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