Poor Mr. MAX, famous for all the wrong reasons. But the dumpster fire otherwise known as 2020 gave the 737 MAX a chance to hide from the news cycle as Boeing fixed its design issues. The FAA held Boeing’s feet to the fire with the recertification, and today I have more than enough trust in the plane to fly it. I got my chance on a medium-haul flight from Miami International to New York LaGuardia earlier this summer.
After all the build-up I was expecting to be either overwhelmed or underwhelmed. But instead, I was just … whelmed. It’s a gorgeous plane, sleeker than the 737’s previous iterations. It’s quieter, has cooler onboard lighting, and plenty of under-the-hood operational benefits for the airlines. I felt very safe on the plane, and about as comfortable as one can expect to be in domestic economy. But as usual, the airline’s choice of onboard product made the biggest impact on the experience. Ultimately, the most memorable parts of the flight were the *amazing* window seat views I got over Miami and New York.
Hop onboard with me for a few thoughts on American’s 737 MAX 8, and for lots of photos and videos from the flight.
An American Airlines Boeing 737-800 – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia
Recently, I had the chance to fly pretty similar flights from Seattle to Puerto Rico and back on Delta Air Lines and then American Airlines.
I had not flown on two domestic airlines back-to-back with so much the same, and I found there to be a pretty stark differences.
To San Juan, I took two Delta Boeing 737-900ERs with the newest interior (one was only a few weeks old). I flew from Seattle to Atlanta (shocking), then on to San Juan. On the wayÂ home, I took two American 737-800s. One had the Boeing Sky Interior cabin, but still shared entertainment screens. The second was an older 737-800, with no sky interior and also shared screens (but more on that later). I flew out of San Juan, through Miami, and then on to Seattle.
The cost of the tickets were exactly the same: $236 each way. I also earned Alaska Airlines miles for both flights, so I didnâ€™t care about miles on either, nor did I have any status [update: I did not realize that Delta only gave me 50% Alaska miles vs American’s 100%. Still knowing this, it doesn’t change any of my choices or opinions since I am not much of a miles guy]. Â I was also in window seats and had similar seat-mate setups.
I went into these flights with no expectation of doing a story, but the fact that onÂ similar flights, there wasÂ an obvious winner, I became motivated. And yes, you will have to wait until the end to see which airlineÂ won â€” no cheating!
The Miami-based Thales 787 simulators are already operating around the clock, according to Boeing. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Photo: Chris Sloan / Airchive.com
Reported and Photographed from Miami by: Chris Sloan, Airchive.comÂ Editor-in-Chief
Miami is now Boeingâ€™s â€œSim City,â€ but Airchiveâ€™s home base has been an aviation hub dating back to the early days of the industry. Hallowed names like Pan Am, National, Eastern, Glenn Curtis, Rich International, and Air Florida have played pivotal roles in the worldâ€™s aviation industry from South Florida. Â OK, maybe that last name is a bit of a stretch.
Today, Miami boasts Americaâ€™s second-busiest international airport and number one international cargo airport â€“ MIA, American Airlines’ bustling Latin American hub, and the UPS hub of the Americas. Perhaps the most iconic name in aviation, Boeing joined South Floridaâ€™s famed aviation industry in 1997 when they established a joint-venture with Flight Safety, FlightSafety Boeing Training International.
In 2002, Boeing bought out their partner. They join Airbus’ Americas Training Center and the Pan Am Flight Academy (just purchased this week by Japanâ€™s ANA) in the little Miami suburb of Virginia Gardens, now home to one of the largest concentrations of flight simulators and commercial aviation training of any city in the world.
Airport 24/7 Ad in Baggage Claim at MIA. Photo by Brandon Farris / AirlineReporter.com.
Last Friday, AirlineReporter.com was in Miami to cover the season two premiere of Airport 24/7: Miami. This season will air on the Travel Channel and have 13 original episodes beginning Tuesday April 30th at 9/8C with a special 1 hour premiere.
Customs check through produce for contraband. Image from the Travel Chanel / Airchive.com.
Much like the first season, the second starts off with a bang as two aircraft collide and the airport has to quickly come up with a solution.Â The incident causes issues as other aircraft are ready to depart but are unable to push back. The airport must figure out how to perform its investigation but also get the way quickly cleared to prevent more delays.
BONUS: Sneak peak of episode one of Airport 24/7: Miami season 2.
One of the Beagles on Airport 24/7: Miami. Photo by Brandon Farris.
The second episode follows medical crews along after a bus tries to drive under an overpass that is too short, causing the top of the bus to be cut open. Glass and debris is scattered everywhere leaving 35 people scared and some quite injured. Emergency crews try to save them and also keep traffic from backing up and people from missing their flights.
The other main story goes into how customs makes a huge drug bust and talks about how they go on to destroy it following the investigation. While I would love to tell you what happens on these two episodes, you will have to tune in to find out yourself!
BONUS: Sneak peak of episode two of Airport 24/7: Miami season 2.
The cast of Airport 24/7: Miami at the premiere event. Photo from 2C Media.
At the premier event we were lucky enough to get a visit from Customs and Border Patrol where we got to meet the airportsÂ Beagle Brigade that are trained to look for smuggled agriculture products and others animals. They easily stole almost everyoneâ€™s attention after the viewing and quickly became the stars!
Having the show produced by a true AvGeek really shows. Chris Sloan, who also writes for AirlineReporter.com and runs Airchive.com, does a great job working with the others on the show to make the show factual for those who love airlines, but also interesting to those who might not (yes, there are people out there like that).
Watching the premiere of the show in Miami. Photo from Chris Sloan / Airchive.com / 2C Media
The show is fast pace and exhilarating. It is fascinating how it takes you behind the scenes and shows how the airport operates on a daily basis. This season is sure to please AvGeeks and anyone else that has an interest in to how an airport operates.
CHECK OUT ADDITIONAL BEHIND THE SCENE PHOTOS OF AIRPORT 24/7: MIAMI
||This story written by…Brandon Farris, Correspondent. Brandon is an avid aviation geek based in Seattle. He got started in Photography and Reporting back in 2010. He loves to travel where ever he has to to cover the story and try to get the best darn shot possible.@BrandonsBlog | RightStuffPhotography | Flickr
Dreamlifter N780BA in Everett. Photo by Brandon Farris.
This past week I have traveled all over the place from Anchorage to Miami and even in Seattle a little bit.Â Something that was awesome while traveling to all of these places was the fact that I got to see three different Boeing Dreamlifters. It all started on Sunday when I got treated to N780BA coming into Everett.
Dreamlifter N718BA in Anchorage. Photo by Brandon Farris.
The next day I was taking a day trip up to Anchorage for some spotting and was treated to N718BA making a fuel stop on its way to Paine Field.
Dreamlifter N249BA in Miami. Photo by Brandon Farris.
And finally on Friday, while on the ramp tour in Miami I got to see N249BA being towed around the airport making it the third different Dreamlifter I had seen in a mere week!
The Dreamlifter is a transport aircraft that flies Boeing 787 parts around the world to Paine Field and Charleston, similar to the Airbus Beluga. Some might not see it as the most eye pleasing aircraft but it gets the job done one day at a time!
CHECK OUT MY OTHER AIRLINE SPOTTING PHOTOGRAPHY
||This story written by…Brandon Farris, Correspondent.
Brandon is an avid aviation geek based in Seattle. He got started in Photography and Reporting back in 2010. He loves to travel where ever he has to to cover the story and try to get the best darn shot possible.
@BrandonsBlog | RightStuffPhotography | Flickr