Hello all. For years I've wanted to fly on a "classic" jet. Sadly, I missed out on my chance to fly on some of my favorites such as the L-1011, 727-200, and the DC-10. When I learned that American Airlines was retiring their A300, I made it a personal mission to get on a flight. The flights were booked solid through the week with tons of standby's already listed, so I decided to purchase a ticket. I got a one-way fare of $239.00 only hours before departure. This would be my third time flying American and first time on the A300-600.
Airline: American Airlines
Seat: 36D / 36H
Flight Duration: 2h, 20 min
Cruise Altitude: 32,000 ft.
Scheduled Departure: 11:10 AM
Actual Departure: 11:35 AM
Scheduled Arrival: 2:28 PM
Actual Arrival: 1:55 PM
After checking in online, I made my way to JFK airport. The American Airlines terminal is huge. Beautiful, airy, and spacious, it actually reminds me of T4 a few doors down. I selected what I thought would be the best seat left, 36D. A middle seat, one row up from the last row. What a mistake...
jetBlue Billboard on the Van Wyck en route to JFK.
AA Logos through the years
First glimpse of my baby
Boarding started five minutes early. I was in the first group to board, but as I made my way around the corner (sat in a less crowded area), I saw that it was a zoo. There was a huge line stretched out and everyone was rushing to get on first. Finally made it down and was greeted by a happy looking crew. Took my seat between a 15 year-old latina and a loud, obnoxious 23-ish guy.
During boarding we lost the ground power and the cabin was dark and HOT. Everyone was fanning and complaining. It must have been approaching 85 in the cabin, never felt it so hot on a plane before. Captain Cook came on the PA to apologize and told us they were working on the situation and had to do some extra paper work so we'd push a little late. He also told us the cabin would probably stay warm until we got in the air. During this extra ground time, my male seat mate decided he'd start hitting on (that's putting it lightly) the 15 year-old female on the other side of me. GREAT....
Surprisingly, had a short taxi. Powerful and short takeoff roll and finally the aircraft cooled down. Take off was the ONLY time my seat mate shut up, so he could say his hail mary and do his cross sign. For the next 15 or so minutes, he continued to talk over me to this little 15 year old "woman", hand gestures and all. She was enjoying the attention, of course. I put my I-Pod on and tried to ignore them. Finally, when he went to the lav I asked her if she would like to trade seats. She agreed and I moved across the aisle. Her other young girlfriend wanted in on the action, too.
Finally, I was able to have peace and enjoy my A300 flight. The drink cart came down surprisingly fast considering how full we were. I was a little shocked there was no snack service, not that I cared for anything. The FA's did announce they had BOB but I never saw a menu or anything. Otherwise, the flight was smooth. The Late Show with David Letterman was our IFE.
Spacious rear galley
Before you know, we were descending into Miami. Unfortunately, my new seatmate was asleep with the shade closed the whole flight, I couldn't get any pics. Maybe a blessing in disguise?!
Landing was smooth. Overall, aside from my original seatmates, I had a great experience on AA's A300. I'm just sorry I won't have the opportunity to fly on her again. Does anyone know what will happen to the AB6 pilots? Are they going to other widebody a/c?
Random pics from MIA:
Thanks for reading, this was my first TR!
[Edited 2009-08-23 17:46:09]