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Spring Break In Spain, 1997 (pics)

Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:19 pm

Come take a trip back to 1997, when there were free meals in coach, and your relatives could meet you at the arrival gate to welcome you home! Man, how things have changed!

From March 27-April 6, 1997, I went with my high school Spanish club on a trip to Spain. This was my 2nd vacation overseas, and my first vacation without my parents! I enjoy writing, so during my trip I kept a detailed diary of what happened each day. Below you will find excerpts from that diary, which I wrote when I was 16 years old. Some of it may be a little immature, but I wrote it when I was 16, so please don't think this is how I would behave on a plane today!  Silly We flew on a total of 6 flights (2x on AA, 4x on IB). I don't have all the flight numbers, but I will include the information I do have.

Thursday, March 27, 1997
Chicago O'Hare (ORD) to New York LaGuardia (LGA)
American Airlines

Not the actual plane, but a picture I took last week  Wink

Here are the group participants waiting at gate K3 at Chicago O'Hare. I am in the bottom row, second person from the left.

"The day started 12 hours ago when I woke up at 5am. I was really tired since I went to sleep at 2am, and woke up 3 hours later to leave. I got to the airport at 7:30am exactly and the plane left around 10am. The flight from O'Hare to LaGuardia was exactly 1 hour and 33 minutes. We flew on an American Airlines Super 80. I sat next to Senorita and Mary behind the bulk-head. Everyone else was further back. Before we boarded the plane, we applauded passengers that were getting off the plane. They looked at us weird and laughed. On the plane, I didn't eat because I had Dunkin' Donuts at the airport. So I mostly listened to music and made hemp jewelry on the plane."

"Once we arrived at LaGuardia, Mary and I applauded the passengers again, getting off the plane. Then the group got into 2 limos and we were transferred to Kennedy from LaGuardia. Then we sat around for a couple hours before going to the gate."

Thursday, March 27, 1997
New York Kennedy (JFK) to Madrid Barajas (MAD)
Iberia Airlines
Boeing 747-200

The gate area--no windows!

"The gate for our Iberia Airlines flight had no windows. Just white walls, it looked like an asylum. The plane is a 747. I am in the 44th row. My fears of our flight turning into the TWA flight 800 crash, are overcome, because it is a couple of hours into the flight, and we are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. On the main cabin's screen, they show a projection of where our plane currently is, what time it is in Madrid, New York, and the time zone we're flying through. It is 9:30pm where we are, 7:30pm in New York, and 1:30am in Madrid. The plane is at 33,000 feet and at 626 mph. The temp outside the plane is -56F. That projection is so cool, more planes should have it. We have 3 hours and 27 minutes left in flight. Then we go to Barcelona."

View of the cabin.

"The food was pretty good for coach class. It came with cake. I'm in the smoking section and some of my group members are getting sick. While I was eating the cake, I spilled some on my lap. Then without thinking, I turned around to the flight attendant in the galley and I said, 'Senor? Unas servilletas, por favor.' He got the napkins for me, I spoke Spanish for the first time on the trip!"

The food we were served.

"The plane got in at about 5am. The weird thing was there were 2 women flight attendants and the rest were men over 45. We waited in Madrid's airport for about 3 hours for our flight to Barcelona. We looked around the shops and watched the sunrise 3 hours later than home, which was ODD! We took a shuttle to our plane out from the gates. The customs guys looked like Civil War soldiers."

Not a good picture, but this was my first sunrise in Spain.

Friday, March 28, 1997
Madrid Barajas (MAD) to Barcelona (BCN)
Iberia Airlines Flight #6250
Airbus A320

"We flew on an Iberia Airlines A320 to Barcelona. The ride was about 45-50 minutes. Not long. I fell asleep because I was so exhausted. I later woke up to Kari pushing the back of my seat." --later that night, I had the worst case of jet lag in my life (to this day!) where I slept-walk down to the hotel restaurant with my group, and I woke up in line for dinner (leaning against a wall, hunched over).  boggled 

And now, going home....

Saturday, April 5, 1997
Malaga (AGP) to Madrid Barajas (MAD)
Iberia Airlines Flight #223
McDonnell Douglas MD-87

Here's the plane waiting to take us to Madrid.

Interior shot of the Iberia MD-87.

"The drive to the airport was about 20-25 minutes long, but went by quick. The checking in on our Iberian flight was long, and I was dead tired. After that, boarding the plane was quick. I'm in seat 19D on a MD-87 airplane. The flight should take 50 minutes from Malaga to Madrid and they are about to serve breakfast. They gave us a small breakfast, coffee, and biscuits."

"The landing in Madrid was strange. We swayed a lot from side to side. We landed on one wheel (side of the plane) at first, then the other half touched down. It was bumpy. It scared me for a second because the pilot revved up the engine and it seemed like we were going really fast. The plane parked in no-man's land...typical for Madrid's airport, and we took a shuttle to the terminal. I had 20,000 pesetas left so during our 5-6 hour layover in Madrid, I went shopping in the airport and bought more stuff for my family."

I took this picture after exiting the plane in Madrid.

Saturday, April 5, 1997
Madrid Barajas (MAD) to New York Kennedy (JFK)
Iberia Airlines Flight #109
Airbus A340

Iberia A340-300 NOT the actual plane, I took this a week ago.

"Our flight got delayed about 5 different times, and it was about 3 hours late...typical for Iberia. The plane we are flying on is an Airbus A340. It has 4 engines similar to a Boeing 747. We just got a snack...turkey slices, orange/cherry, a soft roll, and those awesome cookies. On my lettuce was a dead, striped bug. So, Mary and I put it in a barf bag and passed it to Kari, telling her we had another 'anvalope' to give to Senorita. The deal is, while we were boarding, Kari was asking for our envelopes...but she pronounced it 'anvalope' like a British person would. So, we had another one for her. Natalie then found a barf bag in her seat that had phlegm in it. So, we passed that 'anvalope' to Kari as well. She gave us the funniest looks."

Interior shot of the Iberia A340 we flew on.

During the flight...somewhere over the Iberian peninsula.

During the flight...somewhere over the Iberian peninsula.

"The flight attendant on my side of the plane looks like Princess Di. Yes, her majesty is serving us! According to the monitor, we're right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I was able to somewhat start the wave in my row. There are a total of 8 people in my row. I got 5 people to do it, including one of the chaperones! Everyone else just gave us weird looks."

Here's the flight attendant I thought looked like Princess Di.

"There is lots of turbulence right now. The plane steeply dropped a couple feet and everyone on the plane just yelled 'Woah!' It was a little scary. Everybody's watching 'One Fine Day.' I don't want to, it looks stupid."

"The customs at JFK had a long wait, but it went by pretty fast. I was praying they wouldn't want to open my bag because I had Iberia's blanket and pillow. We all piled out the airport's doors looking for a "special" bus Iberia had for us. It was supposedly waiting, but it came 10-15 minutes later. Then we had to pile 63 people AND their luggage onto the bus. It was hot, everyone was sweating, and it was just plain gross. The bus driver drove really fast and it felt like it was tipping over around every turn. It was scary. But, we pulled up to the Ramada Inn, in no time."

Sunday, April 6, 1997
New York La Guardia (LGA) to Chicago O'Hare (ORD)
American Airlines
Boeing 757

Recent picture, not from trip.

"We boarded the Ramada shuttle bus at 8am and left for LaGuardia. We waited at our American Airlines gate for 45 minutes, then boarded the plane...a 757. I'm in seat 33B, there are 36 rows total."

"We've been in flight a while. For breakfast, we were served a warm bagel and a banana. It was good. I asked the flight attendant for AA wings that kids get, and he gave me a bag of 5 wings. I gave one to Kari (on my left), and a kid (on my right), put one on my coat and one on my bookbag. That's cool."

"There has been a lot of turbulence on this plane for 15 minutes. It woke me up. The plane is getting ready for landing, and boy is it windy! We are over Lake Michigan, now heading through Chicago. The plane has a lot of steep rises and drops. It's kinda freaky. Me, Lisa, Selena, and Bobby are raising our hands like you do on a roller coaster ride, and cheering after every rise and drop. It kinda took the tension off of people because they laughed at us. Right before we land, at the last second, the plane accelerates really fast which was weird. The plane was also swaying so much. Because of this, right before we had a bumpy touchdown, Lisa yells, 'crash landing!' which kind of got a bad response from people. The plane flew over a lot of the runway before it landed." --I'm guessing that was a crosswind landing???

"When I got off the plane Mary laughed and applauded. I asked what was funny, and she said that she heard us cheering (during the roller coaster turbulence). She sat in the front of the plane, and I was sitting in the back. My parents were at the gate and so were everyone else's. I was glad to be home. Everybody was jealous of the AA wings I got from the blond-haired flight attendant guy." --I still have those wings to this day!
The roofs are full of snow in Petrograd!
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RE: Spring Break In Spain, 1997 (pics)

Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:14 pm

Very nice trip report, hope at least you enjoyed your stay in Spain. Nice pictures aswell.
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RE: Spring Break In Spain, 1997 (pics)

Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:30 pm

Very interesting, amazing how different things look 11 years ago. Great TR and true, the FA does look like Princes Di.
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:58 am

RE: Spring Break In Spain, 1997 (pics)

Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:04 pm

Quoting AutoThrust (Reply 1):
hope at least you enjoyed your stay in Spain

I had a great time there, it's a very beautiful country. We rode on a motorcoach to each city we went to in Spain, so we got to see a lot of the countryside as well.

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 2):
FA does look like Princes Di

I think she looks more like a 1987 Princess Di than a 1997 Princess Di.  Silly
The roofs are full of snow in Petrograd!
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RE: Spring Break In Spain, 1997 (pics)

Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:47 am

Fun trip report!

I also flew IB to MAD on March 27, 1997 from MIA. I was 15-years old, and I was going to Paris with my grandmother for my spring break. (She was going to show me 'culture'.)

Que memorias.
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RE: Spring Break In Spain, 1997 (pics)

Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:00 pm

Quoting Gte439u (Reply 4):
I also flew IB to MAD on March 27, 1997 from MIA.

Ha ha! That's funny! What a coincidence, same airline, airport, and day.  Silly

We had a group of students from Florida (mostly junior high kids and 2 high school kids) join our tour group in Barcelona, and the tour agency made them fly out of New York on Iberia just like my group. We all could've flown straight to Spain from our home airports, but we all had to go through New York. That's fine though, more flights to add to my tally!  Silly
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