After a lovely few days in Las Vegas with my friends, it was time to bid them farewell and head home. My itinerary for the routing was LAS-MIA-JFK-LCY//LHR-DUB-LHR.
The flight departed at 2220, so we ate dinner beforehand and then drove to the airport – it took all of about 10 minutes to check in and pass through security and I was soon at the Starbucks.
Flight: AA311 LAS-MIA 2220 – 0602
Aircraft: Boeing 737
Seat: 6B First
Payment: Cash, earning 3807 Avios and 210TP
I knew that this flight was going to be on the 737, the same aircraft I flew on from LAX-LAS on the way. The First seating is 2-2 and not a lie-flat product. Given this, I moved seat at online check in from 6A to 6B so that I wouldn’t need to climb over any seat mate to get to the toilet in the middle of the night. Boarding for the flight seemed quite slow and there was a dispatcher from the ground team getting increasingly agitated and giving a count down with the number of minutes people had to sit down.
The problem seemed to arise from two main factors – luggage and location. Every time I fly, I think that people are bringing more bags with them into the cabin and they are getting bigger. This means that there is always a struggle for space on board and people get anxious when a stranger moves their bag to cram their carry-on in. I was amused when a passenger with a massive ‘roll-aboard’ as the Americans call them said to the flight attendant that she would have to put it up in the overhead bin as she (the passenger) has a bad back and couldn’t do it. I am not sure what was said, but the stewardess walked away and a passenger helped her with it. For me, I am of the opinion that if you can’t lift it, you shouldn’t take it aboard. We also always seem to board from the front first, meaning that no-one can get through to the back. Surely it makes sense to fill up from the back so that people don’t block the aisle?! I know that it is a status thing to be on the place first, but if I am flying at the front, I like to leave it as late as I can so I don’t have a hundred people banging into me on the way past.
We took off eventually and were soon offered a drink. I had a gin and tonic, and was pleasantly surprised to be offered two miniatures and a large can of tonic, along with some warm nuts and a cookie. It was at this point I realised, as the cabin lights were dimming, that my reading light did not work. I was plunged into darkness and there was nothing that could be done according to the flight attendant. The wifi did work, so I filled in the online comments form there and then, and received a reply two days later which was followed up by a $25 voucher sent through the post.
We landed into MIA on schedule. One of the things I like about American Airlines is they tell you which gate you are connecting from so you know where to go at the airport. I tried to get into the Admirals Club for a shower and coffee but was refused entry. I was tired and didn’t question it but on reflection I think that it was a mistake on the Lounge Agent’s part. Oneworld have a detailed resource on their lounge access policy and whilst I was only flying domestic on this leg, I was connecting to an international business class flight which should have qualified me.
At any rate, it was only a short lay-over and I was soon aboard the next plane to take me, and a big chunk of the US Women’s rowing team, to JFK.
Flight: AA2493 MIA-JFK 0726 – 1030
Aircraft: Boeing 737
Payment: Cash, earning 1908 Avios and 60TP
Push back was on time and then the Captain announced through the intercom that bad weather in JFK meant that there would be at least an hour delay for take off. We rolled back to the stand and then sat around for a while. The cabin crew brought tea and coffee, and I had plenty of space being at the front of the plane.
Eventually we took off and breakfast followed. I had quiche with potatoes which is one of the most random things I have had for breakfast, although it was reasonably tasty. It was accompanied by a biscuit which is in fact not a biscuit and more like a scone.
There was no personal in-flight entertainment and so I watched something on the communal screens, read my book and dozed a little until we arrived into JFK at about 1130. I did not have to collect my bag, so I decided to jump on the AirTrain and head into town for a few hours before the next flight at 1900.