Archive for February, 2014

Managua, Nicaragua – Miami, FL | AA 344 | 15A

February 1, 2014

This was my first time departing out of Managua’s airport.   The airport is very small, so it was easy to navigate.  Regardless of how small the airport is the check-in line is usually miles long.   Surprisingly, there was hardly anyone checking in.   After boarding the flight, I see that the only cabin that was full was first class.  The coach cabin was about 65% full.   This might explain the shorter line, but I still used the first class check in line.  I didn’t fly more 2 million miles to not take advantage of the permanent Platinum for Life status.  According to my office, I was also arriving a little too early.  I only waited 45 minutes at the gate to board, so I don’t feel like I was that early to the airport.

So, the upgrade didn’t happen, but 15A (exit row) was pretty decent.  I was number seven on the list for potential upgrade at the gate.   I knew that wouldn’t be happening, so I ate before departing, since I knew that there would be no food on the flight.  Given this is the last American flight out of Managua on Friday, I don’t think that upgrades will be too common.  And being Platinum level is not going to get me to the top of the list.  I did make my reservations for the next two weeks.  What some people don’t realize is that when you make your reservation and request the upgrade does impact your odds of getting upgraded.   While each status level has its respective priority above other status levels, the priority within a status level is determined by when you make your upgrade request.   To make an upgrade request, you must purchase your ticket and request the upgrade.  I’ll continue my rolling flight purchases as the weeks progress.

If this routine to Managua were to be permanent, I would put myself to the challenge of getting the Exec Plat status as fast as possible.  For the moment, I don’t see that being the case, so I’ll enjoy the exit row and the occasional upgrade.  My expectation is that I will get upgrade on Sunday nights when I am flying to Managua more often than when I fly home.

After boarding, I hung my suit coat on the back of the seat in front of me.  Surprisingly, the cabin attendant saw it and offered to take my suit coat and hang it in business class.   Huge kudos to her!  I’m looking for one of those little thank you sheets for her.  Ah, they are called ‘Applause – For outstanding service’.  Not only is she deserving, I have been carrying them around forever in my computer bag.  Time to recognize some outstanding service in coach on flight 344.

The flight was uneventful, and we landed about 15 minutes early.    More posts to come as I fly back to Managua in less than 48 hours.   Until Sunday, Randy Moreau