Mon Apr 17, 2000 6:13 pm

Dear Friends,
In July I will be flying to LAX/SNA from PER with AN,NZ and United Express.
My first trip to USA.
Anyone in MEL,AKL,LAX and SNA willing to show me around airports please e-mail me back.
My e-mail:
Thank You and best regards from Perth

Posts: 1724
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 1999 1:14 pm


Tue Apr 18, 2000 12:35 pm

MEL is an easy airport to get around with all three terminals joined. Outdoor observation is available in the QF domestic terminal but by July the existing QF terminal may be closed temporarily for renovations. You can get good viewing from all concourses albeit indoors. The views from the waiting area at the end of the international concourse are very good.

If you are transitting in AKL you will not go through customs so viewing will be limited to the concourse after immigration. The views from here are OK. If you can swing it to get into the UA/NZ lounge you get a better view as you are a bit higher. If you are transitting after dark the views are virtually non-existent.
717, 721/2, 732/3/4/5/7/8/9, 742/3/4, 752/3, 762/3, 772/E/W, 300,310, 319,320/1, 332/3, 359, 388, DC9, DC10, F28, F100, 142,143, E90, CR2, D82/3/4, SF3, ATR

RE: Visit To SNA

Tue Apr 18, 2000 5:37 pm

Thank You very much for all valuable info about MEL & AKL.
On my way to USA I will have 1 day stopover in AKL.
There is lot of information about LAX being posted right now so I know what to
expect there.
Now anyone from SNA???
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm


Wed Apr 19, 2000 6:32 am

I'm not an authority on SNA, but I have flown through there a couple of times. John Wayne Airport (SNA) is in western Orange County, roughly between Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Newport Beach. These areas are higher income (especially Newport Beach), so there are noise abatement procedures in effect, so the rich, "good ole' boy" network doesn't get angry. The single runway is rather short, (? ft) and the airport closes at 11pm (I believe). I've actually driven by there later at night, and there was a huge lighted "X" at the beginning of the runway.

SNA is not that far from LAX, maybe 30-40 miles? They are both located along Interstate 405, commonly known as the San Diego Freeway. The terminal is parallel to the runway, and extends a long distance (no moving walkways here). Several airlines utilize SNA, but the largest planes I've seen there are 757s. In fact, after closing hours, there are several planes tightly packed along the terminal within spitting distance of the freeway. It's strange to see them all lined up with skyscrapers all around them. The terminal appears to have been renovated, but inside it has an odd, "old" look to it. It has palm trees galore everywhere, and a statue of a certain cowboy movie star on premises.

There are hugely controversial plans to close John Wayne Airport and move a few miles down the San Diego Freeway to southern Irvine, where El Toro Marine Air Station is located. Maybe. Maybe not. More land there, better transportation links (Irvine Metrolink and Amtrak stops are at the end of one of the present runways),but also multiplying subdivisions, more people to complain, and not least, a large mountain in the flight path. Also the best anti-airport lawyers that money can buy. And believe me, there's a lot of money around this neck of the woods.
travelin man
Posts: 3219
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

RE: Visit To SNA

Wed Apr 19, 2000 6:53 am

Like Johnboy said, SNA is a smaller airport about 35 miles south of LAX (you will have an EXTREMELY short flight of probably 15-20 minutes or so). The airport is actually VERY busy with a lot of private planes in addition to the commercial traffic. Many airlines serve John Wayne Airport (all US majors - American, United, Delta, Alaska, Southwest, Northwest, TWA, US Airways, Continental, and America West). The largest plane flown into SNA is the 757. You'll see many of those (especially AA and UAL). There are also quite a few 737s, MD-80/90s, and A320s. They actually serve many East Coast cities non-stop from SNA, including ATL, JFK, EWR, and PIT, as well as ORD, DTW, MSP, and DFW. It is a nice alternative to LAX.

I've been there quite a few times. The terminal is new (1992 or so), and it is one of the nicest I've been in (reminds me of Delta's terminal 5 at LAX). Lots of marble and palm trees. The best place for spotting is between gates 7 and 8. There is an indoor observation area. Also, go up to the top of parking garage on either side of the airline check-in counters for a good view of the traffic coming in and out.

It's too bad you're doing the commuter flight to LAX, because a take-off from SNA in a jet (especially a 757) is a treat. Due to the noise restrictions, the planes power full forward at a VERY steep angle on take-off, so it feels like you are being launched. Then, about 30 seconds later, they cut the power back to reduce noise for the neighborhoods below. It gives you an odd sensation of partial weightlessness/falling!! When I've flown AA out of SNA, the pilots always warn the passengers about this before take-off, so people don't get scared and think they are crashing. It is quite an experience!!!!

Hope this helps!


Wed Apr 19, 2000 6:42 pm

Thank You very much!
But first I am off to FRA (PER-BWN-BKK-DXB-FRA long one! ) with Royal Brunei, Amir is going to show me around in FRA.
I will report my trip after 8/5/2000 when I come back

Happy Easter!!!!

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