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.
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 http://www.copaair.com/sites/cc/en/noticias/pages/copa-club-en-san-jose.aspxlink from COPA.
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.
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.
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.
For dessert the only choice was chocolate ice cream with shavings.
Arriving in MIA.
A BA flight at the distance.
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.
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