I recently spent over 10 hours on American Airlines, only to end up exactly where I started. But it was by design and proved to be an incredibly productive day aboard the 777-200. As an added bonus, I even enjoyed some tremendous coffee in Miami.
A Productive Work Day On American Airlines
During the pandemic, I have taken several “day trips” to New York on United Airlines. The amount of work I get done is simply amazing and always justifies the cost of the plane ticket. In the case of American Airlines, my ticket was $70 round-trip, much cheaper than I’ve ever paid on United.
I fully concede I should be able to go out to the back house or the coffee shop and get the same amount of work done, but sitting on an airplane and not connecting to the internet forces you to focus. And having meals served and drinks on demand also promotes productivity.
I tend to turn an airplane into a mobile office on days in which I do not need the internet. Flying when you need internet and it does not work is like a bad nightmare, but flying when you can actually work but be disconnected is a great feeling.
Business Class To Miami
My flight to Miami took off at 7:30am. I parked a mile away at my friend Mark’s building, walked to the airport, and arrived at the gate just about 10 minutes before boarding began. Terminal 5, by the way, was absolutely packed, but thankfully I had no wait for security thanks to Clear.
As an Executive Platinum member of AAdvangate, my complimentary upgrade cleared about 100 hours prior to departure.
I stood in line in order to board first (so I could get the pictures below) and a gate agent barked at me to sit down from 40 feet away. Nice.
Onboard, I found my seat in the rear business class cabin and settled in. I whipped out my laptop and managed to work for 35 minutes during the boarding process of what would turn out to be a full flight.
We took off…it was a lovely morning…and I continued my work while admiring the beauty outside.
In the air, flight attendants waited about 30 minutes due to initial turbulence, then rose to begin service. Menus were distributed earlier and I had four breakfast choices to choose from, as I outlined here.
First came drinks, which are still served in plastic or paper. Packaged nuts too.
Then came the main course, a Swiss cheese omelet with served with potatoes and sausage plus fruit, cheese, and cinnamon rolls on the side. This was a very hearty breakfast and I was stuffed after finishing.
More work, work, work. That was it. No IFE, though I did use the Bang & Olufsen noise-cancelling headphones.
During the flight, snacks came out, which I stocked up on for the return:
But flight attendants largely were missing in action and did not proactively offer any further beverages.
Beautiful approach and landing in Miami:
Coffee In Miami
We landed in Miami on time and I found Cafe Versailles right outside my gate, recently recommended by a reader. This place will receive a separate post, but I had a lovely cortado followed by an espresso, which I truly enjoyed. Pricing was also very reasonable for an airport…like half of what I expected to pay.
The Trip Home…Behind The Curtain
My upgrade DID NOT clear on the return, the first time I have ever missed an upgrade as an Executive Platinum member. Nevertheless, American does not sell its premium economy seats as a separate cabin on transcontinental flights so at least I had a comfortable seat with more legroom for the return.
The same crew greeted me for the flight back. I was almost surprised as they were, since I rarely deviate from United Airlines and their flight attendant work rules do not allow same-day turns on transcon flights. The crew greeted me and were shocked that I was heading back to Los Angels with them.
I settled into my premium economy seat…and went to work.
During the flight, I was only offered one beverage and biscoff cookie. That was it for the entire flight. In fact, flight attendants only re-appeared prior to landing to collect trash (except for the one flight attendant who kept helping himself to the business class snacks).
We landed in Los Angeles three gates away from where I had taken off 12 hours earlier. I treated myself to In-N-Out for enduring a 5.5 hour flight without a meal.
Yes, my metabolism is still fast. No, I don’t eat this at home and tend to eat very healthy at home. And I did walk a couple miles to earn this Double-Double animal style!
I drove home and arrived in time to brush my son’s teeth then read and sing with him before bed.
Fares have gone up a bit and upgrades are getting harder, but if these cheap fares stick around I will make it a routine to do these sorts of trips more often. I find these work days so much fun and more importantly, so productive.
If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it.