SDF-DCA (Chautauqua) US3301: My flight was scheduled to leave SDF at 5:22pm on USAirways Express ERJ-145. We were at gate B6 which has you enter the aircraft from the ramp itself. This was my first time at SDF and it seems to be a very nice airport. They are still in the process of renovating the gate areas, but what they have finished is very nice. I arrived about 2.5 hours early because I was unsure of how long it would take to get from my house. I checked in at the self check-in kiosk, tossed my bags over the counter and headed to the gate area. Security took about 15 minutes, but for the amount of people the line moved at a good pace. While I was waiting at the gate it was pretty boring. I saw a few UPS 747's and a few various other planes, but that was about it. You can't see much from the B concourse. Our flight didn't start boarding until about 5:15, but once everyone got moving boarding went rather quickly and we took off only a few minutes late and arrived at DCA on time. In-flight service was pretty basic and what you'd expect in an ERJ. Pretzels and a drink, then it was time to prepare for landing.
Photo © Matthew Smith
DCA-BOS USAirways Shuttle 737-300 Flt. 2196: We arrived at DCA shortly after 7pm to Terminal C gate 35A. The USAirways Express flights all land away from the actual terminal and you have to take the bus for a very short ride to the terminal and it was a zoo once we got there. There were people absolutely everywhere. I got a $9 chicken finger and fry dinner in the terminal that tasted like rubber. The rest of the lines were too long, so I decided to wait until BOS to get some food. I had about an hour and a half to wait for my next flight so I sat around for a while and the crowd quickly cleared. It was still fairly busy, but not nearly as crowded. The inbound US Shuttle came in that we were supposed to be on a little late, and some very large airline employee came to the gate and immediately called 1st Class passengers and rows 15+ to board. The only thing about this event is that the inbound passengers were still on the aircraft. My flight, the 8:30 shuttle to BOS, and the 9:00 shuttle to NYC were at gates next to each other, and both lines were very long waiting to board. The TV screens were not updated, so people were in the wrong lines for the flights and it took even more time for the gate agents to make sure everyone was in the correct line at the correct gate. We finally departed DCA about 40 minutes late, but they got us to the front of the line to take off rather quickly. Flight time was fairly quick, and although the sky wasn't very clear, we did have a nice view. I was in seat 8F so I had a window to look out. In flight service was more pretzels, a full can of soda and the complimentary beer which they seemed to be out of basically everything. Arrival into BOS was smooth, and I was very impressed with terminal B at Logan. It was extremely clean, and also fairly empty since we didn't arrive until after 10:30. Our baggage was on 3 different carosels which was kind of confusing for some passnengers, but luckily my luggage was some of the first out.
Photo © Brian Casity
BOS-DCA: USAirways Shuttle 737-300 Flt. US2031. This flight was very uneventful. On time, basic service, and we arrived short. We were scheduled at 11am, and started boarding around 10:40. The flight was full, but we were off the ground by a few minutes after 11. Arriving into DCA was once again a zoo.
DCA-SDF: USAirways Express ERJ-145 Flt. US3282: We were boarding at gate 35A again. This is where the madness began. My flight was set to go out at 1:50 and they had 13 flights going out of 1 gate within an hour. They were boarding the busses 2 flights at a time, so once again people were in wrong lines, boarding the wrong aircraft and so on. It was pretty hectic until we actually got on the jet. We were stacked up waiting to take off and the pilot told us we were number 5 to go. We waited and waited and finally took off at 2:20. The pilot tried to make up for some lost time and we managed to arrive at SDF close to on time. SDF is such a small airport that I went from the gate, to baggage, to driving my car on the way home in probably 15 minutes at the most.
I did try to take some pics to add to my report, but they didn't turn out that well and were really nothing exciting.