Author Topic: An AAmerican Bonanza w/ some Brazilian Flair: 16,000 miles, 36 hours, & a Prayer  (Read 48987 times)

Offline dpk4588

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 1171
  • Total likes: 66
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 23
    • View Profile
  • Location: New York
for a guy that found the time to disappear on an airplane (or 5) for 36 straight hours you sure are busy   :P

Of course he is now. He has to make up for all that time spent in the air instead of working!
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
-Albert Einstein

Offline AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25506
  • Total likes: 733
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
What he said ^
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25506
  • Total likes: 733
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
V. GRU-MIA in Tam F on the 777

Well, I wasn’t sticking around for any more questions, so I closed up my laptop, and onto the plane we went. 

On the way, I snapped quick photo of the bird that shuttled us from Dallas:



It just so happened to be parked at the gate next to our new ride:





As soon as we appeared at the gate, we were escorted down the jetway… but not before a couple additional security agents eye-balled our passports. I held my breath. Luckily, we didn’t have to hold it long long as were waved through without any hiccups.

Our escort handed walked us onto the plane and handed us off two our two first class flight attendants. Yep, a flight attendant for each of us--no one else was in first class!

It was then that I had time to admire the beauty and uniqueness of Tam's first class. Our living room for the next 9 hours:









Though, in some places, the cabin had started to show some wear and tear:



We were offered some champagne, which we declined because (among other reasons) it was only 10:30 in the morning ;)



We then were given amenity kits, PJs, and slippers, and the FA was nice enough to give me an extra set for Mrs. AJK, who seems to love her F-class pajamas.  Shortly thereafter, we taxied to the runway and we were off.





The food on the segment was borderline inedible, unfortunately. It's an absolute shame that kosher airline meals are what they are, but I guess I understand why it is the way it is.




Mystery meat. (Yes, you'll notice I tried a corner, and then just couldn't do it.)

Because it was just us in the cabin, the FA made my bed shortly after take-off in the seat next to the window, while I worked, ate, and played in the middle seat.



About 3 hours into the flight, I paused writing this report, and hopped over to my bed to catch a few winks. The bed was definitely comfortable, but I'd still rank it behind LH's 744 and EY's F.

And then.

Then I noticed the downside to such a small, intimate cabin.

Every time my companion moved, unclicked his seatbelt, ate some potato chips, sneezed, even rotated his body, I heard it.

Even though he was on the other side of the plane!  It was terribly frustrating, and I had never experienced it in another first class cabin.  To me, it was directly correlated to the size of the cabin, and I cannot even imagine what it would be like if the cabin were full, and the noises were coming from directly across the aisle.  I'd even go so far as to say that if I knew the cabin was going to be occupied by even one or two others, I'd definitely prefer to take AA's 777 in F, where I slept much better. By a long shot. It's just not worth it, IMO, especially for people actually parting with $$$$$ for the seat. (Which, by the time you read this will be impossible anyway...)

I struggled to sleep for a couple of hours until it just got to be too frustrating, so I got up and went to my "office-seat," where I did some more work, shmoozed with my companion (after deciding against kicking him out the window for (i) showing up late, (ii) almost getting us tossed in a Brazilian prison forever, and (iii) chewing too loudly in the intimate cabin and ruining my sleep in the living room), and asked the FA for the other kosher meal.

And on that note, a word on service. It was just OK. Sure, the FA responded just fine when I asked her if could bring the other kosher meal, and sure she brought me whatever drinks I requested, but the service was just so "reactive" as opposed to "proactive."  For my taste, I should have been offered a drink upon waking, and I should have been asked if I'd like to eat, as opposed to the other way around. I realize some people prefer the reactive type of service, but it's not my cup of tea, and this is my TR :)

The meal, breakfast, was not nearly as terrible as the first meal, and with a some buttered-bread, the omelette was edible and did the trick. I only ate half because we had plans to get a huge steak on our arrival in Miami.

I can't really comment on the IFE, because I don't think I even turned it on. With my laptop, the TR, and plenty of entertainment on my Nexus, I didn't really need it.

I watched a couple of TV shows and before long we were making our descent into Miami.



We landed right on time, at about 4:45 PM, and I stuffed (what by now was) three amenity kits, three pairs of PJs, and other random stuff you accumulate when you fly into my bag.

I snapped a quick shot of the the business cabin which, by comparison to the first class cabin, looked horrid, both in design and comfort:



One last shot of our ride:



We disembarked, and we faced this:



Easily 45 minutes of waiting to go through customs.

BUT! No worries, because (i) we had a four hour layover, and (ii) we had the second-best perk in travel: Global Entry. We were going to be out in about 4 minutes, in a rental car in 15, and eating our steak by the time these poor folk had advanced far enough just to see a customs agent.

Yep, that was going to be us.

Was.

...my companion didn't have GE.



So I was out in 4, I had the rental car in 15, and then I was eating my steak by the time these poor folk had advanced far enough just to see a customs agent waited another 40 minutes for him to get through customs.

Word to the wise: get GE.

He finally got through, we picked up our car which I booked through Kayak, drove to Rare, only to find out it was closed for renovations (why didn't I remember that??), and then just went to the closest place we could get a steak: Grill House.  We wolfed down our steaks, which were pretty darn good, and by the time we were done, it was about 7:30, and we needed to be back for our flights at 9:00, him to JFK, and me to EWR.



I was nice enough to drop him off at the terminal so he could secure himself an emergency exit row and not be stuck in the middle of row 33 (he promised he'd get me one, too), and I dropped off the rental car and booked it back to the gate. As it turns out, they wouldn't let him request a seat for me, but I was luckily able to secure another exit row for myself when I arrived at check-in.

We said our goodbyes at security (I was given TSA-Pre, he was not, and I wasn't waiting), and I went to the AAdmirals Club to take a much-needed and wonderful-feeling shower.  Afterwards, I grabbed a beer, chugged it in preparation for yet another flight, and headed off to my plane to EWR.

The flight was uneventful, we landed around midnight, and I jumped into my Lyft which was waiting for me at arrivals (paid for with a coupon), and so ended my trip to Brazil.

Next time I visit, I hope to stay a little longer.

...with a visa.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 05:30:27 PM by AJK »
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline morgs

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 393
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Israel
  • Programs: *a Gold, Avis Presidents circle, Hertz Presidents club
WOW! what a truly epic tr!! That is one for the books-I can only hope to be able to write tr's like that one day (both in the writing/entertainment and in what you did  :D) Thanks for keeping us entertained!!

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Diamond Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 69254
  • Total likes: 17785
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16442
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA GS, AA EXP, DL Dirt, Hyatt Glob, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, DD Diamond, Blocked By @NeriaKraus
Nice report.

1. I told you the day before Rare was closed.
2. Can't judge a bed by a daytime flight. I had red eyes both ways and the sleep was excellent.
3. You didn't get an escort upon landing?
4. You're nuts  ;D
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline morgs

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 393
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Israel
  • Programs: *a Gold, Avis Presidents circle, Hertz Presidents club
3. You didn't get an escort upon landing?
Gotta go back and do it again....oops! you cant-sorry ;D

Offline thaber

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 3918
  • Total likes: 468
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 4
    • View Profile

Hmm… I thought… the way I’m routed means I could add on another segment to the tail end of this already pretty award, provided it departs within 24 hours of my touchdown in NYC on Wednesday at midnight.  What fits that bill and could make it even prettier?

Yep, adding Cathay’s fifth freedom route JFK-YVR at 10:00 PM on Thursday in first class would definitely make it prettier.  And so I did.


Not done yet....

Offline AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25506
  • Total likes: 733
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
Not done yet....

Unfortunately, had to let that segment go. Couldn't find a way back in time for Mrs. AJK to be at work when she needed to be.

Next time!
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Online Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 12821
  • Total likes: 482
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 157
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Crown Heights, NY
Found my flight attendant to be a little more attentive, and every few minutes walked by to see if she can do something, but in a non-annoying way. The food you got is indeed terrible. There are two different KSML from GRU, one is very decent, comes from Matok. The other (one you got) is from Kosher SP Hebraico,  terrible terrible meal, and according to some not even so Kosher, the place is open on Shabbos... IFE was very good, with many new releases on it. Great report all in.

Offline Moishebatchy

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 7281
  • Total likes: 161
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 23
    • View Profile
  • Location: Jerusalem
  • Programs: Arzei Makolet Platinum, Yossi's Makolet Silver, Yesh! Gold, Rav Kav Dirt
Nice TR! :D

Offline username

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Posts: 4658
  • Total likes: 626
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 14
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: C Heights
  • Programs: ┌──────────────────┐ │───> Ữ₴ΣЯИΛΜӘ <─── │ └──────────────────┘
Great T R. Although I didnt actively comnent, I was following.

P.S. Dont forget to call your kindergarten teacher.
^^^

Offline MeirS

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2013
  • Posts: 2555
  • Total likes: 193
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile


Great T R. Although I didnt actively comnent, I was following.

+100

Offline AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25506
  • Total likes: 733
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
P.S. Dont forget to call your kindergarten teacher.

 :D
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 10178
  • Total likes: 215
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Amazing TR! Thanks for sharing. Now maybe Dan will post it on the MS.

Offline churnbabychurn

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Jul 2012
  • Posts: 7647
  • Total likes: 301
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Lakewood
A general +1

Offline username

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Posts: 4658
  • Total likes: 626
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 14
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: C Heights
  • Programs: ┌──────────────────┐ │───> Ữ₴ΣЯИΛΜӘ <─── │ └──────────────────┘
Actually, I think most of the MS comments will be along the lines of "We are in golus...bitul zman..."
^^^

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 10178
  • Total likes: 215
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Actually, I think most of the MS comments will be along the lines of "We are in golus...bitul zman..."
Lol. It can be closed to comments.

Offline dpk4588

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 1171
  • Total likes: 66
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 23
    • View Profile
  • Location: New York
Lol. It can be closed to comments.
If we close posts to comments, we wouldn't have the joys of Comments That Leave Me Speechless..., and I think we all need this kind of entertainment in our lives.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
-Albert Einstein

Offline itsyehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 1637
  • Total likes: 6
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Brooklyn. NY
Most DDMS users wouldn't understand the concept of flying just to fly. The comments would be totally entertaining though. At any rate, great TR.

Of course Mrs AJK's YVR TR was the all time best.

We're not worthy.
I remember when a coke was a nickel, and you could buy VRs in OD.

Offline jaywhy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Posts: 3784
  • Total likes: 71
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 7
    • View Profile
Great TR!