DFW13L
Topic Author
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:22 pm

American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:06 am

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/DFW 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-ELP 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.

AA3191
LAX-ELP
N832AE
ERJ 140
My 74th and 75th flights on the ERJ 140 and 223rd and 224th flights that I've
Load Factor 66%
Seat 15C (and B)
On-time

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 (shock!).

Here are shots from boarding.






OK. 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 744.


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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ggiCpOPFyw

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 MD80!


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-DFW, 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-ELP-DFW is a great nonrev option. There aren't many people on either flight, epecially since the ELP-DFW 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
Thanks,
Matt
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 6048
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

RE: American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:59 pm

Good TR as always Matt!

I quite like the ER4. I had the pleasure of flying DFW-ACT (of my LAX-DFW-ACT journey) on one both ways. I used to have to fly the sabb on my frequent journeys to Waco, but Ive been thrilled for the switch.

Im one of those dudes who wont miss the Sabb. The ERJ is an awesome plane to fly on!
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:02 pm

Great report. Next time, try driving from LAX-ELP on Interstate 10. I did that this summer and the drive was incredible.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
BW424
Posts: 499
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:21 pm

RE: American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:54 pm

Like your previous report,EXCELLENT!!I guess it is surprising they didn't have any sort of celebration.

Quoting DFW13L (Thread starter):
There are three tails there (fins if you're Canadian!).

LOL
It is what we think we know already that prevents us from learning.......
 
UN_B732
Posts: 3532
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:57 am

RE: American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:28 am

Sounds like a nice flight) Even if it's intention is just to position an ERJ between LA and Dallas (or that's what it seems)

-A
What now?
 
MKP1013
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:24 am

RE: American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:37 am

Matt,

Enjoyed reading this TR as well as the report on Eagle's final saab flight. Great pic's as well. Cool to read about how you helped out that captain with his schedule and how the ELP staff handled the ERJ. Us non-airline employees who don't get to take a lot of trips enjoy the stories!

Quoting DFW13L (Thread starter):
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.

That sucks - I guess the loads were consistently poor?

So, Eagle operates the E135, 140, and 145? Or are the 135/140's the same type? According to wiki, the 140 is expressed as the 135KL.

Thanks for the report. Looking forward to more.
 
B747forever
Posts: 13835
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

RE: American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:06 am

Nice TR.

The pics are nice.

Quoting DFW13L (Thread starter):
This one is always my favorite 747 to look for at LAX

Same here, always try to get a glimpse of that beauty.

It seems that you had quite comfortable flights, except the problems in ELP.


Thank you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
DFW13L
Topic Author
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:22 pm

RE: American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:06 am

Thanks everyone for your kind comments.

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 1):
Im one of those dudes who wont miss the Sabb. The ERJ is an awesome plane to fly on!

Well I loved the Saab, but do love the ERJ.

Quoting Tommy767 (Reply 2):
Next time, try driving from LAX-ELP on Interstate 10. I did that this summer and the drive was incredible.

I've driven from Ft Worth to El Paso, but haven't made it the rest of the way. That would be fun.

Quoting UN_B732 (Reply 4):
Even if it's intention is just to position an ERJ between LA and Dallas (or that's what it seems)

Yes, this flight is directly related to the closure of the SBP maintenance base. They have to get the Embraers to ABI, and this way they don't have to fly empty.

Quoting MKP1013 (Reply 5):
That sucks - I guess the loads were consistently poor?

I'm under the impression this was a subsidized service and I suppose the subsidies dried up. Totally speculation. I don't know any of that for sure.

Quoting MKP1013 (Reply 5):
So, Eagle operates the E135, 140, and 145? Or are the 135/140's the same type? According to wiki, the 140 is expressed as the 135KL.

Right. The Embraer 140 is really a stretched 135. American Eagle is the only one with that model. It was a post 9/11 change to fit under AA's scope clause when they limited the growth of Eagle's jets that had more than 44 seats, so we got one built that had 44 seats.
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
 
davescj
Posts: 1280
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:46 am

RE: American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:52 am

Great report, thanks for posting!

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8306
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:12 pm

Hi Matt,

Nice report, thanks for sharing with us.

Certainly looks like a different way to get to DFW from LAX.

Your number of flights on this aircraft type are very impressive!

Regards

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
MKP1013
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:24 am

RE: American Eagle Inaugural LAX-ELP-DFW

Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:21 am



Quoting DFW13L (Reply 7):
Right. The Embraer 140 is really a stretched 135. American Eagle is the only one with that model. It was a post 9/11 change to fit under AA's scope clause when they limited the growth of Eagle's jets that had more than 44 seats, so we got one built that had 44 seats.

Ahh ok. Thanks for explaining it.

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