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Old Dec 2, 09, 4:58 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2009
Programs: AAdvantage Gold
Posts: 1,615

At the beginning of the year, I promised myself I would go and achieve gold status mostly for one reason:

the ability to select AA's version of E+, the exit rows. Since I fly mostly on M80s, F upgrades isn't something I care much for. I also don't really check bags much so that's not a big deal. Exit row selection will be important because I've got a trip to Hawaii an London planned for 2010. Exit rows are good enough for me. Yes, I've flown Intl F before and had a great time at it but exit row legroom is just dandy.

The trip will also be a reward to me for passing my first actuary exam. As a byproduct of my MR, I will also get to reconnect with some college friends in California.

Anyways, my first leg would be AUS-LAX flight 403 on dec 2. I originally had 10F but at check-in, switched to 21A. Since I am a pretty experienced traveler, security was a breeze for me (the TSA agents actually complimented me on how prepared I was). After security, I went up to the AAdmirals Club and purchased a one day pass. My reason was because I would arrive at LAX at 9:30 but my friend wouldn't be able to pick me up until 5:30pm or so. I've been in the Austin AC before, nice cozy environment. I spent about 30 minutes studying for my next actuary exam and grabbed a glass of soda from the bar. Before heading down for boarding, I got my seat switched to 7A, my favorite bulkhead seat, it wasn't available at check in for some reason. Anyways, once on board, it turned out all of row 7 was open, so I snagged 7 D, E, and F all to myself. Even better, the flight had wifi and I grabbed a promo code from the AC while I was there. great! Now I can get some work done on the plane! Once airborne, I sat in seat 7E (the middle seat) and put my laptop on the tray for 7F and my textbook on the tray for 7D. As you can see, middle seats are incredible as long as no one is sitting next to you. With this, and my trusty empower plug for my MacBook pro, I had my own office suite in coach! The purser complimented me on my concept, and jokingly told me they'd have to upfare my ticket to Beyond Full F as I had more lateral space than anyone in F, as well as comparable legroom!

I just love row 7 on the M80! No one reclining into you, good legroom, 7D has almost infinite legroom, the row has IMO the best seats on the plane, even better than F (and yes, I've been in F before, made me miss row 7).

Anyways, upon arriving at LAX, I headed to the AC and spent the next 7 hours studying for my next actuary exam. It was quite relaxing, and productive. I don't think I've studied in a better setting, I got to do some plane spotting while doing math problems, I wish all environments could be this productive. Around noon, I decided to go take a shower to freshen up a bit as I was pretty tired. The shower did just the trick! Nothing like taking a shower at an airport, I think the showers may be a huge draw for me to eventually get an AC membership...

If IM going to be stuck upon arrival at an airport, $50 is money well spent to access the lounge. I already made most of the $50 back. The Gogo codes for my computer and iPhone were worth about $20, shower was worth about $10, a few glasses of diet coke is probably worth about $10, and the other $10? Peace and quiet and productive studying!
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