PWMRamper From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 591 posts, RR: 3 Posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5173 times:
So I nonrev-ed on B6 with my parents from PWM down to MCO on Tuesday the 28th. Wasn't worried about getting down there, as the loads were fine, 12 seats open on the E-190, and I live 20 minutes from Portland so even if we missed it wasn't the end of the world.
B6 is always great, at PWM they cleared us right at the counter which was sweet. Before headed up through security I popped my head into my Ops to make sure my shift trades were all squared away, and what a surprise, they weren't. So I'm scrambling to find someone to cover my last shift while helping out because one of our planes went on mechanical and another turn was coming in.
Got the shift covered and ran upstairs to meet my folks and we got on the plane. Took off on RWY 29 from PWM. I had never been on the E-190 before and I was very impressed with the plane. Fairly quiet, a decent amount of legroom, and despite being in the last row, reclining seats. Flew on N239JB down to MCO, which was Palin's plane during her campaign and is named "Blissfully Blue." Good flight, great service, and I've always loved the IFE. Very little turbulence...
Got down to MCO, dunno which runway we landed on though. My uncle picked us up and drove us to his house north of Tampa. It was mainly a trip to visit, as we haven't seen him in the 4 years since he's been down in Florida.
But we did go out onto his boat in Tampa Bay, and went to the Hard Rock Casino, where I promptly lost $100 at the Blackjack tables. My mum won big on the slots though, it was fun watching her win.
We golfed at a local course, and it's a good thing I remembered sunscreen. Boy was it hot. I also can't get over the weather down there. I'm from Maine, so I'm used to rapidly changing weather, but Florida is ridiculous, with thunderstorms passing through all the time.
On Friday my mom's sister picked us up from my uncle's house, and drove us to her place, which is about an hour north of Tampa. We stayed there until Tuesday, golfing one more time (this time I didn't remember my sunscreen... ). I may have hit like 3 or 4 houses on the course...they're so close to the fairway in these developments...
On Monday we rented a car to drive over to MCO the following morning for our 10:15 flight back up to PWM. Looked at the directions on the map, and it seemed easy enough. Highway 75 connecting to Highway 91 which brings you right into MCO...so we thought.
There's apparently no direct exit from 75 to 91, you have to get off 75 and then get on 91 later on. So we overshot 91 by about 30 miles, finally called my sister, who told us we have turn around pronto. Luckily you CAN get on from the North. By this point it's about 8:00, and we're a solid 90 minutes away. We book it and get into MCO at JetBlue at like 9:35...and run into about 250 people in JetBlue's line.
At this point I'm resigned to the fact that we won't make it to the counter before cutoff, but if I can convince them to check us and our bags in, I know we can make the gate. So I get up to the counter and explain the situation...and she informs us there are 9 nonrevs ahead of us...6 more than less than 48 hours before. Knowing there's only 1 MCO-PWM flight a day, I ask if the next MCO-BOS flight has room for us 3, not knowing when it left. She says yes, and books us for a flight...that leaves in 33 minutes. We get checked in, grab the tram over to the gate, and get onboard just before the door closes. 3 middle seats on N552JB, Blue Jay, an A320, which I really like, middle seat or not. Flight's pretty noneventful, and a really nice southern approach into BOS with a great view of the city. Landed on 4L. Amazingly, our bags made it as well.
Now we've got to find a way home, but luckily Amtrak runs 4 trains a day from BOS-PWM. So we hop on the T from Logan to South Station to North Station, and then sit around for 3 hours waiting for our train. Get off at Saco, the 2nd to last stop, right before Portland, as our house is about a mile from the train station. We hoof it home with our bags, 2 of which's handles broke, and finally get in around 9PM, 13 hours after our day had begun. Then we had to run up to PWM to grab the car sitting there, so add another hour to that.
But hey, we made it the same day we wanted to, as did our bags. Such is non-reving, which my parents had never done before. But overall things went pretty good. Thanks to B6 for a great trip!
PWM2TXLHopper From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1252 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5025 times:
Quoting PWMRamper (Thread starter):
Now we've got to find a way home, but luckily Amtrak runs 4 trains a day from BOS-PWM. So we hop on the T from Logan to South Station to North Station, and then sit around for 3 hours waiting for our train.
Man, you wasted some time! You know, Concord Trailways has has buses from Logan to Portland until late at night. They run every 1.5-2 hours and go into the same station Amtrak uses in Portland. They stop at curbside at each BOS terminal for pick-up/drop-off. Some briefly stop at Boston South Station, but there's express ones as well, and they are about 20 minutes faster then the train, not including the time it takes to get over to Boston North Station from Logan. I use to use them to get down to BOS a lot before airfares got cheaper at PWM.
Then again, your profile says you live in Biddeford, so I guess that you would had have to have found a way back there from Portland if you used the bus service? I forgot Amtrak stopped in Saco on the way North! So that would have given you a reason to wait, I guess?
PWMRamper From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 591 posts, RR: 3 Reply 2, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4971 times:
We thought about the bus, because trust me, I know it runs pretty much every hour, whenever PWM gets nasty we tell people to grab the bus to Logan...
But my folks didn't think a bus was so appealing, even though it's not bad at all. Not to mention the fact that cost-wise the train isn't bad at $22 a person, and at the time we didn't know the schedule (there IS a 3:00 train but it only goes to Dover)...3 hours was more than we planned on, but like I said, we made it home.
The car was in the employee lot in Portland, but we would've needed to grab a cab or something from the Transportation Center to the Airport...
In hindsight we should've rented a car one way and driven back. Oh well.
PWM2TXLHopper From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1252 posts, RR: 1 Reply 4, posted (4 years 4 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4817 times:
Quoting PWMRamper (Reply 2): But my folks didn't think a bus was so appealing, even though it's not bad at all. Not to mention the fact that cost-wise the train isn't bad at $22 a person, and at the time we didn't know the schedule
Yeah, the train is actually cheaper recently. I had to take the bus up from BOS last week when I couldn't find a reasonable fare to PWM last minute, coming from Germany. (So I went by route of RSW!) and it was $26 one-way now. It use to be less than the train last time I used it.
I'm not much of a bus person myself, but Concord is o.k. if it's only for two hours. It's clean, and parts aren't coming off like the Fung Wa buses, there's a movie, and free coffee and donuts in the morning. Usually normal passengers, not a Greyhound experience.
The Downeaster is actually running 5 daily this summer (not that it really changes anything for you, but it was a big deal to railfans in the area to get the extra trip.)
I was in a similar situation earlier this year, I missed a connection in JFK on my way to PWM. I ended up catching a flight up to Boston, and bussed home to PWM. The bus did cost $4 more than the train would have, but I didn't have to worry about the schedule or getting to North Station. Whenever I'm traveling to Boston as my destination I chose the train, but the bus is too convenient to pass up whenever I'm at Logan.
Thanks for sharing the trip report, it's always good to see other people's experiences at PWM.