Being back in the US for holidays for two weeks, I decided to book a Non-Rev ticket to go to Tallahassee, taking advantage of the relatively new AA
route from MIA
. The idea was to spend a day there speaking to a group of students from the FSU chapter of the National Association for Business Economics as well as to visit some friends.
Considering that I was staying about 50 miles from MIA
, the South Floridian morning traffic, and the chaos and joke of an airport that is MIA
, I had to wake up at the ungodly hour of 4am. I left my place at 4:50am and arrived at the off-site long term parking at 5:30am. I was then bussed to the airport along with another couple flying on AA
I got dropped off at Concourse D, which looks like it was last given a face-lift in the mid-80s, but I went for a quick look of Concourse J to see what it looked like. Not bad, but not that impressive either. A definite improvement, but still the typical low ceiling, no natural light design of most US airports. A shame.
Check-in Concourse J
Nice LED signs outside Concourse J
After taking some pics I went back to Concourse D and I asked one of the many AA
employees standing around if I could check in for non-rev travel using the self-serve kiosks, and my question was met with (what I consider) and unpolite nod (I suppose this comes from living in Asia for so long). The kiosk machine worked quite well, much better than those of CO
, and in about 1 minute I had a boarding pass in my hand with my assigned seat (9A).
Now comes the worse.
Security at MIA
is a complete joke. The TSA
people here have to be the most arrogant and incompetent of any other airport in the country, and I really despise them. I really do. I have encountered friendlier people at a “Whataburger” somewhere in a Ghetto while ordering food drunk at 3am in the morning.
As I was placing my MacBook, shoes, belt, underpants, socks, undershirt, etc on the belt, one of the so-called “agents” bumped me out of the way and let other people in front of me first. These people, flyers like me, were just as or even more incompetent than the TSA
. It was a couple with two little kids, and they had lost the boarding passes for the two little kids. Ugh!
As we lined up to go through the metal detector while I covered my front and back (this, of course, considering you need to get naked for the thing not to beep), some jackass… I mean, TSA
“agent”, decided that if the couple in front of me couldn’t find the boarding passes for their sons, then nobody could get through. Even other TSA
“agents” seemed to suddenly get some of their brain cells to work together in suggesting they let the couple step aside so that other passengers could go through, but the jackass decided that if the couple couldn’t get through, then nobody could get through. Ugh! People like this need to be shipped out to some deserted island where they test fire nuclear weapons.
After finally being able to get through, I picked up all my scattered belongings, because by then the TSA
“agents” had made a mess of all of the passengers things, so we found ourselves in the ever so delightful social activity of seeing who’s shoes, socks, and underpants where who’s.
This done, I headed to the American Eagle gate lounge. This is a smaller gate lounge on the ground level of the terminal, where there are a few gates that lead to buses which take people to the American Eagle ramp. It was about 6:15am when I got there, so to kill time I decided to answer a few emails. Not sure if there was Wi-Fi as I used my BlackBerry to do so.
Concourse D gates
American Eagle gates
At about 6:45am boarding was called and at the gate an American Eagle agent was checking boarding passes, doing so in a kind manner and with a big smile on her a face, quite a plus.
American Airlines op by American Eagle
July 22 7:15AM (7:15AM) GMT-5
July 22 8:40AM (8:20AM) GMT-5
We exited the terminal building from gate 35A and boarded a bus. There were only about 15 pax today in a plane that can hold 44, meaning a 33% load factor.
We drove quite a bit to the AE
ramp, where our plane was the only one on the stands. Boarding was done very quick, and we were greeted by an elderly but friendly F/A, Marie.
Since there was so much space on the plane, we were told we could sit anywhere, so I changed my seat from 9A to 9C
, so I could have some extra space for my stuff. Once everyone was seated, we pushed back and taxied to Rwy 8R. Take off was very quick and we had a nice sunrise view of the North Terminal and later of Downtown and Brickell.
Empty Eagle ramp
Site of the future Miami Intermodal Center
The flight itself was very uneventful. The F/A said she would come around with complimentary drinks and food for sale, which were packets of Chex Mix. I asked for a coffee, and although it tasted more like dirty water, the F/A was nice enough and served me a refill twice, with a smile!
Soon enough we started the descent to TLH
. We came in from the South East, south of Downtown Tallahassee, and landed on Rwy 27.
Top of descent
Descending into the clouds
View of Downtown
There were a few DL
regional jets parked at the B gates, and we ended up parking at gate A1. After deplaning, it was a short walk to the car rental area to pick up my car for the day.
I was planning in doing a report for the return portion, but I ended up having a bad hangover and just 3 hours of sleep before my return flight, so I couldn’t be bothered.
Hope you enjoyed and please leave a comment!