This is only by second trip on America West, I flew them BDL-LAS in July and was very pleased.
March 3. Flight #53 scheduled to leave JFK 5:40 PM and arrive LAS 8:25 PM. First off, finding the counter is a little tricky in Terminal 7 at JFK. Where the signs direct you, you really can't see the signs above the ticket agents, and there is nothing on the wall behind them, regardless, check in was easy, the agent was friendly. Although I was a little disapointed to learn there would be no meal service on this 5 hour plus flight. We had plenty of time in the airport after quickly clearing security. The terminal is very pleasing to the eye. Food choices were a little limited, and I went for McDonald's. The terminal was very warm, combined with the McDonald's I started to get a headache. We headed for the gate. Gate #2. There is nowhere near enough seating for this gate area. A British Airways flight was getting ready to depart for Manchester at gate #1 so it was very full. We sat on the floor and waited for boarding. The only way we knew the flight was boarding was because people just seemed to start getting up and getting on the plane. Apparently there is no PA for this area. so the gate agents were just calling out the row numbers.
We took off on time. I had 15E. Aircraft was an A320. fully loaded. I opted not to watch the movie. In flight service was one drink and one bag of pretzels for the 5 hour plus flight. I wonder if America West serves any meals, since this has to be one of their longest flights. Aside from the fact that the guy behind me kept kicking my seat. The flight was smooth and took off and arrived on time. The Flight Deck didn't communicate much with us at all however and when they did the PA didn't seem to work very well.
Upon arrival we opted for the shuttle bus service to our hotel and were pleasantly surpsided with a Limousine instead for the same price.
Return flight #51, March 8th. leaving LAS at 1:30 to arrive JFK 9:18 PM.
Arrived at the airport with lots of time to spare, meal choices in Las Vegas were more plentiful. The gate seemed crowded, and I learned the flight, this time on a 757 would also be full. There was a crush to board the plane during the pre board, but the gate agents did a good job turning people away whose row hadn't been called. Still it took forever to board, people just couldn't get settled down. Then we were delayed due to seats that wouldn't go back to the upright position. After maintenance fixed that, we finally took off around 2:30. flying time was a little over 4 hours. The Flight Deck was a little more talkative. Noting that due to 9-11 Coach passengers really shouldn't even think about making a move toward first class. He also pointed out all kinds of landmarks including ground zero as we approached New York. Again, there was only one drink service. This time I got 2 bags of peanuts though. We landed in fog at JFK at 9:15, however it took us 30 minutes to taxi due to the fog. Then it took almost 40 minutes to retrieve our luggage because of a jam in the conveyor belt.
Overall America West left me feeling a little unimpressed this time.