Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Last Mileage Run of 2016 Part 9: Over St. Louis

If you're just tuning in:

Part 1- Famous Last Words

Part 2- So...Yeah...Um...

And now the conclusion....
Well friends another year, another 100,000 miles.  I'm pretty sure I've just about crossed over St. Louis, which by my calculations means I've gotten to my requalification for the year.  It's proved to have been a long day of flying, but that's pretty much what we're going for here.

When we last caught up, our brave mileage runners were landing in JFK, so let's back up a minute and talk about the new JFK Flagship Lounge.  It's only been open a few weeks at most, so I was excited to check it out.  We had about 3 hours, which as it turned out was still not quite enough time to use the lounge entirely.....but that's just how I feel about it.

The space is redone to make the seating more plentiful, and the d├ęcor more modern.  It feels like a real first class lounge.  Maybe not as opulent as JAL's Sakura or Qatar's Al Safwa lounges, but probably the best AA has to offer in the US.  It keeps up with BA's and MH's offerings, and beats some of the others, which is an improvement.

There's a certain feeling to getting ready to board the last mileage flight of the year.  Just one more jetbridge, one more seat, one more runway, one more takeoff.  You're finally heading home, and delays or no, it looks like you'll get there.  Of course, there's always room for a few more airplane hiccups.  This one was no exception. 

We boarded pretty much on time, even if we personally were a little late to the gate...possibly on account of a completely reasonable amount of free Tattinger on offer at the lounge.  We got safely to our seats, which by a stroke of good luck in routing, were the very comfortable business class on AA's 321-T. 

Then, just as they're finished boarding and preparing to push back...the lights went out.  I don't mean the quick off and on when the plane changes from ground power to went black, and for awhile.

Let me just illustrate with a real-time photo, shall I?

This is the actual photo I took.  Yes, I took a photo of this.
This goes on for the better part of a few minutes, then the lights come back up, and the captain announces we have a mechanical issue.  Cue the collective sigh from the cabin.  We then proceed to wait at the gate for more than an hour getting the issue resolved and the sign offs done.  Honestly though, it didn't seem all that long given the rest of the trip.  They weren't seeming shifty about cancellation, so this plane was getting to LAX tonight, dammit. 
Update:  And, eventually, it did.  We touched down more than an hour behind schedule, putting us on the gate close to 1am.  Tired, but accomplished, it was finally time to get out of airports and head for home. 
In all honesty, if you set out to fly 5 flights to Quito and back in the course of 3 days, including the Northeast in the winter, and you arrive home safely and only one hour late, I think you can feel pretty successful. 
Thanks 2016, it's been a trip.  Literally. I've been the equivalent of around the world 4 times, visited new countries, cities, and of course airports.  I've even made some friends along the way.  Can't wait to see what 2017 has in store.  Spoiler alert- it involves more airplanes.
Fly Well & Land Safely,


  1. Damn, 100,000 miles?? That's insane!! Sounds like 2016 was a busy year!! Hopefully 2017 will be just as busy for you!!

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