After flying from Los Angeles to Chicago, I took the California Zephyr to San Francisco. That was great fun! Next it was time to take this flight from San Francisco to New York. Transcontinental flights are some of the best in the USA, so what did I think of it? Well, read on for my take all the way back in 2006. Enjoy!

I arrived at SFO at 5:15am, and waited in the First line for a good five minutes before an Economy check-in attendant beckoned me over. While checking in, the agent made a comment that I would have to take three pounds out of my luggage as it was overweight at 53 pounds. I told her I’d taken the same bag before and had no problems and she said, “Not with American!”.

My reply was that I had indeed travelled American First and had had no problems. At this point I mentioned I was on an around the world ticket and she said, “Oh well then, that’s fine!” and off my bag went. I was seconds away from getting the First agent to come over as this woman had no idea.

Security and the Admirals Club

Passed through security, and unlike LAX, I had to remove my shoes. The First line actually merged with the Economy line as they had only one station open, so that elicited some complaints from my fellow First passengers.

Walked down towards the gates and arrived at the Admirals Club, quite near to gate 62 where my flight would be leaving from. Unfortunately, it was 5:15am and they don’t open until 5:30am. I hit an airport cafe and had a latte, before being admitted to the club. The three staff were very nice, and I found the well hidden Internet terminal and did a trip report for my BA Club World flight and checked my e-mail.

When someone else wanted to use the computer, I went off to the television area and watched some CNN before deciding I wanted a drink. I went to reception and asked for a drinks voucher and got one, and had a Bombay Sapphire and Tonic. Love that gin!

AA24 – San Francisco to New York JFK (SFO-JFK)
3 February 2006
Boeing 767-300ER
Seat: First Class 3A

Soon it was time to go and I was first on board. I handed the flight attendant my coat and settled in to 3A. On the 767, there is about a mile and a half of leg room. This came in handy when I had to use the bathroom as I didn’t have to step over my seat mate or ask him to get up.

Pre-Flight Shenanigans

There were a lot of announcements during boarding, especially about carry-on items. Eventually the F/A came on and admonished the passengers saying that there were 50 open seats in Economy and they’d run out of overhead space and were having to get a few people to check their luggage. She advised people to think more in future about what they bring on board in deference to their fellow passengers. First Class was full incidentally.

The safety video came on and had to be restarted three times, with the Spanish version straight after. It finished just as take-off thrust was applied and into the air we went.

A Change In Film

Immediately after take off, we were told we were seeing the film Goodnight and Good Luck, which is up for several Oscars this year, and I was pleased about that. Unfortunately, after the preview played, it was obvious the tape was degraded, so they announced this and said we’d be seeing Walk The Line instead. Another Oscar film, so I was fine.

An announcement said headphones were two dollars, and I asked for some. The flight attendant said they should have been on my seat already and got me a set. They’re the little ones that go in your ear like with a walkman.

My Very First Biscuit!

Service began and there were no hot nuts, though we did get hot towels. For breakfast we had an omelette of some kind which tasted metallic, a salad, and I chose a biscuit over a croissant. The biscuit is a hot pastry kind of thing and was rather nice.

I had water and coffee, and really wanted to keep the American Airlines mug that it was served in. That was cool! I also had champagne and this time they didn’t run out. I asked for an extra biscuit as it was delicious (I put jam on them, mmm!) and I got the last one that was leftover.

The movie began and I quite enjoyed it. I’d recommend seeing it as it’s a good story and a true one as well. After the film, there was an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond to watch and by then we were well into the descent. Coats were handed back, and we arrived a little early.

Overall Thoughts

After all the horror stories I’ve heard about American Airlines, I was pleasantly surprised by the service and food I received. I thought it was all very good and I was well satisfied by my first two flights. I did think that American could save some money by eliminating the ticket folder that you get with your boarding pass as there’s really no need.

Also, everything has an AA logo – the ticket wallets, the napkins that go under your glasses and so on. Perhaps it would be cheaper for them not to go overboard. Other airlines don’t have their logo on the napkins for example, nor do they give out ticket folders with the boarding passes. Just a thought!

And that’s how I wrote about it in 2006. My love of biscuits started here with American Airlines. People know about it so much that last time I was in Denver, my friends took me to a restaurant that specialised in biscuits. Happy days!

Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Featured image by Davide Olivati on via Wikimedia Commons.