This is my first trip report, so bare with me. LOL. And I'm glad to fly US again. going to Florida to stay with family for spring break.
Sunday Mar. 27
BWI-PHL 737-300 N532AU
scheduled to leave at 6:35pm
Got to BWI around 4:20pm, said goodbyes to mom, then went to check in. The line was VERY short, I found this unusual, but I found out why later on. I used the check in kiosk which was way easier than I thought, a very helpful agent put the slip on my bag and gave me my boarding passes. This process took no more than 10min.
I had a lot of time so I decided to go and check out the observation area in the airport. This was only the 3nd time I've been there and it was really cool. saw several departures off 15R...WN 737NG, NW DC-9, AA 757..and a couple others. after that, i walked around for a while, to a little store that sells everything from souvenirs to magazines. i saw some little toy airplanes that i had to have, but they had no price on them. i asked the woman at the cashier and man was she a rude b****, so i was like, forget it, and proceeded to walk to my gate.
I soon found out why the check-in line was so short. Everyone was in the security line. it was the line to get into the D gates. it wraped around al the way to the Airtran and United check-in counters, down a long hallway, then to the zig-zag roped off trails to security. those of you who are familiar with BWI, you know what im talking about. i stood in line for a little over 30min, but at least the line was moving at an ok pace. once at security, i did the usual..taking off the shoes, and the jacket, having boarding pass and ID ready. Pretty much normal stuff.
I finally got to my gate, D26, around where i sat down and ate some candy. there were these groupe of little girls tossing a ball to eachother..when it hit the back of my head, thats when i decided to move. i moved to a seat closer to the windows. There, i saw a US 737-400 N439US at the neighboring gate( D24). i also saw a F9 plane push back. couldnt tell if it was A319 or A318, but it had what looked like a bison on the tail. then i saw our plane roll out and taxi towards the gate. i think the pilot used to be a nascar driver because he was speeding through the taxiways and turning corners VERY fast. and the plane was in BAD shape. it was the worst looking US 733 ive ever seen. Major paint job is needed.
boarding started. i was in Zone 3, my seat was 20F. when i walked onto the plane, i was surprised to see how good condition the interior was, not like the exterior. Sure it was showing its age, but it was clean and the seats didnt look too worn. i was pleased to see this. i would say the load factor on this flight was about 85-95%, full flight. Also, one of the FA's was REALLY good looking, the hottest FA ive ever seen. lol. she looked white to me, but she could have been mixed with something else because her skin was a little dark to be all white. maybe hispanic or something, i dunno. but damn was she sexy.lol. but anyway, we took off about ontime to PHL, into the now dark sky. and it was drizzling. it was really cool because we were in the clouds the whole way and the landing /takeoff lights were not turned off. it created a cool effect on the clouds. the blinking strobes lit up the clouds all around us. its kinda hard to descibe, but it was cool. i was also surprised at the smoothness of the flight since we were in clouds the whole way, there was some turbulence but not alot. it was a short flight, but one of the best 737 flights ive ever had. upon landing, i saw that we were sort of following the delaware river, and we got very low, then landed softly onto PHL runway( i dont know what runway, does anyone else know?) we rolled out and went speeding through the taxi ways very fast( with speed racers in the cockpit). then we got to the gate, B1, overall, this was a very good flight, ontime and nice crew(especially that one FA, he he). i got off the plane and proceeded to my connection to FLL, down the moving walkway to the C terminals. which brings me to my next flight!
PHL-FLL 757-200 sorry i didnt get the reg. number on this one.
scheduled takeoff time was 8:30...it was late, read on to find out why...
I got to the C terminal and walked down to gate C29 for my flight to FLL. and the fun begins here. the terminal was a MESS! i know PHL isnt the best cleanest, nicest airport, but damn. the terminal was dirty and congested. maybe its just the C terminal, because i know all of PHL isnt like this. the plane i was supposed to be on was delayed. around 8pm, scheduled boarding time, the agent came over the pa and said that the plane is circling the airport and should be at the gate shortly. i knew it would be some time before i got to board, and i was hungry, so i went up to the Sbarro and got a big slice of sausage pizza. i then went back down to the gate, which was so crowded, i found somewhere to sit at an abandoned gate counter across from C28. there i ate my pizza(which was good) and watched people board the delayed flight to seattle out of gate C28. i then went to try and find a seat in the mass of people near the window. i was lucky. i got a chair facing the sindow. it was dark, and i was dissapointed i could not see the planes takeoff, even though the runway was right in front of me out the window. i could see the lights and hear the sound of planes taking off( does anyone know what runway that was, im assuming it was 27L). i then found out that the huge crowd of people were all waiting to be on my flight, so the flight was very full, again. id say close to, if not 100% full. boarding finally started, i was in Zone 6, and my seat was 23A. when i got on the plane, i could tell that this was one of the older 757's in US's fleet. its age was certainly showing, but again, it was clean and the seats were decent. well, departure time came and went. we sat at the gate for a while. then they said we cant leave yet because the plane needed to be catered. i thought, ok...at least i wont be missing anything, it was getting late and didnt matter if i was late getting into FLL. as i was sitting at the gate, i was 2 very nice looking US A321's push back, and eventually i saw them take off. i saw alot of takeoffs, a few were: 2 US A330, several US 737, and A320/319, ERJ, and CRJ's, a couple WN 737, and a US 762, all of them kicking up spray from the wet runway(i love seeing that)
So we finally pushed back, flight was 1hour behind, i wasnt too upset, at least i wasnt in a hurry to get down there, it was only 1 hour. our cruising altitude was gonna be 30,000 ft, so i thought, ok, we will get above the clouds and it will be a smooth flight all the way. i was wrong. it wasnt smooth. it was bumpy and i was wondering when the captain would say, ok we've reached our cruising altitude, and all that. well, he said it, but it was still turbulent. we never got on top of the clouds. it was a little like the BWI-PHL flight, clouds all the way. and it was bumpy, but i liked it. i kept dozing off, but i didnt go to sleep. eventually, we got closer to florida, and as we got closer, the weather got clearer, i could see some stars, and the moon. we started our descent into FLL, which was interesting. all those lights in south florida look amazing at night from a plane. we then flew low over I-95 made a hard landing from the west( i think it was 9L) and used a lot of runway to slow down. arrival was scheduled for 11:25pm, but it was about 12:30am when we landed. we then proceeded to the gate, terminal E, not sure which gate it was, but it was on the opposite side of the terminal that was facing the main runway, we parked next to another US 757, i also saw the star alliance livery US 757, US 734, US A319, and a few other ones. i was tired and ready to get to my grandparents house in beautiful Boca Raton. but still had to wait to get off the plane, it took forever because i was in the back of a long, full plane. Finally i deplaned, and went to baggage claim, i was glad that my bag was one of the first off. i saw my grandmother walk in and went to greet her. we then went outside to arrivals pick-ups, where, if you are familiar with FLL, it was a mad house..as usual. the cops there are a**holes, if a car sits there for more then 10seconds, they blare their sirens at you. My grandfather was PISSED! . but then, he came up with the idea of, instead of going through the hassle at arrivals at the bottom level, the next time i go down there, ill get my luggage, then go upstairs to departures and wait there. i dont know, but ill try it next time and see if it's better.
Yet another great experience on US?:-l but im confused, isnt US a terrible airline that is supposed to go under any day now?? nah..from having just flown them, i dont think they will be gone anytime soon. Every flight was full, or almost full, so obviously, people arent avoiding US because of their financial situation. i think this shows that no matter how bad an airline is doing, as long as passengers have a good experience, they keep flying that airline.
This was PART 1 of my trip. Look for the part 2, the return trip, FLL-PIT-BWI(which was today) some time soon. i have to go back to school tomorrow , so ill try to make time to write it. during my flights, i tried to remember as much as i could so i could put it all into my trip report, so bare with me if its a little under-detailed.
[Edited 2005-04-03 23:24:09]
[Edited 2005-04-03 23:25:14]