Wheels Up!

My flight was leaving from New York’s JFK Airport at 11pm and arriving in Rio de Janeiro at 10am the following morning. I arrived at the airport about 3 hours early as my business class ticket got me access to the American Airlines Flagship Lounge, which is the lounge for business and first class travelers if flying “internationally” or “transcontinental” (New York to L.A.). The entrance is the same as the general Admiral’s Club Lounge but once inside you enter through a special roped off section. The lounge is intimate and quiet, especially at night. Here are some pictures:

There was a bar with a selection of complimentary champagne, wine, liquor and beer as well as some interesting food (ordered from a menu, not buffet style). Two of the delicious offerings that night were delicious Korean Tacos and Bruschetta.

Korean Tacos

Wanting to leave some space for eating and drinking in-flight, I started heading toward the gate. The good thing is that this flight was going to be on a Boeing 767, which is a large, wide body aircraft used for long haul flights (like this 11 hour one). The bad thing is that this flight was going to be on a Boeing 767, as its business class product hasn’t been updated in several years. While it does have a lie flat bed seat, it is not state of the art compared to most other Asian, Middle Eastern and even many European Airlines.

My lie flat business class seat
Storage space in my semi- enclosed suite
Mood lighting in my semi-enclosed suite

The flight crew was mainly American with 2 “locals” (Portuguese speaking). They brought out the menus. I ordered a steak with potato and vegetables and it was so good that I started eating before I remembered to take a picture☺. I ordered a Coca Cola with my meal and I was hardly ever asked if I wanted a refill. There was not only a problem with the soft product (service) on this flight but also the hard product (seat). My seat would either recline as a bed but then wouldn’t return to the seat position or I would have had to leave it in the seat position and not be able to sleep or lie down for the duration of the flight. One of the flight attendants (who seemed to be the only one working) felt bad and couldn’t move me because the flight was completely full, so offered me 10,000 American Airline miles as compensation (which actually due to an error was credited twice (as in 20,000 miles….Sweet!) Other than that, I watched a couple of movies, read, and lied down for a bit…besides requesting the special ice cream sundae. I also spent a lot of time following the flight path on my screen.

And before I knew it, 11 hours had passed and I was landing in the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (Marvelous City) of Rio de Janeiro.


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