Ok this was my "Christmas" trip to Minnesota.
Dec 8 2001
AA1427 JAX-DFW MD-80 Seat 23A
Dep 6:48AM Arr 8:31AM
Check in: I was dropped off at JAX at 5:30AM for checkin. Anyways I walked inside expect a few people in line but I was greeted with a queue that wound over to the NW counter. Apparently all TWA passengers check in with AA and the first TW flight leaves at 6:43AM. So I waited, after about 25 minutes I finally checked in with this very friendly agent.
Security: Anyways, I started to walk down to the gate and noticed JAX has changed the location of the security checkpoints yet again. Back a few years ago they had the checkpoints in the individual terminals, then they switched to the main walkway before you get to the "atrium", now they are back in the terminals. There were 2 xray positions, they are all surrounded by plywood walls. Security has changed quite a bit, I can say that security is much tighter now.
Boarding: If any of you have flown AA lately you know they have adopted a Group boarding system. On all my flights it was group 1-5. But all I have to say is its a real joke. They called for preboarding and First class. Then group 1, about 4 people walked up. Group 2 another 4 or 5 people. Group 3 about 10 people. Then boy when group 4 hit it was like a stampede. Anyways showed my id when I handed them my tkt (which I guess is required on all AA flights now) and headed down the jetway and to my seat.
Flight: I was quite surprised at how much difference MRTC made. The legroom was amazing, I am about 5'10" and I still had about 6" of knee room left. The flight was probably about 90% full and I had a real nice lady next to me. We left the gate right on time and tookoff right away. I attempted to sleep but I couldnt get comfortable. The new seats on AA are a real joke compared to the old. They have absolutly no lumbar support and if you try to slouch your back will kill you.
Meal service: Nada, zippo, zilch. They did serve drinks and a snack. The snack mix was some stank dehydrated fruit mix which tested my gag reflexes. Good thing I bought a lunchable on my way to the airport.
Didnt do much on this flight. It was about 2hrs 30minutes long, but it felt like an eternity. Anyways we landed into Dallas a few minutes early. It seemed as though we landed over in Ft Worth though. We must have taxied for about 15 minutes.
I had about 2hrs in Dallas so I kinda just walked around. Let me tell you, the airports are practically deserted now. Dont know whether people just arent flying or if its because they only allow the passengers beyond security.
I had quite an experience with security in Dallas. I went outside to smoke. When I passed through security on my way back in I placed my bag on the belt and went through the metal detector and went to pick up my bag. Anyways they felt they needed to check me alittle closer. So he waved the wand over me for a few minutes, it kept going off on my shoes so I had to take them off for inspection. Then the guy said "May I pat you down", and I said "I guess". I will tell you that pat down was waaay too personal and I was just waiting for this guy to ask me out for dinner and a movie. But I digress...Moving on
Dec 8 2001
AA1154 DFW-MSP F100 Seat 11A
Dep 10:56AM Arr 1:13PM
Boarding: Boarding on this flight was just as gimpy as it was in JAX. There were about 20 pax total in groups 1-3. Then group 4 was a stampede. Again, had to show ID when I handed my ticket and again the random searches. I made my way to my seat and sat down.
Flight: This plane had the older seats which are much more comfortable. Well we sat at the gate forever because of people who were showing up late. I felt so bad for this one family that got on, they couldnt figure out where to sit because some idiots decided they were just going to sit wherever. The f/a had to come and tell them to move to the seat number that is printed on the boarding card. Well this flight I just passed out and dont remember much.
Snack: My seatmate woke me up for the snack. It was a really good bag of pretzels/cheez its. I got about 3 because the f/a's kept handing out more
We arrived into MSP right around 1:15pm and taxied to the gate. MSP was just like DFW, deserted. I walked down to the baggage claim and met my mom. My bag was the last one out (go figure) and I was on my way.
My impression: My impression of AA for these flights has been wonderful. All the AA employees were extremely friendly and helpful. The aircraft were spotless and MRTC makes a huge difference. The only thing I was unimpressed by was the new seats. They look damn good but arent very ergonomic.
Rating for JAX-DFW-MSP: A
Sorry for the very long post. I tried my best, havent written many of these.
I will eventually write Part 2 my return trip.