Topic Author
Posts: 2503
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 3:11 am

My Latest Airliner Tour (AAs Newest 777!)

Mon Feb 14, 2000 1:42 pm

Hello again!

I have just spent over half an hour enjoying the luxury of a first class section entirey to myself, and the best part of it is that it was on one of the newest airliners in the world.
Co-Pilot Greg Gearing, who flew the 777 up from Dallas and back by 5:30 this afternoon, took me through the entire aircraft, and in fact allowed me to roam it freely while he did the exterior inspection.

The airplane, a Boeing 777 - 200, was the 3-week old N781AN.

A 4-bunk crew rest area has been added between First and Business class, I've never seen this before (except of course on 747-400s).
The new First Class sleeper seats are amazing, each has it's own enclosed area and leans back to be completely flat.
As always, American's FAs were very friendly. A very nice lady was reclining in one of the aforementioned seats when I was aboard, and upon seeing that I had completed my inspection of the cockpit, she offered to get me a beverage. This is the second time an AA flight attendant has given me a beverage while touring.
The airplane was only 3 weeks old, so it still had that new-car/new-airplane smell.
EVERYTHING IS PLASTIC, the ceiling, the chairs, the walls, it smells like plastic through and through.

As with most 777s, First class was 2-2-2, Business was 2-3-2, and Economy was 2-5-2. The Economy seating was big enough for my legs, and I have above-average height, but it was tight and wouldn't have been good for moving around much at all.
For those who don't know, the overhead bins are amazingly large, I could probably have fit inside.

The computer suffered a glitch and stopped reading the nose gear's tire air pressure, so they had to send some maintenance guys outside to do a manual check.
The co-pilot who escorted me on the tour couldn't for the life of him get the Business Class TV screens to pop up from the arm rest despite a large sign reading 'PUSH', which is in fact how you get them out.
The captain complained of the logbook not being properly written in and not having high enough pay, but he was a friendly guy (spent the entire time in the cockpit).

On a scale of 1-100 for passenger comfort and enjoyment, I'd give the airplane a 92, especially for those First Class seats.

All the economy seats had the little video screens, and the Business and First class had the bendable head rests.

It was a great way to spend more than half an hour at ORD!
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 1999 1:42 pm

RE: My Latest Airliner Tour (AAs Newest 777!)

Mon Feb 14, 2000 3:25 pm

How did you get a personalized and *private* tour?

That's really cool! I've always wanted to ride in the 777. But, it looks like I'll have to wait until I can pilot one  .

That's funny about the F/O not being able to open the video displays! LOL!   I'll bet his VCR still flashes "12:00" on it!

- Neil Harrison
Posts: 830
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:49 am

RE: My Latest Airliner Tour (AAs Newest 777!)

Tue Feb 15, 2000 2:00 am

The 777 is such a great plane. One of my few 777 flights was on an AA 777 ORD-LHR last summer in biz class. The plane was N774AN. It is definitally the nicest plane in the AA fleet.

Hoiw did you get a provate toue? That would be the best just walking around an empty plane and trying all the seats. I want to be able to see a 777 cockpit. When I flew a BA 777 they wouldn't let me see it.  
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 1999 2:58 pm

RE: My Latest Airliner Tour (AAs Newest 777!)

Tue Feb 15, 2000 2:11 am

A way to get a private tour:
When I was at ORD about a year ago I got to do this on a 767-300 that had just arrived from LAX. I went up to the gate agent and asked them if I could go check out the aircraft. She got the Lead Agent to take me down and they let me run around and check everything out. I even got to set up in the Captains seat for a little while. The plane was a little messy since it just came in...but it was pretty neat. The only thing you cant do is get on an aircraft that has just came in from an International flight or is going to be leaving to go Internationally, due to Customs. Give it a try sometime maybe you will get lucky and get to check out a plane.

Also....747-600X.....the 777 in Coach Class has the Adjustable headrests in them also. That is something AA is adding to all the acft they do the new Interiors in. Even some of the Eagle ERJ's have the adjustable headrests.
Topic Author
Posts: 2503
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 3:11 am

Gettin' Tours

Tue Feb 15, 2000 5:22 am

I usually spend an entire day at the airport just for one good tour. I wander the terminals until I see an airplane of interest lurking up, in this case, I cought sight of the 777 landing and knew it would be at the gate shortly thereafter, so I waited. Then you just follow it along. I got there early because it pulled in right in front of me, gate G-8 I think. Anyway, then you just sit there and let the time pass while the passengers come off and intercept, politely, any pilots who come off. Usually they know the most about the aircraft. Usually it's the pilot who takes me back down. If that fails, ask the gate agent, I've gotten 3 tours (including a UA 747-400!) that way. If that doesn't work, wait for the arriving crew (which in this case was the same two guys!) and ask them to take you down. And yes, as AA777-200 said, it is VERY annoying that you can't get into the International planes at ORD (or, I assume, anywhere else).
Be careful, though, some airlines aren't very friendly. UA, for example... I've only had one good tour there (actually, that captain was something else! He took me on a DC-10, a 747-400, and the UA operations center downstairs!). On a good day, you can get half a dozen tours in, about a year ago I was on 2 727s, an ATR 72, a DC-10, and a 747 all in one day! BRING LOTS OF FILM.

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