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Scintillating Summer 2018 (18): Domestic Flight on American's 767-300ER (MIA-ORD AA2796 Aug '18, pics & VTR)

Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:34 pm

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American Airlines AA2796
Miami International Airport, FL, USA (MIA/KMIA) to Chicago O'Hare International Airport, IL, USA (ORD/KORD)
August 17th 2018
Departure: 1005 hours EDT, Arrival: 1224 hours CDT
Seat 30A, Economy Class
N393AN, Boeing 767-323ER
2nd flight on a Boeing 767-300ER
4th flight on American Airlines
14th short haul flight (>3 hrs) on a wide body airplane
Route: LAL CTY J151 DITZL J151 FAM FTZ SHAIN1
#105 video Trip Report on YouTube
FlightAware tracker Link


INTRODUCTION - ANOTHER DOMESTIC WIDEBODY FLIGHT!
Having mentioned on several occasions of two wide body aircraft on one itinerary between Fargo and Miami, the last two flights of my Scintillating Summer 2018 trip took me from Florida back to a smoky North Dakota through Chicago. I was happy to have been on American’s popular E175 morning service from Fargo to Dallas, followed by a 777-200ER between Dallas and Miami. Being on another hub to hub service I was quite excited to find out that the Miami - Chicago flight would be operated on a blast-back-to-the-past Boeing 767-300ER!

My two flights to Fargo looked something like this:
AA2796 MIA ORD 1005 1224 76W
AA3146 ORD FAR 1328 1524 CR7

THE UNRELIABLE 767?
It is unfortunately quite well known that the B767-300ER in American’s fleet has one of the worst dispatch reliability. Often plagued by delays due to technical woes, I had an idea of this while flight AA1195 was operated on the B767 instead of the B777: the flight would more often than not be 45 minutes late, while delays in excess of 3 hours were not uncommon.

This flight was the one I was most anxious about. There would be my planned flight out of Chicago to Fargo, a layover of 1hr04min, or there would be the last one of the day over 8 hours later. I needed to be in Fargo at my scheduled time as I wanted to get back to work. The bills don’t pay themselves y’know… While AA2796 had a decent on time record initially, it got progressively worse over time.

During my time in India, this flight would be the one I’d keep close eyes on: when it departed on time, it would get in Chicago on time. However, if it was delayed it would be impressively delayed. Nothing short of 3 hours, rarely. One time, it departed Miami and taxied right back to the gate. Another time, it took off & landed on time, only for it to be tugged to the gate, a delay of 1hr30min. More hydraulics. I was certain my luck had run out.

ONLINE CHECK IN
T - 24 hours, web check in. I confirmed seat 30A for this flight since the small cabins up front were not an option, and also confirming the seat on the CRJ-700. No issues here as I was about to leave for my flight to Miami, the MD-88. A quick check on AA2796’s flight status the day before mine: delayed by 2hrs. Ohhh joy!
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AUGUST 17TH 2018
That evening I caught up with my sleep, except that it was from 6pm to 2am. Jet lag at it’s finest. I wanted to see which airplane it’d be: N393AN, a 20.3 year old airplane had landed in Miami’s gate D50 from Philadelphia, and it had flown in from Budapest earlier. Watched some TV, battled my way out of locking myself in the shower, I headed out of the hotel and took the hotel over to the airport. I was at the airport for 0815 hours or so, just under 2 hours to departure. It was fairly busy at the north terminal.
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CHECK IN & SECURITY
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Headed for security next, where a German Shepherd help expedite the line. If anything, I got flagged down for a random bomb residue check on my phone. No worries there.

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I was airside at 0836 hours, just under 1hr30min to departure. The next hour would be crucial. Walking around I kept an eye on Amercian’s customer service desks, in case a delay was announced and I was so ready for it.

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But first, some spotting: seeing as COVID-19 and LATAM’s partnership with Delta have slowed things down for AA there was still plenty to see at American’s south American gateway.

Airside wasn’t as busy, then again there were several flights heading out of Miami spread out across the terminal, and over to Gate D50 for me.

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N393AN was at the gate, being prepped for departure: catering truck and baggage carts were loading the airplane up, the pilots were onboard in the cockpit. This was looking good.

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I walked around to concourse E. Did some planespotting there, once again it wasn’t too busy here either. A notification on my phone. Oh dear, the dreadful delay… or so I thought! Boarding had started for flight 2796 to Chicago O’Hare. Nice nice!

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BOARDING
This was going to be a full flight, I joined the line 36 minutes before departure time. For whatever reason, the estimated time of arrival was 4 minutes late, 1228 hours. Being one of the first in the group to board, there was not much of a line in the jet bridge, hooray!

Gate
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Let's go!
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Boarding pass
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I was onboard at 0930 hours, 35 minutes to departure, to a largely enthusiastic crew. Now I’m not sure if the 767s have been refurbished, at least back in Main cabin but it sure felt like a step back in time, for the 2nd time in 2 days. This would be a full flight, un surprisingly.
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I took my seat 30A, a lovely view of the wing and fitted winglet. A random, quick yet heavy rain shower passed by as we were inching closer to departure. I wasn’t going to be at ease till we docked at the gate in Chicago, but I wanted to enjoy this flight as best as I could!
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DEPARTURE
The usual announcements happened just fine, no issues. Just when we were getting in to the ‘whole time of nothingness’ - doors were closed and we pushed back at 1000 hours, 5 minutes before time! Hooray! The next little bit would be crucial - couldn’t afford to get back to the gate for a technical issue…

Both GE CF6 engines were fired up. Flaps being set had the unique sounds of…well perhaps a dentist’s drill. They were slow to be deployed, too. We taxied towards the runway 8R. Blue skies as if no rain ever happened. Bizarre!
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We were all lined up with Runway 8R at 1012 hours, just 7 minutes after scheduled departure time. We were airborne at 1013 hours and set a north/northwest course bound for Chicago O’Hare, some small heading changes here and there. It was a bumpy yet fun climb up to 36,000 feet. The take off video
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INFLIGHT
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Despite the old decor there were the usual pre-recorded announcements, consistent across all the American Airlines flights so far (including the one on Envoy Air). I soaked in the atmosphere - the overhead monitors every few rows, the retro controls on the arm rest. I was happy to be on this flight. Funny enough they were showing Running Wild with Bear Grylls on the IFE. Pity they did not have headsets for this, but that’s alright.
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Helpful as always!
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IFE
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Smooth flight
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The first officer came around on the PA system with information about this flight - it would be a smooth flight along, avoiding some storms en route, taking us on a westerly course which was helpful because the East winds in Chicago would put us right in course for arrival. Some small cells around Chicago, and 72F weather. Things were looking quite good.

Snacks and drinks were handed out pretty soon in to the flight, however given it was just the one cart for each aisle it was a little slow. The crew did not show any signs of not wanting to be at their job - always a good sign and a positive impression. Water, ginger ale and the cookies. It was 45 minutes or so in to the flight.

Service
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Pretty soon we were looming in towards the storms, avoiding them to our side. The clouds were representative of this.
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Uh oh.... :roll:
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I spent the rest of the time looking at magazines: always entertaining to see the airline info pages.
Seat pocket contents
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Safety card of the 767
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BoB Menu
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Asia network
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North America network
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Terminal maps for the hubs
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American continues to be the largest airline in the world, fleet wise. It was at this point my curiosity of the Embraer E series of aircraft: while the E170/175 counts as regional aircraft, the E195 sneaks in as a mainline aircraft because of the number of seats onboard. Other changes to the fleet since: the 767s are probably gone, MAX 8 grounded, Q100 & Q300 also gone…
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Cabin
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Loving the blast back in time :D
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About 1hr50min in to the flight I wanted to stretch my legs and visit the lavatory. It was clean, no issues whatsoever.
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Wonder which airport this is?
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DESCENT & ARRIVAL
We took a further westbound course over Missouri: we were getting close.

Just under 2hr30min in flight the announcement preparations were done, automated announcements. Nothing too dramatic here, we came down slowly via the SHAIN1 STAR. Did have to cut through some fairly bumpy clouds which was no issue for the B767. Some bumps are always fun! :)
Slowing down a touch
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Chopping through clouds is always fun
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NO holds, we’d be a straight in for Runway 10C.
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[b]Landing video[/b]
Touched down a little firm at 1201 hours Central, 2hr48min in flight.
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United end of things
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I'm gonna guess this livery is more or less gone...?
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Regional jets @ Concourse G
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Taxied over to Terminal 3: we’d be in concourse K along with a Japan Air Lines 777 and 3 other American 787s. Wide body time! We had to wait a little, so we parked on the taxi way for a little bit.
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Spirit and a Cessna
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A voicemail check in the meantime: my flight instructor just got assigned to me, turns out it was the same individual I worked with freshman year in hall government! Hah, what a small world. In the mean time I had a great view of the Etihad & Korean 777s, a Cargolux 747, and by far the biggest highlight of them all: a Cape Air Cessna 402! :D Hey, small light twins are important too.
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Yes yes yes, the best most important plane in ORD :scratchchin:
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Just as the wait was starting to get a little long we pulled in to gate K5 just fine at 1225 hours, just 1 minute late. Heck, this was the earliest AA2796 made it in over 3 weeks! Luck was really on my side. Whew!
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I had just under 1hr between the two flights, a crucial connection but it looked like I’d make it just fine. I waited for most folk to get off, I thanked the crew and headed for concourse G for the next flight. Yet another successful short-widebody flight!

Despite this on time arrival, AA2796 would head back to Miami but this time with a 45 minute delay. More on this in a little bit….
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CONCLUSION
Wide body flight opportunities within the United States are fewer and farther between: sure, I wasn't even born when during the time of DC-10s and MD-11s flying fairly short flights. I always look forward to opportunities with any & all wide body flights. I was happy to log a Boeing 767-300ER flight with American Airlines especially given that these are going to be out of the fleet very soon due to COVID-19. Would this be an airplane that I'd want to have flown on if they were around for an international flight? Probably not, due to the lack of seat back IFE however in times of one's own device entertainment this wouldn't have been an issue. I just would not have actively pursued this product.

These were two flights in a row on aircraft those are actively being retired, and now at an accelerated rate due to COVID-19. How the times can change so quickly...

A fun flight though! If the aforementioned delays happened and trend continued this would've been a very different flight altogether. I like the 2-3-2 configuration, the crew were professional and polite trying to have small talk with passengers, and we were on time. Just one more flight remained in this series....

My trip reports:
2018
Scintillating Summer 2018 (17): 31 year old Mad Dog! Delta MD-88, Atlanta to Miami (Aug '18, pics & VTR) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (16): Half a day in the air, Turkish's awesome A330! (IST-ATL Y Aug '18, pics & VTR) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (15): Turkish Airlines A330-300, The Trek Back... (BOM-IST Y Aug '18, pics + vids) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (14): Air India's NEW A320neo! (Kolkata - Mumbai AI676) (pics + videos, Aug 18) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (13): The Race Against Time... TG A333 BKK-CCU Y (pics + videos, Aug 18) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (12): My Shortest Flight on a wide body - TG A333 PNH-BKK Y (pics + videos, Aug 18) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (11): The $27 FSC - Bassaka Air's A320 Siem Reap - Phnom Penh (SEVERAL pics + videos, Aug 18)) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (10): Adventures of the Xian MA60! (many pics, PNH-KOS-REP Y, Aug 18) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (9): Fly Smart, Fly Sabai, Fly Thai Smile! (BKK-PNH Y A320 Aug '18, pics + video) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (8): Purple plane, purple plane! Cambodia bound on Thai's A330 (CCU-BKK Aug '18, pics + video) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (7): The Final Leg Home - jetlag jetlag jetlag! (Vistara A320 DEL-CCU Jul '18, pics + video) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (6): #NotJustAnotherNEO - Vistara's Premium Economy! (BOM - DEL Jul '18, pics + videos) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (5): Was That My Last Flight on Jet Airways?! (A330-200 DEL-BOM Y Jul '18, pics + videos) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (4): Tantalizing Turkish - a missed connection? (777-300ER IST-DEL Y, Jul '18, pics + videos) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (3): Turkish Delight! (777-300ER MIA-IST Y, Jul '18, pics + videos) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018 (2): American Airlines' Refurbished 777 (DFW-MIA Y, Jul '18, pics + videos) (video trip report)
Scintillating Summer 2018: Envoy Air ERJ-175 FAR-DFW (Y, Jul '18) + BONUS Air Force One & Thunderbirds (pics + videos)
(video trip report)
A, B, C & E of airplanes: A Spring Break in NYC (4): The Comfortable CRJ?! (UA4851 ORD-FAR Mar '18 Y)(video trip report)
A, B, C & E of airplanes: A Spring Break in NYC (3): Red Eye hub-to-hub on the A320 (UA2139 EWR-ORD Mar '18 Y)(video trip report)
A, B, C & E of airplanes: A Spring Break in NYC (2) - DeIcing Delays; The Big Boeing 777! (UA1995 Y ORD-FAR Mar' 18)(video trip report)
A, B, C & E of airplanes: A Spring Break in NYC (1) - United Express/ExpressJet ERJ-145LR (UA4082 Y FAR-ORD Mar' 18)(video trip report)
Wobbly Winter '17/18 (11): The cramped CRJ conundrum (DL3896 MSP-GFK, CRJ-200LR Jan '18)(video trip report)
Wobbly Winter '17/18 (10): Frozen Fuel Truck - uncertainty ensues! (DL461 JFK-MSP, B717-200 Jan '18)(video trip report)
Wobbly Winter '17/18 (9): BA's logo jet, the uncertainty of NYC's winter storm! (BA173 LHR-JFK, B747-400 Jan '18)(video trip report)
Wobbly Winter '17/18 (8): The Red Eye 747! (BA142, DEL-LHR, B747-400 Jan '18, pics)(video trip report)
Wobbly Winter '17/18 (7): Vistara's amazing Business Class! (UK778 CCU-DEL A320 Jan '18, pics & video TR)(video trip report)

2017
*NO FLIGHTS* Wobbly Winter '17/18 (6): Himalayas, Palam Air Force Museum, Heavily Delayed Rajdhani Express
Wobbly Winter '17/18 (5): Fly Smart? Not quite: The GoAir Debut! (G8128 CCU-DEL A320 Dec'17, pics & video TR)(video trip report)
Wobbly Winter '17/18 (4): Efficient Air India! (AI401 DEL - CCU B787 Dec'17, pics & video TR)(video trip report)
Wobbly Winter '17/18 (3): Elegantly British? (BA143 LHR-DEL B747-400 WT Dec'17, pics & video TR)(video trip report)
Wobbly Winter '17/18 (2): A British Concorde, A British Queen! (BA116 B747-400 World Traveller Dec'17, pics & video TR)(video trip report)
Wobbly Winter '17/'18 (1): Insane tailwinds to the Big Apple! (DL A319 MSP-JFK Dec '17 Y, pics & video TR)(video trip report)
A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (10): Software glitch'd? (SkyWest Delta CRJ-200ER, MSP-GFK, Jun '17, w/pics & video TR)(video trip report)
A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (9): Yet no CRJ-700 for you! (IAD-MSP UA E175, Y, Jun '17)(video trip report)
A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (8): A tale of 2 Etihads - electronics BANNED! (B77L/B789, BOM-AUH-IAD, Y, Jun '17)(video trip report)
A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (7): Jet's extended range B737 (9W472 CCU-BOM, Y, pics & vids)(video trip report)
A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (6): Delays galore, inefficiency ensues! (SpiceJet, B737-900ER, SG517 BLR-CCU, Y)(video trip report)
A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (5): Missed opportunity with Jet's A330 (BOM-BLR, Y, B73H, May '17) [pics & video TR](video trip report)
A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (4): Short flight on the Etihad A380! (AUH-BOM, Y, May '17) [pics & video TR] (video trip report)
A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (3): Elegant Etihad? (JFK-AUH, A380 Y, May '17) [many pics & video TR] (video trip report)
A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (2): No MD-88 for you! (MSP-LGA, DL Y, May '17) [pics & video TR]] (video trip report)
A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (1): No CRJ-700 for you! (GFK-MSP, SkyWest Delta) [pics & video TR] (video trip report)
Spring Break 2017 - To the Pacific Northwest! (AMTRAK, BC, Idaho, NO flights!)
Winter Break 2016/17 (9): The Final Hop Home (AA Eagle ERJ-145, ORD-FAR, Jan '17, Y) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016/17 (8): Ultra long haul with Etihad (AUH-ORD, Y, Jan '17) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016/17 (7): Enticing Etihad to Abu Dhabi! (CCU-AUH, Jan '17, Y) (video trip report)

2016
Winter Break 2016 (6): My last flight on Jet Airways' ATR (GAU-CCU, Y, Dec '16) + Scintillating Sunderbans (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (6): My last flight on Jet Airways' ATR (GAU-CCU, Y, Dec '16) + Scintillating Sunderbans (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (5): Konnecting to Kaziranga (S24363 B73H CCU-GAU Y, Dec '16) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (4): Take us home, Qatar Airways! (QR540, DOH-CCU, Y, Dec'16) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (3): Long haul middle seat - our first flight on Qatar Airways! (QR28 MAN-DOH, Y, Dec'16) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (2): Pencil Jet across the Atlantic (AA54 MAN-ORD, Y+, Dec'16) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (1): The Frozen Embraer Delay - missed connection! (FAR-ORD, Dec '16) (video trip report)
Thanksgiving '16 in the Sin City - My Allegiance with N891GA, to divert or not to divert (LAS-GFK Nov '16) (video trip report)
Thanksgiving '16 in the Sin City - My Allegiance with Allegiant! (Part 1, many pictures) (video trip report)
The day I flew the world's most popular plane (GFK-FAR-CKN-GFK, C172)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 14: Delta Connection, a quick hop in the Midwest! (MSP - GFK, Aug '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 13: Super old, Super 80, Mad Dog Across the Midwest! (AA ORD-MSP, Aug'16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 12: Flying the Friendly Skies... (United Munich to Chicago, Aug '16)) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 11: Epic Lufthansa, Epic A340! (Delhi to Munich, Aug '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 10: Konnect, Lite, Delight...(S2 B73H CCU-DEL, Aug '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 9: Take me home, Vistara! (DEL-CCU, Jul '16) (video trip report)[/color]
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 8: Vistara's INAUGURAL flight out of Kolkata! (CCU-DEL, Jun '16)) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 7: Efficient IndiGo! (Mumbai to Kolkata, A320, May '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 6: Big delays, cracked windshield, angry passengers (SG CCU-BOM B73J) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 5: Air India's domestic Dream)liner (DEL-CCU May '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 4: Nearly First Class - stories of the empty A380! (LH FRA-DEL May '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 3: World's longest jet, Lufthansa's B748i! (ORD-FRA May '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 2: ChicaGO on United's A319! (MSP-ORD, May '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 1: Sun rise onboard the long range CRJ (DL GFK-MSP CRJ-900, May '16) (video trip report)
The pencil jet(s) for spring break! (+ Iron Maiden bonus): Delta MSP-FLL-MSP, March '16 (DL1608 video trip report, DL2027 video trip report)
De-iced & Delayed, cold onboard a CRJ! (ORD-MSP-GFK on Delta, Jan '16) (ORD-MSP video report) (MSP-GFK video report)
Delta's aged B767-300ER across the Atlantic! (CDG-ORD in Y, Jan '16) (video report)
Air France's NEW Economy (B777-200ER, Bengaluru to Paris, Jan '16) (video report)
Delays and despair: stressed out in the middle seat! (Jet Airways B737 Mumbai - Bengaluru, Jan '16)
Air India's hybrid babybus from Kolkata to Mumbai (Jan '16, Y) (video report)

2012
South Africa 3: 12 days in Scintillating South Africa (Kruger, Kulula and Rand Airport, Apr' 12, LONG!)
South Africa 2: Elegant Emirates Economy! (DXB-CPT, B77W, Apr '12)
South Africa 1: My first flight on Emirates, my first flight on the 777 (CMB-DXB, Apr '12)

2011
International transit with Jet Airways (BOM-MAA-CMB, Oct. '11)
Konnecting to Bhubaneswar (9W BOM-BBI-BOM, Jul '11)
Three trips between India and Sri Lanka (9W BOM-CMB-BOM: Jun '11, Jul '11, Oct. 11)
To India's Orange City: Mumbai - Nagpur - Mumbai on Jetlite & Tadoba National Park (May 2011)
My last flight on Kingfisher Airlines (and 2 other Jet flights, May '11)
 
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CollegeAviator
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:55 am

Re: Scintillating Summer 2018 (18): Domestic Flight on American's 767-300ER (MIA-ORD AA2796 Aug '18, pics & VTR)

Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:24 pm

For what it's worth - AA may have just operated it's last flight on the B767, a relief flight from Lima to Miami...
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https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/n347an

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