Chicago XV – Tiers and Dreams
Two MD-80 Legs with American Airlines and St Louis.
- Tiers? And Dreams? Huh?
- Off to Heathrow, American Airlines FlAAgship Lounge
- American Airlines AA99 London – Chicago
- Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Back to O’Hare, AA AAdmrials Club
- American Airlines AA1380 Chicago to St Louis, St Louis AAdmirals Club, AA1685 St Louis to Dallas Fort Worth
– THIS SECTION
- DFW and AAn CEO encounter…
- American Airlines AA1180 – Dallas Fort Worth to San Juan
- The Intercontinental San Juan and #Rucksackgate
- San Juan International Airport
- American Airlines AA1591 San Juan to Dallas Forth Worth
- More messing around DFW
- American Airlines AA1618 Dallas Fort Worth to St Louis International, A quick STL Stop, American Airlines AA1186 St Louis to Chicago
- The Hyatt Regency O’Hare with a Rucksack gate update
- One Time Exception: A Chicago Photographic Interlude
- O’Hare Take 3, AA AAdmirals Club
- AA3360 Chicago O’Hare to Toronto Pearson
- Toronto Airport Omnishambles – The Long Wait, BA Toronto Lounge
- BA96 Toronto to London Heathrow featuring the British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner
- Homeward bound
- The long and winding road
AA flight 1380 Chicago O’Hare T3 to Lambert–St. Louis International Airport
American Airlines, McDonnell Douglas MD-80, First Class, 3F
258 miles flown, 60TP 500 Base Avios, 500 Gold Bonus, 250 Cabin Bonus Avios Earned,
I was welcomed aboard as I took my first steps aboard another new aircraft for me – the MD-80.
With my seat immediately on the left after boarding, I popped my luggage in the overhead bin and took my seat.
The plane (like all the internal segments I took) was pretty much rammed full, whilst the crew seemed pretty indifferent to… well anything.
Meanwhile the plane – like a lot of the MD-80’s I was to run into this trip were in good condition, if showing their age.
In terms of leg-room, I was at the bulkhead. Reasonable enough room in 3F.
The plane pushed back on time, with a manual safety demo following. With that done and dusted, the MD-80 pootled over to the runway, lining up for a quick take off
With us in the air for quiet up the front take off (I dread to think what it’s like near the engines), the plane climbed out, and cleared the cloud layer.
With a gorgeous sunrise.
With a short flight time of 50 minutes, the crew were out of the door quickly – doing a full drinks service for those us in First Class, whilst in Main Cabin, drinks were restricted to Tea, Coffee, Orange Juice or Water.
Which brings me to the crew – whilst they were good for the service they provided, they did have the feeling of “We’d rather be elsewhere than a 50 minute segment”.
Meanwhile, I had opted for coffee and cola in attempt to wake up.
I do like these mugs in comparison to the big word mugs in the AAdmirals Club…
A snack was served in the form of a…. Biscoff.
Why, ambassador! You are spoiling us with this Biscoff!
As this was a quick flight, there was time to drink the cola and coffee – and time to collect everything as the plane begun its decent into St Louis.
Soon enough the plane touched down.
A short take off and we were placed in a hold before the gate. At this point, a couple of fighter aircraft decided to roar into life – waking up the plane (as well as yours truly).
With that all done, our plane met its airbridge, and we were invited to disembark.
Overall: Hmm. Not a great first impression of the domestic service – I’ll put it down to first flight blues, but the service was delivered… if it was a bit lacklustre…
A St Louis Stopover
With an enforced break, I walked around STL a bit, and tried to access the WiFi (provided by Boingo). Annoying – they charged for it, but it would allow me to browse airline websites – and usefully the AA web site, where a quick look indicated there was an Admirals Club to explore.
With that in mind, I headed for the lounge – just to the side of the security checkpoints
This lounge looked like it was recently refreshed – and looked good for it .
I was welcomed in, and my boarding pass scanned – granting me access to the lounge (after explaining I was a BA Gold).
The lounge itself was pretty quiet now the rush hour had passed. I found a nice enough section to collapse in and blog for a bit, as well as use the coffee machine again.
Oooh. Another drinks voucher…
It’s not the greatest lounge by any stretch of the imagination, but it did the job – provided comfy seats, power and allowed me to catch up with the world in peace and quiet.
Of course, I got another Drinks voucher, and decided to convert it into another premium bottle of water (the same water as Chicago). Your experiences may differ in AA bottles of water.
With that, I headed back to the gate as boarding was due to beginning for the next segment of this mad trip: To Dallas Fort Worth.
To the gate
My boarding pass was scanned, and I was accepted for the next segment of the trip
AA flight 1380 Lambert–St. Louis International Airport to Dallas Fort Worth International
American Airlines, McDonnell Douglas MD-80, First Class, 3A
550 miles flown, 60TP 550 Base Avios, 550 Gold Bonus, 275 Cabin Bonus Avios Earned,
I was welcomed aboard, and this time headed down the aisle, and turned to 3A. And at that point, I KNEW I should had stuck with 3F. Compared to the space in 3F, 3A felt a LOT tighter
This wall felt a lot closer.
Still, this was for a slightly longer flight – not bone-crushing by any stretch of the imagination.
Again, this plane seemed to be packed out, with another full flight (with the usual hunt for luggage space and requesting of bags be checked at the front of the plane).
Our MD-80 pushed back and after a short wait, taxied to the end of the runway for a spritely take off.
After a few bumps in accent, the plane turned for its cruising altitude – and it’s at this point, I’m still not surer what sort of service I’ll get.
So this time, it was a smile to start with (that makes things better in my book), with drinks and a pretzel snacky thing that is non descript. So imagine my surprise when a smiling flight attendant offered me drinks, as well as a snack
My snacks and drinks – the person next door had a big Starbucks
Well, this is a bit better for a 500 mile route.
Lets look at legroom again – still better than Main Cabin.
Meanwhile, outside was offering stunning IFE.
The flight itself took its time, traversing to Dallas Fort Worth. in its own sweet time. The ride itself wasn’t bad – pretty smooth for the leg through most of the phases of flight.
Decent began, and it was a tiny bit rough – but not exactly bad.
Preparing to cut under the cloud layer
Through the cloud layer – urban Dallas a-sprawl.
Descent was pretty quick, with the tarmac of DFW, and the wheels of the MD-80 making contact on-time.
Now I know that Dallas Fort Worth is a fortress hub – but literally everywhere was an AA aircraft as far as the eye could see – be it at the commuter terminal, the “international” terminal or the domestic terminals. Lots of silver, and lots of grey with a new flag on the tail.
Soon enough, the plane I was aboard parked up at the D terminals (which would be very convenient as my next flight was due to depart from the same terminal), and it was time to leave
Overall: Much better in terms of staff happiness in this segment. Also a better quality of snacks too. These things help. Maybe some AA staff aren’t morning people. Oh yes… 3A is not a fun seat…