BigMac From Suriname, joined Nov 2003, 318 posts, RR: 10 Posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 23254 times:
So I decided to go to Vegas for a day to see Celine Dion’s concert at Caesar’s Palace. I’ve heard so many great things about that concert. The airplane freak that I am, I decided to fly through MIA-DFW-LAX-LAS and then return from LAS-DFW-MIA, even though I live closer to FLL. The bigger attraction would be that I would fly thrice on a 777 (I’ve only been on a 777 twice. See trip report: ATL-LAX-ATL On DL 777-232/ER BizE W/Pics+Video (by BigMac Jan 31 2004 in Trip Reports) ). Anyway, my parents arrived the day before my departure for a 3 week vacation. I asked my brother to drop me off at MIA, however my parents wanted to come along. I was hoping they would, because then we would drive their rental car; a brand spanking new 2005 Audi A6.
One of the best looking cars on the planet.
Date: March 9th, 2005
From: Miami (MIA)
To: Dallas Forth Worth (DFW)
Flight #: 908
Scheduled departure time: 7:35AM
Actual departure time: 7:34AM
Aircraft type: Boeing 777-223/ER
Aircraft registration: N7**AN
Seat #: 2B (First)
At midnight I checked in online and printed out my boarding pass in case I would be late at the airport. I wanted to check in at a counter to receive the “stronger” boarding cards, not the flimsy ones from my printer or from the kiosks. Anyway, I arrived at the airport at 6:15AM and went into the First class line. It was completely full. Not only that, the line didn’t move all that much. What is up with people checking in so long?
Anyway, after 25 minutes I was at the counter and check in took less than 3 minutes. I told the agent that I had forgotten my boarding pass. Upon receiving my boarding pass it seemed that AA changed the equipment from a suite configured 777 to a coffin configured 777 (however, a nice surprise was awaiting me on the return trip). My seat was also changed from 1A to 2B because the coffin configured 777 does not have a row 1. I asked the agent if he could do anything about it and he said I had to go to the gate and ask the agents there. I was kind of disappointed because I really wanted a window seat.
Security was a breeze. There were only 3 people in front of me in the line. I walked to the gate and upon arriving there were 2 777’s were parked beside each other; an awesome sight.
The 777 I was about to fly on.
I asked the gate agent if she could help me in giving me a window seat and she said that everything was full. Boarding didn’t begin long after I arrived at the gate, but I waited 5 minutes before I boarded. Once on board the aircraft, the first class cabin was already half filled. My seatmate in 2A was already seated. After I put my luggage in the overhead bin I took my seat and a nice “big” pillow and blanket awaited me on my seat. I was offered a pre departure drink and I took an orange juice. After everyone boarded it seemed that First class was completely full. We pushed back and departed on time, but most fun of all the captain performed a rolling take off. No waiting at the start of the runway!
After takeoff the flight attendants started taking the meal options. I took the egg omelet with black beans and potato bits in an enchilada sauce. Before the meals were served hot towels were handed out and I wiped my hands, seat controls, IFE monitor. People must have been looking really weird at me. Anyway, breakfast was served. The breakfast was filling and was really not bad at all but nothing to talk or write about. I immediately put the black beans aside because I don’t eat any beans. As you can see there were barely a couple of slices of fruit on the plate, however the fruit tasted fresh.
Breakfast is served! Oh well, it’s better than nothing!
The flight attendants all seemed nice and friendly. They all had a slight smile on their face and didn’t a have tired looking face. They also often asked if I needed some more to drink.
The seat looked a little archaic. Surprisingly it was in excellent condition, considering the age of these things. The cabin was also in excellent shape. The seat did its job and it was wide enough to get comfortable in. Also it was a complete flat bed, not angled, but completely horizontally flat. I did not watch any movie because I didn’t really know what movies were being played. Also the movie guide was missing. The IFE is not on demand so I could not restart any of the movies even if I wanted to watch a movie. The size of the screen was OK, not big like on VS or SQ. The seat pitch was really amazing. Just an endless amount of space. However, I think there was a little less space because of the bulkhead. Mid flight the front toilet near door L1 broke and it was closed off.
88” of seat pitch baby!
Somewhere between Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, and New Orleans.
The electronic seat controls.
The rest of the flight I just looked at what was on the IFE, flipping through the various channels, and took a short nap.
Then the captain came on the PA and announced that we were about ready to begin our decent into DFW. I quickly jumped to the restroom in the Business class section. It is very nice how you can see all the connecting flight information prior to arrival on the IFE and main screens. We touched down and the only airplanes I could see were only AA’s. Bleh… Also it seemed I would fly the same plane to LAX. This meant I would not have to walk to another terminal or gate. The bad thing would be that I would have a coffin seat again.
******************************************** Date: March 9th, 2005
From: Dallas Forth Worth (DFW)
To: Los Angeles (LAX)
Flight #: 2421
Scheduled departure time: 10:50AM
Actual departure time: 11:23AM
Aircraft type: Boeing 777-223/ER
Aircraft registration: N7**AN
Seat #: 3A (First)
After I deplaned from the aircraft at DFW I sat down and waited for my next flight. It would be on the exact same aircraft I just deplaned. Boarding began and this time I was one of the first to board. Upon entering the cabin it seemed that the crew was different. I put away my hand luggage and took my seat; 3A. This time there was a delay. According to the captain they were finishing up “repair” and “paper” work. Were they repairing the broken toilets? I saw mechanics pulling a couple of panels and people constantly going in and out of the cockpit and running down the isles. I hope it wasn’t too serious.
This should give you an idea of how much space there really is
A view of the back of the coffin with the locker.
A24, the gate we were parked at.
2 sister ships.
Anyway, after a delay of about half an hour we pushed back and off we went. Take off was very smooth and powerful. The sound of those Rolls Royce Trent 892's during takeoff are just plain awesome as can be heard from the video. The link to the video of the takeoff can be found at: http://www.flightlevel350.com/public_viewer.php?cat=74&pic=2279
After takeoff, hot towels were handed out again. I again wiped my hands, seat controls and IFE monitor. A flight attendant began to hand out warm nuts. They of course contained soy nuts which I didn’t eat.
Warm nuts… with soy nuts of course!
The snack options were taken and I took the salmon. The salmon came in a teriyaki sauce, with green beans and hash browns. There was also a bag of lemon cookies which I did not eat. The salmon tasted great, no complaints at all. The salmon wasn’t dry at all and didn’t have a strong fishy or salmon taste. The hash browns were awful though, a little burned.
The snack. Again anything is better than nothing…
The flight attendants were as nice as on my first flight. They were never unfriendly or irritated. After a fourth of the flight passed, it seemed that 3 toilets were now out of order. It seemed that the one that was out of order in First class during my first flight was not repaired. Not only that, 2 toilets were also out of order in Business class. This together with all the mechanical problems and delays made me think that AA uses “broken” airplanes for domestic flights and uses the ones that are in perfect condition for their international routes. I guess this also explains the equipment swaps for my flights.
On this flight I looked at Bridget Jones – The Edge of Reason, but I did not finish the movie. Still it was really funny. The rest of the flight I just flipped through the various channels but there was nothing interesting to watch.
I just love engines...
Hoo KIA. Watch out! Some 747’s.
Upon arrival at LAX I saw some nice 747’s. Upon deplaning I went straight to the gate were I was going to catch my flight to LAS. At least I didn’t just see AA airplanes.
******************************************* Date: March 9th, 2005
From: Los Angeles (LAX)
To: Las Vegas (LAS)
Flight #: 1594
Scheduled departure time: 3:10PM
Actual departure time: 3:11PM
Aircraft type: Boeing 757-223
Aircraft registration: N637AA
Seat #: 2A (First)
Coming off my flight from DFW, I had a nice wait at LAX. Upon arriving at the gate for my flight to LAS I saw a nice Qantas 747-438 that was waiting at the gate. It was parked so close to the terminal I could almost touch it. After about 20 minutes it was towed away either to another gate or just onto the tarmac waiting for new passenger to be flown home.
An awesome view. The 747 was “almost” at arms reach.
Empty, not flying anywhere!
When boarding started I was one of the first in line again. However, the line was very short. Once on board I took my seat in 2A. After boarding was complete it seemed there were maybe only 6 or 7 people in first class.
What a lovely engine indeed!
Again, I was offered a pre departure drink and I took an orange juice as usual. This time we departed on time. After take-off, pretzels in a plastic package were handed out as well as another drink. I didn’t eat the pretzels at all.
The First class seats on the 757 looked like they were from the 1980’s, however it looked like they were recently reupholstered. They were of course fully upholstered in leather. This however made them slippery. I was kind of surprised. Somehow the seat pitch looked better than on the MD-82. However, I would definitely not want to fly this 757 transcontinental. For the rest of the flight, which wasn’t that long, I just sat in my seat and stared outside.
Somewhere close to Vegas...
Since this was a really short flight, the captain started his decent into LAS forty minutes into the flight. During our decent into LAS I had a really nice view of the strip. This was the first time I came in from LAX so I had a different view than usual.
Finally. VEGAS, here I come!
Overall, the 777 is really a very nice airplane to fly on. Very roomy and definitely very comfortable. AA staff seems to be doing an OK job. They all do what they are supposed to do, but they don’t go the extra mile to make things better. Their airplanes all looked in excellent condition. I guess I was just very unlucky that the 777 I was on had that many problems.
I will be posting the return flight home probably next week (again on a 777, however this time in another configuration). Yay!
PresRDC From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 650 posts, RR: 1 Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 22041 times:
In recent months, it has become apparent that AA's 777 First Class seatmaps are meaningless until the actual aircraft operating the flight has been determined, anywhere from one day to just a few hours prior to flight time.
In September, I was checking on AA.com and noticed that, starting in April 2005, all the 777 First Class seatmaps showed the 1-2-1 Flagship Suite configuration. In the past, AA.com would show either the 1-2-1 or 2-2-2 configuration. While last minutes changes could and did occur, the seatmaps at least gave an indication as to what confguration AA was planning to use. One of the cost reductions AA announced a while back was to standardize the 777 fleet and I took the change in seatmaps as evidence that the process was underway with a planned completion date in early to mid 2005.
It turns-out that the 777 J and Y class configurations were standardized, but AA decided not to spend the money to convert all the F seats to Suites. Fair enough. It would definatley be a costly upgrade and money is tight. However, that did not stop AA from only showing the Flagship Suite configuration. The reason according to AA is the, with 16 seats, the Suite configuration is shown so as to avoid overbooking (this seems nonsensical to me). In other words, the 777 First Class seatmaps indicate nothing about the type of aircraft likely to be used on a given flight.
The upshot is that Suites are now regularly showing-up on NRT and NGO flights, but there is no way to know in advance. Over the past two weeks, I've been monitoring all the daily 777 international flights to see if a pattern emerged as to which flights were most likely to feature the Suites. It is my conclusion that no such pattern exists. It is totally determined by operational as opposed to marketing considerations.
Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 4): So was this 777 configured in the pacific first class, 2-2-2?
It was a 2-2-2 configuration; coffin configuration. However, it seems that the 2 configurations have been renamed to configuration 1 and 2. It also seems that nowadays there are no guarantees that you will fly a specific configuration.
Quoting BA380 (Reply 5): looking forward to part 2, partic the 757 stuff.
Thanks. However, my return trip was on an MD-82 and on the suite configured 777, not on a 757.
Quoting Drerx7 (Reply 8): Nice report and pics but..."One of the best looking cars on the planet." I have to sorely disagree.
MIASkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1338 posts, RR: 1 Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 21456 times:
I have flown AA 752 First Class on MIA-SFO TRANSCONS and let me tell you I will take 752 First over 752 Economy any day!!!!! Makes a world of a difference... but for that particualr flight I try to stick w/ the AA 763ER Business/First flight!
Yea AA's 772's are fantastic! I have flown them to LHR and JFK from MIA...great planes!
I have flown AA 752 First Class on MIA-SFO TRANSCONS and let me tell you I will take 752 First over 752 Economy any day!!!!! Makes a world of a difference...
Thanks MIASkies. First in the 757 is indeed very roomy. I guess it's partly because of the very old style seats that they use. Yes, I would never, ever try to fly transcon in economy in a 757, well AA's anyway.
Hopefully I'll post the return trip, LAS-DFW-MIA, by this weekend. However I did not fly in the 757, but I did fly on the 777 and the MD-82.
Capt.Fantastic From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 683 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 20610 times:
I saw both Celine Dion and also Elton John at Caesar's palace. Elton John's show was much better. The audience was more up-beat and fun also. Celine's show was cool, but she didn't play to the audience like Elton did.
Siromega From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 735 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 19283 times:
Wow, what a great picture of the strip.... I live in LAS, so I picked up on all the landmarks. Of course, usually I fly to places east of LAS, so I never arrive from the west/southwest to get the view you got.