California, Here We Come! (2021): Day 13: Transcon in (Some) Style

St Andrew’s Day brought the first steps in our homeward journey, initially with a short hop back down the west coast to LA, then with a transcontinental flight to Miami, Florida. The latter was an example of that delight of all avgeeks, a flight operated by a wide-body aircraft on a route normally served using single-aisle planes. The day began with an early start and no breakfast, to catch a BART train to SFO.

San Francisco – Los Angeles

We had an easy passage airside and then enjoyed an excellent pre-flight experience in the thoroughly refurbished and renamed Terminal 1, which is now dedicated to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. His story, tragically culminating in assassination, is portrayed in the 2008 movie Milk. We finally managed to get an enjoyable breakfast of avocado toast and apple juice in the American Airlines lounge.

Our A320 flight down to LAX was largely uneventful, although we had to make a ‘go around’ on the first approach, as the aircraft in front had encountered a flock of birds on landing.

Los Angeles – Miami

After two lounge visits and a light lunch at LAX, it was time to head to the gate and board AA1573 to Miami. As mentioned in the introduction, this was being operated by a long-haul aircraft, specifically a Boeing 777-300 fitted with seats in a ‘reverse herringbone’ layout. (To the surprise of many, American Airlines was one of the first adopters of this seating style. I first sampled it in 2015.)

While I knew in advance about the aircraft allocation, it would not have surprised me in the slightest if the catering provision on today’s flight had been the norm for the route. In fact, it had the appearance of full international service, although perhaps not the greatest example of this. Nevertheless, getting the long-haul style of catering was an unexpected novelty.

Following the flight, we arrived at the perfectly hideous – and ludicrously expensive – Miami International Airport Hotel. We booked this for its one advantage: location within the terminal itself.