Transpac787
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:47 pm

AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:03 am

Hey all,

Well, time for another TR. I'll do a bit of a brief preface and say that it's always been a bit of a dream of mine to visit Moscow, and more specifically Red Square. I've always had a fascination with Russia, mostly because they were our old nemesis during the years of the Cold War. So anyhow, when AA finally announced ORD-DME several months ago, I've been hellbent to get over to Russia. So, with relatively light loads over the Halloween weekend, I finally decided to make a try for it.




28 October 2008
AA158, ORD-DME
Block Time: 09 hours, 30 minutes
777-223/ER, N778AN
Seat: 3J, First Class

Load Factor-
First Class: 40%
NextGen Business: 40%
Coach: 50%

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Carl Hendriks - MST-Aviation





To my extreme surprise, the DEN-ORD flights on the morning of Tuesday the 28th were wide-open.... a huge plus since I'd be nonrevving the whole trip, like almost every other trip I take. Anyhow, I took the earliest AA DEN-ORD flight I could just to ensure I'd get to ORD and avoid any typical O'Hare Three Mile Island-esque operational meltdowns.



My 777 to DME, N778AN


After I killed a few hours, I was given my boarding pass pretty early before departure given the unusual extreme light load. Also to my huge surprise, the supervising gate agent let me pre-board with the cabin crew, approx 2.5 hours before departure. I sure did appreciate that.... got to take a ton of pics all over the inside of our plane.



First Class cabin, facing forward



First Class cabin, facing aft



NextGen Business cabin, facing forward



NextGen Business cabin, facing aft



Coach cabin at door 3L, facing forward



Coach cabin at door 3R, facing aft



Looking out over the wing from door 2R, cabin catering still in progress



Cockpit. Sorry about terrible glare, we had the sun right at our face.



The huge RR Trent 892. I'm personally more a fan of the PW4090, but the Trent 892 is still a slick engine.... despite spinning the wrong way  Wink


Once the pilots showed up I introduced myself and said I'd be flying along for the whole trip, including the 2-day layover in Moscow. All three pilots were very nice and we were able to talk very easily. The captain, Captain Mike, was a real cool guy, showing me our entire route of flight, dispatch release, and all sorts of other cool info. He explained to me what the whole issue is between AA 763's and 777's with flying to Russia, why the 763's are having to be reconfigured and modified to be able to fly into Moscow, while the 777's do it with little to no problem.



One of the FO's entering all the route of flight and fuel data into the FMC.


So, eventually, I had to take my seat. I was hoping to get row 3 or 4 in first class so I'd have a good view over the wing. I decided on row 3, which is a bit further away from the business class galley (less noise), but still had a decent overwing view.



View out the window, just prior to pushback



Champagne, menu, and the USA Today


Takeoff was quite strong... I've always loved 777 takeoffs. In my time in the cockpit prior to doors-closing, I was surprised to see that V1 was only 1 knot less than VR.... I guess we were light enough on our 9.5 hour flight that we didn't have a real low V1 speed.



View of First Class cabin just after takeoff


This was actually my first ever time on an AA 777, the 777-223/ER. I was really impressed with AA's first class product, all the positions the seat can swivel to or recline into. I particularly LOVED how the seat can be swiveled to 90 degrees to look directly out the windows. I had never flown facing "sideways" before, so it was quite the gee-whiz experience for me, haha.



Seat facing 90 degrees off, towards the windows. Pretty cool!!



Climbing to cruise altitude, over Michigan.


Dinner service began fairly quickly after takeoff. I've been able to travel in premium cabins on NW, UA, and AA.... out of the three, AA's food service wins by a long shot, in both quality and quantity. Starter, appetizer, salad, entree, dessert, finishers. Quite the lineup.



Dinner starter. On the moving map you can see our route of flight.



Sunset. Happened fairly quickly after takeoff, only 45 minutes to an hour.



Appetizer. The small shot glass is Russian vodka.... that stuff is powerful!!



Salad. In first class, AA prepares your salad in front of you with your choice of toppings. I went for "the works".... cucumbers, onions, olives, chicken, and peppers.



Entree. I selected the chicken option..... very good!!



Dessert. AA's eternally good ice-cream sundaes, made to your choosing. Again, I got "the works".... butterscotch, fudge, mixed berries, warm nuts, and whipped cream.


After dinner, I tried to finish watching the movie "Minority Report", but fell asleep halfway through. My only complaint with AA's first class is the seat position in the full-flat bed, as it is literally just that: flat. AA's business class shapes to provide a bit of back contour, so you don't have any pressure points on your spine and back. It's really quite comfortable. AA's first class though, can be somewhat uncomfortable in the full-flat position, as I actually raised the seat 2-3 inches off of the bed position, to provide a bit more back support and comfort.



Moving map, in Russian, en route to Moscow.


After about a relatively decent 6 hours of sleep, the FA's were preparing the pre-arrival breakfast. I was planning on just getting the cereal, fruit, and yogurt plate, but the omelets smelled too good and I had to get one.



Pre-arrival breakfast.



Approach into an overcast and cold Moscow.


After landing, I was immediately hit with quite a bit of a "culture" shock, seeing all sorts of Russian planes everywhere. Tu-134, Tu-154, and IL-62, among others.



S7 Airlines. Good brand-recognition but terrible colors!! It looks like zinc-chromate.



This I was surprised to see.... is there a boneyard at DME?? Most of those planes looked stored / abandoned. I was quite surprised to see a 757 in the bunch.


After a decently long taxi, we finally pulled into the gate. I was pretty nervous before going through Russian customs as I've heard several horror stories from other nonrevs and crew, but the process went rather fast and was almost totally painless. Much ado over nothing, it would seem!!



N778AN after arrival in Moscow. Thanks for a great ride.


So, after the flight, so began my first (and most likely only) trip to Russia. I had most of Wednesday and all day Thursday to get around, so my days were relatively busy given my limited time there on layover.



View from the hotel room. Pretty dull/boring looking city, especially given the high number of the Stalin-esque apartment buildings.


One of the nice things about Moscow is the HUGE and rather extensive underground Metro system. Very cheap.... about 60 cents per ride, according to my rough mental math in conversion rates.



Huge escalator down into the Metro tunnels. I was told the Metro Tunnels were to be used as bomb shelters back in the Cold War days of the Soviet Union. Considering the depth of those tunnels, they might have served that purpose pretty well.



Quite the nice Metro station. Most of them weren't like this, but there are a few that were quite extravagant.


Anyhow, the whole first day I spent with four of the FA's from my crew on AA158, visiting this giant outdoor market, the Vodka Museum, the Gum Mall (pronounced "Goom") and of course Red Square. I was in awe the whole time..... very very cool place, Russia is.



Me and three of the AA158 FA's at the Vodka Museum. We all bought those Russian fur hats at the market, but I was too embarrassed to wear mine around and look like a huge tourist (as if I didn't anyway, I'm sure).



Some hot dog stand near Red Square. The resemblance of the name to "Crap Dogs" gave me a good chuckle.



McDonalds. That place is pretty popular in Russia, it seems. Considering, people were getting road rage in the drive thru line - honking and flipping the bird to everyone.



Red Square. A very surreal moment for me, to be able to walk through there. The place of all the old May Day weapons parades, which Secretary Kruchev used to watch over.



Guards at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Them Ruskies really do know how to look professional!!





31 October 2008
AA159, DME-ORD
Block Time: 10 hours, 35 minutes
777-223/ER, N792AN
Seat: 3J, First Class

Load Factor-
First Class: 40%
NextGen Business: 85%
Coach: 65%

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Wallman





Despite a short stay, I am really glad I was able to visit Moscow. Such a cool city, I would LOVE to see it again!!! Though, most likely I will not... at least for awhile. Visiting the most expensive city in the world takes a major toll on my already-thin wallet.

Anyhow, the DME airport is not as nice or as fancy as other major European airports. I mean, it's nice just somewhat dull and boring, so to speak. The exterior of the terminal is definitely an eye-catcher, but the interior is not much to look at.



DME terminal building



Domodedovo sign atop the terminal building



Check-in lobby.... pretty crowded, it was hard to get around in there with two bags.



View outside from a Duty Free store. the LH A319 was arriving from MUC


At the gate I was selected for some secondary screening procedure, which was actually quite extensive and time-consuming.... almost even more so than the TSA, which I thought would be an unbeatable record!! No problem though, I finally got to the gate counters and was given a seat assignment almost right away. I was looking forward to getting on the plane and going up to the cockpit as Captain Mike said I'd be welcome to listen in on the pilot's briefing about the departure procedures from DME, given the bizarre ATC clearances and use of altitudes and flight levels.



View of our plane, N792AN, back to Chicago. Sorry about bad glare.


To my huge displeasure at finding after boarding, there was an FAA inspector on board the plane. Of course they claim they're doing their job (and making people's lives miserable) but it seemed the jerk-ass was really just trying to hitch a free ride. After giving the pilots a rather thorough inspection, he goes and sits down in first class....for FREE!! No nonrev charges, no fees, no dep/arr taxes, no nothing. Man... and people thought nonrevs were blood-sucking vampires?? Not even close.... I think the FAA guys set a new low. Like I said, under the guise of "doing their job", they go and help themselves to premium seats for 10.5 hours. Totally out of line.

Well anyhow, I got the same exact seat again, 3J. Good view of the wing, and AA First Class, so I was happy as a clam.



Me in 3J, just prior to pushback



Pushback, right in front of a Tu-154. I loved seeing those Russian planes!!


Once we taxied out to the Runway, Captain Mike got on the PA and said we'd have to back-taxi on the runway, as an An-124 was parked on and blocking the taxiway leading to the runway. So, we got on the runway and taxied all the way to the end, then made a rather tight 180 degree turn. I was impressed - those 777's can turn on a dime.

Takeoff, again, was quite strong and pretty quick. Unfortunately because of the FAA inspector, I was unable to visit the cockpit the entire time on the ground in DME, so I didn't see any of our numbers for fuel load, ATOG, V1/VR speeds, etc.



Climbout from DME


Lunch service began rather quickly after takeoff again. The FA's came around and asked for orders, and I again opted for the chicken entree.



Appetizer. Almost the same as was on the ORD-DME flight



Salad. I got "the works" again - chicken, peppers, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, and bleu cheese dressing



Entree. Very good, very good!!



Dessert. Ice cream, with the works for toppings.


After the lunch service, I hit the sack again, for quite a few hours, 6 or 7 straight. I woke up a couple times though to some rather strong turbulence. I usually don't get nervous at all during turbulence, but some of the bumps were getting pretty strong to the point where some loose items in the cabin began to jump around quite a bit.



Our flight path to Chicago. We flew really far north, as far north as the 79th parallel.


About 1.5 hours before arrival, the FA's began the pre-arrival snack service. In First the choice was a hot turkey sandwich or a hot vegetarian wrap. Feeling a bit adventurous I decided to try the veggie wrap, and that thing was GOOODD. I would have asked for another but I didn't want to push my luck as a nonrev, haha. The accompanying tomatoes and salad also had this really good cajun-esque dressing.



Pre-arrival snack: hot vegetable wrap.


Anyhow, just before top of descent Captain Mike came out to say a bit of a final "goodbye" since I was going to jump off the plane ASAP to get first in line at the rather notorious Chicago customs.



Myself and Captain Mike, by door 1L. I have some weird-ass grin.... I suppose exhaustion was a contributing factor.


Approach into ORD is always pretty sporty, getting vectored around quite a bit. Too bad AA doesn't have channel 9!!



Approach into ORD


Customs went relatively smoothly, despite the long lines. It was actually the first time I've ever been "pulled over" for a customs inspection, having to put all my bags on the xray. They didn't hand-search my bags though, so I was off without a hitch. My final flight, ORD-DEN, went pretty easily.... almost got my own row in coach on UA253, a 772A.


Final Impressions- Despite A.net's ranting on AA's premium products, they really are quite nice. AA's food service is leagues ahead of UA's. While I have personally not yet flown on the new First and Business Class at United, I have played around with them on the ground in DEN when we occasionally get a few new-config 763's in. While AA's NextGenBiz seats are not technically lie-flat, they definitely give United a run for their money, it's a tight competition. As far as First Class goes, AA's suite is easily better. Offering the full flat bed, privacy walls, and the ability to swivel your seat 90 degrees off for direct viewing out the window and use of a "desk".... it's quite the product.

Thanks for reading, and all comments appreciated!!
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:54 am

Great report with nice pics from Moscow. AA's premium product looks quite decent.

I once tried AA's 777 Economy product some years ago and it wasn't bad. Nice crews, good catering. Actually, the meal on the return flight (beef steak) was one of the best Economy Class meals I have ever had.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:00 pm

Hey Dude-

Absolutely fantastic report! You did it well and make me wanna head off to Moscow now too! I remember seeing it at the gate as I mentioned in my last trip report in awe of what we can do these days, as simple as hopping on a plane and in under 12 hrs be in another country almost halfway around the world. It truly is amazing.

Russia certainly has its history indeed and certainly had to be fascinating to see and check out even under such short times.

Thanks for the food pictures! They truly look delicious!

That is some light loads for halloween weekend indeed!

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
n272wa
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:37 pm

Excellent TR, seemed you had a nice time in Moscow !!

Thanks for posting,
Mike
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UN_B732
Posts: 3529
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:57 am

RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:40 pm

Very nice trip report  Smile Did the staff mention whether AA's loads at Moscow have been picking up? They're going to a 763 which will hopefully help.
Can't wait to try them in December (even though I'm in Coach Sad )
What now?
 
Tbird
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 3:09 am

RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:41 pm

Very good trip report. I flew AA in Biz and F to Rome and back from JFK in August and agree the product if fantastic!
 
9w748capt
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:32 pm

Awesome report! Great to see you taking advantage of your non-rev status to visit someplace like Moscow. I was lucky enough to have had the chance to visit St Petersburg (LED) a few years ago and it was just a fascinating place. It's hard not to be wowed by Russia. And AA's premium product looks impressive indeed.

Just out of curiosity, do you host your pictures on facebook? Seems some of them don't always load. I've had this same problem when I post TRs with pics linked from fb. A bit annoying! And one last thing - what kind of visa did you have to obtain and was that a hassle? I would certainly jump at the chance to visit Russia again - if I ever come up with the time or money!
 
upperdeckfan
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:34 pm

Nice TR, good to see all the russian a/c....

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Visiting the most expensive city in the world

Well, it might be on paper but as a tourist I'm sure London is more expensive.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Despite A.net's ranting on AA's premium products

IMO AA biz class is very competitive against their US counterparts, although the ranting starts when people from Asia and/or Europe used to fly the likes of CX, SQ, BA, LH try a US carrier for the first time........
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semsem
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:04 pm

That same ice cream everytime must be a bit boring. Am surprised they do not offer a choice in First.Thanks for the great pictures.

The breakfast in F is the same I got on Y to London from JFK on the AM flight. Cheese omelet, fruit, croissant.

[Edited 2008-11-01 11:11:58]
 
ebs757
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:06 pm

Great trip report! I really enjoyed reading through it, thanks! I can't wait to do some non-reving this winter
Viva la Vida
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:43 pm

Nice report, looks of good pics of a product I probably won't ever experience...AA's competitors on the routes I'd travel are just better well apart to/from South America.

Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter):
To my huge displeasure at finding after boarding, there was an FAA inspector on board the plane. Of course they claim they're doing their job (and making people's lives miserable) but it seemed the jerk-ass was really just trying to hitch a free ride. After giving the pilots a rather thorough inspection, he goes and sits down in first class....for FREE!! No nonrev charges, no fees, no dep/arr taxes, no nothing. Man... and people thought nonrevs were blood-sucking vampires?? Not even close.... I think the FAA guys set a new low. Like I said, under the guise of "doing their job", they go and help themselves to premium seats for 10.5 hours. Totally out of line.

So you were non-revving in F on airline you don't work for and are complaining that an FAA inspector (who was in work mode by the sounds of it) was riding in First Class for free? Just trying to clarify that...
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
Transpac787
Topic Author
Posts: 1349
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:47 pm

RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:59 pm



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Nice crews, good catering. Actually, the meal on the return flight (beef steak) was one of the best Economy Class meals I have ever had.

Good to hear. What route did you get it on??

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 2):
Thanks for the food pictures! They truly look delicious!

I always feel like such a nerd taking pics of food on planes but hey, what can you do!?!

Quoting 9W748Capt (Reply 6):
Just out of curiosity, do you host your pictures on facebook?

Yes... I used to on Photobucket but they changed monthly bandwidth from 100gb to 25gb... kinda forced my hand on the issue of switching to FB.

Quoting 9W748Capt (Reply 6):
what kind of visa did you have to obtain and was that a hassle?

I got a single-entry tourist visa. I've heard from other nonrevs all sorts of their horror stories trying to get the visas in person at the Russian consulates in the US, so I decided to pay some travel agency in ATL to do it for me. Ended up costing $205 total, but the process was completely painless and only took about 2 weeks.

Quoting UPPERDECKFAN (Reply 7):
Well, it might be on paper but as a tourist I'm sure London is more expensive.

It is officially the most expensive city in the world on paper, sure enough. I've never been to London so I can't compare first-hand, but Moscow was freakishly expensive. I paid 6 dollars for a water bottle in some restaurant. Most beer, wine, and vodka was cheaper!!

Quoting Semsem (Reply 8):
That same ice cream everytime must be a bit boring.

One would think so but those are good, I never get tired of them!! AA does offer alternate options thoug.... cakes, pies, cookies, etc. But I always go for the ice cream, it's one of their signature desserts.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 10):
So you were non-revving in F on airline you don't work for and are complaining that an FAA inspector (who was in work mode by the sounds of it) was riding in First Class for free? Just trying to clarify that...

::sigh:: I was half-expecting a reply like this.

The difference is this. I still paid $150 bucks or so for mine while he paid $0.00. While $150 bucks is insanely less than what an actual First Class ticket would cost, it at least covers the cost of the food, alcohol, amenity kit, etc. He, on the other hand, pays zero, and still gets all that.

Keep in mind, the FAA assholes do this all the time. Using the EXCUSE of saying they are "working" and performing an "inspection", they all just use it as a free (and yes, completely free) means of traveling to wherever they want on vacation. I mean, the guy had checked bags and two carry-on bags.... who was he trying to fool in saying he was doing this flight strictly for purposes of the inspection and that was it??
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:16 pm

Good stuff Matt!

I enjoyed the pictures of Moscow. Ive only transited in SVO (SU's LAX-SVO service), never actually been in the city (although thats changing in a few months).

I love AA's 777. I did have the fortune of flying F once from DFW-NRT. Their product was absolutely great! Im glad to see that you also enjoyed it!
It is what it is...
 
nwa757boy
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:04 pm

Awesome report, looks like AA offers a decent product. I think I'm going to try to non-rev to Moscow because of your report. It's not a city that many people want to go to, but it looks very interesting and there is a lot of history there.

thanks for sharing


Zach
 
ba319-131
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:19 pm

Great report and pictures, really enjoyed, thanks.

Moscow has always been on my hit list to visit, keeps gettings pushed back though as the wifr is not that keen  Sad

Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter):
Champagne, menu, and the USA Today

- Is that a plastic glass in F!?

Regards

Mark
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TDubJFK
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:25 pm

Amazing report ... your details and photos -including those incredible shots in Moscow- were fantastic.

It seemed you clicked pretty well with the crew you flew with, esp with the early boarding and hanging out with them in Moscow. That must have been nice considering it was your first time in the city.

Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter):
He explained to me what the whole issue is between AA 763's and 777's with flying to Russia, why the 763's are having to be reconfigured and modified to be able to fly into Moscow, while the 777's do it with little to no problem.

I'm curious, what are the reconfigurations they need to make to the 767s?


Again great report- thanks for posting!
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mauiman31
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:32 pm

Brilliant report. Beautiful pics. Thanks much. Loved the pics of the NGBC on the 777.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
- Is that a plastic glass in F!?

Yes, AA does plastic for F pre-flight drinks. My experience, at least.
 
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:34 pm



Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter):
I've always had a fascination with Russia, mostly because they were our old nemesis during the years of the Cold War.

I feel the same way. If one would have taken a trip there thirty years ago, he probably would have had "chaperones" escorting him. How things have changed.

Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter):
Red Square. A very surreal moment for me, to be able to walk through there. The place of all the old May Day weapons parades, which Secretary Kruchev used to watch over.

That must have been quite an experience to have actually been there.

Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter):
Guards at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Them Ruskies really do know how to look professional!!

Did it rain that day? It looks kind of like a rainy day.

Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter):
Pushback, right in front of a Tu-154. I loved seeing those Russian planes!!

Does AA have some sort of agreement with a Russian carrier? If so maybe it's possible to fly AA to some place in Europe then connect on a Russian carrier and fly in, say, a Tu-154 to Moscow. That would be something.

Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter):
Feeling a bit adventurous I decided to try the veggie wrap, and that thing was GOOODD.

Being adventerous would be to have a meal with meat in it  Wink

Does non revenue travel include the hotel or is that paid for with your own $$$?

About that FAA inspector, it seems ironic that a US Carrier would have a "police" presence on board. This is what could have been expected in the USSR thirty years ago.

Thanks for the TR. It was good reading.

Good Day  Smile

Russell
Things aren't always as they seem
 
LHR777
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:02 pm

Nice report and some great pics of the 777. I get to play with these every day at work, and after 10 years of that, I still love them!

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 11):
The difference is this. I still paid $150 bucks or so for mine while he paid $0.00. While $150 bucks is insanely less than what an actual First Class ticket would cost, it at least covers the cost of the food, alcohol, amenity kit, etc. He, on the other hand, pays zero, and still gets all that.

Keep in mind, the FAA assholes do this all the time. Using the EXCUSE of saying they are "working" and performing an "inspection", they all just use it as a free (and yes, completely free) means of traveling to wherever they want on vacation. I mean, the guy had checked bags and two carry-on bags.... who was he trying to fool in saying he was doing this flight strictly for purposes of the inspection and that was it??

You're right, they are a pain in the ass. I had an FAA guy 'inspecting' a flight about two weeks ago. He'd been given a hard time by airport security (because he flashed his badge and told them he was FAA and therefore exempt from UK security procedures - he's not) and then demanded a seat up-front. He then actually told the gate agents that he was 'going home from vacation' and this was the 'easiest option'. He was rude, abrupt and getting a free ride!

Between the captain and I, we ensured he had a lovely seat - I seem to recall 23E, on a 767. (Yes, a lovely middle seat).  Wink
 
deltal1011man
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:07 am

Great TR Matt
Now.........One from a DL 77L would be nice LOL  duck 

I wish I could just fly about the world like you lol
New airliners.net web site sucks.
 
AA 777
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:19 am

Awesome report! I've been wanting to do the same trip since they announced the service, but like you said, Russia is $$$$$
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B747forever
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:55 am

Fantastic TR.

The pics are really nice.

Seems you enjoyed your time in Moscow.

Pity about that FAA guy, but you got the meet the pilot anyway.


Thank you for sharing

B747forever
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triple7man
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:45 am

Your pics made me feel I was right in first class on the 777 as one who has seen it many times. You hit it off with the crew and that's good. Most of the time they are wonderful on the international flights in first even though I'm only a non rev. I'm glad you got to fly on the 777 while it is still on this route.
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
davescj
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:30 am

Great TR and wonderful pics! I enjoyed them very much!

Quoting Semsem (Reply 8):
Am surprised they do not offer a choice in First.

This surprises me as well. DL and AA always offer the sundae. On BA and NW both the deserts rotate. Personally, I am glad for the variety.

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
LH648
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:12 pm



Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter):
After a decently long taxi, we finally pulled into the gate. I was pretty nervous before going through Russian customs as I've heard several horror stories from other nonrevs and crew, but the process went rather fast and was almost totally painless. Much ado over nothing, it would seem!!

You should try SVO, it's completely different story...
 
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AmricanShamrok
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:03 pm

Great TR and pics. You were lucky to be able to board with the crew on the outbound leg.
 
Transpac787
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:49 pm



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 12):
never actually been in the city (although thats changing in a few months).

Alright!!!! It's a fantastic place to visit, really very cool.

Quoting NWA757boy (Reply 13):
think I'm going to try to non-rev to Moscow because of your report.

Glad I could be an "inspiration", haha.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
- Is that a plastic glass in F!?

Yes. Only on pre-departure drinks. IIRC, there was a thread about that not too long ago, but I don't want to dig it up haha. Anyhow, I think the consensus was that it's some AA regulation, that they don't want to bring out glass due to safety concerns in case of an evacuation.

As far as the legitimacy for the reason, judge for yourself, but I think that's what the official reason - per AA - is for the plastic glasses.

Quoting TDubJFK (Reply 15):
I'm curious, what are the reconfigurations they need to make to the 767s?

Russian ATC uses this weird system where when you land, your altimeter should read 0 feet/meters, regardless of what airfield MSL is. With all its modern technology and avionics, the 777 had no problem with this rather bizarre conversion, but I guess the 767's are old enough that they are not able to so easily do this with their altimeters.

Apparently though, all the AA 763's are up to speed on this modification and the entire fleet is now able to fly to Moscow.

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 17):
Did it rain that day? It looks kind of like a rainy day.

No, it was just overcast and really cold. It didn't rain the whole time I was there, which was really nice, as I would have gone out anyway despite being just miserable in freezing rain!!

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 17):
Does AA have some sort of agreement with a Russian carrier? If so maybe it's possible to fly AA to some place in Europe then connect on a Russian carrier and fly in, say, a Tu-154 to Moscow. That would be something.

They do, but it's with Aeroflot. Unfortunately only S7 and Transaero fly out of DME while Aeroflot has their major hub at SVO.

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 17):
Does non revenue travel include the hotel or is that paid for with your own $$$?

No, no hotel. I wish, that would be a pretty swanky deal!!!

Quoting LHR777 (Reply 18):
Between the captain and I, we ensured he had a lovely seat - I seem to recall 23E, on a 767. (Yes, a lovely middle seat).

Good for you!! I liked that story  Wink

Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 19):
Now.........One from a DL 77L would be nice LOL

Oh trust me, I want to get on one eventually. To BOM though?? I think not....

I'd rather go to Saudi Arabia or something before India.... I've heard far too many nonrev horror stories of nonrevs getting stranded in India. And nothing to do with weight limits or anything like that, just a system of customs and security that is not nonrev-friendly, eg getting boarding pass 45 mins prior to departure OUTSIDE of security, then having only minutes to clear passport control, security, and all that stuff. No thanks, I'll wait until they start sending the 77L to DXB, HKG, SYD!!

Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 19):
I wish I could just fly about the world like you lol

Soon enough you'll get that A&P job and you will. It's great fun, you'll love it.

Quoting AA 777 (Reply 20):
Awesome report! I've been wanting to do the same trip since they announced the service, but like you said, Russia is $$$$$

Yea it was a pricey place. Enjoy LHR/CDG next week though!!

Quoting B747forever (Reply 21):
Pity about that FAA guy, but you got the meet the pilot anyway.

Yea, the cockpit crew was really cool. They said they'd be happy to let me sit in on all the pre-departure planning and briefings, but all of that was shot to hell when FAA showed up!!

Quoting Triple7man (Reply 22):
I'm glad you got to fly on the 777 while it is still on this route.

Me too.... it was my first time on an AA 777, all of my other rides have been on the UA 777's.

I have to say though, other than engine choice (boo Trent 892, PW4090 forever!!!!!), the 777-223/ER is better in just about every way than the 777-222/ER. Far nicer cabin, amenities, and just gadgety crap on board that the UA 777-222/ER's don't have.
 
CAP2008
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:45 am



Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter):
I paid 6 dollars for a water bottle in some restaurant. Most beer, wine, and vodka was cheaper!!

Yeah, I once paid $6 for a 8oz. Orange juice in CDG, plus I can recall plenty of times asking for water in Europe and getting a $5 bottle of Evian  Sad , though only FRA is the only city I've seen beer cheaper than water.

Its good that everything went smooth with the loads and everything, looks like a perfect trip. Great to see you put another non rev trip under your belt, gotta take advantage of the bennies while you've got em', you don't know what you've got till its gone!
The mother of the last KC-135 pilot has yet to be born.
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:47 am

Great report, as usual, Matt!!!

Pictures were great. Did you get me one of the hats?

Really enjoyed it, and glad you finally got on one of the AA 772s (you know, the ones with the good engines...you most certainly would've died on a PW 777).  box 

Haha.

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
September11
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:48 pm

DME!

Lovely photos and great report to read.
Airliners.net of the Future
 
KingAir200
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics

Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:13 pm

Great as always, although I can't help but saying that the MOT illegal would have been the best part of the whole trip...  Big grin
 
DFW13L
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:51 am

What a great trip report! Glad you enjoyed your first 777 in with the first class swivel seats! I love those! I've nonreved now numerous times on them and only once did I not get 3J or 4J. 3J and 4J are always nonrev seats!

Glad you enjoyed the service. You're right that a.netters bash AA's premium service, but I agree it deserves more respect.

Enjoyed your comprehensive photos.

That was cool how you did a ZED on UA to get back to DEN on a 777. Why fly something small when you don't have to? Hmm, well I nonreved on an Eagle ERJ yesterday LAX-DFW (via ELP) rather than a 763, so never mind!

Thanks for taking the time to post this
Matt
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
 
SXDFC
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:43 am

Matt :

Long time no talk! Great TR and I remember you telling me about visiting DME! I am glad you got the chance to do so, hey now you can at least say you have been there! This TR is by far one of the best, and I love the last photo of the lovely roller doing its job!

BTW -

Isn't that Russian Vodka the type of the stuff that puts hair on your chest  Wink hehe.

[Edited 2008-11-03 21:03:45]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Transpac787
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:33 am



Quoting CAP2008 (Reply 27):
you don't know what you've got till its gone!

I still have 2 years to go and I'm already going through withdrawal, haha.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 28):
Did you get me one of the hats?

Nah, I only got one extra besides the one for myself. I'm sure I can arrange to get you one though if you'd like, they were only 8 bucks!!

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 28):
(you know, the ones with the good engines...you most certainly would've died on a PW 777)

I know where you live Cameron, don't think I won't kill you in your sleep for such blasphemous filth of comments  Wink

Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 30):
although I can't help but saying that the MOT illegal would have been the best part of the whole trip...

Haha you know, you're probably right. I finally got to MOT though!!

So when we going to NRT/KIX?!?!

Quoting DFW13L (Reply 31):
That was cool how you did a ZED on UA to get back to DEN on a 777.

I get the AA benefits through my parents and the UA benefits on my own.... it's a good deal when trying to fly out of ORD, haha.

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 32):
Long time no talk!

Yea no doubt, how you been??

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 32):
Isn't that Russian Vodka the type of the stuff that puts hair on your chest   hehe.

It puts the hurt to you, and fast!! Def puts hair on your chest haha.
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 33):
I know where you live Cameron, don't think I won't kill you in your sleep for such blasphemous filth of comments Wink

Correct, but you don't know where that AA A300 card is, now do you?!?

Muahahahaha!

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
tsaord
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:30 am

About time someone took this trip. I was wondering how this route was doing. Moscow, I wonder if I would ever put that on my to do list in the future.

Great report and pictures. Red Square huh? Looks like something out of James Bond!
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fxramper
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:29 am

Another good report buddy. Who does the ramp work for AA at DME?

Regards.
 
Globetraveller
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Nov 09, 2008 5:28 pm

Hey there Transpac787,

You are one lucky man: being able to board early and being able to snoop around in the cockpit. I envy you.

Thank you for a brilliantly detailed trip report and for the numerous pictures.

Globetraveller
 
bagoldex
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:23 am

Lovely. A guy in a black dress shirt and a shiny tie flying first class for free; I always love seeing that. Does anyone on this site actually pay for their flights anymore?
 
TG992
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:10 am

Quite shocked at how awful the 777 economy cabin looks! Didn't know it was possible for a 777 cabin to look so outdated and just plain ugly.


Comments about FAA inspectors were childish, amateurish, and completely out of line.
-
 
Transpac787
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:21 pm



Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 34):
Correct, but you don't know where that AA A300 card is, now do you?!?

By now I'm guessing it doesn't exist  Wink

I'll have to jet on out to God-awful MIA one of these days and try to get one on MIA-JFK. Want me to get you a card too, Cameron?!?!

Quoting BAGoldEx (Reply 38):
Lovely. A guy in a black dress shirt and a shiny tie flying first class for free;

Yea, so what?? AA maintains one of the most strict nonrev dress codes, especially for international.

Quoting BAGoldEx (Reply 38):
Does anyone on this site actually pay for their flights anymore?

Get over it.

Despite having the benefit granted to me, with the full blessing of the airline, I suppose you'd argue I should just not use it since I'm not paying my fair share??

Quoting TG992 (Reply 39):
Comments about FAA inspectors were childish, amateurish, and completely out of line.

 redflag   redflag 

Yea, and what would you have suggested to do instead?? Praise him for "doing his job"?? I'm also curious as to how you think they were "completely out of line", whereas the inspector himself was working way outside of his normal job limits, not to mention saying he was "on duty" when he really was not. THAT is what is out of line, not people who criticize his highly suspect reason for being on that plane to begin with.

Anything else??
 
deltal1011man
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:12 am



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 40):
Yea, so what?? AA maintains one of the most strict nonrev dress codes, especially for international.

DL use to.........thank the lord they dropped it.........now i can wear what ever i want
Matt, What is NWA nov-reving like.......?
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PlaneHunter
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:19 am



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 11):
Good to hear. What route did you get it on??

That was DFW-LGW in summer 2002.

Quoting TG992 (Reply 39):
Quite shocked at how awful the 777 economy cabin looks! Didn't know it was possible for a 777 cabin to look so outdated and just plain ugly.

It may look ugly and outdated, but it's still comfortable - in contrast to some other airlines' cabins which may look fancy but turn out to be a pain on long routes.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
EXAAUADL
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:45 pm

I think serving ice cream sundaes in F class International is pretty pathetic. Only US carrires do this.
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:42 am



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 43):
I think serving ice cream sundaes in F class International is pretty pathetic. Only US carrires do this.

Really? Why? I love sundaes! I cant think of something Id rather eat for desert. I suppose it would be better to eat some of that fancy s**t with tiny portions. That sundae looked large. How the hell is it pathetic?

Quoting TG992 (Reply 39):


Quite shocked at how awful the 777 economy cabin looks! Didn't know it was possible for a 777 cabin to look so outdated and just plain ugly.

It looks quite nice I think. I dont understand how its ugly?

Quoting BAGoldEx (Reply 38):
Lovely. A guy in a black dress shirt and a shiny tie flying first class for free; I always love seeing that. Does anyone on this site actually pay for their flights anymore?

What does it matter to you? And who the hell are you to talk like that?

If the airline has the excess capacity and isnt going to fill it with paying customers or Elite FF'ers, why not let the employees use it?

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 37):
You are one lucky man

Agreeed! Youre the only one I know who travels more than I do! I wish I was you!  Silly
It is what it is...
 
pumaknight
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:56 pm

Brilliant report and top photos. Love the Crapdog stand - that would have had me giggling as well!

I am flying Bus Class to Hawaii from KSFO next year so it is nice to see that the product is pretty good.

Thanks for taking the time to share.
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fbgdavidson
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics

Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:15 pm

Quoting Pumaknight (Reply 45):
I am flying Bus Class to Hawaii from KSFO next year so it is nice to see that the product is pretty good.

AA don't have Business Class on the Hawaii flights, and the above pictures are from an international flight. The domestic ones (like Hawaii) are a completely different ball game.

The product won't be anything like what is seen above. There are a few AA F Hawaii trip reports on here so you can get some idea of what the flight will be like in terms of seating and food. I did one last year (included LAX-HNL-SFO) which you can probably find. I would link but I've had my wrists slapped in the name of 'self promotion' a few times for putting links to my reports elsewhere on the site.

[Edited 2008-11-17 14:25:01]
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
44k
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:51 am



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 43):
I think serving ice cream sundaes in F class International is pretty pathetic. Only US carrires do this.



Quoting Semsem (Reply 8):
That same ice cream everytime must be a bit boring. Am surprised they do not offer a choice in First

I would like to set one thing once and for all times: THERE IS A CHOICE OF DESERT IN AA INTERNATIONAL FIRST AND BUSINESS CLASS.

There is a choice between a Sundae (topped with seasonal toppings) and another desert choice such as pie, tart, cheese plate. Once I felt adventorous and went for a fruit tart... It was ok, but I'll stick with the Sundae in the future.

As for AA's Y product on the 777: This is the best Y product that AA offers. Not only comfortable, but with PTV's in every seat. The pictures here kinds don;t do it justice, it really looks good in reality. (anyone remember that thread about QF A380Y product?)  Wink

Man, what a trip this was for you, a pleasure to read. I would be a little apprehensive going to Moscow just due to the crime rate there (mind you I grew up in Easter europe) and I would still not feel comfortable going there! I'm glad your trip went well.

How were you able to preboard wit the crew, did you ask the agent or anything? I was never offered to do that and I was about as nice and polite as humanly possible to the AAgents!  Wink

Once again, thanks for the wonderfull TR, makes me want to go too!
 
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chrisnh
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:34 am

I'm often impressed with these trip reports, and I sure was with yours. Excellent! I figure that yours was too short a flight for there to be two crews, but does AA have any nonstop flights that require a change in cockpit crews along the way...probably only to/from Asia?
 
HowSwedeitis
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RE: AA Chicago - Moscow, 777-200 First Class (pics)

Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:44 am

Comrade-Matt!  Wink Good report man! Glad you had a good time in Mother Russia!

Quoting UPPERDECKFAN (Reply 7):
as a tourist I'm sure London is more expensive.

*Shudder* I'll never forget it... I had a twenty(USD), and I exchanged it. All I got was a hand full of coins. The Russian Metro may only be 60 cents, but the London Underground was WAY more expensive!! Sad

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 11):
I've never been to London so I can't compare first-hand,

Well, if you plan on going, save up!  Wink

BTW, might I just add that I for one enjoy the feel of a good suit. (*Even if it's just a nice shirt and tie.) If others here can't do that, then there is obviously something wrong with either their choice of suit, or themselves! So if AA has the 'audacity' to require non-revs to look nice, good for them.

Quoting TG992 (Reply 39):
Didn't know it was possible for a 777 cabin to look so outdated and just plain ugly.
Comments about FAA inspectors were childish, amateurish, and completely out of line.

Wow dude... Lame.  no 

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