Correct. After 1+ hour of delay fixing whatever technical glitch showed up, we could board.
You can see the picture of me sitting in 22A, this is what I mean that it is not a matter of comfort but of torture, pain, and geometry. My femur just doesn't fit there. Oh, and the picture was before the guy in front reclined his seat.
After pushback, engines were started and flaps and slats were set for take-off. I cross-checked them and, with my blessing, taxi could start.
We taxied to 26L (which means taxiing the whole length of the runway and then some), throttles were advanced, we lined up (in that order, it was a rolling take-off), throttles were advanced some more and the MD-80 took off and climbed beautifully as it always does.
Immediate turn left, crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico a little bit, and established a heading parallel to the runway (a "climbing downwind").
Flaps were retracted quite quickly, in the middle of the turn. Slats remained extended for what seemed to be too much, to the point that I was concerned that they forgot to retract them and we were going to overspeed them. I don't know why they remained extended so long. For sure the MD-80 doesn't need to keep the lats extended to keep 250 kts.
Anyway, shortly after the slats were retreated we entered solid IMC and remained in solid IMC until maybe 200 AGL arriving to DFW.
IFE was bad (nothing to see out the window, no IFE, no BYOD), diet Coke was diet Coke, and mini pretzels were few.
Landing was not greaser but smooth, yet we bounced a little bit. I don't know if it is my just impression but it seems like the MD-80 has a tendency to bounce even in nice landings.
The bird looked old as it was, with deteriorated cosmetics, exterior and interior. But still my favorite plane. A pity that AA (and all) destroys the experience with a torturing seat pitch.
The glad surprise arriving to DFW was that the next flight,, to MEX, was only 6 gates away in the same terminal. I arrived when they were already boarding, but my group number (still 8) had not been called yet.
The 737-800 was really nice, disguised as a 787 (short-back seats with extendable head rest, new bins where the carry-on luggage fits on its edge, mood lighting, etc...). So screens in the back of the seats but good BYOD.
I sat in 10B and here came the best part: the seat pitch was some 2 inches longer than in the previous flight. Not sure if that's because of row 10 or it is the standard seat pitch in this plane, but these 2 inches makes all the difference between being a painful torture and just uncomfortable.
I could not see the wings from my seat so I waived the flaps check requirement.
We were taxing to some runway when the crew pulled over and announced that one of the fuel indicators had just stopped working and was showing nothing whatsoever and they would troubleshoot. After 10 minutes sitting there we returned to the gate. The captain announced that they called the mechanics and that they would give us more information when they had their verdict. 1/2 hour later, they said that the mechanics had not shown up yet because they were all busy. I can imagine the situation, the pilot calling maintenance and a recorded voice answering "all our mechanics are currently busy repairing other planes, please wait at the gate for the next available mechanic".
After another 1/2 hour, the captain announced that the fuel indicator would be placarded and that they needed to remove all the fuel from the affected tank and fill it up again to measure the exact amount of fuel in that tank, and then they needed to do a lot of paperwork, and that all that would easily take 2 hours, and that if any of us felt that they needed to leave the plane they could deplane into the terminal and AA would do their best to get them into the plane again with no guarantees (?). If there was any doubt, he insisted: " You can deplane but you may be not able to get on broad again". and then, like 5 minutes later, the flight attendant said "all out, take all your stuff, go eat something close to the gate, we'll let you know when you are ready to board again, expect more than 1 hour. So all got off the plane, many headed to different restaurants close to the gate. I had some work to do in my computer so just went for a bagel at Einstein's and sat at those sort of counters with USB and AC connectors. I had not yet taken my bagel out of the bag (or my computer) when they announced "change of plane, change of gate, boarding in a few minutes". Those few minutes where 2 hours and I wondered if it wouldn't have been faster to stick with the plane with the placarded fuel gauge.
But we boarded and the plane looked identical. If they had not said that it was going to be a different plane, I would have thought that they just moved the same plane to a different gate. The crew (flight and cabin) was also the same. Which was a bit surprising (I was already expecting the announcement that the flight was cancelled because the crew would exceed the duty time limits, but no)
3:20 after the original departure time, we departed to Mexico. We took off, got into the clouds soon, and entered a zone of very heavy rain but no turbulence whatsoever. The menu was Coke Zero and those 2 coffee cookies that I forgot the brand. I watched Wonder Woman. Almost. Did not finish it because the movie was longer than the flight. Will see the rest in the return flight. Flight, approach and landing was, now yes, uneventful.
I arrived at the hotel extremely late. I don't know what the heck I am doing writing this flight report. I need to get up in 2:30.
But all in all, it could have been worse. I could have lost my connection or the flight to MX could have been cancelled and I would have missed the Monday morning meeting in Mexico which would have then delayed a series of things that, with almost total certainty, would have meant that I would have needed to extend my stay in MX. Which would have not been nice since I am already returning Friday night.
Stay tuned (or not) for the report on the return trip.