The AP’s Scott Mayerowitz was onboard the charter and filed this report.
ABOARD AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 9454 — Eric Mueller’s vacation started when his plane filled with smoke. Soon, people slid down an emergency chute, inflated life vests and climbed into a raft.
…The most recent journey had 160 people paying up to $1,699 for a seat and access to spots normally off limits: Boeing’s sprawling 737 factory, American’s mission control-like operations center and the cockpit of the world’s largest passenger jet.
Tickets sold out in 17 minutes.
…The camaraderie was part of the trip’s appeal. Sure, it was really cool to walk inside the first 747 ever built. But it was also fun to gulp down gin and tonics midair with other guys — three out of four passengers were male — who have the same passion for flying. How much fun? Well, American stocked the plane with four times the liquor of a normal flight.
…The fliers — who ranged in age from 20 to 81 and hailed from as far away as Chile, India and Italy — know the ins and outs of the programs better than anybody else and share pointers in online travel forums such as MilePoint.
You should, as they say, read the whole thing.