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PIT-CLT-JAX-PHL-PIT On US Airways  
User currently offlineN670UW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1604 posts, RR: 8
Posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4358 times:

This trip was back in November, and it's my first trip report, so bear with me.

I was traveling with my family, and we were going to JAX for an NFL game.

We originally booked our flights through CLT both ways, but when US Airways changed their schedule, they had us on a Dash 8 on JAX-CLT. My mom refused to fly a turboprop, so she called and they put us through PHL instead. I wanted to fly the Dash 8 (never been on a prop before), but oh well.

We arrived at PIT a little after 6 AM and there was a pretty long line for the US Airways ticket counter. We checked our bags with the e-ticket check-in kiosk, and took the tram over to the Airside Terminal. Security on the way wasn't bad.

I bought a cinnamon roll and an orange juice and then we made our way down Concourse B to gate B36. At the gate, I could see the pilot or f/o doing the walk-around. Pretty cool. After a little while, the agent called for boarding.

US Airways 1515
Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) - Charlotte, NC (CLT)
Gate B36
Airbus A321
N173US
Seat 12A
Scheduled departure time: 8:05 AM
Actual departure time: 8:04 AM


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Photo © Timothy Keeney



I took my seat at 12A, and my parents took B and C. During boarding, I noticed the A321 has a rather large First Class section. Is this for the transcontinental flights?

Looking out the window, I watched a 733 (old colors) next to us going to ATL push back. A few minutes later, I saw a pretty big plane pull up to the gate next to us. I realized it was a 767. I didn't know US put heavies at Concourse B.

A few minutes later, we began pushback, had a smoky engine start, and began taxiing under a beautiful sunrise. There were almost no other aircraft on the field as we taxied to the runway. With no other traffic, we were first for departure and had a smooth and powerful takeoff (with a full flight) from runway 28L.

Shortly into the flight, the flight attendants began drink service. That's all we got here. I got a Coke (no full can) and began looking at some stuff in Attach??.

After a rather uneventful flight, the F/A's picked up trash and we began our descent into Charlotte. Approach was cool as there was a nice view of the Charlotte skyline and some big lake below. With a smooth touchdown in CLT, we taxied to gate D1 (an international gate - the flight was going on to CUN). During deplaning, a passenger farther back said rather loudly, "Geez, these first class people take forever. They think they own the place!" The cabin got a bit of a chuckle out of that.

We made our way through the construction in the airport, and down to Concourse C, gate C10. The gate area already had a lot of people standing around. It looked like it was going to be a pretty full flight. I noticed some NFL officials standing behind us waiting for the flight.

Shortly after, the agent called for boarding, and I took my seat at 16F.

US Airways 1401
Charlotte, NC (CLT) - Jacksonville, FL (JAX)
Gate C10
Airbus A321
N171US
Seat 16F
Scheduled departure time: 10:15 AM
Actual departure time: 10:34 AM


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Photo © Michael Arcellana



I looked out from 16F and could still see the A321 at D1 we had just flown. After about 30 minutes with nothing happening, the captain announced that maintenance was just finishing some paperwork, and that we'd be leaving soon. He mentioned two or three times how important that paperwork was.

It was probably another ten minutes that we finally pushed back, taxied out, and departed. We made a few turns climbing out of Charlotte. Again, shortly into the flight, the F/A's began drink service. The flight was pretty uneventful, and after about an hour, we began our decent into Jacksonville. We made a smooth touchdown and taxied into our gate.

---

December 3, and it was time to go home.

We had a 6:30 AM flight, so we arrived at JAX around 5. Too early for me. It was so early the restaurants weren't even open yet. I had a nice breakfast of a bag of Famous Amos cookies and a bottle of water from a newspaper stand. Yay.

A little behind schedule, the gate agent at gate B6 called for boarding and I took my seat at 16A.

US Airways 107
Jacksonville, FL (JAX) - Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
Gate B6
Airbus A319
N707UW
Seat 16A
Scheduled departure time: 6:30 AM
Actual departure time: 6:45 AM


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Photo © Carlos Borda



It was still pitch dark outside, but I could see the beacons of a US 733 going to CLT pushing back.

After sitting and listening to the incredibly loud boarding music for 20+ minutes, one of the F/A's finally announced that the flight was overbooked, and they needed 3 volunteers. They managed to get an older couple and a younger girl to volunteer. We finally pushed back, taxied out, and made a smooth takeoff. We made a left turn out of JAX and began our flight north to Philadelphia.

Then the bumps started, and there would be many more of them. Drink service started, with F/A's holding onto seats, and liquids flopping around. Turned out to be a pretty bumpy flight, and one of my more unpleasant ones.

Then there was the PHL approach. What a mess. The captain first announced our decent into PHL. We finally touched down 45 minutes later after circling I don't know how many times. In the air, I wondered why. I would find out when we landed.

We finally did land and began to taxi toward Concourse C but held short for probably another 30 minutes. The captain told us that we were delaying because of another flight that was delayed and still in our assigned gate. During our sitting, I saw another A319 (N713UW) which I remembered flying a couple of years ago (MIA-PIT). It was 9:50 when we finally pulled up to our gate: 10 minutes after the scheduled departure time for our flight to Pittsburgh. We were running like crazy trying to get to Concourse B and gate B7. Turns out we hadn't missed our flight because it was delayed also because they needed volunteers. They got their volunteers though. I didn't hear the agent call for boarding, I just saw a mass of people walking down the ramp to the gate. I gave my boarding pass to the agent and took my seat at 14A.

US Airways 257
Philadelphia, PA (PHL) - Pittsburgh, PA (PIT)
Gate B7
Boeing 737-300
N385US
Seat 14A
Scheduled departure time: 9:40 AM
Actual departure time: 10:10 AM


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Photo © Torsten Maiwald



On pushback, it looked as if our wing was going to clip the 757 next to us, but of course we didn't. We taxied out for a rather quick taxi and didn't have to wait as much this time. Takeoff runway 27L.

F/A's began drink service, but didn't reach all of the passengers because the flight was so short. There was a very nice view of all the snow on the ground over Pennsylvania.

After a smooth flight, approach was uneventful, and we landed in a snowy Pittsburgh on runway 32.

Overall, another nice trip with US Airways. Didn't enjoy JAX-PHL though.

Thanks for reading. Comments welcome.

[Edited 2003-07-21 04:35:09]

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAdam T. From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 957 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4220 times:

Nice trip report! Glad you had a pretty good experience on U.S Airways.
By the way, you probably flew over Lake Norman on approach to Charlotte -just a little FYI!  Smile
And yes to answer your question, the A321's have a large first class for the transcon flights!
Adam


User currently offlineCatholic2006 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 357 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4113 times:

Well, this was interesting because I guess you got a little bit of everything: Turbulence, late departure, delayed arrival, scurrying to gate, etc. That'll keep ya busy!!!! Well, in my opinion, the First Class passengers can take as long as they want considering they pay LOADS to fly in that position so if that one dude started putting in some MAJOR COIN to fly up front then he'd feel the same way about taking his time. He needs to stop hatin on the rich folk (if you know what i'm say'n)!!! Well, was the game good (even though I'm not into sports. I'm a musician)? How did you like the Airbus A321's and A319's? I'll be flying them next weekend from the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport to New York LaGuardia Airport to Nassau International Airport. I was just wondering because I have a 3 hour flight to Nassau and I just wanna be ready.

Well, I liked the report (very interesting) and wish you luck in all your flights (and reports)!!! God bless!!!



Ne vous inquietez pas. Je ne vous hais pas . . . . encore, mais faites attention !
User currently offlineCactusA319 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2918 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4088 times:


Most of the people flying in First don't actually pay for the seat, they're FF upgrades.



User currently offlineCatholic2006 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 357 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4079 times:

Regardless,

If they're in First Class, they have First Class opportunities.



Ne vous inquietez pas. Je ne vous hais pas . . . . encore, mais faites attention !
User currently offlineCactusA319 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2918 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4085 times:

So being a jackhole is a "First Class opportunity?"

Wow.



User currently offlineCatholic2006 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 357 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4083 times:

Why not????

They have money they can do whatever they want to if they're rich and if it does not break the law (even though they can get away with that too).



Ne vous inquietez pas. Je ne vous hais pas . . . . encore, mais faites attention !
User currently offlineAdam T. From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 957 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4068 times:

Catholic2006,
I personally think the U.S Airways A320 family are great aircraft!!! I enjoy flying in them (yes, even when I get bad service). I've always thought the A319's, A320's, and A319's are more roomy than the 737, but that's just my opinion.
Enjoy your flights!
Adam  Smile


User currently offlineCactusA319 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2918 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4070 times:


Catholicboy,

US A320's are pretty much the same as any other airlines A320's. They are a bit wider (like a few inches) than a 737 so you get the illusion of more comfort. To me they're about the same. The A320 is a little noisier, especially on startup when you hear the hydraulic pumps going off - it sounds like a buzzsaw - so don't be alarmed if you hear all these weird sounds going on. Even though the aircraft sounds like its going to fall apart it's not. For more impressions on the A320, read my trip report onboard TACA.

Oh and I've only flown on a US A320 once, SJU-PHL, and it was in First Class. And no I'm not anywhere near rich. I merely got upgraded.


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