Here is a quick 10-day trip to Florida w/my family that I just returned from.
We arrived at PIT with plenty of time to spare before our flight and check-in and security were quick and efficient. We even had the opportunity to eat at TGI Friday's for once instead of running aboard the plane. I used to come to the airport pre-9/11 all the time to eat there and spot. *sigh*
US Airways flight 781
Boeing 757-200 (Surprisingly...My 1st 757!)
Aircraft Reg # N621AU
Departing Gate: B-28
Departing Time: 6:00 PM
Arrival Time: 8:02PM
Arrival Gate: 55
Load factor: 90%
Boarding was quick since there was two agents instead of only one doing the final ID/Boarding pass check as we enter the jetway. We boarded and within about 15 minutes did an engine powered pushback. Since this was US's 6pm push, we were number FIVE for take off. I hardly ever have to wait to take off in PIT more than 2 planes. The planes infront of us that I was able to watch take off were a USX B1900 (still in old color sceme), Comair CRJ, US 752, US A333 (the LGW departure always a treat), and a US 762 (this was either the LAX or CDG departure since directly behind us was the other US 762 waiting for departure). Finally, we were lined up for deprature and luckly my captain decided to make my first 757 departure a memorable one by not hesitating to show off its abilities I have never had a plane shove me back in my seat so much on take off.
Once in the air, the captain gave updates on our position and weather and the F/A commensed the drink(full can)/pretzel service. (Ohhh...how I do miss the pre-9/11 days when these PIT-Florida flights were served those large snack boxes.) The F/A's were friendly, though nothing exceptional. The only thing that made the flight unbearable was of course the dreaded misbehaving 3 year-old that sat directly infront of me. grrrr Oh well, we eventually had a smooth on-time landing at MCO with a NW 752 landing right behind us. We pulled up to gate 55 and deboarded. My plane was going to return north to PHL on its next leg. The only other plane in the whole US part of the terminal was the US MCO-LGA departure.
After doing Disney, Key West, and Macro Island it was time to fly home through Tampa.
We arrived at the airport 2 hours early and checked in. Then me and my dad went on a half hour adventure to attempt to find where the Alamo car-rental return was. We were finally sucessful. We next boarded the train for the short ride to terminal F. Security was a bit slower than at PIT, but not too bad. I must say that the new terminal F was a vast improvement from the old terminal that US flew out of a few years ago the last time I was at TPA (I forget which terminal the old one was...but terminal F of course didn't even come close to rivaling how much I like PIT ) At terminal F was a USX plane to JAX, a US 737 to CLT, an American MD-80, and American ATR to MIA, my US A321 to PIT, and the British Airways 777 to LGW. I have scene numerous BA 744 and 763 in the past...but to surprise you all...this was the first time I have EVER scene BA 777. After eating dinner at Chili's TOO, it was time to go home.
US Airways flight 1648
Departing Gate: F-84
Departing Time: 7:20PM
Arriving Time: 9:25ish
Arriving Gate: B-35
Load Factor: 100%, not one empty seat
We boarded and I got to experience the infamous Airbus phenomenon of the steaming A/C vents when inside the cabin while we were on the ground. Eventually the doors were shut and we were pushed back. We took off on a beautiful over-bay departure behind a SW 737. The captain was very friendly and gave constant updates on position and the other normal things. The F/A's were also exceptionaly friendly and constantly walking down the aisles asking everyone if they were comfortable and if there was anything they could do. The only food service on this flight was drink/pretzels. The F/A's were only giving cups but of course didn't hesitate to give the full can when I asked. This was my second A-321 flight and this plane is definately one of my favorite. Even though my first A321 flight was on a 2 day old plane and had 11 pax total on board, this full flight was one of the best I have experienced. It is extremely comfortable and the cabin is noticeably wider than all of the boeing narrowbodies. (no screaming kids either )
The plane arrived at PIT gate B-35 and was continuing onto MHT. After deboarding the plane and exiting into the PIT terminal, I was shocked to see how extremely crowded it was!(on a Thursday night no less??) I have been at PIT many many times before during the pre-10PM rush...but I have never seen the terminal packed so tightly before. There was actually a line of people waiting to get on the moving sidewalks! Who says that less people are flying post-9/11. lol After bearly squeezing onto the train back to the landside, we went to get our luggage. There was a few hundered people already lined up around our luggage Carousel since there was SEVEN US Aiways mainline flights sent to this one area alone. I looked and all of the other carousels also had 6 or 7 flights as well and were jam packed with people.
Overall, I was once again VERY impressed by US Airway's service and wish them the best of luck in the future. The play a major part here in Pittsburgh and it would be devistating to see them leave.