Trip to Austin & New Orleans - Flight canceled & Fire alarm set off...

This trip was pretty exciting, there were a lot of firsts and problem solving. It was our first time going to New Orleans (or anywhere in the South), and first time taking American Airlines!

Boeing 737-900 - N27477 - UA701 | This was my flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) ---> Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

The 737 again. Very good plane. However I discovered that whenever I (only me, my parents are still printing their tickets at the check-in kiosk) check in with the United mobile app, it puts me, my dad and my mom in the last row. This has been happening for the last 5-6 flights we took already... Hm. Does United not want their customers to check-in via mobile?

Sorry for the bad quality, it was a rushed shot...

Another plane (I don't know if it was a 737 or a320. Looks like a 737 though...) taking off parallel to us from 1R. We took off from 1L.

Then we visited Austin's graffiti Park. It still amazes me that such a place is allowed to exist. Since basically it is just chaotic walls full of paint...

Next... We had a meter break down... YAY! So, after arriving at the Austin state capitol and paying at the meter, we realized that it was not working, and basically just took a dollar. Ugh... So, I tried to call the number on the meter, which did not work even with the correct area code (See img 1 below), so I called 3-1-1, Austin's question & concerns hotline. After staying talking to them about the issue, and holding for 20 minutes. They still could not figure out the issue. The meter number was not in their system... I continued giving them all the information possible, what street, other meter numbers, etc. 20 minutes later, they returned after speaking with their manager, and turns out meters near the state capitol are managed by the state of Texas, not by Austin. So they could not do anything about it. So we just went to the next meter and paid again! ;)

The broken meter...

Anyways, despite the annoying meter malfunction. The Austin state capital was great! I noticed that the lobby area looks very similar to the California capital. I am wondering if all capital are similar to each other...

We also set off the fire alarm in our hotel that night, because apparently the sensors detected hot water vapor as smoke?? Which set it off? At least, they are not linked to the sprinklers!

Airbus A321-211 - N27477 - DL1868 | This was my flight from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) ---> Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) - (We have a stop over at ATL before continuing on to New Orleans)

This airplane was surprisingly new! Personally I don't like Airbus, because I feel that their product lineup is a bit confusing... However, this one surprised me. The plane is wide, and interior is clean. Only complaint are the windows. They are really small.

The A321 also has a hump, but you can clearly distinguish between a A321 & a 737. First, the 737 sits way lower then the A321, and the A321's engine is round, whereas the 737's engine is a little bit flat on the bottom. Also if you look at the last image, the nose is round and not as pointy as the 737. It is really distinguishable once you see it in real life. Depths don't really come out well through pictures.

After lunch and a few minutes to rest, we boarded our next flight from ATL to MSY, it was a MD88! :)

McDonnell Douglas MD88 - N971DL - DL1167 | This was my flight from Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) ---> Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)

This was my first time being in a MD-80. I have been on 717s before which are basically the same thing, but this one was manufactured before Boeing & McDonnell Douglas merged. They merged in 1997, this plane was manufactured and in Jan of 1991. Which makes this plane 27 years old! Wow!

This plane's window is squarish... Hmm... It seems like all older planes have this "feature". The 737-800 (which is below) which is 17 yr old too has this weird "feature".

Also this plane sits really low! Looks great. I feel that older planes are bolder in their design. Where as nowadays, planes mostly look the same. Two or four engines below or in front of the wing, swept wing in roughly the middle of the plane, etc. I wish we had design innovations like the tri-jets again. That would be awesome!

Anyways. The MD88 was super quiet, cause we were sitting over the wing. It would've been awful if we were sitting in the back... The inefficient Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines are super loud.

In New Orleans, I visited the Oak Alley Plantation and the Laura Plantation.

It was interesting to look at slavery at another angle, it is really interesting how there are ranks between the slaves, who does the hard work, and who does the easy work...

These two plantations also allowed me to experiment with different photo techniques. For example below is a photo I took that Google photos automatically edited for me.

Edited by Google Original

The one edited by Google does look better... Hmm... I am actually really surprised!

I tried something new here: close up long shots...

The first 4 are close shots are all from the bottom/roots of the tree in the 5th picture...

The next day, we visited the swamp, and saw wild pigs and raccoons!

Then, the night before we left, we took a cruise on "the only steamboat in New Orleans". However, we saw another one on our way back to the dock. Also since it was nighttime, I utilized Google Pixel's Night Sight to take photos!

With Night Sight Original

Then our flight back was canceled... GREAT!

This should've been our flight from New Orleans back to San Francisco (MSY) ---> (SFO), but it got canceled 6 hours before departure. | AS1391

It was really a good thing that I checked in to our flight the day before, because I got the news through the Alaska app as soon as it was announced. We booked through Priceline, and they did not know it was actually canceled until we called them! So, after arriving at the airport, we tried to speak to someone at Alaska, but no one was there at the Alaska check-in desk. So, I asked the airline next to us, and they instructed us to call using the courtesy phones.

After calling Priceline, they connected us with Alaska, where we rescheduled our canceled flight to 2 American Airlines flight with a stop at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW).

That was one issue resolved, but... there was more! We nearly missed our connecting flight! Our flight to DFW was late arriving to New Orleans, which ended up delaying our flight from MSY to DFW. This nearly caused us to miss our connecting flight at DFW, which was on time.

Boeing 737-800 - N959AN - AA2257 | This was my flight from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) ---> Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

This 737-800 also had squarish windows... There seems to always be turbulence near Texas... It was so shaky, and dark that the photo looks horrible... Anyways, the windows are kind of square, even though the photo does not show it well...

Airbus A321-231 - N973UY - AA446 | This was my flight from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) ---> San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Another A321! I don't know why this one does not have the hump... Hmm, maybe the life raft configuration is different. If it is, this really shows why passengers need to pay attention to safety briefings. Same plane, different airline, different configuration.

Anyways, at last, we got back to San Francisco at 1 in the morning. It was a super fun and adventurous trip!

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©2018 by Jim Fang.