Hi and welcome to the second chapter of American Vacation Story!
Heart of Dixie: American Southern Story
This series will cover my annual vacation to the US in summer 2016, which contains 4 journeys in 3 different sets of tickets with 2 alliances.
As per my practice, I will reveal the routing as we go on. The series will be broken down as follows:
Chapter 1 - CX890 HKG-EWR, Boeing B777-300ER in J [Here] Chapter 2a - AA1615 EWR-CLT, Boeing B737-800 in Y [Here] Chapter 2b - AA5164 CLT-BHM, Bombardier CRJ-200ER in Y [You are here!] Chapter 3a - DL ATL-ATL, Boeing B767-200 Spirit of Delta in J/Y [Merge into 3b] Chapter 3b - UA5865 ATL-ORD, Embraer E-175 in Y [Here] Chapter 4a - CX807 ORD-HKG, Boeing B777-300ER in J [Flight cancelled and merged to 4b] Chapter 4b - CX807 ORD-HKG, Boeing B777-300ER in J [Here]
This is the second part of my flight from Newark to Birmingham (not UK) which I would have a stopover in Charlotte. As this is another boring US domestic flight, there will be my travel bonus of Alabama in the second part of report.
My another travel destination in Alabama is Montgomery the state capital. American flies to both BHM and MGM airports from Charlotte. Due to the flight schedule and other matter (?) I opted flying to Birmingham instead of Montgomery. It was just an hour regional flight and I chose the windows seat 6F during my online check-in.
Charlotte Douglas International
Erstwhile on last report, I arrived at Terminal B. Being an AA hub, CLT could be very busy. But it is spacious, decent and tidy.
Still having 2 hours for the next flight, I wandered around the terminals and did some plane spotting. A lot of eateries
As a lover of AA… livery, I was very excited to see those AA tails everywhere^^ An AA A321
An AA B738 in tin can livery
I connected to the airport Wi-Fi which is very fast
I was welcomed by those gate FIDS
The caption is true: Charlotte’s got a lot for shopping ;)
It showed my flight had an 14:29 departure on time from Gate 1 of Terminal E on time (in the middle of the left FIDS)
Charging stations are everywhere
The airport guide
I went to the toilet and it was clean
The tarmac view with nice weather today. An AA A319
One step back. Indeed there was a family bidding farewell to their pilot father on that A319
The Main Terminal. I like CLT planted the trees at the atrium for more oxygen^^
Some passengers were having the sunbath
My next checkpoint was the Terminal C which you would pass the back door of Admirals Club
An AA E190 in legacy US livery
An AA A321
An AA A332
Strolling around the Terminal C
I had my lunch there
After that I returned to the Main Terminal. There are display monitors for news snapshots
I grabbed a seat on the mezzanine level of the Main Terminal and enjoyed the nice atrium view. The TSA Pre application center is also on that floor.
30 minutes before departure, I headed to Terminal E. This time I passed by the front door of Admirals Club
Once taking the escalator down to the Terminal E, my Gate immediately appeared on the right.
My plane was already here. It was a 12 year-old ex-US CRJ-200 delivered in 2004 (N247JS).
I witnessed my baggage was loaded! ;)
My gate. The adjunct gate was another AA CRJ to YYZ.
Boarding had started for awhile. My boarding pass
Those gate-checked baggage
The fuselage shot
Only 1 cool FA on this flight and I was welcomed at the door
I found my window seat 6F. Later my seatmate came.
View from the wing. Our bird was still in feeding.
Seat pitch is adequate for this regional jet
The seat back materials together with safety card
The cabin was 100% full because our flight would fly to Philly following Birmingham. The sun was blazing down thus the cabin was hot and stifling. Passengers kept asking if the FA could turn down the AC. In response the FA simply said he could do nothing but ordered us to shut the windows for cooler cabin.
We pushed back sharply at 14:20.
Following was preflight safety demonstration.
Taxiing. An AA A319 was ready
The FA repeatedly reminded to keep the windows closed to save fuel for a cooler cabin
We were ready…
And took off!
Beverage services started once leveled off
When the FA was about to serve my row, he suddenly pushed back his cart to the bulkhead. He then announced that we would experience a turbulence so the beverage services for the remain rows would be cancelled with no apologies made lol A lot of rear passengers including my seatmate were jaw dropped…
Our plane was somewhere outside Atlanta then
Soon we were descending
Not far now… Not far now… Not far now… Far far now… Far far far far now… Far far far far out…
Eventually we touched down at runway 36 on 14:35
There was showers when taxiing. We arrived at Terminal B
The cool FA gave me a goodbye
Passing through the jet bridge. Those next flight passengers were already boarding.
Last view of my bird
Arrived at the new rebuilt BHM terminal. It is bright, clean and spacious which totally beats Newark lol
There are some eateries airside
I took the escalator down to the baggage claim
My baggage was already here. I picked it and exited the terminal.
The first thing to do was recharging myself^^
I then grabbed an Uber to my Airbnb apartment and started my 3-day stay in Birmingham.
Bonus: Montgomery from Confederacy to Civil Rights
I travelled to Montgomery by Greyhound from Birmingham which just took 1.5 hours.
The coach seat pitch is good and it has a power socket which is work.
The South in the summer could be very hot and I was sunburn :(
The man who the city named in his honor
I followed the Montgomery Civil Heritage Trail which connects all the historic sites in the downtown (the Court Square - Dexter Avenue Historic District).
Alabama State Capitol, where the CSA was established at this building in 1861 and it became the first political capital of CSA.
Next to the Capitol is the First White House of the Confederacy
In the Alabama Department of Archives and History, I recalled my A-level study of American History
The former Union Station, now it served as visitor center
Rosa Parks Museum
Being a history student, taking the Montgomery Bus is a must^^ The drivers are very nice and helpful.
The old Greyhound Station now becomes the Freedom Rides Museum
Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
The Civil Rights Memorial Center. The monument was designed by the one who also created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC
Wandering around the downtown.
When I was taking the murica flag photo outside a beauty salon, the elderly owner spotted me and invited me to visit inside^^ All the 70s' decoration^^
The Riverfront Park
Stunning view of the Alabama River
Montgomery at night
This is the Second Chapter of flight report and here is the glimpse of next report: I traveled to the first US city I knew since my birth
Thank you for your reading!
Charlotte - CLT
Birmingham - BHM
Another standard domestic flight on AA. The cabin is clean but hot. Standard seat pitch and seat back materials. The crew performed his job but could be nicer. We arrived on time. For CLT, the Terminal is clean and has adequate amenities while the Wi-Fi is very fast. For BHM, despite being a regional airport, the new Terminal is bright and spacious. It has clear signs for passengers’ access.
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