I actually made this trip between December and January but due to laziness I have delayed my trip report until now.
14DEC MEX/DFW AA1156 – MD82 (Dep: 5:35pm)
15DEC DFW/MIA AA1711 – Boeing 767-300 (Dep: 6:00am)
19DEC MIA/LGA AA2052 – Boeing 757-200 (Dep: 8:25am)
11JAN JFK/MIA AA1373 – Boeing 767-200 (Dep: 7:04am)
11JAN MIA/MEX AA2177 – Airbus A300-600 (Dep: 2:05pm)
LEG 1 – MD82
I really think I struck gold on this trip, because for the first time in my life, I was privileged to fly a different aircraft on each segment, and also I got the opportunity to fly two version of the 767 series, neither of which had I flown up until that point.
I arrived at the Benito Juarez International Airport at 11:00am, because my roommate was also travelling to New York, but on US Airways through CLT, on a flight that left at 1:30pm. We both checked in at our respective counters, both being checked in to our final case, his being LGA, and mine MIA. MEX international terminal is very smart looking, I love how the airlines are setup in various zones. Everything looked pretty new, I am not sure how long this terminal had been around. We walked around a bit, had breakfast, and shopped for some souvenirs. A short while after, it was time to head to the gates, as US Airways was operating on time, and would be ready for boarding soon. We went through security, found out what gate the US flight was departing from and made our way over there. He boarded his flight, the aircraft (A319) pushed back, taxied out, and before long my roommate was on his way to CLT. I now had 4 hours or so to burn. So I looked at planes, for a while, went for a beer, used my laptop as MEX as free WIFI and soon enough, it was 4:45pm. I found out where the AA flight for DFW was boarding, as they don’t have the info up on the board too long in advance for some reason.
The airport was pretty busy at that time, and there were no jetways free, so the AA flight to DFW had the ‘joy’ of remote parking. We boarded the people mover, and made our way across the tarmac. It was amazing to pass so close to the airplanes, including a IB A346, whose wing we pretty much drove under. We finally arrived at the aircraft, and although I knew I was flying an MD80 series jet, it gave me immense joy to see it on the tarmac. The MD80’s are my favourite airplanes by far, and it I didn’t fly one in many years. We boarded and the FA’s encouraged us to settle down quickly as the flight was starting to run a little behind schedule. I was amazed to see how well kept the MD82 was. It was spotlessly clean; the seats were new, with the adjustable headrests and all. Really, it looked like a recently bought airplane.
We pushed backed shortly after boarding, and the MD’s engine no.1 started to spool up. It was awesome to hear the classic jet whine that is not heard on new airplanes. The whine continued until you heard the slight ‘cough’ as the engine started. This was done for the no.2 and now was ready for taxi. The captain set the flaps, revved the engines, which responded with a high pitch whine, and the most beautiful airplane on this planet started to taxi smoothly, save for the little bumps there were on the taxiway. It was a busy evening in MEX, but everything was going smoothly as arrivals and departures were on two separate runways. It was pretty awesome to see what I called exotic airlines on the go, Aviasca and their B732’s, Aeromexico with MD83s, 87s, Boeing 737NGs and one Boing 762, Mexicana with A319s, A320s and the A318s which I never saw in person until then. There were other American carriers on the airport, but I am used to seeing them, so it was a special treat to be in Mexico and seeing the country’s airlines really running things on that airport, with an amazing amount of flights.
Soon AA 1156 was no.1 for takeoff. We taxied onto the active and stood for a while at the threshold. About a minute later, the captain revved the engines holding the brakes, as the engines screamed out with their typical high-pitched whine, which then changed to roar. The captain then released the brakes and the MD82 was rolling. The takeoff roll was pretty long, I suppose due to the fact that the airplane was heavy and MEX altitude of 7000+ft above sea level. The engines roared, the wings moved up and down slightly as we hit little bumps along the runway, and then the nose edged toward to sky and in seconds AA1156 was airborne, with a steep climb out of one of the biggest cities in the world. The view was amazing, for me it was quite intimidating. What a city!!! Only to think that a few months before, I didn’t know all this existed in this part of the world.
After a while the captain reduced our rate of climb and the engines spooled down a bit and we made a gradual climb up to 31,000ft making our 2.5 hour trip to the DFW airport. The flight was pretty uneventful to say the least, little turbulence, some pretzels and drinks were served, and I took a short nap. When I woke up, the aircraft had begun its descent. We made a smooth descent into the DFW area, and very soon after the MD82 smoothly grazed the runway at DFW. Much to my disappointment, reverse thrust was not used to slow the airplane down. We turned off the active, and were made to hold on the taxiway, as our gate was occupied seeing that we were a bit ahead of schedule. Meanwhile there were few planes going about their business of taking off to who knows where. I saw a few ERJs, B738s, one or two B752s and an endless supply of MD80 series. After about 20 minutes our gate was freed and we taxied in. We deplaned the aircraft, and I clear customs and immigration with no problems and went out to keep myself entertained (which I sure did) until my 6am departure.
I may do the others legs later, but I am embarrassed to say the night before each flight I partied or did something that had me so tired on the flights that is slept pretty much through them all, sometimes before pushback, only to be awaken slightly by the rev of the engines for take off… How sad huh!!
TO BE CONTINUED……..
I LOVE THE MD 80 SERIES OF AIRCRAFT, I HOPE YOU DO TOO………..