AA "newbie-ish" questions - SFO/JFK/EZE F Qs

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Bay Pisco Shark, Dec 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    I've only flown AA once in the past several years, and that was because of LAN irrops (EZE/DFW/SFO) in J - not a great experience. I'm about to pull the trigger on a discounted F SFO/JFK/EZE/JFK/SFO, which will give me half of what I need for AS MVPG next year. (I am also considering AA more for EZE travel now that LA is leaving SFO).

    (1) SFO - how is the AC? I don't recall ever being in a domestic AC. Bar hours? Does int'l F entitle one to any premium beverages?

    (2) SFO/JFK - I'm on the 2 cabin 763. Preferred seating? Is the service more like 3 cabin F or more like a J service? IFE on these? (I presume handheld players.) And if the food selection is meh ...

    (3) JFK - how is the Flagship Lounge? I've never been in one. Decent food/bev selection?

    (4) JFK/EZE - old config 777 - preferred seating? Do the FAs tend to try and do 5 courses in 45 minutes, or let you enjoy yourself. How is the wine/beverage offering? I've been spoiled with the LA J wine selections over the past several years, which for a J cabin, are good to excellent. What sort of bubbles does this AA serve? Any other service notes?

    (5) EZE - Any ETA on the new AC? I'm fine (and quite familiar) with the new LAN lounge - just curious if there was more news.

    (6) EZE/JFK - same as (4).

    (7) JFK - how is the immigration/customs/TSA experience? I've got GE. Also, any showers in the Flagship lounge?

    (8) JFK/SFO - the 321 up front - any experiences yet? Also, is the F service on a 3 cabin better than on a 2 cabin?

    (9) SFO - baggage handling quick and efficient?

    Finally, any comparisons between LA J and AA F are welcome. I am generally pleased with the LA J product, and other than how narrow the seats are, am generally satisfied with the product (lie flat, very good IFE, good beverage selection, satisfactory food, etc.) Other than the personal space, I think it was better than UA F in the waning days of that product to EZE.
     
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  2. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I can't answer all your questions but I'll take a stab at a few:

    1. SFO AC is fine. Typical domestic club. I've only been there a handful of times and it was never terribly crowded but it's not a big club.

    3. JFK Flagship Lounge is okay. Probably been there a dozen times over the past two years. Unlike SFO AC, the JFK FL has always been pretty full when I've been there. Food and wine selections are decent, not great. The showers are showing their age, but serviceable. I'd say something similar to the T5 BA Galleries showers I'm not particularly fund of. There aren't many and there can sometimes be a short wait.

    7. With GE, you'll have no problem clearing customs. You have to go up 2 levels to re-clear security and there is a TSA Pre land all the way on the far right.
     
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  3. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    4) I prefer 1A for the most privacy. The wine selection is about average, although I am by no means a wine connisseur.
    6) same as above
    9) not quick, but certainly better than LAX. They usually get the priority luggage out first.
     
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  4. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    1A is a Pilot Rest seat on 772 between EZE and JFK.
     
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  5. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    Thanks - that must be why it shows as blocked. Is 1J essentially the same?
     
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  6. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I can't recall ever seeing the bar closed when the AC has been open. Always seems to be someone behind the counter when I've been there. Not sure you'll get drink coupons if this is not your international segment. Generally pretty quiet and a lot of room to stretch out. I usually just get a soft drink or iced tea from the iced tea machine. View from my seat in the back corner next to the window:

    [​IMG]

    I like the back corner seats in row 6-- just sat in 6J coming home from JFK on Tuesday. Seating used to matter if you wanted choice of the menu, but now that you can preselect up to 24 hours less of an issue. These will be the almost-flat seats that flyers occasionally complain about (I think the taller you are the more apt to complain). I find them adequate and can sleep in them just fine, though they're a pain to get out of if the person in the aisle is reclined. They have a double tray so plenty of room for both meal and entertainment devices. (The 777, on the other hand, has seat back entertainment. I used to pick 10 or 12 based on meal selection but now I'd probably just do row 12.)

    You'll get a Samsung tablet and Bose headsets (they'll be collected an hour before arrival, so time your viewing accordingly).

    I haven't done the breakfast flight in a while but there's photos of the various egg dishes linked below. Dinner this week (beef fillet) is HERE.

    [​IMG]

    777-200:

    [​IMG]

    There's usually salads and sandwiches in the afternoon, and then at 5pm dinner choices come out, typically things like chicken or salmon. It's worth waiting until 5 if you have enough time. Hopefully enough to select from in the beverage department (more photos HERE):

    [​IMG]


    That plane first goes into service LAX-JFK first week of January. Will take a few more weeks before we see it at SFO.

    I've never had a problem there. Might take 20 mins for the first bag but can't recall any serious delays.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
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  7. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    Thanks, Tom. Wrong cabin on the 777 ;) Mmmmm. Diet Dr. Brown's! That with a vodka will probably be my lounge PDB. The JFK lounge looks (for my comparison's sake) not as good as the SFO UA F lounge, but much better than the UA ORD and IAD offerings. I have a choice of a too close for comfort connection or a very very long connection, so I'll probably take the former, and set up camp and get some work done. How are those AA lounge spa services these days? :oops: ;)
     
  8. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    It is blocked, but often times it will be available at the airport.
     
  9. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Sorry--didn't catch that when I posted. Here's 1J on a 777--used to take that quite a bit between DFW-ORD. Seat swivels so you can look directly out the window and plenty of table space there, too.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    I bought the ticket. Now I have to wait over 3 months to experience the opulent splendor known as American First Class! I hope I can sleep in anticipation, just waiting for my PDB served in a plastic cup! I will have to remember to peruse the meal pre-ordering when the time comes. (Note - are these selections from the regular menu? Or additions to the regular menu?)
     
  11. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    They're the same items that appear on the regular menu. It just takes the risk away that they'll be out of your first choice by the time they get to you.
     
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  12. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    Not true on flights of this length. 1A is blocked and used as a pilot rest seat on 772 flights between JFK and EZE. Even if they choose utilize the bunk, the seat remains unoccupied.

    It is not blocked and is available for selection on sub-8 hour flights, usually JFK to LHR in the summer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  13. Bay Pisco Shark
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    I have now ordered my food. I'll have eaten (or not) all of it by this time next month!
     
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  14. tom911
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    Reminds me I need to make my choices for my Seoul flights next month. :)
     
  15. Seat6A

    Seat6A Silver Member

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    The Flagship Lounge at LAX has good food, nothing to write a song over. It's a great way to start a long day heading down to EZE, with decent champagne. The showers are good. Will be trying out the Flagship at JFK for the first time this next trip. Any tips on getting a better experience? I tend to take a shower just in case, since I have a six hour bus ride once I land in EZE.
     
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  16. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    At JFK the dinner offerings come out at 5pm. You might want to hold out until then for better food.
     
  17. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    Sounds like you're taking a city bus from EZE to Palermo :eek:
     
  18. Pizzaman
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    The showers at JFK need a refresh pretty badly. Not horrible, but not great. It's also a pretty small Flagship lounge. It's not much smaller than LAX but it feels much more cramped, IMO.
     
  19. Bay Pisco Shark
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    I'd imagine it gets more traffic, too. I'll have hours in their soon, to sample all of the offerings, or lack thereof. Are there any worthwhile spots in the JFK Terminal worth checking out? I've never been to that particular terminal
     
  20. Pizzaman
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    Nothing specifically. It's a clean, modern enough terminal, just not specifically unique in any way that comes to mind.
     
  21. Seat6A

    Seat6A Silver Member

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    The food at the JFK Flagship was a step above LAX. They had an excellent vegetable soups, very nice spread of cheese, and the standard beverages. The shower were roomier than LAX and clean. I had zero complaints and will book trips through there again. The problem with the JFK connection is it arrives in EZE at 10 AM which if you're connecting onward, which i was, is late. I will continue to try and fly through DFW for this reason. Though I was pleased with the JFK Flagship overall.
     
  22. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    Looks like your journey begins in just a few days. No new AC in EZE yet, still using the LAN Salón VIP, which I'm sure you're familiar with.

    I've done the JFK/EZE route quite a few times, and I prefer 2J, and then 2A. The light and noise from the galley can be a nuisance in 1, and while most of the time they cover the always-on screen on the bulkhead with something to reduce its glare, sometimes they don't which makes for a very annoying flight. Of course, just ask and the FAs will usually come up with something.

    Food service is an appropriate pace; I've never felt rushed. They do offer a wine tasting which I recommend to start the flight. Taste 'em all and find the one(s) you like. Turn-down service is only by request - I've never had it proactively offered, nor have they offered to hang my clothes when I change to PJs, but if you ask they'll do it.

    As you know, I have lots of experience with LA J, and I'd take AA F over it most of the time. Yes, on the 772s it's showing its age, but still a solid product. Enjoy your trip!
     
  23. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Here are my answers on 1-4.
    (1) The AC was a lovely space with very nice early morning staff, horrible coffee and horrible "free" offerings. I didn't care for a drink that early, nor would I expect that it would be open prior to 6am (state law). Also, the check-in agent was really nice.
    (2) I really don't like those seats, but for a domestic transcon, was fine. At least the tablets can hang from the seat pocket in front. The time it takes to pass them out and how early they pick them up is annoying. My omelet was quite tasty. Service was excellent.
    (3) The FL was ok - nothing to write home about (but something to write MP about). Food selection was disappointing. I had the opportunity to peruse the "tea" and "supper" selections. The space is fine, although it did get crowded for a while. Shower was adequate (although the hair dryer was non-op in the first room, the phone to call out was non-op, and finally, I got dressed and had a towel over my head, waiting for someone to come by - she opened another room with a non-op hair dryer. Finally, a third room had a functioning dryer). I walked over to the other AC for awhile. The agent remembered me from the FL earlier, and gave me a couple of drink chits. I sat at the bar and had a nice chat with the lovely bartender from Argentina who was a gem. Everyone who came to the bar was "mi amor." That was worth the price of admission (ok, which was $0) and a tip for her, and the exercise.
    (4) I was exhausted by the time the flight left. Service was ok, but SFO/JFK crew was better. Champagne wasn't bad. Wines were ok-ish. Food was marginal to good (depending on the course). I ate a portion of each course. Crew was definitely not "polished," but they were nice. [The purser telling the mayor of Buenos Aires that he couldn't have his steak cooked as he'd like it, because "it's all precooked" was comical.] I was in 1J. Way too much light in that cabin at night and not just from the galley, but from the dimmed lights they leave on. IFE was a joke. Headsets not distributed until well in the air, and collected quite some time prior to arrival. Seat was comfortable-ish, but the pad wasn't thick enough and I ended up with a moderate backache from the flight.
     
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  24. tom911
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    The joy of international travel on a U.S.-based carrier. :) AA isn't perfect but I keep going back. Couldn't have asked for a better flight crew on my Seoul flight - very visible when I needed them for a refill. Anything in this trip that would make you jump to UA, though?

    Tom in a sunny Seoul
     
  25. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    The Argentinian bartender who calls everyone "mi amore" is a sweetie. Definitely sit at the bar or at one of those tables in that area. She always cheers me up and on long layovers makes the time go by ver pleasantly.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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