After about eleven days in Kansas City, it was time to begin the return trip, a lengthy journey that would take me more than 56 hours from door to door. The first leg was from Kansas City to Los Angeles, cashing in some credit card points I had for a one way ticket on American Airlines.
It has been nearly a decade since I’ve flown American. Now that they are in bankruptcy, the last of the major carriers (other than Southwest) to have gone through that process, I was curious to see if there was a perceptible air of distress among the employees.
I have to say, while none of the employees were spectacularly friendly, they didn’t seem to be any worse for wear than the employees of any other major US airline. They did their jobs, tried to smile from time to time and be pleasant, and got me safely from point A to point B. Knowing many people in the airline industry, and being a former employee myself, my sympathy extends to them during this uncertain time. The only thing that is certain is that they’ll not make it through bankruptcy without some amount of pain. Most likely, this will include losing a large portion of their pensions.
There was some holiday spirit in the air, though, despite the bankruptcy. This gate at Kansas City was decorated for the season, ready for a charity flight they do for disadvantaged children. I’m not sure if it is an actual flight – that’s become quite expensive to do anymore – but they board the children on the plane, let them visit the cockpit, have them sit down and enjoy snacks and a drink, etc. All in all, a nice treat for children who may otherwise never get such an experience.
Flying into the greater Los Angeles area, we were treated to clear skies and great visibility. Here’s a shot of the city of Riverside and, smack in the center (to the right of the freeway), the University of California, Riverside campus. I actually attended UCR for six months in the first half of 1990, before moving back up to Santa Clara University to finish my studies.
Video of our landing in Los Angeles.
A shot of my plane after arrival in Los Angeles. The construction for the expansion of the Tom Bradley International Terminal is in the background, the new saw-tooth roof clearly visible. Also, two Boeing 747s, the one on the left from Fiji Air and the the one on the right from China Airlines.
My cousin Jackie, Alex’s younger sister, picked me up and helped me kill several hours. We ran errands to Trader Joe’s and a few other stores. We stopped for In-n-Out burgers, where we saw a family of three who had dragged their suitcases all the way from the airport to get a burger. That’s about a two-mile walk, depending on which terminal they came from.
In the evening, we met Gary and William for dinner at Lukshon. I’ll share pictures from that fantastic dinner tomorrow.
Nice video, you sure know the L.A. geography quite well!! 😛
@CurryPuffy – That’s something I’m pretty good at.
How is it you can get away with the taping of the landing? The last time I flew the flight attendant got snippy with a guy who was doing just that and made him “stow” his camera in his pocket or under the seat!
Merry Christmas to you and Tawn!!!
Merry Christmas to you and Tawn – peace and love.
Smooth landing! I liked the way the shadow of the plane kept creeping up to merge with its bigself just before the plane landed.
LA!!!! anyway have fun and merry christmas 🙂
One of my pals lives just off to the left and down on the Riverside photo. You can see the transition from suburban to rural, he got the place new when it was carved out of the rural area. They preserved an old orange grove ranch near that area and it is a museum of a working orange grove, operated by the university, I believe. I went out there to purchase an antique Grundig Majestic console one day and discovered the orange grove.
@murisopsis – I’ve learned that the flight attendants stop walking about the aisles about five minutes before touchdown so I keep my camera discreetly hidden (or, at least, off) and then film in the last couple of minutes. Most of the time, the view isn’t all that good (cloudy, rainy, scratched windows) but flying into LA that day I knew it was going to be crystal clear so I took the camera out.@ZSA_MD – Thanks for the rec. Yes, the “chasing shadow” was pretty cool. I actually booked a seat on the right-hand side of the plane based on the direction we would be traveling and the time of day and that decision paid out nicely.@icapillas – @Fatcat723 – @lcfu – Thank you all for the Christmas wishes. I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday, too, and a happy new year.@Ricardo98 – You know, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the university still operates such a large area of citrus groves, which are all part of their agricultural research station. Heaven knows that the Inland Empire needs as much undeveloped green space as possible!
I always enjoy pictures of planes taking off and landing. That was a nice bonus of the plane taking off in the background too. Do the flight attendants give you any grief about turning off electronic devices?
@ElusiveWords – They are seated when I am taking the video/pictures and cannot see. (Sneaky, huh?) You do realize that when I post pictures of airplanes, I’m conscious that you will be reading them?
No post for In-n-Out?!