LipeGIG
Topic Author
Posts: 5050
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:33 am

X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:41 am

Well, before any one try to say that i'm rich, forget it! Just read and will understand what happen!

As i just arrive here in New York after being promoted for a 6-year period management program in my banks branch i decided to spend the Christmas in Rio with my family.
In June, i bought a LHR-GRU-LHR ticket on a very good deal (the best in my life....) paying only R$ 1.300 for the R/T ticket (closer to GBP 500!). To complete, i bought a JFK-LHR-JFK C ticket with AA (another good deal), and just bought the leg GRU-GIG as well as the return ticket GIG-GRU-JFK (which i will post in another thread)

JFK-LHR
AA116 - ETD Dec 23 0100 AM
B772 - Dec 22

I leave my hotel in Manhattan closer to 7 PM and get the train in order to connect with the AirTrain (very easy, quick and comfortable to reach JFK). While i'm just at Jamaica Station i received a call from AA customer service informing my fleet will delay (from 2345 to 0100).

I arrive JFK at about 7:50 PM and go straight to AA Business Class check-in and get my boarding pass with no lines. Very quick my reserved seat 12D was confirmed and i was ready to go to the Admirals Club, in which i wait during long 3:45 for the first boarding call.

The Admirals Club is really huge, with lots of space (probably 8 or 10 times bigger than JJ lounge at GRU) and it really need to be with so many 777 and some 767 services at night (EZE, GRU, LHR...). Impressive!

Closer to 23:55 AA called us to proceed to the gate and at that time the line for the check-point was reduced to 2 people... good for me!

At the gate, i realize that the plane was really full and AA called about 12 customers to upgrade them to the Business Class.

More 5 minutes and we have been invited to board and as i'm just in front of the gate, i was the first to board !

AA business class seems to be comfortable, a good leg room, but thanks my seat was not the E one... the 2-3-2 is really not the best, for my lucky is a couple on my side, so no need to wake me up !


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Greg Vaughn



For my surprise, during the economy boarding one of the F/A asked me if i'm travelling with a big bag (?) and as i'm just with a notebook case, reply "no lady...". Immediately she says "i think we can upgrade you"... (note: i'm not AA FF customer...) and she invited me to the First Class (i imagine everyone thinks that i'm a kind of Platinum or something like that... my first trip US-Europe with any airline and AA treats me like this, oh god it's good to fly with them  Smile )

AA First Class ... the plane keep the mini-suite, very comfortable with electronic seats, flat bed... nothing to complain about !
Food was great, F/A was sympathy, Entertainment only demands an AVOD system to be perfect !

Unfortunately i'm not with my camera...was for sure an interesting trip !

At LHR, First Class passengers have access to a Fast Track, and again i was the First one to reach the immigration. One minutes of questions and i'm in the UK.

The only bad note is that AA does not respect the "Priority" tag, and i wait for more than 10 minutes to get my only bag back.

After this i went to Hilton to rest a little before the next journey...

LHR-GRU-GIG (Leg LHR-GRU)
JJ8085 - ETD 2215
Dec 23
A332 PR-MVL

I sleep during almost 4:30 hours (from 14 to 18:30) and went back to the Terminal 4 (Hilton LHR is very convenient for JJ customers) where i face a very crowded line for JJ flight (KL nowadays takes care of JJ ground operations at LHR). While the line for the economy keep at least 50 customers, the one to Business Class keep only 2 so it was very quick to get to the agent.
I present my Ticket (seat 9A) and as soon as i present also my FF card the agent called the manager and inform he that a "Fidelidade Vermelho" was on Business Class and if he will need some "space". Due to the fact that it's Christmas and a group of BA customers lost it's flight, the agent told me that they need to try to accommodate such passengers on Y, and to do this they need some C seats (reservations numbers 3F 19C 184Y). The agent also told me that the flight use to be overbooked on Y and several times they need to upgrade some Blue Customers because of the lack of the Red ones to Business Class. So, no complaints, First Class again!
With my new seat 1K i have been invited to the KL lounge, but instead of going directly i decided to take a look at the shops as i need to buy some gifts!

MVL is a separate chapter, the newest JJ widebody with less than a year of services so it's in very good shape!

We boarded closer to 21:15, and the F/A on the aircraft door was so polite that takes me to my seat.
Immediately they offer champagne (very good), many sorts of peanuts, a bigger necessaire (even twice bigger than the one for the business class, see the photo), panties, magazines, Brazilian and UK newspapers,

First Class seat:



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © André Minatowicz



Well, entertainment is for sure a strong (and positive) point if you get their best 5 aircrafts (MVL, MVG, MVH, MVK, MVF) because they keep AVOD, better screens for all classes (on Business the difference is huge!), games, 11 music channels... and no doubt it's very comfortable, at the same level of AA seats (and even better because the cabin keep only 7 seats while AA keep 16). F/A are very polite and lovely (also very cute), they help us even to prepare the bed ! You probably feel very well at their First Class.

The food was marvellous! JJ offer you first to build your own salad, and the list is very extensive, from lettuce to shrimp! After that a very taste soup and an aperitif before your main dish, a selection between 5 options.

After the dinner, i take a look on two movies (i'm not so tired), and at about 1 AM Brazilian time i sleep for long 6 hours (never so well) up to one of the nicest F/A waked me up for the breakfast.

I decided just to eat some fruits and drink some coffee, and again was very good and taste.

Landed on time at GRU, but the worst part begin... have to wait 6 long hours for my flight to GIG... No one from Special Services helped me and only because i know, i went to the international lounge and wait there for my flight.

Overall, JJ nowadays is a strong airline inside the plane, but need to fix some details on the ground! I'm saying not because of the problems i faced during this trip, but mainly because of the problems on my return back to JFK.

Sorry about the lack of pics.

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
DALelite
Posts: 1318
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 7:00 am

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:55 am

well yes, i missed the pics. but your trip report, or more your fortune of being upgraded twice on a transatlantic trip have made up for the lack of pics.

i am happy for you that this has happened to you...

this memory will last forever: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
 
rjpieces
Posts: 6849
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:58 am

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:11 am

Nice report!

Quoting LipeGIG (Thread starter):
straight to AA Business Class check-in

Check-in for LHR flights is in T9 these days, correct?

Quoting LipeGIG (Thread starter):
The Admirals Club is really huge, with lots of space (probably 8 or 10 times bigger than JJ lounge at GRU) and it really need to be with so many 777 and some 767 services at night (EZE, GRU, LHR...). Impressive

How busy was the club?

Quoting LipeGIG (Thread starter):
Closer to 23:55 AA called us to proceed to the gate and at that time the line for the check-point was reduced to 2 people... good for me!

I assume your flight left from T8 though, since the Admirals Club there is landside...If you liked the T8 Admirals Club that much, I'm sure the T9 one is amazing!
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
AF086
Posts: 509
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:45 am

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:32 pm

Nice report Lipe. As for the 6hr wait at GRU: guess you should've taken your cam with you.  Silly  Big grin
Please insert a "smart" joke here.
 
Comeflywithme
Posts: 249
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:51 pm

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:31 pm

Hi Felipe

Just got back on Friday and flew back to LHR on MVL again, this time the IFE was working unlike the outbound trip.

Nice report from you and lucky for you to get First Class.
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8159
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:37 am

Great report and thanks for the interesting route.

JJ seem pretty good, i'd like to fly them one day.

Rgds Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
LipeGIG
Topic Author
Posts: 5050
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:33 am

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:33 pm

Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 4):
Just got back on Friday and flew back to LHR on MVL again, this time the IFE was working unlike the outbound trip.

It's really the best bird they have... every thing is brand new, it was my second trip on MVL (first was on C GRU-MIA), very nice plane.

Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 4):
Nice report from you and lucky for you to get First Class.

Thank you, i have to say thank you to my Fidelidade Vermelho, it was my 10th upgrade with Tam on almost 30 international flights with them!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
Great report and thanks for the interesting route.

JJ seem pretty good, i'd like to fly them one day.

Thanks BA319, and i wish a nice trip to you!

Sorry again for the lack of pics, it could become a fantastic trip report!

Now my S3 is ready for my next trip JFK-GRU-GIG next month (with return already unknown)... for sure with a Photo Trip Report

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
bimmerkid19
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:43 pm

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:46 pm

I dont understand this... why did you fly to London from New York to fly to Rio de Janiero? Wouldn't it have been easier to fly directly or via Atlanta on Delta????
Last flights: LH 3738 MUC - ZRH , LH 3749 ZRH - MUC . Upcoming: EK 50 MUC - DXB 3-aug. and EK 322 DXB - ICN 7- Aug.
 
LipeGIG
Topic Author
Posts: 5050
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RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:59 am

Quoting Bimmerkid19 (Reply 7):
I dont understand this... why did you fly to London from New York to fly to Rio de Janiero? Wouldn't it have been easier to fly directly or via Atlanta on Delta????

Because of the tickets i bought. Just to explain better, when i bought LHR-GRU, i do not expect to work in New York by the end of the year.

As the ticket was a bargain (where in the world you can find LHR-GRU-LHR for just 500 pounds on Business Class ?) i decided to run a JFK-LHR in order to fly such ticket.

A Business Class deal with DL or AA, would cost me at least US$ 6,000 as of November/06 for a x-mas trip... so i saved more than US$ 3,500 and get some additional FF miles!

Of course, for the next year i will book EWR-ATL-GIG !

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
bimmerkid19
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:43 pm

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:12 pm

Quoting LipeGIG (Reply 8):

oh ok makes sense now, but still.. well great way to earn frequent flier miles !  Wink
Last flights: LH 3738 MUC - ZRH , LH 3749 ZRH - MUC . Upcoming: EK 50 MUC - DXB 3-aug. and EK 322 DXB - ICN 7- Aug.
 
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TR763
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:07 am

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:57 am

Hey Lipe!

Great Report!!
Wow, two upgrades was simply fantastic! Why these things never happen to me??  Yeah sure

Quoting LipeGIG (Thread starter):
JJ nowadays is a strong airline inside the plane, but need to fix some details on the ground!

I´ve been seeing this since the first time I travelled with JJ internationally. My God, their ground staff is soooo disorganized!
But it´s still a great way to fly.

Once again, Great Report!

Abraços!
TR763
Image
Picture by Justin Cederholm at MCO.
 
LipeGIG
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:33 am

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:17 am

Quoting Bimmerkid19 (Reply 9):
oh ok makes sense now, but still.. well great way to earn frequent flier miles !

 bigthumbsup 

You're right.. become my 2nd objective... Tam give me 15,000 points for a R/T US-Europe on AA... As a Y trip cost me US$ 500 and a C trip to Brazil costs up to US$ 7,000... it's better to run 6x flights to Europe... and get the necessary miles to fly down to Brazil  Smile

 bouncy 

Quoting TR763 (Reply 10):
Wow, two upgrades was simply fantastic! Why these things never happen to me??

Was my first 2x upgrade on a same trip... and both from C to F, i never imagine that (in fact as my flight LHR-GIG was on X-mas, i wish that it could happen, but never imagine on AA as i'm nothing for them!!!!)

Tam has a clear policy, they upgrade Fidelidade Vermelho all the times, and i can say that LHR become a strong upgrade route, with stronger Y demand. Others are the daylight JFK, MAO-MIA, and one of the GRU-CDG flights. For all of them you could buy a Y (with automatic upgrade to C) for around US$ 2,600.

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
jog
Posts: 262
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 7:40 am

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:46 am

Hi Felipe,
nice to read your trip report. We should have talked to each other... I flew CDG-GRU on JJ the same day, but only decided in the last minute to go via CDG instead of via LHR (which was the plan before) because of the weather problems at LHR the days before. Great to listen, that you made such a bargain out of this error fare. So I really earned my beer  Smile
Cheers,
Jog
 
hardiwv
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RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:49 pm

Quoting LipeGIG (Thread starter):
Overall, JJ nowadays is a strong airline inside the plane, but need to fix some details on the ground! I'm saying not because of the problems i faced during this trip, but mainly because of the problems on my return back to JFK.

Tks for the interesting trip report.

Yet again, I repeat your statement that TAM has plenty to improve on ground services and needs an urgent retrofit of its fleet. As a frequent flyer you certainly dont want to gamble whether flight X or Y has AVOD or whether seats are lie-flat or not. TAM needs to stadandardise its seats and a retrofit of the whole long-haul fleet is necessary. The retrofit in the medium/short-hauld fleet already started.

The way TAM will decide about the retrofit of its long-haul fleet with set the stage whether the airline will join the club of quality airlines or not. As for now, TAM classes C and F are certainly inferior to top European carriers, AF, BA and LX and LH, and certainly inferior to the Asian carriers and the upcoming African carriers (SA).

Rgs,
 
LipeGIG
Topic Author
Posts: 5050
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:33 am

RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Fri Mar 02, 2007 12:34 pm

Quoting Hardiwv (Reply 13):
Yet again, I repeat your statement that TAM has plenty to improve on ground services and needs an urgent retrofit of its fleet. As a frequent flyer you certainly dont want to gamble whether flight X or Y has AVOD or whether seats are lie-flat or not. TAM needs to stadandardise its seats and a retrofit of the whole long-haul fleet is necessary. The retrofit in the medium/short-hauld fleet already started.

The way TAM will decide about the retrofit of its long-haul fleet with set the stage whether the airline will join the club of quality airlines or not. As for now, TAM classes C and F are certainly inferior to top European carriers, AF, BA and LX and LH, and certainly inferior to the Asian carriers and the upcoming African carriers (SA).

Seems that the retrofit of the fleet (at least the A332's) will take place by the end of the year. Today i heard they will come with new Business, Economy and even First Class seats. The first comment is that F space will remain the same, C Will be a little crowded but the seat will be even more comfortable. Y will receive the same seats as domestic flights nowadays (as they manage to add a new row on A320, i believe we could see at least 1 and could be 2 more rows on A332's. It should increase their A332 capacity from 214 to closer to 230 seats.

Quoting Jog (Reply 12):
nice to read your trip report. We should have talked to each other... I flew CDG-GRU on JJ the same day, but only decided in the last minute to go via CDG instead of via LHR (which was the plan before) because of the weather problems at LHR the days before. Great to listen, that you made such a bargain out of this error fare. So I really earned my beer

Wow ! For sure my friend. Should be nice to meet you on a Europe-Brazil flight. I probably will visit AMS by september and will try to advise you and Hardivw about.
And my way back a couple weeks ago was even better (this time on C class). I feel really on a Magic red Carpet plane! Wish my next flights (JFK-GRU-GIG and GIG-GRU-JFK next month) to be as nice as the JJ8084.

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
LHR777
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RE: X-mas Trip: JFK-LHR AA First / LHR-GRU-GIG JJ F

Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:52 am

Quoting LipeGIG (Thread starter):
Immediately they offer champagne (very good), many sorts of peanuts, a bigger necessaire (even twice bigger than the one for the business class, see the photo), panties, magazines, Brazilian and UK newspapers

They supply you with PANTIES??!! Frankly, that's just weird! Otherwise, a nice report. I don't like the paper headrest covers though - cloth would be a much classier option.

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