15 January 2005
US Airways 2692 (opb Mesa Airlines)
Depart: Greensboro – Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)
Scheduled Departure: 1750 Local
Actual Departure: 1740 Local
Departure Gate: 43
Arrive: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Scheduled Arrival: 1918 Local
Actual Arrival: 1910 Local
Arrival Gate: F38
Equipment: Embraer ERJ-145 LR
Seat: 12A (Exit Row)
I checked in online at US Airways the evening before during my one free moment of time Friday night, and was able to procure an exit row seat for this flight. The next day, I went to the Wake Forest-North Carolina game in Winston-Salem (who doesn’t pass up 10th row seats – I don’t!), then booked it straight for the airport. Went straight to security when I arrived at the airport, where there was absolutely no line (maybe 2-3 people in front of me). I did the standard security routine (laptop out, belt and shoes off, etc.) and for once the detector set off. I took my wallet out and put that through the X-ray machine, and nothing went off this time, preventing me from being haraSSSSed. Took a quick stroll through the concourse: not much going on: a DL MD-88 and a couple of CRJs/ERJs. Thus, with about 45 minutes before my flight, I stopped into the US Airways Club, which is, in my mind, the best thing at GSO.
The US Airways club, in terms of facilities, is nothing special. They recently renovated the furniture, which was quite nice, as the furniture was showing age when I was there a month ago. The club has a small bar, a small lounge area, a reading room (copies of magazines and newspapers with lounge chairs), about 6 workstations (pretty much just cubicles), and a small conference room. However, the service there is exceptional. The times I’ve been there, the ladies have just been the most pleasant airline employees I’ve experienced, and the bartender is quite a nice guy. Anyway, this time, I just headed for the bar, had a Coke, and watched the Pittsburgh – Jets game on the screen. The lounge attendant informed me when the PHL flight was boarding, which was a very nice touch, as it allowed me to stay in the lounge as late as possible. I left the lounge about 1735 and hopped right on board, dropping my suitcase at the bottom of the stairs. I was the last one on board, and a few minutes later we started our taxi.
We taxied down to Runway 5, where there was nobody in front of us. We quickly took off, and were on our way to Philadelphia. Don’t know the exact details of this flight, but flight time was about 48 minutes. Routing had us cutting up north to the Washington area, then just east of Baltimore going over Delaware and South Jersey. No idea on altitude. Service for this flight was pretty dull, just the standard bag of pretzels and a Coke. Our flight attendant wasn’t the most enthusiastic person on this flight, not showing much care for the flight, and calling our destination Philly…not Philadelphia. Anyway, during this flight, I just relaxed and did some work (work = the story of my life). Load on this flight was maybe about 15 people, so it was a pretty empty flight.
Due to our early push back and short flying time, we landed in PHL at 1840, a good 40 minutes early. We came in over South Jersey, coming in onto Runway 35…my first time using this runway. Due to our early arrival, we were sent to a penalty box at the end of the runway, since our gate was occupied until 1910. They tried looking for another gate for us to use, but couldn’t find one. So, after just waiting it out for a half-hour, we finally got cleared to taxi back across 17/35 for the short taxi to F38.
In PHL, I figured I’d watch the Eagles-Jets game. The bars were quite full, so I decided to go to the US Airways Club. Since I’d never been to Terminal A, I figured I’d use this club. The club is very impressive…very airy, open feel, very modern feel. I went to the bar, had another Coke and some pretzels, and watched the game with 2 other passengers and the bartender, who was also a very nice club worker. After spending an hour or so there, I proceeded down to my BOS flight, which was a decent hike away in C.
15 January 2005
US Airways 368
Depart: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Scheduled Departure: 2030 Local
Actual Departure: 2042 Local
Departure Gate: C24
Arrive: Boston – Logan International Airport (BOS)
Scheduled Arrival: 2155 Local
Actual Arrival: 2130 Local
Arrival Gate: B23
Equipment: Airbus A321-211
Seat: 9F (Exit Row)
Another lightly loaded flight, maybe about 40 people on board the A321 up to Boston. Boarding started a few minutes late, with passengers coming in from FLL (the flight’s original point), and then they boarded Groups 1 and 2, of which I would guess that a good 40% of the plane boarded (all were legit Groups 1/2, as they were in the front of coach or first class). Anyway, boarding took all of 10 minutes, and we had to wait for some traffic in the alley to clear out.
After waiting a few minutes, we were cleared out to 27L, where we were behind a US Airways A330, and we were off quickly. Service for tonight was just a beverage service, but I had brought a slice of pizza on board, so I wasn’t complaining.
Anyway, not much going on for this flight. I relaxed by watching a tv episode on my laptop (thank you Igo Juice for powering my laptop during this time) and just sitting in my seat (after a long day, it was a good way to relax).
Our routing for this flight basically took us over the Kennedy area, up the Connecticut shore into Rhode Island, over PVD, and into Boston. We came in over Winthrop and touched down in Boston at about 9:30, 25 minutes early. We had to hold for our gate to be ready, and we quickly taxied in.
During my short stay in Boston, I basically just went to the Pats-Colts game. Woke up early, tailgated all day, went to the game, went back to my parents to sleep, and got up nice and early the next day.
17 January 2005
US Airways 3099 (opb Chautauqua Airlines)
Depart: Boston – Logan Int’l Airport (BOS)
Scheduled Departure: 0945 Local
Actual Departure: 0945 Local
Departure Gate: B9A
Arrive: Greensboro Int’l Airport (GSO)
Scheduled Arrival: 1154 Local
Actual Arrival: 1154 Local
Arrival Gate: 42
Equipment: Embraer ERJ-145 LR
Registration: N275SK (or N298SK, it’s 3:12 a.m. and I’m too tired to check my notes)
Seat: 9A (Exit Row)
So yes, this is what I do. I do my regular work until 3 a.m. on Saturday nights (after losing some money in poker of course), and then I finally finish my trip report.
So, I arrived at the airport at about 8:30 for my flight. Security was empty, maybe 3 people in front of me. Not much was going on in the US Airways terminal, a couple of A321s, a few ERJs, Beechs and Dash 8s, a Continental 737, a Delta Shuttle 737, an Independence CRJ, and an ATA 737. Thus, I proceeded over to the US Airways Shuttle part of the terminal, and from there, I could kind of see departures going on over my head.
Boarding started around 9:30, I boarded in Zone 1. This flight was pretty loaded, maybe 40-45 people on board. We pushed back on time, but we just sat for quite a few minutes, as quite a few US Airways jets were pushing back with us. We taxied out to Runway 9 behind a United 737 in the new colours, which was nice (I have seen plenty of 757s in this livery with them being at TIMCO in GSO quite often), and we were off.
Flight time today was 2 hours. Service was very professional, the F/A was smiling constantly throughout the flight. Service was standard US service, a Coke and a bag of pretzels (doesn’t get old, does it?). This flight, I just did some more work (I had an important meeting that afternoon) – nothing too noteworthy.
We picked up some favourable winds I guess, since we were coming into GSO quite early. We did a downwind approach, with those of us on the A side getting a nice view of the field. We came back around and did a landing on Runway 5. Not too much activity at the field, a CO ERJ was holding for us, and at the terminal were a Delta 737, American Eagle CRJ-700, and a United Express CRJ in the new colours.
I quickly deplaned, grabbed my carry-on from the rack, and was back in North Carolina.
Sadly, I don’t have a trip scheduled for the next month. But March might make up for that – it might be at least one trip every week, with some weeks having two trips – could be a lot of time sitting in planes. April is empty right now as well unfortunately, May has me going to Boston and possibly Los Angeles (if I do have to go to LAX, it would be the day before I go to Boston, and my Boston itinerary is going via MCO and CVG, so in 36 hours, I would fly GSO-CLT-LAX-CLT-GSO-MCO-CVG-MHT, a distance of 6449 miles on 7 flights.