Flight 8 of 10, ORD to JFK, Almost Home! #NMCLaborDay

Eighth flight, AA 737-800, service makes the difference!

After an underwhelming visit to the Flagship lounge in Chicago (every club in the system seems to be undergoing renovation right now) we headed down 5 gates to get on our flight from Chicago to JFK.  Boarding was already underway, and so we headed to the Priority line and were waived through without incident.

Another Vintage Experience

Another Vintage Experience

Once onboard we were greeted by Zelina, our awesome flight attendant who would be taking care of us for the flight. By this point we had flown on so many vintage planes I was starting to feel like Macklemore in a version of Thrift Shop

The seat won’t need much review if you’ve been on an American Airlines flight anytime in the past 16 years.  The seats are standard, with no video monitors.  The drink tray table is in the arm rest.  The one cool thing I like about them is the “slide guard” as I call it.  It’s the 4 inch piece of plastic in the back that prevents your phones and wallets from going sliding if you’ve had them out during take off.

Zelina came by to offer us a preflight drink.  I was pretty dehydrated from all this flying so just a water for me, and for Ben, his usual orange juice.  I tried to order a Moet Chandon but she said that they had just ran out.  My loss!

Pre Flight Drinks and Tiny Tray Tables

Pre Flight Drinks and Tiny Tray Tables

Nothing says modern, hip, and cool like the lovely bulkhead design of the American 737.  In fairness to all those who know us, we do fly Alaska Airlines a lot, and their’s isn’t any better.

AA 737 Interior

As has happened TWICE on our #NMCLaborDay trip so far, just after take off, someone has got up from the first class cabin, headed towards the galley to use the bathroom, and opened the wrong door.  Not a big deal, happens all the time.  But it’s been the SPECIFIC door that’s caused me some consternation.  What in the world would lead you to believe that this is the door to the bathroom?  This isn’t Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice in Wonderland after all.

What the actual F...

What the actual F…

Once again, no personal video monitors so we were at the mercy of the cabin monitors or our own devices.  While Delta offers entertainment for free on all their flights, and Alaska gives first class passengers tablets to watch entertainment for free, American feels the need to charge all passengers, INCLUDING first and business class passengers to watch movies on these flights that are not stocked with individual screens.  I feel that there should be an option to give FC and BC passengers entertainment for free, don’t you?

There was a new show on the monitor called Better Late Than Never starring George Foreman, Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw and William Shatner.  We couldn’t stop laughing for the entire hour.  If you haven’t seen it, watch it. It’s amazing.  It made the time go by rather quickly.

When Zelina came back to take drink orders I asked for a glass of Dom 2006 with my dinner, and she happily said that she would see what she could do 😉

When my dinner came by (blackened shrimp and grits) it was accompanied by a glass of sparkling water.  The joke was well received!

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

Ben opted for the Cheese Pasta.  She said “it’s got a funny Italian name, but I am not gonna try and pronounce it and make a fool of myself.”  Ben, being Italian, appreciated that one!

IMG_6145

At a quick 90 minutes with good tail winds, we were already on approach into JFK.  A quick flight but once that was made better by the attention of Zelina in the first class cabin.  She was engaging, kind, and really attentive to all the needs of the cabin.

I’ve been picking on American Airlines a lot over these posts, because it’s really evident that there are tons of differences in the service and hard product that is offered across their fleet.  But what really makes the difference at the end of the day is the crew.  If you’re having a crummy flight but you’ve got a crew that can take care of you and make your day better, than it’s a win.  I just hope that American hurries up and gets their hard product in line with the excellent soft product that they’re offering.

We landed at JFK, hopped on the AirTrain to get to our hotel shuttle and were off.  Thank God we got a real bed for the night.  Tomorrow it’s time for our last trans con of the journey.  Stay Tuned!

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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