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CLE-CLT-LGW And Back On US In Economy  
User currently offlinedimoko From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 307 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7840 times:

My wife has recently taken a job that has her working in London a few weeks of every month until April. One of these trips was extended to 3 weeks so I set out to visit her to break up the monotony of being away from home. CO offered a few attractive flights, but as CLE no longer has a direct to LHR or LGW from CLE, and price was my biggest concern, i opted for a US flight thru CLT. All included it was $630, and that included a few premium seat selections.

The lovely thing about leaving CLE on any airline other than CO is the relatively light terminal traffic outside of the C concourse, this is especially true in the A concourse. I made my way thru security and found my gate, and my 737-400 that would take me to CLT.

From cheerio england


I payed a $5 to be close to the front, just because i like to take pictures like this one

From cheerio england


Our gate neighbor, a CRJ

From cheerio england
UA A320 Taxiing in.

From cheerio england


Shortly after liftoff from CLE

From cheerio england


Legroom on the 734

From cheerio england


Cabin shot

From cheerio england


Luxurious domestic service  
From cheerio england


A sea of US tails around sunset at CLT

From cheerio england


Originally i had chosen seat 18A, a seat that was free, but according to the check-in kiosk i was booked into 22F. I asked the gate agent about it, and they said "i dont know, sometimes the computer does that." After that a more knowledgeable ticket agent told me "that was just a seat preference, it was not a reservation" so after a quick check of seat guru, i see that 22F is a bad seat, and i see the whole idea behind this. i had to pay the $30 fee to get a decent seat on this flight, which i did in a pinch because i was about to board, so they make you think you have a decent seat, then they give it to someone else, and you pay the $30 to not be in an awful seat...great idea guys.

View from my $30 Shangrila

From cheerio england


Seated next to me was a very nice Welsh girl who i got along very well with, we talked and joked thru a lot of the flight.

The oddest thing to have happened to me on a flight then happened. A young wiry man was brought up from the back, and told to take one of the open seats in the middle section, he put his carryon into the bin and began to sit down, when a gentleman told him that he had purchased the empty seat beside him, choose another. this didn't suit him and he began to throw a silent temper tantrum which culminated in him smashing his head into the overhead bin. The FA told him to calm down, and as we had just pushed back, another FA went to talk to the captain to see if we would return to the gate. It seemed for a minute like we would, but then he was taken up into Envoy class and we continued on...What a way to get an upgrade.


In the middle section a man was reading on his kindle shortly before takeoff and the flight attendant told him to turn it off. he smirked a bit, i think he thought that it wasnt an electronic device, but didn't argue with her, which was nice to see for a change. After being told to shut off his kindle he did this.

From cheerio england


he later used his empty row to his advantage

From cheerio england


after a bit, the meal service came, i chose the chicken. it was good. I had tried to eat at CLT but the bagel i got had very strange looking roast beef on it, so i mostly ate the bagel.

From cheerio england


Luckily i had purchased that sprite at CLT because the half a can would not have done for the entire meal.

view of the A330 cabin from 11A

From cheerio england


less ample legroom

From cheerio england


while in England got a chance to see my favorite EPL team, Aston Villa play against Manchester United (2-2 draw)
From cheerio england


After 5 days with my wife, it was time to head home unfortunately. Took the gatwick express back out to LGW and after a quick stop at a shop for a bit of lunch, i headed to the international departure area.

my A330 back to CLT

From cheerio england


This gate neighbor made me a bit envious.

From cheerio england


This time i had my section of 2 seats all to myself, which really was nice, a place to put your belongings, and still get full leg-room. Meal again was chicken, and again was pretty good all things considered.

From cheerio england


a bit of Entourage on the IFE

From cheerio england



a little before landing we got a turkey and cheese sandwich which really was quite good.

From cheerio england


Immigration at CLT was fairly bad...even though we had arrived a bit early, two full planeloads should not overwhelm a department like this. First problem is they had all agents doing US citizens AND foreign visitors, to me it would see easier to have a few concentrate on US citizens, with a certain set of questions, and a few concentrate on visitor, with a different set of questions, as well as other things visitors require. At the end of the citizen queue and the visitors queue were two people letting people thru and telling them what gate to go to. at first it seemed like a lot of visitors were going thru and not many US citizens...i thought this was just paranoia, until one lady counted 12 visitors going thru between 2 US citizens...i'm not saying US citizens need preferential treatment, but both lines were long, and they should have been given equal treatment. when a passenger brought this to the attention of the man letting visitors go, he snapped back "well, you can go and wait in that line if you want, but I guarantee that isnt moving faster"

great service.

After that, and rechecking my bag after customs i took an escalator that dumped me out into the ticketing area of the airport...and i had to go thru the normal domestic security...the last few trips i took there was a dedicated security line for internationals.

After a bit of gate confusion, i found my flight to CLE on a CRJ-900

From cheerio england


really a lovely plane

From cheerio england


after getting to my "window" seat of 8F i figured i would need make a note for seat guru.

From cheerio england


somewhat cramped cabin.

From cheerio england


Got home right on time, got my bags and was out the door...

with all of the different ways to get to England US wasn't terrible, and as i just booked my flights for february, they are certainly the cheapest.

[Edited 2011-01-31 08:59:26]


"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePhilInBRN From Switzerland, joined Jun 2009, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7616 times:

Very nice trip report! Having lived in Cleveland in 06/07 and somewhat affiliated with US I like how their service to CLE has grown a bit since then. In 2006 most flights to CLT and PHL were on small CRJs only. It's certainly nice to see some mainline material operating those flights again.

User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 677 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7382 times:

Hi dimoko,

thanks for this trip report. Really like to read about US and what has become of them. It used to be one of my favourite airlines for transatlantic flights back in the 90s.

Quoting dimoko (Thread starter):
Luxurious domestic service

Why, you got a free coke, at least half a glass, isn't that nice  
Quoting dimoko (Thread starter):
I asked the gate agent about it, and they said "i dont know, sometimes the computer does that." After that a more knowledgeable ticket agent told me "that was just a seat preference, it was not a reservation" so after a quick check of seat guru, i see that 22F is a bad seat, and i see the whole idea behind this. i had to pay the $30 fee to get a decent seat on this flight

So you had to pay for getting your originally booked seat back, what kind of service is that? Now that would have really pissed me off. I think I would have payed as well but would really feel ripped-off. I probably would have written an email of complaint to them.

Quoting dimoko (Thread starter):
this didn't suit him and he began to throw a silent temper tantrum which culminated in him smashing his head into the overhead bin.

Some people, incredible...

Quoting dimoko (Thread starter):
Meal again was chicken, and again was pretty good all things considered.

Well, it doesn't actually look too good, but at least it tasted ok. And the portion also looks generous.

Greetings
CaptainRed


User currently offlinedimoko From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 307 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7169 times:

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 2):
So you had to pay for getting your originally booked seat back, what kind of service is that? Now that would have really pissed me off. I think I would have payed as well but would really feel ripped-off. I probably would have written an email of complaint to them.

i was rather p/o'd and i payed it simply to not further ruin my day. i didn't think about writing an email, but i am doing that right now.



"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1883 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6640 times:
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Good report! Looks like you had some pretty good flights with US.

Love those engines on that US 737 ... they look so shiny!  
Quoting dimoko (Thread starter):
In the middle section a man was reading on his kindle shortly before takeoff and the flight attendant told him to turn it off. he smirked a bit, i think he thought that it wasnt an electronic device, but didn't argue with her, which was nice to see for a change. After being told to shut off his kindle he did this.

People are so funny with this ... I feel like saying just go with the rules, and shut the thing off!

US seems like a nice airline to fly across to Europe with; I'm just always surprised at how the meals look not very substantial at all. Very small tray and portions!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1669 posts, RR: 31
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6371 times:

"really a lovely plane"

Really some lovely legs !!!  

Anyhow, loved your TR; trans-atlantic on US looks OK, but would love to hear your CO experience next time...

Meal portions seem rather small, though...the way US 'shifted' you to another (bad) seat and let you pay for a better one is bad customer-service: it would really have pissed me off !!!

Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more !!!



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlinedimoko From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 307 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6148 times:

Quoting MH017 (Reply 5):
Really some lovely legs !!!

you should have seen the outfit she was wearing from the front!



"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2472 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5083 times:

Nice trip report, the cabin pics reminds me of a trip about a year ago with US from CLT to FRA, but with a higher load. So it was a very cramped ride over the pond.

US Airways A330-300's. Are They Really That Bad? (by MSS658 Oct 16 2010 in Trip Reports)
US Airways A333's.Are They Really That Bad? Part 2 (by MSS658 Oct 23 2010 in Trip Reports)



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
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