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Thread: ZK/AA MWA-STL-DFW-SAN (pics/vids)

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Southern Illinois

    ZK/AA MWA-STL-DFW-SAN (pics/vids)

    May 11th, 2009
    Great Lakes Airlines
    Flight 5200

    A devastating storm hit my city, hurricane packed winds of up to 106 miles per hour knocking out power and Internet for days, and damaging the hangar at the MWA Airport. After making sure everyone was ok, I was wondering if I would be able to fly out to San Diego to meet my boyfriend and some friends for a couple of days. I figured this would happen to me, getting power punched by a storm just before I was about to fly out. A friend of mine who works for Great Lakes verified my flight was indeed planning to operate as scheduled May 11th and with that I was go to fly to SAN via STL and DFW.

    I left my house at 4:45am, to get to MWA by 5:00am for a 6am departure to STL. I got into the airport to see the hangar smashed and such. It was not a pretty sight. None of the traffic lights had been working so we had to treat every light like a stop sign. It made me a bit nervous but I made it. I was anxious to get out of town and go to a city that had power, Internet and the sorts! Because of the loss of power and net I was not able to print off my itinerary and hoped my ID would suffice for ZK at MWA, it would.

    I got to the check in, checked in, got my boarding pass, there would be 4 people scheduled for the flight out of 19 seats available. Light load heh?! I sat down in the check in area waiting for us to go through security. MWA is probably the tiniest airport I have ever flown out of so it takes literally 5 minutes to walk from the car to the plane, but due to security and check in, it is smarter to arrive about 30 minutes or so before departure, and 45 if you are checking bags, which I was not.

    At 20 minutes before departure they announced we would be going through security, which took less than 3 minutes. I got beeped because of my watch, this has never set it off in STL, but it does in MWA, odd. So had to go back through and finally was cleared. I sat in the secured area of the room awaiting the announcement to board the B1900 to STL.

    The sun was beginning to rise so I was happy to see a sun rise take off, havenít had one of those in forever.

    I got on board, and I was so tired I wasnít aware of where I was sitting, and the First Office comes in the back to do the safety briefing, and he looked at me, asked how old I was. I went oh lord, what now. I told him I was 22, he didnít believe me LOL. I pulled out my ID to show him and he believed me. He then goes, oh you are hearing impaired right? I said Hard of Hearing yes, he goes you cannot sit here then. I realized I was in the exit row. He said you must get up and move. I said what why? He goes you are hard of hearing. I looked him and was tempted to be a smart ass, and go ďI worked for an airline, and probably know how to evacuate and aircraft more than anyone else on board this plane minus the crew.Ē However I didnít, even though the safety cards does state if you are able to understand instructions without anything more than a hearing aid, I would be permissible to sit in the exit row. However I was tired and didnít feel like putting up with crap. So I obliged and moved back a row.

    After that was settled, he turned the props on and we taxied to the runway for take off. We sat on the runway for a few seconds and then he powered it to full thrust and off we went for the short hop to STL Airport.

    J3i_5BtF ... annel_page

    I was able to see a bit of the devastation down there in my city as we flew over, blue and white tarps covering the houses and roofs, and downed trees. Just shocking to see it happen to us.

    No service, no flight attendant, it was literally a hop, skip and a jump from STL Airport, and in no time we were already preparing to land into STL.

    We flew over BLV and the area, and then lined up with the Mississippi River for a few seconds before turning left over downtown St. Louis. We directly flew over the arch, and downtown, seeing Busch Stadium and the likes.

    Turned left again a bit to align for Runway 30R. Flaps came down and gear came out and the highway flew under us just as we touched down on 30R.

    oVSDpV5q ... re=channel

    Slowed down, and we turned off the runway, just as a WN 733 took off in front of us on 30L. We taxied over the runway and headed for D8 where GLA parks at in STL. Saw a bunch of RON AA planes at the gates, which always looks busier than a normal operation at STL.

    I had to hurry up and get off the plane, as my STL-DFW would be boarding in Ten minutes. I grabbed my bag, got off the plane, and walked quickly inside to STL to walk to C6 where my STL-DFW flight would depart from.

    American Airlines
    MD/Super 80
    Flight 575

    I walked to gate C4 where the self check in machines are and paid to upgrade myself for stand by DFW-SAN but I didnít get it, but would be able to be upgraded on the return SAN-DFW in two days. I printed my boarding pass, and this was the first time I was flying as a Gold Elite Member. I am going to sound like a snob here but I really did enjoy the perks of it, without the perks however, AA is no different than any other airline, LCC or Legacy wise in Coach.

    I was texting my friends letting them know everything was good so far. My boyfriend was flying in from ATL to SAN on Air Tran and we were scheduled to arrive 5 minutes apart, so whoever arrived first would meet the other at the gate.

    They called for first class so they boarded, and then those who were Priority Access (Thatís me!) would be allowed to board. I lined up, and got on board to seat 25A.

    Sat down and waited for everyone else to finish boarding while checking the AA action out at STL. This seemed like it was going to be a very full flight. It was a beautiful day on STL; weather was gorgeous so I was off to a good start for my mini trip to San Diego.

    Once everyone finished boarding, things were packed up, bins closed, and we backed out to head to 30L for take off while F/Aís did the safety briefing.

    The GLA plane that flew me to STL was taxing right behind us heading to CGI Airport, so I snapped a pic of it before we took off.

    We did a running take off, and turned to 30L and promptly began the take off. This was a long take off, heavy with fuel perhaps, and passengers, as we were headed into some nasty storms at DFW Airport.

    We took off and turned left south for Dallas. For those who remember my previous reports I mentioned when flying south in the morning I sit on the right side. However, I make exceptions on the S80ís because of the 2-seat thing, and was willing to sacrifice my eyesight to the sun to enjoy the 2-seater side haha. However the sun wasnít that bright, and it got cloudy anyway as we got near Texas so it wasnít bad at all.

    In flight service consisted of drinks only being it was a morning flight. I had orange juice and a can of apple juice; yes I was a thirsty guy haha.

    Nothing much else to report, got a couple more pics and kind of dozed off back and forth. In no time we were starting the approach into DFW Intl Airport. It was getting really cloudy to the point I couldnít see the wing sometimes.

    It got a bit bumpy but nothing outrageous, flaps soon came out as did the gear and again still clouds, sometimes again, the wing disappearing into the clouds. Oh boy. This was going to be a nasty weather in Dallas.

    We soon came in for landing, and slowed down as we did the rain started pouring down big time. Heavy clouds, and such. Yuck! Thank god it was sunny and gorgeous in San Diego!!!

    0rhO4PZV ... re=channel

    We taxied to the D gates and next to us was a 767 headed to HNL, boy that looked good, compared to the bad weather hitting DFW at the moment.

    I had plenty of time to get off the plane so I sat and let everyone else get off first before taking my time to get off the plane.

    American Airlines
    Flight 465
    Boeing 757-200

    I walked around DFW and to my horror was seeing lots of flights to the Midwest being cancelled or heavily delayed, mostly those in Kansas, Texas, Western Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Ewww, thankfully SAN is in California so I was on time so far.

    There were a few folks, mostly Asians walking around the airport with the masks, probably due to Swine Flu.

    I headed to my gate riding the train, and when it was clear I wasnít going to get my upgrade to F Class, I grabbed a sandwich at McDonalds to pass the time and my hunger.

    My 757 was flying in from BOS, and it finally landed at exactly 11:30am. I knew immediately we would not be leaving on time, crap.

    I took a video of the plane taxing to the gate as I always liked watching that and decided I wanted a video of it for my collection.

    JLXg3iEa ... re=channel

    DFW13L informed that it was a crew issue that delayed my flight to SAN, and sure enough they posted a 40-minute delay. Shoot, my boyfriend had already taken off by then so I just sent a text to say I would be 40 minutes late and meet me at the gate once I arrived.

    We started boarding at around 12:10pm or maybe 12:15pm, same thing as STL-DFW, F Class then Priority Access and the rest. Got to my seat and middle seat was open, score! So this would be better for me!

    Waited for rest to finish boarding and they started the briefing on the TV. However this was new for me, the F/A came on and said due to the delay we would like to ask all passengers to please stand up and close your own bins to expedite the departure due to our delay. With that literally the entire cabin on the aisles stood up to close the bins. I was shocked, and had not expected this. Maybe at WN, or a LCC theyíd ask this, but this came as a surprise to me. Does this happen often or what?

    We backed out and headed to a runway, no idea which one. We sat next to an AA S80 (what a surprise right? Ha-ha) and then a Korean Air 747 took off in front of us and we were next. Watching the 747 take off is always a showstopper and sometimes mouth/jaw dropping. I watched the 747 take off, and lift gracefully, and the wings begin to flex, it is very sexy to see.

    We turned to the runway and sat for a second and then continued to the take off for SAN. Quite the fast take off, the 757 never disappoint!

    HGxzGfzU ... re=channel

    We turned for SAN and climbed to cruising altitude. We were behind 40 minutes plus a headwind and such; this was going to be a long flight. They played NBC on AA, and I entertained myself by either sleeping or taking some pictures that were of interest or playing music off my ipod or the IFE on the 757.

    Service came around for purchases but I declined and simply took up another can of Apple Juice. I love my apple juice hahaha

    Nothing exciting about this trip went on, as I said I continued to do any of the three or four things one can do on the 757. I walked around for a minute to stretch my legs, and that was it.

    Finally after 3 hrs we began the approach for SAN. Clean up and such, cans recycled, blankets, pillows put away and I took some pics of the approach, as flaps came out and gear too.

    We came in for landing past the buildings and downtown San Diego, over the bay area, seeing the cruise ship docked, and touched down! Finally I was in San Diego after a year and a half hiatus! It feels like 2nd or 3rd home even to me!

    EcW70qe3 ... re=channel

    I opened up my phone to 9 text and emails about my flight, as we taxied up to the gate. Boy let me tell ya AA has one of the tightest gate areas I ever saw in my life! Holy cow! It took a lot of meandering and such to find my boyfriend once I got off the plane.

    He texted to say he was at the gate area but the way it was set up I had to do some maneuvering around to find him and get out of the gate area!

    Once we met up we went to find the hotel shuttle to go to the doubletree hotel in downtown San Diego. It was absolutely amazing, and would recommend the hotel to anyone who loves planes, and the city. I will post a couple of pics of what the view was like, and we spent probably 2 hrs or so that night with my laptop open to flight aware so we could track the inbound flights as it flew past the balcony, HEAVEN I tell ya!!!

    All in all it was a usual run of the mill AA Flight, nothing fantastic, nothing overboard they met the expectations and as usual Iíd book them again and have for when I fly to ATL May 26th. Hope you all enjoyed the TR and look for my return SAN-DFW-STL-MWA next!

    Alex Bags Fly Free. Anytime, Anywhere on Southwest Airlines. Share the LUV!

  2. #2
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    New York

    Re: ZK/AA MWA-STL-DFW-SAN (pics/vids)

    Nice report + vids. The approach to SAN is one of my favorites.
    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem.
    All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control.
    I trust you are not in too much distress. óCaptain Eric Moody, British Airways Flight 9

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Southern Illinois

    Re: ZK/AA MWA-STL-DFW-SAN (pics/vids)

    Quote Originally Posted by GothamSpotter
    Nice report + vids. The approach to SAN is one of my favorites.
    Thanks Matt!

    I know I always enjoy flying into SAN whenever possible!!

    Alex Bags Fly Free. Anytime, Anywhere on Southwest Airlines. Share the LUV!


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