First I shall start with my #viewfromthewindow photos. Each flight I take, each hotel I stay at, each window with a view I take a picture, find the best image, post under #viewfromthewindow on instagram and/or twitter! Here are some from this past trip. After will be a small rant against American Airlines.
JFK Airport Clouds forever
As enjoyable as a window seat is for someone who, although I travel a good deal, have never learned to sleep well on airplanes. At least with the window seat I can contemplate the vastness of the land while viewing fluffy clouds or amazing landscapes. Usually I do this with some airline music channel pumping in my ear buds.
Well, not this flight. Yes, I secured my window seat where some ok photos were taken, as you saw above. However, that was the highlight of the trip.
I already knew I was in for an interesting ride from JFK>SFO when, as I do prior to every flight, I check the seating configuration via seat guru. We were flying the Airbus 321 (V1 Transcon) plane where clearly someone cares more about First and Business class passengers then economy passengers.
Case in point: 10 first class seats (5 rows, 1 seat each side of the aisle); 20 business class seats (5 towns, 2 seats each side of the aisle).
As you walk down the aisle past these comfy looking, brand new seats, you are hopeful your economy seat might not be as horrible as older planes. You would be half right.
Economy class: 12 rows; 1 exit row; 6 economy comfort rows (including the exit row); 6 economy rows, 3 seats each side of the aisle).
The seats are still brand new, each person still has their own seat back entertainment unit. Everything seems ok. However, I believe, after sitting in my 19A window seat, that the regular economy seat now as LESS leg room then before the airlines started their economy comfort or plus section. In addition, the space under the seat in front of me had less room under it as well. I can only assume that was due to the little box taking up a quarter of the space. The box that maybe had something to do with said entertainment system? My carry on bag (think small tote) plus bag of food bought at airport concessions did not fit easily in that space.
These new planes have a VERY small seat back pocket in front of you. No longer could I fit the water bottle is spent $5.00 near the gate prior to boarding as I usually do on flights. So now my water bottle also has to sit at my already crowded feet. That pocket only held the plane information. Now, American Way magazine, in flight menu options and the barf bag are placed in a little hard pocket under your entertainment screen, which falls behind your tray table.
Now on to the entertainment screen, where it is becomes beyond questionable that airlines (not sure if it’s just American, or all airlines) are trying to get every single last cent you could possible have out of you. I scroll through my entertainment options to find: compliment package that includes the following – Information on American’s new fleet, information on American Airlines and finally 2 videos about NBCs new fall line up. Not exactly enticing in flight entertainment. Next option – pay $4 for disney entertainment, pay $6 for a rather decent selection of tv programs or pay $8 for movies (I was to annoyed at this point to even browse the movie selection).
The ultimate tipping point was that the music button that was supposed to be accessible even in the complimentary package, was not. So here I am, ready for my 6.5 hour flight, barely comfortable in my windows seat with almost no inflight entertainment options. I say almost because I did bring my Amazon kindle with two books (one of which I finished start to end) on it, I did have my iPod shuffle with me (filled with my running playlist only) and the October issue of Women’s Running Magazine I bought at Hudson News.
I was fuming. I was sending @AmericanAirlines tweets about my unhappiness about it prior to starting to taxi. Their response was to ask a crew member!
The crew members advice was as follows: hold the power button to restart the system. When that didn’t work, I can have the bursar restart your system. When that didn’t work she offered to buy me a drink (I don’t drink!).
I can’t speak for economy comfort if they are offered more compliment entertainment options or not, but there is no excuse for leaving your 36 passengers in economy without entertainment options for 6.5 hours. Disclaimer: my roundtrip flight was booked via two different airlines so I am flying United SFO>JFK on Saturday and hoping for a better entertainment experience (if not else working music). My one way leg on American close close to $350. I am sorry that I refuse to then pay another $68-90 for economy comfort, or to pay $2100 for business or over $5000 for first class just to get inflight entertainment options.
If this is where inflight entertainment options are heading towards, I have a feeling my DVD collection is about to get a growth spurt!