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Dear Diary: Random Thoughts & Observations From Three Weeks of Flying Around America

Dear Diary: Random Thoughts & Observations From Three Weeks of Flying Around America

Old Jan 23, 07, 7:35 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Ester, Alaska
Programs: Alaska Airlines Million Miler, United Airlines Million Miler, Wyndham Rewards Diamond Level
Posts: 9,618
Dear Diary: Random Thoughts & Observations From Three Weeks of Flying Around America

I don’t really keep a diary. I never have. I’m just staving off potential boredom while spending the next three weeks flying 62,000 miles around America. The majority of the fifty-eight flights required to accomplish this will be flown in Coach Class. Airlines to be flown include Alaska, American, American Eagle, Delta and Horizon. Mileage will be earned.

Yes, I’m on a mileage run. A Mega-Mileage Run if you will. Why not knock off the requisite miles to maintain elite status now rather than procrastinate until December and then be forced to issue plaintive bleats for help over at the Mileage Run Forum? Not my style. If it needs to get done, the sooner I get started, the sooner I’ll get it done and not have to worry about it. I started searching last summer for fares I’m using today. Some of the fares I’m working with were only available for a day or two. Thankfully, I’ve got the time and enough discretionary income right now to pull this off.

I know, I know... many readers not to mention friends and acquaintances will think I’m crazy to even consider such a thing. I’m used to that and could care less. Besides, any of you that have read my past trip reports should know by now that I actually enjoy spending substantial amounts of time each year at 36,000 feet above this beautiful bluish-green orb we live upon. Truth be known, I’ve always enjoyed just going somewhere. Period. In a car, on a plane, in a boat or on a train, I’ve always enjoyed the mechanisms and motion of travel. Some will sniff that I am merely traveling for the sake of travel. As they see it, a monumental waste of time. For them, perhaps. The way I see it however, the miles I earn from excursions like this will allow me to go to and spend time in places I really want to visit later on. Those same miles will occasionally allow me to travel there in style, being wined and dined like a plutocrat while comfortably ensconced in a First Class suite up in the nose of a 747.

Anyway, the next three weeks will see me spending a lot of time on airplanes or hanging out in airline lounges between flights. I could just bring a lot of books along but I feel like writing something, so what the heck – here you go. Like the title says, I figure I’ll just write a bit about the flights while throwing in a few random thoughts, observations and recollections.

I’m just having some fun here, so this report will likely be to Trip Reports what Hostess Twinkies are to proper nutrition. Tasty for some, but of no real consequence otherwise. Any readers hoping to learn about Mileage Runs or gain some knowledge that will help them better go about their lives aloft should definitely hit the back button and check out the Mileage Run Forum or some of the other trip reports. On the other hand, if you like to fly or just read about flying, then let’s board now and get this trip underway.

Last edited by Seat 2A; Feb 11, 07 at 9:27 pm
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Old Jan 23, 07, 7:36 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Ester, Alaska
Programs: Alaska Airlines Million Miler, United Airlines Million Miler, Wyndham Rewards Diamond Level
Posts: 9,618
January 14, 2007
Alaska 162 Fairbanks – Anchorage 3:47pm – 4:49pm 737-900 Seat 16C
Alaska 188 Anchorage – Seattle 7:04pm – 11:25pm 737-800 Seat 15F


I awoke this morning to a beautiful snowy day in Fairbanks. It was the best kind of snowstorm, too – not a blizzard with wind but lots of big puffy flakes filling the air all around me. It was like being in one of those snow globes after it’s been vigorously shaken. The cloud ceiling was very low however and visibility was definitely diminished, so there seemed a good possibility that my afternoon flight to Seattle might be operating late. I called Alaska Airlines and sure enough, the flight had been rescheduled for 4:16pm. No biggie. That’s only a half-hour off schedule. So long as I get into Seattle with enough time for a good night’s sleep, I’ll be happy.

Still, I couldn’t help but wonder why in situations like this, especially when operating out of a smaller airport like FAI, the airlines don’t round off their departure times. Why 4:16? Why not round it off to 4:15? Will one minute really make that much difference or is there some regulation or formula that is strictly adhered to? Whatever – if I can deal with a 3:47 departure, I can certainly handle 4:16.

The Patriots – Chargers game was on in the Bush Pilot Lounge, so I tossed down $5.00 for a pint of grog and settled in for the final minutes of the game. It was a great game, too! New England had just battled back from an 8 point fourth quarter deficit to tie the game at 21 with less than five minutes to go when the final call for boarding was made. There were a bunch of AS 162 passengers in the lounge watching the game and I’m sure there wasn’t a one of us that didn’t wish for another fifteen minute delay.

This afternoon’s flight was operated by the largest jet in Alaska’s fleet, a 172 seat 737-900. With only about thirty of us flying down to Anchorage however, the load was better suited to one of Alaska’s little 737-200 Combis. Coincidentally, the most lightly loaded jetliner I’ve ever flown upon was an Alaska 737-900 between Anchorage and Seattle. That flight had two of us in First Class and only four in the back. Today I was sat in the back with an exit row to myself. Despite my MVP Gold status in Alaska’s Mileage Plan, I wasn’t eligible for a comp upgrade because I was traveling on an award ticket. Interestingly, another passenger back in Coach disagreed with this policy. He’d noticed that a few First Class seats were available as he boarded the airplane, so he proceeded to argue with the Flight Attendant about why he couldn’t be upgraded. After checking his boarding pass, the F/A pointed out that he was traveling on a mileage award ticket, to which the man replied that he’d been upgraded last time he flew on an award. I’ve also been upgraded a number of times while traveling on Alaska award tickets, but I’ve never asked for it, nor have I ever expected it. Such charity is always at the discretion of the airline and I am thankful that Alaska would see fit to upgrade me even once given that the terms of the award tickets clearly state that they’re not upgradeable. People like this guy who can’t appreciate that distinction ruin it for all of us. Thankfully, the F/A held his ground.

After taxiing all the way down to the end of the freshly plowed runway, we shut the engines down and deiced. The deicing truck then drove away and we sat there for another five minutes. In silence. Finally the Captain came on over the PA, apologized for the delay and informed us that following our deicing, we’d been instructed to wait 8 minutes for an incoming flight to land. 8 Minutes! Like that wasn’t enough time for us to rip on down that runway and get the hell out of Dodge with plenty of time to spare? Anyway, because of the delay waiting for the inbound aircraft, we had to be deiced all over again. By the time we finally took to the air at 4:45pm, we were an hour late.

In Anchorage, through passengers to Seattle were instructed to stay onboard in order to expedite our turnaround time. One of the F/As told the guy sitting across from me that the winds were so strong the day before that her flight had made it from Anchorage to Seattle in just 2:25. So maybe today we might make up some time as well. That was yesterday, said I. Though I didn’t say so, I’ve flown the Anchorage – Seattle route well over 200 times. It’s one of the few routes on the planet where flights can experience strong headwinds or tailwinds regardless of whether they’re flying to or from Alaska. Today’s tailwinds can be tomorrow’s headwinds. Sure enough, as we pushed back our flight time was announced at three hours and one minute.

Unfortunately, after just one minute of taxiing the pilot announced that we had a small problem with the GPS system. His tone was unconcerned and upbeat as he said we’d just return to the gate where the mechanics should be able to have us on our way very shortly. Hmm… sounds like fifteen minutes or so and we’re on our way. Well, alrighty then. Forty minutes later we were still at the gate. Finally the captain came back on to tell us that the mechanics were making a couple of phone calls to Seattle but that we should be on our way in just a little bit longer.

Just a little bit longer… yeah, right. When the mechanics start making those dreaded phone calls to off airport locations, especially long distance calls, that’s never a good sign. I found myself getting a bit annoyed at the captain’s unrelenting optimism, which at this point was beginning to seem more than a bit unrealistic. Still, I suppose it wouldn’t be in good form for him to be overly realistic either. Can't you just imagine the captain saying …

Well folks, these things can sometimes turn into nightmarish scenarios. We could be here for an hour or two while they see if they can find the right part. Unfortunately, the part requiring replacement on this jet is particularly difficult to come by. We may even have to cancel the flight. Why, I remember the last time this happened to me here in Anchorage…

This reminds me of a funny story that happened back in the mid-eighties. A delayed Eastern Airlines flight departing from Atlanta was taxiing out to the runway in preparation for takeoff when word came down that ATC had assigned it a new window for its departure. As a result, it was directed to taxi over to a holding area and wait another 45 minutes. The captain, a veteran from the “good old days” of flying, was so fed up with yet another one of these post-deregulation problems such as ATC delays that he got on the PA, described the reason for the delay to his passengers and then announced that he’d had enough. He was returning the plane to the gate and retiring immediately. About half the passengers gave him a round of applause.

Interestingly, not one minute after our pilot had exhorted us to wait just a little longer, the lead F/A announced that this aircraft wasn’t going anywhere and we were all being transferred over to AS 188, the 7:04pm departure which was conveniently parked right next door. So, off we trudged to gate C-6 where everyone gathered as a big mob in front of the podium. Two Alaska agents stood behind the podium looking at eachother but otherwise doing nothing. Finally another agent appeared and directed everyone over to the jetway. Rather than try and reissue boarding passes for the slightly smaller 737-800, we were instructed to take any open seat. Boarding began with First Class passengers and needless to say, the first ones down the jetway found seats while the rest were out of luck. Arrangements were made to refund any paid upgrades and everyone seemed happy. Unfortunately, transferring baggage and then waiting for our turn with the de-icing truck took another 45 minutes and by the time we finally lifted off it was 8:00pm. Arrival time in Seattle was projected to be midnight. So much for me having enough time for a decent night’s sleep.

My seatmate was booked on the 11:55pm AA departure to Dallas, then on to Wichita Falls where he was attending tractor engine mechanic school later in the week. He was somewhat unhappy over the recent turn of events until I told him to relax – since the delay was a mechanical and not weather related, Alaska would likely accommodate him overnight in a Seattle hotel and then ship him on down to Texas the next morning. That sure beat having to sleep in a skinny, upright airplane seat tonight. I then pulled out my pocket flight guide and showed him the plethora of connections via DFW into Wichita Falls. He felt much better.

Unfortunately, no food was available to us on this three-hour dinnertime flight. Normally Alaska offers its main cabin clientele one of its Northern Bites® selections – either a cheeseburger or a chicken wrap priced at $5.00. The Flight Attendant explained that the original load for AS 188 had been about 30 people and so the flight had been catered accordingly. With the added 100 or so people from AS162, they simply didn’t have enough food to offer everybody and so decided to offer none. I find it hard to believe that during the 45 minutes we sat at the gate in Anchorage, someone couldn’t have transferred food from AS162 next door or called the commissary for more frozen Northern Bites meals.

When it comes to Economy Class travel, I would rate Alaska as a pretty good airline. Tonight’s effort however was certainly not one of their better efforts. Poorly managed, poorly catered, and two hours late arriving into Seattle. I’m a pretty forgiving guy however. We all have our bad days now and then and in general, my positive experiences with Alaska have far outweighed the negative ones.

With a 7:45am departure the next morning, I figured I could sleep until 6:30 at the latest. By the time I’d made it from the end of the D Concourse down to Baggage Claim, it was 12:20am. Despite Seattle being Alaska’s home base, it operates only two baggage carousels in the entire airport. Baggage waits of 30-40 minutes, even late at night, are not uncommon. Sufficient sleep was more important than collecting my backpack so rather than wait half an hour for baggage, I stopped by the baggage office and let them know I’d pick it up tomorrow. I then headed off to my secret spot and set up camp for the night.

Last edited by Seat 2A; Jan 21, 08 at 10:36 pm
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Old Jan 23, 07, 7:42 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Ester, Alaska
Programs: Alaska Airlines Million Miler, United Airlines Million Miler, Wyndham Rewards Diamond Level
Posts: 9,618
January 15, 2007
Alaska Seattle – San Francisco 7:45am – 10:05am 737-700 Seat 6C
American San Francisco – St. Louis 12:30pm – 6:30pm 757-200 Seat 22F
American Connection St. Louis – Jacksonville 7:45pm – 10:50pm ERJ-140 Seat 1A


When I showed up at 6:45am, Alaska’s entire check-in counter appeared to be under siege. From the First Class/MVP counters to the E-Ticket kiosks, the lines were long. The sea of humanity was so large that even the kiosks looked to have a ten-minute wait. With no baggage to check, I did a quick U-turn and headed down a level where the parking garage walkway meets the main terminal. There I was greeted by a bank of five empty kiosks just waiting for me to check in. Seconds later I was on my way through security and on to D-4, with an intermediate stop at the closest Starbucks kiosk.

I love Starbucks’ regular everyday coffees, especially the rich earthy ones like Sumatran or Verona. I do however wish that in airports at least Starbucks would provide a separate line for those of us who just want a simple cup of coffee to go. It’s frustrating to have to stand in line behind four or five people ordering time consuming foo-foo lattes and such when all you want is a simple cup of coffee or a sandwich to go. This is especially true when time’s a wasting and you’ve got a plane to catch. Now before any of you fancy coffee drinkers get yer knickers in a knot, understand I have no problem with those who like their pricey foo-foo lattes. I just think that in airports, where time is often more of a consideration than in a mall, it’d be nice to have a separate line for expedited purchases.

Alaska’s 7:45am San Francisco departure was operated with a 737-700. I normally like an exit row and, as an MVP Gold, I can request one at time of booking. However, Alaska’s 737-700s have an exit row configuration that offers no extra legroom except to the window seat but the under seat storage for that seat is two rows ahead which makes retrieval of seat-side carry-ons awkward. So, when the schedule shows a 73G, I always request 6C, a bulkhead seat offering excellent legroom and a chance to observe what’s being served in First Class.

While those of us in Economy were treated to the usual selection of hot and cold breakfast beverages served with a small package of cookies, First Class passengers received a small fruit plate served with what looked to be a slice of banana bread. I remember being served eggs, potatoes and link sausage on this route back in the seventies. And that was in Economy.

I wish I’d chosen a window seat because it was an absolutely gorgeous day in the Bay Area. Our route of flight took us out over the Pacific shortly after passing Bodega Bay. From there we stayed a mile or two off shore, flying past the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco before making a big U-turn over Palo Alto and landing to the north. Since this flight was continuing on to Puerto Vallarta, we parked at the International Terminal’s A Concourse. I’d been looking forward to a visit to Alaska’s refurbished SFO Boardroom but instead settled for Northwest’s nicely refurbished WorldClub.

I think Northwest’s new WorldClubs, as seen at MSP, DTW, MEM and now SFO are amongst the most attractive clubs I have ever been in. This includes overseas First Class lounges. The new look is at once spacious and inviting with polished stone floors and walls accented by dark wood, large potted plants, subdued yet complimentary artwork and large picture windows overlooking the tarmac. At the far end of the lounge was an open bar featuring a nice variety of mid-shelf spirits as well as Miller and Heineken beers. An Espresso/Latte/Cappuccino machine was also available with plenty of cookies, pretzels and biscotti nearby. A fridge in the bar area was stocked with yogurt and juices while cheese, fruit and Danishes were also available at appropriate hours. A side room housed a business center that offered about a dozen workstations along with a fax machine and a copier. Free wi-fi was also available. Domestic US airline lounges just don’t come any finer than this! I grabbed a coffee and a couple of biscotti, then took a seat by one of the big picture windows and spent the next hour enjoying the free wi-fi.

The flight to St. Louis was completely packed. In fact it was oversold. I tried to switch to an exit row seat and the agent guffawed. Never a good sign… Can guffaw be used as a verb? Never mind. Had I hustled over to Terminal 3 in time to be amongst the first to volunteer, I would have been the lucky recipient of denied boarding compensation. Six or seven people were selected.

I fly American fifty or sixty times a year and I’ve been very fortunate to get exit row or bulkhead seating most of the time. Sitting now in seat 22F, I was dismayed at how tight the seating was and soon found myself pining for the good old days of MRTC seating. Oh well. Flight time was only three and a half hours and the laptop powerport under my seat meant I’d be able to spend much of that time enjoying the unique distractions that only a laptop computer can provide. Unfortunately, the exceptionally tight quarters meant that I wouldn’t be able to completely open and display my 15” screen.

A United 757 was lined up for take-off ahead of us. It bore United’s handsome new livery and I remember thinking what an attractive color scheme United’s finally come up with. It reflects the bright promise that hopefully will be realized by United in years to come. Now if only United could afford to get its fleet repainted a bit faster. That horrible gray livery looks about as appealing as a bankruptcy proceeding.

Kudos also go out to US Airways for its attractive new livery. One of its A320s was parked at Terminal 2 looking very classy in its new red, white and blue colors. As I was admiring these colorful new additions to American skies, it occurred to me that American Airlines has had the same livery since the late 1960s, almost forty years. During that same time period, United’s jets have worn at least five different liveries. Northwest has employed four different looks while Delta has gone through three. Still, American’s simple livery works well and given the costs of changes to brand identity, much less repainting the entire fleet, I can’t imagine we’ll be seeing any changes to American’s colors in the immediate future.

The highlight for this flight was trying out my new DC/AC power inverter. My old Targus model, which I bought new for $90.00 six years ago, has finally worn out. Targus now makes a new, bulkier model that’ll provide enough wattage to power 15” laptops and larger. I’ve seen it sold at the big office supply chains for about $55.00. I was ready to buy it, too, until I stumbled across the Power-Line Mobile AC Outlet during a search on the Internet. It’s about the size of a handheld PA mike and plugs into any cigarette lighter. It delivers 140 watts of continuous power, costs only $34.00 and claims to deliver more than enough wattage to power big 15” laptops such as mine. I called the local Wal-Mart to ask about it. What if it doesn’t work for me, I asked. No problem! Just bring it back in its original packaging within 30 days to any Wal-Mart store and you’ll get a full refund. Fair enough, said I and purchased it later that afternoon.

I’m pleased to report that it works magnificently. Just plug it in, then plug your normal computer plug into it and away you go – constant power throughout the flight. Or in your car. Keep in mind however that this unit is adapted to cigarette lighter type powerports only. It doesn’t include an adapter for powerports such as you’d find on United Airlines or British Airways.

We touched down smoothly on an exceptionally frosty evening in St. Louis. The temperature was listed at 16°F. Many passengers were shivering and complaining as they exited the aircraft into the unheated jetway. Not me, however. I thought it felt great! 16° would be a warm spell in Alaska this time of year, and I actually found the cold fresh air quite invigorating.

Trans States Airlines d.b.a. American Connection operated tonight’s flight down to Jacksonville. I was looking at 750 miles and an hour and forty minutes in Embraer’s little jungle jet. While I’d prefer an MD-80, tonight’s flight was only half full and the flight attendant was friendly, efficient and easy on the eyes. Time passed quickly and we landed on a clear 50° evening in Jacksonville.

As much as I’d like to stay in a hotel overnight, it seems kind of pointless when I’ve got a 6:55am flight out of here tomorrow. It was now 11:15pm and when you factor in time getting to and from the hotel, I wouldn’t have time to get enough sleep to justify the overall expense. Thankfully, I’m better prepared than most for these scenarios, travelling with an inflatable Thermarest insulated sleeping pad, a warm blanket, a small pillow, a sleeping mask, an alarm clock, a headlamp and earplugs. All of that fits nicely into a small carry-on bag with enough room left over for a change of clothing and a good book. I set up camp in a quiet, dimly lit corner down in a section of baggage claim that was done for the night. I then slept undisturbed until 5:45am.


January 16, 2007
American Eagle Jacksonville – Miami 8:45am – 10:30am ATR-72 Seat 1D
American Miami – Chicago 11:40am – 1:55pm 757-200 Seat 18D
American Chicago – Los Angeles 3:10pm – 5:30pm 767-300 Seat 17B
Alaska Los Angeles – Seattle 7:00pm – 9:48pm 737-900 Seat 16F


People often ask how do I keep clean while sleeping in airports? Simple. The downstairs restrooms in the baggage claim areas are usually deserted in the early morning hours. After all, in most airports there aren’t many flights arriving before 7:00am, so I’m able to wash my hair, sponge bath and change clothes without being disturbed or disturbing anyone else. Some of the larger handicapped stalls actually include a sink, so I can have complete privacy.

“Oh, but you’re using a handicapped stall! Shame on you!”

It’s 6:00am and with no flights arriving until later in the morning, no one, handicapped or otherwise generally ever uses those restrooms so early. Occasionally an airport employee such as a janitor or baggage handler might show up, but I’ve yet to see any wheelchair bound people in those positions.

I also recognize some people are a bit squeamish about sleeping in airports, much less washing up in them. After all, appearances must be maintained, you know. What would people say if they saw…? Oh, the horrors… Be it rooted in pride and ego or insecurity, those people will probably never sleep in airports unless circumstances conspire to give them no other alternative. Good for them! The less competition, the better! Me – I could care less what anybody thinks if they see me sleeping in an airport. Lots of people do, anyway. If someone thinks I'm a bum because I’m sleeping in an airport, well, by my reckoning their value system is so out of whack that it’s not even relevant. In the bigger picture, I’d rate excessive pride and vanity as the greater transgression. So let them think whatever they like. People who know me know better.

Of course, the reality here is I’ve never had a lot of money, and what I do have I’ve got to make last. Believe me, there are nights I’d love to have stayed in a hotel, but given my fiscal realities, the prudent choice is to stay in the airport.

“What about the airport police? Do they ever bother you?”

No. It’s been my experience at least that so long as you’re a bonafide traveler, the authorities have no problem with you overnighting in the airport. A lot of it is really just common sense. I pick a spot that’s quiet and out of the way, and I have documentation ready to show the police that I’ve either just arrived late at night or I’m heading out early the next morning. Also, it helps to be polite and forthcoming to the police. They’re just doing their jobs. Even though they may have just woken me up in the middle of the night to make sure I have a valid reason for being in the airport, I always thank them for checking. One night in Chicago I had my wallet cut right out of my back pocket with a razor blade while I was sleeping. I never felt a thing! The police keep the airport that much safer for those of us that do have to overnight there. Also, it doesn’t hurt to check with them and let them know I’ll be looking to stay in the airport. Doing so often spares me that wake-up call in the middle of the night.

So, here it is 6:10am in Jacksonville and I’ve got 4,220 miles of flying ahead of me today. That’s about the same as a nonstop flight between Los Angeles and Tahiti. I’ve just stepped off the escalator from downstairs and – Oh my God! It’s the security line from Hell! I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the layout of the Jacksonville terminal building, but suffice to say that the line was over one hundred yards long before it reached the normal security checkpoint entrance where the zig-zag lanes begin.

Seasoned Jacksonville business travelers in line around me were all commenting that here it is Tuesday morning – what the heck is going on? Maybe it’s a convention or a cruise ship arrival. Maybe one or two of the machines broke down… As it turned out, it was the day after the Martin Luther King holiday, so a lot of people were either returning from their long weekend or business travelers were just starting their week. To the TSA’s credit, it took only 40 minutes to get through this line. Unfortunately, I heard my name being paged for last call while I was still in line and ended up missing my flight by five minutes.

Thankfully, the next flight down to Miami had plenty of seats on it and still arrived at MIA with plenty of time for me to make my connection up to Chicago. Since it didn’t leave for another hour and forty minutes, I wandered over to Delta’s Crown Room for coffee and biscotti. Delta’s Jacksonville club is not all that large, but it’s comfortably furnished, includes a few workstations, and has a good supply of fresh hot coffee.

American Eagle’s ATR-72 covered the 334 miles between Jacksonville and Miami in just one hour and nineteen minutes. In fact, the JAX-MIA route is the longest flown by an ATR in the U.S. Out of San Juan, Puerto Rico however, American Eagle ATRs fly substantially farther, such as the 569 mile route from San Juan to Barbados.

Having eaten only a couple of mini-biscotti with my coffee, I arrived in Miami with a powerful yen for breakfast. Or lunch. Dinner, even. I just wanted food! Unfortunately, on the concourses at least, most MIA concessionaires offer little more than pizza, pre-made sandwiches and salads. One exception is down on the new part of the D Concourse where a food court has a Manchu Wok restaurant. For about $7.00, you can get a big plate of rice with two different toppings. Vegetarians will appreciate all the vegetables and tofu, while carnivores have a nice selection of beef and chicken dishes to choose from. I like the vegi-tofu mix with a meat dish and today ordered it with the chicken and mushrooms. Ahh… much better.

We had a full flight up to the Windy City this afternoon. As usual in Miami, the gate lounge was bedlam, what with the wide mix of languages and cultures. I chatted for a bit with a young guy from Colombia who was returning to the US with his mother after a month in Colombia. He was dressed for an afternoon at the mall whereas his elderly mom looked quite nice in a plaid suit. Such is the difference in generations and how we view travel these days. For most of us now, getting on an airplane is no more special than going to the mall. More than a few people dress accordingly. Most people older than 60 however have experienced airplane travel when it was still looked at as a special event for which you dressed up. Many older folks still do. Mind you, I’m not one who advocates traveling in a suit. Certainly it makes sense to dress for comfort, especially on a long flight. But it is interesting to note the differences and how the older generation still clings to the old ways. It’s also interesting to note that more than a few behavioral studies have shown that people who are dressed nicely are often treated more nicely than their more casually attired brethren. I wonder if the current state of First Class service aboard American carriers would be any better if more people presented themselves in public like they did years ago? These days, in America at least, I doubt anyone really cares. The main thing is getting there safely, at a reasonable cost, and hopefully on time. In that regard, the U.S. carriers do a pretty good job.

Miami’s a great airport for plane spotting. It always has been what with the wide variety of colorful airliners from the Caribbean, Central and South America. Back in the 1970s, you could still find cargo operators flying DC-6s and even the odd Constellation or C-46 into MIA. Of course, 707s, DC-8s and even the odd Convair 880 were commonly seen as well. These days, the vintage airliners include 727s, DC-10s and DC-8-71s, almost all of which are flying freight these days. On the way out to the runway, I spotted:

AeroSur 757-200
Aerolineas Argentinas 747-200 classic
Avianca 757-200 new colors
Arrow DC-10-30
Arrow DC-8-62
Amerijet 727-200s

Perhaps the most shocking was the Aerolineas Argentinas 747-200 being operated in a passenger configuration. Most all of the so called “747 Classics” have long since been relegated to freight duty.

I’m pleased to report that American now offers proper food for sale in its Economy cabin. At least on some flights. In the not so distant past, all you could get were “Snack Boxes” filled with a variety of packaged snacks but devoid of any real food. Today we were offered a good looking Asian Chicken Salad for just $5.00. Also available on select flights is a turkey and cheese sandwich. Having just eaten a big plate of Chinese food, I wasn’t hungry but I was glad to see the improved fare and looked forward to sampling some of it on one of my future flights. I’ve got twenty-four more flights on American coming up between now and February 7th.

Three hours later we touched down at O’Hare on a sunny but cold afternoon. The captain announced the temperature as 23°. The Floridians gasped while returning Chicagoans muttered unhappily amongst themselves. I was tempted to let out a whoop of joy just to add balance to it all but held my tongue.

A 767-300 was scheduled to operate the 3:10pm departure from Chicago to Los Angeles. That’s why I’m on this flight. I like a larger airplane. Nowadays, American and United’s 763s represent the largest aircraft flying this route. Your basic everyday single aisle jets such as A320s and MD-80s operate most of the other flights. Twenty years ago, you’d never see an aircraft that small on the Chicago – LA run. 747s, DC-10s and L-1011s ruled the route.

If you must fly Coach, the 767 is a good plane to fly upon. Its 2-3-2 main cabin configuration delivers slightly wider seats, none of which are more than one seat away from the aisle. For sustenance on this three hour and forty-seven minute flight, I purchased a spicy chicken burrito from the Baja Burrito concession in the food court between Concourses H & K.

In the seatback pocket in front of me was a copy of CL, American’s Luxury Living magazine. It must have migrated back from the First Class cabin. It’s an impressive magazine, filled with stories about and advertisements for just about anything having to do with The Good Life. As I’m perusing it however, I’m thinking how about a magazine for those of us closer to the opposite end of the spectrum? Instead of ads touting diamond encrusted watches or luxury 1 and 2 bedroom resort properties with prices starting at just $700,000, how about a magazine with articles about log cabin living in -50°, or the best places to hitchhike along US 101. The ads could be for cabin kits, used trucks, and varmint guns to rid yourself of red squirrels that chew up wiring and steal insulation from cabins.

We landed in LA on a beautiful evening, just as the sun was setting. Ah… California… Still, today I’ve gone from 75° in Miami to 23° in Chicago to 62° in LA to presumably a damp 40° something in Seattle. I’m probably going to catch a cold trying to deal with all these different climates. That is, if I don’t pick one up amongst all the coughing and wheezing passengers I’ve been traveling with. One thing I don’t need in the middle of a Mileage Run is to get sick. I’ve got some Echinacea and Vitamin C with me for everyday use, along with some Zycam Zinc Lozenges for colds and Oscillococcinum for quick relief of flu symptoms. Other than that, all I can do is try to avoid the coughers and sneezers and wash my hands as often as reasonably possible.

At LAX American offers very convenient bus connections between its American Eagle Commuter Terminal and the terminals serving AA, AS, CO, DL and NW. Since the hub of the bus operation is the American Eagle Commuter Terminal, then no matter what your starting point is, you must first go to the A.E.C.T. and then connect to another bus to your desired terminal. The service is free and saves a lot of time since you don’t have to exit one terminal and re-enter another with all the attendant joys of another trip through the security checkpoints.

The convenience of the American Eagle Connection is all well and good, but my favorite part of the trip is driving out on the tarmac amongst all those huge jetliners. I mean, it’s one thing to see a brand new EVA 777-300ER from an airport lounge or out the window of your airplane, but it’s quite another when you watch it taxi by just ninety feet away. Sound also plays a role in the experience. The busses are not well insulated so you can really hear the whine of those high bypass turbofans that power all the big jets these days.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to pay a visit to Alaska’s Boardroom, not if I was also going to stop by Jody Moroni’s for a Chicken Andouille Sausage. I’ve never seen a Jody Moroni’s Sausage place outside of an airport, but I do think they make an excellent sausage at a very reasonable price. If you should ever find yourself flying on Alaska out of LA, consider a visit to Jody Moroni’s. It’s got an attached sports bar with five or six televisions, so there’s always something on, even if it’s only soccer.

Following an unremarkable flight up to Seattle, I stopped by Alaska’s Baggage Service, picked up my backpack and headed off to my secret spot for a good night’s sleep.

Last edited by Seat 2A; Jan 21, 08 at 6:57 pm
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Old Jan 23, 07, 7:44 pm
  #4  
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Location: East Ester, Alaska
Programs: Alaska Airlines Million Miler, United Airlines Million Miler, Wyndham Rewards Diamond Level
Posts: 9,618
January 17, 2007
Alaska Seattle – San Diego 6:45am – 9:30am 737-700 Seat 6C
American San Diego – St. Louis 12:10pm – 5:40pm DC-9-80 Seat 22F
American Connection St. Louis – Jacksonville 7:45pm – 10:50pm ERJ-140 Seat 1A


I got a bit excited when I saw N648AS parked at gate D-1. Of the four 737-700s in Alaska’s fleet that I’ve not flown (N626AS, N628AS, N647AS and N648AS), three of them I’ve never even seen before. Possibly these aircraft might be LAX based, operating Mexico and Washington DC flights. I never fly those markets. Yet here was hope in the form of ship 648 parked in Seattle. Someday it might be assigned to one of my flights departing Seattle. Today however, it sat unassigned at D-1.

As for me, I got reacquainted with my old friend N627AS. How ironic that after spotting one of Alaska’s 737-700s that I’d never even seen before, I should then be flying to San Diego aboard the one -700 that I’ve flown more than any other. So far I’ve logged 8 flights and 6,010 miles on ship 627. While I’ve flown it more often than any other 737-700 in Alaska’s fleet, the all time mileage leader for me is ship 615, on which I’ve logged six flights covering 12,700 miles.

But enough of that. These are all things that I have fun dealing with. The rest a youse just have to be sure you’re in the gate area and ready to board at least twenty minutes before scheduled departure time.

Although the conditions outside didn’t appear to warrant it, the Captain decided we needed an appointment with the de-icing truck before heading off to sunny San Diego. Half an hour later, I watched from my vantage point in 6C as First Class passengers received breakfast trays bearing a little round quiche served with a side of fresh fruit. The rest of us plebeians behind the curtain dined upon oatmeal raisin cookers, served with the beverage of our choice.

Since I’m no longer traveling on an award ticket, some of you may be wondering why, as an MVP Gold, I’ve been sitting back in coach on all of the Alaska flights described so far. I’m traveling on an American Airlines issued ticket, and the Alaska flights are code shares. That in itself doesn’t prohibit me from upgrading to First Class, but it does change the rules a little bit. Had I purchased a deeply discounted Alaska generated fare, I’d be able to upgrade three days out. Traveling on an AA issued fare however, I can only upgrade on day of travel. Fair enough. At least I can still upgrade and in the meantime, I’ve got an exit row or bulkhead seat available to me at the time of booking. So, I’ve no complaints with Alaska Airlines. Just thanks. I think they treat us Golds just fine.

Following a pretty flight down the coast, we made an on time arrival in San Diego, landing on a bright sunny day. Although pilots don’t care for it, I love landing at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field. It is one of the more visually entertaining airports to fly into. The approach takes you right past the big buildings downtown, after which there are great views to be had of Mission Bay and all the Navy ships anchored out there. In town today were a couple of huge aircraft carriers.

Normally when I’ve routed through San Diego, I’ve had to hustle on over to Terminal 2 to catch my connecting American flight to Chicago. It’s scheduled to leave just an hour and twenty-five minutes after the arrival of the early morning Alaska flight from Seattle. Today however, I was flying to Florida via St. Louis, and that flight wasn’t scheduled to depart until 12:10pm. Now, with almost two and a half-hours to spare, I had plenty of time to finally visit United’s Red Carpet Club, located in the Terminal 1 departures rotunda, just behind the escalators.

I’ve rarely met a Red Carpet Club I didn’t like. Yes, there are certainly much nicer airport lounges out there, especially in terms of amenities, but most all of the Red Carpet Clubs I’ve visited in the US have been attractive and comfortable. I especially like windows large enough to let in lots of natural light and, secondarily, allow a good view of the ramp. San Diego’s Red Carpet Club scores well on both counts. I fixed myself a cup of English Toffee coffee and commandeered a workstation with a nice view of my Alaska jet being prepared for its return to Seattle.

At 11:00am, I headed over to Terminal 2 for my 12:10pm departure to St. Louis. There is an inter-terminal shuttle bus, but it’s a lot faster to walk. After all, Terminal 2 is only a couple hundred yards away. After clearing security, I glanced at the TV monitor to check on my departure gate.

Uh oh – the St. Louis flight was showing delayed until 2:40pm. My two-hour layover at STL, which once looked so comfortable, was now insufficient. At the gate, a long line had formed, presumably people checking on their connection times. I hate lines. Instead, I went to a pay phone and called AA reservations.

Good news! The flight from St. Louis to Jacksonville was delayed by an hour, leaving me a 35-minute connection in St. Louis. Further good news! The agent verified that my connecting flight would be departing from the gate adjacent to my arrival gate.

The aircraft operating the San Diego – St. Louis flight was inbound from Dallas, so next I asked about the arrival time of that flight. Experience has taught me that when flights are running off schedule, the new departure times shown do not always correspond with the arrival times of the inbound aircraft. In today’s case, the monitors showed an arrival from DFW of 2:17pm, with departure to STL at 2:40pm. Wishful thinking. Somehow, I just couldn’t see AA doing a twenty-three minute turnaround on an MD-80. Maybe an Embraer.

So, what about that arrival time from DFW? Bad news! Although it left the gate at DFW over half an hour ago, it was still on the ground. The new arrival time in San Diego was now 3:00pm, subject to change depending upon when the aircraft ultimately took off from DFW. Either way, my St. Louis connection was shot.

Now what? A quick check of available seats showed that there were no seats via DFW or ORD to JAX tonight. To make a long story shorter, I talked the agent into booking me on the evening departure through LAX to Miami, arriving Miami at 7:10am. From there I’d connect to the 10:25am to JAX, arriving at 12:15pm. My return from JAX was originally scheduled for 6:55am tomorrow morning, but I rebooked it to the 12:45pm JAX-MIA flight, then nonstop to LAX and back to Seattle. The agent was understandably perplexed that I was only going to stay in Jacksonville for 30 minutes, but I explained that I was only going out to deliver some rare and expensive books to a colleague and 30 minutes would be quite sufficient to meet him at the security checkpoint and then return to MIA. Here’s the new routing:


American Eagle San Diego – Los Angeles 8:25pm – 9:15pm SAAB 340 Seat 5A
American Los Angeles – Miami 11:15pm – 7:10am 757-200 Seat 18F
American Eagle Miami – Jacksonville 10:25am – 12:15pm ATR-72 Seat 6A


“Are you sure you want to go back through LA?” she asked. “We have a nice connection from Jacksonville through Chicago that will put you into Seattle much earlier.”

I explained that I had a friend who works at LAX, so it would be nice to swing through and say hello, if only for a few minutes. Truth be known, I hate to let on too much to the airlines about mileage running. Unlike some, I’m not embarrassed about doing Mileage Runs. However, I do feel that as more and more people start doing mileage runs as well as publicizing them (already there’ve been numerous newspaper articles and even a documentary planned), the odds increase that some industry bean counter is going to take a dim view of the practice and take steps to minimize it via routing and transfer rules. Right now, Mileage Runners are mostly looked at as an eclectic aberration. I’d just as soon keep it that way. Only a fool screams to the masses that he’s found gold.

It was a gorgeous day in Southern California and, with almost eight hours until my flight up to LA was due to depart, I decided to rent a car and head up into the hills, specifically the beautiful little town of Borrego Springs. I had a nice dinner there before heading back across the San Gabriel Mountains to San Diego.

These days, the largest aircraft flying between San Diego and Los Angeles is a regional jet as opposed to a regional prop. The first time I flew between these cities was in November of 1973. The smallest aircraft serving the route was a PSA 737-200. I flew from LA down to San Diego aboard a National Airlines DC-10 and returned aboard a Delta DC-8-61. Subsequent trips have been made aboard an American DC-10, a Delta L-1011, an Eastern 757 and a Western 727-200. This evening’s flight aboard a small and cramped Saab 340 represented a big step down in terms of comfort, though not speed. Flight time was 29 minutes, just about the same as the big jets used to be.

Normally, I avoid domestic red-eyes like the plague because it’s impossible to get a proper rest on them, This is true for me even in First Class. The main problem is that domestic flights around America are too short. All of the overnight transcons operate from west to east, and usually have a tailwind pushing them along. Flight times rarely exceed five hours. Given the airlines’ predilection for turning on the cabin lights and insisting that all seats backs be returned to their full upright position as much as twenty to thirty minutes before landing, even on a transcon you’ve often less than a four and a half hour window to get to sleep. And of course when you consider the quality of sleep gotten while sitting upright, it’s very easy to arrive more than a bit worse for the wear. Still, given the situation at hand today, I’m happy to have a seat at all. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a couple more hours of sleep in Miami during the three hour layover for my JAX flight.

The aircraft operating the 11:15pm departure to Miami didn’t even arrive at the gate until 11:45pm. A 767 parked at our assigned gate couldn’t back out because an EVA 747-400 was in the alleyway between terminals waiting for another aircraft to clear out. That took about twenty minutes. Then, a couple more AA aircraft were allowed to scoot into their gates first. It was like figuring out a rubix cube. When they finally towed our winglet equipped 757 in from the hangar, it was discovered that it hadn’t been cleaned. That took a further 30 minutes. By the time we finally took to the skies, it was 1:30am. Our new arrival time in Miami was 9:15am, leaving me just over an hour to connect to my Jacksonville flight. So much for any extra sleep on the terminal floor.

Thanks to a reclining exit row window seat, I managed about four hours of fitful sleep throughout the flight. Unfortunately, my back was killing me. Sleeping slumped in an airline seat certainly can’t be good for it. Thanks goodness I’m getting treatment in Seattle on Friday. I’d also like to extend thanks to the passenger two rows back who strongly admonished a couple of talkative young guys to “Pipe down! It’s 2:00am and we’re all trying to sleep!”.

Last edited by Seat 2A; Jan 25, 07 at 10:52 pm
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Old Jan 23, 07, 7:46 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Ester, Alaska
Programs: Alaska Airlines Million Miler, United Airlines Million Miler, Wyndham Rewards Diamond Level
Posts: 9,618
January 18, 2007
American Eagle Miami - Jacksonville 10:25am – 12:15pm ATR-72 Seat 6A
American Eagle Jacksonville – Miami 12:45pm – 2:35pm ATR-72 Seat 5D
American Miami – Los Angeles 4:00pm – 6:45pm 757-200 Seat 18B
Alaska Los Angeles – Seattle 8:06pm – 10:58pm 737-700 Seat 6C


I would have thought I’d need to sleep both to and from Jacksonville, but sleeping through most of the hour and twenty-minute flight up there was enough. This was just as well because on the flight back to Miami, the man in front of me had an unhappy chihuahua in a carry-on kennel. The little cur barked incessantly through half the flight. Poor little dog – I think the pressurization was hurting its ears.

I was thankful to see that my flight was departing from D-43. The food court is right next door, so I hit Manchu Wok for a big plate of chicken and mushrooms atop steamed rice. Once again, the aircraft operating our transcon flight to Los Angeles was a winglet equipped 757. American hasn’t committed to winglets with the same fervor that Continental, Southwest or Alaska have, but I have seen a few of AA’s 757s and 737s so equipped. If the fuel savings are as good as advertised, I expect AA will modify the rest of its fleet in short order.

It’s a fairly long flight between Miami and LA, but thanks to my new power inverter, I was able to listen to music, put in a little work on this report and edit a few FlyerTalk trip reports. That’s right – I actually select those trip reports that are of interest to me and edit them to my specifications. In some cases, the original author doesn’t speak (or write) English as a first language, so I’ll make the occasional grammatical correction. Mainly though, I clean up all the menu transcripts with bold lettering or italics where needed and eliminate all the stuff in which I have no interest. For example, knowing what time the cabin lights were turned back on or exactly what time the descent commenced is of no interest to me, though it may be for others. As well, long drawn out descriptions of the check-in process will get shortened considerably. If a menu transcript is provided but there are no descriptions of the food ordered or whether it was enjoyed, I’ll make up my own as if I were flying on the flight myself. Needless to say, it’s been quite an ongoing project that I’ve spent hundreds of hours on. Over the past five years, I’ve “re-written” over 330 trip reports to my specifications.

As we were disembarking in LA, I grabbed a copy of the First Class menu. Hmm… let’s see what we missed back in steerage…


Miami to Los Angeles

DINNER

To Start

Warm mixed nuts

Appetizer
Mojito shrimp served with somen noodles garnished with parsley

Salad
A combination salad featuring fresh seasonal greens and chili-cucumber,
offered with your choice of Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing
or Castello Monte Vibiano Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar


Bread Basket
Assorted gourmet breads


ENTRÉE CHOICES

Beef Roma Torta

Tenderloin of beef served with spinach gnocchi
and enhanced by a mushroom beef sauce


Eggplant Ravioli
Ravioli pasta filled with rich eggplant puree
Topped with Béchamel Sauce and a light Marinara Sauce

In an effort to accommodate your individual preferences, American Airlines is pleased to offer any of the above entrees for your Dine Upon Request selection, presented all at once, at any time you wish during the flight.


DESSERT

Ice Cream Sundae

Breyers vanilla ice cream with a choice of hot fudge, butterscotch or seasonal fruit toppings.
Offered with whipped cream and pecans

Or


Fruit and Cheese
A selection of seasonal fruit and fine cheeses

To Finish
Ghirardelli Chocolates


* * * * * * * * *

LIGHT REFRESHMENT
Freshly baked on board, Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies


Hmm… not bad by today’s diminished standards, but pretty simple compared to what would have been offered on a transcon or less just a few years ago.

Over at Alaska’s Boardroom, I got upgraded to First Class for the flight up to Seattle. Once upon a time, these evening flights used to offer chips and salsa or crackers and spread, but now there’s nothing but pretzels and drinks. As such, I headed down to Jody Moroni’s for another of those tasty chicken sausages before heading up to the gate.

As I entered the aircraft, I noticed my seat 1C had a sign on it saying “Reserved for crew”. Huh? What’s with this? I showed the Flight Attendant my boarding pass and she sighed and said “They weren’t supposed to assign that seat!” Apparently, the jump seat had broken and so she had to commandeer one of the First Class seats from the first row. Unfortunately, there were no other First Class seats available, so back to steerage trod I. I was more surprised than annoyed because I’d never had anything like that happen before. It was no big deal though - I’ve logged well over a million and a half miles in First Class and if I miss out on a two hour flight that offers no service of any consequence, I reckon I’ll live to fly another day. I took a seat in row 6 and the Flight Attendant stopped by to apologize and say she’d bring me whatever drinks I’d like from First Class. Fair enough.

I had three days off before taking to the skies again on Monday the 22nd. I found a great off airport car rental deal with Hertz (of all companies!) up in Federal Way, about eight miles south of the airport. I got a full size car for three days, all taxes and fees included for just $69.88. Best of all, I could return it to the airport. This was a far better deal than anything I could have gotten at SeaTac, on or off the airport grounds. All I had to do was take a thirty-minute bus ride up to Federal Way where Hertz maintained a small office in a strip mall.

After an appointment in Wallingford, I sped over to the Oregon Coast where I visited friends in Seaside and Bandon. The sun was shining for my entire drive down the Oregon coast, a rare treat this time of year. Little breaks like this go a long way toward refreshing and reinvigorating me after four long days of flying. For sure, it was a lot less expensive than staying in Seattle.

More to come…

Unless there’s a huge protest…

Last edited by Seat 2A; Jan 21, 08 at 6:09 pm
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Old Jan 23, 07, 7:57 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post
I know, I know... many readers not to mention friends and acquaintances will think I’m crazy to even consider such a thing. I’m used to that by now and could care less.
Never !! We all enjoy your trip reports. But 3 weeks of airport & airline food is hard to take. May the miles add up. CX F will be even better after this 3 weeks in coach.
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Old Jan 23, 07, 8:45 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Portland, OR
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Some of us do not dress to travel

Yes, I am on the other side of your definition of the older definition. Started real flying in 1965.

Yesterday, my blue jeans and fish emblazoned short-sleeved shirt sufficed for my 40 minute BKI (Kota Kinabalu) to SDK (Sandakan) board a Fokker 50 with a crew of 4 and 4.25 passengers (4 adults and a baby). The aircraft was flown, after repairs and borrowing a part from Malaysian Airlines maintainance-the plane's former owner by Flyasianxpress (FAX) who took over many of MAS's short routes and equipment. Just so that you know, FAX is a subsidiary of AirAsia.

Lunch was available for purchase, a tin of tuna salad, 12 crackers and a plastic spreader for 5 ringget. A box of Milo was an additional 4rm with the cup and ice provided for free.

The capitan and crew were kind enought to tilt the aircraft and push the seat backs forward for a good view of Mt. Kinabalu poking thru the cloulds. INMHO, Hood, Rainier and St. Helens are more impressive/

Should you pass thru PDX after 30 Jan.. the libation offer is still available.

Happy ponderings.
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Old Jan 23, 07, 9:06 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post
Trans States Airlines d.b.a. American Eagle operated tonightís flight down to Jacksonville.
Er, Trans States doesn't operate as American Eagle. Trans States Airlines does business as AmericanConnection. American Eagle flights are only operated by American Eagle Airlines, owned by AMR Corp.

/pedantic, I know

otherwise a great report
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Old Jan 23, 07, 9:10 pm
  #9  
das
 
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Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post
[Itís a fairly long flight between Miami and LA, but thanks to my new power inverter, I was able to listen to music, put in a little work on this report and edit a few FlyerTalk trip reports. Thatís right Ė I actually select those trip reports that are of interest to me and edit them to my specifications. In some cases, the original author doesnít speak (or write) English as a first language, so Iíll make the occasional grammatical correction. Mainly though, I clean up all the menu transcripts with bold lettering or italics where needed and eliminate all the stuff in which I have no interest. For example, knowing what time the cabin lights were turned back on or exactly what time the descent commenced is of no interest to me, though it may be for others. As well, long drawn out descriptions of the check-in process will get shortened considerably. If a menu transcript is provided but there are no descriptions of the food ordered or whether it was enjoyed, Iíll make up my own as if I were flying on the flight myself. Needless to say, itís been quite an ongoing project that Iíve spent hundreds of hours on. Over the past five years, Iíve ďre-writtenĒ over 330 trip reports to my specifications.
Ö

This is very cool....

Keep the report coming!
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Old Jan 23, 07, 10:35 pm
  #10  
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Brilliant - another report by Seat 2A to read on my upcoming set of flights.
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Old Jan 23, 07, 10:50 pm
  #11  
 
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Very nice trip report. Whenever I see you have posted a new trip report, I always make time to read it right away. Waiting for the rest...^
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Old Jan 23, 07, 10:52 pm
  #12  
 
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Seat2A I alwys look fowward to your Trip Reports on FT. I am printing this off and will read on my way to work in the morning,

Good one^
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Old Jan 24, 07, 7:42 pm
  #13  
 
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I always love your reports seat 2A. How do you gain admittance to all of the airline clubs? Are you a member of each one? As for the reports I say... keep 'em coming!!!!^
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Old Jan 24, 07, 7:54 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by upgrade lover
How do you gain admittance to all of the airline clubs? Are you a member of each one?
I understand Seat 2A is a life member of Priority Pass Certainly gets his money's worth
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Old Jan 25, 07, 3:50 am
  #15  
 
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Thumbs up

Again a great report! Canīt wait for the next part!

Thank you very much for writing all these entertaining reports for us! This forum would not be the same without you.

Liked the part about re-writing trip reports!

Greetings from Austria,
Thomas
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