Hello Everyone & Happy New Year!
2014 its behind us and a New Year is a upon us, meaning our miles, points and more it’s back down to square one. As painful as it was to see my American Airlines AAdvantage wipe out my previews miles, points and segments, I was truly excited for a new year to start and continue traveling the world doing what I love. Before I begin my trip report from Chicago to Los Angeles with American Airlines I wanted to share what the month of January will be looking like traveling wise. I took my first flight of the year on January 3 and decided to come home to Los Angeles sooner because of weather issues in Chicago and I am due to fly next week to Bangkok, rather than getting stuck or being delayed which I really cannot afford – I made my way home a few days in advanced. Throughout the month of January I will have 4 domestic legs and 1 big international destination. Keep in mind I rarely fly domestic but these are business trips that require my attendance and on those domestic routes, I selected a routing that would give me the most milage so by the end of January I will be over the 30,000 EQM’s. Thanks to the folks at the @TheFlightDeal I booked a trip to Bangkok almost 5 months ago for a good deal of $800. Shortly after the month of January ends, I will be strictly flying international (Athens, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Dubai, etc) The way I see it, the further the flight/destination the better. i wish you all a safe year of traveling.
Now, lets begin with my report.
I arrived to Chicago International airport almost 3 hours before my flight – I went ahead to the first class check in counter to drop off my luggage and get my boarding pass. The check in agent named Cassandra was lovely, super attentive and caring. For those wondering, I cleared my upgrade 4 days prior to departure but did not get my usual emails from American notifying me that I have cleared. How did I find out I was upgraded? By opening my iPhone AA mobile app and seeing if I was upgraded and indeed I was. Shortly after checking in I proceeded to the TSA Pre-check line and I was the only one in line, so refreshing and comfortable – shortly after I was on my way to the Admirals Club on the K section of the Terminal.
I must share, those American Airlines employees who devoted their time to set up the terminal with the christmas decorations did an outstanding job. It looked beautiful and really gave the christmas spirit. Everyone was taking pictures, commenting how beautiful the terminal looked and much more.
I spent some time at the Admirals Club and the staff were friendly and attentive. The usual snacks were on display (pretzels, trail mix, cookies, fruits,etc). After 2 hours of relaxing and getting some work at the lounge, It was time to head out to my departure gate (k10). The boarding process was right on time and we had on time push back and departure. Flight attendants were very friendly as well. The captain went on the PA to welcome us on board and wish us a New Year. I don’t know about you, but nothing better than a captain that is talkative and keeps the passengers informed. He also mentioned that it was going to be a mostly smooth ride with a few bumps to be expected over Denver as we cross the Rocky Mountains. Seat belt sign was going off and on during the flight which is totally fine and he was cool to advice us that we would be approaching Denver soon and that the ride was going to be a bit choppy for a while. Unlike my captain from Hong Kong to Dallas that did not say one word during my 15 hour bumpy ride over the pacific.
We were number one for take off and off we went – Our take off roll felt powerful and our climb out was smooth, surprising since there was rain and stormy clouds around. Once we leveled to our initial cruising altitude the captain came back on the PA to give us our flight pattern, estimated time of arrival and current weather in Los Angeles. Flight attendants were still on their seat per request of the captain. That didn’t take very long and the crew began their service.
Prior to dinner being served, Annmarie first class attendant came around to take our orders, drink request and shortly after she came around with hot nuts and my beverage of choice at the time, Ginger ale.
Meal selection and Dessert for First Class passengers.
1. Cheese Lasagna, Pita bread with hummus and salad.
2. Chicken Tikka Massala, Lemmon Rice and Dahi Elaichi Rajma.
3. Vanilla Ice cream with small chocolate bites.
I went ahead with the cheese lasagna because I haven’t had that dish before on American Airlines and I already tried the Chicken Tikka Masala on my flight from Los Angeles to London Heathrow, so be sure to check out that post if you are interested. The flight attendant was passing along American Airlines earphones.
NOTE: As a first class passengers, you don’t have to pay for the earphones, but if you are flying main cabin – they will charge $5.
American Airlines earphones
Overall flight service & experience.
- The service was simply excellent in every way possible. The flight attendant in first class was incredible. Smiling, cheerful, and caring to its passengers – not just me. The service on board had a fantastic pace service and the plates were removed almost instantly when I finished eating. My drinks were constantly getting refilled and she was well aware of everything.
- The meals, something you all are very eager to hear and find out. The meal was actually tasty and I enjoyed it. The lasagna wasn’t overloaded with sauce or cheese, it was just right. The hummus and pita bread was also new to me and I truly thought it was a tasty.
- The dessert, I am used to my American on board sundaes but it was a nice change getting something else aside from it and the vanilla ice cream with chocolate bites were tasty. Something new and it was nice, I truly enjoyed it.
- The ride was mostly smooth with a few bumps but overall, captain was fantastic and communicated well throughout the journey.
- The entertainment throughout the flight wasn’t too shabby though I would have prefer a more happy movie than the really sad one they were playing.
Our arrival into Los Angeles was on time and It couldn’t have been a better flight to start my 2015 travel year. Here to another 100,000 flying miles.
Next week I depart to Bangkok, the flight route will be as follow: LAX-DFW-HKG-BKK.
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