Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

From One Extreme to Another: My Journey From Adak, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina

From One Extreme to Another: My Journey From Adak, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina

Old Apr 24, 07, 10:48 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Ester, Alaska
Programs: Alaska Million Miler, United Million Miler, Wyndham Rewards Diamond, Choice Hotels Diamond
Posts: 11,616
Tren Patagonico
7:00pm – 6:30am
Car 101, Beds 1-2

Photos can be found HERE.

Bariloche’s bus terminal is located right next door to its train station. Both buildings are architecturally very attractive, built of stone in a style reminiscent of that seen in Swiss or Austrian mountain towns. When I first visited Bariloche in 1994, I took immediate notice of the handsome train station and asked about train service to the city. At that time, I believe the train ran between Bariloche and Buenos Aires and was operated by the Argentine government. The rolling stock was in poor condition and the train had earned a well established reputation for poor service and late arrivals. Enroute delays of many hours were common due to the poor condition of the equipment and/or the track.

While there is no longer direct service to Buenos Aires, a privately owned company called SEFEPA (Servicios Ferroviarios Patagónicos) took over operations of the 868km line between Bariloche and the Atlantic coastal city of Viedma. The passenger train that now operates along this route is known as the Tren Patagonico or The Patagonian Train.

Tren Patagonico has a website and it is possible to request reservations online. I did so and was treated to a quick response and accurate information. I wanted to book a reservation for a private room but was told that the prices quoted for rooms were based upon double occupancy. If I wanted to have a room to myself, I’d have to purchase both beds. The First Class Sleeper fare for the thirteen hour journey over to San Antonio Oeste was $120.00 ARP or about $40.00 USD, so double that for a private room. Interestingly however, the only acceptable means of prepaying the ticket involved sending the money via Western Union. With their additional fees, my total came to $106.00 USD, still more than acceptable for a private room on an overnight train. It was arranged that my ticket would be waiting for me at the railroad’s ticket office in the Bariloche station. Throughout this process, email communication with Tren Patagonico was excellent and I’d like to commend them here for a job well done.

The train departure time was 7:00pm, so I decided to catch a local bus out to the station at about 4:45pm. When I collected my backpack from storage at the hotel, the desk clerk told me that the train always left at 5:00pm. I replied that I’d been told by the railroad that my 7:00pm reservation was for a special Easter train. The clerk said he’d never heard of the railroad ever doing such a thing in years past, so I headed off to the bus stop feeling mildly unsettled. Oh well – if the train truly did leave at 5:00pm, there was nothing I could do about it now, so I might as well head on out to the station and find out for sure. As a fall-back plan, I could always spend a couple more days in Bariloche, so life could certainly be worse. Like the time I got stuck in Barstow, California for three days. Regardless, the whole reservation process with Tren Patagonico had been handled so professionally that I felt fairly confident there’d be a 7:00pm train.

Today being Sunday, the city busses were running on a reduced schedule. I waited almost thirty minutes for one to show up and when it did it was completely full as in not even standing room was available. By now it was about 5:20pm and since I hadn’t yet picked up my ticket, I figured the prudent thing to do would be to shell out the big bucks and take a taxi. The bus fare out to the station was $2.70 ARP, so I was resigned to pay $20.00 or more for the taxi. Imagine then my surprise when the total price came to just $8.70 ARP or about $2.75 USD! I love the exchange rate in Argentina!

When I arrived at the station, my heart skipped a beat when I saw a train in what appeared to be the final boarding process. A couple of railroad employees were at the car doors stowing the step stools and preparing for imminent departure. Imagine my relief to find that there was indeed a 7:00pm departure and that the train currently in the station was the 5:00pm departure just getting ready to depart.

After collecting my ticket from the ticket agent, I stowed my backpack and then went out to have a look at the 5:00pm train. For a train that appeared on the very verge of departing, it was certainly taking its time. Frankly speaking, I thought the train cars looked pretty rough. All of the cars were painted in flat two-tone blue and white paint that had faded badly over the years. Most of the cars were marked “Clase Tourista” and I could see through the windows that seating was in straight-backed, non-reclining seats. The cars looked very full and I didn’t envy any of those riders the long overnight journey to Viedma. Even the single First Class car looked like it had seen better days. First Class seating was a bit better however, configured 2-2 with reclining seats.

At 6:00pm, the 7:00pm train was pulled into the station by a single engine. Surprisingly, boarding was available immediately so I grabbed my pack and climbed right onboard. My ticket read Car 101, Beds 1-2. Ah, there’s my room – first door on the left.

My compartment was quite adequate for one or even two people. It measured about seven feet deep by five feet wide. During the day, seating was on a long blue leather couch. There was no recline but there was plenty of space. At night, the back of the couch folds down to reveal a fully made bed about 6’6” long by 2’6” wide. A second bunk of equal size folds down from the wall above the couch. Across from the couch were two large coat closets and in the corner by the window was a large sink and mirror. Lights were everywhere – on the ceiling, above the door, beside the mirror and above each bed. I was also happy to see an electrical outlet that I could use to recharge my computer for tomorrow’s long bus ride. I took a few pictures of the room and then headed out to inspect the rest of the train.

One of the benefits of boarding early is that it’s an excellent time to take pictures of the railcar interiors because the train isn’t moving. Even on good quality welded rails, trains put out a good bit of vibration which of course makes it extremely difficult to get a good clear photograph. From what I could see of the tracks alongside the station, we would not be in for a silky smooth ride on tonight’s journey across Argentina.

My tour took me from one end of the train to the other, inside and out. Following the single engine and power generator car were the cinema and disco cars. I’ve ridden over two hundred long distance trains on every continent except Antarctica and I’ve never seen anything close to these two cars before. The cinema car offered forty-eight theater style seats arranged in twelve rows of four across. The screen at the front of the car was huge – almost the width of the railcar and about four and a half feet high. A couple of railroad employees were watching some cartoons and the overall picture quality and sound were excellent. This was a very impressive car. On the doorway leading into it was a sign listing the movies and their times. Here are the listings for tonight’s trip:

7:00pm The Marine
8:30pm Duel of Dragons
10:30pm In Search of Happyness
12:30am Rocky Balboa
9:00am El Raton Perez (Cartoon)

The Disco car was exactly that – a rolling discotheque, right down to the ceiling mounted light machine that shot out flashing, spinning multi-colored spots of light. The windows were painted over, so this car was, like a disco, always dark.

The diner was the next car back. The wooden tables and chairs lent an appealingly rustic ambience to the car, an effect nicely enhanced by the ochre tablecloths and the bottle of wine on each table. I snapped a couple of quick photos and moved on.

Next up were the two sleeper or “Dormitory” cars. Each car had about a dozen compartments, all of them laid out exactly the same as mine which I described above. Separate Men’s and Women’s toilets were located at the ends of each car. No shower facilities were available and the toilets were the old fashioned type that deposited everything directly below and outside of the train onto the tracks.

The last car back was the First Class Pullman car. Although the name may sound fancy, the seating was essentially the same as what one would find if traveling Economy Class on a European or American train. The reclining seats were configured 2-2 and offered about a 38” pitch. Assuming one were traveling all the way to Viedma, the price for these seats would be only about $20.00 USD less than one would pay for a shared sleeper, or $60.00 less for a private sleeper.

When it comes to riding trains, I like to have my own room and will pay extra – within reason – to have it. In hostels, I routinely sleep in dorm rooms that have four or more people in them, but on a train the quarters are so much smaller by comparison that I generally don’t like to share them with a stranger. Above all else, my primary concern is snorers. I am almost phobic in my aversion to snoring. Mind you, I can’t really fault those who snore. After all, nobody snores on purpose or maliciously. I just know that I cannot sleep – even with earplugs – when there’s someone snoring in the room. Imagine how much worse it would be in a train compartment!

At 6:58pm, a bell mounted outside the station rang, followed a minute later by a few loud toots on a mouth whistle. I never did hear anyone call out the Spanish equivalent of “All Aboard!” At 7:00pm, the station bell rang once again and we were off, accelerating ever so slowly out of the station. Lots of people – friends, relatives, well wishers and perhaps even train lovers lined the tracks to see us off. The overall spirit seemed quite festive and I couldn’t help but wave back to everyone even though I knew none of them. Most of them waved happily back to me.

As we rolled out past the last vestiges of suburban Bariloche and into the low rolling hills and plains to the east of town, our speed increased considerably, eventually topping out at about 50mph. About twenty minutes into the journey there came a knock on my door. It was the dining car steward come to offer me a choice of dinner seatings. The first seating would be at 9:00pm, the second at 11:00pm. Wow! Amtrak’s diner is usually closed by 9:00pm, occasionally even earlier! I chose the first seating.

“And for your entrée choice? Tonight we have fish, steak or vegetarian pasta.”
“Hmm… I’ll take the steak, please. Medium rare.”

By now it was starting to get fairly dark outside and my body clock was telling me it was time for a beer. The logical choice for purchasing one seemed to be the Disco Car, so I headed up there straightaway. When I arrived, the place was in full swing with swirling colored lights and loud disco type music pumping out from four wall-mounted speakers. The colored lights were the only lights in the whole car, so it was actually pretty dark. Five or six people were sat down at the far end of the car, though none of them were dancing. Almost all of them were smoking however, and the growing cloud of cigarette smoke was becoming quite oppressive.
The car attendant/deejay informed me that beer and snacks could be purchased only in the dining car, and so it was with some relief that I left behind the thumping bass and clouds of smoke for the relative serenity of the dining car.

The main beer sold in Argentina is called Quilmes. I’d put it on par with American Budweiser for overall quality. It’s nothing special but it’ll make you dizzy if you drink enough of it. I was expecting Quilmes on the train, so imagine my surprise to find that the only beer available was big bottles of ice cold German Warsteiner Lager. Ein bier bitte! I shelled out about $3.00 for a big 1 liter bottle and returned to my room where I had a big baggie of smoked almonds that I’d brought with me from Alaska but thus far had neglected to open. Ah, das gute Leben!

At 9:00pm, I headed back to the diner. Seating was communal, and the steward sat me with an American woman from Washington State named Betty. She’d been down in Argentina all by herself for three months, pretty much just figuring it out as she went. Above all else, Betty loved walking and hiking, both of which she’d done a lot of in Argentina. She had a wonderful sense of adventure about her that will no doubt fuel many more adventures now that her kids are grown and she’s got more free time on her hands. Betty was in her mid-sixties and traveling on her social security money! I really had to admire her spunk, for how many sixty year old women do you know who, on their first big trip abroad would travel all alone to a place like Argentina as opposed to someplace safe like England or New Zealand or Europe?
Coincidentally, Betty had worked the past four summers in Alaska. What a gal!

Dinner turned out to be a fixed price affair that included a selection of starter salads, the main entrée and your choice of dessert. The total price of $25.00 ARP was the equivalent of about $8.25 USD. Service started with a trolley presentation featuring a variety of salads including potato, tomato and marinated zucchini and peppers. There were also slices of this weird looking meat bathed in a horrible fishy tasting sauce. The vegetable salads were okay, but that meat – save it for the dogs.

Salad plates were efficiently cleared and our entrees were brought out soon after. I had ordered the steak and was presented a good looking but otherwise overcooked New York strip steak accompanied by mashed potatoes. Betty had ordered the vegetarian pasta and was served a plateful of little ravioli covered in a pink colored sauce. She thought it was pretty good but wished some vegetables had been included. I wished my steak had been cooked medium rare. As it was, I had to chew hard and snap my head back to get it down.

Dessert was fruit salad or flan and we both had the fruit salad. Coffee and tea were offered afterwards and by the time we’d finished, it was almost 10:30pm. How time flies when you’re having fun. Since we were both getting off at San Antonio Oeste, we promised to meet for coffee in the morning and with that called it a night. Arrival time in San Antonio was scheduled for 6:30am but since we’d made a couple of long stops enroute since leaving Bariloche, I asked one of the railroad employees what time we’d be arriving. There were three of them gathered in the alcove of the diner and a bit of a debate ensued as to exactly what time we’d arrive into San Antonio. I heard everything from 7:00am to 9:00am. Whatever. So long as I don’t miss my 10:30am bus to Rio Gallegos.

On the assumption that we’d be arriving as early as 7:00am, I set my alarm clock for 6:15am. Then, rather than get under the tightly tucked sheets in my bed, I pulled out my sleeping bag and threw it over me like a big quilt. Even on backpacking trips in the mountains, I never sleep in it zipped up unless it’s colder than about 30°F. It’s much nicer as a quilt than a restrictive zippered bag. I slept so well that I almost slept through the alarm clock.

At 6:30 I headed up to the diner and met Betty for coffee and croissants. It was a cloudy day and the land rolling by outside the windows looked a lot like the high plains of eastern Montana. There was no evidence of any civilization anywhere, and it soon became apparent that we wouldn’t be arriving in San Antonio Oeste by 7:00am. My bus wasn’t scheduled to leave until 10:30, so I wasn’t too worried yet. Betty had no worries at all since she was planning to spend a couple of days in SA.

Soon, the official word on our arrival was 9:30am. I’d now gone from an advertised arrival time of 6:30am to 9:30am, cutting the time I had to connect to my southbound bus from four hours to one hour. Aside from the fact that I had no idea where the train station was in relation to the bus station, I was confident that a taxi driver would.

Betty and I had refills on coffee and I had another croissant. 9:30 came and went, then 9:45 and finally, at about 10:00am, we started to see the first signs of civilization – a rusty broken down truck parked next to a heavily damaged barn. Before long a dirt road appeared, then a few more buildings… could this be San Antonio?

Yes! I saw a sign! Bidding a speedy adieu to Betty, I grabbed my gear and prepared for en expeditious egress from the train. When it finally did arrive in San Antonio at 10:12am, I was primed and ready to go at the door. If there was a station, I never saw it. I hopped off the train and beelined it to the first and only taxi I saw – a lone Toyota parked under a tree across a fence from the tracks. Moments later we were on our way, driving over a variety of dusty back roads - none of them paved, some of them no wider than a driveway. Eight minutes later I was dropped off at the nondescript Terminal de Autobus. Thank goodness! I had fifteen minutes to spare!

As things turned out, my bus didn’t arrive until 11:15am.

Last edited by Seat 2A; Jan 6, 15 at 2:45 pm
Seat 2A is offline  
Old Apr 24, 07, 10:49 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Ester, Alaska
Programs: Alaska Million Miler, United Million Miler, Wyndham Rewards Diamond, Choice Hotels Diamond
Posts: 11,616
April 9, 2007
San Antonio Oeste, AR to Rio Gallegos, AR
Andesmar First Class Sleeper
1035a – 735a +1

I can’t say I envied Betty her stay in San Antonio. To quote Gertrude Stein, “There’s no ‘there’ there.” The town looked dusty and rundown and I quickly found myself anxious to continue my southward journey. While most people would hardly be thrilled at the prospect of a long bus ride, I was actually looking forward to stepping aboard the big double-decker if only to once again sink back into the foam rubber ecstasy of those big First Class seats.

Rio Gallegos lies 920 miles and twenty-one hours south of San Antonio. Because the road to Rio travels through some of the most desolate, barren country in all of Argentina, most people would rather fly there than drive. With a little advance planning, one can actually fly from Buenos Aires all the way to Rio or even Ushuaia for less than the cost of a one way First Class bus ticket. I wanted to see the country though.

Perhaps because I’ve lived most of my life out in the country, I’ve always placed a greater premium on natural wonders than manmade attractions. Seeing the planet has always been the single most important factor driving my wanderlust. While I’ve certainly enjoyed visits to some of the world’s great cities, I tend to view them in much the same way I would an amusement park. They’re a lot of fun with lots of neat things to see and do but by the end of the day I’m ready to go home. Surprisingly, I find smaller cities much more to my liking. Generally though, it’s not that cities and buildings and restaurants don’t impress me, they just don’t impress me as much as beautiful landscapes do. And from my perspective, everywhere is beautiful, even North Dakota. I look at a map and always wonder what the landscape looks like on this or that part of the planet. I look at a road leading off into the mountains and want to see where it goes – not so much in terms of its destination but rather the land it travels through. Some of my favorite places on the planet are amongst its most desolate. The Mojave Desert, the Alaskan Interior, the Australian Outback… Other favorites include Upstate New York, northern Finland, western Canada and Florida’s Everglades to name a few. The highlight for me is seeing what’s out there. So, while the scenery between San Antonio and Rio Gallegos may not have been particularly dramatic, I still found it interesting nonetheless. Although I’ve logged almost four million miles in the air, my preferred mode of transport is by road or rail. Someday, I’d like to drive from Alaska to Ushuaia.

Surprisingly, the load in Servicio Cama was light so I had an empty seat next to me the entire journey. Between reading (Revenge of the Lawn), watching movies (Blood Diamond), sleeping or enjoying fine bus cuisine (The spicy beef and rice offered for dinner was the finest meal of the trip so far) the trip passed quickly. We arrived in Rio Gallegos at 8:15am, leaving me 45 minutes to purchase a ticket and catch my 9:00am bus down to Ushuaia. Not that I should have been concerned, however. The bus didn’t even pull into the station until 9:45am and it was 10:15am before we finally got underway.

April 10, 2007
Rio Gallegos, AR to Ushuaia, AR
Bus MARGA Servicio Comun
9:00a – 9:00p

I had tried to book this service in advance but for some reason could not get approval on my credit card. Thankfully, local calls are not overly expensive in Argentina and a call directly to the bus company in Rio Gallegos offered assurance that there were plenty of seats available on the single daily 9:00am departure.

Although I would like to have continued my journey in a big plush seat such as I’d enjoyed on Andesmar’s busses over the past 2400 miles, the only service offered to Ushuaia was Servicio Comun. On Bus MARGA that translated into comfortable 2-2 seating with decent recline, beverage service and a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I should add here that beverage service on Argentinean busses does not mean one can push a call button and have a beverage of choice at any time. Rather, it means you get a small cup of whatever happens to be being served when the bus attendant decides to serve drinks. It’s generally either Coke or Orange Soda.

The rolling treeless plains of Patagonia continued through most of the 370-mile journey down to Ushuaia. We made four separate enroute stops to deal with immigration and customs while leaving Argentina, then entering Chile, then leaving Chile and finally entering Argentina again. Our journey also included a thirty-minute ferry ride to carry us across the channel separating the continent of South America with the island of Tierra del Fuego. Interestingly, we passed through only one town of any consequence (Rio Grande) during the entire day of driving. I know from having previously ridden the bus between Ushuaia and Rio Grande that some fairly impressive mountains start to rise up as you approach Ushuaia, but unfortunately for us it was dark by then.

We pulled into Ushuaia at 9:30pm, only half an hour late. It was snowing lightly as I disembarked and waited to retrieve my backpack. Ushuaia is about as far south of the equator as Juneau, Alaska is north so seasonally it was mid-Autumn down here. While others shivered, I reveled. The snow was nice and dry and the temperature not too cold. Indeed it was a beautiful evening and a wonderful welcome back to one of my favorite cities on the planet.

Thus ends my 15,000-mile journey from Adak to Ushuaia. I got snowed on in both places with a lot of warm weather and good times in between. I read recently that the powers that be are looking into the feasibility of a bridge or tunnel linking Alaska with Siberia. If that should ever happen, I’d like to think I’d be amongst the first to plan driving from Ushuaia to Western Europe or perhaps even Capetown, South Africa.
Seat 2A is offline  
Old Apr 24, 07, 11:09 am
Moderator, OneWorld
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: SEA
Programs: RAA RIP; AA ExEXP
Posts: 11,383
Thank you again for yet another of the best trip reports on FT. Waiting to hear which publishing house has bought the book rights.

Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post
I read recently that the powers that be are looking into the feasibility of a bridge or tunnel linking Alaska with Siberia. If that should ever happen, I’d like to think I’d be amongst the first to plan driving from Ushuaia to Western Europe or perhaps even Capetown, South Africa.
Or take the train.
Gardyloo is online now  
Old Apr 24, 07, 5:39 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 19,800
Another superb TR. Always impressed by the research & web links you do. Good to see a photo of your good self & the infamous backback. Looks like the beard has not trimmed since we last met near 2 years ago I guess another few weeks before you start the earning a dollar again. Time for another TR ?
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Apr 26, 07, 1:59 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Ester, Alaska
Programs: Alaska Million Miler, United Million Miler, Wyndham Rewards Diamond, Choice Hotels Diamond
Posts: 11,616
Originally Posted by opushomes View Post
How cold is it in Usuiha??
For the current and five day forcast for Ushuaia, click HERE.
Seat 2A is offline  
Old May 6, 07, 9:06 am
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Portland, OR
Programs: NW Plat (now they call it DL Diamond) 1MM, soon to be DL Plat, Hilton Diamond, SPG Gold, Dusit Gold
Posts: 2,706
Greetings from Mendoza, Argentina. We pretty much echo your comments about LAN business class. We did find the actual amenity kit which is pretty comprehensive. It was stuffed next to the seat cushion. The tacky one was in a niche in the seat back.
opushomes is offline  
Old May 9, 07, 10:27 pm
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Let me check my Logbook
Programs: Southwest Rapid Rewards; AAdvantage; Alaska Mileage Plan; Wyndham Rewards; Choice Hotels
Posts: 2,311
Excellent Trip Report. You ought to write a book about your experiences.
Loose Cannon is offline  
Old May 16, 07, 2:32 am
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: MUC
Programs: LH Sen // HH Dia; Bonvoy LTTE
Posts: 3,204
Great to read that you are back "on duty". Excellent report. I'm looking forward to read about your upcoming legs.
LH738 is offline  
Old Jun 1, 07, 10:46 pm
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York
Posts: 7,050

Thanks for another great report and Lan Chile sounds disappointing! The New J class is definitely good in terms of hardwares but poor in terms of service. I can't even imagine why they can't serve two appetizers.

I think that is a problem that airlines merging their Business and first class cabins together should really think about. With a Businessfirst product, you can only improve Business Class, not to water it down further. They really need to retrain their staffs because people will have higher expectations.

Thanks for the report though!


PS. Can't wait to read the next one.
Carfield is offline  
Old Jun 1, 07, 11:38 pm
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Portland, OR
Programs: NW Plat (now they call it DL Diamond) 1MM, soon to be DL Plat, Hilton Diamond, SPG Gold, Dusit Gold
Posts: 2,706
Seats and AVOD

When we flew LAN business class from LAX-SCL, we had problems with both the seat and the AVOD. The seats are extremely tempernental with the flight attendents spending a great deal of time on the cabin floor trying to manually make the seats work. My entertainment system continually cycled off. I echo Elden's comments about service on our trip from LAX.

Things were much better in terms of service on the return. A really good crew who spoke varying amounts of English on this English speaking route. We had a Chilean and a Peruvian flight attendant serving us a various times during the trip. They were attentive and gracious. I like the Pisco Sour and on the LIM leg, she brought me a number. When we departed Lima, the Peruvian attendant made a point of making me one from Peruvian Pisco. Although tasty, the Chilean suits my palate more.

Marsha became enamored with the Don Merlot which on the outbound disappeared rapidly. On the return, it appeared that they again ran out of it. Our Peruvian attendant made a point of going through all the wine and found a bottle that we finished off.

On the return my AVOD worked fine, but Marsha's seat developed a meltdown, so she moved to another seat. We had a full load to Lima, but quite a few vacant seats out of Lima.

As with all airlines, members of the crew make the experience pleasurable or not. Service going and coming were like two different airlines.

Maintainance is really an issue in terms of the seats. They lay flat, but are narrow. My return seat was even narrower because I could not get the armrest to retract. Other than that the seat functioned.

Blankets are nice, but bigger pillows are needed. A duvet would help temper the hardness of the seats.

We took 4 Lan Argentina flights on the South American Airpass. Crews were consistently good on the domestic flights. Even though, at check in, I requested exit row aisles, I was told consistently that they were not available. On boarding, they were consistently vacant and the crews allowed changing to them.

One other service comment. We bought 5 Jujuy wooden masks in Argentina. They were packed in a cardboard box. When we boarded the FA noticed the box and asked if it contained something fragile. We replied that it did, she made a point of moving it to a safe protected spot in the forward closet. Try that with a U.S. carrier, in fact, the FA on AS moved the box from where it was stowed and tried to shove it in another overhead.
opushomes is offline  
Old Jun 28, 07, 3:43 pm
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: PHX
Programs: AS MVP, HH Diamond
Posts: 3,257
Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post
March 25, 2007
Adak Island to Anchorage via AKN
Anchorage to Fairbanks
Alaska Airlines Economy Class
737-200 N742AS Flight Time: :2:27 / :42 / :41

Although this Trip Report starts in Adak, my travels actually began earlier in the day when I boarded N742AS, one of two remaining 737-200s that Alaska Airlines still flies. Alaska won’t be flying them much longer, however. Thursday, March 29th will mark the final revenue flight for Alaska’s 737-200s. After that, it’s off to storage in the California desert until some third world carrier returns them to service or they get scrapped out for parts. The “Baby Boeings” or “Mudhens” as Alaska crews affectionately call them have provided reliable freight and combi service to rural Alaska destinations for nearly thirty years. My first flight on an Alaska 737-200 came in 1984. Since then I’ve logged thirty-two flights aboard Alaska’s models, only once in a pure passenger configuration. I’ll be sorry to see this little workhorse go, but happy to know that at least three or four of Alaska’s fleet are young enough to escape the scrapper’s torch for at least another few years.
Seat 2A,

You may be happy to hear that N742AS is now in service for Aloha Airlines out here in the islands. So, no desert or third world country for a while longer. She's a full pax config now. Rode her on Sunday.

Ripper3785 is offline  
Old Jun 30, 07, 8:27 pm
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8
Thanks for a great story. You're taking your life in your hands by flying Alaska Airlines, it was no accident they put a mechanic on board! How often do you see that in a reputable airline. They don't even put the prayer cards on board anymore, nothing to fall back on!
CrazyAboutAirplanes is offline  
Old Jul 1, 07, 12:52 pm
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: PHX
Programs: AS MVP, HH Diamond
Posts: 3,257
Originally Posted by CrazyAboutAirplanes View Post
Thanks for a great story. You're taking your life in your hands by flying Alaska Airlines, it was no accident they put a mechanic on board! How often do you see that in a reputable airline. They don't even put the prayer cards on board anymore, nothing to fall back on!
That's ridiculous. There is no mechanic for alaska at adak, so they bring one along. Otherwise when the plane goes mech, they wait for them to fly a mechanic out to adak, then diagnose/fix, or, wait for another plane to bring the part they need. Bringing a mechanic is wise.

I saw N746AS out on the HNL ramp in Aloha paint last night, Seat 2A. There's a pending N number change for her to N841AL. In fact, looks like all of Alaskas remaining (3?) 732 combis have gone/are going to Aloha.
Ripper3785 is offline  
Old Jul 3, 07, 12:52 am
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Portland
Programs: HH Gold, Alaska MVP Gold
Posts: 4,074
Great trip report, I'd be willing to bet you had my Aunt Patty as your FA from Adak to Anchorage.
UCBeau is offline  
Old Jul 3, 07, 8:17 pm
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Ann Arbor
Programs: HHonors Gold , National Emerald Exec, Hertz Presidents, Delta Gold
Posts: 2,604
Absolutely wonderful. Thank you.

I enjoyed reading the second half while in BusinessFirst coming back from London with my wife. The best place to be to read a trip report, IMHO. And a tip I got from one of your other trip reports. This was my first experience in business, and I owe it to FT. Hopefully, many more to come.

I'm impressed with the planning you do for your trips. Is it more just bits and pieces you've cataloged away in your mind over the years that you put together for a trip, or is there a large amount of time consuming planning that occurs before each of your adventures?
Bikeguy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread