Page 1 of 1

CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:21 pm
by redngold
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 CLE-LGA
American Eagle Flight 828/American Airlines 4828
Scheduled/Actual Departure 1620/1832
Scheduled/Actual Arrival 1759/unknown, est. 1930
N823AE, Seat 1A
Departure Gate A3, Arrival Gate C1
Departure Taxi J, L, Rwy 6R runup pad (TMP hold), Rwy 6R
Arrival Taxi Rwy 22, C, B, E, A, ramp
Planned Route FAILS V188 JFN ETG MIP3

I had checked my flight a few times in the morning and early afternoon and was assured that it was "on time." I thought, "fat chance, going into LGA during rush hour on the evening before Thanksgiving." I was just happy to get the flight for a decent price, only three weeks before the holiday. Just getting to the metro New York/Philadelphia region with that late a purchase was a feat.
When I arrived at the airport, the flight was indeed delayed. We were scheduled to depart at 1730, once our aircraft arrived on the inbound flight from LGA. It arrived later than planned for that time, and we boarded with a scheduled release time 1753. Boarding went smoothly and we taxied out to the runway, passing a holding NW DC9 and an ExpressJet ERJ on the runup pad; we made the turn perpendicular to the end of the runway and the engines shut down. The left-seat pilot told us that our release time had been changed (possibly expired by mere seconds) and we were going to sit on the runway for at least 50 minutes with a new release time 1732. Our flight attendant, Gerri, served drinks and most of us sat comfortably and chatted during the delay. The DC9 thundered out about halfway through.
Seated in 1A, I was practically sitting in the front doorway. When I was boarding, I stood in the galley area while allowing other passengers past me. Gerri asked me to move back into 2B until people were seated, because there was a possibility that the galley service door would be opened and it was unsafe for me to stand there. I appreciated her service and concern throughout the flight. She is ex-TWA, had been a purser on 747 and 767 flights, and had made a last minute change that avoided the fateful Flight 800. During the merger with AA, all TWA flight attendants were dismissed and were optioned to Eagle; that is how she ended up on my flight.
When we finally departed, we took off into rainy skies with a ceiling around 1000 ft., an improvement over conditions when I arrived at the airport. We had a quick climb to 10000 and a bumpier climb through 12-15000 ft., leveling off at FL310. I noted that sitting at the front of the aircraft was just as noisy as in the back near the engines, as with acceleration the rush of the airstream increased to a deafening roar. Later, as we slowed near the NJ/PA border, the roar diminished.
We came out of the clouds at about 10,000 ft. over central New Jersey and crossed southeast of New Brunswick, with the intersection of the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike visible. We passed directly over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge with at least five large and six medium sized frighters in New York Harbor below. More boats and tugs speckeled south of the Statue of Liberty. We bisected Brooklyn and Queens with aircraft visible arriving and departing LGA off the port wing. Increasing ground fog shrouded the view as we crossed into Nassau county, turned base, crossed the north shore of Long Island, and turned final over the Sound. Descending through the fog we came out north of the Whitestone Bridge and made a smooth landing on Rwy 22.

[Edited 2007-11-28 12:36:20]

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:09 pm
by redngold
Monday, 26 November 2007 LGA / KLGA), USA - New York">LGA-CLE
American Eagle Flight 878/American Airlines 4878
Scheduled/Actual Departure 1115/1120
Scheduled/Actual Arrival 1300/1248
N700LE, Seat 11C
Departure Gate C4, Arrival Gate A5
Departure Taxi H, B, P, hs Rwy 4/22, Rwy 13
Arrival Taxi Rwy 6L, S, J, ramp
Planned Route ELIOT J60 DIMMO J60 PSB PSB292060 YNG CXR1

I arrived at LGA the prescribed two hours early and after checking in received my boarding pass for seat 9C (this will come up later.) With plenty of time to spare and little traffic at the security checkpoints, I headed up the escalator between the B & C concourses (where the sign says "Dentist -=Volunteers of America - Parking"). There I was treated to a view of the intersection of Rwys13/22 and although there were no seats in the upper level I stood there for about 45 minutes watching aircraft depart 13 and arrive 22.
This being LGA nearly every major airline was well represented - AA 738, 757, mutiple MD80s; various American Eagle ERJs; UA 757, A320, and a 737 in old colors with a mismatched new-colors nose cone; US 737, A320; CO 2x735; AC A319, E175; AirTran 73G, 2x717; ATA 738; DL MD80 and a 757 in Song-green; Spirit A319 in new colors; USAirwasy Express Saab 340, B1900, multiple DH-8-100s, CR2; Delta Connection multiple CR2 and CR7; and most unusual but expected for LGA, a Trump 722 sitting on the ramp.
Our flight was listed as on time but we were told that the estimated arrival of our aircraft from BOS was 1120. The aircraft actually arrived at 1100 and we were boarded quickly. When I turned in my boarding pass, the gate agent scanned it and then handed me a conventional ticket stub in return, telling me to consult it for my seat. It wasn't until I was on the aircraft that I realized I had been reassigned to 11C.
Once boarded, I found that not only had I been reassigned, but other passengers had been assigned my original seat 9C. I was upset and after stowing my belongings I returned to the front of the aircraft and asked the flight attendant why I had been reassigned without consultation. She stated that I would have to ask the gate agent, and she asked the pilot to call the gate agent to the aircraft. Meanwhile, a maintenance technician boarded the aircraft and the flight attendant sent him to the back of the plane "to check on a passenger service module that isn't functioning properly." (This is also important later.)
The gate agent did not respond to the pilot's call, and as there were still passengers boarding, the flight attendant told me that I could go back up the jetway to talk with the gate agent. I did so immediately, and found the door closed at the top. I opened it and the gate agent was not happy that I was back. She stated that my seat had been changed because the aircraft had been changed. Then she rushed me back down the ramp, as another gate agent took the manifest to the plane. I got back on, and meet the maintenance technician halfway up the aisle as he returned forward. I realized that I was not going to get my exit row seat after all, and I tried to settle in.
Then the flight attendant came back and announced to those of us in Rows 11-13 that there was a problem with our air vents, and that if we were too hot or cold we should tell her, since the maintenance technician had not been able to solve the problem. I said to her, "that wouldn't be a problem for me if I wasn't sitting where I was assigned in the first place!"
We taxied out behind another Eagle ERJ and took off without a problem, making two steep right turns and climbing through 10000 ft. in what seemed like about 2 minutes. Our flight attendant announced that we would be cruising at FL340. Then she announced that American's "buy on board" policy included a $5 charge for a blanket and pillow. By the time she was doing cabin service, I was getting cold and I asked her for a complimentary blanket, since I had been reassigned to an undesirable seat affected by a known mechanical problem. She refused, offering only to adjust the temperature manually from the console up front. I stated that I needed the cool air on my face, and that a blanket would be more comfortable than hot air. She refused again, and I grudgingly sought another means.
I had stuffed my winter coat under the seat, so I pulled it out and put it on backwards. My legs were still cold, but I found some comfort and dozed for about 1/2 hour. Then I woke, sweating and hot, and discovered that the flight attendant had indeed changed the temperature setting and I had hot air blowing on my face. This left me hot on top but still cold at the bottom and I took off my coat and draped it over my legs. Luckily we were making our final descent and the misery was nearly over.
It had been cloudy below and around us during the entire flight, and around 5000 ft. we began seeing breaks in the clouds. In one gap I identified our descent over the Ohio Turnpike and about two bumpy minutes later we landed on Rwy 6L.

My impression of the flight was mixed. We took off nearly on time and arrived early despite a delayed aircraft. We did not have turbulence. However the service left much to be desired. If my original ticket said Seat 9C on an Embraer 135, I confirmed with the day before that I was in Seat 9C on an E135, I checked in two hours early receiving a boarding pass for Seat 9C on an E135, and our flight equipment was an E135, then I find "we changed the aircraft" a poor excuse for having my seat changed without even a moment's consultation. Furthermore, Eagle's E135s only have one seat configuration, so "the seat map changed" is also a poor excuse. Finally, since I had already protested my seat change, and the flight attendant knew that there was a heating/cooling problem in my new seat, she should have given me a complimentary blanket, at the least. Additionally, the gentleman in 11A and the couple in 12B/C had not been reassigned from their original booking, so I'm wondering if I was the only one who was switched, with the couple who ended up in 9B/C.

When I spoke to a customer service agent, she told me that Row 9 is usually not assigned until the aircraft is full, because it is an exit row. However I have proof that this was my assignment from the beginning, and I felt that I could meet all of the requirements and restrictions applied to exit row passengers. If I had felt the least bit uncertain, I would have asked to be reassigned myself. It's a fact that I am cool under emergency conditions, but that if you change my plans at the last minute without asking me, I will get very agitated. This was not an appropriate move in the first place, but at the least they could have called me up to the desk before boarding to advise me of the change.

I did write a letter to American Airlines but I have little hope that I will get any response.

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:11 pm
by redngold

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Manas Barooah


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Daniel Piotrowski

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:58 am
by KevinL1011

Quoting Redngold (Thread starter):
Seat 1A

First Class , Eh?  Wink
The seat map worked that time.
I recently flew on American Eagle and was surprised at the variety of aircraft they have. EMB, Saab, ATR, CanadaAir. It must be a dispatchers nightmare!

How was the Big Apple?

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:10 pm
by Cory6188

Quoting Redngold (Reply 1):
I did write a letter to American Airlines but I have little hope that I will get any response.

As annoying and unsympathetic as it may seem, I wouldn't expect much beyond a standard, boilerplate apology. As valid as your complaint is, it seems like the type of thing that they really wouldn't care all that much about...

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:17 pm
by dimoko
a charge for blankets and pillows is silly enough, but when there is a temerature related equipment failure, that should have been provided to you...

how much would it have cost the airline?

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:25 am
by redngold

Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 3):
First Class , Eh?

No first class on an E140. Certainly not a first class type seat, either  crowded  (we need a smiley for a pinched seat!) It may have been one of the last seats available when I booked.

I was only in NYC as long as it took for me to get in and out. My plans to meet a friend in Manhattan fell through when I realized how late I was probably going to be upon arrival. I was right to cancel, because I would probably have arrived at my parents' place after midnight had I tried to shoehorn the visit.

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 4):
As annoying and unsympathetic as it may seem

Yeah, I know the odds, but at least I'm letting them know about the situation.

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:05 am
by AIR757200
Well, whether or not you were moved, you are never guaranteed a specific seat. The airline is only required to make every attempt that a seat, any seat, is available for your reservation.

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:34 am
by 44k

Quoting Redngold (Reply 1):
She stated that my seat had been changed because the aircraft had been changed.

That is not unusual indeed. A last minute EQ swap can shuffle the map around. However, if the EQ swap was from a E135 to E135, no seat map change should have occurred. Highly strange. I don't see why anyone would change your seat without notice, thats just creates more headaches for the gate personnel (like angry passengers storming up the jet-bridge  Wink ).

Thanks for the TR.

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:10 pm
by B747forever
Nice TR,

Quoting Redngold (Reply 1):
This being LGA nearly every major airline was well represented

Wow. didnt know it was a so big variation of a/c in LGA.

Thank you for sharing,


RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:20 pm
by redngold

Quoting B747forever (Reply 9):
Wow. didnt know it was a so big variation of a/c in LGA.

Yep, I was surprised that I didn't see any NW tails, I kept looking for a DC9 but never found one; come to think of it, I may have seen an A320 slip by but I know I didn't seen any Airlink a/c. Frontier's arrivals are in the afternoon and evening, so I wasn't surprised not to see any. Alaska doesn't serve LGA. All of the rest of the majors were there.

LGA is slot restricted, so Frontier is lucky to have four as it is a relatively new incarnation. If something new opens up I wouldn't be surprised to see Alaska jump on it.

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:11 pm
by redngold
Today I got a reply from AA. The customer service dept. sent me a travel voucher that expires in a year. The letter addressed my concern about having my seat changed, and the aircraft change, but not the heating and cooling problem that exacerbated my unease. Well, it's a better response than I would have expected, and actually might even things out price-wise for my next flight.

RE: CLE-LGA-CLE, Thanksgiving, American Eagle

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:55 pm
by Yankees
I flew back from D.C on the 25th and it seems American Eagle changes the ER3 AC to an ERD all the time. I was booked at 1A which on the ER3 has an extended bulkhead, but on the ERD it is restricted. Also the Trump 727 is usually parked at LGA (homebase) i would guess.