ANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3500 times:
I took some pictures, but not being a photographer, they are of dubious quality and therefore I shall not post them . . . .
ANC-DEN-BHM-DEN-ANC on UA 10/8 and 10/14.
A320 N409UA ANC-DEN
Scheduled 2355 - 0615
Arrived at ANC my usual 2 ½ hours early. Check in took less than 2 minutes including the time taken to get boarding passes reprinted since the automatic check in machine ate the first set.
Bag appropriately tagged with the Priority tag and I handed it over to the TSA. Silly question I got was, are there any weapons inside? Wonder why he asked that since there was no tag on the bag that said firearms. Maybe I just look like “weapons” type. “No”, I answered. The bag disappeared behind the wall. It was apparently not searched since I had no “Friendly” notice from the TSA that they had rummaged through my belongings upon my arrival in BHM.
With the extra time at ANC I headed to the nearest establishment from which I could obtain a libation or three. Met some people I know there and consumed mass quantities until 45 minutes before my flight was due to board.
Clearing Security was simple enough, and the Priority Lines for F Class and VVFF passengers made it easier. A single lane and 12 TSA morons on duty at 11:15 this evening.
Boarding commenced about as soon as I arrived at the gate. Seat 1B. Pre-flight drinks offered and accepted.
Push back on time, and departure was swift off runway 32. Still prefer the climb on the good old B757 but the A320 will have to do.
Twenty minutes after departure the service in F began, fruit and cheese plate, and wine for me. The wine glass was refilled, even if I was napping, and the service was exceptional. The single drawback was one of the Y F/As constantly coming forward to piss and moan about the passengers in the aft cabin. Sitting in 1B it was easy to overhear her constant complaining.
Movie was started and restarted and restarted. Most of the Y Cabin could only listen to “Batman Begins” in Spanish. I didn’t care, I listened to channel 9.
Arrival in DEN was 15 minutes ahead of schedule on RWY 16L.
A-Net member An-225 met me at the gate and we had a visit. Stand up guy and I appreciate his taking the time to meet me at the plane. He was soon off to work on the UA Ramp and I had another three hours to kill in DEN. I didn’t leave B terminal as I had already explored DEN on previous trips. Further I was tired from the ANC-DEN redeye so I relaxed a bit. About an hour prior to departure to BHM I hopped the moving sidewalks from one end of B to the other. I noticed a line up of UA aircraft at the maintenance hanger that included a B777, B767, B757 and B737. Interestingly they were lined up by size. Nope, no pictures.
I did see an AS734 and plenty of UA and F9 aircraft of course.
I was pleasantly surprised at the F Seats on these newer CRJ700s. Quite comfortable. Plenty of leg room – enough so that I could not touch the bulkhead with my foot while seated upright. Single drawback – the placement of the windows. In order to look out you must lean forward about a foot. There is a bulkhead directly adjacent to the seat. Otherwise, excellent ride. Very quiet, save the usual air flying by outside.
Departure was off RWY 8, and there was a smooth, quick climb out.
I had intended to checkout the snack box on this flight, but they weren’t loaded. No explanation given, simply “they weren’t loaded”. Unfortunate. Glad I brought a salad on board from one of the over-priced eateries at DEN.
I slept nearly the entire flight. Arrival in BHM was 10 minutes early on RWY 6.
Luggage took a half hour to hit the belt? But I didn’t really mind since I was now visiting with my Mother and my daughter. I did notice the Priority Tag on my bag was rather irrelevant.
In Flight: 8 (Windows in the F Cabin)
Arrival: 8 (Baggage Delivery)
Meal/Snack: 0 (not there)
CRJ700 NXXXSK DEN-BHM
Check in was fast and my bags were tagged appropriately (Priority Tag), not that it appears to matter to anyone at UA how they are tagged. I guess we’re lucky that they arrive at their destination period.
Met another A-Net Member, BHMBAGLOCK, at BHM for lunch. Great guy. We visited for about an hour, and then it was time to put my daughter on her NW flight to MSP-CID.
Cleared TSA with my gate pass to escort Miranda to her plane. Interestingly the TSA did a hand search on her bag. Apparently they had never seen a Clarinet before? (My daughter had her clarinet in her carry-on). Alas, we’re still saddled with the TSA idiots.
Once my daughter’s plane had pushed I had to change terminals, which of course means another bout with the TSA idiots. I watched my daughters CRJ200 depart and within seconds my UA Express CRJ700 arrived.
Boarding was quick, and I occupied seat 1A once again for the three hour ride to Denver. Departure was off RWY 6 and we climbed quickly with a wide sweeping turn over the city and headed directly to Memphis. No IFE on these CRJs, so no Channel 9. But it was a very clear day and dead reckoning navigation was easy.
Interesting note. Once again, excuses from the F/As that the snack boxes hadn’t been loaded in DEN. This must be the standard save money tactic by SkyWest and/or UA . . . “don’t load any snack boxes . . . we’ll save thousands of $$”. Fortunately, I had the smarts to eat prior to boarding, so the small bag of cheese crackers was sufficient, along with the ample supply of Vodka.
Uneventful flight back to DEN. Great cabin crew, nice new CRJ700. Arrived 18 minutes early in Denver on RWY 16L. A welcomed additional 18 minutes to get to my next gate.
In Flight: 8 (Windows in the F Cabin)
Meal/Snack: 0 (not there)
A319 NXXXUA DEN-ANC
United substituted an A319 for the scheduled A320. That meant there were 4 less F seats. Anyone in row three in F was now re-accommodated in Y. There were 4 unhappy passengers. This is one reason I always ask for row 1 or 2 in F. Preferably row 1.
The 319 was clean and looked reasonably new. Great seats. Especially the wings on the headrest that keep ones head from bouncing around. I didn’t need to inflate my neck pillow on any leg of this trip.
Pre-departure glass of ice water (everything was offered by the F/A). A quick glance at Hemispheres to check the entertainment. It wouldn’t matter, as I listen to channel 9. Hemispheres continues to be one of the best in-flight magazines in the industry I believe.
We pushed from gate B46 a few minutes early and were soon airborne off RWY 25. We climbed out over Wyoming and got clearance for direct to Whitehorse. This effectively cut out 30 minutes of flying time.
Cabin crew on this leg was awesome, efficient, friendly and attentive yet not intrusive. One of the best F/As I’ve had in a long while. My last trip, on NW, I’d have sworn we had a Drill Sergeant in the F Cabin . . .
Dinner service began with mixed warm nuts. A glass or three of wine to accompany the nuts and the chicken I selected for the entrée. Everything, except the desert, came on the tray at once. It was not bad at all. Ice Cream for dessert with another glass or three of wine. I fell into a welcome sleep as we crossed over central Montana. I awoke abeam the town of Yakutat Alaska on a clear night. I could identify Valdez, Alaska in the distance and eventually, the small hamlet of Whittier Alaska. We got clearance to begin our decent and were told to expect arrival on 7R.
A clear night afforded great views of Anchorage and other air traffic. Smooth landing 35 minutes early, and we were done. Baggage took almost 40 minutes to hit the belt, and apparently, United’s rampers still haven’t figured out that Big Orange PRIORITY Tag on baggage means it should be on the belt first. Everyone that flew in the F cabin with me, save one passenger waited until the last bags hit the belt to claim their luggage. So, 52 minutes after landing I finally had my luggage and headed to the taxi stand. So much for the early arrival.
In Flight: 10
Arrival: 5 (Time waiting for luggage and irrelevant Priority tag)
ANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3373 times:
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 5): Very, very nice. Despite my disdain for the CRJ100/200, I might be tempted onto a -700 at some point.
(Now don't anyone mention that the best shot is the one he didn't take himself.)
I always preferred the ERJ over the CRJ, solely because of the 1/2 seating. With the CRJ700, and UAs ExPlus cabin, it has 6 F seats. Can't beat that. Overheads are large enough for my rather large Computer bag as well.
Atrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3354 times:
Great report. I am very tempted to try the CR7. But I always have a choice of mainline when I fly so I choose it (reffering to AA out of STL). I really would like ot try out UAL, but rhe CH 9 service wont have an effect on me because I cannot understand (am hearing impaired).
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
Widget1580 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 345 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3010 times:
Hey! I hope to get up to Alaska again soon! Hopefully get some snowboarding done this winter out in Girdwood. Great TR! I see that's Cracker Barrel you're standing in front of... fun place to work.. NOT.
I agree with the CR7 thing though, rows 1-3 on Comair you have to lean forward to look out so I now know not to sit there anymore.
Also, that plane looks sharp in the new UA colors.
Cracker Barrel in Huntsville, I-565 at exit 8. We met some friends there for lunch from around Madison County and Huntsville area - it was a "central" location for lunch, plus allowed more shopping for my daughter . . .