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View Full Version : AA STL-DFW-MCO Sep 8th



Alex T
09-12-2007, 06:18 PM
American Airlines
Boeing MD-80
N477AA
STL-DFW
Sep 8th

Hello All. I decided to head to Orlando to visit a friend of mine and visit family whom I had not seen in 2 years. All the airlines were pretty much the same prices, give or take a few bucks, I really decided AA simply because I would get a widebody on my return home (the A300) and I am an AAdvantage Member with AA. This cost me 200 bucks round trip, not including the upgrade to First Class, which I also will get into more later. Some pics here as well, so please enjoy the read, and any comments questions are most certainly welcome. Fasten your seatbelt, and come along for the ride! :)

I drove to the East Terminal at Lambert to park my car in the WN Employee lot so I would not have to pay for parking. I walked over the Metro out of East and waited not even 5 minutes for the Metro, Perfect timing! I got on the Train and rode it out to Main Terminal. I walked inside, and went to one of the self check in machines near the AA counters. It was pretty quiet inside with the occasional rush of folks coming and going. Entered my Number in and my itinerary popped up, confirmed my seats, hit continue then it asked me for an upgrade for 90 bucks DFW-MCO. Hmmmh....I went back and forth and figured not worth it I declined it. Got my boarding passes and commenced to go through security.

Security was quick and painless, no one throbbing me, no one questioning me or nothing. I half expected it being near Sep 11th but there definetly was added TSA around for a Sat and Police Dogs and such walking around. I walked down to the gate, and saw my MD80 already at the gate being prepped up.


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N477AA sitting at the gate being prepped up for STL-DFW.

I walked around a bit at Lambert, checking out the construction and whatnot. Medium traffic, usual and typical for Saturday. Not busy at all inside. Doing my usual texting and talking to different people on the phone. I told some of them about my declining First, and got the usual ARE YOU NUTS?! statement from them. But at first I am going, I don't have the money for it. But I did remember I had some money saved away for other stuff which I didn't need at the moment, and then thought you know...it IS First Class, there will be a dinner service, and I was so tired from my constant traveling (I did STL-MDW-IAD-MDW-STL Thurs the 6th, and the same on the 7th of friday) for business trip and interviews, I just wanted to rest and have a full service. So I went to a machine nearby, and check it out, still available! With a big hesitancy, I swiped the credit card, and i was now officially Upgraded to First Class for DFW-MCO. I did get a bit more excited as it had been 11 years since I flew a full service first class, last was TWA L1011 MCO-STL back in 1996 :-D.

I went back to my gate and they were about to start boarding. They denied a family to pre board which shocked me...I thought families were allowed to pre board on AA or pretty much every airline? The basic gist, she comes up with her i believe her sister, and the baby, and a few bags and she stood in line to pre board and when she walked up the Agent said "I am sorry ma'am you must board in Group 5" She replied she had a baby and needed to pre board. Agent once again refused and stated she must board in Group 5. Is this new at AA or has this always been the case?

My group came around, 4 and I boarded. Once again saw the TWA certificate on the jetbridge which always brings a smile to my face when I see it. I got on board was welcomed aboard by the F/A. I walked to my seat and scootched over the woman who sat in the aisle. She would be flying on my DFW-MCO leg also so she and her family and I hung out a bit in DFW too.

Once everyone commenced boarding, most of the middle seats were empty, and aisles and windows full. Looks to be a decent load but small as usual for Sat.

We backed out of the gate and the attendents did their briefing and we taxied to Runway 12L. We immediatly started rolling and took off into the clouds, while rain came down, sideswiping the windows as we climbed faster and higher.

http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/3979/mcomd801bf8.jpg
climbing through the clouds on the way to clear blue skies!

It took quite awhile to get through the heavy clouds. I believe they had to be around 32K or so, since we hit I believe 33 or 34K and it finally cleared a bit with the blue skies above us, and the random clouds here and there, with a layer of clouds right underneath us, which would soon become clear as we got near Texas, and Dallas in particular.

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Blue skies and beyond!

In Flight service commenced, and I got my usual Coke and Snack. I really do like the bigger cups on AA, I believe NWA also has the same size? WN needs catching up to do here! The bigger sized cups do make more of a difference then I had realized. I adjusted the headrest so that I could see out the window, but not get a crick in my neck from doing so. I closed my eyes to sleep a bit, while the soft hum of the MD80 engine roared behind me. I could fly, 100 times, or a 1,000 times, this will NEVER, EVER get old for me. Each aircraft is unique for me and I have my favorite and perks for each, for the MD80, particuarly American's, I love their seat and the headrest and the fact my own IFE is right behind the plane pushing us forward!

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Snack and Drink service

My Ears started popping which meant we would be doing our approach into DFW soon. We went lower and lower, and the familair green and fields came across my window sliding under our wings. We did what felt like a straight nose in approach, hardly any turning, which felt more like corrections and adjustions. I saw massive amount of water and realized they were the north texas floods. Water was everywhere, and I could see some locations underwater. Quite a surprise to see it from the air.

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approaching DFW, and water around

We came closer and closer, this would be a new approach for me, I was not familair with the approach, we flew over a runway, which was then 13L, then suddenly I realized we'd be landing on the farthest runway, 17L. Oh boy...and I KNEW our gate would be at the A Terminal just to extend my stay at DFW a bit longer! It of course was..at A-24 we docked at, after what really felt like a 15, 20 minute taxi. After we docked, announcements were made to close the window shades. We got off the plane and I already had exactly a 2 hour layover scheduled, my seatmates and myself walked to our connection gates which was only at A-29. So not a far walk at all! I just hung out a bit, and decided to take the Train around DFW and do some spotting.

Here is the approach and landing.
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approaching 17L!

http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/3870/mco6fw6.jpg
landing on 17L

I saw a BA 777, A318 Mexicana, and LH A340 all flying to their unique places as well as an AA 777. What Like I would go on about planes and not give the 777 a worth mention? ;)


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Headed to London!

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London as well....

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FRA Bound!

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Such a tiny one!

It was 4:15pm so I hightailed it back to the gate at A so I would make it in time for boarding. I walked back to the gate after getting off the train, and my seat mate came up to me and goes bad news. I said Oh god please do NOT tell me its cancelled...She said no, but you gotta enjoy this Airport another 2 hours...WHAT?! Turns out the Aircraft was diverted to DEN due to pick up more fuel, and would be a bit tied up at DEN for a bit, and we were now due for a 6:16pm departure instead of a 5:00pm departure. Oh boy...... So I just sat down at the gate and let the 2 hrs pass on by, after already having been at DFW since 3:00pm. Finally at 5:50pm the aircraft roared up. No winglets! :( Oh well. They let everyone off and at 6:00pm announced for First Class Boarding. I lined up and got on board, and headed to Seat 5F.

AA DFW-MCO
Boeing 757-200
NXXXX (unknown)
DFW-MCO
5F
First Class.
Sep 8th

I sat down in 5F, immediatly noticing the space around me! There was headphones to the side for me to take, and a blanket in the seat as well. I would find myself actually needing it, as it got a bit cold in the plane after take off. I placed my bag under the seat and just relaxed a bit really enjoying it. This does not happen everytime for me so I truly was having a great time.

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Looking out the window facing the RR Engine

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Seat Pitch, lots of room! The Usual Brown 757 First Class Seat in Front of me

No one else sat next to me, Had the row to myself. Only 10 folks on board out of 22 I believe. Talk about personalized service. Now...I really hate to sound snobby, but this is because I have heard it or experienced it myself So I am simply questioning why not this time. No one introduced themselves to me, thanked me for flying AA or offering to take anything for me. This I experienced on my AA MD80 STL-DAL almost a year ago. A Pre Drink service was not offered to myself or anyone else on board. We were certainly on the ground long enough to do so. I also had a pre drink on that STL-DAL Flight as well , yet not offered here. Again, It was not a huge complaint or a disappointment to myself but I had expected it on board since I have had it before. Any reason for this?

We taxied back and had a very brief wait to take off. T Announcements for safety was played, and it seemed a bit new? I loved at the end of the tape, it goes "Thank you for choosing, AAHHMMMMMERICAN Airlines!" It actually got a chuckle out of me, as she had really stretched it out!

Once the engines had sped up I heard the Buzzsaw like noise from the RR. Oh God was it ANNOYING! Bzzzzzzz....then a WHIIIIRRRRRRR, but once we got to cruising flight the noise had settled down a bit.

Anyhow we took off, and pretty much stayed a straight course, we did not fly over water.

Immediatly, a F/A passed a white what seemed like a handwipe around. I was dumbfounded and goes what is this for? You can clearly tell I was VERY new to F/C service. I kind of looked around to see what others were doing and most were washing their hands with it and giving their tray tables a wipe down, so I did the same thing! :-D

Then she came around and placed a warm bowl filled with nuts. What is the reason for this? Appetizer? Or something in particular? I am not a fan of nuts, but I decided Hell, I paid for it, might as well give it a try. It actually was not to bad at all. They came around and asked for drinks, I asked for a coke. She looked at me confusedly and stated would you not want wine or anything? I perked up and had forgotten about the free alcohol in F! HAHAHA

I asked how old she thought I was and she said 21 at least? I said Ma'am, thanks but I am 20 and cannot drink but Ill have a coke please!" She said "No problem and handed me a coke with a glass and ice. I filled it up and chuckled, well thats one downside of not being 21. No Free alcohol. Oh well. She then came back around and asked what would we like for dinner She offered us two choices, a type of pasta in white cream sauce, and mushroom. Or I can have roasted chicken, with mashed potatos. I took the chicken.

It smelled absolutely so good, my mouth was watering. I had been starving since we were at DFW for so long, and I had not ate half expecting not to be delayed so long, plus I knew we would get food on board.

She comes around with the tray table and It looked so good!

http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/3115/mco13wh9.jpg
Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatos, Carrots, Salad on the side, and cheesecake

I ate it all up, pretty much every bite, including the cheesecake. It truly was an amazing dinner and very delicious. I was still on a high to experience F/C that anything would be excellent for me really.

I finished off the rest of the coke, and kind of settled back. I put on the IFE in the seat, and turned it into CH 6 to listen to Country Music, and immediatly one of my favorites from Kenny Chesney started playing "Never wanted nothing more" Ahhhh THIS was the LIFE!

I smiled, and once again felt happy to be back in the air, enjoying first class once again. Looking out the window. I noticed a sunset appearing and snapped a pic of it, one of the last light of the day.

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sunset

I kind of fell asleep, and woke up back and forth. F/A would go back and forth making sure we were ok.

It was nice to just be comfortable and have your space. I had a nice angle of the TV so I could watch some episodes, no movie was played, but I thought there would be one.

Pilot came on and said we would be descending for MCO soon, and to go ahead and start pre paring for Landing.

F/A came around for Trash, and all that. I put the tray table away, etc etc.

Sat up and watched us fly over Orlando as we came in for landing. Very nice easy braking, maybe it isn't so powerful upfront? I wouldn't know, I don't ride up front that often ;)

We docked at Gate 12, and they used the 2L door. Immediatly half the coach passengers got out of the aircraft before the F folks could even MOVE. I laughed so hard, a few of the F Class paxs were pissed actually, since they HAD to get off the plane first.. I frankly couldn't care, we were all gonna get off in due time. The F/A went back and blocked the coach folks, and finally let us off, apologizing about it. But I smiled and said its ok, have a good night. Got off the plane and called my Aunt to let her know I had arrived.

All in All, it was an amazing trip, i truly enjoyed F/C and would do it again in a heartbeat providing again the cost is reasonable. The service was very nice, not as attentive as I expected but still more then coach on AA. Hope you enjoyed the Report!

Alex

AirtrafficController
09-12-2007, 06:52 PM
Excellent report Alex. I enjoyed the work you put into the report and the pics of the food. :D

stuart schechter
09-12-2007, 07:16 PM
I guess nobody ever told you about AA's famous warm nuts. I got a free upgrade from Cozumel, Mexico to NY compliments of the pilot!

LGA777
09-12-2007, 07:31 PM
Nice report Alex. The "larger" AA coach plastic cups you mentioned on the STL-DFW leg are still small compared to what we now serve at US. About 6 months ago we switched to what we call "party" cups, almost twice as tall as what most use, almost holds the full can. And now a question. Most carriers prefer to use door 2L on the 757 with the exception of AA which almost always use 1L and there are actually two seats, BC in front of both 2L and 2R. The 2R ones are almost standard with every airline but I have never seen seats in front of 2L other than on AA. So my much anticpated question do you remember it being difficult to deplane at MCO ?

LGA777

Alex T
09-12-2007, 10:03 PM
Airtraffic- Thanks dude.

Stuart- Hahaha yep!

LGA-From my experience, everytime I board or deboard on a 757 at MCO its the 2L, everywhere else I used 1L. As for diffucult, I have deboarded from Coach and F on the 757 at MCO from 2L, and I wouldn't say Hard...for coach, you simply turn left and cut in front of the rows of seats. The jumpseat is folded up, there is less room then at the front I admit. Same as coming from F, turn around and walk to your right.

Interesting to hear about the cups!

Alex