on this route, where AA does not stand a chance against UA, which offer a hot breakfast and a snack (the size of lunch on the breakfast SFO-JFK flights.
 
Mexicana757
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:35 am

Nice pictures!! Wow your seat mate is a slob. Looks like he was making a nest or something.
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:11 am

Nice report  thumbsup  Am doing my first AA F transcon in five years soon and it is good to see what I am expecting.

Surprised you didn't get a sundae service, I thought this was standard in F on transcons?

Quoting Jyatlantic (Thread starter):
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

Doesn't look like a 737..or does it. Either way that plane is seriously close, having seen planes look close and then have them appear in photos as tiny blips I can understand how big that would have appeared.

Quoting Jyatlantic (Thread starter):

You went into coach??? Did a FAM stick a pistol in your face?  Wink

Quoting Jyatlantic (Thread starter):
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.

That is surprising, I'd have thought 4MM isn't that big in the scheme of things. You're looking at less than 200,000 miles per year since 1981 and that isn't BIS!
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
alexchao
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:12 am

Great report! I enjoyed reading it.
 
Alitalia744
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:50 am

Quoting Jyatlantic (Thread starter):
interrupted our conversation by pointing out that a Delta 737 was awfully close to us.

Nice report, the DL bird is a 763 tho.
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
freedomtofly
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:10 am

Nice report, love the OAK approach pic. Thanks for taking the time to write one!

Aaron
You are now free to move about the world.
 
RSW Sergio E
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:15 am

Really enjoyed reading your report. Great pic's too.
 
triple7man
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:22 pm

Good trip report, but I am sorry to hear the service was not as good as you had expected. I am a retired AA International Aadvantage reservations supervisor, so I checked the flight schedules. Normally our transcontinental flights are 3 classes, first, business and coach. I was suprised to see your flight was not, but in looking at the flight schedules, AA 24 is a 2 class flight.
You mentioned the passenger next to you had 4 million miles with AA. Was it actual flown miles, or miles he earned another way, like Citibank Aadvantage credit card? I worked on the Executive Platinum desk, and to qualify, you had to FLY 100,000 miles a year. (you could also qualify by segments or points based on the class of service).
In reference to the DL airplane near you, it looks more like a 767-300, same as you were on. All commercial flights file instrument flight plans with ATC (air traffic control). They are monitered from takeoff to touchdown by ATC on radarscopes. In addition, in busy area, like NYC they have TRACON (terminal radar approach control). Airplanes are also equipped with TCAS (traffic alert collision avoidance system), which notify each airplane of other airplanes in the area. Pilots have plenty of advance notice and TCAS also gives each pilot instructions on what to do to avoid a collision.
I do hope you fly AA again and have a better experience. I don't know if yo book online or with an agent, but when you fly transcontinentally, ask if the flight is a 3 class flight
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
jyatlantic
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:10 am

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 2):

Here is the meal:

UA's definitely a notch above AA!

Quoting Mexicana757 (Reply 3):
Wow your seat mate is a slob. Looks like he was making a nest or something.

lol, i was thinkin' the exact same thing.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 4):

Surprised you didn't get a sundae service, I thought this was standard in F on transcons?

I guess they have this service on later flights; also, are you going in 3-class or 2-class first?

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 4):
You went into coach??? Did a FAM stick a pistol in your face? Wink

Surprisingly I don't think any FAMs on the flight. But yes, I got a couple of nasty looks from the plebians  Wink (j/k).

Quoting Triple7man (Reply 9):
I do hope you fly AA again and have a better experience. I don't know if yo book online or with an agent, but when you fly transcontinentally, ask if the flight is a 3 class flight

I hear 3-class flights are AA's "flagship transcontinental service" as they attempt to compete with UA's premium service.

[Edited 2006-03-14 20:14:03]
 
tbear815
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:03 pm

Having never flown UA's new p.s. service, their previous special market services were spectacular. UA 767 SFO/JFK ~8:00 am Ocean-to-Ocean was one of the best flights I've ever been on. Years ago on AA's mid-con IAH/SFO 707's was incredible. AA and UA were both real winners then. But like everything, things change. Then you had airmen running airlines. Now you have bean counters. They took the word "special" out of flying.

Someday, someone is going to start a one-class upgraded service aircraft on mainline routes in the U.S. Just before the jet age (I was very young then), the airlines flew different aircraft according to class. In the morning, UA would have a "Red Carpet" DC-7 nonstop SFO/IDL. Around the same time, a DC-6B "Custom Coach" would go out on the same route. A little slower, not so fancy, but excellent quality meal (you got one, surprise, surprise). Ditto SFO/HNL.

In the early '60's, UA went from a three class jet (Red, White, and Blue) to a single class "middle-of-the-road" cabin with 2X3 seating (sort of yesterday's version of business). Hawaii and transcon always had a first cabin.

Maybe it's time to try it again. Like Midwest only on more mainline routes with 757-type a/c. I think a single "business class" aircraft could attract a lot of passengers. Look at Privat Air flying for LH DUS/EWR (?) or MUC/EWR (again ?) and check it out on airlinemeals.net.

It can be done. The airlines need management with imagination. Now they're all flying Greyhounds (an American bus transportation company). There is a market for an upscale product. Look at this terrific trip report - with great detail, we've learned AA has a flawed product for a specific market. Imagination and creativity are going to make an airline great - not low fares and lousy service.

Amen.......
 
swiss-airplane
Posts: 557
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:21 pm

very nice tirp report and nice pics
but this was only a 2 class flight.. I flew LAX-JFK last sunday with AA 2 in First Class. This flight was a 3-class service flight. Menus were handet out and in First we also got a DVD player. Meal started with a fruit platte and for Brunch we had a choice of 3 meals. FA Carrie was very nice.
Overall I only had good experiences with AA, but so far I always had the best Crews on my flights from ZRH to JFK
 
jyatlantic
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:57 pm

Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 11):
In the early '60's, UA went from a three class jet (Red, White, and Blue)

This reminds me of UA P.S. nowadays.

Quoting Swiss-airplane (Reply 12):
I flew LAX-JFK last sunday with AA 2 in First Class. This flight was a 3-class service flight. Menus were handet out and in First we also got a DVD player.

3-class F is definitely better, but I didn't want to burn the extra 20K miles. Glad to hear it was a great experience. I've done ZRH-DFW b4.
 
swiss-airplane
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:15 pm

I flew non rev.. it was great as usuall
DFW-ZRH was also very nice before christmas with very nice Crew
I always had good Crews on the Intl flights to and from ZRH.. have done that many times as I love the USA so much
 
DFW13L
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:47 pm

Looks like you were on a 767-300 which is 2 class config. Usually this service runs with 767-200 in a three class.

As I understand it, all the 767-200s that remain in the fleet are 3 class and used for transcon. All the 767-300s are 2 class (30F 185Y). I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

Loved all the pictures!
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
 
phatfarmlines
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:33 pm

Good TR. You're description of the AA F Class proves that amenities in this cabin are now being targeted for cost cutting. After all, there isn't much shafting to do with the coach product anymore.
 
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fxramper
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:58 pm

Quoting Jyatlantic (Reply 10):

Surprisingly I don't think any FAMs on the flight. But yes, I got a couple of nasty looks from the plebians (j/k).

surprisingly, there was not only 1 fam on your flight, but they never fly alone.  Smile the percentage of pilots on this route that are ffdo is surprisingly high.

regards.
 
christao17
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:18 am

Nice report and great pics. Looks like you got some really cool views.

Sorry that your flight was not better. Even though this was "only" a 2-class AA flight, I'm surprised that they're letting their service slip so much. It has been a few years since I last flew AA on the SFO-JFK route, but they used to be quite comparable to UA. Nowadays, it looks like UA is the clear leader.

I've always enjoyed flying AA, though, so I hope your flight was just an unusual circumstance and not the norm.
Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
 
767747
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:28 am

Good report and pics!
I love to fly!
 
jyatlantic
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:29 am

Quoting Christao17 (Reply 18):
I've always enjoyed flying AA, though, so I hope your flight was just an unusual circumstance and not the norm.

On the return trip, we did receive menus for brunch, and I was assigned to a better FA, but the catering lacked big time.
 
SFOMB67
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:57 pm

Quoting Mexicana757 (Reply 3):
Wow your seat mate is a slob. Looks like he was making a nest or something

This is NOT abnormal for a transcon flight. I've seen this many times and wonder if their wives pickup after them at home. I'd like to see a FA tell them, "If you pick those (newspapers) up, I'll dispose of them for you." It's a real pet peeve of mine that some people are REAL SLOBS, and expect everyone to pickup after them.
Not as easy as originally perceived
 
N62NA
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:35 am

Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 11):
Someday, someone is going to start a one-class upgraded service aircraft on mainline routes in the U.S

http://www.primarisairlines.com/  wink 
 
jyatlantic
Posts: 152
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:14 am

RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:05 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 22):
Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 11):
Someday, someone is going to start a one-class upgraded service aircraft on mainline routes in the U.S

http://www.primarisairlines.com/ wink

And someday, someone will go bankrupt.  Wink
 
AA767LOVER
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:50 pm

How I love those transcons!!! I look forward to my JFK-SFO flight next year. I'll also be doing a 763. However, I'm thinking that I'll do something different. I will put my miles back in and then wait until i got almost 60,000. I will do Flagship First on 762s. It makes a difference from Business Class by a great deal.
J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)
 
Av8rDAL
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:35 pm

I flew AA on MIA-SFO earlier this year in February and had a similar experience, except I was in Y. I was asked ONCE if I wanted something to drink. There were no peanuts, pretzels, snack pack, or anything else offered on a 6 hour and 45 minute flight (headwinds and holding at SFO).

I asked about this and the only consumables which were available were for sale. If I had known this, I would have bought a Subway sandwich or something.

Delta at least offers a complementary snack pack now on transcontinental flights to the west coast.
Maintain thine airspeed, lest the Earth rise up and smite thee.
 
LY777
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:00 am

Nice report. The cabin of AA 767s looks just horrible, really too dark!!!
Flown:717,727,732,734,735,738,73W,742/744/748,752,762/2ER/763/3ER,772/77E/773/77W, 788, D8,D10,L1011, A3B2,A320,A321,A332,A343,A388
 
AA767LOVER
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:48 am

Quoting Jyatlantic (Reply 23):

Seems like people love going bankrupt soon after they start. They should start with Airline Mogul first before messing with REAL LIFE!
J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)
 
AA767LOVER
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RE: AA First: SFO-JFK (W/Pics)

Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:50 am

As an add-on to my last post, I wanted to respond to what I read about City Star's ambitious transtlantic plans for a 757-200 VIP configured flight from ABZ-IAH. Even 4 times a week is quite ambitious for an unknown carrier that has not much of an international status. I am not against it, but I would just advise caution and be conservative to a twice weekly flight to start with. Now if all the surveys they've done already indicate that 4 times a week is warranted, then that's great. But to be on the safe side, better not to go so ambitious all at once. It may have great potential. It just needs to work its way upwards first.
J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)

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