Thursday, June 1, 2017

Havana Running Part 11- Miami Vexed


I'm clearly already missing Havana, and its chaotic but uncomplicated self.  Not 3 hours into my return to 'real life' and I'm running to the gate before boarding time to AGAIN find they're halfway through the boarding process on an oversold a321.  What does a flyer have to do around here to get a decent gate announcement? I just wanted to finish my mimosa after my massage in the lounge.  Life's hard sometimes.
Sometimes I forget that the Miami-LAX flight has been crowned a 'transcon' by AA, and therefore is one of the few left with the cachet of upscale flying within the US.  You're lucky if you get a blanket on 'regular' flights these days, let alone a pillow.  It was a nice little surprise to get onboard and find the 'big' blanket set and an amenity kit waiting for me.  There's also personal IFE, which also sadly has been going the way of the Dodo lately around these parts.

At least they passed the PDB tray this time, and it wasn't just water.

I sit down next to a nice single serving friend from the OC and we chat about all the normal things- flights, kids, the extended tarmac delay that was just announced.  And then he goes and asks for milk with ice and I realize I'm sitting next to a Ryan Bingham wannabe, who also happens to think its appropriate to go barefoot enroute, and it's just over.

Half an hour later, we finally roll the runway.  I've already been on the phone with AA preparing to miss my next connection.  Unless we make up time in the air, and have the illusive empty gate at LAX, I'm likely not going to make the flight to SEA.  Now, I'll admit that I have mixed feelings about this.  I'll likely get a refund on that 'small' part of the itinerary, but I also may not get my qualifying miles for it, and since that's the entire point here.... On the other hand, I'll be in LA...and I could just go home early.  So, I'll just let the chips fall where they may on this one. 

Being jolted back to the flight at hand (literally)- Airbus, can you seriously not manage to design a plane where the IFE can handle even mild chop?  Whenever we hit a couple bumps, the system freezes.  Come on people, its an airplane, and you had one job.  I'd like to say 'if it's not Boeing, I'm not going, but AA has taken that choice away from me.  

So far, this is one of those flights where, as a great pilot I once had would have made the announcement that "as you might have noticed by this point, you are in fact on an airplane."  This is to say- we're getting kicked around pretty good up here.  
The service has been slow, partly because of the turbulence, but also just because it's slow.  I'm not usually one to get bent out of shape about that (no, seriously, stop laughing) but sometimes on a long multi segment run like this you just want to have your meal and try to get a little rest before landing.  As it stands, we're not going to have our plates cleared until short final.

In better news, as the flight goes on it seems like we're making up time, so if we get there with an open gate I may have the chance to make my onwards flight.  Mealy tray 'half full,' right?


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