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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 3:09 am

757 Long Haul, Long And Sarcastic

Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:28 am

It seems like in the recent years the 757 has become a popular favorite for airlines on routes that in the past would have been flown by much larger planes. Continental for one has employed their 757’s to Berlin from EWR, others like ATA use their 75s to Hawaii. There’s always been debate how comfortable a narrow body is on a long haul route and with good cause, at first glance how comfortable could a narrow body, 3x3 seating arrangement aircraft really is? So I thought I’d share my long haul 757 experience to Anchorage, Alaska only a week ago.

First off this is not a normal trip report, frankly I find most trip reports useless and boring. I could careless that you arrived at the airport at 6am with your mom and had an orange juice and egg sandwich for breakfast and that you decided to take a dump at 32,000 feet two hours into the flight, does nothing for me. Rather I like to read trip reports about the flight itself, how does the aircraft handle rough weather, air quality and cabin environment, interior condition (seats, carpet, lighting, bathrooms), IFE, food quality, passenger behavior, and cabin staff.

As some of you know I went to Alaska for 10 tens this August and flew American Airlines through DFW to ANC. The flight was scheduled to be 6 hours and 48 minutes it turned out the flight time was 7 hours and 21 minutes, one of the longer flights I’ve been on. Overall the flight was comfortable but mainly for one reason, no one was sitting in the aisle seat so we were able to spread out leaving the middle seat empty. If this wasn’t the case I would have wished the plane had flown into a mountain.

American’s 757’s are some of the oldest in their fleet and to this day still have not had their interiors upgraded like AA’s other birds. If someone knows a reason besides cost savings please let me know. It’s almost a disgrace for an airline like American to showcase a plane like the 757 in their fleet. You walk in and the first thing you notice is how old the First Class section is. The leather is old and worn, the seat controls whether or not they worked had years of tarnish over them. Certainly not a first class section I’d want to sit in. The other thing you notice is how dark these planes are, it’s a common fact that people are drawn to brightly lit areas and that brightly lit places make people feel better as well. Good portions of the ceiling lights were out along with the sidewall lights. I won’t even go into the carpet but someone should tell American to go out and rent a Stanley Steamer, my god.

I’ll say one thing for AA they’re new seats probably are the best of all the U.S airlines, at least in my opinion. This is certainly not the fact on there 757s; these are by far the worst seats of any airline operating in the United States. The seats are hard, worn, have a gap between the seat cushion and the backrest that after about five hours really gives you a pain in the ass. My flight had a good number of seats that wouldn’t recline because they were broken. If you can try to sit in the back of these planes you’ll have more of a chance of having a free seat in your row giving you more room.

Being a business traveler you quickly learn how important air quality is when flying. For the most part any new aircraft does a very good job providing passengers clean air that’s not going to dry you out and make you sick. We got on this plane and they had the heat blasting or perhaps they just turned on the A/C and it didn’t have its two-hour warm up cycle before the cold air started to blow. This plane’s air was dry and certainly not filtered properly. Here’s a tip, next time you fly go out and by a product called Airborne, works great helping to cut down on getting a bug when you fly.

Probably the worst part of flying a 757 on a long haul route is the bathroom setup. Two bathrooms for coach just don’t cut it. The minute we got above 10,000 feet a cattle rush of people lined up at the two hour wait mark to use the bathroom. This is fun to watch when the FA’s take out the beverage cart. I recommend installing a plow like device on the beverage cart to shove these people out of the way, DON’T STARE AT THE CART MORONS, MOVE OUT OF THE WAY. The bathrooms themselves well… lets just say I’d rather use a public bathroom in the slums of New Delhi. I did entertain myself trying to identify the years of tarnish and stains on the floor as I was contracting Ebola while relieving myself.

As for IFE, it’s called an iPod, CD player or book. After eight episodes of Everyone Loves Raymond, I have to say not everyone loves Raymond anymore. Then after that AA played this movie that after watching it you know someone if their IFE dept in Dallas has a relative that owed their cousin who produces low budget documentaries a favor. Ebert and Roper would have given it the middle finger.

Oh how can I forget about the food!!! Oh that’s right there wasn’t any!! Seven hours and they gave us a soda and pretzels. But you can purchase one of American’s lovely snack packs or sandwiches. You know you would think if you have to shell out the money for food it would be half way decent wouldn’t you?

The old saying goes that “Getting there is half the fun”. I wonder if that same person who came up with that was alive today would have came up with? “Getting their just sucks’. Cutting costs is needed but there comes a time and place when you have to say enough is enough.
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:45 pm

RE: 757 Long Haul, Long And Sarcastic

Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:34 pm

Wow you've certainly convinced me not to fly American. I usually fly United and America West. Last time I flew American was pre 9/11 days, 2000, to Paris from LA,couldn't take United for business reasons. I remember taking the 757 and I remember that we made the trip from LA to DFW very quickly, and that's about it. The trip from DFW to Paris, besides the aborted takeoff which was caused by a non-responsive speed indicator on the 777(at least that's what they said), was excelent. I remember I had respect for AA after that trip. Haven't flown them since and I guess they have gone down the hill from you report. You say they had IFE but no food?
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: 757 Long Haul, Long And Sarcastic

Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:37 pm

Quoting Tbird (Thread starter):
First off this is not a normal trip report, ..

Congrats, this one is a TR whose contents suit my taste.
Quick to read, lot of information while concentrated on the essentials.
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !

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