and its fair to say majority of my visit was spent in one place!
Of course I took a day from my schedule to visit the Dutch side capital of PHILLIPSBURG.
Even the Hard Rock Cafe wasn't safe from me visiting!
Sadly, the rest of my tour awaited me.
Time to move North to the USA!
I chose to pay £180 and fly with American Airlines via Miami to New York. Flying on two of my all time favourite jets! The Boeing 757-200 & 767-300!
Boeing 757-200(WL) N190AA was to be my ride from Sint Maarten to Miami on this lovely Valentines Day!
The Sint Maarten airport is slowly getting back to its original self after being hit by the Hurricane in 2017, but a decent but basically efficient operation can still be carried out!
The airport can't use the jetways, so all flights are open boards/disembarkation regardless of the aircraft size. I had zero complaints about that!!!
I got on the Boeing 757-200 aircraft, the cabin was a little on the hot side due to the external weather (even though it was late afternoon) and I took my seat in 19A.
I found the windows were really low on the 757. The cabin on this aircraft didn't have personal IFE Screens but included shared screens every 5 or 6 rows.
I don't want to sound like a diva, but I would hate to be on a flight over 5 hours on this aircraft with the lack of IFE! The plane was built in 2001, so its not extremely old. The seat was comfy enough!
The plane left Sint Maarten on time, and we had an amazing climb out over the island, after giving the spotters on Maho Beach a little jet blast!
About an hour into the flight, the service began. I paid $11 (US) to buy a pre-ordered "Meal package" for this flight. I chose the turkey wrap (I booked it three weeks ahead) and the crew told me they didn't have a spare or stocked Turkey wrap, but offered the chicken sandwich instead with the warm baked cookie. I accepted it and I found it nice and filling, despite the lack of notable flavour. I am in no way holding this minor mess up on the crew, the planning should have been better prepared before the plane left for Sint Maarten.
I followed the afford mentioned sandwich and cookie with two complimentary soft drinks (tea and Dr Pepper) with the usual pretzel snack pack.
The flight soon fell under the cover of night as we approached the Bahamas, and just as the captain had told us before we left, we ran into some almighty bad turbulence… Probably the worst patch I've experienced in almost 200 flights in 19 years!
We arrived into Miami on time and we parked up at the far side of the airport, unfortunately the pilots bolted quickly to get to another flight, so I missed a flight deck visit, but I knew I'd make it up later!
So the next day, having spent the night in the Hilton Hotel just off Miami Airport, I woke up early to do some photography- the results speak for themselves!
This time I was to fly a night time flight on a Boeing 767-300 to New York JFK.
But with a few hours to kill (after visiting the Miami Hard Rock) I went air side to do some more air side pictures!
The most notable catch for me was the retro TAP Portugal Airbus A330, and a "Red Top" Avianca A320…
My Boeing 767-300 that night was N434AN, similar in age to the 757 from the night before. The cabin was more spacious and again- shared IFE. Not something I'd like to see on a 7 hour trip to Europe!
The Boeing departed at night so there isn't much to report on, other than a great crew and the usual complimentary soft drink and pretzel snacks…
However after landing at New York JFK- I did get a flight deck visit to the AA 767! Making up for the previous night…
Saint Martin - SXM
Miami - MIA
American Airlines- Good product, IFE was a bit of let down (but I did fly on older retiring aircraft), was happy with flying on two of my favourite planes! Great crews on both flights, slight let down on the in flight meal- but that is down to the systems at AA, nothing against the in-flight crew...
Sint Maarten- Still a long way to go, but its getting there. The staff did the best they could with what they have. Still ran an efficient operation! Maho Beach certainly lived up to its fantasy in reality!
Miami- Great views around the entire airport, both from windows and the rail link. Plenty of shops and cafe/restaurants to browse through.
New York JFK- Not much to write home about on this domestic run, though I was hooked up to a taxi very quickly and the staff were helpful in guidance!
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