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Thread: AA 354, ORD-LGA 29 November

  1. #1
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    AA 354, ORD-LGA 29 November

    Well at long last the yawn fest known as RSNA came to an end--about 3 days too late if you ask me. We did have some good eats in Chicago though, and the hotel was actually quite nice--Westin Michigan Avenue.

    As today was the last day of the show, and a short day, I took my bags with me to the convention center. The original plan was to share a cab with the boss to the airport, but he left his bags back at the hotel. As we walked down to the bus stop, I noticed that the coach to ORD was loading, and realized I had paid for a round trip. So I jumped the shuttle, which was a full sized bus, and bade farewell to the boss man.

    It took an hour to get to ORD, I don't think I have EVER seen I90 without traffic. About halfway through the drive, I get an email from AA telling me I am upgraded to F on my flight! Good news. Arriving at AA terminal, I go to the F class line, which had about 3 people waiting, as opposed to the regular line with about 100. Waiting my turn, I get to a nice agent who smiles hello, and proceeds to check me in. She tells me that she is giving me my original boarding pass, but I can check at the gate because F is full on the flight ahead of mine..I thank her, tell her I don't mind waiting in the club, and she reminded me that dinner would be served--and joked with me not to have too much junk food during the wait.

    At the last minute as she as printing the boarding pass I asked if I could check my bag--it was very full and I realized that the MD-80 overheads would fight with me. She quickly checked the bag, wished me a happy holdiay, said "thank you for flying AA and for being a loyal Plat", and off I went to the "short" line at term L.

    Short was the length, but the TSA guy checking ID's was S L O W. In a way it was good that I didn't take an earlier flight. While in line, though I had a terrible thought. I had checked my bag on the spur of the moment, and realized to my horror that my keys were in the outer zipper compartment...I began to fret about my bag not arriving, or me getting the bag minus the keys, but then realized I wasn't going through Philly.

    The Admirals Club was humming--really busy, but plenty of room, I found a chair with an outlet, and checked in--I have been having trouble with AT&T air card since last night--I will check it tomorrow, but if still bad I will call...

    I leave for the gate, and note that the 5:20 departure is pushed to 5:45 due to flow control. They actually make an announcement that they will board at about 5:10, the reason is flow control, we have a wheels up time of 6:20, etc etc. Finally they begin to board...Nice, orderly, pleasant agent, says thank you again (see the pattern?), warm greeting from FA's.... now since it was a late dep, they didn't grab coats or do a pre dep bev until coach was mostly done boarding, but they did come around with water for F, and did take the coats...the MD-80 has BOTH a closet and hanging space on the rear bulkhead in F.

    We taxi out, FA takes drink and dinner orders--choice is pasta or short rib. I choose pasta (too much steak in Chicago this week). We hit the penalty box, shut down, the captain announces the delay, the reason, and the estimated departure in detail (see the pattern?), and we then wind up only spending about 10 min in the box before we are cleared to light 'em up and head out.

    Due to an amazing tail wind, our en route time was planned at 1 hour 27 min. The meal service was done in full, with the hot nuts, full tray with silver and glassware, wine and drink, (everything except hot towel). I think these ladies did an amazing job doing a full meal in an hour and a half.

    We begin to descend (rather steeply I might add), and before you know it, I can see eastern NJ and NYC in the window. We join the MIP arrival, shortcutting a little, falling into the arrival lineup at LGA. On the ground within 10 minutes of scheduled arrival!!! On to the gate, a thank you from the FA's, and I thanked THEM for doing an outstanding job in such a short time...down to baggage claim.

    Now this being LGA, I expected to wait for the bags, and that I did....panic set in as bags started coming and mine wasn't in the first batch, but no worries, they didn't put a priority tag on. Finally I see my bag and hurry to check, and there are my keys !!! (Again, not Philly).

    Into the car, $174 for parking on EZ Pass and I play my new audio DVD of Love, the remixed Beatles soundtrack for Cirque de Soleil's show...Heck I love the Dolby 5.1 surround in the Infiniti.....

    45 minutes on the road, and I am home safe and sound........

    CLT next week--can't decide between Jet Blue, AA or DL........tough one.

    Have a great weekend, all.
    It's the fares, stupid

  2. #2
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    Re: AA 354, ORD-LGA 29 November

    Nice report Art. I just flew AA F class JFK-LAX and back the week before Thanksgiving and then this week LGA-ORD-PHX and via DFW on the return in F and the service was fantastic. I've been really impressed with AA's domestic F product this year. The food selection and quality has been really good, even on the MD-80s. The cabin service itself has been very attentive, they never let your glass run dry. The Flagship product in F class to LAX and back is simply outstanding. I flew out to LAX two Friday's after work and I was very happy to be in F, especially on an 8:30PM westbound flight. I really enjoy the hot peanuts right after depature and the freshly baked cookie before landing, just nice touches.

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    Re: AA 354, ORD-LGA 29 November

    I flew first class on an AA MD-80 once..I was similarly impressed with the food and service. I was annoyed at first because guys like me only get a limited number of shots at first class, and I didn't want to waste it on a 2.5-hour flight on an MD-80, but it was pretty nice. I think I had a salad of some sort...all I remember about the food was the cookies :)

    (It was Thanksgiving my junior year of college. AA wanted only $273 to fly from JFK to MIA, but I had to change in ORD in both directions. So I get to MIA and go to check in. Check-in agent gets this "wtf" look on her face and asks me if I want to take a nonstop flight to LGA instead. I asked if they were overbooked and she said no but they had a lot of standbys. I said sure. So she hands me a boarding pass for a flight from FLL to LGA. First class. I was like, how do I get to FLL? She hands me a cab voucher. I made it to my gate at FLL 10 minutes before the flight was supposed to leave...they were waiting for me. I felt bad, but it was awesome.)

  4. #4
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    Re: AA 354, ORD-LGA 29 November

    Art, whats RSNA and whats an MIP arrival? excuse my naivete :oops:

    To echo Tom and Adam, I really enjoyed the MD 80 F product, even more so that the NGBC class on the 767. I think the MD80 F is second only to AA's 777 Flagship Suites.

    The warm nuts and cookies are great touches.


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    Re: AA 354, ORD-LGA 29 November

    Having flown on an AA 757 in F from LGA to MIA back in July, I have to agree, the warm nuts and chocolate chip cookies with milk (Kaluha and Milk actually) where the highlights for me.

    Art, really enjoyed your report and glad you are being treated so well (as you should) on your recent trips on AA.

    I would like to offer a sugestion for your trip to CLT. Since US is not on your menu and I understand why, I would go with B6 Hands down. First of all much more comfortable than a ComAir CRJ or Eagle 135/140. Delays, though bad at JFK are currently worse at LGA. Yesterday PM prime example, VFR starting at about 1400 local but still had a medium level GDP. Ryan, Matt, and I get a lot of ATC info over our teletype printers and LGA almost always has worse of a program or more often than at JFK. Also our Shuttle flights (and DL's as well) seem to take the shortest EDICT times, followed by Mainline. But our Express flights (and its the same at DL and AA) always seem to get hit with bigger delays from ATC inbound during GDP's. So while your B6 flight may not be perfectly on time, better chance and probably much shorter delay than ComAir or Eagle at LGA. And lastly while I know you would probably like to accrue more AAdvantage miles and AA has a GREAT Admirals Club at LGA (I have used it) all but one of Eagles gates are on the other concourse meaning security at D for the Club and C for the gate. I do understand an enclosed walkway between C and D past security are in the works, although knowing the Port Authority, probably later than sooner.

    Have a good trip to CLT and looking forward to your next report Art !

    LGA777

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    Re: AA 354, ORD-LGA 29 November

    Quote Originally Posted by mirrodie
    whats an MIP arrival? excuse my naivete :oops:
    http://www.myairplane.com/databases/app ... MILTON.PDF

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    Re: AA 354, ORD-LGA 29 November

    Thanks PHL Approach

    MIP is the code for Milton, which is an arrival fix for LGA--the MIP3 arrival is the Milton 3 arrival, which is a terminal arrival procedure.

    RSNA is the Radiological Society of North America, which was the trade show I attended....B O R I N G ..
    We were about as busy as a carburetor manufacturer at a car show....
    It's the fares, stupid

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