Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
North To Alaska!(Part 1) FLL-ORD  
User currently offlineHeavymetal From Ireland, joined May 2015, 25 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3363 times:

Well the worst part about vacation is not when it's over, but when you get back to work to find a mountain of stuff waiting for you! Having handled that. I find myself with the time to jot down a few notes about my adventure to and from the land God used to 'beta-test' what Heaven would look like....Alaska!

Saturday, July 6th

My journey would literally take me from one end of the North American continent to the other...South Florida to Alaska....arguably the only journey you can use the following facts on:

* - 9 hours scheduled flying time
* - Land and take off in the United States
* - Little if any time spent overwater
* - ETOPS not required (I have a feeling I may be wrong on that though)

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Søren Geertsen

Segment 1 took me from the familiar concrete of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport to Chicago O'Hare aboard a United Airbus A320. I asked for and received seat upgrades (so I thought! More later) from the United counter clerk who bumped me into the Economy Plus seating from ORD to ANC because to was a "long day ahead of me".

It was my first 'Bus ride in about ten years. The aircraft, N426UA was clean and presentable, though at the gate I noticed an annoying trait common to many liveries...the paint on the radome was fresher than that on the fuselage...United's Orange, Red and Blue cheatline was fading on the metal, but bright and clean on the fiberglass of the radame. The interior was sharp and comfortable. United holds its' own in the legroom department, especially in 'Economy Plus'. Better that CO and NW, but still not quite as roomy as AA's "More Legroom".

Also, I've never liked 'Bus windows. Too small and too low. Still, with a window seat just aft of the wing, I had a decent view and off we went.

The last time I flew UA was the mid 80s, and I remember being thrilled by listening to Channel 9, the aircraft comm channel then....as I was today! The 'phones were on even pre-takeoff, and I listened to all the chatter north to ORD. We were handed off to Jacksonville shortly after takeoff. Clearly a quiet morning at Jax, as the controller was doing 'play-by-play', tracking two racing US Navy P-3 subhunters back to their base. One conversation went like this:

JAX- "Lear XXXXX, traffic 12 o'clock 8 miles, a P-3 , one of the Navy's finest."
LEAR - "Jax, Roger. That the horse race you're talking about?"
JAX- "Lear, Jax. Yeah. I've got my money on horse number 2 but horse number 1 seems to be pulling away."
LEAR - "Jax, Roger. Ah, impetuous youth!"

A rare display of levity on a quiet, weather-free Saturday morning. Jax handed us off to Atlanta as breakfast was served. The food was classic airline fare.....a gooey cheese croissant type thing that was good for about two bites...and a banana served...in a box. Now believe me when I say I have few if any complaints about United's performance during my entire journey, but cmon guys. Lose the box. This is an example of wasteful spending. The cardboard probably cost more than the banana. And the croissant type thing? Well, let's just say United could probably get more creative in the food department AND save itself some money at the same time.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Søren Geertsen

N426UA shot across the southern US, handed from Atlanta to Memphis, then to Indy. ATC chatter was light and easy...until the handover to Chicago. Man, I bet the Chicago controllers have some serious caffeine in their systems. They need it. Our clearance from cruise altitude down through the morning summer haze was orderly chaos. In fact, as we were cleared onto final, Chicago Approach had us turn to 220 degrees....the Airbus obediently rolled left when the call came "Correction, United, we just got a new runway opened I'm gonna have you steer 330 at 8,000"....and N426UA dipped her wings the other direction in a great S turn in the sky. On any other airline with no channel 9, such an abrupt manouveur would have raised an eyebrow from me. But here I obviously knew what was happening.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © PolishAir42 - Chicago Aviation Photography

Welcome to Chicago

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Edward Pascuzzi

Believe it or not, this is my first trip through Chicago O'Hare. I will always identify the United terminal at O'Hare with one unique thing...the combined smell of fast food grease from the burger and pizza places mixing with the citrus odor of the POWERFUL industrial strength bathroom disinfectant used!

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon

The terminal is airy, modern and inviting. The tunnel from Concourse C to B is wild, with it's neon passageway. Everywhere wafts the sounds of United's trademark "Rhapsody" music. I had a slice of pizza and watched them prep N199UA for a long flight to Tokyo Narita.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Samuel Shotick

Arrival at my gate revealed my chariot north to Alaska....N579UA, an ETOPS Boeing 757 that United calls a "757 Overwater". Her paint job was fading...(United has one of the best looking liveries.... when it's fresh. But when that shiny corporate grey fades into a dull , muddy 'off-white', a fantastic livery becomes very shoddy looking.)

Upon boarding I discovered much to my despair that my bump forward to Economy Plus has resulted in me being "Thirteened". I cursed my idiocy....see, the 757 is my favorite aircraft, and it goes without saying that a light should have gone off when I got moved to Seat 13A. A basic, stupid mistake that now had me sitting in the one row of seats surrounded not by windows, but by the 757's strong fuselage rib. To add insult to injury, the man in 13D asked if I would surrender 13A so he could sit next to his wife. As I discovered disgustingly that no window was available, I was the polite one & agreed. Now my dumb oversight in getting into the row to begin with just turned into a mistake of nightmare proportions, for 13D was next to the two single most obnoxious teenaged Uaccompanied Minors to fly the friendly skies that day. Two girls from one of the lessor known New England factory towns. I settled in, after moving their crap from under my own footspace, and decided dejectedly that THIS...was going to be a long flight.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Rudy Chiarello

The workday is starting to busy up here, so I'll continue on a NEW THREAD later....don't miss it though! You see, my day wouldn't end without a short, magnificent hop in a brawny Convair 580! Stay tuned!

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineChepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6383 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3268 times:

Hey it sounds interesting so far.
How long was is the floght between ORD and ANC?

Fly the Flag!!!!
User currently offlineHeavymetal From Ireland, joined May 2015, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3242 times:


6 hrs 1 minute scheduled nonstop...5 hours 22 mininutes return (eastbound)

User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3187 times:

Damn I know you love my shot of that A320 incoming over those damned Restricted Area signs!

I love ORD Big grin Big grin Big grin Big grin Big grin

User currently offlineChe From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 537 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3149 times:

Excellent trip report! Can't wait to hear the rest of the trip.
Hopefully I'll make it to Alaska somtime. I've heard that it's really nice up there.


User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3142 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3120 times:

In regards to the snack box:

Loading snack boxes with the catering uploads is cheaper and more effective than loading snack bags in refridgerators in the concourses for pick up as passengers board the aircraft. The box allows for all 126 boxes to be boarded into 1 galley cart. This again saves on packing. If they were to use meal trays, it would take two carts for all of the meals and that would cost more in packing fees. Only 3 of the carts in the main cabin were used, not counting the trash cart. There are 8 galley carts in coach on the A319/A320. Most are empty. Packing less carts is cheaper.

I L U V 7 6 7

User currently offlineHeavymetal From Ireland, joined May 2015, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3107 times:


Thanks for the insight. Believe me I understand the logistics of using the boxes to tidily contain a meal. And I might add they are quite classy boxes!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

But the box didn't contain a meal. It contained a banana. One banana, plus utensils to eat said banana. I guess it just seems like catering might save itself expense and hassle by serving bananas...shall we say "island style"?

Either that or maybe the nefarious Bistro Bag isn't such a bad idea...

Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic North To Alaska!(Part 1) FLL-ORD
No username? Sign up now!

Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)

Similar topics:More similar topics...
AA ORD-NRT (Trip To China Part 2) posted Fri Jun 18 2004 07:38:42 by Tony lu
Tasmania To Alaska Via Finland Part II posted Wed Nov 13 2002 09:57:55 by Seat2A
Tasmania To Alaska Via Finland Part I posted Wed Nov 13 2002 09:19:25 by Seat2A
David Goes To IND (part 1--actually To ORD) posted Sat Sep 1 2001 20:00:05 by ILUV767
JFK-SEA And On To Alaska! posted Tue Aug 8 2006 05:05:27 by DL4EVR
Star Alliance In C/F To Asia - Part 2 (Many Pics) posted Thu Jul 27 2006 02:01:11 by BRAVO7E7
Aeroflot DEL-SVO To IAD Part II posted Thu Jul 20 2006 03:35:41 by Desiguy2447
Aeroflot IAD-SVO To DEL Part I posted Sun Jul 16 2006 01:00:00 by Desiguy2447
Auckland To Adelaide Part 2 With Pics posted Sun Jul 2 2006 04:20:29 by Ryan h
Star Alliance In C/F To Asia - Part 1 (Many Pics) posted Mon Jun 26 2006 07:03:19 by BRAVO7E7

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format