DeltaRules From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3624 posts, RR: 11 Posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4013 times:
We got Gatwick at about 8:15 after the ride from the hotel. After a week & a half of sightseeing, freezing in the cold, and being with our friends, it was time to head back to the USA. This had to have been the foggiest day I've ever seen, anywhere. Visibility was 400m (picked that up on my scanner). To kill time while in the atrium, we went through various stores & in the toy store, I bought Schabak's BMI A330, which is one that I wanted.
We then ate breakfast, and took the monorail to the airside with Gates 31-38. While on the monorail, I looked out the window & through the fog, I could see CO's Peter Max 777 & NW's N234NW....the same DC-10 I had flown CO / LIRF), Italy">FCO-DTW in 2000. We got to the gate, where, for the second time (for me), N674UW was at the gate. I had previously flown on this A330 CDG-PHL in November 2000. I sat down at the window, and watched VS's "Jersey Girl" park at gate 35....still a cool feeling to see a 747 pull up right in front of you. Boarding began, and as I got in the line, I saw DL's 763 N1200K taxi back to the gate area, which left me wondering what was going on.
US Airways 99 LGW-PHL
A330-300 N674UW Seat 12H
December 3, 2003
I got to my seat & then headed to the boarding door, where I asked if I could go to the cockpit. For the first time in a while, and to my disappointment, I wasn't allowed to the front. I went back to my seat & got comfortable. I took our digital camera & started shooting out the window....got several VS 747 pics, a BA 777 shot with an ERJ behind it & a few others. This was my entertainment during the delay, caused by computer problems at the crew's hotel, which carried over to check-in being screwed up. We were slated to leave at 11:50, but pushed at 12:20. By this time, the fog had lifted to the point that I could see other terminals & other planes. The captain then came on & said that the flight would be 7 hrs 33 minutes.
As we approached the end of the runway (8R I think), I looked out & saw the oddest thing I've ever seen. I'm guessing it was a fire trainer, but it was a DC-10 tail on a shortened 747 body, with Airbus (slide out) & Boeing (swing out) doors on the fuselage. I knew this thing wasn't airworthy, but if anybody can tell me what the hell this thing was, I'd appreciate it...lol. Unusual to say the least.
We then held short, and after a DBA 737 landed, we were on the roll. We rotated & had some condensation shoot over the wings as we entered the clouds. We broke out of them quickly, and the PTVs were then turned on. I got my headphones, and started with my "traditional" Drew Carey episode, followed by "Matchstick Men" with Nicolas Cage, which was pretty good. It got a bit bumpy at this point, but the captain came on & told us that "it should end in 40 miles, which is about 5 to 7 minutes.", which I found interesting. As we climbed to FL360, it ended up being a smooth ride for the most part.
Lunch was served....choice of Chicken or Ravioli, my choice being the chicken. It wasn't too bad....I don't complain about airline food, I'm just happy to get it with the service cuts these days.
I watched the IFE for most of the Atlantic crossing, considering that it was cloudy from Ireland on. (This is all that's worth mentioning from this part of the flight) "Matchstick Men" ended, and I went over to the Frasier episode, followed by finishing "Pirates of the Caribbean" which I started on the way over & fast-forwarded to where I left off. By this point, boredom was settling in...
A ham & cheese sandwich was passed out at this point, and I watched ESPN's "The Life" featuring the Ravens' Ray Lewis, and started the VH1 video. I tried to skip through to the episode of "Pop-Up Video" when the PTV suddenly shut off. I rang the call button, and the F/A came & said he'd try to reset it. It didn't work, and he offered me seat 10F to use the PTV, which I did. I watched "Scrubs", and moved back to my seat. We entered the US just South of BOS, and made our descent into PHL. We had a great view of downtown as we came in, flying just south of the Eagles' stadium, and landed on 27R. We were able to clear the runway quickly, and taxi to A26 within about 2 minutes of landing. We deplaned, cleared customs, and a great trip started to suck.
After clearing customs, we went to the baggage claim area, where we waited a good 35 minutes before the bags came back. Next, we gave our bags to the men at the conveyor belt in the next area, and headed the the security checkpoint. We didn't have any tickets with us (we weren't told to check back in) & had to head to the ticket counters, where it was discovered that my mom had the tickets for the PHL-CMH leg (she's still a rookie at e-tickets...) the whole time, which pissed the rest of us off. We then used our one-time passes to the US Airways Club, stayed about 5 minutes & left, and then headed to B9 for...
I'll keep this part short & sweet. We boarded through B9 (the same gate I went through for PHL-LAS last year) & I sat down. This seat was hard in comparison to the A330s....something I never thought about. The cabin also seemed worn out for a decently new plane. We pushed back, and the flip down screens showed the safety video. The problem was two of the screens flipped up & down several times. I finally reached up & was able to stop the one above my head. It was a quick takeoff, bumpy off & on, and after a quick drink service, we started our descent into CMH. I was able to see Zanesville again from the air, and as we made a downwind approach for 10R, we flew right overhead LCK. After a long, hard right turn, we entered final & landed on 10R. We taxied to A3, and that was it for this trip. I was impressed with the number of planes lined up behind us on 10R....I counted 4.
That's it for this trip....later this month, back to DAB!
USAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 54 Reply 2, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3653 times:
Good job as well...glad to see that my favorite bird (N674UW) is still out there and in good shape...and I agree that the narrowbody Airbus seats are ridiculously hard...I always get a sore rear end for a while after a flight on them!!
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
Jcooke From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 81 posts, RR: 2 Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3486 times:
Great trip report.
I was on the same flight riding up in 2C. A little bumpy as you said, but still great flight by the US crew. I had asked to see the cockpit after the flight as all of the computer delays shifted my seat in Y about three times.
Now baggage was a different story.
But overall, US gets an A for the trip and the trip report gets an A as well.
DeltaRules From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3624 posts, RR: 11 Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3426 times:
Noel- I figured (and knew after seeing the forecasts) it would clear up after I left with my luck & it did. At least it's nice over there for the locals now!
Jcooke- Wow...small world! You were supposed to be in coach & got moved up because of the computer screw-up? That happened to a couple who sat behind my mom....where were you supposed to be? I didn't get past the 2R door on the entire flight.
I can't remember ever being turned down for a cockpit visit before, so I was disappointed. I haven't been up to the front on an A330 yet & was curious to see it in person. Did you get up there?
Jcooke From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 81 posts, RR: 2 Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3382 times:
I was originally seated 14B for the flight but then had an upgrade coupon and finally got upgraded at the gate. They took my BP and crossed out 14B and wrote 1H on it. I was totally stoked for 1H - the "original" FC seats - but then there was a problem and I got put back to 2C (the normal Envoy seats) - darn .
I know there were a lot of pax that got moved around the entire flight. One couple was split envoy/coach due to the mixup but I know she went back to coach to sit with her husband after takeoff.
This was my first time (second, counting the outbound) on a 330 and it was stunning to see the cockpit. All digital displays, not totally cramped but nothing like a lay-z-boy recliner! I wish I could have gotten pics but I was really beat and had a dreadful 5 hour drive back to ROC later that night.
Jcooke From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 81 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 3235 times:
That's pretty cool about having (for a while) 1H...then you were sent back to "regular" Envoy. It still beat 12H, although I was fine in the coach seat.
Wow....5 hour drive. I don't think I could've done that after flying 7 hrs. You do know US flies to ROC, don't you? lol
Yeah, I was floored when I saw the seat number on my BP. Very true though, although I didnt get 1H I did get envoy.
Definitely aware that US flies to ROC but I had picked up a great fare PHL-LGW and ROC-PHL-LGW was considerably more unfortunately. PLUS I also needed to stop in RDG wednesday night/thursday morning for Thanksgiving dinner so it also made sense for me to fly from PHL rather than ROC. (Although I probably could have flown ROC-PHL-LGW and used the 24 hour intl stopover rule - yeah well).
Wow 5 hours PHL to ROC by road? At what speed?
Well.... Actually, thats my typical from ROC-RDG but if I can remember correctly its not really that much longer if any from ROC-PHL. (Yes, I'm moving but never 10mph over the limit and ROC-PHL is 100% highway)
Planesarecool From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 4096 posts, RR: 12 Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 3246 times:
Great trip report.
Yes that "Airboeing DC-747 ( )" is a fire training aircraft. There is a similar one at Heathrow, except that's it's green. It's designed like that so that the fire fighters can practice so they are used to anything that comes upon them. I think it is very new as i've only ever noticed it in my last few visits to the airport. At first i could only see the engine and i thought it was a retired DC-10.