2 weeks ago I stumbled upon a “cheap” fare on American Airlines which had the following routing: FLL-DFW-ORD-DFW-FLL. This was the perfect route/fare which would requalify me for Platinum status on AA. This trip would be a little over 12 hours in total.
Dep: 10:15 am
Arr: 12:25 pm
Seat 5F (First)
Boeing 757-231 (Ex-TWA)
I woke up at 7am took a shower and had some breakfast and scooted to Ft. Lauderdale airport, which was around a 40 minute drive. I arrived at the airport at 9am and proceeded to the check-in counter to get a reprint of my boarding passes. This took around 10 minutes while security took over 25 minutes. As I approached the gate it seemed that boarding had just begun and I boarded immediately. The airplane was an ex-TWA 757, which will be phased out. Once on board I took my seat in 5F. My seat already had a blanket in the seat pocket and a headset on the armrest. As usual, a pre-flight drink was offered and I took my usual orange juice without ice. I noticed that it was a little hot on the aircraft and as a result I became sleepy. I actually fell asleep when the aircraft began rolling down the runway. I woke up right when the aircraft rotated. Those 757’s really are sprinters and rotate really quickly. Anyway, it was cloudy so I closed my window shade most of the flight. But right before I closed them I took a picture of my house.
My house is circled in red:
Once the flight attendants were given the clear to resume their duties we received a beverage and warm nuts and at the same time the inflight movie was started, which was Talladega Nights (which I did not watch). This was followed by a hot towel made of cloth, not tissue. The snack service followed which was either a cheese pizza or salmon. I choose the salmon since I avoid food with cheese. The only way to describe the food is if Denny’s would serve salmon it would look/taste the same as this meal. The meal was then followed by a warm chocolate chip cookie, which was very good and a very nice addition. Overall, the service was just ok. The flight attendants just did their jobs and didn’t go the extra mile (do they ever on US airlines?). For the rest of the flight I took a nap and everything after that was a blur (probably because of the drinks I had). Overall, I found the F seat on the ex-TWA 757’s to be more comfortable than AA’s “other” 757’s. They are softer and conform to you body.
Once I deplaned I went straight to the Admiral’s Club in the international D terminal. I really like the D terminal because it is so big/roomy and new. I always try to go to the D terminal especially since scooting from terminal to terminal is quick and easy because of Skylink. Once in the Admiral’s Club I had a drink and took some pictures. Before I knew it, it was time again to go to the A terminal to catch my flight to ORD.
The view from the Admiral’s Club in Terminal D:
Yep, I tried to be artsy and failed:
An AA MD-82 in MD-82 land:
Hello there! (I’m a 777 freak):
Brother and sister:
Dep: 1:30 pm
Arr: 3:45 pm
Seat 12J (Economy)
A minute or two after I arrived at the gate boarding started beginning with First Class. Soon afterwards Executive Platinum and Platinum members were asked to board and I made my way to the line. This flight would be on a 777, my absolute favorite aircraft. Once on board I took my seat in 12J in the Business Class cabin. Most of the time when AA’s 777 fly domestically, elite members who fly economy can sit in the Business Class cabin. You can see it as a super deluxe economy plus. Every time I fly on a 777 I’m amazed at how roomy, airy, comfortable, and relaxing the cabin feels. The design really makes a huge difference.
60” of pitch in economy on AA? No way:
The cabin of the 777 on AA:
Of course there’s the wing of the 777, a real gigantic piece of art:
Yep, yet another AA MD-82:
Once on board, a pillow and blanket wrapped in plastic were waiting on my seat. We pushed off and departed on time. Once in the air the beverage service began and the IFE service was also started. All of a sudden the personal overhead lights throughout the cabin automatically turned on and off. This happened a couple of times. An announcement was made that there were some technical issues and that the people in the mini Economy Class cabin were free to move to the back since they had no IFE and overhead lights. During the beverage service I asked for a Sprite and got a cup and a whole can of Sprite. I again tried to sleep for the rest of the flight, without even touching the IFE. The seats were perfect to take a quick nap.
Another gigantic piece of art of the 777:
I can’t get enough of this engine:
Other than that there wasn’t anything special to note about this flight since it was really short.
Finally some international widebodies other than American Airlines at ORD:
After deplaning I went to the Admiral’s Club in the H/K concourse to have a drink and check up on an upgrade request for my next flight. Unfortunately, First Class was full so no upgrade for me. It wasn’t a biggie at all since my flight would be on a 777 again as well as in the Business Class cabin. I then proceeded to sit by the windows overlooking the tarmac and downtown Chicago and took some pictures.
The view from the Admiral’s Club at ORD (If you squint you can see the Sears tower in the distance just above the engine of the AA 777):
A slightly better shot of Downtown Chicago:
Dep: 5:00 pm
Arr: 7:30 pm
Seat 10A (Economy)
This flight was also on a 777. This is actually the main reason why I choose this flight and the previous one. Unlike my previous flight, this one was a lot emptier. Other than that I had the same crew as on my previous flight (AA 66), there wasn’t anything special about this flight, hence no pictures. It was a different aircraft however, not the same 777 as my previous flight.
Dep: 8:15 pm
Arr: 11:50 pm
Seat 4F (First)
I arrived at gate ¾ through the boarding process. This flight would be on a 737, my favorite single isle AA aircraft because of the modern First Class seats (compared to the 757’s) and the size of the cabin (compared with the MD-82’s). Once on board a pre-flight drink was offered. It seemed this flight was also not full, even in First Class. Once in the air the inflight movie as well as a beverage service was started. The movie on this flight was My Super Ex-Girlfriend, which I didn’t watch. The beverage service was followed by some warm mixed nuts and then the hot towel service (cloth again). The snack that was offered was either a roast beef sandwich or a pizza. I choose the non-cheese meal, the roast beef sandwich. The snack was then followed by some chewy warm chocolate chip cookies. Yummy! I tried to take a nap for the rest of the flight which was stimulated by a couple of drinks.
Overall, AA’s service is very consistent. It’s always just OK. Flight attendants do exactly what they’re supposed to do, may it be in Economy or First Class. The return of the cloth hot towels (not all flights though) is a warm welcome as well as the addition of the warm chocolate chip cookies. I’m also glad the ex-TWA 757’s are leaving AA since the seats in First as well as in Economy Class were not the standard AA seats (the seats in Economy can be described as padded planks). Additionally, they do not have powerports, even in First Class.