By Kai-Chin Shih/ 4 AUG 2014/ TOKYOJAPAN/talkairlines.wordpress.com
This trip was my first time flying out from Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA / KXNA), the airport serving the Fayetteville Metropolitan Area (including Fayetteville, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Bella Vista). I flew from XNA to Los Angeles on an American Eagle flight operated by Envoy. After landing in LAX, I transferred onto an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight and flew nonstop back to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan. Here is the trip report on my flight from XNA to LAX. There are two more reports on this trip, one on the Star Alliance Business Class Lounge at LAX and another one on the ANA Premium Economy flight experience back to Tokyo.
Airlines: American Airlines (American Eagle by Envoy Air)
Flight: AA 2913
Aircraft: N509AE Bombardier/ Canadair CL-600-2C10 Regional Jet CRJ-701ER (63 seats configuration)
Class Type: Economy Class
Origin: Fayetteville-Bentonville/ Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport
Destination: Los Angeles/ Los Angeles International Airport – American Eagle Terminal
Date: 25 July, 2014
ATD: 05:40 PM CST
ATA: 06:20 PM PST
Mainly due to Walmart, the number one company on the Forbes 500 list, having its headquarters in the city of Bentonville, XNA has over 50 flights daily to 14 major gateways throughout the 48 Contiguous States of the USA. The terminal at XNA is small yet beautiful, modern and comfortable. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the complex, along with numerous power outlets. There is a cafe and an observatory outside the restricted area.
After checking-in my luggage, I proceeded towards security. While having my carry-ons checked, the TSA agent asked me: “Why do you have a knife?”. Astonished, I followed to personnel to an area for detailed examination. It was when I found out that I forgot to put my Swiss Army Knife in the checked-luggage and dropped it in my backpack instead. To avoid wasting time, I decided to abandon my beloved pocket knife in Arkansas.
There are quite a lot of amenities at XNA, including various restaurants, cafes, and stores. The one thing I love most about XNA is their artsy chairs in the waiting area. The chairs, beautifully designed, can allow passengers to stretch out, relax, and bath in the beautiful sunlight coming in from the clear glass windows at the airport.
The inbound flight from Chicago O’Hare arrived a little late, resulting in our flight having a short delay. The boarding process started at about a quarter past 5. Due to my group status, I was not able to board the plane until 5 minutes after boarding began. Using my mobile boarding pass, boarding was speedy and easy.
After boarding, we were told that we needed an additional 10~15 minutes for maintenance. However, only after a few minutes, the plane pushed back and headed towards the runway.
The plane we were on was an 11-year-old CRJ-700. Just by looking at the seats and walls, anyone can notice that the cabin is starting to show its age.
It is great how FAA doesn’t regulate cell phone usage anymore as long as flight mode is activated. I can now take pictures whenever I desire without having the fear of cabin crew telling me to shut my phone down.
We took off at approximately 5:40PM. A while after takeoff, the flight attendants provided the main cabin passengers with complementary drinks. I chose Ginger Ale to accompany my trip. To my surprise, instead of a cup of drink, I was given a full can along with a cup full of ice. Never has this happened on any of my other American Eagle flights.
The route our plane flew provided the passengers with stunning views of the Western scenery. A while after take-off, our plane entered Oklahoma, later Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and eventually California. The trip was rather smooth except when the plane hit some rough air above the New Mexico-Arizona airspace. It was also when the clouds covered the supposedly beautiful western deserts.
At around 6PM the plane entered the Los Angeles area. The weather was sunny yet a little foggy, making the Santa Anna mountains more mystical than ever. The approach into LAX was smooth with no rough air at all. As the plane got closer to LAX, all I could see were rows and rows of houses extending to the end of the Earth.
We touched down at runway 25L slightly behind schedule at approximately 6:20PM. After landing, we taxied towards the American Eagle Terminal, a satellite terminal of the American Airlines Terminal at T4, located east of T8. It took our plane quite a while to get to the gate because of the large number of flights departing when we were trying to cross runway 25R.
After arriving at the terminal area, we waited for another few minutes so another American Eagle jet occupying our gate can push back.
The de-boarding process was rather fast. Shortly after leaving the plane, I waited in line for my carry-on to be brought out. After receiving my luggage, I left the satellite terminal and boarded on a shuttle to get to the American Airlines terminal at T4. During the ride, we encountered quite a lot of planes taxiing for takeoff or the gate.
We were dropped off next to an AA 737-800 at T4. The 737, registered N941NN with the fleet number 3LE, was delivered just half a year ago! I really love the new AA livery it was wearing, despite all the criticisms. In my opinion, it looks smooth, modern, and beautiful.
After entering T4, I waited for my other luggage to come out from the baggage claim. Due to a bad experience encountered by my father just 2 days ago (AA failed to fly his luggage to LAX and left it in Bentonville), I was rather nervous about getting my luggage on time. Luckily, nothing bad happened and I was able to proceed to Tom Bradley International Terminal in less than an hour after landing.