Brief, and right to the point.
Monday, October 13, 2003:
Departed on time, arrived 20 minutes early. Excellent flight. Plane was a little full, but that's a good thing. Service was friendly, courteous, and professional. The pilot warning about the steep takeoff from SNA was also a nice touch (He wasn't kidding). Food also wasn't bad: an egg and cheese buscuit along with some yogurt, a blueberry muffin, and a cup of pineapples and grapes, plus choice of drink.
Wednesday, October 22 2003:
It took about 20 minutes from the time of pushback until actual takeoff. Once airborne, it was pretty much a repeat of the first flight: Courteous, friendly, and professional flightcrews. Meal was the same. A few bumps here and there, but nothing major. Flight arrived at SNA 25 minutes early, and as a result, we had to sit in the penalty box for most of those 25 minutes while we waited for gate 11 to clear. I guess sometimes firewalling it can end up working against you. I mean what's the point of getting there early if we have to wait out that time on the taxiway?
In short, I had no complaints with CO (I never did in the past), the only thing I would suggest is maybe for the FA's to lighten up a bit. I mean yes, they were nice and professional, and really what more can I ask for, but in spite of that, they had no personality either; the food service was somewhat mechanical.
Now about the TSA.
At SNA, they were really something. It was, in all honesty, very hard not to smile. The one guy, I guess he was the "lead" on duty assumed not only the role of screening passengers, but that of Carnival Barker as well: "Step up...step up please....check out our brand new XYZ-2000 screening machines...all of you paid for it, so c'mon down.....!!!!Alllllllllriiiight....so who's the next lucky contestant on 'Who wants To Fly Safe?' Ma'am....you're the lucky one......if you could please be so kind as to step this way please.......Step up step up please....check out our brand new...........I hope none of you have athletes foot...." and so it went. I had to give the guy props for trying to make the best out of a situation no one is enjoying. And for the most part, it worked. I was smiling, and most of the people I saw around me were smiling as well.
Since this was my first post 9/11 trip through security, I wasn't sure what to expect. I decided not to take any chances, so when it was my turn to pass through, I took my belt and shoes off, even though I was afraid that my shorts would drop down to my ankles.
The TSA in EWR (at least what I encountered), was, to sum it up: bland, indifferent, and really couldn't be bothered as far as the job at hand. On the plus side, they moved very quickly, and offered a "have a nice day".