Review of American Airlines flight Miami San Francisco in Domestic First

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA 69
Seat 5E
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 06:25
Take-off 17 Jan 15, 18:40
Arrival at 17 Jan 15, 22:05
AA   #75 out of 141 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 444 reviews
jetsetpanda
By 5330
Published on 21st January 2015
Hello and welcome to the return portion of my MIA-SFO trip. Originally I was scheduled to return via LAX but due to a last minute aircraft substitution I was rebooked on the nonstop back to SFO. My schedule is as follow:

SFO-MIA in F - http://flight-report.com/en/report-9122.html
MIA-SFO in F - you are here


Upon arriving into MIA, I proceeded to the Admiral's Club above gate D15. I was checked in by a very friendly agent at one of the counters outside of the actual club where an expanded section with sofas and snack area was set up to accommodate the overflow from the lounge.

This lounge is small compared to the main one by gate D30, but it is cozy and intimate, with a business center that has a printed and a few computer terminals, a bar where you can purchase food, a small children's play area and showers.


Entrance to the Admirals Club by D15.

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Interior.




There were coffee machines and self serve snacks which consisted of crudites, ranch dressing, crackers, an assortment of cubed cheeses and olives.




I did some spotting afterwards.




A shot with the two liveries and the new Eastern 738 in the background.

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Artwork around the terminal.

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I noticed that I had two missed calls from AA but there were no texts or messages left. I then decided to reprint my boarding pass and when I saw that the boarding pass said that it was unable to assign me a seat I panicked and realized that I have lost my original seat assignment. At that point I went to the Admirals Club @ D30 and inquired with the reception. The agent directed me to go upstairs and talk to a dedicated agent. When I arrived and explained that I found it strange that I did not have a seat assignment when originally I had one when I checked in at SFO, the agent typed for a few minutes and informed me that there was an aircraft substitution.

So my flight went from 16 seats in F to just 8. Since I was using a free systemwide upgrade that a friend provided me, I was considered low priority. The agent said that the new airplane was a 773 with a J section that was being sold as Y, so chances were that I will be accommodated in that cabin and fly comfortably to LAX. Even though this was a good opportunity to check out the new 773, I declined and insisted in being protected on a nonstop to SFO and be confirmed in the same fare code which was A. She then typed some more and issued me the boarding pass in seat 5B to SFO.

I thanked her and requested a shower at the same time. I waited for about 1 min. and another agent appeared and escorted me to one of the showers.

Admirals Club by D30.




Showers.

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Red Flower toiletries have replaced Dermatologica, which was slightly disappointing. I liked the fragrance of Dermatologica products better.




After a refreshing shower I walked around the lounge.

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I then went to the gate and by the time we were supposed to board the plane has not showed up yet. It turned out that our aircraft was delayed and it was an intl. arrival, so it had to be cleared by U.S. Customs before allowing domestic passengers to board. By now the board at the gate was showing a 1901 dept. time instead of 1840.

Gate area.

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We finally boarded and pre-boarding was given to passengers in wheelchair followed by those in F and military personnel.


My seat.

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As passengers kept boarding my seatmate showed up and she asked if I could switch to 5E so that her companion could sit next to her. I accepted since this was an aisle for an aisle in the same row. No menus and same flimsy blanket.

Pre-dept. water and orange juice were offered from a tray. After take off hot towels started the dinner service.

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The first class purser did the entire service by herself without any assistance from another FA. The cart was rolled out and drinks were offered with warm nuts. I requested a Bloody Mary mix with lemon and a glass of water.

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Then the choices were offered which were Artichoke Raviolis OR Chicken Piccata. I chose the chicken which was barely acceptable with some green beans and a mushy side of rice. The tray had a salmon appetizer which was small and a salad with Italian vinaigrette. White or pretzel rolls were offered.

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The generic salt/pepper packets. Not even AA branded. This looked like it was taken from a fast food burger place.

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Appetizer.

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Salad.

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Nice set of utensils.

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Main dish. A mediocre meal that was not OK except for the mushy rice.

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Once the tray was cleared the FA asked if I wanted ice cream sundae. No mention of a cheese plate which used to be available with the ice cream. Another disappointing cost cutting measure. I requested my sundae with strawberries, hot fudge and whipped cream.

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The FA was nice but there was no water service during the middle of the flight and the snack basket was never offered to passengers but instead was placed in the galley.

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Before arrival the FA went by each passenger asking if she could offer another drink. Again, no individual bottles of water were available just as it happened on the outbound flight.

We arrived 23 min. late into SFO due to strong winds.
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Verdict

American Airlines

7.4/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering7.0

American Airlines Admirals Club (Concourse D)

7.6/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services9.0

Miami - MIA

7.9/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.5

San Francisco - SFO

9.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

The return trip was disappointing and once again, cost cutting measures were in full swing. Flimsy blankets and no pillows, lack of printed menus and individual bottles of water, generic salt/pepper packets, and the elimination of freshly baked cookies before arrival contribute to make a long trip less tolerable.

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4 Comments

  • Comment 127340 by
    Esteban TEAM GOLD 11659 Comments

    Thanks for sharing. The cost cutting is a real let down. The salmon color did not lot great at all, and the chicken picatta had only the name of it as I don't see any picatta on it :)

  • Comment 127412 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5224 Comments

    I don't know why Pititom seems to be getting actual printed menus in domestic F on AA, but you and I aren't. I was pretty sure AA did away with them on September 1st 2014 with the AA/US catering alignment i.e. AA downgrade, but recent reports by pititom show printed menus in domestic F. AA seems to have a lot of IT issues...I thought DL was bad, but with my recent HKG trip we ran into major issues where I lost seat assignments like you, and even had an agent tell us we cancelled our seat assignment...really? 1) why would anyone EVER do that 2) there's no option to un-assign your seat online or on the app. And in your situation, when an eVIP upgrade was already confirmed, it is totally unacceptable to kick you out of F because of an aircraft change. You did good by asking them to reprotect you in F, even if you missed out on the new AA 77W J seat. Not to worry, I tested them for you :-)
    I'll be publishing that report at some point once I get through my backlog or reports, LOL.

    • Comment 308957 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Perhaps Pititom is special and favored by the gods. :P

      In all seriousness, from what I understand only true transcon flights receive printed menus (SFO/LAX-JFK and MIA-LAX). The rest of the transcons are just not as lucrative. I still think that SFO-MIA should be re-classified as transcon. Back when I used to take the afternoon flight which was a 767, there were a lot of rich South Americans riding in the front to connect to their homes through MIA. Besides, there is SFO-JFK also.

      Indeed it is unacceptable to downgrade an eVIP, but when it push comes to shove, the full revenue tickets will trump anything else.

      I'd be looking forward to your excellent FR's and thanks for your compelling comments as usual.

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