Tier Point Run to Phoenix in Nov 2017

I headed away to Phoenix for one night via Bucharest, Helsinki, Heathrow and Philadelphia.

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The new Chelsea Lounge at JFK Terminal 8 The new Chelsea Lounge at JFK Terminal 8

Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Dec 2022: Day 2 – New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX)

By Nige on Fri 16 Dec 2022 at 23:01
Story: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Dec 2022
Tags: American Airlines | Hilton | JFK | LAX | Los Angeles | New York | Trips | USA

It was a quick walk through the corridors of T8 before arriving at a large and almost empty passport control room. Global Entry kiosks were at the very far end so it took a little time to get down there. This time I popped my passport into the scanner straight away rather than waiting to be prompted and I lined up my face for the photo. Within 60 secs, it told me I could proceed. No need to pick up a printed receipt or anything. The Border Force guy at the desk asked me one question, (which I didn’t hear the first time), he checked my photo and I was on my way!

Then it was a case of traversing the baggage belts and then out into Arrivals and up the escalators into the check-in area. I found the new combined AA/BA priority check-in area. I think there’s also supposed to be a Flagship First check-in area, but I couldn’t immediately see that.

The new AA/BA combined priority check-in area at JFK T8 The new AA/BA combined priority check-in area at JFK T8
The new AA/BA combined priority check-in area at JFK T8

I fought with a check-in kiosk to add my Trusted Traveller Number (TTN) so that I could use TSA Pre-Check. After 5 mins I finally ended up with new flimsy printed boarding passes, but it would be enough to ensure I avoided too much hassle getting through security.

Security itself wasn’t too busy – about 5 or 6 passengers ahead of me in the TSA Pre-Check line. I was soon through and then I had to contain myself with the excitement of seeing three new lounges. I was aiming at spending some time in the Chelsea Lounge today; I’d also pop into the Soho Lounge which is right next door. On the way home on Mon, I might also pop my head into the Greenwich Lounge, which was the old Flagship First Lounge, which I always enjoyed spending time in.

I’ve created a specific post to cover my thoughts on the new lounges: Review of the new JFK T8 BA/AA Lounges.

New York JFK AA/BA Chelsea Lounge Restroom

The one thing I will highlight here is the quality of the restrooms! Unsurprisingly, being a new lounge, the restrooms in the Chelsea Lounge were excellent: clean and bright with little or no plastic in sight!

The restrooms in the new AA/BA Chelsea Lounge at JFK T8 The restrooms in the new AA/BA Chelsea Lounge at JFK T8
The restrooms in the new AA/BA Chelsea Lounge at JFK T8

Back to My Trip!

My flight to LAX was due to leave from Gate 32, which is basically as far away from the lounge as it could be, so it took me a while to get down there. Boarding started about 5 mins after I arrived and it didn’t seem very busy. This is the last flight of the day arriving into LAX at around midnight, so it’s obviously not a popular time for passengers to travel this route. I was first on into seat 03A.

Flight: AA0185 Equip: A321T
Sched Depart: 20:30 Actual: 20:31
Sched Arrival: 00:16 Actual: 23:19
Takeoff: 20:50 Landing: 23:13

The AA crew are always so focused on getting the flight out on time – I wish the same could be said about BA crew. Perhaps they simply have different challenges: AA’s are more within their own control; BA’s less so.

On board the AA flight from JFK to LAX in first class On board the AA flight from JFK to LAX in first class
On board the AA flight from JFK to LAX in first class

We pushed back on time and it was only a few mins before we were on the runway heading skywards. The captain advised that he expected we would be arriving into LAX about 45 mins early. That’s always a great thing to hear after a very long day of flying!

The flight attendant looking after first class didn’t hand out menus. When it came to taking orders, the attendant had to read off his clipboard as to what the dishes were. Not very helpful. I like to read through the options in great detail, debate in my own mind as to what I really want, procrastinate profusely and then when I am finally asked to order, panic and choose completely the wrong dish.

After an initial drinks service, the starter was served. I chose a beets and edamame beans salad, which was very nice. But I didn’t get any further than that. It took far too long for the main course to be served, so I ended up getting some kip instead.

The salad starter on the AA flight from JFK to LAX The salad starter on the AA flight from JFK to LAX
The salad starter on the AA flight from JFK to LAX

I enjoyed a good 3 hours or so of kip and was only awoken by the captain advising that there were 20 mins to go. Excellent! We then had the mad rush for the restroom from everyone in first class.

On final approach into LAX On final approach into LAX
On final approach into LAX

I had managed to get an upgrade into a Deluxe King room at the Hilton LAX. I had a bit of hassle with digital keys, but with a little patience it all worked out ok. No need to stop at Front Desk, which always appears to be busy around midnight for some reason.

My room at the Hilton LAX My room at the Hilton LAX
My room at the Hilton LAX

I set my alarm for 4am, so that I could be back to the airport in time to queue up for my Starbucks just after 5am. I was hoping to top up with some good quality sleep.

Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Dec 2022

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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

View all posts by Nige   |   Website

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