New York JFK - Rome FCO
Date: 1 Mar03 Flight: AZ 611 Dep. Time: 19:18 Flight Time: 7:03h
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER I-DISE "Portofino"
Got to Terminal 1 early, about 4h before the flight and went straight to the check in counter. They were also cheking people in for the flight to Milano but had a counter open already for the Rome flight. They told me the flight was full and to come back in an hour. This made me a little nervous since I was flying standby and they had told me that the flight was open. This was the first day for a month that AZ flew the 777 to JFK so I was hoping that they hadn't changed to a 763 in the last minute. Nothing I could do but wait so I went upstairs where I could watch airplanes taking off. Saw quite a few jetBlue A320s and also sitting on the ramp was the AF Concorde, nice! Saw my plane come in, I-DISE which made me feel relieved; pretty sure I'd get on now and then the hour was up so went downstairs to check again. No problem, but come back in an hour. Okay, some more spotting and then started talking to fellow Airliners.net person Alitalia744. We talked for awhile until I had to go and finally get my boarding pass.
Photo © Damiano GUALDONI
Got a window seat, 33A, without asking but it's what I prefer so I was very happy Walked thru security which took a while since a lot of flights were leaving at the same time. They were already boarding by the time I got to the gate so I went on board right away. The airplane still had the "new airplane" smell and I walked to my seat and put my roll on bag in the overhead along with my jacket. Seats were comfortable and legroom was good. Heard comments from the crew that people had a lot of carry ons. Difficult for the last people to find room in the overhead to put away their stuff. Flight was about 80-85 % full so I had two Italians next to me. I can understand some Italian but hardly speak any at all. The guy next to me was very good in English so I showed him a little bit about the entertainement system. There were no announcements about this being a new airplane or how to operate this system but they did hand out a booklet with information. Pushback was just a few minutes late and then soon afterwards we started taxing. A short taxi and only had to wait for one departing plane ahead of us before we turned onto the runway. A powerful push back into the seat as always when the 777 started rolling and I noticed that the take off roll wasn't that long although the flight was almost full and this was going to be over a 7h flight. I had Airshow on and was quite amazed that we reached 37 000 feet in 14 minutes! Shortly therafter drinks were served and then dinner. Dinner was some meat with potatoes along with pasta and a salad. Appetizer was prosciutto but it was very tough to cut up. The pasta was very dry. I watched a movie when dinner begun, Minority Report by Steven Speilberg which was good. Then some more Airshow before watching One Hour Photo with Robin Williams and it was okay but not much more than that. Tried to use the inseat phone but didn't get it to work. The display is like a moblie phone and I assume that's so that one can send SMS messages, that's what I've heard you can do. It's also possible to dial another passenger sitting in another seat. You can also play videogames but I'm not that much into those so I just watched the movies and Airshow map.
We flew straight from JFK past St John's in New Foundland and the across the Atlantic towards Ireland. We turned south and then made land just bu Lorient in France, then straight over Nantes, Poiters and Grenoble before entering Italy close to Torino (Turin). Descent started soon afterwards and soon enough we were on the ground. I was quite amazed that the flight only took a little over 7 hours. I thought it would 8 hours or at least very close to that. I guess that could be explained by strong tail winds and the speed of the 777 (usually MACH 0.84).
Photo © Damiano GUALDONI
Noticed SQ's 777 9V-SVH also parked at the terminal and also parked at a remote stand was I-DISU along with VH-OJB "Wunala Dreaming" of Qantas. Before I left FCO for CDG, I noticed that DISU was towed to a gate a being readied for a flight. Probably the first revenue flight for that plane.
Thanks for your patience in reading this long report. Hope it wasn't too boring.
Hope to fly KLM's 777s or Vietnam Airlines' 777 before the end of the year. Vietnam Airlines should have their first before the end of April and KLM before the end of October. Will write another trip report then.