After arriving in Los Angeles on a British Airways Boeing 747, I spent the night on the Queen Mary before continuing the next day. This is the first American Airlines flight I took. How did I find First Class on the MD-83? Well, read on for my thoughts as written in 2006. Enjoy!

I arrived at LAX nice and early, and waited for about two minutes in the First Class check-in line, before receiving my boarding pass for seat 4F. As a First passenger, I was allowed to go through the First Class security check point, which was very quick, and from there I went to the Admirals Club.

Chilling In The Admirals Club

As I am a Qantas Gold Frequent Flyer, I was given two drinks vouchers for the lounge. I went upstairs and right outside the lounge was a QF 747 sitting at the gate. I immediately used the Internet, which are terminals at a stand-up type area. Checked my e-mail and all the rest of it, and decided to have a couple of drinks, while doing so I read a book.

AA1216 – Los Angeles to Chicago O’Hare (LAX-ORD)
29 January 2006
McDonnell Douglas MD-83
Seat: First Class 4F

Soon it was time to board, and I went off to the gate and was straight onto the plane. I handed a Flight Attendant my coat, and sat down. The seats are quite comfortable and the dark red AA blankets are in the seat in front above the seat pocket.

Ground Service Before Take-Off

I started my in-flight experience with hot nuts that were served, and champagne to wash it down. We also received hot towels – they weren’t linen towels, more like hot versions of the KFC refresher towel. Interesting.

The pilot came on and announced there was a thirty minute delay, due to air traffic control having them scheduled for a 12:45pm departure, rather than 12:15pm. We pushed back, taxied out to a holding area and the engines were shut down. I declined another drink, but soon after I caught the F/As eye and was told there was no more champagne, so I had a white wine instead.

A First Class Lunch

Soon enough, we moved to the runway and were in the air. There is no in flight entertainment on the MD-80, which is a shame. Lunch was served – a kiwi fruit, strawberry and mango salad, and a wrap. You could have either a turkey wrap or a deli wrap and I chose the turkey and asked if I could have the other wrap as well. She said she’d come back to me.

Ate the meal, which was very nice, and washed it down with an Amstel Light beer. At the end of service, the flight attendant came back with the deli wrap for me, which I found to be salty, as opposed to just nice like the other one. Had another beer, and settled in once the trays were taken.

I found the flight quite boring as there was little to do. I noticed two other high status (a Gold and a Platinum) Qantas frequent flyers in First with me, identified by the luggage tags that Qantas send you when you move up a status. I had another beer and some water, and soon enough we were at Chicago O’Hare.

Overall Thoughts

The flight was enjoyable, seats were comfortable, food was great and the drinks were nice. I thought the flight attendant saying, “Sir, would you care for a beverage?” over and over again was a bit annoying, but what can you do?

And that is how I wrote about my very first American Airlines flight in 2006. I haven’t been given hot nuts on the ground in a long time. The “care for a beverage?” thing has stuck in my mind, which I imitate and tell people to this day. It was just so weird, but you need to hear it to understand why.

Thank you for joining me on this trip down memory lane and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Magic Aviation via Wikimedia Commons.