We arrived into Miami about 30 minutes ahead of the published schedule which was good because the connection time was on the short side of comfortable. Whilst I was confident that American would look after us in the case of a miss connect, and they would not have sold me the ticket if it did not meet the minimum connection time, it would have been preferable to have had more time.
I had read up on the immigration procedures at Miami on FlyerTalk in the weeks before the flight so that I had as much information as possible. I therefore knew that I would need to use the automated ESTA machines before going through immigration.
We arrived into the E Gates and had to take the transit train over to the D Gates. Whilst walking up the corridor, we came to a small bank of the ESTA machines. As we were one of the first people through, the queue was not very big and we decided to use these machines. The process was relatively quick and we were soon in possession of receipts with our photograph and pertinent passport details.
We proceeded up the corridor and had to turn right past the other bank of machines and into the immigration hall. Luckily, perhaps because we were using our ESTAs for the second time, we did not have a cross on the receipt, and were able to proceed to the shorter and faster queue to enter the United States.
Once our passports were stamped, we proceeded into the baggage reclaim hall but as we had gone hand luggage only we had nothing to collect. We continue round to the left, through the exit and then took a sharp left into the connecting flight area. Had we had luggage, then this would have been deposited here, but as it was we proceeded straight through to the security check. Throughout this process there were no priority lines for status or business class passengers, so we had to wait in line. Having said that it only took about 45 minutes for us to get through and back air side.
We decided to go to the Admiral’s Club closest to our departure gate which was located near D15. The lounges in America tend to differ because they do not always have open bars where are you serve yourself, but the payoff is that you often get a properly serviced bar. This case was no exception.
The bar was one of the best airport lounge bars that I have seen with one of the widest ranges of drinks.
On entry, we were given a ticket each for a drink which was valid for whatever we wanted.
I had a look at the menu, and decided that a cocktail was in order.
One of the gimmicks in the lounge was made to order guacamole where you could specify your choice of additional ingredients before it was mixed in front of you.
As it would have been rude not to, we had some guacamole with the cocktails and it was delicious!
I then decided to have a shower to freshen up from the journey. I did not have to wait and was quickly showing into the shower room.
I was like taking a shower before or after a long flight, particularly if I have been running around airport. It takes up some of the time that you would otherwise be waiting but it also makes me feel a lot more comfortable.
Before too much longer it was time for us to leave the lounge and make our way down to the gate. I was keen to ensure that we were towards the front of the boarding queue because we both had small wheelie suitcases as well as another bag; sitting in the front row we would be unable to put these under the seat in front of us so it was important that we were able to store them in the overhead locker is. I did not want to have to check the bags or have them put further back in the cabin as this would impede our arrival. Thankfully we needn’t have worried and we were soon on board the flight.
It never ceases to amaze me why people stand at the front of the priority queue when they have absolutely no priority in the boarding process, and are fully aware of that! Still, we were able to get through, stow our bags and settle into the flight.