Topic Author
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AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Sun Dec 16, 2001 7:02 am

Boeing 737-823
ETE: 0107

I was originally flying into Oakland, but after 9/11, AA cancelled the route and put me into problem, San Fran has a better airport! This was also my first time aboard a 738. The aircraft arrived at gate 37B at approximately 18:30 local time. The AA flight departing from 37A was delayed due to snow at its destination, Las Vegas. ATC implemented a gate hold for LAS-bound aircraft at 18:00; this hold was lifted at 18:30. Once I boarded the aircraft, I absorbed my first 738 experience. The aircraft was clearly longer than the other 737's I have flown on: -300, -500, -700. The increased length resembled the cabin of a 757. TV monitors hung from the ceiling above the aisle and the seats were a tasteful blue. I took my seat in 25F in the rear of the aircraft. The LAS-bound flight pushed back and departed 10 minutes before us. At terminal 3, I observed two Air New Zealand 747's, a Virgin A340 and an Air Canada A320. The flight was approximately 3/4 full with numerous empty middle seats. We pushed back on time and taxied to 24L. LAX was experiencing windshear with winds 320 gusting to ~ 20 knots. An arriving 737 reported +/- 20 knots on finals down to a few hundred and +/- 10 knots to 200 hundred feet. The captain warned us about the winds and told everyone (including the flight attendants) to fasten his/her seatbelts extra tight. Once we reached take-off power, I experienced noise and vibration that was unusually loud and harsh. It was quite an experience. Additionally, I could feel the pilots correcting the aircraft's position on the runway: the aircraft kept on yawing to the left and right. On climbout, the windshear was obvious and the aircraft took substantial drops on numerous occasions within 1 minute of our departure. Coversely, the aircraft also attained steep vertical speeds. This phenomenon was illustrated with several incidences when the aircraft felt like it was being lifted up. It was certainly the most exciting climbout! After following runway heading, we turned right to continue on the Ventura Two Departure. The flight attendants served a very tasty snack mix and offered beverages. Surprisingly, the flight attendants asked each passenger if he/she wanted the whole can of soda. Obviously, I said "yes." We levelled at FL310 and continued our cruise up the coast. There was extensive cloud cover over central California and the air was choppy. We descended on the Big Sur Two Arrival and turned final at the San Mateo Bridge on the Tip Toe Visual 28L. We were paired with an American 757 landing 28R. I was trying to keep an eye on that aircraft but it was a little bit ahead of us. I love night approaches into SFO: the dark bay waters meet the aircraft and at the last moment, runway lights appear. The landing was firm and we rolled out without thrust reversers. Without this deployment, we overtook the AA 757 on the high-speed and led that aircraft to the terminal. Additionally, we only used autobrakes 1; once again, a measure to beat the 757. We taxied to the gate and ended my first 738 experience. The winds certainly made it an exciting flight! It probably also the only time I will fly LAX-SFO. OAK is still move convenient for me, but I'll take SFO any day!

Please send your comments since I don't write too many trip reports. Thanks!
Topic Author
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RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Sun Dec 16, 2001 7:07 am

Couple things I forgot:
The captain did a great job of pointing out scenery during the flight. Also, we had 150 knot headwinds in the cruise. Crazy stuff!
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RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Sun Dec 16, 2001 3:18 pm

Interesting, I noticed that the 738 seems unusually loud on takeoff too, but once in the air it seems very quiet. Nevertheless its a great aircraft

RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Sun Dec 16, 2001 4:23 pm

Nice trip report !
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Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Mon Dec 17, 2001 2:26 am

Very Nice trip report!! Great with all the details!! The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
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RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Mon Dec 17, 2001 12:19 pm

Thanks for the details about the routing!

I have also noticed that the 738 produces a lot of noise/vibration on takeoff. However, I think it is more pronounced when one is seated behind the engines, as you were.
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RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Tue Dec 18, 2001 11:15 am

Great trip report.
Im scheduled for my first 737-800 flight on March 9 on AA.
Fly the Flag!!!!
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RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Wed Dec 19, 2001 1:37 am

The AA flight departing from 37A was delayed due to snow at its destination, Las Vegas.

Snow? In Las Vegas???
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
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RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Wed Dec 19, 2001 5:51 pm

Nice details -- did you talk to the pilots after the flight in the cockpit? Or were you jumpseating for part of the flight (I guess that's unlikely after 9/11, but who knows?)
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RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Sat Dec 22, 2001 2:20 pm


Passengers can not ride jumspeat in the US...even before 9/11.

I L U V 7 6 7
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 9:24 am

RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Sun Dec 23, 2001 12:50 pm

Really great trip report!
I will be riding on a AA 737-800 in July and when I do I'll tell you all about it.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)

RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Tue Dec 25, 2001 7:06 am

Does AA have anything like Channel 9 on UA? Because how could you hear ATC conversations? Good report! Big grin
-Clovis AKA LAXman
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RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Thu Dec 27, 2001 10:51 am

From what i know, snow does happen very rarely in Vegas. I know it snows all the time in Southern Utah, places like St. George but that is on the other side of the mountains (I think it's the Virgin River Mountains?) But yeah it could happen but i don't remember it this year...

life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
Topic Author
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RE: AA 737-800 LAX-SFO

Sat Dec 29, 2001 1:57 am

Thanks for the comments, everyone. The info I gathered is from listening to my scanner at LAX and speaking with the captain after the flight.

Last night, I returned from Orlando (MCO-IAD-SFO) so please ready my trip report. I'll post it in the near future. Thanks!

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