QFFlyer From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 356 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 18034 times:
Flight: QF 3771 codeshare with Alaska Airlines
Plane: B 737-490
After managing a very quick transit of the LA customs, we found that we had enough time to catch the earlier flight to Seattle, so we headed straight to the checkin and changed our flights. We then still had enough time to go to a car park and take some photos across the terminals to the A380, before making a quick dash to security. I should have noticed the SSSS on the boarding pass before hand. After being found that I was a candidate for special screening I was herded to a small walled cubical. I had the feeling I was a horse in a coral, so I looked around lifted my head and made noises like a horse. Incredibly the TSA guy who was checking me thought this was very amusing. After a quick and painless search we made our way to the gate to find boarding was finishing, so we quickly to a photo of our steed and boarded the fairly empty plane.
My friend had the window seat and I, and isle, so when we had levelled out I moved seats to a window seat on the A side. As there wasn’t much to see, and sleep seemed more important, I figured I would. Every now and then I woke to see more cloud, so back to sleep it was. Cloud was low into Seattle so we didn’t get much in the way of views unfortunately.
RAAF Wedgetails at Boeing Field
We left the plane and picked up the rental car and made our way to Renton for some spotting.
KLM at Renton
737 in the factory waiting for the strike to finish
Hulls waiting to be built
After a few hours of driving and spotting it was time to head for our next destination, Everett. We found the Future of Flight pretty quickly but missed the last bus tour, so we then had to think about our plan. Food was high on the list of priorities, as the last food we had was breakfast on the A380, and it was now 4pm. As the nice lady at the ticket counter mentioned the café was a good place, the operator started to shut the door, so we high-tailed it into the café. The café operator was very good about it and even though she had cleaned everything she was happy to make us a coffee and heat a quiche up for us. When she found we were from Australia she asked if we had any Aussie currency she could buy off us for her daughter. She wasn’t too interested in the $1 coin I had, but the $5NZ was another matter, sold for $3US.
Next was where to stay. The Hilton next to the Future of Flight looked like the best place, but they were fully booked, but we made a mental note to book this prime hotel for the next visit. My friend remembered a hotel closer to Everett centre from his last visit, but we couldn’t find it, but we found a very nice Inn on Everett Harbour which sufficed.
The next morning we headed back to the Future of Flight for the bus tour around Paine Field with stop at Paul Allens Museum.
Air Canada 77W
777Fs at Boeing Field
A rather sad looking 747 no.1
707 with contrail
UPS arriving at Boeing Field
It was midday before we finished in Everett, and made our way south to Boeing Field and Museum of Flight. We didn’t have a lot of time here as we had a 7pm flight to catch to LA, but managed to see most of what we wanted, and found a few good outlooks over Boeing Field.
Although we left the museum at 5pm, we spent some time finding vantage points overlooking Boeing Field and left going to the airport a little late. It was 6:30 when we managed to drop the car off, and 5 minutes later we were at checkin. Luckily as we had not checked luggage we were allowed to check in, but boarding had started so we had to run to the gate. Then guess what, the SSSS again. I wasn’t to impressed at this stage but don’t really have much choice. To give credit the TSA saw I was running late and tried to be very quick about it. While I was being searched my friend ran to the gate to see if he could at least board. It was more important for him as he was leaving LA on the QF 108, and would struggle to make that flight if he missed this one.
I ran to the gate and managed to get onboard as the gates were closed behind me – that was close.
With isle seats and a night time flight there wasn’t much to do other than listen to music for the 2 hour flight. We must have had some good winds as we arrived a good 20 minutes early, which I was thankful about as I had a 7am flight the next day and the more sleep I could get the better.
Flight: AA 1972, AA 1622
Plane: MD 80, MD 80
Seat: 16F, 11A
I had booked the Westin for this might, and probably won’t go there again. It seems very old, and the aircon was so noisey it kept me awake. Not a good way to start an early morning flight. Checkin was quick and painless, as was security. I do like the Priority Access AA has for high tier FFs!
Not having breakfast I went straight to the AA lounge for some food, not that there was much available but some fruit was nice.
Boarding started on time, and again I took advantage of the Priority Access. This is very much needed with full flights. If you don’t get on quick, all the overhead lockers are filled and one is left with a frantic search for bins to put the carryons in.
Boarding finished just before 7, and doors closed, but then the pilot announced that they were having problems with the APU and engines would have to be started by the carts. 15 minutes later we were told there was a problem with the cart and they couldn’t start the engines. With only an hour in ORD I was a bit worried, not overly as there was another flight to RDU 2 hours later but that meant I arrived later and I was pretty tired and wanted as much sleep as I could get.
Finally almost an hour later with engines started we pushed back and made our way to 25R for departure.
As I booked late, I could only get seats on the “sunny” side which prevented many photos being taken until close to ORD, however it did allow me to get a bit more sleep.
Air New Zealand at LAX
Getting closer to ORD our arrival time was almost matching the departure time of the flight to RDU so I was resigned to 2 hours in ORD. Not such a big deal as it would be my first time there so would give me chance to look around. It sounded like there were others in the same situation as well, and they barged their way off the plane to try and make the RDU flight so I just followed behind them, and found that the flight was still boarding. Again the Priority Access was useful, I joined this line and boarded a good 5 minutes before the people I followed off the LAX flight and this meant I actually had room to put my carryon in. The pilot apologised for the late departure (I was ok with it!), it was due to a mechanical problem on the inbound which needed to be checked. 2 MD80 flights and 2 mechanicals, not a good sign.
The flight was uneventful, but at least on this flight I had more choice in seating so I was able to get the “good” side and managed a few good photos.
Arrival was only 20 minutes late, pretty good considering I left LAX 50 minutes late. The new terminal at RDU looks good, it’s a pity I miss it by 2 days. I was off pretty quickly and found the ground transport to take me to the Hertz yard to pick up my car. Interestingly it was the first time I had used an automated pickup system. It required all my details etc, and then printed out the forms, and where the car was, quick and easy.
Flight: AA 1627, AA 2431
Plane: MD80, B737-823
Rego: unknown, N907AN
Seat: 14F, 7A
One day off flying, instead I spent it in a car driving to Marion, SC. I had the opportunity to do something work related there, which meant I can tax deduct some of this trip, plus it gave me reason to visit 2 airports I haven’t been to before. Unfortunately the best (cheapest) flight to LAX left RDU at 6am, not a good look when I am severely lacking in sleep.
Anyway the alarm went at 4:30 and I showered and made my way downstairs to the hotel shuttle for the quick trip to the airport. Again checkin was quick and painless, and very friendly to. Security was very busy for this time of morning, but again Priority Access was my friend and I was through easily. I was happy to have the flights to and from LAX SSSS free.
AA 737 at RDU
Boarding was completed by 6am, and we pushed back 12 minutes later, then, nothing. We stopped and didn’t move for 10 minutes before the pilot announced that there was a light not on that should be and we would be going back to the gate for repairs. Almost exactly an hour later we pushed back for the second time. By this time I was resigned again to missing my connection. I had planned to get to LA by 10 and pick up a car and drive to Mojave and back in time for my 10:30pm flight back to Sydney. This delay put pay to those plans, the best I could get to LA I figured was between 12 and 1, and really being this late I thought it would be a waste of time and money getting a car.
We eventually arrived in DFW at 9:10 an hour and 20 late, and missed my connection by 30 minutes.
On arrival I went to the Admirals Lounge to see about rebooking, which they did. When I asked about internet, the response was “Oh you have to purchase from T-mobile”. Just great when in the lounge in LAX T4 it is free. I still had the username and password from my first trip through LAX, so I thought I would just give it a try, and it worked, free internet, thanks AA LAX.
Soon enough it was boarding time so after a quick lunch, again unlike LAX, no free food in DFW, it was a quick walk to the gate and on the plane. This time it was a 738, as I had requested when I rebooked not to go on another MD80! Only one more type on the AA fleet to go, but I think I have to be quick on that one or I will miss out.
Again I had the sunny side of the plane, but I didn’t have any choice in the matter, that was the only window seat left, so I didn’t get many photos, but caught up on an hours sleep.
AA 757 at DFW
Looks like a QF A380
My plane which took me from DFW to LAX
On arrival into LAX I went to the Admirals lounge to see if they would let me in without onwards boarding pass. Not a problem, and they told me a Qantas girl would be arriving at 5:30 and she could check me in there without having to go to TBIT. So I could stay in the lounge until close to boarding time and then I took the bus from T4 to TBIT, nice and easy.
By 9pm I was bored of the Terminal 4 lounge so made my way to the inter-terminal bus to take me through to TBIT, and gate 101 where we were boarding. The gate lounge was very busy, it looked like it would be a full flight. Boarding time was noted to be 9:45, but the crew only just arrived at this time making boarding very late. The delay was blamed on LA traffic and the lines at security. I did note that this crew was the same that took us from MEL on Monday which boded well for a good flight. The boarding lines seemed well marked but maybe they weren’t. As I arrived at the top door a family were being turned away I suspect because they were supposed to be downstairs and hadn’t read the signage pointing the way to economy.
QF744 going to BNE
As I made my way to the premium economy section I was recognised by the 2 FAs in that section!
Boarding finished before 11, but it took a while to remove the gates so we didn’t get pushed back until 11:05 followed by a very long taxi to 25L For interests sake I timed the take off roll to be 55 seconds, the longest takeoff I could remember, only matched by the unusually long roll from the 737 I left DFW on earlier.
Supper was served very quickly, sorry no photo I was so tired I forgot, but my choice was the chicken couscous. The chicken was actually very tasty.
Having been up since 1:30am LA time, with only a few naps on the 2 flights before hand I was craving some sleep. I wanted to stay awake for a while to try and sync with Sydney time, but that wasn’t happening and I ended up having a good 5 hours sleep.
At this time I got up and went for a walk downstairs to see some of the crew. Interesting to hear that news of Airliners.net trip reports of the first flight on had made their way to some passengers and thus to one FA in particular!
Premium Economy Bar
Still tired I laid back and had another 3 hours sleep which says a lot for how comfortable the seats are. Having the bins to rest my legs on also made a difference.
It was 3 hours to go when I woke up, so I rested until breakfast was served.
Can you see the contrails formed?
Very soon we made landfall and flew over the city to line up for 34L. This time we were very lucky with the weather
Airpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 936 posts, RR: 27 Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 17750 times:
QFFlyer, lovely pics! I had always wanted, but never managed, to get to Everett, so those were especially appreciated. What an interesting collection of planes, but sad to see what's become of the first-off-production-line 747. I thought they would have kept her in much better shape.
Glad to see you had a comfortable flight back, and good weather in SYD on arrival. I assume the flight would be a "routine" QF flight by now? Interesting that the outbound crew stayed at LAX for 4 nights; I presume this isn't normally the practice.
QFFlyer From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 356 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 13748 times:
Quoting Ansett767 (Reply 10): How was seat 34K on the A380? I am booked into fly 34A to LHR - is legroom adaquet? Because on VS's A346, the bulkhead is awful, especially in the middle
I think 34A/K are the best seats. Reason being is that you have the locker to rest your feet on, and when reclined its quite comfortable. Can't do that in other seats without putting your feet in someone else face.
QFFlyer From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 356 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 13038 times:
Quoting Ansett767 (Reply 12): Had one last question: when deplane-ing, do they let FC off first, then business class, then Premium and hold economy back or basically are you one of the last off the plane
Both times we had dual airbridges, so it seemed to be an orderly de-planeing, business off first from the top bridge and FC off first from the bottom. At LAX economy were well and truely coming off the plane from the bottom bridge by the time I got off, but in SYD I think there were some issues with the bottom bridge so upper deck was de-planed before lower deck started.
It seems they are still learning to dock the bridges as it took between 5 and 10 minutes from arriving at the blocks before the doors were opened.