In flight: Manchester to JFK on American Airlines

Ever have one of those trips where everything seems a bit askew? Nothing wrong, necessarily, but just a bit different. Like you’re living in a bizarro world of some sort? Yeah; me, too.

My ride on American Airlines for MAN-JFK

My recent American Airlines segment from Manchester to JFK was a relatively quick and easy trip. There was nothing particularly good or bad about it overall. And yet there were a number of strange little things about the flight which piqued my curiosity.

For example, I’m used to the flight attendants being present when the pre-flight safety demo video is screening. And not just present in that they are on the plane but in that they are standing at the front of the cabin. Not so much on this flight. Of course, I don’t really think that having them standing there matters in that they aren’t conducting the demo and they aren’t forcing people to watch it. But I’m still used to seeing them there.

Or a flight attendant sitting in a passenger seat rather than a jump seat for take-off and landing. I understand there are circumstances where that happens but this didn’t seem to fit any of them, at least not that I could tell. Again, not a huge deal as she was still adjacent to the exit and surely would have been available to assist if needed, just as soon as she put down her coffee.


Escape Lounge at Manchester T3
Escape Lounge at Manchester T3

Pre-flight in the Escape Lounge at Manchester T3 was quite nice. The bacon sandwich they served for breakfast was quite tasty and the overall environment in the lounge was pleasant. Nice views and lots of different seating areas. I didn’t have much time in the lounge. I technically wasn’t even supposed to stop in per the woman in charge of the transit security escort I got from my inbound Finnair flight to this departure. But I wanted the details for the site and I wanted some food. I took my chances and had no troubles getting on the plane.

Seat comfort/space

American operates the route with a 757-200. I generally don’t mind that type for TATL trips and this was no exception. I found the seat comfortable enough and my AA Gold status got me a freebie for Main Cabin Extra so a few additional inches of seat pitch were most appreciated. I had enough room to open up my laptop and get some work done without feeling too wedged in which is a good thing because…

In-flight entertainment

Yeah, not so much. Overhead screens as entertainment for long-haul flights stopped being cool a decade ago. And even as American continues to take new deliveries and install seat-back IFE on other aircraft in their fleet the 752s remain stuck with the overhead system. I have no idea what movies they showed and I don’t really care, though I will note that even had I wanted to watch I didn’t really have that option. I suppose that’s one of the sacrifices I was expected to make as a window seat customer.

Hard to watch the safety demo or a movie when the screen is cut off

In-flight dining

I don’t expect much from an economy class meal. American met those expectations quite well. The food was fine. Not particularly memorable for either the main meal or the pre-arrival snack. I think that the overall quality was a step above my recent comparable meals on United (the bread on this version of the turkey puck was notably better) but not so much that it is worth planning my travels by.

The main course: beef of some sort.
Seems that the turkey puck lives on, this time in AA colors

Other stuff

And then, back to the slightly bizarre stuff I saw during the flight. I gave American Way magazine a read cover-to-cover, as I often do of the in-flight magazine. Or maybe I just skimmed it. Either way, I found myself examining the route map at the back of the magazine, the section I typically devote the most time to. And that’s where I saw this insert.

Pretty sure those countries aren’t where you think they are.

A bit of geography fail going on there. I figured maybe it was just an error in that month’s edition but it seems to be in the February edition, too. I wonder if they even know it is broken.

At the end of the day the flight was fine. We took off and landed relatively close to the scheduled times and I made it through in reasonable comfort. I mean, it was definitely still an economy class experience and not an especially great one, but it served the purpose quite well. Most notably the price and timing were exactly what I needed. And that’s so often the key factor in my trips.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I do really like those Walkers orange and coconut cookies – or heck, any Walkers cookies!

    I’ve not tried the AA 757s across the pond yet, thanks for the review. I do know what you mean with some trips just being slightly “off” in some way.

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