Hello and welcome to this 2nd segment in another series of flights with American Airlines. A group of 5 of us traveled to Panama for a long weekend at the beach over the Memorial day holiday. All 5 in the group were in First/Business class, having booked a package though AA Vacations. The early morning departure from Washington Dulles would allow us to get to the resort in plenty of time to have some beach time on arrival.
We had arrived on one end of the large AA Concourse D and needed to get to the other end for our connecting flight so we took the MIA SkyTrain.
Some planespotting along the way.
I would expect to see something like this more at SFO than MIA
Wit a little under an hour before boarding, we headed to the Admirals Club by Gate D37.
The lounge is large but it was undergoing renovations at the time and large sections were closed so there weren't many available seats.
We found some seats in a windowless section in the back.
I walked by the buffet area but didn't get anything since I knew we'd be having lunch onboard shortly.
Just ended up getting a sparkling wine
After a quick stay in the lounge, we headed to the gate. We took the MIA SkyTrain once again.
I stepped off the train into a scene from The Little Mermaid :-P ♫ Under the Sea ♪
Boarding had already started when we arrived at the gate. We walked up to the Priority Access line and boarded straight away.
My seat in the bulkhead. 4 of us sat in the bulkhead with one in the the row behind.
Decent legroom in the first row; much better than on DL 737s
In this round of the AA Pre-departure drink lottery, we lost. No PDB service at all. AA is so inconsistent with PDBs, though admittedly, I've noticed they've gotten better about it over the past few months.
The Safety video, naturally subtitled in Spanish, played after the doors were closed.
We pushed back a few minutes later.
A beautiful day for planespotting. 757s look gorgeous in the new AA colors.
New A319 with sharklets,
B767-300 in the old colors
Lots of the new A319s down here in MIA
Ligning up for takeoff of Runway 8R
Nice view of Concourse D and the large AA operations on takeoff
We flew over the new-ish Marlins Park
And were treated to some great views of downtown Miami. The beginning of a very scenic flight.
Flying over the Florida Keys
Shortly after we were over Cuba; more specifically, over the Varadero Peninsula.
The town of Cardenas, just across the Bay
The lunch service began a good 45 minutes into the flight with warm nuts and drinks.
The lovely views continue through lunch with this circular lagoon on the South coast of Cuba off Ciénaga de Zapata
Beautiful clear water around the Canarreos Archipelago, Cuba. I'm really glad direct scheduled air service has been restored between the U.S. and Cuba–looking forward to discovering these beautiful places one day.
I had pre-ordered the main online and went for the pasta.
The salad was nothing special, unsurprisingly, but the ravioli was tasty.
Uninspiring red wine, never surprising on medium-haul.
Warm cookie for dessert. The flight is not long enough to warrant a real dessert, but I like warm chocolate chip cookies, so no complaints.
Throughout the meal service there had been a constant parade of passengers coming up from the Y cabin to use the J lavatory. Before you call me a snob, I understand that when the cart is in the aisle in the back, you basically have no choice but use the front lav, and I normally don't care when a few people need to use the front lav. But on this flight there was a constant line of people from Y in the aisle in the J cabin. Normally FAs try to hold the line back at the curtain, but they just let the line form in the aisle. When there was finally a break in the line, a woman sitting in J got upset and expressed her displeasure to the 2 FAs working up front. While she was in the lav, yet another 2 people came up from Y. At this point I'd been waiting patiently for about a half hour to use the lav. Finally when the lav was free, the lead FA stops me and places a cart to block access to the galley–I knew that this meant someone from the flight deck needed to use the lav. The lead FA told me I could use the lav in the back—ummm, no, after all this time and having to wait for all these people, I wasn't about to go all the way to the back. Just as a matter of principle, if anything.
It became neverending torture at this point and I was getting pretty frustrated. Once the FA removed the cart, I let out a sigh and exclaimed in frustration "Ugh finally, I've been waiting over a half hour!" to which the lead FA responded with attitude "Don't take it out on me, I just work here!"…O…M…G….did he seriously just say that to me!?!?! I know my tone wasn't particularly pleasant but I have never been spoken to in such an unprofessional way; I was shocked. If a New York taxi driver or hot dog vendor spoke to me that way I would shrug my shoulders, but you expect much more professionalism from a Flight Attendant, especially in a premium cabin. Meanwhile the lady that had previously been complaining was also in the galley and continued expressing her displeasure–basically she was ranting at this point. The lead FA was explaining that the carts in the aisle in Y block access to the rear lav. I could tell that the lead FA was starting to get upset from having several passengers expressing their frustration, so I apologized to him for my previous tone and told him I understood he was in an awkward position, but expressed that I had found his reaction to be very unprofessional. He didn't respond and just rolled his eyes, then walked out of the galley to go to the back Economy galley for the remainder of the flight. Wow, again, totally unprofessional. I've worked in the airline industry in the past and have dealt with much more difficult passengers. Never would I have walked away or made such rude remarks as he had. I understand that we're all human and everyone has a bad day, but such a poor and bitter attitude reflects badly on AA–just totally unacceptable.
For the rest of the flight, about an hour of flying time, the service was essentially non-existent since the FA was hiding in the back.
First sight of land as we were making our descent into PTY.
Caught a glimpse of the Panama Canal and some interior lakes.
And here we are over Panama City. Too bad it was cloudy.
Panama City is an impressive sprawling metropolis.
We landed a bit early
Lots of Copa around, of course.
Special Panama football livery
It was a long walk to the chaotic arrivals area where it was quite an adventure finding the rental car shuttle. But soon enough, we were on our way to the beach.
Thanks for reading!
Short Tourism Bonus
On the way to the beach, we took the time to visit the Panama Canal with huge cargo ships navigating the waterway.
Our All-inclusive resort was a two hour drive southwest of Panama City on the Pacific Coast in Playa Blanca, near Rio Hato.
Self-serve complimentary liquor in full-size bottles. Fun times ^^
The view from the balcony.
Pleasant white and volcanic black sand beach.
American Airlines Admirals Club (Concourse D)
Miami - MIA
Panamá City - PTY
If it weren't for the rude and unprofessional FA, it would have been a much better experience overall. Although I seriously considered sending in a complaint, I decided against it as I know everyone can have an off day. I will note, however, that in many years as a Delta frequent flyer, I had never encountered any issues like this with FAs. Although the vast majority of AA FAs are great, I've run into this type of unprofessional behavior several times.
Generally, the hard product and catering are decent. PTVs would be nice on a 3 hour flight, but aren't an absolute necessity. Also, having more than 2 choices for lunch would be nice.
4 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".