I arrived at the airport around 11:30am for my 1:21 flight. While standing in line I heard the words "weather delays" at Phoenix. I thought to myself this could not be good. I was right.
HP258 TUS-PHX, B737-2G7, N302AW (nc), seat 21D.
Since I was at the airport early I get checking into the now delayed 11:55am departure to Phoenix. We begin to board a little bit after 12:30 and we are all on by five till 1. We waited at the gate for about 15 minutes for our release time. By 1:20, the time I was supposed to leave on the later flight we push back and taxi out to RWY 11L, where we hold for another 5 minutes. On departure from Tucson the winds were pretty strong so you could feel the 737 dance about in the gusty winds. The flight itself was only 35 minutes long so there was no drink service. Though I did see a few people go back to the galley and get bottles of water. We arrive in Phoenix at 2pm landing on RWY 26. Because of the weather delays many departing connections where missed. But most people had already had that taken care of at check-in.
HP 244, PHX-BWI, B757-200, N910AW, seat 12C.
By the time I got to Phoenix the weather had cleared up, but needless to say many planes and crews were not in place. I walked over to gate A24 to check on the status of my flight to Baltimore. No plane there yet, but still showing an on-time departure. I go and grab lunch and head back. Now America West has installed new gate information boards that show why a plane is delayed and gives ETAs and ETDs. It is now showing a 3:50pm departure time, we were supposed to leave at 2:40. So to kill the time I walk the terminal and see what there is to see. By the time I get back still no plane. To make a long story short the plane was held up in Las Vegas for 2 hours. But the gate agents were very good at offering regular updates as to the status of the flight. The plane itself was about 70% full, I was able to grab an aisle seat. B/c we were delayed the f/as handed out headsets for the IFE, which consisted of audio, several shorts, and a movie (See Spot Run). For dinner you had a hot and cold choice. The hot choice was beef ravioli and the cold choice was a Southwestern Chicken Salad. I took the salad which was quite good, the lettuce was crisp and fresh and very filling. Two drink services were offered. We finally got into BWI a little bit after midnight. There were a few more bumps than usual along the way, but weather was a problem that day.
Overall it was a long and tiring day, but not America West's fault. From the moment I checked in in Tucson I was kept well informed about the situation by ground staff and flight crew alike. Which is VERY MUCH appreciated. My only complaint was the situation at BWI. America West now uses the E pier, International Concourse, at BWI. Which despite having a nice ceiling is a rather sterile and dehuman place. One had to walk all the way out of the pier past ticketing down and halfway to the D pier to baggage claim, which appears to be the ONE place in BWI that had not been freshened up. The baggage claim area itself did not have any information signs posted as to which arriving flight was on which carosel. A real mess... something I think I should write the BWI Airport Authority about.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia