Review of American Airlines flight San José Miami in Business

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA 986
Class Business
Seat 4A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:51
Take-off 27 May 13, 12:40
Arrival at 27 May 13, 17:31
AA   #28 out of 69 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 507 reviews
By 4054
Published on 9th February 2014
A weekend goes by quickly, especially when staying with family and attending dinner engagements. Soon it was time to return. I was dropped off at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately AA does not offer a lounge at this location nor does it have a contract for access with a third party. My check-in at the counter was done efficiently and passing through security was quick.

Once inside the gate area, I quickly passed by a COPA lounge and when I saw the Mastercard logo I inquired the agent and she advised me that if your MC says Platinum or Platinum Plus, then you have access to the lounge. My card is a Working Assets Platinum Plus issued by Bank of America. I presented this to the lady outside and she invited me to go downstairs to the lounge.

COPA Lounge

The lounge is one of the only two lounges at this airport and it is located by gate 4. There was a lady at a desk by the entrance to the elevator/stair that verifies your credentials and once you are allowed to go downstairs, you check in with another agent at the counter below who takes your departure information and welcomes you to the lounge. This lounge is not that big, but it is well appointed with a separate dining area, smoking room and rest rooms. There is a buffet area with some limited snacks, juices and cereal. I sat close to the bar area and one of the attendants promptly offered me a paid menu for snacks/drinks. More information is at this from COPA.

Downstairs Club

AA 986 SJO - MIA
EQP 738 - Seat 4A J/C
Dept. 12:40P (Act. 1:03P) - Arriv. 5:31P (5:34P)

At about 40 minutes before departure I left the lounge and went straight to the gate. While there I found out that there was a slight delay on today's flight and the gate agents did a good job of updating the passengers. There was a secondary inspection of bags inside the jetbridge which can be tedious but luckily my inspection was speedy and did not take long.

A FA welcomed me aboard and pre-departure drinks were offered. Once we pushed from the gate, I saw dark clouds encroaching. SJO tends to get thunderstorms in the middle of the afternoon during certain times of the year that dissipate just as quickly as they appear. It started to rain heavily when the plane was positioning for take off in the runway and we were sent to a holding area for a few minutes. Eventually we took off after the rain subsided and the climbing became violently turbulent at times.

Adios San Jose.

photo IMG_8881 (800x528)photo IMG_8884 (800x533)

Once we reached cruising altitude FA's started the service. Warm nuts with beverages were offered followed by hot towels. The purser handled the entire J cabin almost by himself and performed his duties efficiently.

photo AA 986 SJO-MIA May 2013 (1) (800x589)

When he took orders he paused at my seat and went back to the galley to get a printout. He then came back and confirmed my pre-order meal. The choices today were vegetable lasagna or steak with plantains and black beans. According to the website this was supposed to be a vegetable gratin. Lost in translation perhaps? The meal tasted fine although there was too much sauce in the lasagna.

photo AA 986 SJO-MIA May 2013 (2) (800x540)photo AA 986 SJO-MIA May 2013 (8) (800x523)

For dessert the only choice was chocolate ice cream with shavings.

photo AA 986 SJO-MIA May 2013 (9) (800x579)

Arriving in MIA.

A BA flight at the distance.

photo IMG_8898 (800x516)

See more


American Airlines

Cabin crew8.0

San José - SJO


Miami - MIA



Despite the slight delay, we arrived about 3 min. late in MIA which was pretty good.

Service onboard was professional and efficient. The meal could have been better and I was surprised to see the pool of sauce under the vegetable lasagna. I found myself using the bread to soak it up. This was a local catering issue so I do not blame AA too much for it. However, it troubles me that there is only one type of dessert after the meal without even offering a cheese course. Not everyone likes sweets and there are so passengers who are diabetic, so an alternative would be nice.



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 99110 by
    lagentsecret 12449 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    The lounge looks decent : is there nothing free ?

    The choice of vegetables is unwise for the lasagna
    The zucchinis are a vegetable that makes a lot of water during cooking or heating therefore not surprising that there is a lot of sauce

    Is the flight time shorter in this direction ?

  • Comment 99115 by
    jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

    The picture of the counter with the cereals, pastries and beverages was the only area where items were free. Otherwise you could order from the menu.

    You are right about the zucchinis. If they still wanted them included, they could have shredded and sauteed them to get rid of most of the water content.

    Flight time is about the same for outbound and inbound. Just 2:45 hrs.

  • Comment 99118 by
    NGen92 55 Comments

    This flight looks smoothier the outbound's.
    Love Copa Lounge design even it looks small to host huge crowd.
    AA catering on this short flight seems appropriate and tasty although not outstanding.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 99154 by
    jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

    Service was more professional for sure. In my experience I have found that male FA's tend to be more consistent serving a premium cabin.

    It's true that the Copa lounge is small, but it is relaxing and there are some interesting artwork throughout the place. I know that I am generalizing but it seems to me that in Latin America there is a strong preference for modern and abstract work.

  • Comment 99184 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5655 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this return flight! Odd that AA doesn't give access to a lounge in SJO considering how big they are in Latin America. Luckily you got into a lounge which seems to be pretty decent! I also don't like that the only choice for dessert is ice cream--I'm lactose intolerant and couldn't eat it.

  • Comment 99186 by
    jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

    For an airline that has cornered the Latin American market, it is indeed surprising that they do not offer lounge access in SJO, and we are not talking about 1 or 2 flights a day.

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