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USAirways PHL-PIT-PHL (Mileage Run)-Long  
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4674 times:

Hello all,

Today me and my mom went on a day trip to Pittsburgh for a mileage run that was needed to make us both USAirways Silver Preferred for next year. We were able to get a $79 r/t pp fare for the trip, so we took it and the 1000 miles earned will put us over come years end...here is my report:

Saturday, November 10, 2001
USAirways Flight 181
PHL-PIT
A320

Sometime around 6:20 AM my mom shook me awake, and I was very confused. It was a weekend, why did I have to get up so early??????? I plunked back down onto my bed and went back to sleep. 5 minutes later my mom came back in and woke me up again and made sure I was awake, and then it dawned on me. Today was November 10th, and that meant our trip to Pittsburgh was about to take place. I went downstairs and had a quick breakfast. After breakfast, I went back upstairs and got changed and packed my daypack, which consisted of 2 books, a storythat I was editing, a pad, and a pencil. My Discman is busted, so regrettably I couldnt take that along, but I thought I would live without it. I asked my mom if I was driving, as I had never driven to PHL airport with me at the wheel before, and she said I was. At 7:00 AM promptly we left our house and began the drive to PHL, which took about 45 minutes. Traffic was light and there were no problems whatsoever.

We parked in the Terminal B parking garage and headed into the terminal from there, skipping the check in with the intent of checking in at the USAirways Club. In order to get there, we had to go through security, and I feared the worst in terms of line length. However, the queue was not horribly long (I have seen it much much longer) and the wait was only 15 minutes. When it was our turn, things proceded smoothly and once me and my mom were both through, we took the elevator to the USAirways Club, where we checked in for US 181. The seats that we were given were 10E and F, emergency row middle and window seats. I went into the club and plunked myself down in a window seat that offered a view of half of the B gates and half of the C gates. There was little activity of interest when I got there, so I pulled out one of my books and started reading. Occasionally I looked out and saw some signs of non-US activity, notably a Fed Ex DC-10 and National 757 departing, but it mainly was USAirways traffic of course.

At about 8:50 AM my mom came and retrieved me to go down to the gate for boarding. The flight was scheduled to depart at 9:30 from gate B27, which is in the boonies of the B concourse. When we got there, the flight was not yet boarding, so we took a seat and waited. The gate did not have any windows so I was unsure as to whether the equipment would be the scheduled A320 or something else. Soon enough, within about a 5 minute wait, the agent started to call preboarding and eventually our row was called. We got in line and gave our Boarding Passes and ID's to the agent, who then admitted us into the jetway.

There was no queue on the jetway, so we stepped into the aircraft. It was definitely an A319 or A320(not an A321), but I was unable to tell until we made it past the first class bulkhead and I saw two overwing emergency exits, thus confirming that it was indeed an A320. We made our way to our seats and sat down. Predictably, the seats and backrests were rock-hard, and one of the windows was smudged with something. I immediately took out my digital camera and shot a picture of the F-100 next to us that was bound for SYR. The rest of the boarding process was quick and efficient, and we pushed back at 9:34 AM.

After pushback, engines were started and we taxied out to runway 27L. At 9:41 we rolled onto the runway and took off after a 35 second roll. The takeoff was no impressive at all, and the initial climb angle and rate of climb was considerably less than any other plane I had ever flown. Shortly after takeoff, the plane turned to the northwest, and I spotted the distinctive towers of Limerick Nuclear Power Plant about 30 miles away. We remained on the northwest heading for 3 to 4 minutes, and then turned back to west. A few minutes after the electronic "portable electronic devices" message played, the f/a's came around offering a choice of orange juice or coffee. Neither my mom or me had anything. I then promptly fell asleep, my head on my mom's shoulder. When I woke up, we were on approach to PIT. The approach into PIT was one of the worst flown approaches ive ever experienced. The aircraft was all over the place trying to align with the localizer, there hardly was a still moment til touchdown, and the control movements were very abrupt and firm, with noticeable Gs being felt. I seriously thought something was wrong, it was that "out of control" We were making a parallel approach, us on 28L and an unidenifiable aircraft with a DC-9/MD-80/717 configuration on 28R. Touchdown was ok, and we landed after 1 hour and 4 minutes in the air, touching down at about 10:45 PM. I whipped out my camera and I started shooting a few pics as we taxied to gate A1. We pulled into the gate at about 10:53 and the deboarding process began, and withing about 5 minutes me and my mom had exited the aircraft and proceeded directly to the USAirways club to check in for our next flight...

To be continued...

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePgh234 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 796 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4461 times:

Isn't B-27 in PHL that one gate that hides behind the counters at the very end of the concource? The entrance to the jetway looks like nothing more than an emergency exit. I think I had a PHL-MCO flight through that gate last summer. When they announced bording for it, we couldn't find the gate! Mainly because we were the only passengers on the plane and no one else was waiting. lol What are you thoughts on PIT? I live here and LOVE it. I cant stand these sterile concources anymore because I am not allowed to roam around the AirMall and look at planes anymore.  Sad

pgh234


User currently offlineCo LITE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4441 times:

I don't understand why airlines are offering the "Coffee or Juice" option! What happened to "beverage service"? Thats when everything listed in the magazine for drinks (On USAirways, "Attache") is served. Just curious...

User currently offlineJason Seiple From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4448 times:

They offer the "coffee or juice" service due to full short flights. There is little time with the usual level of staffing to do a full beverage service in all classes. Many airlines do this.. Northwest, US Airways, Delta. It would be difficult to get a full beverage service done on a packed B767-300 between JAX and ATL. They just offer fruit punch or water usually and barely get done at that.

TWA manages to crank out a complete beverage service on OMA-STL flights.... flying time is usually about 50 minutes. They staff four flight attendants on the MD-80 and really move though. First Class gets nothing more than a plastic cup off the forward drink cart as it moves back to coach, so service up front does suffer so the cheap seats can get a choice.


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4444 times:

Well, this is not true, because on the return flight, flight time 40 minutes on a nearly full MD-80, they pulled off a full beverage service and were collecting cups just as the descent was started...

Anyway here is part two of my report: my wanderings throughout PIT:

At the USAirways club we checked in for our next flight, US 181, which was scheduled to depart at 2:15 PM. Current time was now about 11:00. We were checked in for US 181, and given seats 18 A and C, emergency row window and aisle on the 2 side of the 2-3 configuration of the MD-80 that was scheduled to operate the flight. My mom, unfortunately, is a smoker, and the USAirways club in Pittsburgh is non smoking, so we couldnt hang out there for 2 hours, so we headed back downstairs. My mom wanted to have a sit down lunch, but we couldnt agree on a place, so she went and bought a New York Times and went into the bar at Friday's and said for me to meet her at 12:00 to "check-in"

So there I was, left all alone in a very big airport, and I had "people to see, places to go, things to do"...actually I didnt have people to see, but I did have places to go (the four concourses of PIT) and things to do (eat lunch, take pictures). So with this in mind, I strode off into Concourse A with my digital camera at the ready (I am a horrible still photographer, so using film would just be a giant waste of money) I decided to take the moving sidewalks to the end to scout out any good shots and if there were any, walk back to the spot and get them. Alas, there were none, but I did notice an Asian Chao fast food place near Gate A14 and promised myself that I would have lunch there. I repeated the same procedure throughout the other terminals

(NEWSFLASH): Its 11:15 PM here and my mom has ordered me to bed  Sad so there is no time to finish this part tonight but tomorrow I will finish it and part 3 (the return) if I have the chance...

Thanks again for reading,

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlinePgh234 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 796 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4423 times:

Have any of you ever been on REALLY short flights? I was on an Aloha LIH-HNL flight that was less than 15 minutes long and they still managed to give us drinks! It was hilarious watching the F/A's run down the aisle throwing the prepoured cokes and fruit punch at everyone. Before I even had a chance to take two sips from my drink, they were running back down the aisle with the garbage bag and we touched down minutes later. However, I think on an hour long flight, they should be able to give you a full beverage service. Sometimes if you ask nicely, the F/A will still manage to get you a coke or something else you want. I was on a few Northwest "Coffee or Juice" flights and the F/A's sprung me a can of pop/soda/cola/or whatever else you call it. lol

pgh234


User currently offlineJason Seiple From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4394 times:

Also depends on the time of day. Most people in the morning get juice or coffee and don't drink booze.
As pgh234 said, if you want something else you can probably get it.
USAF, your mom still tells you when to go to bed?


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4403 times:

Sadly enough, yes she treats me like I am 3 years old, which pisses the crap out of me, but thats another story...I just woke up its Sunday morning so after breakfast Ill be back to finish it.

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineLeftseat86 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4387 times:

Ha Ha! I liked your report. I've been flying a USairways A320 in FS2K, Usually all the east coast legs...
Whats the seat pitch like?
-Clovis  Smile


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4382 times:

We were in emergency row for both legs, but I have flown in non-emer row before on a US 320 and its fair. I'm 6'0" and I had a little bit of room to move around. I think the pitch is 32"???????

Here is the conclusion of part 2, I will write part 3 tomorrow after school:

I finished my explorations of the other terminals arounf 11:45 and returned to the designated meeting place with my mom. She wasnt there, so I sat down and began reading. Within about ten minutes or so, she showed up, so we made plans to meet at the gate for our flight home at 1:45. She left to go back into Friday's and I decided to just stay where I was and read for another half hour.

At about 12:25 I got up and went to Asian Chao for my lunch. I really wanted to compare it to the Asian Chao in PHL, which I love to have before I go flying, because the food is very good. I ordered bourbon chicken with white rice, and sat down in the tiny sitting area nearby. It was virtually empty, and also offered a superb view of some taxiing aircraft and the PIT tower, so whenever an aircraft came by, I stopped eating, took my camera out, rushed to the window and took pictures of it. I mostly took pictures of ERJ's in this fashion, but I also managed to get a US 733, A319, and 757-200. The few other people that were around must of thought I was crazy or something, but I didn't care.

Once I was done eating, I decided to go pay another visit to the two non-US concourses in the hope that new traffic had arrived. Sure enough, I was able to get pics of a NW Airlink CRJ, UA 737-500, and Delta (OOC) MD-88 in this method. I was starting to get a cramp at this point from eating and then doing all that walking, so I decided to call it a day and make my way to gate A4 to meet my mom. The time was only like 1:15 or something like that, so I plunked myself down on a chair and started reading again. When a US A319 pulled into Gate A2 I stood up, and started shooting pictures of that. I was hoping to see our MD-80 pull in, but as I discovered, the waiting area for A4 does not allow for a view of the aircraft parked there. At about 1:40 or so mom came to the gate, so it was just a matter of waiting now for our flight to be called....to be continued with Part 3, the return, which was somewhat eventful...hopefully I will be able to write it tomorrow afternoon....

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3189 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4365 times:

Good so far, I like the breaks due to real life. It is hard to try and write a long detailed report, takes me ages.
A mileage run for 2 people, your family must be keen on getting those miles.



Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4350 times:

The reason for the trip was because my mom and I, at the conclusion of the year, would have been about 300 miles short of US Silver Preferred status (20,000 miles+), so she called up US and asked for the cheapest fare available, r/t, that was flyable r/t in one day without requiring an overnight stay. The answer was PHL-PIT-PHL, $79 r/t pp...so we took it...hoping to finish the report later in the evening...

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineJason Seiple From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4328 times:

Thank AirTran for your fare.

User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4333 times:

Yes thats why it was so cheap...now Id like to fly AirTran on that route just to try them out...my parents will never go for that though...

I was unexpectedly busy tonight, so hopefully tomorrow I can get that last part up.

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 1 day ago) and read 4335 times:

Ok here it is...*DRUMROLL* the return!

Saturday, November 10, 2001
USAirways Flight 181
PIT-PHL
MD-80 (OC)

Once my mom came and met me at the gate at 1:40, it was now a matter of waiting for the aircraft to arrive (it was coming from ATL) and be turned around to operate as US 181, service to PHL. Once people began to come out of the jetway, the aircraft had clearly arrived, so I got up and went to a window with a view to confirm the aircraft type. Sure enough, it was a US MD-80, in OC of course.

The turnaround process seemed to take forever, but finally the gate agent began to call the flight, and at the appropriate time my mom and I got on. We were seated in seats 18 A and C, an emergency row window and aisle in the "2" part of the 2-3 configuration. US 181 had a lot of company f/a's and flight officers board, I didnt bother to count, but there was at least 30 of them. Once the boarding was done and the doors shut, one of the f/a's came around to every US employee on board and gave them a bottle of water. I wondered if had I wanted a bottle of water if they would have given it to me. Anyway, we just sat at the gate for a few minutes, until the captain came on and said that maintenance was finishing up a few little things and that it would be a few minutes. That was fine by me, so I went back to my book, and kept reading, and, reading...I eventually drifted off to sleep, nd when I woke up, the first thing I did was check my watch, discovering that I had been asleep about 30 minutes, then I looked out the window to discover that...we were still at the gate!!!!!!! Presently the captain came on and said it would be "just a few more moments" and sure enough it was.

Once we pushed back, I got out my digital camera and prepared to take pictures should a good photo opportunity arrive. We made an extremely brief taxi to 28R, where we stopped at the hold, and I watched in awe as a US A321 floated past on finals and made a one-bounce touchdown on 28R. Once he was clear, we made a rolling takeoff. Just as the mains lifted off, I dropped my camera down into the seat behind me. I looked to see if the person sitting behind me was awake, but he wasnt, so I kept reaching down under my seat to look for it. I felt something solid there, and I squeezed on it to pick it up, only to realize that it was the guy's foot! I immediately pulled my hand away and looked behind me, and fortunately he was still sleeping. I decided to wait for the moment and see if he woke up later on to recover my camera. Anyway, the initial climb was very impressive, climbing at a steep angle away from the runway for a few moments before making a 180 to the right while still in a somewhat steep climb. Once we leveled off at cruise, the drink service began, and when it reached me, I ordered a Coke no ice. With that came a bag of something that was called "premium snack mix" and consisted of a bunch of things that I didnt like, so I didnt eat it. After drinking the Coke, I just sort of stared out the window for a while. Eventually, a noticeably large river came into view, with an urban area on the eastern bank of it, so I deduced that this was Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, and the river was the Susquehanna River. I then saw a distinctive geological feature of Harrisburg, three easterly running parallel ridges to the north of the area, that confirmed my hypothesis. I have been there many times before, but I had never seen it from the air so it was sort of cool. Around that time the f/a's collected my cup. My mom asked the f/a's if they could ask the people sitting within a few rows of us if they could see our camera, and sure enough, it was found two rows behind us, and it still worked. During the search, I felt the aircraft start its descent. I began to look then for the twin cooling towers of the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant, which can be seen for miles since the plant is in the middle of a rural area, which would mean that we were approaching the PHL area. Once the towers came into view, I looked for PTW (Pottstown-Limerick Airport), which is a small GA airport that is less than a mile from the plant (I also had several flying lessons there). I found it, and next looked for NXX (NAS/JRB Willow Grove), a military base that is about 2 miles from my house. Its distinctive layout came into view soon enough, and I shifted my view from its runway, 15/33, looking directly perpendicular to it and seeing N67 (Wings Field), the airport at which I presently fly from. By this time we were fairly low, and we continued east, passing over PNE (Northeast Philadelphia Airport), over the Delaware River, turning south into New Jersey, and then west to line up for landing on runway 27R. Landing was smooth, and we had a brief taxi to one of the gates at the end of B concourse. Disembarking was smooth enough, and we made the long walk back to our car for the drive home, and once I got home, I signed online to a.net to write this report  Smile .

Hope you all enjoyed it...Owing to the lack of variety in the routes I fly, my next report probably will not be until August when I will have returned from a 50+ day trip to Costa Rica, then the Rockies, then SAN, all without coming back home...there will be a lot of flying involved, the precise routing is not yet determined...unless something interesting happens on one of my regular PHL-FLL-PHL runs, this will be my last report until then.

Thank you all for reading this!

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineGoAllegheny From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4281 times:

Great report, and very well written. You've inspired me to sit down next week and write up my trip report to Costa Rica from August. I've got the notes, but just haven't gotten around to it. All I can say now is that the flight days were two of the longest of my life because of forgotten identification papers, delayed flights, and thunderstorms.

User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4234 times:

USAF: Why don't you start flying FL on your PHL-FLL flights? They now hav double daily, and you can earn a free ticket and/or business class upgrades every 6 roundtrips(3 until the end of March, 2002!!)!!

User currently offlineKLM747 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2001, 669 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (13 years 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4241 times:

Hey USAF!

Nice trip report. I wish I had as much time as you for trips like that.  Laugh out loud

Anyways, enjoy your day.

Regards,
William

P.S. See you in the chat room, USAF. Big grin


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (13 years 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4228 times:

Lowfare...

Although Id like to fly FL PHL-FLL-PHL, there are several reasons why we dont...

1. My dad is a USAirways Chairmans Preferred member, and we travel with him on this route often, which means that my mom gets an automatic upgrade as the spouse and if space is available in F class then I usually get an upgrade too, which wouldnt be possible on FL

2. I think my parents are still spooked by the fact that Airtran was Valujet, and they probably keep that crash in mind

3. The times are not good for the flights...we need to take a flight between 3 and 7 PM on a Friday afternoon to go down and a flight later than 7 PM on a Sunday evening, and the nonstop flights for both ways dont fit our needs...

4. Since both me and my mom are going to make US Silver Preferred this year for the first time theres no use in wasting the privileges and most likely by December 2002 our trips down there wont be happening or wont be frequent...

I personally have nothing against trying them, but I dont control the flight scheduling in the house, so I really have no choice...its of note that nearly all vacations we take are flown on US, we havent taken an airline other than US on a vacation since 1993 (UA).

The exceptions were two trips to MIA as part of a cruise that were booked by the cruise line(AA) and one summer when I went away on UA (w/o my parents)

KLM,

Thanks  Smile

Greg




Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineAlaskaairlines From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (13 years 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4193 times:

Very good trip report USAF.

I myself was in PHL about 2 weeks ago and will be writing a detailed reprt on my trip from ANC-MSP-DTW-PHL-DTW-MSP-ANC.
It was a long trip.

Just a GA question.
Are you earning your PPL (Private Pilot Liscense)?

-Dmitry.


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (13 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4177 times:

Alaska...

yes I am...I have about 24 hours so far.

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineAlaskaairlines From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (13 years 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4191 times:

Thats great. E-Mail me if you could. E-Mail is: dema@cyberlynx.ak.net .

I have 45 hours.

-Dmitry.


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