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)
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 !
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 )
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
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:
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.