Apodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4124 posts, RR: 6 Posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4263 times:
Trip started Thursday morning, when I arrived at the UA ticket counter in ATW to request a jumpseat on the 6:00 Skywest flight down to ORD, flight 6691. The agent, who knows me, joked that it would cost me a dollar. I told him in lieu of that I would buy him a beer. He chuckled and gave me a seat assignment. My next leg would be US flight 873 to LAS, and since I would simply be a non rev, I went to my office upstairs to check in for that leg and save a hastle in ORD.
United Express operated by SkyWest
From: Appleton, WI
AC Type: CRJ-200 Seat: 11C
I went through TSA, and after getting a cup of tea from a vendor I boarded the flight, and took my seat 11C. As usual for the 6 am flight, we powered out on time (UA does not use pushback tugs in ATW, planes simply do a 180 out of the gate area), and a couple of minutes later we launched off of Runway 29. Of course the flight was real short, so 30 minutes later we touched down on runway 14R in ORD, and pulled into F1. My US flight to LAS would be out of gate F8, but I had time to kill, so I walked over to the H/K concourse and grabbed a Dunkin Donuts (I like DD better than Starbucks, and for some reason AA is the only place in ORD that has one). I walked back, and since US had the drink charge in place I decided to buy a few bottles of water and Vitamin Water for the flight to LAS. I then went to F8 to wait for the flight to board.
USAirways (Operated by an East crew)
From: Chicago O'Hare
To: Las Vegas
AC Type: A320 OW Seat: 1A
The funny thing was that I mentioned earlier that I loaded up on drinks for the flight. Then when I recieved my seat assignment, much to my surprise, I was seated in First Class. This plane was one of the few US planes still in the Navy blue paintscheme, but it already had the new US interior that they have been introducing, with leather seats in both coach and first class. Seat 1A was great, I had no one next to me, lots of room, and its a very comfy seat. Since I had to wait for a seat assignment as a standby, I didn't board early enough for a pretakeoff drink. But there were water bottles at my seat so I drank a bit of water. We pushed back 15 minutes early, and with absolutely no taxi delay or wait we took off from 22L very quickly. Shortly after takeoff the Flight Attendant served the first round of drinks, and I had my usual CranApple. Then the flight attendant offered me a breakfast, and I chose the cold breakfast, which consisted of a fruit plate, a huge strawberry yogurt plate, granola, and a croissant. It was delicious, and it was such a throwback to actually have a meal in flight. And the service was great too. The flight attendant was offering drinks every half hour or so for the rest of the flight. We ran into a bit of turbulence as we passed over the rockies, but that was due to mountain wave, which is normal. I took time to pray for a while as I am a devout catholic, and I read a little theology. Soon we descended into LAS and since I was playing in a disc golf tournament at Sunset park, I was hoping for a 25L landing so I could get a view of the park on approach. I soon saw 25L but it was way off to our left, as we would be doing what I like to refer to as the Stratosphere Visual. The folks on the right side got a great view of the strip. Soon after, we touched down on 19L, and were at the gate early. People complain about US all the time, but this was one of the best flights I had in a long time on any airline. Service was great, flight attendants were smiliing, and flights were on time and even early. Nothing I could complain about.
Next post I will write about the return trip, which was much more of an adventure.
Apodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4124 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4191 times:
The return trip was a lot more adventurous than going there. Reason being is due to the schedule I had, I would need to redeye back east, and US eliminated much of the redeye bank in LAS. I could have flown to JFK, but decided not to. After much research, I decided on a 4 leg itinerary, that would take me to LAX, then to IAH, DTW, and finally ATW. With that in mind I looked at loads and initially decided that my best option would be a 9:40 WN flight to LAX out of LAS. SInce I had to go to church, I left my bags in a C concourse locker and went over to St. Iadore on Flamingo. I stopped at In n Out on my way back for dinner, and went to get my bags. I did a little more research, and found out that there was a US flight to LAX that was open and would get me into LAX about the same time. LAS was a zoo that day, and I figured that was easier since WN would be late and I didn't like my chances with them. I hopped the bus over to the B gates, then walked to gate A14 for boarding.
USAirways (Operated by East Crew)
From: Las Vegas
To: Los Angeles
AC Type: A320 OW Seat: 3A
Got on this flight no problem. As soon as I step on to the airplane, flight attendant offers me a drink. I ask her if I would have to pay for it. She, seeing that I was an express employee said, "Oh no way, your part of the family". I took my original seat in Coach. Again, this was another one of the A320's with the new interior. This was an East crew working this flight as well, a bit interesting considering this is one of the old bread and butter America West routes. As we pushed back, a flight attendant came to me and told me to move to First Class. I told her I would wait until the plane had finished pushing back and would also allow them to finish their safety briefing. I then went to seat 3A where I sat for the flight. First class was almost deserted on this flight. I think this US flight was the only flight to leave LAS on time all day, as nothing WN operated did. We taxied to 7L and took off. Taking off from 7L just doesn't feel right to me, and we didn't turn until well past boulder highway. I could see Sam's Town on the left as we launched. Soon enough we were over the Mohave Desert. I had a couple of cups of CranApple and a bottle of water in flight, as well as some of those biscotti thingys. 40 minutes later we touched down on 24R in LAX, and after slaloming our way around a Cathay Pacific 744 on taxi in, we pulled into our gate in Terminal 1. My next flight would be Continental to IAH, so I went to the curbside to take the shuttle bus over to Terminal 6.
From: Los Angeles
To: Houston-Bush Intercontinental
AC Type:757-300 Seat 15E
I picked this flight because it was a redeye, because I hadn't been to IAH in years, and because I had never flown a 753 before. I had a bit of a problem with TSA since my company doesn't fly into LAX, so I had to get a document from the CO ticket counter to get through. I looked on a non rev list across from the podium and discovered this flight was a non rev special, and I was way on the bottom as an employee of another airline. I got on, but the overhead bins were full, so I had to check my bag to ATW (It got there, but the way the tag was filled out made it tricky). I sat in seat 15E, and I had to use the bathroom really bad, but I waited until we were at altitude. We pushed back, and took off from 25R which is standard in LAX. When we got to altitude, I got up and found that three of the four Lav's in coach were on MEL. I had to wait for the one lav that was free. Afterwards, I returned to my seat and slept the rest of the flight. I woke up about 30 minutes before landing, and had a nice smooth landing on 8R, and pulled into the south C concourse. The 757-300 planes are nice, but it seemed like a lot of things went against me on this flight. I learned upon deplaining my DTW flight would be from Terminal E, which was great as I hadn't seen the terminal before and couldn't wait to use it.
From: Houston-Bush Intercontinental
AC Type: 737-300 Seat: 16F
I had a bagel and coffee from a local vendor before boarding my flight to DTW. I was seated in 16F, which was a great seat, and the flight was pretty empty, another reason I chose it. Unfortunately, this was one of the older 737's in CO's fleet, but from the way they had the interior furbished, you would never know it. We pushed back, taxied out, and took off from 15R. We made an unbelievably sharp right turn after liftoff, and after we came out, we were literally on a course crossing the approach path of 15R just north of the airport. My seat on the right gave me a great view of IAH on the climbout as a result. It seems there is work being done on 9-27, not sure what thats about. We got to altitude, and I had my cran apple when the service began. Of course this is CO, so we got a bit of a meal service too. We were served Honey Nut Cheerios, with a banana and Orange Juice. Not a bad little breakfast if you ask me. I spent the rest of the flight relaxing, and trying to get caught up on lost sleep that I lost on the flight from LAX. The Captain said ATC was slowing us down considerably, and then we descended into DTW. It looked like ATC vectored us 30 miles north of Metro before turning us final, though it was probably more like 20. We landed a bit late, and pulled into gate B7 in the McNamarra Terminal. Another reason I chose this flight is because my ATW flight would be at the same midfield concourse, rather than me having to walk from the A concourse to catch it. And it turned out to be at C7, which was a very short walk.
Northwest Airlink operated by Pinnacle
From: Detroit Metro
AC Type: CRJ-200 Seat 2D
I got my jumpseat pass signed by the captain on board (NW and their affiliates require this for Jumpseaters). The seat they had given me was taken, so I sat in seat 2D instead, which was right next to a very large individual. (As if the CRJ wasn't uncomfortable enough). We have a problem with the PAX count after pushback, so we wait in a holding pad off the end of C to sort it out. When the W and B was figured out, we needed ballast so we went back to the gate for that. We taxied out, and I got a good look at the North Terminal, and I am not sure how I like the blue from the outside, maybe it was to contradict NW with their Red Tails. We launched from 22L, and made a right turn, which gave me a good view of Metro on the climbout from my seat for a bit. We got to altitude, and after a brief drink service (Which I declined on this flight), we were already descending over lake Michigan. I could see Manitwoc and Two Rivers on the other side, and we continued straight in. Eventually Kaukauna, Calumet County, and Downtown Appleton came into view, and we landed on 29 shortly thereafter, and pulled into the gate. I went to NW to take care of my bag issue (They got it back to me the next day) and left and went home. An exhausting trip, but a lot of fun and I always look forward to the next one.
Mjzair From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 398 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3534 times:
I am one of the FO's that you dispatch...
Based on that return trip, I am not going to ever let you pick an alternate for me
Anyway, I hope you had fun..
Interesting trip report, does allegiant do ATW-LAS yet?