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T-Bird76
10-07-2007, 05:16 PM
I’m normally not a trip report person being I’m on the road all the time and a trip from ISP to BUF isn’t all that exciting. However this past Saturday I decided to do a mileage run on AA to move up in elite status. I found a good fare on AA.com from JFK to MIA and I booked it.

Flight details.

JFK-MIA 10/6
AA 585, A300
First Class 2A
Scheduled Departure 3:35 PM, Actual 6:23 PM

MIA-JFK 10/6
AA 588, A300
Coach 29J
Scheduled Departure 9:20 PM, Actual 10:30 PM

I got to JFK a bit early to check out the new Admirals club in T8. AA had sent me a free pass to encourage me to sign up since I travel a lot for work, pretty good marketing scheme because while I didn’t sign up it will certainly show up on Christmas list this year ;) The new T8 is fantastic; you can’t say a bad word about it. AA just did it right, T8 is spacious, wide open, modern, and easy to get around. I breezed through the First Class security line and even the coach line didn’t seem too bad.

I proceeded to head to the Admirals club right away and was very impressed by the surroundings. When you enter you are warmly greeted by one of four hosts who even though saw I was not a member took all my information and said she’d inform me when my flight was boarding and proceeded to show me around a bit. Never once did she try to sell me a membership, she didn’t have to the club sells it.

The club is a bright airy space, with cleaver lighting designs, floor to ceiling windows over looking AA’s ramp, private seating areas where you can chat amongst you’re fellow travelers and not disturb others around you. The Internet stations were nicely located along the windows over looking the ramp, which gave you a wonderful feeling of being outdoors but comfortable inside. The bathrooms were awesome! I’m a big bathroom person, I mean who likes using public restrooms. The bathrooms in the Admirals club were nicer then what I have in my own house.

The bar and café section of the club had a feeling that it was apart from the rest of the club even though the only difference is the transitional flooring. I liked this fact because you felt that you were in an upscale lounge somewhere in Manhattan. The bar was well stocked and the service was attentive and very friendly. I did partake in a few spirits of choice before my flight (all alcoholic drinks are chargeable, soda is free) and ate a light lunch. They have a limited menu of wraps, burgers, salads and soup, everything but the soup is $8.50.

After lunch the host informed me my flight was delayed to 4:15 and she would update me if anything changed. Around 3:45 she told me the flight would be boarding soon and that I should proceed to the gate. Overall the Admirals club in T8 gets an A+, its top notch and the customer service is second to known. Good job AA!

I proceed to the gate to about 200 plus people milling about waiting to board when I saw flashed on the LCD “GATE CHANGE, American flight 585 will now depart from GATE 41.” As soon as I saw that the gate agent made the announcement. So like a heard of stampeding bulls people starting running to that gate…. Don’t ask me why they did; I could clearly see across to gate 41 there was no plane there yet. I took my time and walked over. We were informed our original plane went mechanical (always a nice thought when you’re flying an A300, I just always thing back to AA587). They were taking a plane from the hangar and bringing it over and we would be delayed until 5:15 now.

I was a bit nervous at this point being I was simply taking the 9:20 back to JFK and that any delay past 7 would mean I'd deep six this trip or sleep in MIA. We did board pretty quickly and the doors did close at 5:15. We pushed back at 5:20 into the long wonderful line up that is JFK at Euro departure time. The Capt got on the PA and was very honest saying how AA’s performance today was far from stellar and now we’ve run into the peak departure time at JFK and that he honestly had no idea what time we would be on our way. Now I’m thinking should I call Hilton and make a reservation or chance it? I did remember seeing my return was delayed already but didn’t know for how long. So we sat, moved up a bit, sat, moved up a bit, we played this game for awhile until the Capt got on and said he hasn’t been given an update and that JFK tower seemed pretty “ticked off” and he would rather not ask about our sequence because others where asking and magically were being moved farther and farther back in the sequence. I guess his idea worked because we shifted to the inside taxiway cutting off about 30 planes and at 6:23 our wheels were off the ground. During the ground delay the FA’s did keep the drinks flowing and the snacks coming so it wasn’t to bad sitting enjoying a few drinks.

After take off the F class’s 2 FA’s were working cabin and they proceed to come around with more drinks and the hot peanuts, which I just love. For dinner we had a choice of roast beef or a beef and cheese enchilada, I had he enchilada. It was served with a garden salad balsamic dressing, cheese and crackers and two freshly baked cookies. Up until dinner I was drinking Bracardi’s and coke but then switched to wine for dinner. Overall the dinner service was very good and the food was tasty.

As we got close to MIA the Capt informed us we would be landing at 9 PM, only 20mins before my scheduled departure. Now originally we were going to arrive at the A gates and my departure was leaving from the E gets…so it really was still in question whether or not I’d make it. However some good news came my way, we were told we’d be coming into the D gates. In my head I’m like “GREAT D is one letter from E! I’m close” LOL. As we landed I called AA to find out the status of my return flight and learned that it was delayed now until 9:45 PM so no worries as I made my way off the plane and over to E30. The flight down to MIA really was a good flight, F class service on AA was very good, the choice of meals and the quality was enjoyable and the FA’s aboard the flight were very accommodating. Given the fact this bus had the newer cabins and the service I’d give AA an A for the JFK-MIA leg.

As for MIA…..well what can you say..D gates are a dump and so are E gates. I mean what a dump…it smells, paint is falling off the walls, the ceiling was leaking all over the place from the rain storm going on, its just is a bad place. Once I arrived over at the E gates I meet up with my friend who was on my return flight back to JFK. We originally were going to get dinner at MIA and spot around the terminal a bit, well that didn’t happen. We walked over to Hudson News I got a soda and two toy planes for my Godson then sat down and chatted until we left…now at 10:30. So as for MIA…..it gets a big fat F!

On the return flight I wasn’t upgraded so it was coach for me (aren’t you just shedding a tear ;). No one sat next to me, which always makes the flight more comfortable. I took off my shoes, grabbed a blanket and just leaned back listening to my ipod on the way back. The service was standard, however one point of interest was that while the forward cabin was being served the FA in the back of the cabin was doing her best to get people their drink and snack if they wanted really quickly. In no time did she get me my club soda and an Oatmeal raisin cookie (3 bucks but worth it.). We arrived into JFK at 1:20ish and the next LIRR train I could get was at 1:38am. I got to the Airtrain station as soon as I could but needless to say as the train was pulling into Jamaica my train was pulling out…. I tell you there’s nothing like hanging around Jamaica train station until 3:14am…I saw two people get arrested, one drunk dude throw up and get kicked off the platform, oh man you just go to love NYC, LOL

Overall it was mission accomplished and now I’m Advantage Platinum, which was my goal with this trip. AA’s service on all legs was very good, the Admirals club at JFK is outstanding, the new JFK terminal is almost reason enough to fly AA out of JFK over the others, and the F class product was enjoyable as well. My only complaints, MIA is a crap hole, and the Airbus we had going back had the old cabin…. hello 1985!

AirtrafficController
10-07-2007, 06:27 PM
Great report Tom. Nice to see the contrast of first class to crap MIA to coach to the lovely LIRR platform scene. Good Job :borat:

Alex T
10-07-2007, 07:59 PM
Good report.

Now wheres my thanks for staying up late with you while u were texting to make sure you didn't get shot or arrested?!?! :shock:

I told you MIA was a DUMP! LOL

I liked the A300 ride, pretty fun ride.

Did you get your regis? :-D

Alex

Iberia A340-600
10-07-2007, 08:49 PM
Very detailed report, Tommy. It was a great read.

I agree with your views on the new Terminal 8, it's amazing! It truly is enough reason to fly American out of JFK.

Back in March I flew American a couple of times and was never very pleased with the flights but I have to say their terminal facilities at JFK and MIA really made up for the flight. I was none to happy about flying on the A300 but the terminal completely took my mind off of it at JFK and again at MIA. I left from the newly renovated part of the D concourse so I expect are views were very different.

PhilDernerJr
10-07-2007, 09:06 PM
An enjoyable and detailed report that I did enjoy very much. I'm actually considering taking a mileage run myself on them, though obviously just for fun. My credit card miles are about to run out from AA.

mirrodie
10-08-2007, 07:54 AM
An enjoyable and detailed report that I did enjoy very much. I'm actually considering taking a mileage run myself on them, though obviously just for fun. My credit card miles are about to run out from AA.



Phil, if I follow you correctly your credit card miles will expire? All you have to do is show any activity in order to keep the account active. That keeps the miles going another 18 months.

Nice TR Tom. They do a good job in J and F. As for the reference to AA587, did you find the scarebus worse than any of AA's other planes? I actually like that ride so long as I squelch away images of AA587;) )

Winglets747
10-08-2007, 08:32 AM
Glad you liked the AA terminal, Tom. It's one of my favorites in the U.S.


An enjoyable and detailed report that I did enjoy very much. I'm actually considering taking a mileage run myself on them, though obviously just for fun. My credit card miles are about to run out from AA.
If you're looking to extend the expiration of your miles you could sign up to receive 3 months' worth of e-mails from AA for 250 miles (http://www.aa-information.com/aavsurvey ... av_newSite (http://www.aa-information.com/aavsurvey/AAVSurvey.php?memType=3&aairmailid=0607aav_newSite)). Alternatively, you could buy a 99 cent song on iTunes through the AAdvantage shopping store and get 2 miles (and extend the expiration date by another 18 months).

But flying is always fun. :P

Alex T
10-08-2007, 04:01 PM
Glad you liked the AA terminal, Tom. It's one of my favorites in the U.S.


An enjoyable and detailed report that I did enjoy very much. I'm actually considering taking a mileage run myself on them, though obviously just for fun. My credit card miles are about to run out from AA.
If you're looking to extend the expiration of your miles you could sign up to receive 3 months' worth of e-mails from AA for 250 miles (http://www.aa-information.com/aavsurvey ... av_newSite (http://www.aa-information.com/aavsurvey/AAVSurvey.php?memType=3&aairmailid=0607aav_newSite)). Alternatively, you could buy a 99 cent song on iTunes through the AAdvantage shopping store and get 2 miles (and extend the expiration date by another 18 months).

But flying is always fun. :P


Hey thanks for that!! I just did that myself, Pretty sweet!

Alex