I was traveling with my family, and we were going to JAX for an NFL game.
We originally booked our flights through CLT both ways, but when US Airways changed their schedule, they had us on a Dash 8 on JAX-CLT. My mom refused to fly a turboprop, so she called and they put us through PHL instead. I wanted to fly the Dash 8 (never been on a prop before), but oh well.
We arrived at PIT a little after 6 AM and there was a pretty long line for the US Airways ticket counter. We checked our bags with the e-ticket check-in kiosk, and took the tram over to the Airside Terminal. Security on the way wasn't bad.
I bought a cinnamon roll and an orange juice and then we made our way down Concourse B to gate B36. At the gate, I could see the pilot or f/o doing the walk-around. Pretty cool. After a little while, the agent called for boarding.
US Airways 1515
Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) - Charlotte, NC (CLT)
Scheduled departure time: 8:05 AM
Actual departure time: 8:04 AM
Photo © Timothy Keeney
I took my seat at 12A, and my parents took B and C. During boarding, I noticed the A321 has a rather large First Class section. Is this for the transcontinental flights?
Looking out the window, I watched a 733 (old colors) next to us going to ATL push back. A few minutes later, I saw a pretty big plane pull up to the gate next to us. I realized it was a 767. I didn't know US put heavies at Concourse B.
A few minutes later, we began pushback, had a smoky engine start, and began taxiing under a beautiful sunrise. There were almost no other aircraft on the field as we taxied to the runway. With no other traffic, we were first for departure and had a smooth and powerful takeoff (with a full flight) from runway 28L.
Shortly into the flight, the flight attendants began drink service. That's all we got here. I got a Coke (no full can) and began looking at some stuff in Attach??.
After a rather uneventful flight, the F/A's picked up trash and we began our descent into Charlotte. Approach was cool as there was a nice view of the Charlotte skyline and some big lake below. With a smooth touchdown in CLT, we taxied to gate D1 (an international gate - the flight was going on to CUN). During deplaning, a passenger farther back said rather loudly, "Geez, these first class people take forever. They think they own the place!" The cabin got a bit of a chuckle out of that.
We made our way through the construction in the airport, and down to Concourse C, gate C10. The gate area already had a lot of people standing around. It looked like it was going to be a pretty full flight. I noticed some NFL officials standing behind us waiting for the flight.
Shortly after, the agent called for boarding, and I took my seat at 16F.
US Airways 1401
Charlotte, NC (CLT) - Jacksonville, FL (JAX)
Scheduled departure time: 10:15 AM
Actual departure time: 10:34 AM
Photo © Michael Arcellana
I looked out from 16F and could still see the A321 at D1 we had just flown. After about 30 minutes with nothing happening, the captain announced that maintenance was just finishing some paperwork, and that we'd be leaving soon. He mentioned two or three times how important that paperwork was.
It was probably another ten minutes that we finally pushed back, taxied out, and departed. We made a few turns climbing out of Charlotte. Again, shortly into the flight, the F/A's began drink service. The flight was pretty uneventful, and after about an hour, we began our decent into Jacksonville. We made a smooth touchdown and taxied into our gate.
December 3, and it was time to go home.
We had a 6:30 AM flight, so we arrived at JAX around 5. Too early for me. It was so early the restaurants weren't even open yet. I had a nice breakfast of a bag of Famous Amos cookies and a bottle of water from a newspaper stand. Yay.
A little behind schedule, the gate agent at gate B6 called for boarding and I took my seat at 16A.
US Airways 107
Jacksonville, FL (JAX) - Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
Scheduled departure time: 6:30 AM
Actual departure time: 6:45 AM
Photo © Carlos Borda
It was still pitch dark outside, but I could see the beacons of a US 733 going to CLT pushing back.
After sitting and listening to the incredibly loud boarding music for 20+ minutes, one of the F/A's finally announced that the flight was overbooked, and they needed 3 volunteers. They managed to get an older couple and a younger girl to volunteer. We finally pushed back, taxied out, and made a smooth takeoff. We made a left turn out of JAX and began our flight north to Philadelphia.
Then the bumps started, and there would be many more of them. Drink service started, with F/A's holding onto seats, and liquids flopping around. Turned out to be a pretty bumpy flight, and one of my more unpleasant ones.
Then there was the PHL approach. What a mess. The captain first announced our decent into PHL. We finally touched down 45 minutes later after circling I don't know how many times. In the air, I wondered why. I would find out when we landed.
We finally did land and began to taxi toward Concourse C but held short for probably another 30 minutes. The captain told us that we were delaying because of another flight that was delayed and still in our assigned gate. During our sitting, I saw another A319 (N713UW) which I remembered flying a couple of years ago (MIA-PIT). It was 9:50 when we finally pulled up to our gate: 10 minutes after the scheduled departure time for our flight to Pittsburgh. We were running like crazy trying to get to Concourse B and gate B7. Turns out we hadn't missed our flight because it was delayed also because they needed volunteers. They got their volunteers though. I didn't hear the agent call for boarding, I just saw a mass of people walking down the ramp to the gate. I gave my boarding pass to the agent and took my seat at 14A.
US Airways 257
Philadelphia, PA (PHL) - Pittsburgh, PA (PIT)
Scheduled departure time: 9:40 AM
Actual departure time: 10:10 AM
Photo © Torsten Maiwald
On pushback, it looked as if our wing was going to clip the 757 next to us, but of course we didn't. We taxied out for a rather quick taxi and didn't have to wait as much this time. Takeoff runway 27L.
F/A's began drink service, but didn't reach all of the passengers because the flight was so short. There was a very nice view of all the snow on the ground over Pennsylvania.
After a smooth flight, approach was uneventful, and we landed in a snowy Pittsburgh on runway 32.
Overall, another nice trip with US Airways. Didn't enjoy JAX-PHL though.
Thanks for reading. Comments welcome.
[Edited 2003-07-21 04:35:09]