After picking up a couple of friends, we headed to the airport. After parking the car, we walked into the terminal and proceeded to check in. After checking in, we waited for the TSA screener to inspect our bags, before heading through security. I had no difficulties there. When boarding was called, we did so, heading through gate 6 to the aircraft. I had flown this exact same aircraft from Monterey to Los Angeles last month on my way to Honolulu.
After boarding was completed, the starboard engine was started, and after several minutes, the port engine. At 0743 we pulled away from our parking spot, and headed for runway 28L for departure. At 0747 we were rolling for takeoff.
After reaching our cruising altitude of 19,000 feet, the flight attendant came through the cabin offering our choice of drinks. Unlike on previous American Eagle flights I had been on, there was no snack mix to accompany the beverage.
The flight was routine and uneventful. We touched down at 0900 on runway 24R and headed for the gate. We parked at gate 44L at 0908, and disembarked. Once everyone had claimed the suitcases that were left by the side of the aircraft, we headed for the bus that would take us to Terminal 4.
American Airlines flight 2434
Los Angeles, California (LAX) to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas (DFW)
We arrived at a crowded gate 47B to wait for boarding. We got in line to board as our boarding groups were called. After everyone was settled, we pushed back from the gate at 1002. During the taxi to runway 25R, the safety video was shown, first in English, then in Spanish. We took position and were rolling for takeoff at 1015.
After reaching our cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, the flight attendants came through the cabin offering a choice of drinks. This time, pretzels were served in addition to the beverage. The movie "Runaway Jury" was shown, taking up most of the flight time. I didn't watch it, instead preferring to read. After the movie, despite the relatively short amount of flying time left, the CBS Eye on American program was started.
We touched down on runway 36R at 1453, and headed over to the Northeast hold pad. There we sat for twenty minutes, presumably waiting for our gate to open up. It did, and we parked at gate A29 at 1520. We disembarked and headed over to Terminal B for our final flight of the day.
We walked, walked, walked, and walked some more to get from gate A29 to gate B8. When we arrived, we discovered that the flight was oversold and overweight, and not everyone in our group was able to get on. I was among those that did. Once everyone was settled, we were pushed back from the gate at 1557. I noticed while watching the aircraft parked next to us that it was done differently than I had seen before. Rather than hooking a tug to the wheel assembly and pushing the aircraft back, the aircraft was rolled forward so that the nose wheel was on a platform that was lifted slightly off the ground, and the aircraft then pushed away from the gate.
This was my first flight on an ERJ-145; I had previously flown on the slightly smaller ERJ-140 on American Eagle from San Jose to Los Angeles. I found once again that I prefer the Embraer jet to the Bombardier, with its larger windows that are higher and more comfortable to look out of.
During the taxi, I noticed several interesting aircraft. Delta's Sprit of Delta 767-200 in the 75th anniversary livery was there, as was SkyWest's 30th anniversary CRJ. Three Champion Air 727s were there, one parked on the General Aviation ramp, one parked at Terminal E, and a third that was taxiing to it's gate at Terminal E. Parked next to the Champion 727 on the General Aviation ramp was a Transmeridian MD-80 and a StarJet 727.
We took off on runway 25L at 1613, and made our way up to 23,000 feet. The flight attendant did a beverage service with a choice of Coke, Diet Coke, or Water. Again, no snack mix to accompany. It was a short flight, and before long, we were descending. Touchdown on runway 36R occurred at 1653, and we were parked at gate 21 at 1658.
Once off, we headed for baggage claim. A few bags came off, and then the carousel stopped. After a few minutes, everyone started heading over to the adjacent Continental/Northwest carousel, it seemed ours was broken. However, the American carousel started up again and the remaining bags came off.
However, none of the bags belonging to people in our group made it. We filed a report with American, and headed to where we were staying. At about 2330 that night, our bags were delivered. Presumably, they came on the same flight as the part of our group that was bumped, as they did get their bags when they arrived in Tulsa.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
We arrived at the airport at about 1500 and headed to check in. Some of us used kiosks, while others went to one of the agents. I used a kiosk, and after a couple of minutes, the one agent staffing the kiosks came over, checked my ID, and tagged my bag. I headed up to the security check point and got in line. It moved at a reasonable speed, considering only one x-ray machine and magnetometer was being used. Again I went through without difficulty, and we headed to gate 21. While waiting I spent some time roaming the terminal taking pictures of aircraft.
We were scheduled to fly on American Eagle flight 3818 to DFW, an ERJ-145 departing at 1735. At about 1620, the agent at the podium asked us if we were going to Dallas, and if we wanted to get on an earlier flight. We asked if there was room for all of us, there was, so we went up and she gave us new boarding passes for an earlier flight that was boarding at that very moment. We headed over to gate 25 and immediately got in line to board.
I had noticed this flight earlier. One, when it came in I was surprised as I hadn't recalled seeing any CRJ-700s on American's schedule from TUL to DFW. Also, it was listed on the arrival monitors as arriving from Cleveland, and on the departure monitors with a blank destination. I also heard an announcement made at the gate that this aircraft was arriving without any passengers. Checking into it once I got home, American's schedule shows flight 3496 as an 0705 departure from Cleveland to DFW.
But regardless of what was normal, this afternoon this flight was at Tulsa and flying to DFW. A nice bonus for me as well, since this was my first time on a CRJ-700. It fixes the window height issue present in the CRJ-200, but the windows were still smaller than Embraer's.
We pushed back from the gate at 1650 and headed for runway 18L. We took off at 1701. As our little jet sped towards DFW, the two flight attendants parked the beverage cart in the middle of the aircraft and proceeded to serve our choice of beverages, accompanied by cheddar flavored snack mix.
At 1742, the plane landed on runway 18R and we headed for gate B12. During taxi I noticed a couple of interesting aircraft parked at Terminal B: A Transmeridian MD-80 and a FunJet Vacations 737. I also saw several Mesa Airlines Beech 1900s.
We parked at 1747 and disembarked. Knowing just how big DFW was and considering that we'd have a very long walk to our next gate, we decided to take the TRAAIN. With constant speed changes and jittery ride, one of our group members thought it would make a good carnival ride. After disembarking in Terminal A, another determined that it should be called the DEAATH TRAAIN.
American Airlines flight 2475
Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas (DFW) to Los Angeles, California (LAX)
McDonnell Douglas MD-82
We found seats near gate A10, then proceeded to the food court to find dinner. During the flights to Tulsa, we hadn't had time to eat in the airports and thus were rather hungry by the time we arrived. Fortunately we had a good scheduled layover that would permit us to eat, and we did so. I had an order of chicken strips from Popeye's, which included a biscuit, cole slaw, and a Sierra Mist.
One other thing I noticed was several American 757s with Pratt & Whitney engines. These would be the ones American acquired along with TWA, and stood out as the rest of American's 757 fleet was equipped with Rolls-Royce engines.
When boarding started, they also announced that the flight was oversold and they were looking for volunteers to give up their seats. It would mean we'd miss our connection to Monterey and would have to stay overnight in Los Angeles, so we decided not to volunteer. We boarded as our boarding groups were called.
Just after our scheduled push back time, the captain announced that catering had given us empty beverage carts, and it would be a few minutes while the galley was properly stocked. We finally pushed back from the gate at 2100. We headed for runway 18L, taking off at 2114.
Upon reaching our cruising altitude of 31,000 feet, the flight attendants began their beverage service, accompanied by pretzels. I spent most of the flight reading and working on my laptop. The pilot had said he'd try to make up the delay in flight, and was able to make up some time.
Eventually, we began our descent. During our approach I saw some fireworks. While I couldn't make out the details of the surrounding area, the location and time seemed about right for it to be from Disneyland.
We touched down on runway 25L at 2144, having made up most of our delay time. However, upon reaching Terminal 4, we ran into one more delay. We had to wait for a Song 757 and an American 757 to pull out of the alley before we could reach our gate. They did, and we finally parked at gate 42A at 2153. Two interesting aircraft I saw at LAX were a Spirit MD-80 and an Air Jamaica A320, both parked at Terminal 5.
Time running short, we headed to catch the bus to the American Eagle terminal. The agents working there called for people departing to Monterey to board the first bus, and we did.
American Eagle flight 3033
Los Angeles, California (LAX) to Monterey, California (MRY)
We arrived at the American Eagle terminal with just enough time to use the restroom before boarding started through gate 44E. We sat down the hot, stuffy aircraft and waited for departure. Like in Monterey, the starboard engine was started first, and several minutes later the port engine followed, and we pulled away from the gate at 2238.
We headed for runway 24L and were number two to depart following a Northwest 757-300. Upon reaching our cruising altitude of 16,000 feet, the flight attendant did a beverage service, which was accompanied by the cheddar-flavored snack mix. I spent the flight looking through American Way magazine.
We descended towards an overcast Monterey covered in low clouds, emerging over the town about a mile from the airport. We touched down on runway 10R at 2354 and headed back to the terminal, reaching our parking place on the ramp at midnight.
We disembarked, headed over to the baggage claim area. This time, all of our bags arrived, and we headed home.
Overall, I thought the flights and service were pretty good. The only thing I would have liked to have would have been some sort of meal on the flights between LAX and DFW, a Bistro Bag would do.