Published on September 25th, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
AIRLINE REVIEW: American Airlines Boeing 757 – Quito, Ecuador to Miami
Following a productive and hectic trip around Ecuador during a tourism convention called TravelMart Latin America, I flew American Airlines aboard a Boeing 757 in economy class (naturally) from the new airport in Quito, Ecuador to American’s big hub at Miami International Airport. Here’s a review of what I experienced, from check-in to boarding and right down to the airline food.
THE ROUTE: Quito, Ecuador to Miami (3 hours and 46 minutes at 38,000 feet, economy class, Boeing 757)
THE AIRPORT: Since the new Quito airport opened in a brand-new location outside the city this year, the travel time has increased significantly from Ecuador’s capital (this should be remedied a bit when they finish work on a new expressway. But since I got picked up from the Hilton Colón Quito hotel at 3am for an early-morning flight, there was no traffic and few red lights (drivers tend to pause at the red lights, rather than stop fully, when it’s the middle of the night on the route to the airport), so I arrived in just over 35 minutes.
Quito‘s brand-new Mariscal Sucre International Airport (it carries the same name as the old airport that it replaces) is an impressive facility, with high ceilings over the spacious check-in area. My check-in at the American Airlines counter was fast and efficient (with no fee for my checked bag), and so was the security process. Upon my arrival that morning, all of the airport’s gates were in use by international flights, allowing me to get exercise by strolling up and down the concourse, stopping at a few small interesting shops and also browsing the food court – although I didn’t buy anything since I’d been advised that there would be breakfast served on the plane. I also made use of the free WiFi at the gate; it was a bit spotty, but I was able to get some work done and post a few photos to Instagram for anyone who happened to be awake at 4am to view.
Boarding was by group number — and while I wasn’t thrilled to find myself in Group 4, I still got on board rather quickly and had plenty of space to stow my carry-on luggage.
THE AIRCRAFT: The American Airlines Boeing 757 had American’s standard economy seating with blue upholstery. Two things I really liked: All of the headrests had wings, and each seat was furnished with a blanket and a pillow. One negative: The pilot announced that one of the two economy-class bathrooms was out of service, due to “door problems.”
THE SERVICE: Three flight attendants worked the economy-class cabin during the flight, serving free drinks and a breakfast. I had the omelet and sausage, which was satisfying enough and included a fruit dish and warm croissant. Inflight entertainment was shown on video screens above the aisle, with the movie “Iron Man 2” as the main feature, followed by “NBC Universal on American Airlines” programming. Headphones were free. I appreciated the fact that, after meal and beverage service, the flight attendants left cups alongside water, orange juice and apple juice containers, so that thirsty passengers could serve themselves again. A bit before landing, one flight attendant made his way through the cabin to collect donations for UNICEF.
THE ARRIVAL: Customs at Miami International Airport are sometimes a bit long, and this trip proved to be no exception, but the baggage delivery and security screening moved quickly, and I had plenty of time to make my connecting flight.
MORE LATIN AMERICA TRAVEL TIPS & AIRLINE REVIEWS:
• AIRLINE REVIEW: American Airlines Boeing 737, Panama City to Miami
• HOTEL REVIEW: Hilton Colón Quito — Luxury and Location in Ecuador’s Capital
• How to Get the Best from Latin America’s Low-cost Airlines
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