At first I wasn't really sure I would do this flight. I was nonreving on my way home from LAX
after flying on Eagle's final Saab flight and was debating between doing this or trying for a first class seat on the 763 nonstop LAX DFW
. At 9:00am there were 16 open seats in first class on that 763. At 10:00am there were 0 open seats in first class on that 763 that departed at 1:50. So I decided to do the inaugural. Then I was ashamed of myself for intending to miss an inaugural flight!
I got to LAX
at like 10:00am, which gave me lots of time to enjoy all the Pacific heavy jets. Unfortunately, Qantas was all 747 on this day. It was time-change Sunday November 2nd. My Eagle to ELP
was at 3:50pm.
Here are some shots from LAX
This one is always my favorite 747 to look for at LAX
My first Aeromexico Connect ERJ 145
I could show more, but that's a good sample. DL
had N705TW at the next terminal, which I have flown on an AA
flight DFW SEA
. Alitalia parked a 777 next to it. I saw both Air Tahiti Nui A340s. I saw the SQ
A345. It was a great day of spotting. I walked around outside by TBIT and went into Terminal 3 to see what was going on there. The weather was perfect.
But then I returned to Terminal 4. When I checked in for my ELP
flight, it was open enough where I could select my seat, and it allowed me to select my seat for the ELP DFW
flight (on the same aircraft). I picked the same seat for both. Seat 15C (with 15B open) which is the second from the last row.
Two weeks before the flight, LAX
was only booked to about 8 or 9 passengers. But in the final days leading up to the flight, it got a respectable load. On the day of departure, I think 30 people boarded on the 44-seat jet.
Here's the first time an AA
departure gate said El Paso at LAX
Here's the crowd for the flight.
If you've seen my "Last Saab" trip report, you saw how much fanfare they had for that flight. This was the exact opposite. I think they forgot about this being an inaugural. There was no ceremony at all. I've been on an Eagle inaugural before, and they had a big celebration.
So it was time to board AA
3191 to ELP
My 74th and 75th flights on the ERJ 140 and 223rd and 224th flights that I've
Load Factor 66%
Seat 15C (and B)
This was my 74th (and 75th) flight(s) on the ERJ 140 and 223rd and 224th flights that I've recorded on flightmemory.com on the ERJ 135/140/145 type. The Eagle Terminal at LAX
is similar to the old A2 terminal at DFW
. This was my first time departing on Eagle at LAX
Here are shots from boarding.
. The previous two shots were self-explanatory. Why did I include this one? Squint your eyes really small and look at the tails above the building.
There are three tails there (fins if you're Canadian!). On the left is the Emirates 777-200LR! My biggest surprise of the day! In the middle is an Air Tahiti Nui A340-300. On the right is a BA
This is probably the last shot I'll ever take of an Eagle Saab, as they are now retired and that one was waiting to be ferried to the desert.
Looking across the cabin out the other window is the CRJ-701 doing the XNA
service. It's a shame that service will end next spring.
I apologize for linking this video rather than embedding, but they don't let me embed them anymore here on a.net. Or the process has changed. Anyway, whatever the case, the thread will not post with an embedded video at this point, so I link it.
On this takeoff video, you'll see Wunala dreaming in the west parking area.
I don't fly out of LAX
much, but I love taking off over the water. When we turn south, and I sit on the right, I enjoy flying over the water for a while.
Here we are coming up on the coast again.
A beautiful sunset from flight level 370, some 2000 feet above any AA
They didn't all show up, but Venus, the Moon, and Jupiter were aligned in a cool way. I couldn't fit Jupiter in the photo area, apparently. I thought I did, but it's not in the pic.
That concludes most of my pictures.
The flight attendant was very nice and had to answer lots of questions about this new service. She was at least aware that this was a new flight and that it only operated once every few days. I think it flies on Thurs, Fri, and Sunday.
When I boarded, she greeted me and said, "You're going to El Paso sir?" and I replied that actually I was with her all the way to DFW
, as a nonrev. During the flight she asked me if I already had my boarding pass to DFW
on the next flight. Since I had it she said she would hand it to the gate agent in ELP
when we landed and I wouldn't have to deplane. She told me I could get off if I wanted, but if not, I didn't have to. It's actually a different flight number for the ELP
, but she worked it out for me.
I was glad I did this flight, and I might take it in the future. I was very comfortable in my 2 seats with nobody in front of me either. I could stretch out and relax and enjoy the absolutely huge windows the Embraers provide.
After about 1hrs and 20mins in the air I heard the power pull back and felt the nose go down a bit as we started our descent into El Paso. It was really pretty landing at night seeing silhouettes of the mountains in Mexico blacking out the lights of Juarez.
When we arrived at ELP
, I made a couple of phone calls. Actually I had to deal with a problem at work. Once I was done, and the 15 passengers were boarding, I decided to use the lav before we took off. I don't usually mention lavatory experiences in trip reports, but this was an unusual one. As soon as I bolted the lock on the door, the entire plane lost power. It felt like I did it! I wonder if I broke the plane! It was very dark! Since it was night, it was pitch black in the lav. So I opened the door and saw the emergency floor path lighting on!
Here's a shot of the emergency lights taken from the lav doorway in the back looking forward. Sort of a rare thing to see!
About the time I took that picture I heard the APU powering up and knew there would be lights in a minute or so.
About 10 minutes later, things settled down, the door was shut and we were ready for pushback. Then after it took longer than it should have, the flight attendant was talking to me in the back, and the phone rang. She answered it and the pilot said something that made her have a negative expression on her face. When she hung up I asked if we were OK
? She started to say something but the pilot came on the PA.
When we lost power, some of the systems messed up. So he was going to completely shut down, and we would have 30 seconds of dark and he would power back up to reboot the plane. Planes are more computer than anything these days and sometimes they need to reboot! He did it twice and it didn't fix the problem. So then he asked everyone to get off. He said he needed to shut down for at least 10 minutes, but the good news was that contract maintenance was on the scene. All the while, I heard various employees including flight crew and ELP
gate staff that this was that shift's first Embraer (the actual first one was westbound that morning) and they did something wrong with the ground power.
So I waited until everyone was off and then I grabbed my stuff and deplaned. When I was halfway down the jetbridge, I heard a loud shout "Matt! Come back!" I turned around, curious, and went back. Apparently the captain was wondering about his legalities due to the delay on this flight and an early trip he had the next morning. Crew Scheduling is my background and where I work, so I explained the contractual vs the FARs and then finally deplaned. The captain didn't like my answer, but the FO remembered me from my crew scheduling supervisor days and said I made his day once, so he backed me up!
I called the nonrev phone system to find out the loads on the next mornings 6:00am flight, which had plenty of seats and I could get to work on time, so that was a relief. Then I called work to talk crew scheduling about removing the captain from his trip...he was now going below 8hrs rest before his next trip. So they removed it and then the supervisor gave me some bad news. She said they had just put a 1:00am decision on my flight! It was 8:00pm! Right then I decided I would get a hotel and come back in the morning.
Just then they announced reboarding! So, SOC didn't know what was going on. It was funny. The center manager told maintenance control (who was confused about the status of the flight) that "he had people on the ground in ELP
telling him they were boarding!" I'm glad I could provide such insightful info to SOC.
When they started boarding, I waited until last to board because I had given my boarding pass to the flight attendant in the air on the way to ELP
. The gate agent figured it out without a problem and so I got on. When I boarded I stuck my head in the cockpit and let the captain know he had been removed from his 7:00am departure the next morning, which let him relax a little bit.
The flight to DFW
was uneventful. It was relaxing in my 2 seats in the back of the plane and I was glad that I didn't fight the crowds and 30-person-long standby lists to fight for seat 32E on a MD80. I decided that this LAX
is a great nonrev option. There aren't many people on either flight, epecially since the ELP
is so late it doesn't provide any connection opportunities, arriving at 9:50pm. Most people don't know about it because it doesn't show up in RES as a connection possibility. It's on the ground either 25 or 30 minutes, which is below the minimum connect time that is programmed into RES. So a person has to "know" about it to book it, and would have to force it into the system.
I had a great view of DFW
at night as we flew northbound on downwind for 18R. When we landed, we were adjacent the Eagle terminal and parked in what seemed like seconds. The crew was ready to get home!
Thanks for enduring another one of my trip reports.
Comments always welcome