Myself and two of my friends decided that we were sick of being in sticky New York City all summer and that we wanted to go somewhere nicer. So we chose hot sticky Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I know what you are thinking, why go somewhere hotter in the summer when its already hot. Well the answer is because it is cheap! Being the off-season and hurricane season, August is a great month to find great deals in the Caribbean. Our all-inclusive 5 days, 4 night trip with airfare and deluxe accommodations in a 5-star resort was only $900USD per person. Great deal considering how much food and alcohol we consumed.
Anyway we woke up real early Thursday morning for our 8am flight out of JFK. I think we left the house at 5:30am and arrived at the airport just after 6am. We checked in, showed our passports, blah blah blah. The security line was really long. American has about 15 flights leaving from JFK to the Caribbean between the hours of 6-9am. The line was moving up until a little girl traveling with her family threw up all over. They stopped the line until a janitor came and mopped it up. I felt bad for the girl. Her mother said she had a stomach flu all week. Anyway we got to the gate, gate 8 in the new terminal 9. This terminal is absolutely gorgeous. And for anyone that has ever been in the old terminal 8/9 complex at JFK, which was a total dump, this is a major upgrade. We hung out at the gate and I took a bunch of pictures of the AA ramp. JFK is AA A-300 heaven! They are everywhere and as luck would have it we would be flying on one today. Its one of my favorite planes to fly on. It’s like being on a huge bus. I know all the complaints from people, loud, dirty, old, worn, uncomfortable, but I think it’s just fine. American is smart for hanging on to these as they can transport a ton of people and a ton of cargo at the same time. I will be sad when they’re gone! Here are some picture of our plane at gate 8 and other planes coming and going that morning.
We started boarding promptly at 7:15 and all 262 passengers were onboard rather quickly. Flying time was announced at 3 hours and 38 minutes. We were ready to push at 7:50, ten minutes early but there were still people standing in the aisles. The flight attendants made numerous announcements but the people did not sit. I looked up towards the front of the rear cabin and realized that it was the same family that had the sick child. She was still puking and the father and mother would not sit down. This continued for 15 minutes. People got very restless and finally a flight attendant came over and said that if they didn’t sit down they would be escorted off the plane and rebooked. Another flight attendant came over with a cup of ice, some ginger ale, a towel and an extra vomit bag. Finally someone thinking on their feet and showing some care. The parents finally took their seats and we pushed back at 8:10. We sat on the ramp without moving and the pilots came on to inform us that we would be delayed. Now I’m not sure if anyone remembers this but the night before (8/8/07), parts of Brooklyn and surrounding areas of NY were hit with vicious thunderstorm that produced several tornadoes. Apparently ATC was still dealing with residual weather related delays from the previous day. After 30 minutes of sitting we started to crawl slowly to runway 4L. It was a long taxi. We ended up being like 18th in line for takeoff. We were finally airborne around 9:30am. It was a powerful, quick takeoff, fast climb and a lot of sharp turns out over the Atlantic before heading southeast.
About 45 minutes into the flight the flight attendants served a round of drinks followed by breakfast. The choices were a western omelet with ham, a bagel and melon or cereal that was served with a bagel, fruit and yogurt. American still provided free meals in economy to Hispaniola (Haiti & the Dominican Republic). It’s such a rarity to have a free hot meal in coach so its always a treat. The omelet was very good. The male flight attendant, who was shamelessly hitting on my two friends and I offered me another breakfast and of course I accepted. The rest of the flight was uneventful. They showed a movie, can’t remember what it was. I just slept. We landed in Punta Cana about 40 minutes late. This cut into my beach time significantly so I was annoyed. HAHA.
The airport in Punta Cana is incredibly small. It’s basically a shack with a thatched roof. Really cool. And the best part….there are no jet ways so you have to deplane with stairs which is so cool and awesome for taking pictures.
Anyway we spent the next 5 days in the sun with great weather. We stayed at the Majestic Colonial Resort which was wonderful. Here are a few shots of the trip...
[Edited 2008-10-02 10:09:06]