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Something Special in the Air -- Los Angeles with American (pics)

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  • jazzyspreetsingh
    replied
    Originally posted by ATrude777 View Post
    You can try to get a refund, but it wouldn't surprise me if AA says no since they technically didn't do anything wrong in terms of the order of process you checked in and such.

    Alex
    Oh yea, that makes sense. Now I know for my next trip on AA.

    Leave a comment:


  • ATrude777
    replied
    Originally posted by jazzyspreetsingh View Post
    I got the upgrade after I finished checking in/paying for my bags....I knew I should've gotten it while checking in.

    My mom originally didn't want me to take the upgrade, but I convinced her to let me buy it before we headed through security.

    Do you think I could possibly try and get a refund from AA? (I still have all of my receipts)

    If it does include free bags, that is actually a good deal. I will definitely have to do it more often.
    Ok that makes sense. Next time try to do it ahead of time before you check the bags or anything as it does include the free checked bags.

    Ya it is a good deal, I figured if you're paying 25 one way anyway for a bag, what's 10 dollars more to get a F Class upgrade anyway, and add a 2ND bag for free, especially if you're traveling with someone else, you essentially save money in that way.

    You can try to get a refund, but it wouldn't surprise me if AA says no since they technically didn't do anything wrong in terms of the order of process you checked in and such.

    Alex

    Leave a comment:


  • jazzyspreetsingh
    replied
    Originally posted by ATrude777 View Post
    It should include it, or supposed to. Typically Kiosk/Self Check in is done before your check your bag, once you pay for the upgrade, it will then say your ticket allows two bags checked for free, and asks how many.

    I upgrade all the time at the Kiosk and always get to check bags for free. The upgrade includes Priority Screening, as well.


    Hmmh..did it not tell you it includes the free checked luggage? It always did for me.
    I got the upgrade after I finished checking in/paying for my bags....I knew I should've gotten it while checking in.

    My mom originally didn't want me to take the upgrade, but I convinced her to let me buy it before we headed through security.

    Do you think I could possibly try and get a refund from AA? (I still have all of my receipts)

    If it does include free bags, that is actually a good deal. I will definitely have to do it more often.

    Leave a comment:


  • ATrude777
    replied
    Originally posted by AA 1818 View Post
    Question:

    Does the $35.00 upgrade fee not also include free checked bags? Or, was the $35.00 in addition to the fee?
    It should include it, or supposed to. Typically Kiosk/Self Check in is done before your check your bag, once you pay for the upgrade, it will then say your ticket allows two bags checked for free, and asks how many.

    I upgrade all the time at the Kiosk and always get to check bags for free. The upgrade includes Priority Screening, as well.

    It was in addition to the $50 my family paid to check bags in.
    Hmmh..did it not tell you it includes the free checked luggage? It always did for me.

    Great report, enjoyed the pictures, I always love flying to LAX. Been to Los Angeles many times, have flown Southwest, United, Virgin America, Delta, and American to/from LAX.

    Alex

    Leave a comment:


  • Foxtrot
    replied
    Re:

    Originally posted by jazzyspreetsingh View Post
    Yep, I agree with that! Except while I was there, my spotting usually went something like this...

    MD80, MD80, MD80, 757, MD80, MD80, MD80, MD80, MD80, 737, MD80, CRJ, MD80, MD80....and so on
    Haha, no question, that is usually how it goes at DFW, unless you happen to be there for the early morning cargo arrivals or the afternoon international rush hour. It is the busiest airport in the world in terms of M80 operations.

    Great second part of your review, good videos and photos. Btw, you took off from 36R, looks like you crossed over on the Bravo bridge to the west side of the field.

    Leave a comment:


  • jazzyspreetsingh
    replied
    Originally posted by AA 1818 View Post
    Question:

    Does the $35.00 upgrade fee not also include free checked bags? Or, was the $35.00 in addition to the fee?
    It was in addition to the $50 my family paid to check bags in.

    Leave a comment:


  • AA 1818
    replied
    Question:

    Does the $35.00 upgrade fee not also include free checked bags? Or, was the $35.00 in addition to the fee?

    Leave a comment:


  • jazzyspreetsingh
    replied
    Originally posted by Foxtrot View Post
    Great flight review, I liked the photos as well. DFW is a "never-boring" airport, I always have a blast when I'm down there.
    Yep, I agree with that! Except while I was there, my spotting usually went something like this...

    MD80, MD80, MD80, 757, MD80, MD80, MD80, MD80, MD80, 737, MD80, CRJ, MD80, MD80....and so on

    Leave a comment:


  • jazzyspreetsingh
    replied
    Originally posted by rohank4284 View Post
    Great flight review and great photos to go along with it! It's sad to see that domestic first class, especially on short flights (under 2.5 hours) doesn't really offer that much more than Economy. BTW, AA has stopped using the "Something special in the air" slogan, the new slogan is "We know why you fly, we're American Airlines!"

    Regards,

    Rohan
    Thank you for your comment.

    I don't really see any point in short-haul first class, but I would want it on a longer flight.

    Yea, I know their current slogan...I just picked the older one as my title, because they were my #1 airline in the 1990s as a kid, and that was their slogan at the time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Foxtrot
    replied
    Re:

    Great flight review, I liked the photos as well. DFW is a "never-boring" airport, I always have a blast when I'm down there.

    Leave a comment:


  • rohank4284
    replied
    Great flight review and great photos to go along with it! It's sad to see that domestic first class, especially on short flights (under 2.5 hours) doesn't really offer that much more than Economy. BTW, AA has stopped using the "Something special in the air" slogan, the new slogan is "We know why you fly, we're American Airlines!"

    Regards,

    Rohan

    Leave a comment:


  • Something Special in the Air -- Los Angeles with American (pics)

    Something Special in the Air

    Flying MCI-DF dub-ya- LAX with American

    AA2023 MCI-DFW MD-80
    AA743 DFW-LAX 752

    Hey everyone,

    I haven't been on this site for a while because of school, work, and various other items, which means I have not had time to post items such as trip reports until now. This is a trip report for a flight with American Airlines that I took on Thanksgiving day.

    This trip was my first trip on American Airlines in about 6 years, and I was really looking forward to it because I had a unique obsession with American as a kid, and still do. (I know it may come as a shock to you that I haven't always been a huge SWA fan!...my obsession with Southwest started around 8th grade)

    I know that the current slogan for American Airlines isn't "Something Special in the Air" anymore, but I gave this report that title, because the time period that campaign occurred in was when I loved American the most as a kid.

    I couldn't find any commercials that I liked from that time period, so here is one from the 1980s (a whole decade before I was born! :O) This was from the "Doing what we do best" ad campaign, that tried to convince flyers that American was the best in the industry. It's a good (albeit cheesey) commercial, but it shows the passion that many AA employees have.


    I don't have any of the flight aware information, but my first flight was AA#2023from MCI-DFW, on an MD-80, reg # N424AA on November 24th.

    It departed around 1pm, and got into DFW around 3:30.

    Arriving at the Airport

    I was excited to be flying once again after almost a year of non-flying, and I was also excited to be flying with American.

    Even though my flight was at 1pm, I still woke up really early from excitement! I watched the Thanksgiving Day parade, and did my usual pre-flight routine of going to Starbucks and Krispy Kreme....I should probably change this routine, because I now work at Dunkin Donuts, and they are our two main competitors!

    Anyways, I arrived at the airport around 11. Since it was Thanksgiving, it was basically empty. I used the automatic check in machine, paid for my luggage, and went on my way.

    Arriving at MCI.
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    Control Tower
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    About to enter the terminal to check in
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    But before heading to security, I remembered seeing something on the check-in machine that caught my attention. American had a $35 upgrade offer, and since I have never flown first class before, it somewhat grabbed my attention.

    After thinking about it for a while, I decided that I wanted to try it out, just so I can say I have flown first class. Knowing it was a short-haul flight on a domestic US flight, my expectations weren't set too high.

    A few years ago MCI had some renovations done to improve the customer experience. Some of these changes include items like a more attractive design, which can be seen in the floors of the airport that feature some interesting items!

    This design in the floor is actually a map of the airport...I have never noticed this before.
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    Security was a breeze, except there was a large foreign family that didn't know how the security process worked, and took forever going through! But other than that the TSA agents were very friendly, and everything went very smoothly.

    After passing through security, I did some plane spotting for about two hours, and only ended up seeing 6 aircraft in that two hours.

    The first one that I saw was this Delta Mad Dog featuring the new livery. I think it looks pretty sharp.
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    Eventually my aircraft, N424AA, a mad dog inbound from Dallas arrived at the gate.

    N424AA is an older bird, delivered in February 1986. A few days after my trip, N424AA had a contained turbine failure after takeoff from SAT, bound for ORD. It just required an engine change, and was back in service the next day.
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    The aircraft deplaned, and was prepped for a departure back to Dallas as AA2023.

    Boarding

    Soon it was time to begin boarding, and being a first class passenger, I was the first person on the aircraft.

    A pic of the ramp before entering the aircraft. This is probably the greatest number of aircraft at one time I saw on the ground from my perspective in Terminal C
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    The stroll down the jet bridge was quick, and upon entering the aircraft I was greeted by the head flight attendant, who took my coat, and offered a pre-departure beverage. I just had a simple coke.
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    A picture of the seats in AA first class. Although they essentially look the same as the ones in economy, they are a bit more comfortable, with a lot more leg room.
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    Here is a picture of the bulkhead. I think it's kind of boring, and doesn't really remind me of the AA brand. Other airlines around the world, and even WN, feature their logo somewhere on their bulkhead. I think it would be cool if AA could add an eagle into their future designs. I kind of felt this looks tacky and cheap.
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    Anyways, I quickly took my seat in 3A, and we were on our way out.
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    Taxi and Takeoff

    Prior to pushing back, I could hear the guys up front doing GPWS checks. It was kind of muffled, but I was still happy I got to listen to it. (I thought it sounds cool on the ground...I would never want to hear any of those in the air!)

    Here is a vid of an MD80 flight crew doing a GPWS check


    Push back was simple, and here is a picture of the empty ramp...in case you guys wanted to see it.
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    Here is a picture of the AA maintenance hanger at MCI that recently closed down. It was formerly the property of TWA, and I remember coming to MCI as a kid and seeing large numbers of TWA aircraft sitting outside the hangar. I really miss seeing the TWA livery at MCI.
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    Pretty soon we were on our way out, and taxied by this AAMD80 waiting to take our gate.
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    Looks like a plane load of people with free bags just landed.
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    We soon made it to Runway 1L, and were on our way out.

    Here is a video of our takeoff.


    After a quick rotation, we were in the air faster than I expected! This was one of the more powerful take offs I have experienced in a while! We had a steep initial climb out, before leveling off after about a minute.
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    Climbout
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    We then made a quick 180 degree turn South to head towards Dallas.
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    Flying by Kansas City International Airport
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    In Flight

    This flight was pretty uneventful, and was nice and relaxing. The first class cabin was basically empty, and we kind of got personalized service...although it wasn't anything more than what I usually get on Southwest. The only difference I noticed between AA short-haul first class, and Southwest is that on AA you get a bit more leg room, and a seat that is a little bit more comfortable. Some of the similarities included a friendlier flight attendant, and multiple drink services, and a bag of trail mix...exactly what SWA has on all of their flights. I guess another difference could be that alcoholic beverages are free in first class, but it doesn't really matter to me, because I am 17.

    Anyways, I was still very excited to be on an American plane after so long!

    Here is a picture of the Downtown KC Skyline after take off. You can see the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, that was once the commercial aviation center prior to MCI being built. It also features the Airline History Museum that has a DC3, Constellation, Martin 101, and an L1011!
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    In-flight
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    The coke, and trail mix that separates first from economy class.
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    After entering Oklahoma, we encountered many clouds that lasted for the rest of the flight.
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    Approach and Landing

    The approach was fun and bumpy! (what fun is a flight without some turbulence?)

    We passed through many layers of clouds on our way down, and I couldn't really see the ground until we entered our final approach into DFW.
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    On final approach into DFW, we flew over Six Flags Over Texas, as well as the stadium where the Cowboys play. They had a game this day, and it was interesting, because the game was playing when we entered the terminal. It was kind of cool to know that I flew over the game a few minutes prior.

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    I got some cool shots of Six Flags Over Texas, including this one, where I edited it to give a tilt-shift effect.
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    A video of the approach and landing.


    Upon landing, there was no doubt that I was in DFW.

    I saw this AA757
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    Combined with an array of various other AA jets, including these narrow bodies.
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    We pulled into the gate and began deplaning.
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    As usual, I was the last one off the plane, and I got some nice shots of the flight deck and cabin.

    An MD-80 flight deck. The pilots were extremely friendly, which is something I noticed in all of my experiences when talking to AA pilots, and we discussed the state of the industry, as well as differences between the MD-80 flight decks, and newer glass-panel flight decks of the 738s.
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    First Class and Economy cabin shot
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    Just economy
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    Overall, I would say this was a very good flight on American. Although I did say somewhat negative stuff about the first class product earlier, I was happy that I was able to experience it. The flight attendant was very friendly, and I liked the space.

    Although it was fun, I do not think I will take advantage of the $35 upgrade offer for short-haul flights in the future, because I didn't see too many differences other than an extra drink, peanuts, and free alcoholic beverages.

    Layover in DFW


    My layover in DFW was rather short. I only had about an hour, which allowed me to use the restroom, and quickly head over from terminal A to C, to catch my flight to LAX on AA724.

    Here is one last picture of N424AA I snapped before going to terminal C.
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    I quickly headed over to the Sky Link station, and was on my way over to Terminal C. It was an interesting journey, and provided many amazing views of the ramp! The stations are a perfect spotting location, and on my way back, I sat at one for about an hour and just snapped pictures!
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    On the way to terminal C, I talked to my mom and brother about their experience in Economy Class. They said one of the flight attendants was nice, and the other one was kind of snobby, but they were basically the only ones in the cabin. I guess I was happy with the nice service I got being in F.

    How many AA birds do you see here? There is absolutely no question that I am in DFW, AA's mega fortress hub!
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    After a scenic journey to terminal C, I was finally at my gate, where this 757-200 greeted me. I did not happen to catch the reg # of this bird, but here is a picture.
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    Boarding

    This flight was completely full, so boarding was definitely an interesting experience. There were a lot of gate-checked bags, and it was really slow.

    One thing that I notice is that many people associate WN with a cattle-call boarding process (the old version), but I honestly thought that AA's process was sort-of like a cattle-call boarding process.

    Many people started lining up before boarding even started, and it seemed like a billion people were herded down the jetway every time a group was called.

    I was in group 4, and after my group was called, I made the journey down the jetway...there was a lot of waiting and shuffling before I finally made it to my 757.

    One thing I noticed is that AA boards their 757s from 1L, as opposed to 2L on UA, which is what I am used to doing. I don't know the exact reasoning, but somebody once told me that AA doesn't board from 2, because many engine nacelles were damaged by the jetbridges hitting them....but I'm not sure about the truth behind this.

    I was excited to be flying a 757 again after almost a year. 757s are my favorite aircraft ever because I love its unique shape, thrilling takeoffs, and ability to be used almost anywhere it is needed. This is my first AA757 flight in a while. The last time I was on an AA 757 was when I was 7.

    Taken before hopping on this bird
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    Anyways, I was seated in row 11, which took some time getting to, because many people brought their kitchen sinks with them in their carry-ons and took forever to stow them in the overhead compartments. The flight crew seemed a bit irritated, and made multiple announcements rushing these individuals, so the boarding process could be sped up.

    At the beginning of my report I talked about how I loved AA, and hoped that they remained the same....by that I meant the spirit of AA employees, not the aircraft. I swear these seats are older than I am! The cabin appearance was not in the best condition. The seats looked old, and the cabin looked like it was falling apart.
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    Taxi and Takeoff

    After many announcements from the crew saying that "we would lose our takeoff slot" if we didn't hurry up while boarding, we were on our way.

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    I forgot what runway we took off from, but it was a runway across the field from C, that was close to D.

    We followed a company MadDog out
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    Everyone should happy that I don't live in Dallas...because there is no way I would be concentrating on the road if I drove here.
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    One last look at AA land before heading out
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    A company 757 following us
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    The take off was not as thrilling as I was expecting for a fully loaded 757. I have a video I will post later.
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    Saying bye to DFW
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    Climbing
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    In Flight

    The flight was alright. The crew didn't seem friendly at first, but appeared friendlier as the flight progressed, and there were more chances to interact with them. Service was basic, just drinks...there were also BOB food items to be purchased, but the prices were too steep for me to be interested.

    As the flight went on, I noticed AA's real commitment to our country's troops. There were many announcements thanking all military service members on board the flight, as well as FAs handing out ice cream sundaes to them throughout the flight. I thought that was a nice touch on their part.

    Climbing out to 33,000 ft
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    Above the clouds...while I usually enjoy sitting behind the wing, I enjoyed my seat this time, because I could see a reflection of the aircraft in the engine. (although you can't really see it in this picture)
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    Some more pictures in flight
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    The flight did feature IFE, there were music selections, as well as NBC on AA. The music wasn't as good as what UAL has to offer, but I did enjoy seeing NBC on AA, a switch from the CBS programming I remember on my previous flights.

    I was happy with the programming options, because they showed my favorite shows: The Office, 30-Rock, and Community.
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    The sunset was approaching
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    Approach and Landing

    Pretty soon the pilots came on and announced that we were getting close to LAX.

    Here is a pic I took right after the landing lights lit up the engine.
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    The wing
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    Failed long exposure attempt
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    Taken prior to landing
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    The landing was really smooth, and we completed our roll out and taxied to the AA terminal.
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    We had to be towed into the gate, due to space constraints, but the engines were shut down and we were on our way.
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    Cabin shot
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    View outside
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    Disembarking took a while, but people eventually cleared out
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    As usual, I stopped by the flight deck and chatted with the pilots. They were very friendly! I got to take a picture in there, and the captain even let me where his hat! I also got to push some random buttons, I have no idea what they were, but it felt cool.
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    Taken after deplaning
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    Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this report. I will add videos in a little bit. Thanks, and I would appreciate your comments!
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