I was originally flying into Oakland, but after 9/11, AA cancelled the route and put me into SFO...no problem, San Fran has a better airport! This was also my first time aboard a 738. The aircraft arrived at gate 37B at approximately 18:30 local time. The AA flight departing from 37A was delayed due to snow at its destination, Las Vegas. ATC implemented a gate hold for LAS-bound aircraft at 18:00; this hold was lifted at 18:30. Once I boarded the aircraft, I absorbed my first 738 experience. The aircraft was clearly longer than the other 737's I have flown on: -300, -500, -700. The increased length resembled the cabin of a 757. TV monitors hung from the ceiling above the aisle and the seats were a tasteful blue. I took my seat in 25F in the rear of the aircraft. The LAS-bound flight pushed back and departed 10 minutes before us. At terminal 3, I observed two Air New Zealand 747's, a Virgin A340 and an Air Canada A320. The flight was approximately 3/4 full with numerous empty middle seats. We pushed back on time and taxied to 24L. LAX was experiencing windshear with winds 320 gusting to ~ 20 knots. An arriving 737 reported +/- 20 knots on finals down to a few hundred and +/- 10 knots to 200 hundred feet. The captain warned us about the winds and told everyone (including the flight attendants) to fasten his/her seatbelts extra tight. Once we reached take-off power, I experienced noise and vibration that was unusually loud and harsh. It was quite an experience. Additionally, I could feel the pilots correcting the aircraft's position on the runway: the aircraft kept on yawing to the left and right. On climbout, the windshear was obvious and the aircraft took substantial drops on numerous occasions within 1 minute of our departure. Coversely, the aircraft also attained steep vertical speeds. This phenomenon was illustrated with several incidences when the aircraft felt like it was being lifted up. It was certainly the most exciting climbout! After following runway heading, we turned right to continue on the Ventura Two Departure. The flight attendants served a very tasty snack mix and offered beverages. Surprisingly, the flight attendants asked each passenger if he/she wanted the whole can of soda. Obviously, I said "yes." We levelled at FL310 and continued our cruise up the coast. There was extensive cloud cover over central California and the air was choppy. We descended on the Big Sur Two Arrival and turned final at the San Mateo Bridge on the Tip Toe Visual 28L. We were paired with an American 757 landing 28R. I was trying to keep an eye on that aircraft but it was a little bit ahead of us. I love night approaches into SFO: the dark bay waters meet the aircraft and at the last moment, runway lights appear. The landing was firm and we rolled out without thrust reversers. Without this deployment, we overtook the AA 757 on the high-speed and led that aircraft to the terminal. Additionally, we only used autobrakes 1; once again, a measure to beat the 757. We taxied to the gate and ended my first 738 experience. The winds certainly made it an exciting flight! It probably also the only time I will fly LAX-SFO. OAK is still move convenient for me, but I'll take SFO any day!
Please send your comments since I don't write too many trip reports. Thanks!
Twa902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3147 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (13 years 4 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3109 times:
From what i know, snow does happen very rarely in Vegas. I know it snows all the time in Southern Utah, places like St. George but that is on the other side of the mountains (I think it's the Virgin River Mountains?) But yeah it could happen but i don't remember it this year...
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