Worst is pretty easy:
US Airways Express (opb Mesa), CRJ-900, ATL
. We board the CRJ-900, which in the US Airways configuration is absolutely wretched - same ol' regular CRJ seat pitch, misaligned windows and to boot, the seats are rock hard and super-thin. Not comfortable at all.
So we board, and we sit. And we sit. Finally, after about 30 minutes past departure, the captain finally gets on and says there was a slight ground-hold into CLT
(strange, given great weather in the Southeast on a Saturday night at 8 p.m., not exactly peak traffic time...but oh well, I guess I'll accept it...), so we taxi out towards Rwy 26R. However, as we taxi, we take a route as if we're going to the new runway - OK
, nothing too absurd. But before crossing 26L/08R, we make a turn on the taxiway, and all of a sudden, I know we're in trouble. So, finally, after another 15 minutes, we're told that we're back in a groundhold and taking another hit for an hour. Of course though, the captain says all the other flights are delayed because of this same hold, so our connections our good.
Knowing the weather in CLT
, knowing that the FAA website showed no delays into CLT
before leaving the Crown Room to go to the gate (thank God I'm a member there, even when stuck on US) and knowing what I know from travelling a lot (90+ flights this year as a revenue passenger), I got on the phone and made arrangements for someone to pick me up in CLT
(fortunately, my final destination was GSO
, so not too far of a drive for someone to come get me).
During this time, the F/A starts getting on the intercom about how "our special crew" (her exact words) would do us a favor and come through the cabin with beverages, despite this flight calling for no-service (crock that is, since I got a full service on my US mainline flight CLT
that morning on a 737, and I've gotten full service plenty of times on CLT
on Delta). She was going out of her way to shower praise on herself, which absolutely disgusted me - you don't deserve any special praise for doing your job, and it got real old having to hear her talk about herself for 15 minutes while I (and several others, with captain's permission over the intercom) using our cell phones to make arrangements since I had little faith in making my connection.
In flight was nothing special - the standard (for April) US Airways service on a 250 mile hop. I simply worked during the flight.
Upon landing, she went back into the whole spiel about this being a "special flight crew" etc.. When someone had the audacity to unbuckle 5 feet away from the gate (not getting up, but simply unbuckling; not something you're supposed to do, but no major sin as long as you stay seated), she gets on the intercom and says that she will call the captain and tell him to stay there until everyone's seat belt is back on - she then gets up and does a manual inspection of everyone's seat belts, wasting about 10 minutes of everyone's time (and causing a few more missed connections). I understand the safety need, but come on - if you're seated, you're fine. She then finally gets back on the mike once the door is opened and gives us one more self-gloss announcement.
On the way out the door, I told her that I thought the over-the-top self-gloss was way too much and uncalled for, and that this United Premier Executive and Star Alliance Gold would avoid Mesa Airlines for any future travel. I have no patience for someone that's going to make themselves seem like the greatest thing like sliced bread when you're doing nothing special.
Best flight: Hmmm. I've had several great ones, such as the crew on a BA
747 inviting me up to the Flight Deck during flight over Newfoundland (an experience of a lifetime - this happened back in 2000). Had several great Delta crews - one on an ATL
flight that was the definition of above and beyond service (was fortunate to have him on a flight the next day as well!) and another on a GSO
Another great flight was my one flight on a DC-10, Continental MCO
back in the 1990s. Was flying in BusinessFirst, my first time in an international premium product (flew regular First Class a lot by that point, but never a seat like BF
). Was great having all that recline, etc. Meals were choice of lobster or stuffed chicken, salad, roll and ice cream. Was absolutely great meal, especially on a 937 mile flight.