First of all an apology for no pics. Been running around travelling on business and didn't bring the camera. In light of recent security events I figured I'd continue to note 'what's happening' as I see it.
Decided to have a car pick me up at 4am instead of 4:45am for the 6:45am departure for SJU. Was a good thing I did. Easy ride to the airport and arrived by 4:30.
AA @ JFK
First time at the new JFK AA terminal. I'm underwhelmed. Off white cold architecture for starters. Best part about it are the electronic departure and arrival screens, though they're not terribly convenient to see.
Since it was a 5 day business trip decided to check a bag so I could wash my hair. I went inside, having pre-printed my boarding pass, to the check baggage area- mistake. I spent 1 hour 15 minutes there because apparently Sabre didn't read my bag request. There were at least 40 people heading for a cruise with excess baggage that the frustrated agent tried to handle. A mixture of some paying, others opening their bags and moving things around and others just freaking out caused a lot of the delay. (not aa's fault). The rest, h owever, was. The AA agent refused to listen to myself and another guy in the same situation. Fortunately there was a shift change and the next agent got sick of seeing our faces after 20 minutes, pulled the luggage tag and tagged our bags. Was incredibly frustrated since now it was 5:50 for a 6:15 boarding and I feared the security line. The entire terminal was packed with lines everywhere.
4 deep rows for security that moved quickly. Was through security by 6-6:05. The walk to the gates is, at best, awkward. Long hall, poor signage down a long escalator to moving walkway to up escalator. Though not an uncommon design (ORD, CVG) it felt very awkward and weird.
Boarded the A300-600 through gate 37 at 6:20 after running for a cup of coffee and downing it quickly because we know we can no longer bring a cup of coffee onboard, even if purchased at the store next to the gate.
AA is continuing its "take the old aircraft and give it to the Puerto Ricans" strategy. This A300-600 had scene far better days. Worn, and I mean, worn cabins my first impression was it needed a good redo and scrub. Seat pitch was good however as was the surprise full, don't have to pay, omelette and mini-bagel with fresh coffee and juice.
Aside from minor turbelance the flight was uneventful and we arrived 10 minutes early. Bags were down within a reasonable amount of time. Getting a taxi at SJU is never easy but they eventually come and are usually pleasant people, especially if you speak Spanish...
New AA JFK Terminal 3/10
Meal Service 7/10
On board flight service 8/10
SJU baggage reclaim 8/10
Overall rating 40/7 = 5+ maybe 6, the checking bag fiasco really caused a bad taste in my mouth. I could have waited on a line outside for 15 minutes but thought it quicker to go inside, following someone else's direction (AA agent) to do so.
As you may realize I had a great AA trip just the day before. I won't quit flying them over this but have noted the baggage issue. They were definately understaffed and poorly staffed (lousy skills) at the bag check location. Minimum wage workers? Maybe...