I’m happy to report that we went to Puerto Rico and had a great time!
It’s been quite the year, hasn’t it? After a year of being literally and figuratively grounded by the pandemic, we were fully vaccinated by mid-February. About 2 weeks ago, we finally took flights and traveled to Puerto Rico for some much needed rest and relaxation!
I should note that I canceled many flights leading up to this trip. I was unable to take international trips without being required by my employer to quarantine without pay. Since Puerto Rico is considered a domestic location by my employer, I was able to travel there without quarantine or penalty.
La Guardia Airport
It began early in the day with a taxi ride to La Guardia Airport. We arrived at the new terminal – WOW, I already felt like I was somewhere new!!
We couldn’t find the American Express Centurion club so we proceeded to wander through the terminal. There was also a really nice fountain that changed colors, music and designs.
We followed the signs to the gate for our American Airlines flight to Miami – and suddenly we were back in the tired, old terminal. We would be on four flights – first to Miami, then to San Juan, and the same two on return.
The flight to Miami was jam-packed (as were all of our flights). Luckily, since I have elite status on AA, we were able to board early and sat towards the front of main class. For each flight, we methodically wiped down our seats and trays with sanitizer wipes we brought from home.
Dave was very reluctant, but we were double-masked and goggled, and we got through it.
This was the snack in the main cabin: water and pretzels and a sanitizing wipe.
Miami Airport – AmEx Centurion Club
We arrived in Miami and went to the Centurion Club. Every other seating area or table was blocked off for social distancing, and food was served by staff. There was full bar service. The experience was good – we were beginning to feel like we’d come home.
The next flight was pretty much a repeat of the first. Thankfully, people wore masks.
San Juan Airport
Arriving in San Juan was a bit hectic. Puerto Rico requires a PCR Covid test and negative result 72 hours prior to arrival. We had the test and the negative results, but hadn’t filled out the forms prior to arrival. That was a mistake.
There’s an on-line form that you must fill out. My advice is to fill out this form prior to your arrival, because it is difficult and time-consuming to do it on your smart phone. Once you “get it right” you get a QR code like this. You must show the code to the army personnel wearing white Tyvek jumpsuits over their fatigues, before leaving the airport.
We proceeded across the street to National Car Rentals. The process here was fairly smooth. There were plenty of cars available, we chose a silver Corolla and we were off and on our way.
Return Trip: The Lounge at San Juan Airport
After a relaxing four days in Puerto Rico, we returned the car rental at the airport, went through security and found our way to the Priority Pass lounge, The Lounge (a creative name, right?).
It is a basic Priority Pass lounge. It is not particularly memorable, but it is clean and the seating is sufficiently distanced. Limited food items and drinks are available. Items and drinks are served by staff.
Items were wrapped in saran wrap.
SJU-MIA – 777 and Upgraded!!
We were upgraded to business class on this one segment. Interestingly, the plane was a 777 even though the time in the air was only a little over 2 hours.
A light lunch was served in business class – a choice of a wrapped cheese or turkey sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie (of course!). The sandwich doesn’t look great, but it actually tasted fine.
Arriving in Miami
Miami Airport – Centurion Club – Denied Entry
We deplaned at Miami Airport and proceeded directly to the Centurion Club. Unfortunately, due to crowding, we were told that no one would be admitted for at least 30 minutes.
Miami Airport – AAdmirals Club
We proceeded towards the gate for our next flight. Since we had flown in business class, we were given access to the AA lounge. We were only there a few minutes – just long enough to use the rest rooms, have a quick drink and some of AA’s delicious and freshly-made guacamole!
Once again, we were on a jam-packed flight. Although everyone was wearing masks, there was little respect for distancing by people moving in the aisle to their seats.
And then we were back at La Guardia . . .
It was good to get away! And now, I have a lot more trips planned – I can’t wait for the next trip, and the one after that, and the one after that. Stay safe my friends. I’m so grateful.