Archive for November, 2010

Bogota, Colombia – Miami, FL | AA 2170 | 3F

November 30, 2010

After a great Thanksgiving weekend in Bogota, it was time to head back to Miami.   The “El Dorado” Airport in Bogota had been closed for several days due to rain so I decided to call reservations the day before my flight to see if there were any known delays.   At one time in history, this was a recommended procedure for all flights, especially international flights.  The agent didn’t seem to know how handle my simple request in that I wanted to know of any known delays.    I had to walk her through the analysis.   One- are there any official delays for my reserved flight.   No, she says.   Two – Has the flight for tonight (Sunday night) left for Bogota as this will be the aircraft for my departing flight in the morning (Monday)?  Yes, but it was delayed leaving Miami, but it is in route now.   Ok, so we have an airplane and a crew that will also be stuck in Bogota with me should the airport be closed on Monday am.   Three – I then asked how the rest of the flights had been leaving Bogota during Sunday.   She gave me the run down on the delays for Sunday.   In summary, the flights were leaving late, but they were leaving.   I have to ask if any of these reservation agents have ever used their travel benefits with their employer or if they just like sitting somewhere in the Carolinas.   Get out and travel people…it is fun and you will be a better agent!

On Monday morning, the check-in process at American and clearing Colombia immigration were both usually slow, even for international travel.   The flight left on time, arrived on time, and I didn’t test the champagne inventory on this 757 as I had already had a pleasant holiday weekend.  For those who choose their aircraft carefully, the same flight felt completely different in a 757 then in a 767 aircraft.   Go BIG!

Until next time, Randy

Exec Plat Traveler - Randy Moreau

Miami, FL – Bogota, Colombia | AA 913 | 3A

November 30, 2010

Nothing like making a traditional holiday as untraditional as possible.   This trip is a rescheduled trip from August 2010 that I had planned to take to Bogota to see friends and co-workers.   I learned a few new “airline rules” on this rebooking for my Thanksgiving day flight.   If you have ever used a co-pay with miles to upgrade, you might find it helpful to know the rules around the upgrade.   When I cancelled the original travel (August 2010), American told me that I had a few options regarding my $150 co-pay and 15,000 miles that I used to upgrade the first portion of my flight.   I could leave the “upgrade” unused for up to one year from the original date of my flight and then rebook the flight with an upgrade for no additional fees.   The upgrade was a “free standing purchase” that can be moved to another reservations within the same upgrade region.  This means that I could rebook to Colombia (or any other destination in the same upgrade category, like Venezuela) and use the upgrade on one of those flight segments.   The other option is to forgo the $150 and have the miles added back to my account.  Knowing that I would get to Colombia, I decided to leave this on account for a future booking.

My Thanksgiving morning flight was on-time with little traffic and congestion at the Miami International Airport.   A few things have changed in that the “Flagship Lounge” and the E Concourse Admirals Club which were both closed.   In late 2011, the new Flagship Lounge will open in Concourse E.    This was a disappointment in that my flight left from gate E8.   I figured this to not be an issue since I didn’t have a long wait and I can have endless mimosas on the plane.  Well, not so fast…they were out of champagne after one mimosa.    How can this be on a 767 with over 20 business class seats?   I guess that a lot of people were giving “Thanks” with champagne or American understocked the galley.   White wine had to play substitute but it wasn’t the same.

Back to the topic at hand.   The flight left on time, arrived on time, and it was a remarkably smooth flight given the rain in the region.   After a quick immigration process, it was time for yoga and then dinner in beautiful Bogota.

Cheers  Randy

Exec Plat Traveler - Randy Moreau

Miami, FL – Washington, DC | AA 1268 | 14B

November 25, 2010

I was expecting a lot more craziness at the airport – Thanks Giving weekend + TSA pat downs.  None of that, everything was smooth sailing.  Security was a breeze and the flight left and arrived on time.  It is quiet amazing the amount of coverage the TSA is getting, and honestly a bit absurd.  Go through scanner, if you reject, than expect a pat down.  In any case, I do not think either will stop a terrorist act.  Airports need to look more at how Israel and EL AL do it.