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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: American Airlines Miami-Managua Economy Boeing 737 Max 8

Intro


The next segment of this Central America trip would take me on a Boeing 737 Max 8 with American Airlines from Miami to Managua. Following our flight from Los Angeles to Miami on the refurbished 787-8 of American Airlines in the economy, we had a 3-hour layover in Miami.


The routing for this trip is as follows:


AA2129- Los Angeles-Miami Economy 787-8

AA532- Miami-Managua Economy 737 Max 8

Tica Bus- Managua- Honduras- San Salvador

AA1035- San Salvador-Dallas Business Class 737-800

AA1159- Dallas-Phoenix Domestic First A321neo

AA1668- Phoenix-Los Angeles Domestic First 737-800


After the previous flight didn't have the best service, I was a tad worried about the second flight. However, American Airlines once again regained my heart with stellar service, ample space, and a free upgrade to an exit row!


Let's get into it!


Route- Miami-Managua

Plane- 737 Max 8

Seat- 17F

Flight Number- AA531

Date- April 10th 2024

Flight Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes

Price Paid- 5K AA Miles+10$


How I Booked


Flights on American Airlines are typically quite expensive from Los Angeles to Managua. Looking at dates in the next couple of weeks, the basic economy is around 330$, and the main cabin is 370$ ish.


Expensive for economy

However, American Airlines announced a recent deal back in March. This included flights all over the US, The Caribbean, and more destinations for only 5k miles one way (certain terms applied). I tried to stretch it to Colombia but it wouldn't budge, the deal only went as far as Costa Rica.


For 10k AA Miles+around 20$ in taxes, I managed to book 2 people on this flight plus the following one to Managua. What a fantastic deal!


Layover In Miami


Upon de-planing, we had quite a bit of time before boarding.


Miami Airport

We went on a tour of the Miami airport and got our steps in the day! Usually, I don't see a need for lounge access, but it would have been nice during this layover.


Skytrain Miami

We headed back to the gate area, grabbing some Chic Fil A along the way.


Miami Airport

We grabbed a couple of beers (60$ for 4 is outrageous), played some Yazty and hung out for a couple of hours plane-spotting.


BA A-380 bound for London Heathrow

We watched this bird depart.


British Airways A380 at Miami Airport

Boarding


Time flew by as soon as boarding started. I checked Expertflyer and saw plenty of exit row seats available, which gave me an idea. We approached the desk and asked if he could move us. An amazing gate agent printed out our new boarding passes in 20 seconds in row 17! If you don't ask, you never know.


Thanks friendly FA

We were in no rush to board as the load factor was about 60% today.


Boarding American Airlines Miami Airport

It was a slow process, but we were soon on our way.


Time to go to Nicaragua!

Jetbridge Miami Airport

Why can I never get a good fuselage shot?


American Airlines 737 Max 8

We passed by Business Class and followed this person in front with a beautiful Paris bag.


Where do I buy this?

We found our seats in row 17, and the gate agent made sure that no-one was in the middle of us. How kind!


American Airlines Exit Row

Departure


The cabin door was closed 15 minutes prior to departure, but we continued waiting...


However, I was able to spot this BoA A330, which I am dying to try out. Perhaps I just need to head back to Bolivia tomorrow instead of Panama.


BoA A330 Miami Airport

Eventually, we pushed back 10 minutes behind schedule.



A short 15 minutes later, we were lined up, bound for Managua!



Once we were airborne, the views were stunning!



The Seat/Cabin


I am not going to touch too much on the cabin or seat as I have flown multiple times in American Airlines economy. However, the space in the exit row was terrific! Debatebly, more legroom than First Class!!


American Airlines exit row legroom

There were plugs under the seat in front. However, for the first 20 minutes of the flight, this one didn't work. Somehow, it magically turned on later...


Seatback plugs American Airlines

You don't get the best window in the exit row, but it still works for peeking out at the views!


Exit row window American Airlines

IFE/Snacks


Just like with every other narrowbody flight in economy or business, American Airlines offers streaming on your personal device through the wifi free of charge.


There was a buy-on-board menu in the seatback, but this flight is only 1050 miles meaning it doesn't qualify...


American Airlines Buy on Board menu

Staff came around at the beginning of the flight to hand out the declaration form as well as Biscoff cookies and drinks.


The Flight


The flight itself was great. If you are flying to Managua, choose this evening departure as, for most of the flight, you are chasing the sunset. It just gets better and better.



And better...


Sunset Miami-Managua

And better...


American Airlines sunset

Woahhh the stars are shining

Simply breathtaking

I headed to the back and politely asked for some more Biscoff cookies. The crew was very friendly the whole flight. One of them showed me the Biscoff Drawer (Wow) and told me to take the whole thing if I wanted (about 30 packs).


Hmmm delicious

I ended up grabbing 3 packs and returning for another 7 packs. I can never have too many to snack on once I land! Especially with all the Tona's on the way.


Biscoff Cookies American Airlines

That sums up the service aspect as well. The service on the ground was incredible, and the service in the air was just as good. What's been going on with American Airlines? They have become amazing in my recent adventures! We cracked some jokes, laughed a bit, and had a good conversation in the galley about life.


Arrival


At 6:55 pm local time, we began our descent into Managua. Keep in mind there is a -2-hour time difference from Miami to Managua.


Descent into Managua

Flaps went down at 7:13 pm as we had a left bank to approach Managua. Sadly, I never got a feel for this city but it looks massive!


City of Managua

We touched down at 7:18 pm local time on the singular runway.



We pulled into the gate at 7:22 pm, 2 minutes after our scheduled arrival time. Not bad.


Managua Airport

De-planing was efficient due to the light load, and we passed by the four rows of business class I would be in soon.


AA 737 Max 8 Business Class

Another note to others. This evening flight is a good flight to take as customs is empty at Managua. There were 8 desks, all with agents, and within 10 minutes, we were through immigration. 10$ is the fee to get into Nicaragua (cheaper than El Salvador).


Managua Airport Nicaragua

Clearing customs was easy as every passenger just threw their bags in an X-ray machine.


Just like that... welcome to Country 82!!!


Final Thoughts


American Airlines provided a superb economy experience from Miami to Managua. Looking back, I'm unsure how it could have been better. We were both given a free upgrade to an exit row seat, which on the app cost 57$ dollars, had a whole row each to spread out, free IFE, unlimited Biscoff cookies, and plenty of drinks. For the price I paid of 5,000 AA miles including this and the previous flight, it was well worth the cost.


I'll say it once, and I'll say it again. If you catch a good crew on American Airlines (becoming more frequent), AA can represent the best American airline operating in the US.


Thanks for a comfy flight, let's go explore Nicaragua!


JETTOAJET SCALE

Snack Service

8/10

Seat (17F)

9/10

IFE

7/10

Ground Experience

9/10

Overall Service

9/10

Total

42/50




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