I was originally scheduled on an earlier flight, NW315. However this flight did not have dinner in first class, and I wanted dinner. I asked the gate agent if I could stand by on flight 303, which left a few hours later. He said sure, and confirmed me in first class on NW303.
Boarding began about 20 minutes later than it should have, at 4:40PM for our 5:10PM scheduled departure. This was understandable, because the aircraft arrived 20 minutes late due to thunderstorms in the Twin Cities area. (Major tornado outbreak occurred this past Saturday across the Midwest).
As I boarded the aircraft, I was greeted by a kind flight attendant, who asked if I would like a pre flight drink. I took her up on the offer, and had a can of
Grapefruit Juice Cocktail.
I love row 3 in the 757-300, if I cant have row 1. I think it has the most legroom in first class, next to row 1. We pushed back about 30 minutes late, and the pilot announced that we would be 40 minutes late arriving into Los Angeles. There were severe thunderstorms beginning to develop rapidly over the upper Midwest, and he said we would have to be re-routed.
Flying out of severe thunderstorms.
After takeoff, the flight attendant began taking orders for dinner. Our choices included chicken and noodles, with a salad, and other sides, or a beef rib dinner with a roll of French bread, slice of carrot cake, a side salad, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, raw salmon with whip cream dip and a touch of Wasabi, and a selection of wine. I had everything except the wine, which I substituted for a Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
As she began to serve the meals (I took the beef by the way), the pilots told the flight attendants and anybody who had their seatbelts unfastened to take their seats immediately and fasten their belts, STAT! No less than 20 seconds later, the aircraft began to experience heavy to severe turbulence. This was by far the most intense turbulence I have ever experienced. I personally love turbulence so it made my day, but some other people began to look a little sick! We were really rolling for about 20 minutes. The pilot updated us, making us aware that we were flying over thunderstorms that were producing tornadoes over Nebraska. I got a picture of the storms when we broke out of the clouds.
The flight attendants were finally allowed to get back up, and began serving dinner again. Everything about the meal was delicious! The three best things were the beef, the cake, and the salmon with whipped cream and a tinge of Wasabi. That whipped cream sure woke up my taste buds. I probably spent 30 to 45 minutes eating, it certainly was a lot of food, even for first class IMO. (The dried apricots in the salad were very good too.)
After the flight attendants served dinner, we flew through more thunderstorms, and the flight attendants were asked to be seated again.
After dinner, the flight attendant came around with water and coffee. I took a cup of coffee, and enjoyed the view out of my window. A beautiful sight of the Rocky mountains, Bryce and Zion National Parks in Southern Utah, and then the Grand Canyon. Once I saw Lake Mead in southern Nevada, I knew it would be less than one hour, and I would be on the ground in LA. I finished the book I was reading, and had another cup of Sierra Mist.
Over the Rocky Mountains full of snow in late May! And I thought Minnesota was bad.
Flying over the Rocky's, viewing the beginning of the Great Basin, near Zion and Bryce National Parks in S. Utah.
Over Zion NP.
Enjoying a cup of coffee.
Over the Grand Canyon.
More Grand Canyon.
Even more of the Grand Canyon.
The San Bernardino County mountains during decent to the
Los Angeles International Airport. You can see the smog in
the valleys below the mountains, which is almost a constant
feature in the LA and Orange County area.
We landed in LA about 20 minutes late, not bad considering the aircraft arrived late from PHX, we left MSP late, and we flew through some violent thunderstorms. The flight attendants made a special announcement for everybody to remain seated, so some pax connecting on DL to Honolulu could catch their connecting flight, which I thought was cool. Back in SoCal for a week, than home to Minnesota.
BTW, This flight felt like it was 5 minutes long. With all of the great service, turbulence, and grand views, there was no need for IFE to pass time, which is usually how it is on NWA flights. So all of you PTV people who think that an airline cannot survive with out PTV's, ask somebody who fly's NWA. I think it would actually destroy the experience.