US Airways flight 1438*
PHL - BOS
A319 / N707UW
1h 17m scheduled
Photo © Javier F. Bobadilla - IBERIAN SPOTTERS
*=not sure if that is the right number. I noticed it has been upgraded from an A319 to an A320.
We woke up at some ungodly hour. She lives about ten minutes away from PHL, so we didn't need a whole lot of time to get down there. My uncle and two cousins (one of which, Kevin, who is only five, can tell the difference between a 737 and A32X).
I had checked in the night before at USAirways.com. It was so easy to get into the airport. The TSA agent looked at my passport and Aunt Karen's license. Unlike most of the PHL TSA agents, this one appeared to be competent.
We ate lunch at whatever that place in Terminal B is. My Aunt began to talk to a college professor and her husband who were headed to Jacksonville for a wedding. We walked over to B4, coincidently sat next to the Jacksonville couple, and boarded right on time.
The crew was silent during the entire boarding process. I also noticed the very sleek Airbus flight attendant panel. There is a picture of it over at JetPhotos.
We got to our seats, not sure of the actual number, and were seated. My aunt, being a former Gulf Air Transport flight attendant, checked for the closest emergency exit and the operation of that exit. I looked out the window and grabbed a copy of Attache. I love "Your Turn"!
My aunt struck up a conversation with the woman next to her. She was an executive for some clothing company. I can't remember the name of it, as spending more than twenty minutes in one is sheer torture.
One flight attendant walked through with orange juice and a few minutes later, coffee. Whatever happened to flight attendants bouncing around the aisles in crisp uniforms, shining big smiles? This one walked down, with no expression on her face, covered with tacky make-up, muttering "Coffee?" about every five rows.
While we are on the subject of flight attendants, with no disrespect intended, Continental flight attendants make their counterparts at US Airways look like Burger King employees. I'm sure there are great ones, as Continental would be very lucky to have PiedmontGirl on payroll, but the ones I saw looked like "The only thing I care about is making sure the doors are armed and your cell phone is off."
My aunt then started talking about when she was a flight attendant with Gulf Air. Wow, it sounded great! She was PHL based, so a 727 would ferry them up to Boston, where they would live in a hotel room for twenty days. I asked her about routes. They would fly daytrips to Atlantic City, where the crew had about twelve hours to spend. They would fly morning flights to places like Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao and fly the evening flight home. Of course, I'm sure the pay wasn't great.
Photo © Frank Schaefer
Photo © Ellis M. Chernoff
Landing was smooth. We taxied past some Song planes and then some little B1900s and such. The seatbelt sign went off, and, as usual, everyone jumped up to stand around and wait.
We had a good time in Boston. We went to Fanueil Hall and lunch at Les Zygolomes (sp?).
US Airways flight 1027
BOS - PHL
We arrived back to Boston Logan terminal B. USAirways.com wouldn't allow me to check-in online, so we used a self-serve kiosk. It was so easy! Enter your flight number and last name. Ok, do you like your seats? Will be checking bags? A receipt? Then your boarding pass would print, followed by your receipt, put it in the jacket and viola!
Now for security. I visited the Cheer's replica at Fanueil Hall and bought a case of four root beer bottles for my mom. Each one was wrapped in brown paper. I had no doubt it would be a security problem. Of course, the TSA scanner says "What the hell is this?" So he gets another screener. They sit there for about two minutes, holding up the line, to figure it out. They pass it through and a man takes my case into a back room. In about four minutes, he comes back and says "What is this?" "Root beer." He didn't understand. "Like the soda." "Oh, ok, have a nice flight." Wow, I feel so safe after a through TSA screening.
I grabbed a pastry at some store and walked to info board to see where our 737 was coming from. It started out in Florida, TPA, if memory serves me correctly and stopped in Charlotte. Our flight featured continuing service to CLT.
Boarding was quick. My aunt pointed out the girt bar to me as we boarded. Our three flight attendants were an elderly lady, a red-headed man and a guy I thought flew up with us. His voice sounded like the same one doing the PAs on the way up, but in person it sounded, different.
"Flight attendants, please prepare your doors for departure and cross-check. 1L, 1R. 2L and R. Crosscheck complete."
Since the 737 doesn't have video screens, it was a live demo with the woman and red-head "performing."
We taxied out pretty quickly and were in position five for take off. I saw an IAir CRJ, a United A320 and an ATA 757 in old "vacation" colors.
Soon the captain PAed "First for departure, flight attendants take your seats." Take-off seemed to take quite a bit longer on this flight when compared to the flight up.
We had full beverage service on this flight. I asked for decaf coffee. He said he was brewing it. Just as we began our decent, the woman F/A handed me a piping cup of coffee. I felt really bad I made them go through all this trouble and now I couldn't drink it. I was, luckily, able to down it, right before the final trash collection.
The elderly woman PAed "Ladies and gentlemen, please bring your seats to the fully upright and most uncomfortable position" which raised a few laughs.
We touched down on-time in PHL and taxied past an AirTran 717 and a few A330s and 767s from US Airways. "Why are all these planes here?" I was thinking. Duh! European flights. I also saw a Southwest N/C taking off, and taxied past two or three USA 3000 A320s.
They made an announcement for passengers continuing to BWI and we stepped off the plane. US Airways clearly has the upper-hand in BOS. Lands in Logan, not some other state, has almost hourly flights and great prices.
I do apologize if I forgot some details or made a few mistakes, as I was busy and didn't write this report soon after the trip.
Thanks for reading,