Welcome to this short report on a flight that I took at the beginning of the year in which I had the chance to fly a new plane in AA's fleet - the A319. I decided to escort my little nephew back to MIA after visiting us during the holidays and then I would return to SFO right away. My schedule was as follow:
AA SFO-MIA in Y - not reported since this was a boring red eye flight. AA MIA-MSY in F - you are here. AA MSY-DFW in F - not reported. Same A319 on a short segment. AA DFW-SFO in F - http://flight-report.com/en/report-13378.html
I arrived in MIA late due to a delayed dept. out of SFO and after waiting for my aunt to pick up my nephew, I walked right back to the terminal for my return trip. The terminal was full of people this morning and it was very chaotic (a typical day in MIA). The lines through security were long and upon presenting my boarding pass to the agent at the premium line I was waived in. There was a lady talking to another agent nearby saying that she's been waiting for a wheelchair for 45 min. and finally decided to walk with her elderly companion. I confess that the thought of requesting a wheelchair in MIA has crossed my mind before and once I arrive at my destination a "miracle" would happen and I would just walk off the plane, but judging by how effective requesting one is and most importantly, being restrained by a sense of morality and ethics, I have refrained from doing that. ;)
In the meantime, the line moved slowly and there were the usual suspects in the queue - the DYKWIA business type with their air of self importance, the couple on vacation dressed casually, a lady sporting a Gucci bag making sure that it was displayed ostentatiously for everyone to see, the gentleman going through mid life crisis and dressed with a slightly unbuttoned shirt showing his hairy chest, or the Miss Universe "wannabe" with her tight outfit thinking that she is God's gift to mankind (speaking of beauty queens, I once saw Barbara Palacios, the Venezuelan ex-Miss Universe in MIA customs with one of the officers devoting his full attention to her). Oh and let's not forget those passengers with a complete lack of BCBG style (Bon chic bon genre for those not familiar with this term). And then among this group there are some who are the epitome of good taste and "bella figura". Locals here can really dress well when seen in public compared to most other places in the U.S. (NY and San Francisco are exceptions that come to mind). Perhaps it's the Cuban influence and the wealthy immigrants (particularly Latin Americans) who have taken residence in the "capital of the sun". Americans who visit MIA for the first time are "culture shocked" by the latinos that they encounter here. They don't fit the preconceptions that they had in mind. Ah MIA, some things never change.
I have to be honest and say this about AA in MIA - It's a big and challenging hub with more than its share of indifferent agents, despite the very few great ones that I had the pleasure to deal with. If I get this type of attitude as a "high" EXP, I'm scare to think of the treatment that the average Joe gets. I always get a kick out of people's reaction when I start addressing them in Spanish with a heavy local accent. It's like they are taken by surprise and off guard by this panda that people think belongs in Sichuan. ;)
I was placed in the upgrade list for this MSY flight and after a stop at Cafe Versailles for some Cuban pastelitos and a medianoche sandwich in my bag, I handed my boarding pass and it beeped when it was scanned. The agent gave me a new boarding pass with a big smile. I thanked her profusely and made my way to the plane.
A FA greeted me upon entering and first thing I noticed is that this is a small F cabin with only 2 rows and 8 seats. Yep, free upgrades are going to be tough on this baby.
The screens were big which is a plus.
Around the seat.
As expected, the F cabin was full and the FA offered pre-dept. drinks. I took a glass of water.
It was rainy and dark outside and when the door closed we pushed back to taxi. I managed to take a few spotting shots of dubious quality.
The engines roared and we lifted up.
Not much offered on this short flight to MSY. The snack basket was passed.
A while later I rang the call button to request another snack but nobody came. FA's did their job and were friendly, but not answering the call button was a minus.
Finally we began to descend in MSY.
Another A319 parked next to us.
Miami - MIA
New Orleans - MSY
It was nice to finally experience AA's A319. The F cabin is small with only 8 seats but the big IFE screens and plugs to charge one's electronics help to compensate for that.
I would have preferred to receive something more than a snack basket on this route, but there is not much competition between these two cities and AA can afford to just stay with the basket and save some money.
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