1st time on AA ~ What to expect.

Discussion in 'American Airlines AAdvantage' started by DJ737, Dec 26, 2006.

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  1. Hi there

    First time flying AA during FEB from HNL to LHR via LAX and return.

    I am AA Plat obtained via a challenge involving QF,BA & AY so haven't yet travelled on AA.

    Travelling T class on a 40K award booking and have 10A (757) & 31A (777) exit rows both ways.

    I have worked out that I have AC access based on my itinery at HNL & and during transit at LAX, however HNL doesn't open until 11:00 and i'll be long gone from there by then.

    Where are US departure formalities carried out HNL or LAX?

    On the return I believe i will have AC access at LHR and LAX, is there another lounge option at LHR? CX lounge perhaps:confused:

    Any info regarding the immigration procedures at LAX will be gratefully recieved.

    Doing the MEL-HNL-MEL bit on JQ (what's the chances of getting into the QP at MEL intl?) using the launch fares, maybe i can get one of those paid upgrades to Star Class:rolleyes: , Currently Star Class is selling for less than JetFlex on my dates of travel, dunno why:?:

    Cheers and thanks for any info

    DJ737
     

  2. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    If you are departing on the day QF operates, then The lounge at HNL operates as a Qantas Club before it morphs into an Admirals Club after the QF flight leaves so you would have lounge access then. I don't know whether QF operates the Qantas Pub on the days of JQ operations, but if they do, you are in luck

    You will go through US immigration formalities on arrival at HNL

    At LHR, there is a Cathay Pacific lounge which you can use which is by reports much nicer than the Admirals Club

    There is an Admirals Club at LAX

    Arriving into LAX from HNL, you will be fine since it is a domestic flight; going the other way then you will have the standard immigration, bag collect, customs and then drop off the luggage for the next leg.

    If you can get availability ( if you are not doing a stopover in LAX ), then the HNL-ORD-LHR route is a decent one and the HNL-ORD is operated with a 763

    Dave
     
  3. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Just to add to Dave Noble's excellent answer.

    US doesn't have exit immigration. If you are visiting US on a visa or visa waiver, be sure to hand the stub over at the lounge in LAX or to the gate agent. LAX doesn't yet have the US-visit machines to get a receipt as "proof" :rolleyes: that you left the country. If your return to US is within 90 days of first entry then it won't matter too much if your stub isn't collected since will be obvious you haven't overstayed. If your return to US is outside 90 days of first entry then make sure your stub is collected or have some proof (eg passport stamp) that you didn't overstay.
     
  4. Soundguy

    Soundguy Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    323
    3
    Rudd's Banana Republic
    Hey DJ737, enjoy the club because the airline itself actually isn't that special.....

    Interesting to read Kiwiflyers comments about the departure cards; don't think I have ever had mine collected or passport stamped on exit. Often wondered what that was about but haven't had any questions on entry again so far (only visit USA every year or so).
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Soundguy - I presume you just throw them away. Some airlines are good at checking for them (at check in, the lounge and the gate), others not so good. Of course even when collected by airline (or immigration next time you visit US) there is no guarantee they will get processed instead of being lost.

    I think you've been lucky. I've been questioned about re-entry to US even when it was patently obvious I couldn't have overstayed - just a few days after my previous entry. If the date which it is picked up is a potential overstay situation, then the onus is on the pax to proove they didn't. Worst case you'll be denied entry and detained until they can put you on the first flight back.
     
  6. adrian

    adrian Member

    Jul 17, 2006
    392
    35
    Yes, definitely use the CX lounge. I went to the aa lounge (terminal 3?) and walked straight back out again. I remember it took 5 or 10 minutes to get in - can't work out why they bother with making it so hard to get in. The CX lounge was very nice - kind of like a mini-Wing lounge at HK. I was in the FC area, but the showers were in the BC area, and it didn't look a lot different. By comparison, the AA lounge looked like a Denny's restaurant.
     
  7. #7 DJ737, Dec 27, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2006
    Hi there

    Many thanks for the replies, i think i will try the CX lounge at T3, I understand that at the US Admirials Club it is a paid bar, how much are the drinks roughly?, I may as well just sit out my LAX transits at a public bar in the terminal. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Lonely Flyer

    Lonely Flyer Member

    Jan 13, 2006
    344
    60
    Gold Coast
    This year and 2004 our visa waiver forms were collected at checkin (Qantas)

    When we arrived in LAX this year a Mexican Couple who had just arrived on Mexicana were being interrogated by Immigration as they had not handed in several visa waivers. Luckily they were all still attached to their passports and eventually they were allowed in. So be careful that you retain your forms because next time you might be challenged or maybe it is only a risk if you are Mexican.
     
  9. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
    12,227
    1,309
    London
    Flight Map:
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    I think the best thing to do is when arriving back into Australia is to get an arrivals stamp put into your passport right next to the US stamp (if there is space), or otherwise somewhere nearby in the passport.

    This will help you prove that you left the US if required later.

    If you never handed in your waiver form when leaving, there is a complicated process that you are supposed to follow. It involves sending photocopies of passport, proof you left and other material back to the US. Quite painful.

    Can't find the reference now, but there is a US govt website that talks about the process you should follow.
     
  10. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Nope - they are like this with everyone, even if it is obvious you haven't overstayed :rolleyes:
     
  11. Soundguy

    Soundguy Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    323
    3
    Rudd's Banana Republic
    How true.... the Yanks have gotten so darn rude over the last couple of decades, takes a lot of the fun out of visiting there I'm afraid. They couldn't care less for visitors, merely letting you in is like doing you a huge favour.
     
  12. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Even those transitting.

    My last visit to US was a full-day transit (thanks to the schedules).

    "How long are you here?"
    Me - "just today"
    Looks at me suspiciously - "whaddahya doing here for such a short visit?"
    Me - "I'm in transit to Auckland."
    etc

    I was glad he didnt realise there are direct flights between Santiago and Auckland. The convo might have gone rather differently if he had!


    Earlier in the year I got a couple more clued up agents (at SFO rather than LAX). As soon as mentioned transit to/from Canada they commented on the lack of non-stop flights, stamp, stamp, have a good day and I'm on my way.
     

  13. You have to remember that Homeland Security has been appointed directly by the President (and, by extension, directly by God himself) to protect the Fatherland, and all aliens arriving at their shores are potential Bin Laden operatives until proven otherwise. Documentation at Immigration counters must be scrupulous, and sass-back/smart-talk should be stringently avoided at all costs (baaaaaaaad move!). Having a Green Card does make it much easier, but I still meet the occasional zealot who wants to know my life-story. I have found that the staff at SFO are generally much more user-friendly than at LAX or JFK.

    Once you are actually IN, the Yanks are quite OK. As long as you don't start telling them what is wrong with their country, their President and their war in Iraq...;)
     
  14. Hi there

    I am travelling HNL-LAX-LHR on a JQ day, so not sure if the lounge will be open, but i will check it out and report back:rolleyes:

    Cheers
    DJ737

    PS. Checking Expertflyer for my LAX-LHR segment in Feb, got this response for the Y cabin :
    "Pre-assigned seating is not available for this flight because the airline is holding the seat assignments for the gate agent."

    Both the F & J cabins are showing normally
     
  15. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
    39,050
    7,704
    MEL
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    That's standard text generated by ExpertFlyer when it can't retrieve a seat map. IMO, it's not relevant in this case.

    What it probably means is that Qantas have decided to conceal seating. This often happens when a cabin is getting rather full.
     
  16. Hi there

    This flight has nothing to do with QANTAS, It is AA136 from LAX to LHR.

    But the seat map display is now back to normal and showing F,J & Y.

    Cheers
    DJ737
     
  17. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
    39,050
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    Fair enough, although what I posted about it bing standard text still stands. It's a generic error and as such does not always give a true indication of the problem.

    My experience with EF and this error generally relates to Qantas flight and what I posed is my experience when seeing that 'error'.

    Good that it's now working for you again.
     
  18. Hi there

    Currently in the QP at HNL, and today is a JQ only day, so yes you can get access.

    Cheers
    DJ737
     
  19. Hi there

    Moved on now to the AC at LAX T4, was given 2 drink vouchers, thought they were only given to QP members:confused:

    Anyway, went out for a smoke or three, came back to the AC (TSA stuff took all of 45 sec despite the horror stories i have heard about LAX), different person at the lounge reception, got another 2 drink vouchers:D

    So far my impressions of AA have only been positive.

    .......Time for another smoke:D

    Cheers
    DJ737
     
  20. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    308
    0
    Canberra ACT
    Vouchers are given to AA elites (Plats and Ex-Plats) on an international itinerary (same day international travel), to all non-AA elites (oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds), and to QP members. If you run out you can ask for more. You are still expected to tip the bartender.
     
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