Topic Author
Posts: 317
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:42 am

AA PHX-NAS And Seeing HA In MIA!

Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:40 am

After securing time off at work, I was able to schedule a trip to Nassau to visit a friend. This was to be my first trip to
the Bahamas. I work for the largest travel agency in the country, and a friend was able to give me a pass she had on AA
for this trip. My total with all taxes was $101. Not bad eh?

February 27, 2010
AA 446 Phoenix-Dallas/Ft Worth
Departure Gate 6
Arrival Gate A34
Scheduled Departure 645am
Actual Departure 644am
Scheduled Arrival 1000am
Actual Arrival 947am
Seat 14A
Load Factor 100%

After a pretty quick checkin using the kiosk, swiping my passport, having them tag my checked bag, and going
through security, I arrived to gate 6.

The start of another beautiful AZ sunrise as usual.

After takeoff. VERY gray day in Phoenix. Later on that night heavy rain moved in.

Over New Mexico it was pretty neat to see these huge windmills built all along a ridge.

Our destination. Approaching DFW from the NW and turning to the south, to turn
back to the north to land.

The new Dallas Cowboys football stadium.

Arrival at gate A34. Beautiful, cool day in DFW

After deplaning I took the Airtrain around to terminal D. I saw the KE 777 bound for ICN.
After buying a salad at McDonalds to take onboard the plane I went to my gate.
Here's the bird taking us to NAS.

February 27, 2010
AA 2127 Dallas/Ft Worth-Nassau
Departure Gate D20
Arrival Gate ?
Scheduled Departure 1105am
Actual Departure 1100am
Scheduled Arrival 305pm
Actual Arrival 314pm
Seat 23F
Load Factor 85%

After boarding, this was my view. I saw the KE 777 taxi out and take out while waiting for us
to depart.

While waiting at the gate to board, I noticed alot of young men with University of Michigan
rugby attire on. As they boarded, and took the last 4 rows or so of the plane, I felt like I
was at a party in a frat house. They were EXTREMELY loud and obnoxious. The majority
of passengers on this flight were either older American couples, or younger families with
kids. Just before we pushed back, one of the flight attendants came to the back of the
plane and said to the rugby players "we are not in your living room. This is a shared space.
Be respectul to the other people onboard." Thankfully that helped as after that I barely
heard a peep from them again.

After departing, and taxiing to the eastern side of the field, we took off to the north. We did
a gradual turn to the southeast. I could see downtown Dallas.

I was surprised the flying time from DFW-NAS was only about 2:30. We flew over New Orleans
and then out over the Gulf of Mexico, hitting Florida around Ft Myers. I saw none of it however as
shortly after leaving DFW it grew cloudy. As we began our descent it finally cleared up. This was
my first view of the Bahamas. Andros Island, the biggest island, but extremely sparsely populated.

More views just off the coast of Andros Island.

My first view of New Providence Island, where Nassau is. Paradise Island, and the famous
Atlantis Hotel is in the top part of the pic.

Downtown Nassau, and the cruise port.

On final approach into NAS.

Just before touch down overflying a marshy, lake area.

After landing, and taxiing to the terminal, I saw the new US terminal that is being
built. The majority of flights to/from NAS are from the US. A new terminal for
these flights specifically is being built, to replace the existing US terminal. I read
online that NAS was just voted one of the top 12 ugliest airports in the world.
After being there, I can't disagree with it. Hopefully the new terminal will help.
The DL A320 in the pic was sitting on the taxiway waiting for a gate. We pulled
up behind them waiting for a gate to open too.

As we waited, and waited, and waited, the following all arrived and taxiied in to
their gates. Since they weren't using the US terminal, they were able to taxi
right on in. First arrival was the BA 767 from LHR.


Then a Westjet 737-700 from somewhere in Canda.

Then a Condor 767 from somewhere in Germany.

After waiting for maybe 20 minutes, we finally started to taxi in. Imagine seeing
Bahamasair here!! LOVE the old 737-200 yet.

My view after arriving at the gate.

After exiiting the jet bridge into the concourse, I was surprised to see there
were literally NO restaurants or bathrooms at all on the concourse. Also, there
were maybe 4 seats at each gate area. The concourse was just a long narrow
tube with no amenities at all. Now I'm seeing why it was named one of the
ugliest in the world. After walking to immigration, and seeing the LONG lines
from the previous BA, Westjet, and Condor arrivals, I knew it was going to be
a long wait. 45 minutes later, I was finally in baggage claim. To say this area
was a mess is an understatement. The 3 baggage belts were not moving, but
bags were everywhere on the belts, as well as on the floor around the belts.
The TV monitors above the belts made no mention of my AA flight from DFW
so I had NO idea where my bag was. I had to walk around looking at every
bag to see where mine was. Thankfully, it did make it. 1 hour after arrival, I
was finally able to leave the airport.

Your truly after my friend picked me up. We stopped at a castle overlooking
NAS as the sun was going down.

A couple of shots around NAS.

This pic was taken overlooking a very exclusive golf course on Paradise Island.

On Paradise Island, in front of the Atlantis Resort as sunset approaches.

March 02, 2010
AA 4968 Nassau-Miami
Departure Gate C45
Arrival Gate C35
Scheduled Departure 105pm
Actual Departure 107pm
Scheduled Arrival 219pm
Actual Arrival 205pm
Seat 04D
Load Factor 85%

After being dropped off at the airport about 1.5 hours before departure, and walking up to a deserted AA
ticket counter, and checking in, I was surprised to be given my US immigration form. I found out why
very soon. After being told what area to go to with my checked bag, I was surprised to see I had to fill
out my US immigration card before being allowed into security. I had no idea US citizens pre-cleared
immigration to the US in the Bahamas. I dumped my checked bag onto the belt, and then was subjected
to a pat down search, and had my carry on bay looked through, by security. After that, I turned in my
US immigration form, and had my passport looked at, but not stamped. Darn! After that, I entered the
big, warehouse like waiting area for US departures. Not exactly a very pretty place. Again, I can see
why the "top 12 ugliest airports" rating.

This area had a very high, metal ceiling. When any announcements were made, it was very echoey
and difficult to understand what was being said. There were approximately 12 gates or so, that looked
like "normal" podiums etc you'd see at the actual gate area. On the side of the podium though was
a sliding glass door, that leads to the concourse behind the gates. Everyone has to sit in the big,
warehouse room and wait for "boarding" to start, then proceed through the glass doors, to walk
down to the actual gate. The US and AA podiums.

After being called to "board", and walking thru the sliding door, I could see the ramp area.
My ATR to MIA is the closest one in this pic.

After walking to the gate, we all had to wait in a roped off line, waiting to board. As you can see
in this pic, there are NO restrooms, podiums, restaurants, etc on the coucourse. The people
at the end of the councourse are boarding a US flight to CLT.

The little AA Eagle podium had wheels on it. Since there are no dedicated gates
each airline wheels their podium up and down the concourse. As I mentioned earlier,
there are maybe 4 chairs by each gate. The NAS airport workers, seemed to be the
ones using the chairs always. Passengers had to wait in line, standing, until boarding
started. I found it interesting that the older British couple in line behind me, were
connecting in MIA back to the UK as I overhead them talking. I thought they'd be
on the nonstop BA flight, but maybe AA had a better fare available.

After standing for maybe 10 minutes in line, we were finally allowed to board. We walked down the
jet bridge, then down stairs to the ramp. We had to walk around the wingtip, to the rear boarding
stairs of the ATR. I was surprised we were ontime as earlier that day, while watching the MIA TV
stations, I was aware a big cold front, and associated thunder storms, were moving into MIA. I
wasn't looking forward to flying into that kind of weather on the ATR. The view from my window
after boarding.

I unfortunately left my camera in my carryon bag, and couldn't access it after boarding as
the person sitting next to me boarded, and immediately proceeded to fall asleep, with
his feet blocking my bag under the seat! After take off, and overflying Andros Island yet
again, I could see it was getting darker and darker ahead. The dreaded cold front! We
were only flying at 12,000 feet so I knew it was going to get bumpy. After entering the very
dark clouds, we experienced some rough turbulance, but thankfully this only lasted for
about 3 minutes. After that, it started to clear up and before I knew it I could see the
coast of FL. We came straight in to MIA from the east, landing to the west. I could see
it definately had rained there as the ground was still wet. My view after arrival into MIA.

After boarding the bus, and being driven to gate C35, where all AA Eagle flights are
bussed to/from, I had roughly 2.5 hours to kill. My flight to PHX was leaving from the
new D concourse so I walked over there and ate something. I sat at the end gate,
D50 I believe it was, and watched a flight departing from there to SJU be serviced
and board up and depart. I then watched traffic arrive/depart on the northern
runways. As I watched a Hawaiian 717 landed and taxiied to the maintenance
hangars on the northern side of the airport. I have NO idea why this plane was
so far from "home". I can only think it has been sold by HA, or the lease is up
and it's being ferried somewhere else.

One of AA's breast cancer, pink ribbon planes. This was departing to SJU.

March 02, 2010
AA 1007 Miami-Phoenix
Departure Gate D48
Arrival Gate 6
Scheduled Departure 455pm
Actual Departure 547pm
Scheduled Arrival 810pm
Actual Arrival 905pm
Seat 23A
Load Factor 85%

After walking over to my gate,l discovered my flight to PHX was about 1 hour
late. The gate agents would only say "the plane is late arriving from an international
destination and has to be checked by customs, and then cleaned and serviced".
I later found out the mysterious "international destination" was BZE. I was pleasantly
surprised to see that my ride back to PHX was going to be on AA's 737 Astrojet.
I would have taken a picture, but MIA is a really horrible spot in which to take pics
from at alot of the gates. My view after boarding.

After a pretty uneventful, and long, almost 5 hour flight, we finally started our descent
as we passed just northeast of TUS. As is typical in PHX, flights were landing to the
west during that time of the night. As we descended, and approached, I was looking
down at familiar sights. As we overflew the city of Tempe, which is just to the east
of the airport, and overflew an outdoor mall called Tempe Marketplace, I was thinking
to myself that we are WAY to high for this approach. Suddenly we did a sharp turn
to the north, then back east, the way we had just come from. Strange! No announcement
was made by the cockpit. We did a big circle, then lined up to land yet again. We flew
over Tempe Marketplace yet again, and our landing was looking more "normal" this time.
Suddenly the engines roared to life and we started to ascend. The cockpit came on
this time to say we were "doing a go around since I wasn't comfortable with the
spacing of the aircraft in front of us". We overflew the airport, then did a turn to
the north, then back east yet again!! Sound familiar? After lining up yet again
to land, and flying over the now WAY to familiar Tempe Marketplace, we finally
did actually arrive in PHX. All of this extra flying just trying to land added about
15 extra minutes delay to our arrival time. Lastly, my checked bag had a couple
of items stolen out of it on the return flight. I have no idea if it happened in
NAS or MIA of course. I had a brand new Old Navy t-shirt I had just bought before
this trip, and a necklace, stolen. I didn't really notice they were missing until I
did laundry 4 days later and couldn't find the t-shirt. I hope you enjoyed this
report. Please ask if you have any questions.

[Edited 2010-03-17 18:48:33]

[Edited 2010-03-17 18:49:13]
Posts: 1351
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:47 pm

RE: AA PHX-NAS And Seeing HA In MIA!

Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:53 am

Very cool TR. I've only been down to MIA twice myself, hardly remember either trip. I'd like to go back and get on one of those ATR-72's.... definitely a rare type!!

Really interesting to see the HA 717 there. Per your TR title, I was looking for the pics of the HA 763 and didn't see it, so I scanned back over them only to see the 717... yikes!! Did you happen to catch it's N-number?
Posts: 3184
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:36 pm

RE: AA PHX-NAS And Seeing HA In MIA!

Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:15 am

Quoting phxtravelboy (Thread starter):
As I watched a Hawaiian 717 landed and taxiied to the maintenance
hangars on the northern side of the airport. I have NO idea why this plane was
so far from "home". I can only think it has been sold by HA, or the lease is up
and it's being ferried somewhere else.

HA's 717s are going to AAR's MIA facilities for heavy maintenance and repainting. Expect to see more over the next 2 years.
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: AA PHX-NAS And Seeing HA In MIA!

Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:49 pm

I was in Paradise Island in 1976 and again in 1979 and I loved it. The water is among the most beautiful I have ever seen. It was clear and calm like a bath tub. Thanks.
Topic Author
Posts: 317
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:42 am

RE: AA PHX-NAS And Seeing HA In MIA!

Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:44 am

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 1):
Did you happen to catch it's N-number?

No, sorry I didn't see the N number. It was too far away for me to make it out.

Quoting ha763 (Reply 2):
HA's 717s are going to AAR's MIA facilities for heavy maintenance and repainting. Expect to see more over the next 2 years.

Thanks for the info. MAN what a LONG way to go to be worked on though.
Posts: 1746
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:07 pm

RE: AA PHX-NAS And Seeing HA In MIA!

Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:00 pm

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 1):
Really interesting to see the HA 717 there
Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 1):
Did you happen to catch it's N-number?

Should be N478HA

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tsuyoshi Hayasaki - AroundWorldImages

Great TR! I loved the pics, as it truly captures how beautiful the Bahamas is!
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

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