I had some AA miles that I wanted to use, and decided to go home for a few days. I booked it two days before the flight. This trip, would be the first time I flew on an AA A330. I was looking forward to trying out another AA widebody. The only other I had been on, was a 767-300. On the day of the flight, it was one of the last flights out of PHX for the night. I got to the airport around midnight. The good part about flying at this time, is there was no line at security. By the time I got the gate, boarding started 15 minutes later.
Phoenix, AZ (PHX) – Washington, DC (DCA)
Scheduled Departure Time – 1:22am
Actual Departure Time- 1:25am
Scheduled Arrival Time –7:29am
Actual Arrival Time- 7:05am
3 hours 40 minutes
Before I went inside, I went up to the top of the parking garage to see the plane I’d be flying on. It had arrived from SJC, earlier in the evening
The flight was not full. There were plenty of open seats, including the middle seat next to me. With the door closed, we pushed back a few minutes early at 115am. Once the engines were started, we started the short taxi to runway 26. A few minutes later, we were in the air and climbing to 39,000ft.
Line Up and Wait
The sun started to come up, about 30 minutes before landing. It was a smooth descent into DCA. We flew in from the west on the TRUPS4 arrival, before making a right turn onto the downwind. We touched down smoothly, with heavy breaking on runway 1. Followed by a short taxi, to gate 39.
Descending into DCA
Final Runway 1
Arriving at the gate
N901NN preparing for the flight up to JFK
My next flight was not leaving for a few hours. The plane came in from DSM. The crew came from another flight. They showed up about 30 minutes before departure, and boarding started a few minutes later. This flight was also only about half full. Almost everyone had the seat next to them open. The door was closed about 5 minutes late, and a few minutes later we pushed back. After a short taxi to runway 1 and waiting behind 2 other CRJ’s, we were cleared for takeoff.
American Eagle “Republic” 4475
Washington, DC (DCA) – Syracuse, NY (SYR)
Scheduled Departure Time – 10:10am
Actual Departure Time- 10:35am
Scheduled Arrival Time –11:31am
Actual Arrival Time- 11:29am
N438YX at gate 36
Taxing to runway 1
Line Up and Wait
Climbing out of DCA
It was a bumpy climb, as we flew through multiple cloud layers. Once we were on top, it smoothed out. The flight went by quickly. By the time the flight attendants were finishing the service, we were starting down into a cold and snowy SYR.
Final runway 28
Parking at gate 6
After a few days at home, it was time to head back to PHX. For the flight back, I had connections in PHL and LAX. The PHL-LAX flight, was on an A330.
American Eagle “Piedmont” 4850
Syracuse, NY (SYR) – Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
Scheduled Departure Time – 12:41pm
Actual Departure Time- 12:44pm
Scheduled Arrival Time –2:00pm
Actual Arrival Time- 1:25pm
N647AE arriving from PHL
At gate 8
Everyone had boarded, and we were ready to go about 20 minutes early. After sitting for a little while, the door was closed and we pushed back. With the engines started, we taxied to runway 28. After takeoff, we turned to the southwest and climbed up to 16,000ft. The flight attendant came through with water, orange juice and pretzels. A few minutes later, we started descending.
Pulling into gate F13
N647AE preparing for the next flight down to BWI
I had a few hours in PHL, before my connecting flight. I walked from Terminal F to Terminal A, where my A330 had just arrived from CDG. The flight was pretty full, and boarding started 40 minutes before departure. As you boarded, there was a flight attendant checking your boarding pass, and directing you down either aisle. The seat next to me stayed empty, as well as the middle row next to me. Before the door was closed, a few people moved to these seats. The Captain came on, and made an announcement giving us the details of the cross country flight. He was expecting a smooth flight. He also mentioned there were strong winds. As a result, the flight would be on the longer side. A few minutes later the door was closed, and we started to push back 6 minutes ahead of schedule.
Philadelphia, PA (PHL) – Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Scheduled Departure Time – 4:04pm
Actual Departure Time- 4:21pm
Scheduled Arrival Time –7:10pm
Actual Arrival Time- 6:59pm
5 hours 38 minutes
Taxing towards 27R
We followed a few CRJ’s and a WN 737 to ATL towards the runway. After holding short for a few minutes, we taxied on to the runway and began our slow takeoff roll. Once we were in the air, we turned to the north then back to the west as we started out across the country. We climbed to our initial cruising altitude of 36,000 feet. We stayed there for most of the flight. A little over an hour before landing, while we were over northern Arizona it started to get bumpy. We climbed up to 38,000 ft, and it smoothed out, for the rest of the flight.
30 minutes after takeoff, the flight attendants handed out pretzels and drinks. They came through again, about 45 minutes before landing.
The sky slowly got darker, the further west we flew. It was only about an hour before landing, that it was fully dark outside.
Starting out descent
There was still a plane at our gate, when we landed. The captain made an announcement, that it should only be about 10 minutes. About 15 minutes later, we slowly started to move. We ended up pulling into the gate 30 minutes after we had landed.
N286AY spent the night at LAX, before going back to PHL the next morning
After deplaning, I noticed that my flight to PHX was delayed 20 minutes. The plane had been coming in from STL, but apparently there had been a plane swap. The new plane for our flight had already arrived from SDF, and was already sitting at the gate. Around the time that boarding was supposed to start, an announcement was made. The plane was here, as well as the crew. It was a very light load to PHX and they were hoping to get us out ontime if not a few minutes early. This would be my first time flying an A319 between LAX and PHX. It is not that common. AA primarily uses the A321. They occasionally will use an A320 or 757.
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) – Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
Scheduled Departure Time – 9:10pm
Actual Departure Time- 9:38pm
Scheduled Arrival Time –11:33pm
Actual Arrival Time- 11:35pm
An announcement was made, that there were only 40 passengers on this flight. There were plenty of open seats, and everyone could spread out. The doors were closed right at our departure time. Once an AS 737 pushed behind us, we started to push back and the engines were started.
Taxing past a B6 A321, preparing to depart for the overnight flight to BOS
We started to taxi to 24R. Right after we started to taxi, it got busy. We got out just in time. We taxied right out to 24R, taxied onto the runway and started out takeoff roll without stopping. After takeoff we climbed out over the water, and turned south and then east. It was a little bumpy in the climb. By the time we leveled off at 33,000 feet, it had smoothed out.
Once we leveled off, the flight attendants came through with drinks and pretzels. It was a quick flight and by the time the service was done, we were starting to descend.
We descended on the HYDRR1 arrival from the west into PHX. We flew past the airport and made a left turn, flying past the final for 25L and 25R. There were not many planes arriving, so we were able to land on the north runway, runway 26.
Final runway 26
Pulling into gate A27
N801AW spent the night at PHX, before going to MSY the next morning
It was a good trip both ways on AA. Some of the best AA flights, I have had recently. There were not any delays, and I ended up with the seat open next to me on every flight. Also, I liked getting to fly on the A330. It is always cool to fly a widebody, on a domestic flight.