After arriving late in JFK and running to Duty Free to make some last minute shopping, my connecting flight actually left at 22:19 instead of 21:35. When I checked the monitors upon arrival into JFK it was still showing on time.
I arrived at the gate and it was boarding already. I was greeted by a friendly FA at the door and made my way to the Main Cabin Extra section which still had some empty seats. It seemed that today's flight was not going to be full and I ended up with an empty seat next to me.
Even though my trip was in Y, I still looked forward to the experience. I believe that flying in the back of the bus is a reality check that we need to keep our perspectives balanced. Besides, some of the most interesting people that I have met onboard have always been flying in Y contrary to the frosting environment up in the premium cabins. As a matter of fact, I had an interesting conversation with an Armenian guy sitting at the other end of my middle row who worked in IT and was traveling with his boss.
The crew on our flight seemed upbeat and very proactive. I saw a lot of smiling interactions with passengers which is always a good sign. What a drastic difference from my MIA-GIG flight a month ago.
Once the door closed the captain made an announcement asking everyone including the FA's to sit down after take off due to the unstable weather. About 45 min. after take off, the service began and drinks were offered along with dinner. I had ordered a special diabetic meal just for fun and at first was offered a choice between chicken or pasta. I reminded the FA that I requested a separate meal and this was delivered quickly.
I smelled a spicy dish and this looked promising. Unfortunately it turned out to be bland despite the enticing smell. The main dish consisted of some chicken slices served over grains with beans, corn and a side of French beans. There were 2 cantaloupe slices for dessert which was healthy and some balsamic vinaigrette in a bottle which elevated the meal a bit. However, there was no cheese or cracker on my tray.
Some mood lightning was in order to make the experience more civil. :P
I asked for a second regular meal and the FA obliged by bringing me the pasta dish a few minutes later. It was a macaroni and cheese with pieces of broccoli and red pepper strips. I thought it was very satisfying but some would disagree with all that melting cheese as sauce. Let's just say it is an American dish on an American carrier.
Salad with two red cherry tomatoes.
Condiments (not that much different from J)
Cheese and crackers.
Dessert was a cheap packed brownie.
I brought the tray back to the galley and the FA who was sitting stood up and insisted in taking the tray from me. Nice service attitude.
Galley with drinks, pretzels and leftovers.
I checked out the entertainment system and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of foreign films and all of them were unedited. I saw a good Iranian and Norwegian one.
Soon breakfast was served and it seemed that the cost cutting has continued. A few years ago AA used to serve a croissant with yogurt. The breakfast today was some packaged flat muffin with yogurt and orange juice. My special meal consisted of yogurt, a container with water instead of orange juice and a lemon cookie. By the way, when I asked for tea, I was served barely half a cup.
We arrived a few minutes late which was not a big deal. Here's a look at the cabin.
New York - JFK
Rio De Janeiro - GIG
Delays keep following me and this flight was not different. However, the inconvenience was minimal and we arrived less than 15 min. late which is not terrible. I wish that the delay leaving out of JFK would have posted earlier so that I did not have to run.
The crew on this flight was friendly and approachable, unlike the one that I had last month out of MIA. I received better service flying in Y than in J if you can believe it.
Catering in Y is disappointing for the most part, unless you fly an airline like TK. Next month I will be testing another product in Y but this time with UA SFO-LHR. Let's see how the new and improved UA Y catering scores.
The entertainment system on AA is surprisingly good in my opinion with a solid selection of uncensored films both classic and foreign. Who would have thought?
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