cptmac From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 14 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 13379 times:
***First Trip Report***
After lurking around a.net for several months now, I finally found some time away from my studies to write up a report on a recent weekend trip to Dublin! Classes were cancelled Friday so I had the opportunity to leave Friday night and return Monday morning and took a buddy with. A little background, my father has been working for American at ORD for the past 27 years and I'm honored to have the privilege to fly non-rev. If anyone has any questions about non-reving or about American, please don't hesitate to ask! Also, any tips on how to write a better trip report would be greatly appreciated as I will be making a lot of trips (DFW-ICN, ORD-HEL, etc) this summer and would love to continue this hobby. Here goes!
O'Hare International Airport (ORD) - Dublin Airport (DUB)
Load: J: 100% Y: 98%
Estimated Departure: 6h35p
Actual Departure: 6h46p
Estimated Arrival: 8h00a
Actual Arrival: 7h41a
Gotta love O'Hare's Terminal 3
Right outside the gate K13. LOT's 787 on the move. Hoping to fly on one of these days as most of my family resides in Poland, past flights on the 767's are nothing special.
Obligatory aircraft shot
My buddy, Andrew, checking in at the front desk. On a buddy pass (D3), he had the lowest priority but was still the 28th passenger of the 28 seat J class system.
Boarding was relatively quick and painless. Unlike the dreadful line few gates down that's departing to LHR.
One of the beauty of non-revving, never knowing you're guaranteed a seat. Quickly reserving our hotel in Dublin.
I'm one happy man!
Champagne and newspapers were served promptly. Blanket, pillow, and amenity kit was waiting on top of the seats.
Gotta love this " pitch. and the provided socks.
Quick comparison of the weather
Slippers were a bit small (And I'm only a size 10), however they were much preferable than the plastic-esque velcro ones on my return trip.
Pushed back at 6:34, a minute before the estimated departure time.
Love ORD. One of my favorite airports out there.
A beautiful trip 7 heading to PEK later that evening (a flight I hope soon to take this summer)
MD80 patiently letting us cross
The menu. I apologize for the blurriness - I really need to upgrade to a camera better than an iPhone.
Wide open for take-off
But we wait, patiently, for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile...
6h46p: Please clear for take-off.
Northern suburbs of Chicago + Lake Shore
Unfortunately, being seated on 3A puts me on the left side of the plane, thus being unable to see the Chicago skyline on the right.
Across Lake Michigan @ 6h51.
Our purser for the flight, Elizabeth, was incredibly nice. We were adressed by our full names and she made a pretty good attempt on pronouncing my difficult, polish last name. She didn't seem to treat me any differently than the other full-fare paying customers. Elizabeth asked if I would like a fresh salad and gave me a choice of two toppings. I went with the balsamic, of course. While taking our order, she recommended I try the rosemary garlic shrimp for my entree (I do love seafood, how could I decline). She also asked if I would like to be "gently" waken up for breakfast. She was quite the doll as she often smiled and laugh along with fellow customers. Great customer service.
As you can see, the windows were somewhat dirty. A bit disappointing as I love to take sunset/sunrise/coast pics. However, I just realized I should've just wiped it with the warm towel or something. Bummer.
Initial review of the cabin: Looked exactly the same based off my flight to CDG back in 2010 and 2012. 2-2-2 layout. The bulky IFE in the left, center, and right side of the aircraft was an eyesore (just being picky) but each of the J Class passengers will soon receive their own personal Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tablet and the Bose QC15 to go with it (Of course I already own a pair as it is essential for my studies and travels). What was a nice touch was that the FA's made sure to ask everyone if they knew how to operate the samsung or the heaphones. This is extremely helpful with the older customers (no offense, there are not enough fingers to count with my hands with the amount of times passengers thought their Bose headphones were broken) Cabin looked pretty clean. Seats looked used but nothing to write home about. I give it a 9/10.
One of the flight attendants passing out the hot towels.
Another minor complaint (again me being picky) is the tablet having to be charged in the front. Why couldn't it be charged in the back?!
I don't see how anyone can complain with this IFE. It had tons of new movies such as Skyfall, Les Miserables, Django, Argo, etc. Games. Newspapers, music. I'm a tech savy college student and I was pretty damn impressed. Already seeing several of these movies, I chose to watch Jack Reacher starring Tome Cruise and Rosamund Pike first. I'll save Life of Pi and Les Miserables for later.
Somewhere over Canada.
Served at 7h22p. Warm water, roasted nuts, and red wine. Can't go wrong with this. If I may also mention, this was the first time the FA did not card me!
After taking quite a bunch of pictures, I had a brief conservation with the gentleman next to me in 3B. I figured it would be a good time to ask if he minds me taking tons of pictures for this trip report. It actually turns out he is a fellow member on a.net as well. small world! He was going to Dublin for a 5 day training. we had a little talk ranging from the boeing 787's (he also saw the LOT dreamliner taxiing outside the gate) recent failures and the successes of the 77W. We also discussed delicious food that South Korea has (I hope to partake in the inaugural flight to ICN from DFW on May 8th).
Any tips for taking better night shots of lit up cities? I always have a problem with the windows glare or a reflection of myself.
The FA's began laying out the black cloth at about 7h45 and began serving the fresh salad and various pre-entree's. Thanks god, I was absolutely starving as I didn't have time to eat after class! It was nice to see up in row 2 where the passengers were engaging and joking around with the flight attendants. I definitely did not see any robotic-Just get the job done behavior on both flights. Also, you can see the FA's effort in re-organizing the plates for our benefit.
Given choice of three different variety of warm bread, I went with the pretzel bread, of course.
Not as bad as most silverware I see on a.net ]
Dinner was served at 8h06p. As you can see, the Rosemary Garlic Shrimp. The rice was a little bit dry but you can't really complain since you're 30,000 feet in the air without a kitchen. Shrimp was delicious. the Spinach salad was tasty as well.
Devoured. the FA's began taking away the plates at 8h17. I was waiting patiently for the signature dessert. my wine glass got another refill, for the fourth time in a hour...let's just say i was very, very happy . Finally 11 minutes later, the FA's began pulling out the dessert cart.
The best part of any AA F/J class flight...
FA to me: "Sir, would you care for the sundae or ..." Me: "The sundae, please. thanks so much, Mam!" "What toppings would you like? We have a variety, Strawberry, butterscotch, hot fugde..." "Tough choice" I replied back. Elizabeth smiled and asked: "Would you like all three and all the condiments together"? "I replied enthusiastically: "You can do that?!?!" She nodded while I said yes please. Let me tell you, this was a damn good dessert. Damn good.
Fellow a.neter next to me opted for assorted cheese and fruits.
@ 8h46, I folded my trays back in and fell back into my chair and looked outside the window. I see scattered lights, we're somewhere over Canada, perhaps by newfoundland, nearing the atlantic. I began watching les mis, i'm not typically a fan of musicals or oepras, i would say. However, Annie delivered and the fact that I am minoring in French and International Studies made me enjoy history the movie had to offer.
Bathroom break at some point during the night. Damn wine. As you can see, J class bathrooms are precisely the same as Y class. I feel that it would be logical to at least pamper it up a bit, thoughts?
Somewhere over the Atlantic, I took a stroll around the aircraft to stretch my legs. You can see the vast occupation in Y. The antique IFE really has to go.
Available juice and water for those in Y. What a nice touch. I often hear about water and whatnot are quite limited on transatlantic flights. Yeah.....
I was gently awoken by Elizabeth at 12h05a, asking what would I like for breakfast. I opted for the omelette. To drink, I chose an orange juice and coffee. cream and no sugar. The omelette was quite delicious. A little bit chewy (cheesy) but the hashbrown cupcake (?)'s texture complimented it perfectly. I didn't touch the tomatoes as I have an taste aversion to them. The fruits were lovely although the blackberries were extremely ripe and the melon had no flavor at all. Perhaps the air/cabin pressure is messing up my taste buds.
Sunrise @ 12:25 Chicago time.
@ 1h08 Hot towel was passed out again as it began getting lighter outside. Tablets and headphones were taken away. Little turbulence (very smooth flight). As you can see on my iPad, I saved a bunch of trip reports to read over the flight. I truly love reading them! This report was 797's regarding AA's 77W inaugural flight from DFW to GRU. Greatly written by a neat guy.
Filling out the landing card
Passing over Shannon
Cloudy as expected
@1h14: Passing through the clouds reveals the multitude of lakes that Ireland has to offer.
Perfect timing as ORD began their seasonal flight to DUB earlier that week on Tuesday.
Stop looking at me, Andrew.
The east coast.
Engine began to noticeably slow down @ 1h28. Captain: Prepare for landing
Back in the clouds again
Thought this was neat.
Very scenic approach into DUB.
Touch down at 7h41 Dublin time!
The infamous Ryanair - I took a ryanair flight out of Montpellier to Brussel's Charleroi airport this past summer when i was studying abroad in Montpellier - it felt almost exactly like southwest.
Here are my pictures on my trip back. As I tired and groggy from the spending the whole day at the cliffs of moher and drinking guinness, I didn't write much. Let me know if you have any questions or comments and i'll be more than glad to respond!
Going through security in DUB, I experienced the U.S. preclearance for the first time. I thought it was really neat and efficient. This should be more common in airports like LHR, CDG, or NRT but with the recent furloughs, I doubt that's going to happen any time soon (although I did hear something about Dubai?).
obligatory pre-boarding pic
Due to J class being 24/28 with 5 people on the standby list, I was given the business class ticket while my buddy Andrew got Y. I gave him my ticket after we passed the front desk because how often does someone gets to fly J class internationally on a buddy pass?!
24C. Left seat on the middle row. 2-3-2 config. 2 seats to my right were empty, as the front desk agent informed me. Apparently the pitch is "30, looks much more generous.
Y class's amenities
Very packed flight.
However....I see the front desk agent walk down the aisle with a boarding pass in his hand. I started to smile as I knew he was going to inform me that a standby passenger failed to show up in time, thus giving me his or her seat. 2G is my new seat.
triple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 725 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 13059 times:
Very nice trip report. I am retired from AA. I worked at the Southern Reservations Office near DFW. What does your father do for AA?
AA has been using the 767's on trans Atlantic flights for some time now. The 767-300ER's were once configured for 3 class. The 767-200ER was used also on these flights, but now they are being used on transcons. They are still configured for 3 classes. I flew JFK-SFO on a 767-200ER in first class and they also gave us the Samsung tablets for inflight entertainment.
Because your flight is only 2 class, the J class is similar to F class on the 3 class flights.
I have flown ORD-NRT-ORD several times, although I usually take the DFW-NRT-DFW flights. The Chicago crews are really great. They take good care of us.
I will look forward to reading your ORD-PEK-ORD trip report. And I agree with what you said, upgrade to a better camera than iPhone.
planiac787 From India, joined May 2012, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 12988 times:
Definitely a good start and I hope you keep writing these reports.. I too started around 10 months back and now I cannot imagine ever not writing one..Its just the passion for aviation that keeps me going..
American I guess did a pretty good job in getting you from point A to point B...
I had traveled ORD-LHR on AA a few years back on J...
It was a 767 but I do not remember getting a samsung galaxy tablet..It was actually one of those out dated media players...
Food one that flight was horrible as well..but I am expecting a lot out of the new airlines after AA/US merger....
The dinner presentation does not look great..I would have expected a little more neatness....
Happy to hear you got good service on the flight....
Hoping to read the full report soon...
Be the change you want to see in the world- M.K.Gandhi
StevAAn From Netherlands, joined Mar 2007, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 12117 times:
Very Nice trip report! Liked the pictures. You were both very lucky to fly business on the way to Dublin. Love the kind gesture to let your buddy have a seat in J.
Quoting cptmac (Thread starter): If anyone has any questions about non-reving or about American, please don't hesitate to ask!
I might have to take you up on that offer in the near future as I'm also allowed to non-rev and like to do a transatlantic this year. In return I can always help you with any info you need regarding non-rev on KL flights
CptMac From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 14 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 11975 times:
***Continuation of DUB - ORD***
Sitting in the first row of the airplane, 2G.
Y's pitch sure doesn't compare to this. As you can see, the velcro strapped slippers looks a bit tacky. they broke off multiple times during the flight and i didn't even bother attempting to wear them while going for a stroll.
Obligatory champagne shot. looking back at the amount of wine i consumed on the previous flight, I thought it'd be best for this champagne to be my sole alcoholic drink. (I did have class 2 hours following landing in ORD!)
Glancing over to my right, I kindly asked the FA if those two seats were unoccupied during the flight, if I may change my seat as I prefer being next to a window. It turns out in a 28 seat config J cabin, the two front row seats on the left side, 2H and 2J, was reserved for the members of the cockpit only. About 20 minutes later after take off, the FO immediately came out of the cockpit and passed out for a several hours. I ended up seeing the captain and another member later on.
Still not too crazy about this IFE.
Tonic and lime along with roasted nuts.
Pre-entre for the flight. Crabcakes and a salad. The asparagus were raw-like, feeling like it was just de-thawed. but everything else was devoured. I forgot to take menu shots for this flight but I do have a physical copy of the menu on me, so if anyone would like me to scan them onto here, let me know!
I found it a bit odd that the FA's actually served all of the full-paying customers first. While I understand completely, a simple gesture such as telling me politely that I will have to wait a few minutes would be appreciated. By the time the FA approached me to take my order (I was the first row!), only chicken was available. It was a bit dry and while the a la vodka sauce was limited, I left some of the chicken untouched. the pasta wasn't too shabby. If I was a full-paying customer, I wouldn't be exactly happy with this meal but hey, i can't really complain, eh?
It was nice of the FA's to leave this out in the J class cabins. I grabbed a bag of the caramel popcorn as a snack.
American's signature UNO's pizza. It tasted and looked almost the same as my FCO-ORD flight (Y) back in 2011 and ZRH-ORD in J last year. As a college student, i do love any kind of pizza, though.
Delicious fruit salad and the iconic coffee. Cannot go wrong with this.
Overall, I had a great experience flying to Dublin and back. J class was awesome, the FA's and purser were incredibly friendly and engaging, food and service were great. To be honest, looking at a lot of AA TR's here on a.net, I'm quite surprised what a bad rap the airline gets. I must have logged at least 50 flights (most on Y) and never had a bad experience (excluding multiple run-in's with the front desk agents). I guess it's a hit or miss, really. And the fact that I haven't had the opportunity to be spoiled by the legendary asian airlines.
Thanks, triple7man, for the kind words. It is always nice to meet another AA employee. I love connecting in DFW. My father works in fleet services - I'm not sure what exactly is his assignment at the moment, I will have to ask. Yes, a less glamourous job, but I never heard him complain once about what he does. (except for bashing Horton on his $20 million severance). He does it for his love of aviation and the benefits alone are simply incredible. I hope i'll have the opportunity to somehow make it up to my dad for privilege of traveling.
I had no idea that the 767-300 ER's were once config'd for 3 classes! Very neat fact. I haven't flown on a 767-200 ER yet, though. That's great they also gave the Samsung tablets for a domestic flight, very nice touch indeed.
Yes, I flew ORD (Y) -NRT - ORD (J) this past winter break and I completely agree, the chicago crew for that flight were extremely fun.
I really do hope I get to do a ORD-PEK-ORD trip this summer, hopefully Beijing's air pollution (have you seen this week's news concerning the arsenic and other heavy metal in the air?).
Do you have any recommendations for a decent camera? I will be studying abroad in Haifa, Israel this upcoming fall semester, so I will need to purchase one anyways.
Thanks for the comments! I completely agree, I'm already hooked. Bad timing too since final exams are coming up!
That's too bad you didn't have a great experience flying AA ORD-LHR on J. I'm surprised you didn't get a tablet, I remember getting one for my J flight ORD-CDG back in 2010. Perhaps your flight was a several years before that? (I'm not sure exactly when American started using the tablets).
ORD-DUB, the food was pretty tasty. I know the dinner presentation did not look too great but the FA did make an effort to wipe around the edges of the plate. DUB-ORD, the food wouldn't be acceptable if I was a full-fare paying passenger.
I am curious to see what the merger will have to bring among food service and whatnot. I hear they expect to complete the merger no later than the third quarter of this year.
It is always a non-revver's dream to fly in J. We were indeed, quite lucky.
Please don't hesitate to shoot me an PM and we can chat about your desired route/loads, etc. I'll be more than glad to help out. I'm hoping to make a flight out of LHR to CPT in late June as one of my friends is studying there. I notice that KL offers a flight there, so I'll definitely take you up on that offer as well.
toobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 726 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10339 times:
Very awesome report. As a fellow non rever but on DL I can appreciate the benefit. It seems u had a couple great flights on AA. Food looked good and u looked comfy. Only thing i find odd in the J cabin, is that you had to use a Samsung device to watch movies! Thanks for taking the time.
diesel33 From United States of America, joined exactly 10 years ago today! , 299 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 9927 times:
Quoting cptmac (Thread starter): Due to J class being 24/28 with 5 people on the standby list, I was given the business class ticket while my buddy Andrew got Y. I gave him my ticket after we passed the front desk because how often does someone gets to fly J class internationally on a buddy pass?!
Quoting cptmac (Reply 1): However....I see the front desk agent walk down the aisle with a boarding pass in his hand. I started to smile as I knew he was going to inform me that a standby passenger failed to show up in time, thus giving me his or her seat. 2G is my new seat.
That's karma, dude! I switched with my buddy passes all the time and they were always very appreciative. You're a good friend!
I'm sure the non-rev gods noticed! Good luck with the rest of your adventures this year! Nice job!
christao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 929 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 9565 times:
Nice first trip report. If you want constructive feedback, I'd suggest trimming some of the blurrier shots, especially of the view from the window. But they aren't that big a deal and it was overall an enjoyable report. Look forward to your next one.
As for the IFE on AA (and probably true on many carriers), it amazes me how quickly technology is evolving, such that the systems airlines install are obsolete almost immediately. The Galaxy tablet is great now, but how out of date will it be one or two years from now? Easier to just provide a plug and let passengers use their own devices, it seems.
teme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1387 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 9372 times:
Quoting CptMac (Reply 10): Thanks teme82! I hope to make the trip around late July. Perhaps before or after my 4 day trip to the south of Poland. Do you recommend any airlines or routes to/from KRK/KTW to/from HEL?
There is no direct links from HEL to KRK or KTW. Only AY (operated by BE) and LO to WAW.
Thanks James! Especially after seeing Philip's TR on the A330, I will certainly have to do so one day. It's just something about that green livery...
I hope so too. The loads are extremely healthy for this month - tonight's flight is overbooked and tomorrow is at roughly 85%. However, JFK will also begin a flight to DUB starting June 12th, i believe.
I'm sure flying with EK would make me rather picky as well - those middle-eastern and asian airlines sure knows how to spoil its customers!
Definitely give AA a try - and write a TR about it!
Much appreciated HOONS90! Whoops - I keep getting the two dates mixed up (I have my last final exam on Wednesday, the 8th...). Anyhow, the loads on Thursday, the 9th is looking more tight than ever - I'm hoping to grab a seat on the flight, if not, the 10th would do.
: Thanks IrishAyes, for reading. I hope so too, it would be extremely neat to partake in a inaugural like that. Every TR writer's dream! I will send yo
: Thanks Matthew, for reading. Have an awesome day! Thanks diesel33! I'm with you on karma and the non-rev gods - they sure have a presence in the worl
: IMHO and experience, I think someone should explain to you that pass riding is a benefit that should NOT be taken for granted. I think it very kind of