Was sitting (and sitting and sitting) on AA451 ORD-SFO yesterday as part of a "simple" ORD-SFO-ORD MR and during part of the 156 minute delay decided to knock off one of the two remaining birds on my list of cockpits to be photographed in. Beautiful cockpit the new 737-800! Even those weird seat covers the pilots all use weren't so ratty and skanky looking! Anyway, in the course of conversation the pilot said "There's some big announcement to be made June 9th". There. I said it. Shoot me for passing it along. His rank speculation was either AA is buying a competitor or is buying a bunch of new birds. I think they guy was a little crazy because about an hour and a half into our delay he announced over the PA that they were going to open the doors and pax could leave and go wander around the terminal! After about 20 minutes and with literally 80% of Y having left the plane the GA came running down the ramp with a very unhappy look on her face. I asked the guy myself - the whole plane is empty, how in the heck are we gonna make it outta here if a hole in the weather opnes up? He said "we make one announcement. Anybody not back gets left behind". I think the GA put a stop to it because everyone was back on board pretty quickly, and the skies did open and allow us to sneak out at 1:42pm rather than our scheduled 10:45am (tho original boarding didn't actually start 'til around 11:30 since plane was late arriving to ORD).