AA164 San Francisco to New York JFK (Transcontinental Business Class) – Summer Tier Points
In this… epic.
- When will I learn to jump on a fare?
- Wednesday Afternoon.. off to the airport
- EI273 Birmingham to Dublin Airport
- Into Dublin for some Donuts. And Pokemon
- The Travelodge in Swords, Dublin Airport
- Pre-Clearance fun at Dublin airport, 51st and Green Lounge
- AA291 Dublin to New York JFK – Business Class
- A Manhattan Char Siu Adventure
- Back in the Secure Area, Flagship Lounge and AAdmirals Club
- AA2652 New York JFK to San Francisco International – Transcontinental Business Class
- The Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
- Do the BART into San Francisco, The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins, San Francisco
- Sausalito: Which ferry to take?
- Halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge
- Fooding around San Francisco
- The Crowne Plaza, San Francisco Airport
- Early start at San Francisco airport
- AA164 San Francisco International to New York JFK – Transcontinental Business Class
- The joy of terminal swaps, BA Pre-departure dining
- BA174 New York JFK to London Heathrow – Club World (Business Class)
- An Early Morning Change at Heathrow
- BA828 London Heathrow T5 to Dublin Airport – Club Europe
- Doughnuts and coffee shops – Exploring Dublin
- Once more with feeling at Dublin Airport
- FR666 Dublin Airport to Birmingham Airport
- 600 TP: Done
AA164 San Francisco International to New York JFK
Airbus A321 T, Seat 6A, Business Class (Transcontinental)
140 Tier Points Earned, 2,572 Base Avios+ 643 Avios Cabin Bonus + 1,286 Avios Tier Bonus.
I was welcomed aboard and turned right down the cabin. Which still feels odd for a Business Class cabin, but there you go. I found my seat, and once again, met my seat of the day – the B/E Aerospace (Rockwell Collins) Diamond Seat.
I think we’re all aware of the seat by now so I won’t go into the details of it.
With me settled in the rest of the flight continued boarding. The crew was friendly that day, which makes a difference when on a segment like this – it normally means that the service should be pretty high quality. Headphones were handing out, which meant playing the contortion game.
Pre-departure beverages followed. And those who haven’t been around me for more than 3 minutes will know exactly what I went for.
With the plane heading close for being buttoned up, I decided to put the gate-to-gate wireless to the test. Can a Viasat2 Ka Satellite-based system deliver for a full flight?
Payment was via PayPal, which was handled easily and quickly.
I also looked the coverage (and pretty much shared it with the entire aviation world – hey. I might as well do some good).
On the ground…
With the plane heading for pushback, the safety video played. Now, we can talk about the deleted cheering from the American Airlines safety video – but in all, it’s a reasonable video – a bit too stylised, but it does the job in passing on the core information.
Although I do wish this thing of doing safety videos outside the plane environment would stop. I don’t think it adds to the video, and it can confuse the safety message
With the video done and dusted, we proceeded to the runway to begin the transcontinental run to New York JFK.
Southwest Boeing 737 heading off
Thankfully, there was only a short wait for departures
With a roar, AA164 took to the skies.
Now, in boring technical notes, I film one part of this on the Canon EOS (as I normally do), but a copy of it on the iPhone
Testing my dear reader.
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The Viasat service is a Satellite Ka based compared to some services that are ATG or Ku based – this means there should be a higher download and upload speed (which is why Viasat and American Airlines encourage you to use Netflix and other streaming media services.
And speed tests were showing decent performance.
But a speed test is not the ultimate test. You can optimise your targets and bandwidth. Therefore I did what I normally do … and hammered it with a variety of different tests – be it browser response, feed loads, commenting and such
And I’ll give the Viasat service this – it responded to them both on the phone and the desktop.
One thing people forget sometimes is the technology for onboard Wi-Fi is constantly evolving.
We’ve gone from the day where Air to Ground was the primary method of connectivity and were L Band was the only way to get a message out (and the sooner some carriers – yes I’m looking at you Qatar Airways) shift from L Band to Global Express, the better), to moving to Ku Based solutions and the introduction of Ka and 2Ku connectivity – which will change the game and give you a more “home-like” broadband experience.
As always the problem is that airlines have brought into one solution, and it might take them to tie to switch to another
Time is a great helper.
Whilst the bay may had been cloudy as heck, The Yosemites were as beautiful as they could be.
Drinks and nuts followed. Well. Not nuts. More like drinks and Biscotti.
Wait for a cotton picking second… BISCOTTI??? I’m in shock I tell you. Shock!
Well, it makes a change in the air I suppose. Or they didn’t load the nuts.
Take your pick
With biscotti and drink service complete, the hot breakfast items followed
Again – not a bad tray here. Some decent fresh flavours, with the omelette not being too soggy, the fruit being fresh, and the other components being quite edible.
Breakfast done it was time to lie back. Well, it wasn’t – it was time to start desktop testing with the Viasat solution… and write more stuff.
Also, it gives me something to do.
The flight continues onward, and with an article out and me watching the same section of the Big Bang theory again, I tried to switch over from the laptop to the phone… without success.
Annoying with 1 hour or so on the flight, but there it is. I, therefore, brushed up on my connection and what I needed to do at JFK (because if I screwed it up, dinner time would be *minimal*) and sat back as the plane began to descend.
Cookies were served near to the end of the flight.
Headphones were collected back. Helpfully, however, the crew left pairs of normal earbuds. Useful for watching The Incredibles again. And the map.
The plane continued to descend, and with the cabin tidy, the plane looped out to the Atlantic, before turning back for New York JFK.
With grace and power, AA164 landed safely at New York.
With the plane on the ground, it taxied past germinal 5, the terminal 7 complex and finally towards T8, before finally making a turn for the T8 satellite complex.
With the plane at the gate, there was a short delay before disembarkation began – as the jet bridge driver had gone missing
This isn’t like JFK at all.
Overall: A pretty reasonable service, lead with a happy crew. One of the better segments this trip, with reasonable food and a solid hard product. And I would love to see more of this from American Airlines. Whilst the hot nuts didn’t turn up – the crew made the best of the job – and it’s all you can ask for.
Again – as I’ve said before… crews can make or break a flight. The crew on AA164 made it. With style.
NEXT: A JFK Transfer.
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