Trip Report: LAF-ORD-SAN

Wed Nov 24, 1999 11:15 am

Sorry it took so long to get this up, but here's a little narrative about my trip yesterday for anyone who's interested:

It all started at 9 am, when i was walking from Purdue University Airport's Hangar 1 (the AvTech Classroom building, where I had a 7:30 class), to the Purdue Simulator building for my 9:30 session in an FTD. In between these tw buildings stands, among other things, our airline terminal. I went in to check in for my flight, an 11:45 departure on United Express (Great Lakes Airlines) flight 6792, an Embraer 120 Brasilia. After my sim class, I went back to the terminal and boarded the flight, which began to taxi at 11:50. We went to runway 28 and, after a 7 minute groundhold, began our takeoff roll at 11:58. We climbed out and made a right turn northbound, giving me a great view of the University out of my window. There was a flight attendant, but no beverage service. This is the first flight I have been on that had no service, so that was interesting. After 31 minutes, we touched down on runway 22R at O'Hare at 11:29. We taxied in to the UE area at Terminal two, and deplaned. As I was getting off of the plane, I asked the flight attendant whether our baggage claim would be in Terminal 2, where we arrived, or T-1, where United's operations are. She told me terminal 2, so I went down to the baggage claim there and found no indication of UA claims. I then found out that my bag would indeed be claimable at Terminal 1, so I walked over there to get it.

Once I had claimed my bag, I walked over to Terminal 3, where I checked in for American Airlines flight 861, a 737-800 to San Diego with a scheduled departure of 2:55 pm. I had about 3 hours, so I went to Chili's for lunch in T-3, then went out to the L concourse, where my flight was to leave from, and watched planes for a while. Finally, at about 2:40, I was cleard off of the stand by list for flight 861 and issued a boarding pass. I was assigned a window, seat 22F. We pushed back a little late, at 3:07, and taxied to 27L. After waiting for 8 departures (AA MD-80, 2 AA 738, 2 AA 757, AA 767, AA F100, and TW MD-80), we began our roll at 3:21. We climbed to FL310 and, on our way there, the captain made an interesting announcement. After all of the usual welcome aboard AA stuff, he said, "We're especially proud to welcome you aboard this aircraft today. She was just delivered from Seattle and this is her first flight in revenue service." I thought that was pretty cool. This flight began with a beverage service, which for me meant my first two cans of Coke for the day. After that, dinner was served. I had cheese totellini in meat sauce, with a salad and a roll. The other option was glazed chicken with macaroni and cheese. The tortellini was very good. The dinner cart was immediately followed by the drink cart, so two more cans of Coke. The Thomas Crown Affair was shown, as was CBS Eye on American, but I just listened to CDs and looked out the window. About an hour before landing, we flew just south of Las Vegas and I got a breathtaking view of the city and the strip. About this time, beverages were served again. We touched down on runway 27 in San Diego at 5:23 pm, and got to the gate about 10 minutes behind schedule.

All in all, this was a very nice trip. I am currently planning to return to ORD Monday night on a Super 80, but I may yet opt to connect through LA and take a 767 - we'll have to see how I feel. After that, I'm not sure yet whether I'll take Great Lakes back to Lafayette or take Eagle to Indianapolis... I'll probably just fly to LAF unless that flight is full.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it.
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RE: Trip Report: LAF-ORD-SAN

Wed Nov 24, 1999 12:52 pm

Real comprehensive trip report. That sounds weird, to me at least, to check in for your flight then in the meantime go to class. It's like you check in for a haircut, but find that wait is going to be an hour, so you go run some errounds.

But that's how it works here at Purdue.

P.C. -- do you think I'll get the Embraer 120 or the Beechcraft? I'm going on the 11:45am flight on the 24th. Is there any way to check, aside from calling the airline?

- Neil Harrison
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RE: Trip Report: LAF-ORD-SAN

Wed Nov 24, 1999 2:53 pm

Great report. If you thought the Great Lakes EM2 had no service, you ought to try flying Trans States (aka US Airways Express) from SAN to LAX. Their Jetstream 32's don't even have a flight attendant. I've yet to be on one of their flights that was full, and in fact the last time I had the airplane to myself (except for the pilot and copilot). The flight route I take multiple times a year is SAN-LAX-HNL-ITO.

RE: Trip Report: LAF-ORD-SAN

Wed Nov 24, 1999 4:26 pm

Purdue Cadet- Great report! I took a flight non-stop from LAX to IAD last May. I missed my first flight which was scheduled on a 767. I was upset to hear that I'd be flying on a 737-800, which was the next non-stop out. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how nice and comfortable the -800 was. The airplane was so new that it smelled like a new car. What did you think of the -800 overall?


RE: Trip Report: LAF-ORD-SAN

Thu Nov 25, 1999 5:54 am

Neil - I guess it's a little late now, but I con tell you that you're flight was on the 120. 6791/6972 are on the Embraer, and the later flight is on the Beech 1900.

Hawaiian717 - I guess I should have qualified that - the last time I flew LAF-ORD I was on a Great Lakes Beech 1900, which also had no flight attendant. I really meant only flights with a cabin crew. For example, I have flown on American Eagle from Carlsbad, CA (just north of San Diego) to LAX, which is about 15-20 minutes of airtime. Every time that I took this flight, I got beverage service.

NAL757 - I think it's a great aircraft. This was my fourth flight on the 737-800, every time with American. I love the new interiors and the new seats, so I find the plane to be very comfortable. It may not be big, but it has a nice atmosphere that creates a comfortable flight.

One last thing that I forgot to mention... the EMB-120 was a lot nicer than I expected. It wasn't great, but after flying the Great Lakes Beech 1900 I was surprised by the leather seats and the ample legroom (ok, so I was in an exit row). One thing, though - It's very short. I couldn't stand up inside and, in fact, when I was standing on the top step/cabin floor when boarding, I could see right over the top of the aircraft!
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RE: Trip Report: LAF-ORD-SAN

Thu Nov 25, 1999 8:49 am

Happy thanksgiving to you too.
I like reading reports like these. While I was reading your report I felt I was with you on that flight, it sounds like the brand new 737-800 is a marvellous aircraft. You must have had great views on the Western part of the country.
I can't beleive that the flight attendant from Great Lakes gave you the wrong information about claiming your luggage. I knew she was wrong when I was reading your story. I would not have beleived her because I know that United's baggage claim area at O'Hare is at Terminal 1, you did the right thing you went to Terminal 1 to pick up your luggage.

Nice talking to you, enjoy your stay in California.

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium
Ben Soriano

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