I'm a little late posting this but here it goes. A couple buddies and I decided to do a 4th of July holiday weekend down in Florida. Being that I always go to the PNS region in the winter I was anxious to go back to the First Coast of JAX where I had gone as a kid to visit our (now deceased) relatives who lived there.
Friday June 30th
AA 5461 CID-STL 6:20am-7:20am ERJ-145 about 60% full
got up early to head out to CID. Noticed lightning off in the distance to the south of CID, was hoping that would not delay our flight to STL. Got checked in about 5am. CID is always a bustling place in the early morning hours, every airline there has flights to each of its hubs from 5-7am (except G4's LAS and SFB flights). We have DL heading to ATL and CVG this morning, UA heading to ORD and DEN, NW to MSP (2 flights) and DTW and AA to ORD, DFW and STL (where I would be travelling to). Luckily we were checked in early as the line grew long outside into the main terminal back towards the Pizza Hut Express/Deli area. We boarded our flight on time. Pilot informed us due to the tstorms south of here we would have to change our routing a bit. Instead of doing the right bank due south after take off we would go on a more southeastward heading toward the Quad Cities/MLI and then head south following the normal routing over the Illinois River valley into STL. Flight attendant kept saying it could get bumpy as we moved in and around the thunderheads but the flight was remarkably smooth. Got our standard beverage service of orange juice. Shortly after 7am we would be descending down to STL. Our route had us coming in from the northwest over the St. Charles area following freeway 370 towards STL. Before landing I could make out us crossing the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and then the Missouri River followed by the St Louis Mills Mall then finally over I-270 for landing. We arrived about 10 minutes early and had about an hour layover at STL. Lambert's AA hub was bustling place this morning, we decided to head over the the Burger King/Cinnabon food court area for a quick bite before our JAX departure.
AA 5507 STL-JAX 8:19AM-11:17AM ERJ-145 100% full
as luck would have it our CID-STL flight continued on to JAX form the same gate so didn't really have to walk too far. Takeoff direction on the runway at Lambert shifted for departures taking off to the west now. Our flight was up on time as we banked left for our southeastward turn to JAX flying over the St Louis metro area. We would pass over BNA and ATL along the way, finally descending into JAX coming in from the west. JAX was sure a bustling place today, my pals waiting for luggage while I got the rental car.
Had a great time in FL, hot and muggy weather of course. Lunch at Hooters on the JAX Landing after we arrived, then on to take some pics in front of Altell Stadium (NFL's Jaguars) and then out to the hotel in JAX Beach. Also drove around the TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra (very upscale homes). Our weekend would also have us going down to Daytona to check out the tailgating going on for the NASCAR Pepsi 400, then down to Coco Beach to see the Space Shuttle launch (it was scrubbed unfortunately)
Also checked out the sites in St Augustine (very Europe like) and the gator farm there. Monday came too fast and it was back home to CID.
Monday July 3 AA 5503 JAX-STL 4:26PM-5:45PM ERJ-145 85% full
Returned the rental car and checked in back for the flight home. Got to see the JetBlue flight from JFK as well as a couple flights from SWA (one was going to PHL the other to FLL) Our flight was up and on time, very hazy outside today so couldn't really make out where we were at until we hit the Mississippi River and rode along it up form the south of STL. Came in to STL from the south and east and got a great view of the Gateway Arch and downtown. Had about an hour layover in STL so decided to scarf down a whopper and walk around a bit. End of C concourse looked torn up a bit like they were preparing for remodeling (I have heard the all AA/AA Connection flights would be moved from B Concourse to C this year). Rest of the AA concourse C looked very clean and spiffy. They had some new stores and restaurants like CNBC, Chilli's, Wolfgang Puck and Starbucks. The concourse was pretty much line on the north side with M80's while south side was ERJ city.
AA 5460 STL-CID 7:32PM-8:32PM ERJ-145 95% full
this flight was booked pretty solid, but we were on time as usual (if not a little early) as we had been on this entire trip. Our quick flight up to CID took us over some T storms but the flight was fairly smooth. Our decent took us over Iowa City right over Kinnick Stadium home of the Iowa Hawkeye football team (Go Hawks!) about 5 minutes later we were on the ground at CID.
Had a great mini trip and I really enjoy connecting thru the AA STL hub. Its relatively compact (reminds me of the NW MEM hub) and easy to connect thru and not as delay prone as ORD or as spread out as DFW. I would recommend if your travels take you on AA and if you have an option to connect in STL to go that way, very easy.
Well that's my trip report, hope you enjoy!
[Edited 2006-09-09 01:47:18]
[Edited 2006-09-09 01:48:03]
[Edited 2006-09-09 01:49:00]