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SFO-PHX-SFO And The "say" Game-America West

Tue Jun 25, 2002 1:03 am

A short trip, but a trip just the same:

Saturday 06/22/02:

Flight: America West Airline 231
A/C: Boeing 757-200
Depart: SFO/San Francisco, CA/Saturday June 22 6:01 am
Arrive: PHX/Phoenix, AZ/Saturday June 22 7:59 am
Stops: non-stop Miles:651
Seats: 18F
Cabin: Coach

Being this was my first trip post 9/11, I wasn’t sure exactly how long the security lines might be, so I decided to make an early start of it. The day could have started better. I woke up at 3:30 AM; to hear a “click” sound followed by the realization the power had just gone out. Wonderful. Good thing I woke up without an alarm clock, as that went out along with everything else. This really wasn’t the way I planned to begin what was going to be a long day. Here I am half awake, stumbling around the house, trying not to wake the wife, groping my way along the hall to reach the closet for the flashlight, all the while, trying not to step on the cat. After securing the flashlight, I jumped in the shower; thankful the blackout hadn’t affected the water temperature. Being it was in the 50’s outside, foggy, and windy, I was really hoping to run a hair dryer through my hair post-shower, but, that was not to be. After getting dressed and loading everything into the carry-on via candle light, I stumbled (stumbled I tell you) downstairs to the garage, and battled with the release on the garage door opener, so I could manually pull the door open. Success! A few minutes later, I was on my way to the SFO; well, to the offsite parking lot. 10 minutes after leaving the house, I arrived at the PCA lot, (isle 11, space 7 than you kindly) and boarded the shuttle to the SFO. I guess the access to the upper level, the area you’d normally be dropped off at for departures, is closed from 12:00-05:00, so the shuttle dropped me off downstairs near the baggage claim area. I hopped (Not skipped, but hopped) off said shuttle, walked through baggage claim, and went upstairs to find the America West ticket counter. See, I was flying ticketless, and needed to go to the counter to get my boarding pass so I could get through the security checkpoint. By this time, it was about 04:45, and I was surprised at the number of people already at the airport. The lines at all the ticket counters were already long, packed with half-awake, GRUMPY-ass people, all waiting for check-in. The ticket counters at the SFO don’t open until 05:00, so I stood in line with the other early morning travelers, who were complaining about having to stand in line. I guess a butler is supposed to escort each and every one of them directly to the plane. About 05:00, the ticket counter opened, and I had boarding pass in hand 15 minutes later. On my way to gate 27, I walked through a very empty security checkpoint, and quickly found the gate. The B757 was outside, awaiting her first passengers of the day. The plane was painted in the “teamwork” livery, with the statue of liberty on the tail, and some other garbage painted on the side. I say “garbage”, as I don’t care for this paint scheme. Seems to me to look like a mess.

Boarding began at 05:30, and I was happy not to be one of the people pulled out of line and directed to the additional security check. I found my seat, 18F, as I requested online, and settled in. This was a full flight, which surprised me, since it was so early on a Saturday morning. We were a few minutes late pushing back from the gate, as the standby passengers were boarding at the last minute. The Captain, who’s name I can’t remember, and female FO “Misty”, assured us that although it was cold and windy where we were at now, we’d remember it fondly once we took the PHX, where the temperature was forecast to be 111 F. We quickly taxied to the runway, 1L, I believe, and began our flight to the PHX. I love the way these B75’s “rocket” down the runway and shoot up into the air. The 757 is quickly becoming my favorite AC. Climb out was smooth, and the beverage-only service began about 20 minutes into the flight. Somewhere between that and the Arizona, I fell asleep, and awoke to Misty’s notification that we were about 80 miles out of the PHX, and would arrive a few minutes early. After a “greased” landing, we arrived at the gate 3 minutes early, and I exited the aircraft to begin the long walk towards the area outside the security checkpoint. My Dad, who takes the PHX, met me just outside the security checkpoint, and we began the on-foot journey to parking structure 4-west. Dad warned me that he wasn’t sure where he had parked, and I thought he was kidding. Um, no he wasn’t. Oh well, it only took a few minutes to figure out where the hell the car was.
The PHX mornings are wonderful. It was 85-ish, ultra-dry, a slight breeze, bright, wonderful! We exited the parking structure and were on our way to Harrahs Ak-Chin Casino, located in Maricopa County, for a bit of video poker. As luck would have it, 4 Aces found their way to my machine, and I immediately went up $100.00. Now friends, this is good and bad. See, this happened the second hand I played, so I either walk away with the winnings and watch my Dad play for a few hours (BORING), or keep going with the realization I’d possibly (probably) give it all back and then some. I made peace with the Indian gods, and decided to play on. A few hours later, I’d given $50.00 back (see what I told you?), and we decided to go for breakfast. If you ever get out to that casino, I highly recommend the little restaurant out there. Great breakfast! I went with the breakfast burrito and home fries. YUM! I’m talking like YUMMY over here! After breakfast, I decided I was going to leave with some of the tribe’s money, so I watched as my Dad contributed a good $100.00 to the cause, and finally abandoned all hope of breaking even. He was up over $200.00 at on point. Oh well, they don’t build those things on people winning. We went back to his house, which is off of Ray Rd., and relaxed for an hour or two. By this time, it was time to get ready for the event, which brought me to the PHX in the first place. (dramatic music and flashing lights) “The wedding” (anti climatic, I know). See, my Dad’s best friend of 40+ years was married for 25 years and lost his wife to the emphysema. Well, 3 years later, I guess he found “the one”,or would that be “the second ONE”, and decided to get himself married again. You might guess that his kids were like less than thrilled to have a new step-mom, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Anyway, we drove down to the Marriott Courtyard, Ray Rd and 10. (I think it was the 10 anyway), and attended a very brief wedding ceremony. After a few post ceremony glasses of champagne, the wedding couple arranged for limousines to pick the 30-some guests up and deliver us to a private room at RoxSand (, a very nice restaurant located in the Biltmore fashion park. I had the RoxSand salad, Be Be The Dish (chicken), and the desert sampler. The wine flowed freely, and the food and company were great. The groom brought in a magician friend, who’s supposed to be the best close up magician in the PHX, and we watched an impromptu magic show. You know that trick where you pick a card and then rip a corner off and the next thing you know the card appears inside an orange (or in the case green pepper)? Well, he did that one. I never get tired of that. Around 22:00, dinner was over and the limos returned to take up back to the Marriott. After being up since 03:00, and having a few glasses of wine, I was ready to call it a day.

Sunday, 06/23/02

Flight: America West Airline 807
A/C: Airbus A320
Depart: PHX/Phoenix, AZ/Sunday June 23 1:31 pm
Arrive: SFO/San Francisco, CA/Sunday June 23 3:22 pm
Stops: non-stop Miles:651
Seats Requested: 23F
Cabin: Coach

Damn that Arizona sun is bright, even at 05:30! Oh well, so much for sleeping late. Another wonderful Arizona morning, if the weather could stay like that all day, it would be paradise. Nothing too exciting this day, just a quick glass of juice and a few errands to say goodbye to the wedding couple and some guests. My Dad had to be at work at 10, so I decided to go in with him, and had booked Super Shuttle to pick me up at his office.

Well folks, my negative Super Shuttle karma continues. See, the last few times I’ve had them pick me up, they’ve been late, and in once case, didn’t show up at all. Pick up time today was 10:50. Well, 10:50 came and went, as did 11:00, and then 11:10. I called Super Shuttle, who assured me the driver was running a bit late and would be there in a few minutes. Apparently “a few minutes” equates to like 30, as the shuttle showed up at 11:40. Come to find out the driver was dispatched from the airport at 11:25, a good 15 minutes after I called customer service. Not to mention I had a reservation, which I booked weeks ago. Sigh. So, I planned to have them pick me up early in case something like this happened, and still had plenty of time. However, I was more than a bit irritated that they were like an hour late. Being I made my flight with plenty of time to spare, I haven’t decided if I should complain to someone or just forget about it. Any thoughts? I mean, what would YOU do?
I arrived at the airport at Noon and found the America West ticket counter. To my surprise, there was no one in line, and I had boarding pass in hand in minutes. I must have been at the airport during a lull, as there was no one in line at the security checkpoint either.I found my way to gate A21, and was delighted to see the food court across the way. I opted for a bit of Mexican fare followed by frozen yogurt (I love the TCBY white chocolate!).

Boarding began at 13:00, and the A320’s doors were closed at 13:26. Another full flight, not one empty seat. No special livery on this flight, just the “standard” America West offering. Take off was quite turbulent, I assume due to heat, and smoothed out after about 10 minutes. I had the dubious “opportunity” to be seated next to 2 drunk people; a pushing 30ish Britney Spears want-to-be, and her co-workers, let’s call them “1” and “2”. Coworker 1 was seated next to Britney, and coworker 2 behind her. Coworker 2 took delight in constantly hitting her seat, which rattled mine. OK, so they were just having fun, I’ll go along with the program...for a bit. You ever show up at a party and are the only person sober? See, that’s how I felt. I mean, I guess it wasn’t too bad until the last 20 minutes of the flight (and another 2 vodka’s each), when Co-worker 2 said something to Britney and she got mad.

So, for the last 20 minutes straight, they played the ever annoying “say” game. For those of you unfamiliar with this offering, it goes like this:

Britney: “I can’t believe you said that to me!”
Co-worker 2 “what did I say?”
Co-worker 1 “what did he say?”
Britney “you know what you said!”
Co-worker 2 “what did I say?”
Britney: “ I won’t repeat what you said, you know what you said, you said it!”
Co-worker: 2 “Said what?”
Co-worker 1: “what did he say?”
Co-worker 2 “whatever I said I was just kidding. What did I say?”
Britney: “I can’t believe you said that to me!”
Co-worker 1 “what did he say?!” To coworker 2 “What did you say?”
Britney: “I can’t believe you said that to me!”
Co-worker 2 “what did I say?”
Britney: “I won’t repeat what you said, why did you say that?”
Co-worker 1 “what did he say?”

Repeat with slight variation for 20 minutes.

Thankfully, we arrived at the gate on time, and I raced away from Britney and clan, with the ever-continuing say game fading in the distance, I walked outside to see the PCA parking shuttle van seemingly waiting for my arrival. I was at my car not ten minutes after stepping off the plane. I love it when that happens. I’ve never been a huge fan of America West, however, I couldn’t have been more pleased with them. The flights were on time, the aircraft clean, and the service friendly. Maybe they are coming around. I didn’t realize that they are quickly becoming an airbus heavy airline. They have plenty of A-320’s and a host of A-319’s on order. Sad to see their 737’s go, and too bad they opted not to replace them with NG’s.

I wonder what the hell co-worker 2 said?!?

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American 767
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RE: SFO-PHX-SFO And The "say" Game-Ameri

Wed Jun 26, 2002 12:52 am

Nice report. I like reading long trip reports, even if it takes time to read them, but I'll take the time to read them no matter what. It sounds like you had a nice trip except for that Shuttle who was running late. I would also request pick up time earlier than when I would normally have to leave in case, like you say, they are running late. I wouldn't get mad unless I'm likely to miss my flight. If somehting like that happens, I would call the airline, explain them my problem and ask them if I can get a later flight (if there is) without penalty. If they say no then I cancel the Shuttle (if they still don't come), giving a hint that I'm upset, and take either a bus or a cab. That's why I always leave earlier than I have to, because you never know what can happen.
I can imagine how annoying it must be sitting to people talking constantly and getting upset at each other. Anyway, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the flights on America West.

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium

PS: During the last two years of Sabena's existance (Sabena went bankrupt last November), I was also sad to see the 737's going away in favor of brand new Airbusses.
Ben Soriano
Posts: 1658
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 6:25 pm

RE: SFO-PHX-SFO And The "say" Game-America West

Wed Jun 26, 2002 2:34 am

Good report, shame about Britney Spears! Sounds like the return was like any UK charter flight from MAN/LGW/BHX etc to Spain or Greece.

Your'e right about 757's, they are becoming my favourite aswell-it's just a shame that BA are getting rid of so many of them.


you can't buy time but you can sell your soul and the closest thing to heaven is to rock'n'roll
Posts: 1826
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:56 am

RE: SFO-PHX-SFO And The "say" Game-America West

Wed Jun 26, 2002 6:03 am

Very Nice report, I also love 757 take offs.
About the Super Shuttle, just leave it be, you wont get anywhere and you didnt have to rush anywhere for your flight, but i do know its irritating.
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"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton

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