I had planned on taking American Airlines’ flight 2420 from Los Angeles (LAX) to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW) at 6:30AM on a 767-300. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving and I underestimated how long it would take me to get to the airport. I always park off-airport and with my luck that morning, I pulled into the location as I watched the shuttle leave. Because I was bringing a suit to wear to the wedding, I was checking a bag. I got to the airport terminal exactly 43 minutes before my flight… two minutes after the cut off for checked luggage. That means if I had done any one thing just a little bit faster that morning, I would have been okay. The ticketing agent was nice and understanding but would not budge on the 45-minute cutoff.
I was kind of bummed about it because the Main Cabin Extra (MCE) seats on the 767-300 are in kind of a mini-cabin with galleys and/or lavatories in front and behind. It’s a little more private, as you can see in the seat map below with the seat I selected circled (11G).
The ticketing agent said she could get me standby on the non-stop LAX-YYZ flight several hours later. While a non-stop sounded nice, that would mean several things, 1) a few hours in an airport with no lounge access, 2) missing out on miles earning; although it is possible to get credit for original routing, 3) no lunchtime layover which also means buying airport food or a lunch pack on-board, 4) and being a standby passenger so there’s no guarantee of getting on the flight. While the first few points aren’t a big deal, flying standby wasn’t an option as I had to be in Toronto that evening.
Recently I was asked for a good travel tip during the holidays. My answer was to be knowledgeable of alternative routes/flights. This is because agents don’t always know or quickly able to think of these alternatives. Being able to give them this information helps them but also, hopefully, gets you your optimal alternative. This was one such instance. I knew that 20 minutes later than my original flight was another flight to DFW. The agent seemed surprised I knew that and was able to get me a seat on the flight with an exit row seat.
Newly Ticketed Flight
I couldn’t remember what was the aircraft type was of that flight but I just hoped it wasn’t a 737 or a MD-80 (which are my least favorite aircraft in AA’s fleet). I specifically chose my flight from LAX to be on an airplane that is most likely going to be phased out in the near future. When I was handed my boarding pass, I looked at the seat assignment…10D. I knew 10D wasn’t an exit row seat on a 737, and I didn’t think that there are MD-80s on that route – at least at that time of day.
Flight: AA 2424
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200
Scheduled Departure: 6:50AM
Scheduled Arrival: 11:50AM
It wasn’t until I boarded that I realized I was on a 757. This made me happy as I don’t recall the last time I was on a 757. The flight itself was very standard and met my expectations. There were several beverage services and the flight attendants were friendly. Not much to say about this flight as it was quite uneventful. There wasn’t any noticeable turbulence and we arrived in Dallas about 25 minutes early. Coincidentally, that is only about 10 minutes after I would have arrived if I had gotten on the earlier flight.
Stay tuned to read about my connecting flight on the American Airlines’ new A319!