I had known that AA flies on 777 a day between LAX and Miami and they sell it as a 3 class flight - the only domestic 3 class 777 flight. My goal for the day was to somehow fly on one of the legs of the 777. The MIA-LAX flight leaves too early to connect to so my only option was to fly JFK-LAX-MIA-LGA/JFK. My plan was to fly JFK-LAX-MIA-LGA flying on a 767, 777 and 757. I would leave JFK at 745am and be to LGA by 1140pm...Or so I thought.
I arrived at JFK at 6:15 which is usually ample time to do all the necessary rubbish. I usually print the standby card at home, however this morning when I checked in at 3:45 am the idea of getting out of bed to go to the printer did not entice me! This almost killed the whole trip. This morning, however, it almost was not. Half the self service machines were out of service and when I finally got to one it said it could not find my PNR....After waiting in several lines I finally got to an agent who gladly printed me a standby card, but not before commenting to me on my routing...Who could blame her though? – LGA-JFK by way of LAX and MIA! It was now 6:55 and now I had to deal with the Government…aka the TSA. The line was long but it moved fairly fast considering this was a government operation
AA 33 7:45am
Flight Time: 4:52
I got to the gate at 720 and boarding was almost done which was impressive because the flight was full and they still had 25 mins to go. I joined the other standbys in the waiting area until they began to call names. I was called and given 3A. One of the two best seats on board (3A&3J). After getting on board we were offered drinks of our choice before departure. We pushbacked a few minutes early and were soon off to 31L which is a pretty decent taxi from Terminal 9. Once at the end we held for an Eva Cargo MD11 to land and then off we went.
Climbout of JFK
Our climb out was really smooth and before I knew it the Purser Elizabeth was handing out menu's and offering the new DVD/AVOD player. The new AVOD player is a nice upgrade for the 767-200, but I more should have been done to upgrade the 767-300’s with their new seats .
Our choices for breakfast were:
Seasonal Fruit Appetizer followed by one of the three:
Three Cheese Omelet
Enhanced by a Poblano Cream Sauce served with Basil Pesto Potatoes and fire roasted Turkey Sausage, garnished with roasted Tomatoes.
A flour Tortilla filled with Bacon, Egg and Cheddar Cheese garnished with Queso Blanco and offered with a Black Bean and Corn Salad accented by a Salsa Verde
Cereal and Fruit with Yogurt
Served with a Banana and fresh seasonal Berries
I opted for the Quesadilla as I have had the Omelet before and no way was I taking the healthy option . Elizabeth first came around with hot towels. Usually on my pervious transcons they put a table cloth down first and used no tray, but this time they just put the tray on the table. Anyway after the food was served the cart came around with breads, biscuits, coffee etc. I took the biscuit as it is one of the greatest things served on the plane. It’s that good. During breakfast I watched an episode of NCIS and NUMBE3S before passing out for a good 2 and a half hours . When I woke up it was to the smell of chocolate chip cookies being baked . Not a bad way to wake up. Cookies and milk were soon handed out and I was in heaven. They came around with seconds on the cookies and there was no way I was passing that up.
A half hour later we began our descent into the LA area on the CIVET5 arrival. Elizabeth handed out the jackets while another flight attendant came around with Sparkling Water with lime inside - Nothing special, but it’s a nice touch.
We landed about 25 mins early (as did everyone else) and soon found ourselves in a congo line for a gate. However after a brief 10 minute wait we had a gate - not too bad! The seats in F on the 762 are old but they still get the job done and they are very very comfortable.
I had about an hour and a half in LA before boarding begun for the LAX-MIA flight. I just opted to go to Gate 41 and veg out and listen to my iPod. One thing that always amuses me is the variety of people that you will see in the LAX airport – it’s quite the mixed bag! I knew that the flight to MIA would be a full one and not before long the gate area became quite full.
AA 1520 12:15pm
LF: 100% (Minus one empty seat in Y)
Flight Time: 4:42
The agent who was working the flight came on the PA and announced that it would indeed be a full flight and if you were standing by to please have a seat and she would process us after boarding had finished.
Around 1140am boarding started with First Class followed by Business Class then all the frequent fliers and finally the main cabin. Boarding was a swift process and by 1215 everyone was onboard and the standby games had begun. The agent began calling names and soon enough my name was called and I received 2D – not a window, but I can’t really complain.
Boarding was from 2L today so I knew that I would be making the famous “left turn.” Once onboard I was greeted by two flight attendants and one of them directed me to my seat. Another flight attendant quickly came by and asked if I wanted a pre departure beverage. I opted for a glass of OJ that was quickly brought over to my seat.
We left the gate about 10 minutes late due to some crew legality issues, but the captain said that we would hopefully be on the ground at MIA at the same time. This was important to me as I only had 30 minutes to connect.
The taxi out was short and we were number one for takeoff when we reached the end. After take off we made the left 180 and we were soon on our way to MIA. Menus were again handed out by the flight attendants as well as a card with selections of movies that we could choose from.
The choices for lunch were as follows:
Warm mixed nuts
Marinated Cheese Antipasto
The Salad Cart
Seasonal mixed Greens and an assortment of fresh Vegetables offered with your choice of Sour Cream and Herb Dressing or Castello Monte Vibiano Olive Oil Vinaigrette
Assorted Gourmet Breads
Soup Du Jour
Navy Bean with Portobello Mushrooms to accompany your entrée selection
A grilled Miso Chicken breast served cold and accompanied by a Tomato Basil Potato Salad
May we suggest a glass of Wente VS Sauvignon Blanc, Livermore Valley to complement this entrée
Roast Beef Sandwich
Warm Roast Beef Sandwich topped with roasted Tomatoes, sautéed onions and Provolone Cheese.
The Dessert Cart
Ice Cream Sundae
Vanilla Ice Cream with a choice of Hot Fudge, Butterscotch or seasonal fruit toppings with Whipped Cream and Pecans
Fruit and Cheese
A selection of seasonal Fruit and fine Cheeses
Assorted Lindt Chocolates
Freshly baked on board Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies
Chilled Sparkling water with a fresh Citrus Garnish
The choices for lunch were pretty weak on a 3 class transcon, but there wasn’t much to do about it at 37,000 feet. The flight attendants came around and took our choices for food and drink. I opted for the Roast Beef, as at least it was a hot dish, with a coke. The drinks with nuts and or antipasto were soon handed out. Next the flight attendants came around with table cloths for the tray table. At least this would be a no tray service. Another flight attendant came around with the dishes and silverware. The people who opted to have the soup received that first and a few minutes later the salad cart came around. The soup did not really sound like something I would normally eat, but it ended up being quite good. This is one of the nice things left on AA – the ability to see what is available and just about make the salad yourself. The salad cart really didn’t appeal to me today, but I figured I would give it a shot anyway. I just had some lettuce and tomatoes with the Sour Cream dressing. The dressing was not the greatest by any means so I did not eat much of the salad at all.
As people finished their salads the flight attendants would bring out your main course. The Roast Beef Sandwich was pretty lame for a 4.5 hour flight in first class. It wasn’t bad, but in my opinion it should come with something more than a pickle!
After the plates were removed the dessert cart came around. This is by far the best thing AA has going in F class besides Flagship Suites. Almost embarrassing that Ice Cream is the best part, but it is what it is. The toppings today were Butterscotch, Blackberry, whipped cream and nuts. I don’t like Butterscotch, Blackberries or nuts so I just got vanilla and whipped cream – yes I know I’m plain.
During the meal service I watched the movie Blades of Glory which was pretty stupid, but funny at the same time. By this point we were over (ironically) Dallas and we still had around 2 hours left. I was still pretty tired from the night before so I reclined the seat, put the iPod on and fell asleep for about an hour and a half. When I woke up it was again to the smell of cookies. After enjoying another chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk , I just sat with the seat reclined listening to some tunes.
The captain came on and said that we would be beginning our descent soon, but ATC was slowing us down due to weather in the Miami area and he expected us to be on the ground at 8:37. Not good for me as my LGA flight was to leave at 8:50. Hopefully everything would be late and I could still connect. We landed around 8:35 and as soon as I turned my phone on I had a message that said my LGA flight was cancelled and a hotel reservation was made for me at the Marriott Courtyard Doral. At this point I figured that I would be spending the night in MIA and I’d have to find my way home the next day. Thankfully I packed a suitcase with clothes and my laptop just in case. Our arrival gate tonight was E8 which ends up being a tow in gate so we had to wait a few minutes to be hooked up etc.
As I waked off the jet bridge and into the terminal I saw that the last Kennedy flight was at the gate next to us so I figured that I might as well try . It was supposed to be a 9:05 departure, but due to every flight being late into MIA they kept delaying it trying to fill the plane up. This was good news for me because they were missing a LOT of people. I was the 3rd nonrev on the list, but below 40 revenue standby. Finally at 10:05 the captain came out and said he did not want to wait any longer. The agent called my name and I got seat 30F. At first thought I actually thought I scored a window, but then I remembered this was a wide body and I would be in the center section! Its pretty amazing 40 something people misconnected after holding the flight an extra hour – but it worked out well.
AA 588 10:10pm
Meal: Drinks, Food for Sale
Flight Time: ~2:20
There is not much to report on this flight besides the fact I was happy to be on. On the taxi out the Captain came on to explain that a lot of bags that were international connections would not be on the flight due to the TSA screening. He said that we could either wait all night and get our bags or just get home and the bags would follow tomorrow. He had made the decision to leave without the bags which was fine with me as I never check a thing unless I have my golf clubs with me.
After takeoff one of the flight attendants came on and said that the beverage service would begin soon and they also had chips, cookies, candy bars and trail mix available for purchase at the price of 3 dollars each. Alcoholic beverages were also available for 5 dollars each. When the cart came around I just got a Pepsi (no coke left) and tried to sleep with my iPod on. The flight was fairly bumpy, but I managed to get a few Z’s in . Our touchdown at JFK was money – the best of the day. As with most arrivals from SJU/MIA we had a huge applause. The nicest part of the flight came as we taxied in. The Purser came on the PA and, I believe, made a genuine attempt to apologize for our tardiness today and that he hoped we would give American Airlines, as well as the Federal Government (TSA) another chance.
By the time my ride showed up and I got to bed it was almost 2:45am! Indeed it was a long day, but I’d do it over again in a heartbeat!
Hope you all enjoyed and thanks for reading!