My family and I were planning on going on a 2 weeks vacation to Europe for my birthday,
and after 2 months of looking for good fares, American looked as our best option just after KLM.
I was a little bummed i wasn't going to try KLM's Md-11 but after flying the 777 i regret nothing!
Saturday October 6, 2007
I woke up at 5am to get a quick shower, finish packing and get ready for the day i've been waiting
the last 2 months. We wanted to leave home at 6:20 for our 9:35 departure, but my aunt couldn't find the car keys and we endedup leaving home at 6:35. After a 10 minute drive to the airport we arrived and found the rest of our family was already waiting in line. There were about 6 people in front of us, and after some 10 minutes waiting in line the 8 of us made it to the check in counters. Since we were going to be travelling from city to city in Europe we decided that we would only travel with hand luggage, so the check in for all 8 of us only took 10 min.
After checking in i went to pay our travel taxes ( $26 each), and went to through immigration and security (thank god AA was the only flight out at the time) and went into the Amazing gate area of Jose Joaquin de Olmedo Intl Airport. Since we didn't get the chance to have breakfast we all went to the Astoria Cafe to have a nice breakfast, and fill the US Immigration forms. While having breakfast i noticed our plane (A300) was pulling into our gate so i went directly to the huge glass windows and took some pics.
After having had breakfast they started calling Business class, AAdvantage Gold and Platinum members, and people with children on board, and since we were flying with my 11 year old cousin we were the first group to enter the plane
Departure Time: 9:35 am
Actual Departure Time: 9:34 am
Arrival Time: 2:50 pm
Actual Arrival Time: 2:29 pm
We were greeted at door 2L by the friendly FA and quickly stored the 8 bags onto the overhead bins. The flight was about 80% full, with many families going on vacation. We had to wait until everyone got into their seats, so I started taking some photos.
Finally at 9:30 am we began our push back and did a short taxi to Rwy 21 departing southbound, later making a right turn over the city. My cousin was really nervous while we were taking off because we could hear there was a strange noise above our seat, and while in the airport I told her all about Flight 587, and A300 which crashed in NY, so she was really freaked out, lol
Meal service started right after departure and it consisted of an omelet, or a sandwich. I chose the omelet (bad choice btw) and decided to play cards with my cousin but we were too excited to finish the game. After that i decided to take a look outside the window and saw that we were flying right above Panama City. It was amazing to see all those ships inside the canal, and how developed the city is.
Panama City, and the Panama Canal:
Right after flying above Panama i looked at the wing and saw this white mist that was developing above the wing, which later I found out was our contrail, can't imagine how it would've looked from the ground.
Time passed by quickly and we started out descent right after Cuba. FAs came by to pick up the garbage and prepare the cabin for our landing, and after a few turns we ligned up with runway 8L, softly touched down and vacated the runway next to a huge British Airways 744 was would later also be going to Heathrow. We parked at gate A17 and went to the small immigration hall concourse A has.
Photos of our landing:
BA 744 To Heathrow
We were outside the airport at exactly 2:58pm, 8 minutes past our Scheduled Arrival Time (The plane landed 30 min ahead of schedule) and we began our walk to Concourse E, where our mighty 777 was waiting for us at gate E11.
There was a huge line at security with pax going to Bogota, Cali, Medellin, Dallas, and 2 flights to LHR (AA, VS)
We entered the terminal but since we had about 2 hours to spend we decided to stop at Pizza Hut to get some lunch.
After having a great pizza we went to gate E11 were our mighty 777 (N797AN 'Spirit Of American') was waiting for us.
Our Mighty 777
At 4:10 pm we were called for boarding, and inmediatley a huge line formed outside the gate, so this time we weren't the first ones to board the plane...
Registration: N797AN 'Spirit of American'
Departure Time: 5:05 pm
Actual Departure Time: 5:47 pm
Arrival Time: 6:35 am
Actual Arrival Time: 7:10 am
For the first time I was on board a 777 so i quickly took my seat and started taking lots of pictures from my seat.
Nex to us, AA 763 to EZE
I was really anxious to try AA's Ptv's and feel that amazing take off i've been waiting for the last 2 months. Time passed and we were still at the gate. The Captain said it was because the aircraft was really heavy and they had to arrange something in the cargo hold. Half an hour later we pushed back and started our taxi to RWY 9. To my amazing surprise fellow a.net photographer Roberto Espinoza took pictures of my plane while we were taxiing past terminal E Satellite! Here are the pics:
Photo © Roberto Espinoza Guzman (COSTA RICA)
Photo © Roberto Espinoza Guzman (COSTA RICA)
And my pics from inside the plane :
I believe we used RWY 9 for our departure because due oue heavy aircraft weight we had to use the longest RWY in MIA. After a long taxi to runway 9 we waited for a DL M88 to land, we ligned up with the runway and applied full power to our 777.
Taking off from MIA
We flew on a straight path until we were above the ocean and made a left turn heading north in order to reach London.
When we reached our cruising altitude of 35,000ft the meal service began, drink and meal service began, which consisted of beef and mashed potatoes. The lack of AVOD on AA's 777 is really frustrating and we had to wait 30 min for the movie to start. I decided to watch Evan Almighty, but since i had taken a sleeping pill I fell asleep for about 2 hours. When i woke up half the plane was already sleeping, so i decided to switch the Ptv into the flight map and listen to my ipod. 2 hours before our landing the whole plane was asleep and i was the only one awake, making it the slowest flight of my life, so i just kept my eyes on the flight map and listened to my music.
When we were just south of the Southern Tip of England, breakfast was distribuited, which had a plate of fruits, a croissant, and a strawberry yogourt. I opened my window and watched the beautiful sunrise, when the captain announced we had started our descent into LHR. FAs came to pick up the trash, and we initiated our holding pattern (common for LHR's morning rush) I watched as many planes were doing the holding pattern along with us, which included a VS A346, many many BA's 744, and A319s.
Holding Pattern into LHR
British Airways 744
When it was our turn to land we broke into the thick cloud layer and ligned up with Runway 9L, which bummed me because i wanted to have the great views of the London Eye and the Big Ben from the Plane.
Photos from our landing:
We had a very smooth landing (the smoothest landing of my life) and vacated the runway next to BA crowded T1. I was finally acomplishing one of my dreams in life, to be in LHR, I got to see many rare airlines for my like Royal Brunei, Jet Airways, Saudi Arabian, Gulf Air, Thai, ect. We parked at gate 19 on T3 next to a UA 777 and an AA 777. we deplaned and went directly to the bathroom were we brushed our teeth, got our passports ready, ect. While walking to the Immigration Hall I presenced this amazing Thai 744, lucky for me it was still in the old color scheme, and went to the Immigration Hall which was PACKED with people from Asia, Middle East, Americans, ect, but thanks to our Spanish Passports, we went to the EU passports line and we were out in less than 10 min.
Airlines at T3, Heathrow
We changed our dollars to pound and took the Piccadilly Line to Piccadilly, to change to the Bakerloo line in order to reach Waterloo Station, to our hotel right next to the London Eye, and the Big Ben. I have to say London is an amazing city with lots of things to do and its definatley high on my list of favorites.
Thanks for reading!
Hope you liked it!