Review: American Airlines 737-800 (First Class) Dallas to San Jose, Costa Rica

Introduction: Pandemic Trip to Costa Rica
Review: American Airlines CRJ-700 (First Class) – Oklahoma City to Dallas
Review: American Airlines 737-800 (First Class) – Dallas to San Jose, Costa Rica
Review: Marriott Costa Rica – Double Bed Suite
Review: VIP Lounge/Copa Club – Juan Santamaria International Airport
Review: American Airlines 737-800 (First Class) First Class – San Jose, Costa Rica to Dallas
Review: American Airlines A321 (First Class) – Dallas to Oklahoma City

Departure: 1125
Arrival: 1436
Seat 1B
Flight time 4hr 11min (-1hr)
October 6, 2021

We slowly made our way over to International Terminal D from the Satellite Terminal E. The plane was scheduled to depart at 1125 with boarding to begin at 1055 but there was one problem, the plane had not arrived at the gate. A pilot made a phone call and there was an aircraft the gate within ten minutes. I do not who he spoke with but he called them again to express his gratitude.

Boarding began with travelers needing additional help and those with small children This was only 10 minutes after the scheduled time. First class was then called so we grabbed out things and fell into line. In addition to providing our passports to the gate agent and removing or masks, he asked us to turn around with a smile for the camera. The big screen displayed an unflattering image of me. LOL. I had not seen this used before but I assume it was for biometrics. Do you guys know the name/use of the camera?

I gave the flight attendants a warm “good morning” which was not reciprocated. I did get two cold looks and sanitizing wipe though. Flight attendants have a tough but being meaning/cold makes for a long flight.

Turning into the cabin, I quickly found my seat…1B. It was a sleek, aisle seat on the left side of the plane. 

The seat itself was meh and kinda hard. The main issue I had was not my seat but the guy seated in next to me. If look closer at the picture, you will see his elbow and book. These two things were permanently stationed there all flight. I tried to make small talk about the book to get him to pick and give me a synopsis. As a matter of fact, he stated he had not started it.

The leg room was a bit more than my previous flight. I like selecting aisle seats for this reason.

American Airlines 737-800 First Class Seat

Luckily, the armrest was in the aisle armrest. I would have hated to deal with my seat mate. The tray table was simple to use. It could be used halved or whole. I really enjoyed the “up-to-date” design which included a tablet holder.

American Airlines 737-800 First Class Tray Table
American Airlines 737-800 First Class Tray Table
American Airlines 737-800 First Class Tray able

The boarding door was closed five minutes after the scheduled departure but was quickly reopened as two passengers were assigned to the same seat. Once the commotion settled down, the door was again closed. The pushback and video safety demonstration began simultaneously. This was an impressive 15 minutes after scheduled departure. Maybe not greeting everyone expedites the boarding process.

The pilot came on during the 10-minute taxi and apologized for the delay. He also stated the time gate to gate would be 3hrs 30mins. This would shave nearly 45 minutes off of the flight time, sign me up. We had a bumpy takeoff out of DFW. The air was smoother within 10 minutes. 

I quickly checked out the entertainment offerings. American Airlines has a fairly decent entertainment selection. It could be accessed through the app or American’s website. I browsed the moves and picked out one for the return flight, Judas and the Black Messiah. WiFi was able for $14/hr or $18 the entire flight. I did not purchase it because I knew we would be over water soon and did not want to waste the money. Surprisingly, the WiFi was available the entire way to Costa Rica.

The service started 45 minutes after take off. Drink orders were taken and I ordered a vodka Sprite. the flight attendant returned in a minute with two bottles of vodka and a can of Sprite. City themed pretzels were served with the drinks. I thought the design was a cool touch.

The book remained on the center console as well, unopened.

The flight attendants did not waste time taking entrée orders. There were two options, when I asked what they were she brought two trays over for me to look over.  1). An apple grain salad, served with hummus, fruit plate, cinnamon churro bar and plain kettle chips.

2) A turkey salad served on a bun with potato salad, small Caesar salad, and sea salt caramel bar.

I chose the latter and immediately regretted my decision. The sandwich was mostly bread, with very little meat and some yellow substance (did not taste like mustard) in the bun. The potato salad was the best thing on the plate. The potato chunks were a nice size, while the dressing had a little kick to it.

I feel like I panicked because the flight attendant was not having it. Thinking back on it, the apple grain salad tray would have given me a somewhat start to the trip.

I grabbed about an hour or so of sleep and was awaken by the pilot announcing or descent. A quick check of the time showed me was a man of his word. After a few more minutes, we had a smooth touchdown in San Jose. The taxi to the gate was quick. I assumed the pilot wanted to get us off before the American Airline from Miami made it to the gate.. The customs process was easy as I merely had to show my vaccination card and proof that I registered with the Costa Rican Health Ministry. One of my friends was not so lucky as he had to tax a bus to purchase additional insurance. My other guy was on the Miami flight so he had a wait. I waited outside at my favorite little airport deli, Deli Malinche. It is just outside the terminal, past the hagglers, on the right.

Final Word

The flight to Costa Rica, good bad or indifferent, was an experience. The decision to go with the turkey sandwich will forever haunt me. I also hope the guy continued to used the book as an armrest, trying reading it bud. I was happy to travel after everything that happened in the last two years. Thanks for reading!

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