Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

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Washington, D.C. (Reagan) – Miami, FL | AA 1451 | 4E

January 26, 2014

Excellent flight this morning from Washington, D.C.   I actually needed to change my flight due to a project assignment that required me to be in Miami earlier on Sunday.   American now allows you to change your flight within 24 hours of your preferred new flight time.  If there is inventory available, you only pay $75 to change your flight.   This avoids the stress of flying standby, which is even more stressful if you need to check bags.  Another perk of this service is that you can request an upgrade once you are confirm on your new flight.   This is very difficult to do when flying standby.   Nothing to exciting to report on the flight.   The cabin crew were professional and polite.  The flight arrived 20 minutes early, and my luggage was available within five minutes of my arriving to the carrousel.   Wonderful experience, especially since Miami was WARM upon arrival!

Miami, FL – Washington, D.C. | AA 1287 | 4A

January 25, 2014

Our flight was delayed 25 minutes due to the inbound flight being late.  We boarded quickly.  Life time platinum status delivered on an upgrade for 4A.   The upgrade came late, so couldn’t select a meal on-line.   The first class cabin attendant was polite, but not on top of his job.  The usual mistakes of cold hand towels and cold nuts.  Amazing how many cabin attendants can’t get this right.   Yes – arriving safely is much more important, but is it that hard to warm things up properly?  The green salad with chicken was tasty.   Actually, the salad part was very good.  The chicken was pale looking, so didn’t even consider eating some.   We made up time, so we only arrived about 15 minutes late.

Miami, FL – Miami, FL | Miscellaneous

January 20, 2014

This year will be a new year of increased travel, so seems logical to reinvigorate the HOJF blog entries.  Just made reservations to Washington, D.C. to see my buddy Jason.   If you haven’t been to AA.com recently, there are numerous changes on the site.   My favorite one is being able to choose your meal option before departure.  Well, the option exists for business class passengers for domestic flights with meal service.  I would presume that international flights might give the option to all classes of service.   The US Airways integration has began with US Airway flights appearing in the flight options list.   If you are an Admirals Club member, you can use the US Airway’s clubs.  Happy Travels! 

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.

Dallas, TX – Minneapolis, MN | AA 1175 | 4A

October 19, 2010

Guest Blogger again!

I scanned quickly the history of previous posts on HJF and I didn’t see a “Gogo Inflight” post. I had promised Felix over a year ago, to make a post from 32,000 feet using the on-board internet. It is challenging to deliver on such a promise in that very few flights have the service. American announced a long time ago, at least two years ago, that they would be installing the service on their Boeing 737 and MD80 aircraft in a phased manner. Phasing must be… as each aircraft had its annual service. Or it could have meant as it phased from the West Coast to the East Coast as I have seen this on most aircraft on the West Coast, but few on the East Coast routes. They must be playing to Tech companies in San Jose.

So…my flight left on time. When the pilot rang the little bell that signals the flight attendance to say that “All flights on American are non-smoking..blah..blah…blah..you can now use all approved portable electronic devices. For a list of approved devices, you can refer to the back of the American Way magazine in the seat back pocket in front of you. I would recite more of the announcement, but that would be “showing off”. Can we say…travel animal!

I whipped out my Mac and let the Wi-fi grab the signal. I launched the browser which immediately took me to Gogo’s website. I had established an account some time ago with my CC information. After two clicks and ping of $9.95 against my CC (Felix, you owe me a beer..imported please!), I was connected to the internet. E-mails came down immediately, I check the stock market, and went to WordPress to write this entry.

I’m somewhere over Missouri now as I hit the “publish” but for this entry. No words for the impressive connection and browsing speed. Welcome to what I think is the first in-flight blog posting to HJF.

We will assume that I arrive safely and all else goes well with the flight!

Cheers
Randy

Miami, FL – Dallas, TX | AA 996 | 2J

October 19, 2010

Guest Blogger on “High on Jet Fuel”!!!

Amazingly smooth travel experience from beginning to end. I was dropped off at the “Priority Area’ of American Airlines at Terminal D in Miami. Getting the boarding pass took seconds at the check-in counter. The TSA security was really backed-up at the terminal entrance, but my time was 20% of those who didn’t use the Priority lane for Exec Plats/Business Class.

The New “again” Admirals club is open at gate D15, which use to be the old “A’ terminal before the new “extendo” D terminal was hatched. My departure gate was D14, so I could arrive and board without breaking my stride. Interesting in that I am booked this flight specifically for its aircraft (Boeing 777) and I needed a few extra miles to hold my status for 2011/2012. If you are ever going to Minneapolis from Miami, there is an evening non-stop each day. When booking on line, I was able to chose the business class seats right at my reservation time. I requested an upgrade and ended up in the “true first class” for the flight when my upgrade processed a few days before the flight. Needless to say, the two hours felt like two minutes and the amazingly attentive and polite flight attendant kept the mimosas coming to 2J. I was feeling so pleased that I gave her one of those little service award slips. You get them when you make Executive Platinum each year. I always throw them in my computer bag. Forgetting them is easy as they are in some inside pocket with a zipper. The flight attendant was too good not to acknowledge her service. I don’t know what they get when they receive them, but every time I give one to a gate agent, flight attendance, etc., they appear to be truly touched and pleased to be getting one. I would “pay it forward” if you have some to give. Dig them out and give them when deserving. They also expire, so no sense saving them.

The flight landed on time. I transferred from the D terminal to the A terminal to wait for my next flight to Minneapolis.

See next blog entry.

Miami, FL – Caracas, Venezuela | AA 935 |18F

September 22, 2010

This plane was completely packed – and this post will not so much be about the flight, but the journey that ensued once I landed in Caracas:

  • Immigration: The lines were ridiculously long – wait time must have been about 1 hr
  • Parking lot: Leaving the parking lot alone took us 35mins
  • Car: In car over 2.5 hours for a route that usually takes 40mins with no traffic

It seems like the whole process to leave the airport and getting to the hotel took more than the flight itself.  What a mission!

Although it should not come to a surprise – Caracas is know for the traffic, it is a test of patience…

San Jose, Costa Rica – Miami, FL | AA 1240 | 4F

July 19, 2010

4AM is always a brutal time to get up – unless of course you are going to some great vacation destination…I am going home…but I do have something to look forward to very much – my wife and dog.

Time in San Jose was very short – only saw the airport, office, and hotel.  We stayed at the Marriott on a coffee plantation, absolutely beautiful.

So far the flight seems to be on time – more to come as the trip continues.  The plane I am on has GOGO internet service – unfortunately I have to be 100 miles or closer to the US…by the time we are that close, we will be descending to land…no luck.

Calgary, Alberta – Dallas, TX | AA 694| 4A

July 2, 2010

Now this post is just slightly late as I flew on June 14th, but I promised our man Felix a guest post.   The post was suppose to be from 31,000 feet as the aircraft was equipped with G0-Go In-flight Internet service.    This was the third time that I had used internet in flight.   In September 2009 from Palm Springs to Dallas, and in May of this year from Dallas to Minneapolis, I was traveling on 737 aircraft that had been refurbished completely.   Part of the refurbishment is the inclusion of In-flight internet service.   The service is rather impressive as you can do just about anything that you would do through a a regular internet connection.   I did a bank transfer, connected to our work VPN to approve an expense report, chatted endlessly on MSN messenger, and to show off, printed to an office printer.    If you have the chance on a future flight, do purchase the service.   Your will forget that you are traveling and even be irked that you are landing as you will be in the middle of something and have to disconnect.    An interesting thing about the service from Calgary is that the service doesn’t begin until the aircraft is 100 miles into the US airspace.  The cost wasn’t more than $12 US dollars and worth every penny of it.

Oh, as for the flight…smooth, on-time, service was friendly.    SInce I was upgraded, I had a lunch and a few glasses of wine.   All and all, an excellent flight!   From your guest blogger, Randy Moreau