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AA: Mileage run to MIA (pics and Videos)

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  • AA: Mileage run to MIA (pics and Videos)

    08/30/2008
    American Airlines
    Boeing MD80
    N290AA
    Flight 755
    STL-ORD
    Gate C-8

    I left my house at 4am and got to STL Airport at 6:00am. Too damn early for me! I parked the car, and walked inside the terminal. I went to a kiosk and pulled up my itinerary. All four of my flights were up there, but it was only letting me upgrade for the STL-ORD-MIA segment. I was confused, because I really wanted to upgrade my MIA-ORD segment, but it wouldn’t let me do it. How odd. Maybe I had to do it in MIA? Oh gosh I had hoped not, cause last I flew through it meant I would have to leave Security to go upgrade and wasn’t sure I had time. Was really hoping there would be one in MIA.

    I got all four of my boarding passes and proceeded through security. Carrying a light load today! Backpack, camera and ID. Easy traveling! Security was fast and easy. Yes, I used both in the same sentence haha. I walked around the airport checking things out, as obviously nothing had changed or was new. I was very surprised at the amount of RON planes at night for Saturday. I saw 4 757’s all winglets on the ground, every mainline gate had been filled up, and there was 1 MD80 and 757 off a kickstand it seems. Looked just like the old days of the STL Hub!

    I headed back to C-8 in time for them to start the boarding process. I was Group 3. Elites were called, pre boarding, and then groups 1, and 2, before I was called up. I got on board. *sighs* Nice to be back on an MD80 again! I sat down and noticed all the windows were down and my seatmate was sleeping already. Damn! I wanted to open the window and see the wing to take a picture. I quickly peeked the shade open and to my sight didn’t see a wing, but instead saw the catering truck right in front of my window! Oops! I’ll wait till he moves!

    Finally they backed away and I was able to take a picture, albeit not very good.


    Sitting at gate C-8 waiting for boarding to finish

    They finished boarding, and we commenced to back away.


    Taxing out

    We continued out to Runway 30L for take off. Taxied our way through, in no time heard the two chimes for take off clearance. Turned onto the runway and then we took off!


    AA Flight 755 Take Off

    We took off, and we leveled out quickly. Climbed at this level for quite a long time, very slowly rising. Then we finally turned right and headed for ORD Airport.


    After Take Off

    I kind of fell back and fell asleep. I had been up all day and night before, in anxiety of the mileage run. Also excited to fly again and to fly the Boeing 767 for the first time! They had handed out some drinks but I slept right through it. Darn it! I took a few more pictures. Flight time was about maybe 35 min or so. Fairly quick. We passed over an airport in Illinois, anyone have any guess?


    Some Airport

    Pretty soon we started the descent. We did our usual turns and such, and wound up flying past ORD Airport, to turn over the city, and lake and land into ORD. F/A came around to collect trash and such. A couple of pics.






    Skyline of Chicago and the Lake beyond

    Now I thought this was cool. As we started that turn from the last picture, we dropped really low, and the wing had it so we were almost looking down. I absolutely love those types of turns and wanted to have a video of it so badly but I never knew when it would occur. This time I was prepared and got a brief video clip of us turning and I assume aligning up for the runway with skyline in back.

    Turning and Approaching ORD

    Flaps as you saw in Video started to come out and landing gear had dropped soon thereafter. We were prepared to land now!




    Landing into ORD!

    We landed and taxied around for a bit. I passed the intl gates and was in awe of the things we don’t get to see in STL! Boo!! I didn’t take any pictures though, as I had them on the return which you will see later. We taxied to the K gates right next to a Boeing 777. Shit was that thing HUUUUUUGE!!!


    Boeing 777

    We got to the gate, and I got off the plane and wandered around O’Hare for a bit.

    American Airlines
    Flight 294
    Boeing 767-300
    ORD-MIA
    H-15
    N388AA

    I walked out of K and was on the way to the H section when I saw my Boeing 767-300 already at the gate! Woo Hoo! This was a huge reason why I was doing the trip. To my knowledge I had never flown on a Boeing wide body, and a 767. I really wanted to do it, cheaply but far enough to enjoy it, as well. I had a found an ORD-MIA-ORD including my STL connex for cheap and TWO 767 flights, SCORE!


    I went plane spotting and caught some pics so here they are!!!













    Ok Folks, that’s enough for now. You will see more later on my return back to ORD!

    Anyhow, I walked around trying to find a kiosk to see if my upgrade could be allowed. Still nothing, damn it! This boy was going to get his upgrade, one way or another!!!

    Soon it was time to board the amazing Boeing 767-300! I was really getting very excited now. They started the calling of groups, and soon my group, 4 was called. I came up, handed the boarding pass. I walked into the big jet bridge. Anticipating how it would be. I turned the corner, and we slowed to a stop. It was like being at an amusement park, waiting in line to go on a ride. Turned another corner and I saw the body of the plane! I smiled and beamed! I came up to the door, amazed at how huge it was. I patted the side of the 767, like I do with any brand new plane I am about to fly on, and walked inside. I handed her the boarding pass, and she directed me on where to go.

    I walked in and stepped into the first class section featuring the business seats. God I hope I get it coming home! I walked through, amazed at the space on the Boeing 767. Just HUGE! I walked into the coach cabin, amazed and mesmerized at the amount of seats on board. Looking at the TV’s all over, it was so awesome! I finally sat down in my 29J seat and looked out the window! Wing wasn’t as huge as I thought but very big still!



    I just sat and watched the boarding process to see how they do it for the 767. Pretty routine if you ask me, just with two aisles! TV was playing the music and showing views of water, calming stuff. It did kind of worked I think, I was very relaxed.
    They finished up the boarding, and closed the doors. TV made a lot of announcements and we backed out of the gate, as they were doing the safety briefings.







    We taxied for a brief while and then were behind two planes. They took off and we actually did a rolling take off. Was very excited, my first take off on the 767, and wanted to see what it was like! Here it is on Video!



    We turned left, and flew up to cruising flight. The route map immediately came on and we were able to be updated with the routing and flight as we went on. I really appreciated this as sometimes I cannot understand the pilot announcing our times, destinations that sort of thing. Always got to bug the seatmate usually for that.





    They started drink service and both F/A came out and did the usual buy on board thing. I was anticipating I’d be eating dinner in first class coming home so I only grabbed some chips for 3 bucks, and a coke. Just to fill me up a bit until we landed and such.

    I would stare out the window or try to sleep, maybe walk around the 767 and such. The time really passed by fast.


    Passing by some clouds obviously haha

    We flew over Tampa, and then to my surprise we turned right and headed out to the gulf! It got a bit turbulent things were shaking that sort of thing. Nothing wild but F/A came around to ensure we were buckled and such. Route map said we were 45 min out of Miami and we would begin the approach in a few minutes.





    Soon we started the approach. It got very cloud, very fast. Storms must have been around in the area or something! We approached, did some turns that sorta thing. Flaps and Gear came out in no time, and we came in for landing!





    We landed and taxied right off the runway and we taxied, and taxied. Then we lurched to a stop. Hmmmh…Wonder what’s going on. I knew we were heading to E-8. I was getting very anxious because I was considering leaving security to go upgrade myself at the kiosk. But, time was running out as we kept sitting on the taxiway! Hmmh. Still waiting, and then he comes on something about having to go around again. I was like GO AROUND?! We are on the ground?! He goes forward and we turn immediately and go what seemed like BACK to the runway. Now my mind is really going thinking he is physically going to go back to the runway, take off, and “go around” then land LOL

    We taxied around and did a 360 and then went back to tarmac and pulled up to the gate. Now I am thinking did he like miss the gate or something and had to turn around? Because I saw E-8 off to the distance but it seemed we had accidentally taxied past it or something, who knows.

    I got up and knew it’d be awhile before getting off the plane. Finally after standing around, we got off the plane. I ran off, and was literally running to security when I passed what seemed like some computers in a corner near gate I want to say 1 or 2? I cannot remember. I thought OH please lord let them be Kiosk so I can upgrade!

    I ran over there, and yep kiosk they were! I prayed the upgrades were still open, and swiped my CC. My itinerary pulled up, I clicked yes, and then continue and then the chance to upgrade pulled up! WOO HOO! I said yes, and was upgraded to Seat 3J! WOO HOO!


    American Airlines
    Flight 295
    Boeing 767-300
    Gate E-8
    N388AA
    MIA-ORD

    I ran back to gate E-8. Yep, taking the same Boeing 763 and crew back to O’Hare! They announced F class boarding and I got on board. Walked up to the 767 (this is déjà vu now!). I saw the same F/A and handed her my boarding pass. She gave me a look and was like “Didn’t you just fly with us?” Me “Yes Ma’am” Her “Oh, Ok, well your seat is just beyond the wall back there, welcome aboard!”

    I walked in, and got to seat 3J! Awesome!!! There was no one sitting next to me, it was WIDE open both in coach and first I believe. I want to say 10-12 or so in F out of 30? Someone can correct me if I am wrong.

    I sat down at 3J; all the window shades were shut closed. Oh damn...I really hope they don’t make us keep it closed the whole flight! I sat in the seat getting really comfortable, put out my blanket and pillow. My god, if I didn’t like first class then, I DO NOW! This was absolutely amazing, and it blew my mind.





    I could immediately see the concern and complaints if people had to go to the bathroom on the window sides. I hope maybe AA can work something out or is this pretty much it? Luckily I had no one next to me, so this was ok but next time, who knows!

    Once again, NO pre departure drink was offered! Now this is becoming a trend and in a row! I didn’t get this in STL, DFW, LGA, MIA, SEA etc etc, and now, once again flying out of MIA, no pre departure drink. People at AA say they are still around but once again nothing when I fly. Is this a conspiracy damn it?! Hahaha

    Boarding was finally completed and we backed out. By the way window shades were STILL closed; everyone else had them closed so I kept mine open. Was a bit weird moving without seeing and knowing where we were going? I had to peek open the shade here and there to get an idea of when we would be taking off. No video was done for this, since due to window shades being closed out of respect I kept it closed and only a bit open to watch the take off.

    We took off after a CO 737 took off, fast cruising and off we went! We turned a bit, and THEN four or five people opened the window shades. Oh, NOW ya’ll do that?! I quickly whipped the camera out and got some pics of Miami, FLL and such as we climbed to cruising. Here they are!



















    Now we almost hit cruising altitude. 45 minutes had gone by, no flight attendants anywhere in sight. How weird… I settled back into my seat and got really comfortable. FINALLY, the F/A came around, and passed out the peanuts and drinks then hot towels after it!


    All settled in my awesome seat!



    I stared out the window, continuing to take pictures and eating the warm nuts. Once again it got extremely bumpy; the soda was spilling out of the glass. So I placed my hand over the cup and tried to stable it. Turbulence is kind of weird lying down and such. It feels almost like you are being swayed side to side versus just up and down bumpy.

    I looked outside, and the clouds cleared up a lot. However still lots of clouds around but made for nice scenery.





    Then F/A came around and asked what we would like for dinner. Chicken or Pasta was the choice. I was really hoping it wouldn’t be the same thing I had STL-SEA back in July but I prefer chicken over Pasta anyway. So I asked for Chicken. It turned out to be amazing and very good! The F/A asked what bread I’d like, and I was trying to decide, and she goes “oh well I’ll give you both, one of each!” I said “thanks” and she handed me the plate.



    I finished my dinner, and I refused the ice cream because I was so stuffed, It was a very good and fantastic meal! Props to American Airlines for that! The sauce that came with it was tasty as well! The F/A came by and asked if I needed anything else. I said “No” I am good.

    She then mentioned how she saw me earlier and wondered why I was doing the trip. I told her about mileage runs briefly, and the Gold challenge I was going for also. She thought it was pretty cool, and thanked me for choosing American. We also got into some conversations about working for the airlines, as she asked if I did work for an airline, and mentioned my previous position with Southwest as a CSA. She asked if really WAS true we are happy about working there, and I said it was one of the best 5 months of my life working for them! She went on to say how she was ORD based and the 767 was her favorite aircraft to work on. I mentioned this was my first time flying a 767, and in these new business seats! She sat down next to me and we played around---With the buttons that is, relax people! LOL She then goes oh if this is your first time on the plane and seats this deserves a picture! I said what?! She said oh ya show your friends off how you are flying in style! So with that said…





    Thanks so much for her taking the pictures. American truly is fantastic!

    I actually was so tired, that I went ahead and slept in these new seats! I actually fell asleep for a good 45 minutes! Wow! They are really comfortable and feel just like a true bed and I would probably have lasted for hours, due to lack of sleep but soon they announced it was time to land! Ahhhh, darn it! Coming to an end now!

    We had to put our stuff away, collected the drinks, papers, anything like that. Put our seats back into the upright position, you know the drill!

    We flew right over lake Michigan, and over the city of Chicago. We got down lower and lower, flaps coming out. This time I was able to get a video of it!



    I got the picture of the 747 taking off in the background that you saw on the video!



    I was surprised by how well and organized ORD was, not one flight was delayed or cancelled or anything. Very shocked but very pleased. This made the day travel extremely easy to handle and such. So far so good! We pulled off the runway and taxied by the intl airlines at the gates at ORD so, I will show a pic of each plane we taxied by on the way to our gate in K.









    We pulled up to the gate and to my side was a former ex TWA MD80, so I snapped a picture of that too as well. RIP TWA!


    I took a picture of the business seat after it had been used and such. Out of habit working for WN we are asked to pick up after ourselves and help the cabin crew clean up a bit if possible, and so I folded up the blanket and propped up the pillow back the way I saw it when I got on the plane!



    We got off the plane, and I was taking my sweet time to the gate for my STL flight. It was only 6:15pm, and my STL flight didn’t leave until 7:30pm. I was kind of dragging cause I had another 2 hour drive home after all this flying. I was getting very tired, and really wanted to get home now. I happened to come across the board and saw a FINAL BOARDING for a STL flight leaving at 6:30pm! OMG I wanna get on that! I checked the gate and flew and ran to the gate. Huffing and puffing and hoping I’d make it in time to make that flight. If I did it meant I’d be home an hour earlier! Please!

    American Airlines
    Flight 1609
    Boeing MD80
    ORD-STL
    K-2

    I ran to the gate, and 5 people were in line in front of me. Oh Man…This may take awhile. I heard and saw they were clearing non revs on board so it gave me hope that perhaps there were enough seats. I got to the podium and showed them my other boarding pass and asked if I could stand by for this one. He checked the pass, and then looked it up and printed out a new boarding pass and said here ya go it’s wide open so I went ahead and put ya up front. I at first thought he meant First Class and I was like no way. But then looked and saw he meant 8A which was behind bulkhead. Hey, fine with me! I was on this plane and would have sat in the bathroom for all I cared just to get home earlier!

    I thanked him and got on board. Wow, it was wide open, hardly anyone on the plane! I got to my seat and we sat for quite awhile!

    Finally it was time to leave and off we went! Taxied out to the runway, again another quick taxi! Is this really ORD?! LOL We went to the middle of the runway and I was thinking the middle of the runway, man we must be light to allow that!

    Suddenly we lurched forward and started the take off roll, holy cow That was a fast one! We lifted off and turned left immediately to head south. Passed near MDW and Chicago downtown on the way to STL.
    I settled back thinking back on my past 3 flights and couldn’t believe I had actually just done that! Hahaha. They started in flight beverages and I had apple juice. We flew right over the same airport in Illinois this time going down! Soon we started a nose down descent for STL, passing over the river in no time.

    We flew by STL and then steep turn for STL for runway 12L! We came in for landing and taxied to gate C-16.

    I was one of the first ones off the plane and booked to my car anxious to hit the road, and was glad to see I was already about nearly an hour into my drive when my original ORD-STL had just landed into STL. So I saved and got myself an extra 50 minutes or so head start.

    Finally got home, and went to bed and must have passed out because I woke up in my clothes this morning LOL.

    Once again, another fantastic flight by American. Every single flight was on time, some even arriving early! Very impressed with the service, especially in business seats in F Class. Absolutely worth the upgrade for me for sure. I have another AA flight in October and hopefully should hit gold with this trip!

    Thanks for reading if you made it this far!

    Alex
    Stop Searching. Start Traveling. southwest.com

  • #2
    Great report & great photos!

    It's good that you got the upgrade!

    it makes me want to fly first/business class! it looks a whole lot better than flying economy!

    it also makes me want to fly AA again, I haven't flown them since I was in like 5th grade or whatever! I also haven't been to ORD in a while, this report makes me want to go back!

    Comment


    • #3
      Cool report Alex .

      The airport in Illinois would be DPA - Du Page.

      Comment


      • #4
        Good to see your trip went well. The AA domestic service up front is certainly miles ahead of their international service.

        Comment


        • #5
          Colin- Thanks for that! I hadn't thought of Dupage!

          Jazzy- AA is great try them! I love flying them

          James- Thanks for reading and commenting. F on AA domestic does appease to me but am surprised the intl wouldn't be up to par!

          Alex
          Stop Searching. Start Traveling. southwest.com

          Comment


          • #6
            In the immortal words of the great American philosopher, twice Academy Award (R) winner Jack Nicholson, spoken by him in the movie "As Good As It Gets" (for which he won his second Academy Award(R)) while talking to Academy Award(R) nominee Greg Kinnear, that's some face they left hanging on you.

            Just kidding. Didn't know AA still served meals.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Spad13
              In the immortal words of the great American philosopher, twice Academy Award (R) winner Jack Nicholson, spoken by him in the movie "As Good As It Gets" (for which he won his second Academy Award(R)) while talking to Academy Award(R) nominee Greg Kinnear, that's some face they left hanging on you.

              Just kidding. Didn't know AA still served meals.

              LOL!

              Yes, American serves Meals in F typically at 2 hrs or more blocked flight time. However the mileage may play a part too as well.

              MIA-ORD Landing Video finally works.


              Stop Searching. Start Traveling. southwest.com

              Comment


              • #8
                As I said before, great report, Alex. Always interesting. You've got me wanting to finally do a report for my SFO-SAN-TUS-LAS-SFO-MSP-SDF-DTW-SFO trip this August. Great, thanks a lot.
                sigpic
                http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=170

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                • #9
                  Thanks for this invitation to share your excursion through this interesting report.
                  Thanks for visiting
                  *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *
                  *JetPhotos*
                  Airliners*Pbase.com

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                  • #10
                    wonderfull report, nice you got the upgrade to J
                    Airlines: XT,KL,SN,ACA,DL,AF,TV,SN,OS,LX,WA,NW,FI,US,AW,CO,OH,OO,9W,AA,AE,FL,B6

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                    Airports: ANR,AMS,ATL,BRU,ATH,JFK,LGA,GSP,CDG,FCO,EWR,FAO,VIE,ZRH,MEM,DTW,KEF,PHL,CLT,IAH,MIA,JAX

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