You have no idea how excited I am that there’s finally an Admirals Club in Orlando. I’ve been through this airport eight times in the past year and had exclusively flown American Airlines on these trips. And I’ve sat in the main rotunda every time waiting for my departure. Every trip I check out AA.com or Priority Pass (yes they have lounges at MCO but not plane side in Terminal B that I can go to) looking for a lounge I can use. And every time I’m denied. Well as luck would have it finally on April 14th my dreams had finally come true, an NEW ADMIRALS CLUB!!! YIPPEE. Continue reading
Trip Report April 1st 2017 Dallas to Kona 4/1 767-300
American Airlines Flight 229 Departing 10:45 AM Arriving 1:46 PM
Business Class Seat 4A
After an unexpected overnight delay in Dallas and an intervention by an AAngel who got me on the nonstop from DFW I was set for Kona. I was excited to fly nonstop to Hawaii from Dallas, this was the longest domestic NS I’ve ever flown clocking in at 3724 miles.I went to the plane about 10 minutes prior to boarding, people seem to always be happy going to Hawaii, and this was no different especially when it was during spring break. Once they started boarding I made my way onto the plane. The AA 767 is mostly used for long-haul domestic flights and shorter international destinations. These are some of the older planes in the fleet and although I enjoy the lie flat seat the fact that these planes don’t offer in-seat entertainment, Wi-Fi or in seat power in coach so on an eight hour trip this could be a slog. Continue reading
So I was going on vacation to Kona Hawaii for 10 days and I was excited. It was our first vacation since August of last year and we all needed it. There was a shave ice emergency and the only way to cure it was a trip to Hawaii. We had a simple trip planned. I was to fly home from Wichita on Friday night, get home around 10 pm and in the morning, the three of us would fly direct to Kona from San Francisco. Easy pesy right? Wrong!
I got delayed in Dallas due to who knows what by American Airlines. First no plane, then mechanical, then no crew, then no plane again, the list goes on and on. Finally by midnight yes midnight, I had enough. If I left in the next two hours I’d have less than two hours in SFO before my flight. And that was assuming no other delays. That’s assuming we actually left by 2 AM, which was not even confirmed. I called AA and asked them to reroute me direct from Dallas to Kona. The first agent said no, I spoke to him for over 20 minutes and he would Continue reading
Well it looks like American Airlines Admirals Clubs will go cashless as of October 1st. I was at the St. Louis location this week and saw this sign in a couple different spots in the lounge. I can’t say I’m surprised, it’ll probably make reconciling nightly cash and monies from the bar and day passes way easier. I can’t imagine that the clubs bring in that much cash on a daily basis, and having to balance those funds has got to be a pain the butt.
In any event I’d call this a good thing it’s a minor change that I think most won’t notice. So make sure to bring your credit card to the lounge starting Thursday.
As part of my larger epic around the world trip spanning 6 countries and over 42,000 miles ,I had the opportunity to fly United in domestic first class from Boston to San Francisco and American Los Angeles to Boston. Since both carriers for the moment offer similar airplanes on the routes narrow body Boeings and Airbuses, I thought I’d do a comparison of the two airlines.
Now to be fair United will be utilizing their PS Transcon 757’s for a few months later this year on the BOS-LAX route which will definitely be a leg up on AA or anyone else for that matter, but for now they offer the same product, here’s a good write up on what UA will be doing if you’re interested (thanks to Rocky on Doublewides fly for the review).
For a frequent traveler February 28/29 is the worst day of the year. It’s the last day of the previous year’s frequent flyer status. So if you have Gold for 2014 it will carry over to February 28th of 2015. At that point whatever final status you earned in 2014 will be your new status for 2015 and through February 29th 2016. American Airlines and US Airways are merging and part of this integration will be the frequent flyer programs. Sometime in the 2nd quarter of this year they’ll merge the American Advantage Program and the US Airways Dividend programs. What this means is that they’ll take your total miles/segments of the combined airlines provide your status accordingly. Continue reading
So this travel gig has its pluses and minuses for sure. On the plus side I’ve gotten to see some amazing places over the last 12 years and have had an opportunity to enjoy most of the air travel too. On the minus side of things is the time away from home. Missing my family and not being able to be there on many days and nights.
So when it comes to travel you get use to some little things that’s make a huge difference in your travel experience. For example having Precheck to zip through security, w/out taking off shoes, belts or unloading your liquids and computers. Or getting an email with your rental car stall and just walking up to it, hopping in and driving off. Things like this save hours cumulatively if you travel 100 plus thousand miles a year.
This means for me that checking a bag is so foreign to me on a work trip. Sure I get free checked bags on most airlines but that’s the last thing I want to do ever. Time its waits for no one. I mean if you even figure conservatively it takes 20 minutes for bags and we all know it takes longer if I take 4 trips a month that’s 160 minutes, multiply that by 12 months and you’ve got 32 hours a year just waiting for bags
Why this rant about checked baggage? Last week I worked in DC. I fly from SFO to the East Coast via JFK. I arrived at JFK on time and had about 2 hours to sit and wait in the lounge. With one hour to go, I get the dreaded text. Your flight is cancelled. Hey but I’m at an American Airlines hub so I should have no problem with getting to DCA right? Well wrong. There was only one other flight to DCA that night and it was way oversold. I had also missed all remaining flights to BWI or Washington Dulles too. They would gladly put me on a flight the next day. Not a fat chance, I had to work at 8 am. At this point the AA Angel, found me a flight in 2 hours out of LaGuardia. This is where not checking a bag came in handy, there was no way that they could have retrieved my bag gotten it to me and transported it and myself to LGA with enough time to make the flight.
Sure this is slightly extreme, but I can count on all my fingers and toes and then some the times I’ve had to be rebooked, either by choice or necessity, and having my bag just makes it easier for the airline and for me. Having to rely on the airline to get your bag prior to moving me to a different flight etc… In fact there are many times, they won’t even consider moving you if you have a checked bag, too complicated for them and no guarantee they can get/find your bag.
In my case, having my bag let me travel and get to DC later then expected but not a whole day!
As part of my whirlwind mileage run to Dublin Ireland last month I had the opportunity to sit in Business Class on the newish American Airlines 77W from London to Los Angeles. I had booked an elcheapo ticket thanks to the FLIGHTDEAL and their dogged approach to finding the best and cheapest flights worldwide. In any event thanks to them I had this great deal and then used one of my eight hard-earned upgrade coupons to bump myself up to Business.
Upon boarding the plane I took a seat in 9k. This plane offers four classes of service. First Class with two rows (8 seats) in a 1-2-1 configuration with all seats offering direct isle access. Business Class has 52 seats also in 1-2-1 configuration and also direct isle access, there is a min cabin too and it offers a private feel and only 8 of the total Business Class seats. The balance of the plane has Main Cabin Extra and Economy Class. If you want a review on that products check out my review here. What I love about the Business Class seat, is that they offer a pretty darn private seat and environment. Since the seats are in a reverse herringbone pattern, the seats on the window angle towards them, and the ones in the middle angle tword each other, so with this type of setup you have a private space to call your home for the next 10 hours as was the case for me. If you’re traveling with someone else and want to talk to them the middle seats are best.
American has recently improved their food offerings on domestic flights offering first and business class. As of 11/18 these new changes went into effect. Here’s and excerpt from the email they sent out:
More meals on more flights: We’ll offer you a full meal with your choice of entrée on all flights approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes or longer
Warm mixed nuts – an American favorite: We’ll reintroduce warm mixed nuts on all flights longer than approximately 2 hours
Upgraded Lite Bites basket: We’ll improve our Lite Bites basket on flights less than approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to include a better selection of sandwiches, fresh fruit, breakfast breads, snacks and more
Signature made‑to‑order sundaes: We’ll bring back our made-to-order sundaes for dessert on flights approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes or longer
The horror of it all, to have to sit in coach on an international flight. Am I sick? Ha just kidding. In my almost three years of flying American Airlines or one of its partners in the One World Alliance, this was my first international flight in coach on American. I think I’ve logged in close to 200k miles in that time mostly domestic but have had an opportunity to fly them to London roundtrip 2x and one time each to Santiago, Japan, Nicaragua, and China.
I was flying to Dublin for a very short weekend trip via JFK and London, and I played the upgrade lottery and lost. At the beginning of the day I started at number 10 on the list and by boarding had dropped to 15, they had three open business class seats and sadly I was not in one of those. But hey that’s ok, I had a chance to try out coach class on their newish Boeing 77W, their long range aircraft that they started delivery on early last year.