3.  PTY – CLT


The PTY-MIA flight was an early morning flight.  I thought I had overslept until I remembered the one-hour time change between PTY and eastern time in the US.

Getting to the airport requires a taxi as there is not train or public transport here.  Check in was smooth.  AA has no lounge here, but I had time for a quick stop at the Tocumen Royal Saloon (sic) which I have acces to through Priority Select curtesy of the Citi Prestige card.  That gives me access to over 700 first- and business-class lounges worldwide.  It is a really valuable card to have.

The Royal Salon is a small lounge without a lot of amenities but it beats the general waiting area at the gate.  To get there you take the escalator to the second floor and turn right.   You will see it immediately.  It had only been a couple of months since my last visit here but there were big changes in progress.

More electrical outlets were being installed and there were boxes for several large flat-screen tvs.  It should look much nicer once completed.

My seat for the flight was 14F, a window exit row seat on the AA A319.  There was plenty of leg room and no one sitting in my row.

Seat 14F  Aa A 319
Seat 14F Aa A 319

I had a turkey sandwich for breakfast and a screwdriver with Tito’s vodka.20150730_083203

Arriving in MIA I had a good view of the Miami skyline.20150730_102719 20150730_102537 20150730_102735


I was assigned an exit row seat on this flight as well.   I boarded and took my assigned seat.  It was a crowded flight in coach.  Just prior to departure a gate agent came on board and asked me if I wanted to sit in first class.  Heck yeah.  Apparently someone didn’t show up.  I didn’t even realize I was on the upgrade list.  In the vernacular of the frequent flyer this is called a battlefield upgrade.

737-800 seat 5E
737-800 seat 5E

I like the first-class seats on AA more than on DL.  They are wider, have more leg room, and there is more personal space for putting drinks and stuff.20150730_133623

As you can see from the picture above, each seat in first has a separate fold out location to put drinks, plus there is an additional fold down platform on the seat in front.  On DL, when both seatmates have a beverage, the glasses are almost touching because the area for putting the drinks is so small.  I had some delicious snacks to go along with my wine.20150730_134404

The 737-800 had overhead video screens in first and coach.  I got to watch an episode of American Ninja Warrior before we landed in CLT.

Overhead video on AA737-800
Overhead video on AA737-800

The upgrade was a nice way to end this short trip.