Trip Review: JFK to MIA

Not too long ago AA announced that they were upgrading the first class on their aging fleet of 757’s. This was clearly a measure to extend the life of the planes. The narrow body long haul plane allows American to fly the 757 on fairly thin routes directly. Thankfully the fuel economy of the 787 will allow them to ultimately replace the 757 but in the meantime the new first class seats will serve as a stopgap for the mainly international plane. American moves a lot of planes between JFK and MIA to reposition planes as Miami is their gateway to Latin and South America. This gives us the opportunity to fly internationally configured planes on domestic routes.

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New First class seats on the 757

Upon checking in online I was greeted with the news that I had been upgraded. And as this was a 757 flying between JFK and MIA I knew I’d be in for a treat.

Although the better of the NYC airports, JFK is consistently rated among the worst airports in the country. This was no more evident than today when arriving to the airport by car was all but impossible thanks to a water main rupture. The hotel shuttles were dropping us off at Federal Station and everyone had to take the AirTrain to the terminals. I received the email about the water main rupture the previous night so I planned an extra 30 min to arrive at the airport. As this was well before rush-hour even in NY, I was all checked in and past the security with 50 min before boarding, so I decided to check out the newly refurbished Admirals Club. I was pleasantly surprised by the space. Although not revolutionary it was a nice space. Breakfast is the only meal that I can make do at an Admirals Club.

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Day old serviceable bagel

Although the bagels weren’t fresh when toasted they are serviceable.

My gate was adjacent to the lounge, which afforded a fantastic view of the plane I would be boarding.

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AA’s new look has really grown on me

Although Admirals Clubs now have a new food menu and full service bar everything is just as expensive as as the rest of the airport so it kinda defeats the purpose of the lounge in my opinion.

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Once onboard the aircraft, I snapped a few pictures of the first class cabin before it started to fill in.

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You almost have the length of 3 windows.

The seats looked great and were very comfortable although when reclined to a lie flat bed they aren’t quite long enough for me so I found it more comfortable to leave it in a lounging position. I was able to sleep the whole flight, which is my ultimate test of comfort.

One clear sign that this is a temporary stopgap measure to extend the life of the plane is the obvious financial decision to not install seat back monitors on the seats. The seats are obviously designed to have them and it looks awkward without screens.

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Obvious gap where a screen should go

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Upon landing in MIA we taxied right by the AA hanger which had some beautiful 77w’s in it.

And then my favorite part of landing in MIA is finally being able to have some good coffee as Colorado’s coffee is terrible.

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All the locals know to skip the overpriced Starbucks next door.

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