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ORD-EWR-LGA-ORD On American (many Pics Attached)  
User currently offlineJsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2434 posts, RR: 14
Posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 9025 times:

Recently I made my first trip to New York City, and while that was nice, getting there was something of a nightmare, as you'll see from reading my report. I took lots and lots of pictures, most of which are posted on jetphotos.net (I've included the links in the text, since I can't figure out how to hyperlink.) So here goes...


Chicago O'Hare International Airport
March 6, 2003

Arrived at a cloudy and gloomy O'Hare around 10:30am for my noon flight to La Guardia. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground, but none falling from the skies - whew. I checked in at one of American's OneStop kiosks (which seem to have completely taken over the check-in areas at most airports, although they're very easy and convenient) and went on through security. A second AA security checkpoint has been added close to Concourse G, so the lines at the H-K portal aren't nearly as bad as they used to be.

Got to the gate and my LGA flight was, of course, canceled. Apparently there was snow in New York, and all the flights to the area were being delayed or canceled. I made my way to a counter at a different gate (K8) where a very helpful agent was able to take care of me - she first offered me a standby seat on a MUCH later LGA flight, then a seat on an HPN flight (ridiculous) and finally a seat on a Newark flight that was leaving in just a few hours. She assured me that my bags would be transferred and even secured me a window seat.

This was a mixed blessing; although I’d get to see another one of the New York-area airports, I’d be arriving later and would have to take a pricier cab. By the time I checked the monitors, the Newark flight was delayed another hour, however, so I set off to find a nice vantage point. Gate K18 (at the tip of the concourse) offered a decent view of aircraft departing on the southern runways. I spent an hour or two watching the parade of United and American narrowbodies and regional jets (a few United 767s and one 777 to liven things up) rocket down 27L and 22L.

Since it was late afternoon, I could also see all the international flights arriving at Terminal 5 just across the taxiways – the bmi A330, Singapore Airlines 777, Lufthansa A340 and 747-400, Swiss A330, Alitalia 767, Iberia A340, Japan Airlines 747-400 (departing as all the European flights arrived), Turkish A340, LOT 767, and SAS 767. There were also Mexicana A320s swarming everywhere – MX has a very good-sized Chicago operation at both ORD and MDW.

Finally, it was time to head over to Gate H8 for the flight to Newark.


Thursday, March 6, 2003
American Airlines Flight 1590
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – Newark Liberty (EWR)
Departs ORD 4:00pm (sked) 5:25 (actual), arrives EWR 6:30pm (sked) 8:00 (actual)
Fokker F100, Seat 6A
Flying time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George Canciani

I was in the bulkhead seat, which meant a little bit of extra legroom, even with MRTC. This F100 had the old cabin interiors – I’ve only been on a few AA Fokkers that got upgraded before it was announced that they were being cut from the fleet. The flight was completely full, which wasn’t surprising given the number of canceled NYC-area flights this day.

Pushback: http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=45186

We pushed back around 4:40pm and taxied around the perimeter of the terminal complex towards the north side of the field. To my surprise, however, the pilot headed over towards the United and American maintenance complexes, pulled onto an apron next to a United 767 and Continental 737, and shut down the engines. The first officer delivered the bad news: a weather hold from Newark. It could be as long as two hours or as little as thirty minutes, so we weren’t going to be able to leave the aircraft. Arrrgh…

During the delay, the FAs stayed back in the galley instead of making passes through the cabin (a drink service might have been nice.) Our spot in the ‘penalty box’ was close enough to Runway 22R that I could see aircraft arriving… RJ after RJ after RJ, livened up only by the Aer Lingus A330 from Dublin/Shannon.

The 'penalty box': http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=45190

After only about 35 minutes, we were given clearance, the engines were restarted, and we made a quick taxi to the threshold of Runway 14L (as we turned onto the runway I could see a brand-new SAS A340 landing on 14R from Copenhagen). Takeoff was smooth and we made a sharp left turn at low altitude, climbing out over Interstate 90 and the Rosemont area. From there, we flew across the north side of Chicago and out over the lake, which was still covered with ice.

The FAs came around with a drink-and-pretzel service as we made landfall again over Benton Harbor, Michigan, and crossed the breadth of the state. Night was falling fast at this point, although it was still possible to see various towns and snow-covered fields below. Just before the sun set completely, we passed over Detroit, giving me a spectacular view of DTW. The new terminal there is huge!

From there we flew over the darkness of Lake Erie, although just about 20 minutes later the lights of Buffalo were visible in the very far distance. Pennsylvania (and some patchy clouds, visible in the moonlight) appeared below as the FAs came around to pick up cups and glasses – so much for a second drink service. Finally the captain came over the PA and announced the start of our descent into Newark.

The descent that followed was *extremely* long and very disorienting… the carpet of lights that was New Jersey appeared below as we made a very slow letdown into EWR, probably due to all the backed-up traffic. Our F100 made several left and right turns over the suburbs, to the point where I no longer had any clue which direction we were flying. I could see lots of expressways, subdivisions and shopping centers all lit up below, spread out for miles and miles into the distance.

Finally we made a turn onto final approach and the flaps and landing gear came shuddering down. I guessed we were landing from the south since I couldn’t see downtown Manhattan from my window. We passed over a brightly lit-up industrial complex labeled the El Paso Linden Cogeneration Plant, then over dozens and dozens of storage tanks and factories. From there we more or less followed the New Jersey Turnpike into EWR, roaring in low over the snow-covered rooftops of Elizabeth, a toll plaza, and a handful of warehouses before touching down on smoothly on Newark’s Runway 4R just after 8pm.

It was a clear night at EWR, although there was lots of fresh now covering the runway and taxiways. As we turned off the runway I could see the lights of seven or eight arriving aircraft stacked up in the distance. The taxi back to Terminal A was very slow; we didn’t pull into Gate A31 until 8:15.

From there it was a quick walk down to baggage claim – Terminal A seemed more or less deserted. Not surprisingly, my bag wasn’t on the carousel; it was, of course, at La Guardia. The disinterested woman in the baggage service office assured me it would be delivered that evening, so I hopped a taxi for Manhattan.


The next four days in New York were great, although my luggage didn’t show up until 3am on the second day of my trip. I had to spend the entire first day in my friends’ apartment, waiting for the delivery service, who constantly assured me they would be there “in two hours.” That was not the case.  Sad


New York LaGuardia Airport
March 11, 2003

After a great trip, it was time to head to LaGuardia for the return trip to Chicago. I hopped a cab from Midtown and made it out to LGA in just 20 minutes. I have to say that I don’t think LGA deserves the harsh treatment it seems to get from folks on a.net. I found the Central Terminal Building to be very modern and nice looking. True, the ticket lobby could be larger, but the new food court is very spacious and the whole facility is as nice as any of the new terminals I’ve been to. Of course, I wasn’t there at 6pm either, so I don’t know.

I spent an hour or so after checking my luggage watching aircraft from the third-level lobby (near the skybridge to the parking garage.) Lots of US Airways Express traffic at LGA – not so much US Airways anymore. It was pretty impressive watching a Delta 767 touch down on Runway 31 and come roaring to a stop at the end of the strip. All in all, LGA has a pretty nice of mix of traffic – it’s not ‘dominated’ by a few airlines like my home airports of ORD and DFW


Tuesday, March 11, 2003
American Airlines Flight 341
New York LaGuardia (LGA) – Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
Departs LGA 4:00pm, arrives ORD 5:10pm
McDonnell Douglas MD80, seat 27F
Flying time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © UAFlyer

I arrived at Gate 8 just as boarding was finishing up – the loading piers at LGA do need some renovation, they’re fairly dark and narrow. Our flight to ORD was only about 60% full… in fact, I was the last passenger in the back of the plane, with about four empty rows behind me! I had the entire three-seat row to myself, room to stretch out!

Before pushback I could hear the two FAs talking about how much they hated being based in New York – they said the passengers there were crankier and ruder than at some of the other bases. One of them sounded really miserable, and said she was ‘praying’ her transfer to the DFW base was approved.

We pushed back on time and taxied out to the threshold of Runway 4. A Delta Shuttle 737-800 departed ahead of us before we turned onto the runway and started our takeoff roll. Climbout was over Flushing Bay and the East River; I saw several suspension bridges and lots of lots of houses. We made a sharp left turn about a minute after takeoff, then crossed over Long Island Sound and headed back across Westchester.

Takeoff and climbout:

It was a beautiful day for flying: clear as a bell and loads of visibility. The usual drink-and-pretzel “feast” was served as we flew a more northerly route across western New York rather than Pennsylvania. The two FAs then sat down and ate leftover first-class meals, which didn’t seem fair  Sad To their credit, however, they did get up several times to check on passengers.

Our MD80 crossed over part of Lake Erie and then flew over the long, boring, snow-covered expanse of southern Ontario in Canada. We re-entered the United States over Port Huron, Michigan, then flew across central Michigan. I had a great view of Flint-Bishop International Airport (see the picture below), which didn’t look like it was too busy…

Flint Airport: http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=44203

As we neared the Lake Michigan shoreline the FAs came over the loudspeaker with connecting gate information, most of it for American Eagle flights. The captain announced the start of our descent, and we angled downwards, towards the icy waters of the lake. Our approach was from the northeast (see the tons of attached pictures), and we touched down on ORD’s Runway 22R right on time. Our MD80 taxied over the highway bridge and pulled into Gate K16 at 5:20pm.

Approach and landing:


Delays and lost baggage notwithstanding, a pretty nondescript trip on American. The return trip was very pleasant, in fact. Next week I’ll be flying Chicago Midway – Atlanta – Grand Bahama Island – Atlanta – Chicago Midway on AirTran for Spring Break, so stay tuned for yet another report.

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSwiss-airplane From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 591 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 8869 times:

Very nice trip report.
I enjoyed reading. I always like to read trip reports from AA.


User currently offlineMrLineGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 115 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8781 times:


Next week I’ll be flying Chicago Midway – Atlanta – Grand Bahama Island – Atlanta – Chicago Midway on AirTran for Spring Break, so stay tuned for yet another report.

What date and flight will you be flying out of and returning on to MDW?? I might be working those days...


More right rudder...
User currently offlineJsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2434 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8734 times:

I'm leaving this Monday (March 24) on the 6am Atlanta flight, and coming back the evening of March 31.

User currently offlineLPL From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 1055 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8642 times:

Superb report! Thanks for all those pics!

User currently offlineDC-10 Levo From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 3432 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 8628 times:

Brilliant report and great pics! Enjoyed reading.


User currently offlineBig777jet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 8564 times:

Wow, interesting pictures. I found where my work company you took picture of Des Plaines. http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=43992 you can see flap bottom that's my second building company with white wall sqaure building. This is where you took picture of that time I am underneath main building office above your plane. That's cool! I watched the plane overhead everyday to 22R.


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