Published on September 4th, 2012 | by Mark Chesnut
Airline Review: American Airlines Economy Class (Boeing 737)
Pondering a flight on American Airlines in Latin America? Here is a sample of the in-flight service you can expect, based on my recent experience.
THE FLIGHT: Panama City, Panama to Miami International Airport (2 hours, 31 minutes)
THE AIRPORT: Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport (PTY) is a major hub in Central America, and one of the best airports in the region. Check-in, however, was a bit confused and slow, due in part to a cancelled flight earlier that morning. But after waiting about 45 minutes in line, an airline representative separated the line into two, based on flight, and that greatly speeded the process.
Security was fast, so I had time to explore the new North Pier concourse, which opened this year (although it’s not used by American Airlines). I also appreciated the new food court on the second level of the main terminal area, which provides a much greater array of fast-food choices than previously available at Tocumen.
My flight departed from gate 32, which is in one of the older concourses but is still airy and reasonably comfortable. One Más Móvil-sponsored kiosks provided extra outlets to recharge cels and computers. American’s former Admirals Club at Tocumen, just across the hall, is now closed; it is now called the Airport Club, and is a member of both the Priority Pass and Lounge Club programs. A day pass costs U.S.$40, but it can be worth bargaining; the clerk offered me a discounted rate of $30 when I told him my flight was leaving soon.
THE PLANE: The American Airlines Boeing 737 was equipped with WiFi, and the seats in coach had headrests with “wings,” which is a big plus in my book.
THE SERVICE: Non-alcoholic beverages were served free, and three food items were available for purchase from the snack menu only. Inflight entertainment consisted of NBC television programming on overhead video monitors.
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