Topic: Trip Report: BUF-DFW-LAX-SEL-LAX-ORD-BUF On AA/OZ
Posted 2000-08-27 08:06:45 and read 5234 times.
AA 1789(80% on time)
D: 07:52am A: 09:59am
Duration: 3hr 07min
I was off to another trip to Seoul and had trouble getting flights to NRT on Continental with continuing service to SEL on NW. So I opted to fly AA and OZ to SEL this time around. This trip was fairly uneventful, which is something that I always hope for and unfortunately that never happens when I fly United. Now for the trip report…
I was told by AA international reservations to check in 2hrs prior to departure, so I was up at 5am and out the door by 5:30, and made it to BUF before 6am. The lines at the AA counter were non-existent, so I got my boarding passes for all segments of the trip including the OZ flight(AA codeshare). I had about an hour and a half to kill, so off I went and got something to eat. And went looking around the stores. And also managed to take a bunch of pictures of aircraft at BUF. I got AA MD-80(the plane I flew on), US 737’s, Shuttle America Dash 8, United Jetstream 41, Continental MD-80, and a few pics of US Air express jets. I tried to look for jetBLUE, but missed the aircraft that was headed to Ft. Lauderdale. After having my fun taking pictures and plane watching, I decided to head to gate 15 and took a seat there and waited for the boarding announcements and once that commenced, I got ready to board the * Super 80 *. They boarded first class, elderly, children, etc. and Advantage Gold, Platinum and Platinum Ex memebers. And finally economy starting from the rear of the aircraft, which went by fairly quickly. I was seated at 19A, a window seat, so I was happy enough. Once everyone was aboard, we departed the gate area right on time. The total flight time was announced to be about 2hrs and 54mins. We lined up at the runway, being the 3rd to take off. This morning at BUF turned out to be pretty busy compared to other times I’ve been there. Well. Once we were cleared for take off, we went off. Take off was fine… Shortly after reaching our cruising altitude of 26000ft, the FA’s served breakfast, which was either cheese omelets or cereal. I opted for the cereal, which is fine. This meal was also served with a muffin, banana, and a drink of your choice. As for the entertainment? There was no such thing as entertainment aboard AA MD-80’s. I stuck to reading magazines and books I brought with me. It passed by the time. And before I knew it we started our descend into the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. We passed by the metro area, and proceeded past an airfield and then onto DFW. We were cleared for landing and proceeded. Landing was fine. We touched down in perfect timing as well. The pilot taxied to gate C29.
AA 2425(60% on time)
D: 10:55am A: 12:04pm
Duration: 3hr 09min
Once arriving in DFW, I had to walk over to the trAAin, due to the fact that my next flight was departing out of B5 and I had less then an hour before that flight was about to depart. I found the trAAin to be convenient and much faster compared to walking. The trAAin ride was longer than I thought. By the time we arrived at terminal B, the boarding process for AA2425 was beginning. So I really didn’t have any time to do anything. This flight turned out to be light, I ended up having an empty seat next to me, which made me happy. not only that, but this particular aircraft was fitted with more room in coach, which is really nice and made the trip all the more comfortable. I was seated in 18A. another window seat, which I try to reserve whenever I fly. We departed the gate a few minutes late, due to the fact that the other AA flight headed to AA was full, so they sent about 20-30 to our flight and once they got seated we were off. This flight had some strange people on board. This family had brought a cooler and a big old garbage bag filled with who knows what. They took forever to stow their luggage(if that’s what you want to call it) and to get seated. The FA’s closed the door for the second time and it was official that we were now departing. We were 3rd in line to depart. In front of us was an AA 757-200, which was also headed to LAX and an AA Eagle Saab 340. After take off, we reached a cruising altitude of about 29,000… then proceeded to go higher.. and the pilot didn’t really say much throughout the flight, so im not too sure what our FL was. The total flight time wasn’t even announce, but it turned out to be less than 3hrs. We were served drinks and drinks followed by a snack. The snack was a chicken calzone, ruffles potato chips, and an oatmeal cookie. This flight features in-flight entertainment, we were shown several short features. The person sitting 2 seats from me was a bit scared with it being her first time flying. She kept asking me “what’s that noise” “are you scared” and so on. She seemed rather frightened to be aboard this flight… but she ended up sleeping the entire flight anyway. We made our way over Roswell, New Mexico and then shortly after that we were headed to California. and started our descent shortly. and once cleared for landing, we made our way into LAX. Arrival was at Terminal 4.
D: 02:00pm A: 06:45pm(next day)
Duration: 12hr 45min
The international terminal at LAX was really busy today.. much busier than the last time I was here.. march of 1999. I had my boarding pass, so I headed to gate 104 and had over an hour to spare before boarding, so I walked around and took pictures. I saw lots of planes.. including a DL 777 with the new livery. I should have 1 picture of that.. I also captured pictures of SQ 747-400, CX 747-400, OZ 747-400, and some WN 737’s. I wanted to get pictures of an Aer Lingus, but the aircraft was positioned in a way that it was hard to get a good shoot. Our OZ 747-400 was parked in between an ANA 747-400 and a JAL 747-400… unfortunately I ran out of film to get either of those aircraft. After taking pics, I thought I’d take a seat.. and you can see that they weren’t planning to board at the scheduled time. even the FA’s and pilots were waiting to get on the aircraft. After a long wait. boarding finally began. It started out with first and business passengers.. the boarding was a mess, which is something I’d expect coming from Asiana. I flew with them september of 1999 and thought they did a poor job boarding. Well.. what usally happens is when they call all first and business passengers to board, EVERYONE stands up and lines up at the boarding gate.. They’re never patient no matter what.. The gate agent was not doing a good job either.. I think they had about 5 workers there.. and when they started to call the seats starting from the rear of the aircraft, they forgot to announce it in english as well and that’s where all of us americans had no idea what was going on.. and after awhile we all decided to get in line and board. I was seated at 25A, not the most pleasant seat, it was directly across from one of the lavatories. Once everyone was settled, they closed the doors and we were off. We departed at about 15-30minutes late and we were expected to arrive about 45 minutes early. We were able to takeoff right away.. and once airborne we flew over the pacific and then slowly turned back to the california coastline. We flew along the coastline till we reached Monterey and that’s when we took a left turn and flew completely over water.. not incredibly exciting for everyone seated at a window seat. The FA’s came around and told everyone to shut their blinds, which is something that has never happened on United(given the option to shut or leave it up) or Delta(advises to have blinds shut). Once we reached our cruising altitude of 39,000ft, the FA’s came around and offered drinks and peanuts and they handed out menus for this flight. We were being served lunch shortly followed by a snack and that’s all they offered for meal service on that flight. The menus are as follows:
Shrimp with Mixed Salad
Served with Peppercorm sauce
Accompanied with potato, carrot and broccoli
A famous Korean Cuisine, which contains steamed rice and assorted vegetables, served with pollack soup and Kim-Chi
Crab Meat Salad
Fried Kim-Chi Rice
Sautéed Kim-Chi, served with steamed rice
Accompanied with Broccoli
The meals weren’t that great. The steak wasn’t exactly perfect lol. The snack was horrible. That lasagna did not look like lasagna at all. So I basically ate everything except the lasagna. After we were served lunch, they started the in-flight entertainment. They showed 2 movies. The first movie was a Korean movie that was not in English, so I didn’t watch it. I took a short nap and then woke up and that’s when the first movie was just about done. And the second movie they showed was The Skulls. great.. Another movie not worth watching. After that movie, they showed about 3-5 discovery channels shows on: zebras, evolution and some other boring crap. That’s as far as in-flight entertainment went. The flight had very little turbulence. and was pretty uneventful.. upon arrival in SEL, they showed an exercising show. Ha ha ha. The flight attendants had to do the exercising in each cabin and some passengers were also doing the exercises. I have only seen this aboard Northwest some 3+ years ago flying SEL-DTW. The descent took a lot longer than it was suppose to and we ended up touching down about 6:30pm. 30 minutes later than what the pilot told us, 15 minutes prior to schedule. An All Nippon Airways flight from KIX(Osaka, Japan) beat us to the gate, so we had to deal with llonnngggg lines at customs. I finally made it out of there live… after about 30 minutes in line. I made my way to the exit, since I checked in no luggage this time. I was out of the door and into the 94 degree HEAT at 720pm.
D: 05:00pm A: 12:00pm
I left my parents home at about 2:20pm and arrived at Kimpo International by 3pm and headed over to the designated American Airlines check-in, which was the business class check in line. I was second in line and got checked in, the check-in agent issued all of my boarding passes, which were all Asiana boarding passes with AA flight numbers. I wasn’t too sure if AA would accept Asiana issued boarding passes. Later I would find out that I was right. I entered the gate area about an hour prior to departure, it was less hectic compared to morning departures. There weren’t too many flights leaving this terminal this evening. UA808 to San Francisco began their boarding process about the time I made it over to my gate area, which is right next to the UA flight to SFO. We were assigned another 747-400 Combi. Boarding was a mess! They did NOT board in any order. like most airlines usually do. Once the gate opened, you got in line regardless of your class and elite status. I can tell that a lot of people who were seated in Business and First were a little upset to be last in line when they should’ve gotten priority boarding. It took awhile to board, as Asians are known to carry lots of junk with them. some how 3-5 carry on items, which is ridiculous. I made it to my seat before my seat mates did, so I got to store my luggage in the bins before them and that made me happy, sometimes I have to walk about 20 seats back to find an empty bin to store my bags. Once everyone was seated, they handed out menu and destination guides. Our flight time was announced to be 11hr and 05 mins. We departed the gate about 20 minutes late… We taxied a bit and I got a good look at lots of planes parked at the international terminal. I got pictures of some OZ planes. Particularly the A321, 747-400, and 767. KAL 777, A330 and 744(parked and 1 airborne). I also got a pic of JAS A330-600R. I’ll get those pictures developed next week and have them sent to Onic to post and I’ll have them posted on my travel site as well. We took off and started to head south for a short while and then east towards Japan. Shortly after take off, hot towels were given out and drinks/peanuts were served. I don’t like the lack of ice with drinks offered by OZ. They won’t even offer you the entire can as they run out fast. I much prefer peanuts over pretzel/cheese crackers offered by most US airliners these days. The movies shown on this flight were: Romeo Must Die and Mission to Mars. I was quite upset when I found out that my headset plug in wasn’t working in my seat, it was damaged by previous passengers. This kind of thing has only happened twice to me. The first time was Sept 1998 aboard KE in Prestige(business). which was odd considering the fact that this was a brand new 777. The FA’s offered no help, so I remained rather bitter throughout the flight. We were served Dinner shortly. The choices were a western choice, which was beef or a Korean choice. By the time they got to us.. We were about 10 rows from the front of the main cabin. (pretty close to the front) They ran out of the Korean choice and it was either beef or beef. They had about another 20+ rows to serve and nothing left, but beef. The meal wasn’t that great. I was lucky to have brought something else to eat on the flight. I decided to take a short nap after they collected the trays. I couldn’t exactly watch the movies, so I spent the rest of the flight wandering the cabin and reading magazines/books. About 2hrs prior to arrival they served us breakfast. The choices were either rice or scrambled eggs. I went with rice. The rice was served with soba noodles and some kimchi. I ate the noodles and rice and skipped the kimchi. Kimchi is too spicy for my taste. Kimchi is fermented vegetables, usually spicy. They showed the exercising video on this flight, too. ha ha ha ha. The FA’s were up there doing the stretching exercises and about one-third of the main cabin passengers were also participating. As this point I opened the shade and saw that we were off the coast of California near the bay area, as I could barely make out the Golden Gate Bridge. It was easy to point out the GG Bridge along with the Bay Bridge. All of this was pretty familiar with me, as I have lived in the Bay Area before. We headed south to Monterey, Santa Cruz and into Santa Barbara and making our way to Los Angeles. We made our approach from the west and landed. As we were taxing to the gate area, a NW DC-10 took off and US Airways 757 took off shortly after. It was a big exciting seeing the two planes take off, we were merely feet away from them. We ended up taxing for quite sometime, apparently there weren’t any open gates, so we parked in the middle of nowhere and as we were heading there, I saw a B767 with this distinct logo “United States of America”. I’m sure you know who that belongs to. It was pretty much parked in the middle of no where, rather far from the gate area. A Thai 747-400 was also parked out there, which has also just arrived, since they were still unloading. We had to take 2 buses back to the terminal to clean customs/immigration. The customs area at LAX was a mad house. A bunch of international flights had arrived at about the same time as us. LTU from Dusseldorf, JAL from Narita, Qantas from Auckland, China Eastern from Shanghai, British Airways from London, Thai from Bangkok(?), OZ from Seoul and Philippine from Manila. I wasn’t sure where the line ended, so I got in line where I saw a gap. No one was looking, so they could careless that I cut them. I got up to the front in about 30 minutes, if I went searching for the end of the line it would’ve taken at least an hour to reach the front and I would’ve missing my connection to ORD. As usual no questions were asked. They tend to drill you at PDX for some reason. I rushed over to T4 after exiting the international terminal.
The menu's from AA6138/OZ202:
Western Style -
Baby Shrimp & Corn Salad
Mixed Green Salad
(Served with Thousand Island dressing)
Beef Tenderloin Steak
(Served with peppercorn sauce, Accompanied by potato, vichy carrot & sugar snap pea)
Korean Style -
A famous Korean Cuisine, which contains steamed rise and assorted vegetables, Served with Pollack soup and Kim-Chi.
Western Style -
Peach Half with Strawberry Sauce
(Accompanied by veal sausage, broccoli and cherry tomato)
Korean Style -
Soba noodle with soba sauce
Fried Kim-Chi Rice
Sauteed Kim-Chi, served with steamed rice
AA 558(60% on time)
D: 01:25pm A: 07:40pm
Duration: 4hr 15min
I arrived at T4 and double checked the departure monitors and my flight was listed as on time. I rushed on over to gate 43 and AA 1576 was still there. Their departure time was delayed till 1:10pm, so I went to see if the gate had changed and it did indeed change to 42B. I made my way over there and they hadn’t begun boarding yet as the aircraft hadn’t been cleaned yet. Once boarding began, they boarding first class passengers followed by AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Exec Platinum and One World elite’s. Main cabin boarding proceeded shortly, starting from the rear of the aircraft and working our way to the front. I handed the agent my boarding pass issued by Asiana and she told me to get a new one from the gate, so I got a new one. I was seated in 16A, a window seat on the left side of the plane. Once I got settled in my seat, I saw that they spilled a few gallons of fuel. The captain also told us about this and told all of us to take a lot at the clean up crew. The flight time was announced to be 3hrs and 40mins. We departed about 20 minutes late. We took off and headed west over the pacific and turned back around and flew over Long Beach and from there we flew over Palm Springs. The pilot was telling us about the history of the places we were flying over. The pilot was quite interesting. He gave us a history lesson and told us about some interesting explorers as well as tourist spots. Once we reached the Mojave Desert, we got to see some single cell storms. It was very neat seeing single cell storms and lightning. It looks so much different at 29,000 feet in the air. We had to re-route a little due to the storms in the southwest. We were served lunch on this flight. A choice of a hot ham and cheese sandwich or cold chicken fingers. I went with cold chicken fingers, which was a bad choice. It tasted pretty bad. No form of in-flight entertainment was offered on this flight. I slept part of the way. It was a pretty uneventful flight. We proceeded over parts of Arizona, Colorado and over the entire state of Kansas and into parts of Missouri. We started our descend and landed in ORD right on time. We had to wait about 10 minutes to get to our gate, because our gate wasn’t empty yet. I saw the Star Alliance plane by United. I believe it was a B767. It was really too bad that I didn’t have any film, I really wish I had gotten a pic of that as well.
AA 1982(50% on time)
D: 08:50pm A: 11:22pm
Duration: 1hr 32min
We arrived at gate H17 and my next flight was scheduled to be out of H12, but that wasn’t the case when I looked at the departure monitors. My flight was moved to L6 and the departure time was changed to 10:10pm. I walked over to the L concourse and once I made it there I got something to eat and made a phone call. The flight time was later changed to 9:45pm. I went to the gate and asked one of the agents if they could give me a new boarding pass in exchange for this Asiana issued boarding pass and she did without any problems. We got to see a show while waiting for our flight to BUF. Our aircraft was on its way from Tulsa. Someone was waiting for his girlfriend to arrive and he set up this sign that said, “Will You Marry Me Linda”. Everyone started to clap once he put that up and once the flight arrived, everyone gathered around the gate area looking for “Linda”. She was one of the last off the plane and once she was out, everyone in the gate area started chanting “Linda, Linda”. She said yes to his proposal and that’s when everyone started to cheer and take pictures. Linda thought it was a surprise birthday party. Shortly after all this.. They announced that the boarding process would start as soon as they’re done cleaning the plane. They began with first class passengers followed by gold, plat and ex plat and the main cabin. I was also seated in 16A on this flight. The flight time was announced to be 1hr. We ended up departing at 10:20pm. We took off and about 20 minutes into the flight, the FA’s came around and served drinks and snacks. Within 10 minutes, they came back and collected all the trash and that’s when we started to descend into BUF. We were cleared for landing and taxied to our gate. There was no one at the airport.. Rather empty, no one working at the ticket counters, all stores closed. I saw a few people at one of the US Airways gates sleeping… probably had an early flight at 5am. Not too sure why they were there at 1230am. I made my way out of there and made it home at 1am.
Thanks for reading my trip report!