It was remarkable to walk on board an American Airlines flight and see a whole bunch of decorations. These were all hearts and glitter, so it seemed I had stepped aboard the famous love plane! This time I was heading to Florida on an entirely free ticket, courtesy of AA.

Well, courtesy of them cancelling a flight and making me spend an extra night in Cleveland on a previous trip, that is! The cancellation bagged me a US$200 future trip credit, meaning this series of flights (CLE-JFK-MIA-CLT-CLE) cost me nothing. If I was paying, it would have cost US$172.78. Not bad for four flights!

AA309 – New York JFK to Miami (JFK-MIA)
4 February 2023
Boeing 737-800 – N898NN
Seat: Main Cabin Extra 9A
Departure: 15:29 Arrival: 18:45

Anyway, enough of that! Whoever had decked the plane out as the love plane made everyone smile as they boarded. People were in good spirits from this bit of cheer. So, what was it for?

The Captain’s Son

No, no, no. It wasn’t for him! I had assigned myself 9F and when I boarded there was a teenager sat in 9E. He almost concealed his, “Oh, crap!” look of disappointment as he let me in to sit down. Shortly after, his Dad appeared in his full uniform and sat in 9D.

Hey, I understood the kid. As soon as I saw him in 9E I inwardly groaned myself, as I knew I’d have someone right next to me and no middle seat free. Sad times, right?

Always have a backup plan I say, and mine was to closely watch what was going on across the aisle. There was a man in 9C but nobody in 9A or 9B. Boarding continued and then, an announcement – “Flight attendants, boarding complete!”. That was my cue. I swung into action. “Excuse me,” I smiled at the kid, “Could you let me out? I’ll go sit over there so we all have some more space.”

The ghost of a grin crossed his face and I was let into the aisle. Fat man in 9C didn’t move or look up. I gazed down at him. “Sir, could I get in so I can sit there?” He begrudgingly swung his meaty sausage legs to one side. I slid past into 9A and sat down. I caught the eye of the now smiling kid from 9E who had already moved to my vacated window seat, 9F. We understood each other. Avgeeks. A window each and nobody in the middle. A win!

The Formalities

Once that dance was done, I settled in and enjoyed the additional space. Rows 8 and 9 on the American Airlines Boeing 737-800 are Main Cabin Extra, which give extra leg room as you can see on the scale seat map.

Eventually the door was closed and the flight attendants did the safety demonstration. All was calm on board as we headed to the runway and subsequently into the sky.

Flying On Board The Love Plane

Drinks were the next order of business, which are free in Main Cabin Extra but attract a charge in Main Cabin. There is quite a decent list, but I decided I only wanted some Coca-Cola. This came with complimentary Mini Pretzels and American’s ubiquitous Biscoff Cookies.

I relaxed most of the rest of the flight, not taking advantage of the on board Wi-Fi or anything like that. Once everything was cleared up, we landed into lovely balmy Miami a little ahead of schedule.

Overall Thoughts

I wish I had taken a photo of the other love plane piece, as the front bulkhead at the entrance door was also decorated, with the word love on it. Seeing some personality from the usually sighingly beige American Airlines domestic crews was a real treat!

This time the oneworld alliance airline provided a very pleasant flight. I do like the Boeing 737 and it made a change from the shedload of Embraers I keep getting when flying in the US. Oh, you might be wondering, why all the love stuff? Well, guess what? I never found out. It’s fun to imagine what it could be though, right?

Have you seen any planes decked out especially to celebrate something before? What do you think of this? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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