DH 1752 HPN-IAD
6:29am - 7:41am
Safety Demo: Dennis Miller
Woke up at 4am after getting hardly any sleep. I HATE taking early flights. A quick 10-minute drive from home to HPN, parked the car and was the only person at the DH check-in counter. I had to check a bag since I was carrying a lot of computer equipment and didn't feel like lugging a heavy bag through 2 gate checks and during transfer at IAD. The surly agent checked me in and then sent me to the back of the LONG United? line for a TSA check. However, a friendly TSA agent realized I was in the wrong place and promptly swabbed my bag and handed it over to the DH agent. Not the greatest first impression of DH.
Everything seemed to be running on time at HPN and the ground crews were quickly and efficiently getting people onto planes, pushing them back, and tugging new planes into the limited gate space.
Take off was quick and powerful and we had a great clear view of downtown White Plains (I was even able to see my apartment building). We turned south just over Tarrytown and I had a great view of NYC.
Service consisted of personal drink orders and cereal bars. The attractive flight attendant was super nice but very repetitive. She asked each person the same thing with the exact same speech inflections "would you like a hot towel, would you like a hot towel, would you like a hot towel?" etc with no variation what so ever it was weird and robotic.
We landed about 10 minutes late due to ATC congestion and I made my way into the bright and cheery A gate area. The gate announcers were being very cheerful for early morning but it seemed to make things go very smoothly. I really was so tired at this point and did nothing but sit in the gate area waiting for the next flight.
DH 1889 IAD-CRW
Seat 2A then 10D
9:30am - 10:30am
Safety Demo: Dennis Miller
About 10 minutes before boarding, our older female FA bounded into the gate area and with a loud booming voice and a “yee-haw” announced she (Diana) was our FA to CRW and promised it was going to be a great time. What a character I thought but that was just the beginning....
Boarded on time and she greeted everyone warmly. Again I was seated in 2A. Everyone was boarded except for a wheel chair passenger. Diana looked over at me and said would I mind moving to the back (flight was only about half full) to accommodate the wheelchair passenger. I said of course not, and promptly moved back to 10d (10c was empty too). After the person was settled, Diana came back to me and thanked me again and offered me anything I wanted from the galley. I said it really wasn't necessary it was no big deal to move but she insisted I have some cookies.
So it comes time to push back and Diana starts telling us all this stuff. First of all, she prefers to be called "Mama" and that today's movie would be imaginary. Next, she tells us normally the CRW flights, of only about 35 minutes, are water only but today we'd be receiving an "imaginary" full drink and snack service, meaning don't tell anybody she did this. She was really funny, at each seat she'd look away from the snack basket and was like "how did you get a snack, there are no snacks on flights to CRW."
The wackiest thing she did was the trash collection. She brought out a hand puppet of a raccoon in a trash bin and proceeded to collect the trash with the puppet and the puppet "talked" to you. After that was done she, got on the PA and told us about other puppets she had, although only one came out per flight. There was as a pig that gives out water and some other animal I don't remember which she uses when there are rude passengers onboard.
There was a deadheading DH employee seated behind me and I overheard him talking to Mama. Apparently she is well known throughout the company and this was the first time they had met although he definitely had heard of her before.
Needless to say, she made for a very entertaining flight.
My bag was already on the carousel by the time I made it down to the car rental / baggage claim area. Gotta love small airports.
I picked up a Ford Escape SUV from Hertz since 4WD was much needed where I was going with all the mud and snow. Got the T1 line installed at the last minute and was off for another 3 hour drive back to CRW.
DH 1883 CRW-IAD
Seat 10A then 9C
7:00pm - 8:05pm
Safety Demo: Dennis Miller
I got to CRW almost 3 hours early because it had snowed a lot and I though the roads would be bad. Turns out where I was up in the mountains it had snowed but in the lower elevations towards CRW it hadn't. Let me tell you, CRW isn't exactly a busy airport on a Saturday evening. A DH ramper checked me in and I decided to go the "restaurant" for dinner. I ordered a real southern meal of chicken, biscuits, gravy, and string beans. While in Rome, you know? Even the string beans had meat in them... oh boy get me back to NYC.
My DH crew was eating over at the next table, also enjoying some southern cuisine.
We had a really friendly male FA this time though he didn’t break the rules and only gave us water. The male DH uniforms are a bit casual but come across well. Started in 10A but overheard the couple sitting in 9AB asking the FA about Las Vegas and what to do there. The FA was excited they were flying DH to Vegas since they just started ther service March 1st, however, he had never been there so I moved over to 9C to give them some advice as I was there 3 times last year.
This poor couple, first time going to Vegas, they left early in the AM in the snow and rolled their SUV into a ditch. Amazingly not a scratch on them. They missed their original UA flight out of CRW, of course, got booked onto the next one which wound up being oversold so they just bought walkup tickets on DH. Nothing was stopping them taking this trip!
This time at IAD, since I was wide-awake and had 1.5 hours to kill, I decided to tour IAD. Took the bus-thing over to terminal D then walked all the way back through the construction mess. I took a wrong turn and wound up in terminal B (I was looking for something like this). Wow, it was nice in there! Walked around the shops and checked out some late evening European departures.
Eventually made my way back to the A terminal and boarded my last flight of the trip back up to HPN.
DH 1750 IAD-HPN
9:20pm - 10:30pm
Safety Demo: James Carville and Mary Matalin
Photo © Paul Robbins
The pilot came out and introduced himself to the passengers and told us about the flight. Since the last 3 flights had the Dennis Miller safety announcement I was pleased, if you could call it that, to hear James Carville and Mary Matalin just for something new. The FA was really nice with 2 drink services of Pepsi, Diet, Iced Tea and Water. This flight landed way early and my bag was already on the carousel by the time I reached it which was amazing considering I was the first person off the plane AND it's a really small airport. They must have unloaded the bags the second the plane touched down.
Anyway, overall a great experience on DH. All flights were on time, all crews friendly, planes clean. Hot towels and mints before landing. I just hope DH can hang on!