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Posts: 6913
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am


Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:43 am

13 October 2004
US Airways 188
Depart: Greensboro – Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)
Scheduled Departure: 1745 Local
Actual Departure: 1741 Local
Departure Gate: 43
Arrive: Phildelphia International Airport (PHL)
Scheduled Arrival: 1910 Local
Actual Arrival: 1853 Local
Arrival Gate: C18
Equipment: Boeing 737-4B7
Registration: N781AU
Seat: 2A (First)

Checked in at the airport at the First Class/US Airways Preferred/Star Alliance Gold desks at roughly 1700, there was one person in front of me, so check-in took no time at all. My upgrade had cleared for this flight, it hadn’t cleared for my PHL-MHT flight yet, so I was told to check at the gate there. Security was a little busy; I had a 10 minute wait in line, but it wasn’t that bad. Security was quick and painless (after doing the drill: laptop out, shoes and belt off, put everything in the bins, etc.) Upon entering the concourse, I had a few minutes to do some brief spotting. Not much was happening, our 737-400 to PHL was there, a Delta MD-88 to ATL, a trio of Delta Connection CRJs (two Comair, one SkyWest that was in the default livery, so it could be used as UAX or DL Connection).

First class boarding started at about 5:20. I boarded and took my seat, 2A, one of the better First Class seats on US Airways 737s (Row 1 doesn’t have a cutout for carryons, Row 3 sometimes doesn’t fully recline, but Row 2 does fully recline and has underseat storage). The flight attendant came around and served pre-departure drinks, I had a Coke. The passengers in coach continued boarding, and once they were all seated, the flight attendant came out again, asking us by name (which, in my experience, is very rare for a domestic flight) what drink we would like when we got into the air.

Pushback was a few minutes early. There was a Continental 737-300 waiting to take off as well, but they held short for us. We headed down to Runway 5, and used about half the runway to take off, rotating around the A concourse at GSO. We were immediately in the clouds; I only could see about half the cargo facility at GSO (we couldn’t see ground after I saw a Fed Ex Airbus on the ground).

Flight time for this flight was 52 minutes at an altitude of FL370. I am not sure of our route, but I would assume it had us going up to the Washington area, and then following I-95 into the Philadelphia area.
In-flight service consisted of a couple of rounds of beverages, as well as the flight attendant coming around twice with the snack basket. The first time, I had a bag of pretzels and a bag of potato chips, the second time I grabbed a couple of bags of pretzels (one for that flight, and one for my connection). Load in first class was 11/12; only 2F was open.

Our landing brought us over South Jersey, with us turning over Marlton (I could see the neighbourhood where I have relatives), and right into the Philadelphia area. We landed on Runway 27R, using a little more than half of the runway, getting off at Taxiway Kilo4. On the ground was the US Airways international armada (mostly 767-200s, but a few A330s as well), a British Airways 747-400, a Lufthansa A340 (which was running late – bad for passengers but good for spotters like me), and of course a bunch of US Airways 737s and A32Xs. America West, American, Southwest (a new experience for me, I’m not used to seeing Southwest at PHL yet...), and others.

Connection in PHL had me switching concourses. I took the time to browse through a few of the stores at the “mall” between B and C; I would have liked to checked out Concourse A (especially the new wing); but I didn’t have time. I headed down to my gate for my connection to MHT after about 20 minutes.

13 October 2004
US Airways 932
Depart: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Scheduled Departure: 1955 Local
Actual Departure: 2006 Local
Departure Gate: B5
Arrive: Manchester, NH (MHT)
Scheduled Arrival: 2113 Local
Actual Arrival: 2111 Local
Arrival Gate: 9
Equipment: Airbus A319-112
Registration: N743UW
Seat: 12A (Coach)

Well, my upgrade didn’t clear (you know you won’t clear when there are Chairman’s Preferred who aren’t clearing...). So, that meant I was in the back of the bus. Our plane had come in from New Orleans, and I guess it had a little engine trouble, as the gate agent said there was going to be a delay as they fixed this. Of course, my getting nervous, was hoping they wouldn’t cancel the flight, as if they did, I was going to go over to Southwest, put my credit card down on the counter, and say put me on the 9:15 flight to Manchester, so I wouldn’t get there at midnight. Anyway, the delay was only about 5 minutes, so boarding started quickly. I took my seat in 12A, and I must say this Airbus wasn’t in the greatest shape. The seat was rock-hard and the seat in front of me was falling apart. Not to mention the bad odour being spread throughout the airplane (it was the sweaty smell, except everyone on the plane was complaining about it). There was no one in 12B, but the girl in 12C was one of those self-absorbed people. The plane was a little warm, but she’s acting like she’s dying; fanning herself with her hands and whining about how they need to put the air on. When I told her that they’d have to wait until they put the engines on (which would be a few minutes still), she started moaning and groaning. Then, five minutes later, she started muttering “turn the engines on” over and over again. More on her later though…

We finally pushed back a few minutes late. We took Taxiway November out to 27L, where there was a company 737 in front of us, and a bunch of RJs behind us. About half the runway was used before rotation. We headed up north to the Albany area (avoiding BOS traffic in the process), and then turned right, following the Massachusetts-Vermont/New Hampshire border into the Manchester area. Altitude was FL310. Service on this flight was akin to Delta’s Fast Break service; only Coke, Diet Coke, Water, and some other common beverage was served. I took the coke. No carts were used for this service; Flight Attendants came down the aisles with about 10 of each drink on a tray and handed them out. Of course, I got skipped the first time through and had to tell the flight attendant handing out the Coke that she skipped me (of course, I had the nerve to ask her before departure if the plane had powerports since I couldn’t find them (I’m used to American’s having them under the seat). She said no, and then walked away in not the greatest mood. Oh well. By the way, I did find the powerports later, they were in the armrest. Also, service was just drinks; no pretzels (so I was glad I kept that bag from my GSO-PHL flight).

Landing at MHT occurred a few minutes early, with us coming in on Runway 6, over the Everett Turnpike, Merrimack River, and Route 3A/Brown Ave. We turned off at Taxiway Hotel, and took Hotel, Bravo, Alpha, Delta, Golf, November to Gate 9. Not much was happening on the ground; Delta had an MD-88, Northwest an A319, Independence a CRJ, United Express a CRJ and that was about it. Now back to my seatmate. While I was getting my carryon out of the overhead bin, she was scared that I was actually going to drop it on her, when I clearly had control over it. So I got my stuff settled. But of course, she’s struggling with her carryon, as she couldn’t get it straight down the aisle. Thus, she takes her huge notebook, shoves it into my hands, and says “Hold this a minute”. I wasn’t in the position to say no, so I did, but a please and thank you are considered common courtesies. Once I got on the airside, I did manage to see a Southwest 737 land, but that’s about it for that trip.

Now for the return…

Supposed to be:
17 October 2004
US Airways 3105 (opb Chautauqua Airlines)
Depart: Boston – Logan International Airport (BOS)
Scheduled Departure: 1855 Local
Departure Gate: B9
Arrive: Greensboro – Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)
Scheduled Arrival: 2106 Local
Equipment: Embraer ERJ-145 LR
Seat: 9A

I got to BOS about 1800 and dropped my bag off with the sky cap. The sky cap was very friendly, and we had a nice, but brief, chat. I proceeded through the elite security line, so I was through in 2 minutes. After struggling to find gate 9 (it’s downstairs, and typical Boston means no signs), I approached the gate agent and asked if they were seeking volunteers for Greensboro. She said yes, so then I asked if they could guarantee me getting into GSO that night. She said yes, they could put me on the 1855 to CLT. So, instead of riding in coach on an RJ, I found myself in guaranteed First Class, albeit it two hours later (but then again, it was an extra flight and in first class; I know that a lot of people on this board would do what I did). So, instead of taking an RJ, here is what really happened:

17 October 2004
US Airways 561
Depart: Boston – Logan International Airport (BOS)
Scheduled Departure: 1855 Local
Actual Departure: 1902 Local
Departure Gate: B4
Arrive: Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Scheduled Arrival: 2116 Local
Actual Arrival: 2113 Local
Arrival Gate: C15
Equipment: Airbus A321-211
Registration: N188US
Seat: 2F (First)

Well, I went up to the gate and I didn’t even know what type of aircraft I was on; I just knew it was an Airbus (not hard to tell), and I was confirmed in First Class. Well, I got to the gate about 2 minutes before boarding and I could have sworn my high school English teacher was standing there (it looked like her and she was talking to the gate agent and it sounded like her…), but instead of seeing if it was her, I figured I’d board the plane instead (don’t want to miss pre-departure drinks, do we?). Upon entering the plane, I realized by the huge first class section that it was an A321; my first time on the A321, which of course made me happy (first class, free ticket on US Airways that I probably will use to go to Southern California in January, and a new aircraft type, life is good!). Pre-departure beverage service was just bottles of water, but I wasn’t complaining, because I wanted some water. People kept on filtering on through the plane, which makes you realize how big the A321 is. The flight was a full flight, every seat was occupied to my knowledge. We pushed back a few minutes late, and the safety video was shown 1.5 times. The first time they stopped it in the middle of it, and then showed it again. Go figure. Aircraft on the ground at BOS consisted of the internationals (BA 777, LH A340, LX A330, AF A340, AA 777, NW DC-10, EI A330), as well as some AA 757s and M80s, DL 767s, UA 737s/757s, US A32X/737/757, CO 737, the usual pretty much.

We taxied out to Runway 22R, right across from my preferred spotting location of Constitution Beach. It was a bit different looking out there at the beach instead of being on the beach looking at the planes. We used most of the runway for takeoff, and we climbed out to the west, flying over Quincy/Milton, with those of us on the right side getting to see the Boston skyline (Fenway Park was clearly visible). Our cruising altitude was FL310, not exactly sure what our routing was.

Service for this flight was very comparable to the GSO-PHL flight; two rounds of drinks and two snack basket options. A ham-and-cheese croissant was also offered, $5 for those in coach, but free for those up front. I just had pretzels and Coke for this flight though. Not much else to say for this flight; it was a pretty smooth ride, and a quick flight (about 1hr40 flying time).

Now for my thoughts on the A321. Overall, it’s a really nice plane. The ride was smooth, the performance seemed pretty decent, and it was a comfortable ride (give me a US Airways Airbus over a US Airways Boeing any day…). My only complaint is with the placement of the 2L door. You can’t use 2L door with a jetway, as it is too close to the wing. Thus, everyone has to come through the first class cabin, while on a 757, first class takes a left turn and coach (for the most part), a right turn. Overall, I would definitely fly on an A321 again (and it looks like I will in January, if I choose to go to LAX with my free ticket, since it looks like it will be pretty sunny, and 30 degrees warmer than North Carolina; plus, I can’t help the urge to get more Pacific 747s in my log book…I loved it in September, and I’m sure I’ll love it again this time; maybe even sneaking in a few hours spotting at SNA as well!).

Anyway, back to the trip. We came in from the north, and landed on Runway 18L. We used about half the runway to land, and we taxied into Gate C15.

Layover was a bit different for me. Normally, I like to explore the airport a little bit. However, there was this thing called the Yankees-Red Sox game on, and there was a bar conveniently located next to me connecting gate. Well, few things (including aviation) take precedence over Sox-Yanks. So, I watched the game.

17 October 2004
US Airways 1183
Depart: Charlotte-Douglas International Airport
Scheduled Departure: 2220 Local
Actual Departure: 2230 Local
Departure Gate: C9
Arrive: Greensboro – Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)
Scheduled Arrival: 2302 Local
Actual Arrival: 2302 Local
Arrival Gate: 45
Equipment: Boeing 737-4B7
Registration: N449US
Seat: 1F (First)

Flight was oversold, and they were once again seeking volunteers. But since I had my first class seat, and I had to be somewhere the next morning, I decided to keep my seat. Ends up there were a few no-shows and everyone got on.

Boarding started a few minutes late, since our crew was late on their inbound flight. The purser came around and offered the 12 of us up front pre-departure drinks, I had a Coke. Everyone kept streaming in throw the door, and 10 minutes late, we were cleared to push back. We made our way to 18L, where we turned on to the runway at Charlie11 and circled around on the runway and took off there (kind of like how you have to turn around after landing at SXM, etc., just on take off though here). This was going to be a long flight, so I geared in for the duration of…ready for this…18 minutes. As my seatmate said to me (he’s a Sox fan and I’m a Yanks fan, so we were talking baseball), well, I guess we’re going to miss the seventh inning. He was dead on. We got up to 8,000 feet, and basically followed I-85 up to the Greensboro area. They did do a snack service for first class, the basket came out and I took some pretzels. They didn’t turn off the seatbelt sign for this flight, nor did they clear us to use electronic equipment.

We came in from the southwest, and landed on Runway 5. GSO had plenty of planes night-stopped; CO had a few ERJs, NW had a DC-9 and a couple of CRJs, US had a 737-300 and 737-400 and a bunch of ERJs, Independence had a CRJ, and Delta had some MD-88s, a couple of 737-200s, and most surprising of all, a 767-300 in the Landor colours. I quickly deplaned, went down to the baggage office and grabbed my bag, and then went home.

Next flight is back to Boston for Thanksgiving. I’ll be on Delta, flying GSO-ATL-BOS on the MD-88 and 767-300, returning MHT-CVG-GSO on the MD-88 and CRJ. After that, a couple more trips to Boston and New York in December, and then most likely Los Angeles in January for MLK Weekend. Nothing yet in February, but I do have Boston, New York, and Washington coming up in March. Orlando is scheduled right now for April, and there may be an Orlando trip in January or February.

Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:52 am


Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:30 pm

Thanks for the report. I'm on one of these flights next week (in First, Gold Pref. Gods willing) and was curious about the meal service. My question is now answered.
Posts: 976
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 4:43 am


Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:43 am

Nice report..always nice to see folks flying into MHT. I've come to love
the A321. Probably my favorite airplane at the moment.

What a long strange trip it's been
Posts: 8201
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm


Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:48 am

Nice report,and yest,those US 321's are really nice.

I've always found US service to be pretty good,never had any issues.

If all goes to plan,my next US flights are LGW>PHL>IAH>PHL>LGW in december. A333 in Business both legs and a couple of E70 flights too! Smile

Topic Author
Posts: 6913
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am


Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:06 am

I was kind of hoping that they would put me on the 1940 flight to PIT, as that would have been my first E70 flight. But, I figure I'll have plenty more opportunities to fly on the E70, either on US or UA.

Posts: 976
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 4:43 am


Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:25 pm

US remains my favorite airline. We've always received good service/treatment from them. I hope they make it.

What a long strange trip it's been
Posts: 2563
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:56 am


Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:16 am

Great report. I too will have to say I like the US A320/21's. I almost never get to fly on Airbus products, but when I do, I love it. The newer ones are so quiet (Maybe not, but I am so used to UA's old Boeing products which are MUCH louder).
Posts: 2150
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am


Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:40 pm

Nice report! Sounds like you had some nice flights with US Airways.

I love to fly!

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