I remember my first 767 flight very well: AA ORD
June 22, 1995 (the full trip was FWA
return). Sorry I don't have any photos, but our schedule was kind of cramped and there was no time to take any pictures of the flights.
I was traveling to Boston with my mom and sister to attend a CCA (Children's Craniofacial Association) Cher's Annual Family Retreat that weekend (June 22-25, 1995), and we were booked on AA
by a generous donor.
Our trip started out at FWA
, my hometown airport (it was my first flight out of FWA
). The terminal was undergoing an expansion then, and certain areas were blocked off by construction. There were two new gates upstairs. Our flight, an American Eagle Super ATR, was to depart from the glassed-in ground floor regional concourse (this was the last time I saw it before it too was rebuilt and walled in). We flew American Eagle to ORD
to connect with our flight to BOS
. The Super ATR provided a bumpy but thrilling ride!
We arrived at ORD
(my first time ever there) and I was just awed by the huge size of AA
's Terminal 3. There we were met by a couple who were friends of ours and were involved with the CCA organization, who would accompany us on the same flight to BOS
and help us get around in Boston. They met us at the American Eagle concourse (G) and led us to the gate for our connecting flight to BOS
. Our flight was to leave in the mid-afternoon; I don't remember what time, though.
No sooner had we gotten there than we were almost immediately escorted aboard the plane--a beautiful, silvery AA
Boeing 762! My younger sister, in her wheelchair, got priority boarding, so Mom, my sister, our friends, and I boarded the plane. I got a view of the left wing and engine and fuselage from the jetway window as we boarded. I wish I had had the time to snap a photo of the plane with my camera, but we had been immediately escorted to the plane by gate agents. This was to be my 2nd widebody flight--only one year earlier, I had flown TWA JFK
return on TWA 741s (I have a trip report about that, too).
Inside, the 767 was not quite as wide as the 747 I had flown a year before, but it was equally as nice (you might now guess that I'm a widebody lover!). I liked the less cramped 2-3-2 coach seating. My sister and mom got the two seats on the left side, while I got the left aisle seat in the centre section (and our two friends got the other two seats in that section)--we five almost had the row to ourselves! During preparations for departure, the F/A was apparently struggling with the inflight entertainment system--a VHS machine hidden in a nearby overhead bin that was to operate the bulkhead screen system. The man who was traveling with us (and his wife) were joking with the F/A about the stubborn system.
Soon we departed ORD
and made our way toward BOS
. Dinner was served on board not long afterwards; I vaguely remember it was some kind of standard airline chicken meal. But it was nice eating dinner in the air! It reminded me of my TWA 747 flight the year before, where dinner and breakfast had been served over the Atlantic.
The most thrilling part of the flight was when the AA
762 began descending toward BOS
. It was to go out over Boston Bay, do a 180, and land on one of the runways that ended right at the edge of the bay. Sorry I don't remember which runway it was, but we landed in a westerly direction. We got down so low over the water, it seemed! It was dusk by then. We made a grand sweeping turn over Boston Bay while descending; it looked as if we'd end up in the drink! What a thrill! Fortunately, the pilot put the plane nicely down on the runway, not in the bay! We deplaned at the AA
terminal, claimed our bags, and went out (with our friends) to the arrivals pick-up area landside. Our male friend was brave enough to go find a rental van in that madhouse of an airport. It took what seemed an eternity while his wife, my mom, my sister and I waited on the curb with our luggage. He finally showed up with the rental van, obviously quite flustered. It was his first time driving in Boston (the well-known US capital of rude drivers). He struggled to find his way through Boston with us in the van, trying to find the Boston Back Bay Hilton (the venue of our CCA retreat that weekend).
It was a great weekend, meeting and sharing with other families and people who had similar experiences as I have with craniofacial anomalies, but all too soon, the weekend was all over and we had to go home.
In contrast to the exciting 767 ride to BOS
, we were on a more mundane Super 80 for the trip back to ORD
. When we got back to ORD
that Sunday night, our American Eagle Super ATR flight to FWA
was overbooked. We would have volunteered our seats on the flight, but I had been fighting a raging eye-socket infection that weekend that was just getting worse, and I needed to get to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis the next morning for it. (It turned out that I had to be hospitalized that whole week after that for surgery!).
When we arrived back home in FWA
, we had to go outdoors, around the construction, and into the new baggage-claim hall expansion to collect our bags.
A huge bonus that I got out of the trip was the Aer Lingus 747-148 that I photographed as it was landing at BOS
while our retreat group was out on a lobster boat in the bay! It was an unusual all-white livery. Its reg was EI
-ASJ (St Maeve). To this day, I still have that photo! The EI
747 is my favourite livery on a 747, so that was quite a thrill for me! (I shot that photo on June 23, 1995, a beautiful clear sunny day out on Boston Bay). Sadly, that was the only time I ever got to see an EI
747, for that same year, EI
retired its last 747 (incidentally, the same one I shot at BOS
What a great trip we all had!
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)