I travelled to California last week in search of housing in the bay area and to do some interviewing with my current employer in a new location.
Washington National (DCA) to Phoneix, AZ (PHX)
America West Airlines flight 49 - - - scheduled departure time: 730AM
I arrived at check in about 50-60 minutes prior to departure time. Seeing an incredibly long line that early in the morning just spelled trouble. Anyways, it turned out that the flight was going to be two hours late due to crew rest. Apparantely the flight the pervious night from PHX was quite late. Anyways, it was ok, as the agent booked me on a later connecting flight to San Francisco.
I believe we departed about 9h45 or so. This segment was not crowded at all.
I was seated in seat 19A, with no one else in my row. The food served was ok... a breaded omlette with fruit. A movie was shown, and we, of course, arrived in Phoenix two or more hours late.
Upon arriving, I flound out that my flight to San Fracisco was going to be delayed two hours as well!!!!!! I think I was cursed that day. To make things a little better, I asked to be put on a different flight to Oakland. Fortunately there was enough room!
Phoneix (PHX) to Oakland, California (OAK)
America West Airlines 625 - - - Scheduled departure time: 127pm
This flight was quite full. I was seated towards the rear in seat 15E. There was a beverige service, no snacks. We flew over Nevada and the inland desart of California, approaching OAK from the eastern suburbs and Mt Diablo (where I will be moving to next month.) Landing was smooth, full reverse was applied, and we arrived right on time.
I took the BART to downtown SF, and moved on to Contra Costa later. On the 5th of June, I made my return to DC.
San Francisco (SFO) - Las Vegas, NV (LAS) - Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
America West Airlines flight 5 - - - scheduled dearture time 725am
The night before this flight, I was staying in San Bruno. I had a fantastic view of departing a/c. I saw at least 3 UA 744's, a NW 742, a couple of UA 772's....
When I returned the car to the airport that night, you could hear them rotating right outside of the garage. It was great.
This was the FRIST time I have ever flown first class. Needless to say I was happy. I was in seat 2A. The seats were blue/grey leather with adjustable headrests. The service on this particular flight was very good. The flight attendant introduced herself to us before the other passengers boarded and poured drinks. The flight to Nevada was just over an hour I beleive. We landed in LAS and I deplaned to walk around a little bit. I reboarded 40 mins later.
More first class passengers on this segment than on the previous one. We had to wait 5 minutes at the threshhold of the runway - due to FAA something or other. The flight into Phoneix was only 45 minutes.
Segemnt 4 (The hardest)
Phoneix Arizona (PHX) - Washington National (DCA)
America West Airlines flight 46 - - - Scheduled departure 240pm
We all got on the plane - I was in seat 3B. The 757's first class defintely had more legroom, but the interior wasn't as nice looking, or feeling. Ok. So I had been in Phonenix 3 or more hours during the connection. The pilot decided to arrive late & as a result, all of his paperwork was not completed on time for pushback. To make things worse, the FA's were saying something about the audio-visual system not working. Later, 20 minutes perhaps, the planes power source in the rear of the A/C broke down. It got HOT. Understandable considering the 95+ degree temps outside. A few water bottles later we departed. I think rotation was about 2hours and 15 minutes late. The FA was not terribly friendly. The serive was nice though. Tablecloth, china, you know. We had a salad, chicken and cheeze empanada for appetizer, blacked fish with asparagus for main course, and a watermelon pie made out of different flavours of sorbet for dessert. The movie shown was Proof of Life. We took a very southerly course over the Texas panhandle, Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia before turning north towards DC. (We were delayed further in PHX to add 3000lbs of fuel for this route - as to avoid the bad storms the pilot said.) We approached DCA from the west - flying over IAD, Falls Church, then turning south to land down the river - past Georgetown, the monument etc. We must have landed far down the runway because full reverse and some heavy braking were applied. When we turned off, I saw how close to the end we were!
I hope i haven't bored you... too much.
Too bad I won't be flying to make my move to CA.