I am now finally getting around to creating part 2 of this very long trip report. Some of you may remember my attempt to create a first person view of a trip report in part one. As a result of the pending difficulty, I am deciding to write this report as I write my other trip reports.
This was my last mainline trip before 9/11. Many things have now changed since then. During part one, I took the morning 747-400 flight from San Francisco to Chicago where I was seated in the United first cabin. I was in suite 5J. During that flight I ate the omelet meal. It was ok, nothing to really write home about. During that flight, I enjoyed the movie "The Family Man" on my personal screen. I selected that movie from a box of tapes that the purser Jeff passed around.
On this august afternoon, Chicago was very rainy with a thunderstorm. That did not delay our flight from an on-time arrival but did delay my outbound 727 flight. This was to be my last 727 flight, and I had a very memorable experience.
I finally went to board my flight to Indianapolis from gate B4. After enjoying a pizza lunch and the tunnel of lights I was off. Our scheduled departure time was to be at 3:40. I boarded the plane around 3:20 p.m., placed my roller sideways into the overhead bin and took my window seat of 4D. This was in the last row of the First Class cabin on the 727.
I was dressed in a white button down shirt, tie, and slacks. There were these two girls who were quite attractive in my opinion were quite attractive. They started talking with me, and I did not notice that 3:40 had come and gone. These girls were buddy pass riders going to PDX. For one of the girls, it was her second time flying…ever. While talking with them, I noticed that catering came and replaced the galley. We continued to talk until one of the members of the flight deck crew interrupted over the PA system and said that we were going to take a brief mechanical delay. The delay wasn’t a problem; I was dealing with it in my sorta way.
Around 4:15, the captain said that they have figured out what the problem is and are waiting for it to come from maintenance. He did mention that they were having a hard time finding the part. The crew, both flight attendants and pilots became visible in the cabin, as did mechanics in the cockpit. We were allowed to get off of the plane and stretch our legs.
The fairly senior IAD based crew began a beverage service through out the entire plane. They kept cups and glasses topped off during our lengthy delay…even in the main cabin. Way to go UA!
I got off of the plane and grabbed a cinnamon roll from a desert stand near the gate. I brought it back on the plane with me, and settled into my seat. It was now about 4:45, an hour into our delay. With growing concerns about the flight being canceled, I called my mom and informed her of the situation. I told her that in the event of the flight being cancelled that I would try to hop a SFO or SJC flight back home.
My conversations continued with the 17-year-old girl as well as the 19-year-old girl. They were making the most out of the delay, asking the f/as to tell stories and saying "hi" to passing passengers. Quite amusing if you ask; although, they were not following proper non-rev edique (sp?).
Close to 5pm, actor Greg Kinnear (sp?) boarded the plane and took seat 4C. The two girls went gaa-gaa over him and left little-ole’-Daivd to fend for himself.
Greg came in off of the CDG flight and opted to take this IND flight as it would get him in earlier than the next one which he was booked on. He busied himself in a magazine, but he and I did end up talking. He thought that 727 was a piece of shit, and I told him that they were not going to be around much longer.
Finally, around 5:50, we started our pushback form gate B4. I had watched planes come and go from the gate next to mine. I couldn’t even hear the engines start up as we began pushing. One of the two guy f/as worked as the purser and the lady (named Monica) was the greater. The other guy demonstrated the safety features in first and in the front of Y class.
We taxied for about 10 minutes just to come to a stop. The engines were shut down, and the seatbelt sign turned off. The captain said that we had departed in the late afternoon rush and we are going to have to wait until it is our turn to depart. Next to us was an AA eagle ERJ135.
People came up from coach to use our restroom, as well as the fact that after about 8 cupfulls of soda, I too used it. Greg was pissed about coach passengers using it, and he hit behind a copy of Time magazine.
Around 6:30, we taxied into position and held. Moments later, United 590 began rolling for take off, 2 hours and 50 minutes late. I couldn’t really hear the engines spool up. I just remembered our climb to be very weak. After climbing to a little over 100 feet, we began to turn and felt almost as if we were dropping. I was like "Great" in a very sarcastic I’m going to die way. Then we came out of the turn, and climbed up into the clouds.
From here on out the flight was very very bumpy as we flew over the southern Illinois then into Missouri and back into Indiana. The flight attendants tried to serve a very quick round of beverages on this flight, but opted to sit down instead as it was very bumpy.
Around 7 p.m. we had begun our decent into IND. Looking towards the bulkhead, I could feel the lane roll a bit from side to side, and the bumps increased. There were several bright flashes in the dark Indy sky at this time. Cabin lights were turned to low for landing.
We finally splashed down on the wet Indy runway. In the distance I could see the last UAL CRJ flight taxing out to IAD. The pilot came over and told us that we were the last flight tonight to make it to IND. All other UA flights that night had diverted to STL. I’m so glad that I didn’t get diverted.
We finally came up to some gate, and then waited and waited for an agent to pull up and open the door. Finally, around 7:30 I was off. Phew.
I headed up to Purdue to visit a friend of mine who posts on airliners.net as Purdue Arrow. I had two fun filled days, and then came back home on August 20th.
The morning of the 20th, I took the Lafayette Limo back to Indianapolis for my flight. I was going to take the same routing back home, but opted against it as the flights were not looking good at all out of Chicago. I ended up waiting and waiting for my CRJ flight to IAD where I’d have no problem getting home.
I checked in at 9:15am at the gate. The agents said that they would call me up in a while to give me seats. I called my dad, and he told me to keep a look out for someone that he knew. I did not run into them. Around 9:45, we were called to board the flight, and I was the second or third to go onboard.
I walked down the jetway, and then down stairs hooked up to the front of it. There was the shinning ACA CRJ. Ship 634 or N634BR.
My roller was green-tagged for gate side arrival in IAD. The flight attendant wearing a white and purple pinstriped shirt greeted me. I took my left side window seat behind the exit row. In the seat pocket, there was a safety card, a copy of Hemispheres and other magazines and reading materials.
Promptly at 10:10, the door was raised into its closed position, and we began a pushback. "Rumble Rumble, woo-woo" was heard from the engine as it started. The flight attendant gave a fragmented safety demo stoping after each section to demonstrate the features. On SkyWest they wait to do the demo until they have conducted the announcements.
We had a taxi that seemed to take forever, but we got air-born quickly. En-route to IAD this morning, we were served beverages and sugar cookies. I ended up asking the flight attendant for some more cookies as I was hungry. I noticed how cold the CRJ gets again, and got my jacket out of my bag and put it on.
The flight in itself was boring but had some interesting views. We landed in IAD and taxied to our gate. We were there at 12:40pm.
Across from me on that flight was an older UAL male f/a. After getting off of the CRJ with a neck ache I took the shuttle bus over to the mid field concourse. On the bus, he and I were the only ones and we ended up talking. He was out of uniform but not hard to spot as a f/a and he spotted me as a non-rev. He left, and I went on my merry way.
For those of you who have ever been to IAD around 1pm, it is so boring. The United terminal is practically empty with the exception of an ORD and a BOS 737 flight. I headed over to the B concourse to check that out and to get some better cuisine.
Over there, I walked around, grabbed some food, bought some books, and made some phone calls. At around 2:20, I headed back to gate C27 to check in for my SFO flight.
UA215 was supposed to be an A320 with first class availability. It was downgraded to an A319, and there were bumps into coach. The flight it self was to be very lightly loaded.
Around 3pm, I was called to board, and handed seat 9D. The aisle in the exit row. I sad my thanks to the agent and got on the plane. I boarded the A319 for my first flight on one. I did not notice any real difference from that to the A320.
Around 3:20, we pushed back from the gate, and began our taxi. Channel 9 was on during this flight as well as all of my UA flights during this trip. We took off heading west at 3:42 and climbed to altitude.
Finally another movie besides Shrek was shown. Shows how much I remember. I ended up reading one of the two books that I bought in IAD. The Big Book of Hell by the Simpson’s creator. Also during the flight, I headed back to the galley and conversed with the flight attendants. Jason, I think his name was seemed to take an interest to talking with me. Hmmm…
The meals were served. This time, I go the roast beef, served with a side of mixed veggies, and mashed potatoes. There was also a small salad, ranch dressing, breadsticks and cookies. It was really good, and I enjoyed it.
I ended up talking with the flight attendants for most of the flight as there was nothing else to do. Jason wanted to color in the pictures in my book. We ended up talking about inflight catering and he made me try the chicken. He walked to my seat on his way to the front of the plane, opened my tray table, dropped the meal entrée, and a fork. I wasn’t expecting that.
Around 5:30pm, we began our decent into SFO over the Fresno area. Channel 9 began to get interesting as we moved into the bay area.
We touched down at 5:50pm and taxied all of the way to gate 74 at the very end of the UA terminal. I called my dad who said that he was enroute to SFO as we speak.
I left the airport via the international terminal and met my dad.
That puts an end to a very long trip
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