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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: American Airlines Economy On The 737-800 From Miami To Havana

Intro


For the second segment of my review trip to Cuba, it is time to review the 737-800 in economy. This is the second-last aircraft from AA that I haven't flown in economy.


Overall, it was an extremely pleasant flight with fun shenanigans, good conversation, and an on-time performance. However, there was no service due to the short flight, which was a shame.


Route- Miami-Havana

Seat- 24F

Flight Number- AA242

Date- February 29th 2024

Flight Time: 49 minutes

Price Paid- 301$


How I Booked


After the run around with American Airlines trying to use my trip credit, I finally managed to book this itinerary of Los Angeles to Miami and then onto Havana for 301$. Prices aligned to what every day seems to be on this route.



All in all, it was a perfect routing to Cuba. I could have taken a shorter connection in Miami but with the longer connection, I was able to watch FP1.


Transiting Miami International


With my inbound flight delayed onboard an A321neo (https://www.jettoajet.com/post/review-american-airlines-a321neo-main-cabin-extra-from-los-angeles-miami), I had scheduled enough time to grab a bite to eat and watch FP1. After I grabbed a bit I made my way over to D2 and took a seat to watch practice.


Not a bad post up spot

Soon enough, someone was at the counter selling Cuban tourist cards. Their cost at the gate came out to 100$ paid only with a credit card.


The line moved quickly

100$ is quite steep for a slip of paper, but I had no other choice if I wanted to visit😂.


The last step to enter Cuba!

Boarding


After grabbing my tourist card I made my way over to the boarding lines as the flight was boarding group 4 already. I slotted in behind a group of women who asked if I had "any b****es in Cuba". Oh, this was going to be a fun flight😅.


Fantastic boarding time

Once my boarding pass, I made my way down the jetbridge, deep in conversation😒. Looking out of the jetbridge I saw the 737-800 that would take me down to Havana this morning!


Planes are so cool when you think about them

The Seat/Cabin


Once onboard, I settled into seat 24F for this short hop. The seat itself is extremely basic but adequate for a flight time of 49 minutes. The legroom was decent as well with 31 inches of pitch. There was also a tray table, which wasn't needed since there was no service😂.


Not sure I'd be comfortable on a 6 hour flight though.

While the flight wasn't full, I did end up having two people sitting next to me in a row of 3. One of which was a music artist, and a guy who gave me great tips for travelling to Cuba.



Before pushback, I filled out my Cuban tourist card which only took a few minutes. Side note: be careful not to lose this because if you do, you will have to purchase another one...


Kind of wish this was a stamp

The Flight


By 8:02 am, boarding was completed. 11 minutes later we pushed back from D2.


Let's go to Cuba!

I'm not sure if this is normal but there was a piece of the flap that looked missing. I wanted to be in Cuba so I didn't alert the crew😅.


Is this normal?

Anyway, we began our taxi out to the runway at 8:17 am.


A 77W being towed


After a rapid 9 minute taxi we arrived at our runway for takeoff.




Due to the short flight time, we had a short takeoff roll.



We were airborne by 8:27 am bound for Havana. The views over Miami were gorgeous, I sort of wish I had some time here!



Just poking through the clouds

Interestingly, we had a sharp bank north (instead of South).


Weird right

Followed by another left bank that set us on a route over the Everglades. After passing by the Everglades, we began to see the crystal blue waters that every vacationer dreams of seeing!


Beautiful, but still concerned about the flap😅

Within twenty minutes of takeoff, our pilot announced our initial descent into Havana where he was expecting a slightly early arrival.



This was our route today, a bit peculiar.


Added an extra 100 miles hmmm

Soon enough the spoilers were set to slow our speed down.



The flap were set for landing 10 minutes later.



And lowered again...



We had a bouncy landing at 9:16 am, only 49 minutes after takeoff.



The group of 28 women's softball players started clapping and cheering, "Welcome to Cuba! We're in Cuba and it's 2024"!



It was a short taxi to the gate, due to it not being a very busy airport. We arrived 8 minutes ahead of schedule. Deplaning was efficient (thank the lord since it's a pet peeve of mine). On the way out, I talked to my seatmate, who commutes monthly to Cuba because he loves it so much! He helped me get a lay of the land and what to expect. Thank you!


Thanks plane!

Once out of the plane lay about 20 "VIP service staff" to escort you through immigration, for a fee, of course. For those wondering there is no need, in no time I was through immigration (sub 2 minutes). It was all a very simple process of looking at the tourist card and your passport!



Country 76, it's time to explore!!!


Final Thoughts


There is nothing to complain about on this flight with American. We departed early, there was a short flight time, passengers were fun, we arrived early, and immigration was a breeze. While I'm not sure about being cooped up in that seat for 6 hours, it would be great, and it was perfect for a flight of this length. I also don't think there was an issue with service not being offered since the flight was so short. I am not going to dock you on that AA.


JETTOAJET SCALE


IF Service

N/A

Seat 24F

6/10

IFE

6/10

Ground Experience

9/10

Overall Service

7/10

Total

28/40


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