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American Airlines 757-200 Lie flat Flagship Intrafloridian Business Class MCO-MIA

American Airlines 757-200 Lie flat Flagship Intrafloridian Business Class MCO-MIA

Old May 20, 14, 10:13 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Programs: Transport Workers Union Local 568/Holland America 3 Star Mariner
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American Airlines 757-200 Lie flat Flagship Intrafloridian Business Class MCO-MIA

Comments are very much appreciated and welcomed.

PART ONE, my US Airways Envoy Suites First Class retirement journey, HERE: Goodbye, US Airways: Envoy Suites First Class Farewell Flight FLL-PHL-MCO


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Routing for this lie-flat Intrafloridian flight.

Florida Airport Hopping Adventures 4: American Airlines 757-200 Flagship Business Class MCO-MIA

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FOREWORD
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NOTE: This is part two of my US Airways Envoy Suite Farewell Flight. For Part One,my US Airways Envoy Suites First Class retirement journey, click here: Goodbye, US Airways: Envoy Suites First Class Farewell Flight FLL-PHL-MCO

Now I'm in MCO, how do I get back home to Fort Lauderdale? Both Silver Airways DBA United Express (3M) with their pink, black, and white Saab 340B+s, and Spirit Airlines with their ULCC Airbii serve the Intrafloridian MCO-FLL market. But Silver Airways only had late night flights, and Spirit didn't have any Big Front Seats left. I communicated my concerns to my friend Brennan, who then alerted me to AA's Intrafloridian network based out of MIA. Wait, what? American Airlines operates an Intraflordian network from their fortress hub in Miami? Why yes, yes they do!

Miami is not too far away from FLL, but can still be a very long drive if traffic is heavy. So how would I get back to Fort Lauderdale from Miami? Tri-Rail? No, the trains stop going northbound at 9:40 PM EST. City Bus? No. Cab? Well, it's the only option left, so I'll take the $75 cab fare over being stranded in the MIA metro area late at night.....

So I headed over to AA's website and searched up the MCO-MIA route. What I found was surprisingly expensive, but I'd later find out why: $277 one way in First Class, or rather....Business Class.

Yes, to conclude my journey, I would be on an angle-lie-flat internationally-configured 757-200. On a seat that is going to soon suffer the same fate as the US Airways Envoy Suite. An angle lie flat seat for a 65-minute Intrafloridian flight? Who would have known...? A perfect addition for my Florida Airport Hopping Adventures Series, this will be number four after http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ad.main/249895 . Number five has still not been planned, but it will be hard to beat this one...


American Airlines Business Class Internationally Configured 757-200 for MCO-MIA. Again, operated as a "First Class" cabin due to being an entirely US-bound routing.

This report will document Part 2, my return to South Florida on American Airlines Business Class.

Click here to see Part 1, my US Airways Envoy Suites First Class retirement journey: Goodbye, US Airways: Envoy Suites First Class Farewell Flight FLL-PHL-MCO

Last edited by LPDAL; May 20, 14 at 10:21 pm
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Old May 20, 14, 10:13 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Programs: Transport Workers Union Local 568/Holland America 3 Star Mariner
Posts: 740
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ORLANDO AIRPORT
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As I saunter into MCO, I can't help but wonder if the people who built this airport decided to make it a hybrid between FLL and TPA. MCO retains TPA's design with one giant main terminal with train shuttles linking the smaller airsides, of which there are four. However the airport also contains design elements of FLL, with Floridian pattern carpet laid throughout the terminal as well as some unfortunately low ceilings in some areas. My plane was not at the gate, so I headed to Burger King to get some chow.

I guess I expect some special or fun shops for a relatively large airport like this, but nothing really struck my fancy. The only airline clubs at this airport are a single United Club and Delta Sky Club, but $50 USD didn't really seem worth it, so I bide my time by spotting.


Terminal ? in MCO.


A poor US Airways A320 all scratched up.


Taking the shuttle train to get to the American Airlines gates. Almost reminds me of a roller coaster, being in Orlando and all...


I've always wondered why MD-88s have such visible exhaust.


Aer Lingus, always wanted to try out their J class. How is it, in terms of service and hard product?


Airside A connector, very nice design!

At around 7:10 EST I make my way to the gate to board my flight home to MIA.



Catching the reg of my bird as I walk over to the gate. Thank the lord I did this, because I would have never been able to capture it otherwise. I got a chromie too
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Old May 20, 14, 10:14 pm
  #3  
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KMCO (Orlando Interntional - McCoy) - KMIA (Miami - International - Wilcox Field / 36th Street / Pan American Field)
  • Airline: American Airlines
  • Airline IATA Code: IATA Code # AA
  • Airline IACO Code: IACO Code # AAL
  • Airline Callsign: Radio Callsign AMERICAN
  • Airline Flight Number: # AA2487
  • Aircraft / Equipment Used for Flight : Boeing 757-223 (WL) / (75L)
  • Aircraft / Equipment Registration: Registration # N179AA
  • Airline Fleet Number: 5FP
  • Aircraft / Equipment Nationality: United States of America - FAA - Registered A/C / Equipment
  • Aircraft Manufacturer: The Boeing Company
  • Aircraft Sub - Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Airplaes
  • Aircraft's First Flight: January 23rd, 2002
  • Aircraft's Age as of Date of Flight: 12.3 years as of May 17th, 2014
  • Aircraft Test Registration: Test Registration N179AA
  • Aircraft Config: F16Y166
  • Total Number of Passenger Seats: 182 Seats
  • Aircraft Construction Number (MSN) : # 32397
  • Aircraft Line Number: # 1000
  • Aircraft Delivery Date: February 14th, 2002
  • Aircraft Powerplant (s) : 2x RR RB211-535E4B
  • Aircraft Owned by / Leased from: OWNED BY American Airlines Group, Inc.
  • Cabin: Business Class (First Class)
  • Fare Class: A
  • Meal: Refreshments
  • Seat Assignment: Seat # 4A, Business Class Window Seat
  • Row Assignment: Row # 4, Business Class
  • A/C Equipped with IFE: Yes, Business Class only, PTV
  • A/C Equipped with Wi-Fi Wireless Internet Access: No
  • Airline Frequent Flier Program: American Airlines AAdvantage Miles
  • Miles / Rewards / Points Earned: 411 American Airlines AAdvantage Miles
  • Airline Flight Date: May 17th, 2014
  • Boarding Call Time: 7:35 PM EST, May 17th, 2014
  • Boarding Zone: Boarding Zone # 1, Priority AAccess
  • Departure Time: 8:35 PM EST, May 17th, 2014
  • Arrival Time: 9:40 PM EST, May 17th, 2014
  • Time Aloft: 0 hours 38 minutes (38 minutes)
  • Filed Speed: 442 KIAS
  • Filed Cruising Altitude: 21,000 feet
  • Flight Distance: Direct: 193 SM | Planned: 286 SM | Flown: 411 SM
  • Routing Waypoint (s) : VALCA MLB HILEY4
  • Fare Cost: $277.00 USD (A-Class First Class fare)

FLIGHT DATA SOURCE (S) :

1. Planespotter Airline Data

2. Planespotter Airframe Data

3. FlightAware Live Flight Tracking Data


FlightAware for this flight. Copyright FlightAware 2014

Walking up to the gate, I hear nothing but a giant flurry of Spanish speaking people--I had forgotten the amount of Spanish travelers connecting through MIA to get home! As expected, all gate announcements are made in both English and Spanish, from the zone calling to the requests about overhead storage and checking bags. I am dismayed to hear that it is the third full flight I've been on today, but oh well, atleast I'd be in F (J?) class. Zone 1 is called to board immediately as there are no disabled passengers, so I am quickly on my way to experience my first AA flight since 2007!


My ride down to Miami this evening would be N179AA, a 2002-built legacy AA 757 that had winglets attached in 2007 and was reconfigured for international ops in 2009.


Souvenir boarding pass which I lost at some point in the flight unfortunately....I am always wondering why AA uses anti-counterfeit paper for boarding passes, as far as I know no other airline in the United States does this...


I'm the first one down the jetway to the ship, bubbling with excitement



Boarding the ship and making the novel "left turn" into Business Class.

Maria would be the senior purser on this flight, aided by Josie up front and a male flight attendant would be serving Y. I am a little perplexed when I first board as there are no flight attendants to be seen, but as soon as I enter the J class cabin both of the F/As pop out, with Josie saying "I didn't expect them to board this early!" Josie turns out to be one of the most professional F/As I have had the pleasure to interact with, warm, humorous, and with an air that makes you happy whenever she is around. An AA duvet is placed on each seat, which is small but thick and warm--maybe from the last flight?

As I knew we would only have around 20-30 minutes in the air, I start taking pictures and testing out all the features of the seat. Josie notices and offers a PDB, I order a coke and it is delivered soon enough to my seat. She jokes with the J class passengers the whoI'le time and refills PDBs, something I've never seen on any other flight I've been on.

Impressions of the AA Angle flat business seat--

>The seat itself is well padded, with a leather winged headrest at the top which can also be used to hold a pillow in place.
>Legroom and knee space is very generous with over 60 inches of legroom and full leg extension.
>The seat is angle lie flat, with a footrest at the bottom that prevents you from sliding off. Some may find the angle lie flat seat to be awkward to sleep in, such as me, even with the footrest extended.
>Upright, the seat is very comfortable with cloth padding instead of the ubiquitous leather seat covers that only seem to be spreading these days.
>Both armrests can be lowered in order to increase shoulder space, an extremely useful feature in my opinion.
>The IFE is quite old, but useable. A nice selection of TV programs, full length films, games, and of course the airshow. Like the Envoy suites, the seat also has a remote to use while the seat is in bed mode.
>The tray table is two separate parts, a smaller section attached to the seatback and a larger section in the armrest which both come together to form a nicely massive space for working or eating.


Arriving at my seat, 4A.


The highly customizable, yet intuitive recline controls at the far end of the armrest.


The right side armrest can be raised to increase shoulder space.


Two eMPower ports are located between the seats, always useful.


The surprisingly massive two-part tray table.


Unlimited legroom with full knee extension. I couldn't touch the seat wall in front of me to save my life..



The seat reclines to form an angle lie flat bed, which for me would be particulary hard to sleep on because of the angle and the constant feeling of "sliding down". Other wise the seat is extremely comfortable.


A PDB of Coca Cola Classic served up with AA's new branding.


Business Class cabin during boarding. Note the overhead screens, that's the only IFE you'll be getting in Y class...

As boarding draws to a close, I notice my seatmate in 4B never quite made it, always nice to have the seat next to you empty on a flight like this. The L2 boarding door slams shut and the jetway pulls away, as the captain grabs the PA and announces that he will try and expedite our journey to Orlando and announces a surprisingly short flying time of only 28 minutes in the air--not something I particularly wanted to hear in a cabin like this, but oh well, at least I got an internationally configured A/C on a 28 minute flight!

As soon as we are pushed back out of the stand, the captain guns the two RB211s and quite possibly begins speeding down the taxiway at the maximum taxi speed and never stops, not even at the hold short line at the runway as at this hour nobody is ahead of us...

But damn, the RB211s are quite possibly the loudest roar I've heard in a loooooong while--music to your ears if you ask me! I had always been on PW2000-equipped 757s, so I never really have had the opportunity to hear this symphonic growl of American craftsmanship. As we roar down the runway, the pilots pull up seemingly at the minimum climb speed--who knows why they're in such a rush as we turn to the south to align with MIA.

American Airlines Rolls Royce RB.211 757-200 Takeoff Video


Pushback.


Taxiing at what seems like a hundred miles per hour...


Playing the safety demo in a very dim cabin.


Turning onto the runway.




Takeoff.


Turning to the south to start our short 30-minute hop down to Miami.


Cruising down the Florida coast near Melbourne, Florida. Merlbourne actually has a small airport with airline service, MLB.

Shortly after I take the cruise picture the captain comes over the intercom once more and announces that we are at 21,000 feet, and has requested an expedited straight-in approach at MIA to get us on the ground more quickly. The cabin is quite serene at this point, when Josie takes our beverage orders and serves us them in real glasses. She is followed by Maria, who hands out bags of snack mix. The service was excellent, even for an Intrafloridian flight like this.


Beverage service and a very light snack, this time I switch it up by ordering a Seagram's Tonic Water.


By the time I finish my drink and snack mix we are already over Palm Beach...


Quietly serene cabin as we soar through the fresh air of summertime Florida.


Cruise altitude reached, though not for very long.

And in what seemed like a blink of an eye, I feel the downward motion of the 757 descending, with a video coming on announcing that flight attendents will be picking up service items and trash, and to fasten our seatbelts in preparation for descent. That blew by waaay too fast...

We end up flying parallel to the north of MIA, making a short jaunt over the Everglades Conservation Area, before making an (extremely) tight right turn, dropping the mains down, and gliding into a silky smooth landing at MIA. Once we turn off the runway we actually end up waiting for a bit as there are many AA aircraft taking off and landing at this hour (surprisingly) on the adjacent runway that we need to cross. We eventuallly cross it, only to find our gate is being occupied by another aircraft as we pass by it. The captain pulls a 180 on the tiller and does a short loop while the 738 that was in our parking space vacates, allowing us to pull in and deplane. All in all, an excellent flight with AA, if only for a short half an hour hop.

American Airlines Rolls Royce RB.211 757-200 Landing at MIA Video


The flight attendants activate the ceiling floodlights as they clean up the J class cabins' service items.


Once they are done, the floodlights are turned off once more as we cross into Southeastern Florida.



Flying parallel to MIA as we descend.



Making a tight 180-degree right turn to line up with MIA.


Sorry for the bad picture (little to no lighting) but here you can see our modified flight path that we took to expedite our approach.


Long final.


Descending...


Short final over I95/US1/Federal Highway/Biscayne Boulevard or whatever you prefer to call it. :-D


Almost there, passing over some warehouse/trucking depots.



Touchdown right near the MIA UPS cargo center. When the captain touched down, the camera rattled, hence the light effects...


Reverse thrusters engaged and spoilers deploy as we slow down.


Turning off the runway.


Taxiing in, but a 738 has our gate already....


So we do a 360-degree-loop by the ERJ satellite gates while the 738 leaves.

As soon as we park, the floodlights come on once again, the Spanish level in the aircraft rises tenfold (I speak a bit, but not much by any standard..), and everyone starts to deplane after me waving them past (I always find it awkward when I have to do that so I can walk up the aisle to get a cockpit shot). I ask the F/A for a cockpit shot and she peeks into the cockpit, opens the door and the captain invites me in.

This 757 seems to have a much more modern glass cockpit than other 757s I've rode on--does anyone know what the "upgrade package" is or if it is just installed on interntionally configured 752s? Any info on this is greatly appreciated.


A "modern glass cockpit" American Airlines 757-200 N179AA's flight deck.


Deplaning up the jetway.
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Old May 20, 14, 10:15 pm
  #4  
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MIAMI AIRPORT
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Unsurprisingly, as I step out of the jetway of the D Concourse at MIA, there is little activity to be seen despite the multitude of flights departing that night to many cities in Europe and Latin America. Many, if not all shops are closed save for Hudson news, some off-the beaten path souvenir stores and a bit of a selection of food vendors plus restaurants.

I quite like MIA actually--large, spacious concourses, marble floors, lots of glass making for a classy feel, and the multitude of AA A/C's buzzing about. If Miami Airport wasn't so expensive to get to in a cab ($75-$100 USD depending on traffic level) and AA's F class prices weren't so high, I would be here a lot more often. Don't get me wrong, FLL still holds a special place in my heart, but MIA also is very appealing.

I walked to the shuttle train station at the end of the concourse, and it arrives full of people! A crowd of atleast 30-40 people are with my and decide to jam into the train with the 100 people that are already on board, which was quite humorous to watch. I make a decision to take the next train on the assumption that it would be less crowded--nope, the next train is more crowded than the first one! I squeeze myself in as my parents are waiting at the departures level--we had made an agreement that they would pick me up from MIA to avoid the ridiculous cab fares up to Lauderdale by the Sea--and I'm quickly at the arrivals level. While I wait on the curb, I see all the crew of my flight, flight attendants and pilots and all, crowd into a hotel van. An interesting spectacle to end an amazing day of flying.



Airside at MIA.


An interesting exhibition of some kind of "aged above the clouds" liquor.


Waiting for an empty shuttle train...in my wildest dreams! Note how they try to fit all of themselves in that tiny train. :-D


Terminal-side, walking to the arrivals level, which is reached from the baggage claim via a not-so-clearly marked series of elevators of which only one is working....


Waiting for my parents at Domestic Check in Curb 5.
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Old May 20, 14, 10:26 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: May 2012
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Posts: 740
Click here to see Part 1, my US Airways Envoy Suites First Class retirement journey: Goodbye, US Airways: Envoy Suites First Class Farewell Flight FLL-PHL-MCO

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Thanks in advance for all responses!

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-LPDAL
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Old May 23, 14, 3:35 am
  #6  
 
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Thanks for the Trip Report and pictures.
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