Went in January to visit my alma-mater U of M (go blue!!!!) and party it up for the weekend...i used a $100 voucher I had from Thanksgiving related to some bad experiences I had on US DTW-PHL-HVN. I hoped this time would be different. Also I was looking forward to taking the EMB-170. Unfortunately, its US Airways, and thus, nothing went as planned.
Friday, January 28
Hartford (BDL) to Philadelphia (PHL)
US Airways 61
Scheduled departure time: 340pm
Actual departure time:445pm
Scheduled arrival time:456pm
Actual arrival time: 556pm
Departure gate: Gate 29 (BDL)
Got to the airport late and thought I would miss the flight-- thank goodness I managed to get to the gate exactly 10 mins before scheduled departure. I boarded along with five other stragglers on the flight (about 70% full) then they closed the door. Had tough time getting my rollaboard into the overheads- and the f/a was very curt about helping me- stated that "we better be careful not to break the bin or else everything has to come out and that'll cause a delay and we wouldn't want that" HA! Too late. She uses good geometry skill to fit my bag in and I take my seat - middle seat was open so that was nice. First thing I notice about the US A321 was that despite its young age it was wearing already. Sidewalls and bins were already yellowing, lights flickered, and the seat back pockets and elsewhere in the cabin was very dirty- big difference from the last US Airbus I was on 5 or so years ago. This looked like it hadn't been cleaned in a day or two. Anyhow, we idled with no announcements at all till just after 4:00 when the pilot just said "hi, were in a gatehold imposed by Philly air traffic, we'll know more about this in 5 minutes." Five minutes come by and then they tell us it'll be almost another 30 minutes or so. Just before 4:45 we push and the safety demo is played on the tv's- not all of them worked perfectly (they had that horizontal line/vertical hold problem). Following the demo, we moved over more towards the runway and then left just a few minutes later. Flight time was just over 40 minutes, and the f/a did not do a main cabin service, which I thought was crappy, because on the SAV-ATL run Delta does at least a fastbreak service if the weather is ok (as it was this day) and the SAV-ATL run is about 45 minutes and frequently is done with a 757 that has a heavier pax load than we did today. We crossed LI sound and past Manhattan before turning right into Jersey and getting in the landing circle for Philly as the sun began to set. We were told on the PA before the gate connections were read off that "the company is aware of your connections and we are holding most flights- many of your connections are delayed as well". We touched down in Philly at around 5:40, and pull into gate C27 I believe. But there is no one to marshal our plane in. I watch ramper after ramper come up to our jet and walk away! More than 10 rampers, some with orange sticks, some without, ignore us. By the time the door was opened, it was 6:00. Passengers were irate, and I saw at least five people grab a comment card out of the Attache magazine. The US representative that welcomed us had a message "unless you are going to Tampa, Ft.Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or San Juan, your connections have all departed. Please see the US Airways special services counter. Thank you and welcome to Philly" GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR- I was irate at this point - they basically lied to us telling us they were holding connections. On my way out I wished the f/a's good luck- with the carrier they work for they're gonna need it.
Philadelphia (PHL)to Detroit Metro (DTW)
US Airways 1629 (op'd by Mid-Atlantic)
Scheduled departure time: 540pm
Actual departure time:
Scheduled arrival time:731pm
Actual arrival time:
Departure gate: F7 (PHL)
Although this flight didn't leave on-time as i found out the next day by checking on-line, it was gone from the departure boards and the speds at the special services counter wanted to re-book me on the 1030 departure (this flight didn't get to DTW till after 1 am because of delays). I had my mom on the phone who looked up the Northwest schedule and found that there was a 730 pm departure to DTW so I figured that i'd try to get moved to that. It was difficult that night to see who was a US employee since most were wearing Eagles jerseys (for super bowl week). Eventually i got to the front of the line and Brian Westbrook assisted me (at least thats what her jersey said). I told her the situation and she told me that all she could do was put me on the 1030 departure. I said that was unacceptable, that there was a 730pm departure on Northwest, and "they were a real airline and at least they will get me there" She looked at me like i was nuts and said "what do you mean a real airline"- i told her that everytime i fly with US i have problems. She grudgingly printed out the NW itinerary and looked at me and said "Well, why do you continue to fly with us then?" (Good question, I'll keep that in mind next time i fly).
Philadelphia (PHL)to Detroit Metro (DTW)
McDonnell Douglas DC9-30
Scheduled departure time: 729pm
Actual departure time: 722pm
Scheduled arrival time:917pm
Actual arrival time: 906pm
Departure gate: E2 (PHL)
The E terminal is very dark- one of the darkest terminals i've ever seen. Houses Delta, Air France, NW, and Southwest's increasing operation. I got sweet endings! I used my silver elite status to get upgraded on this half-full flight over to DTW....we left early, arrived early, and the service was performed with a smile. F/C got two drink services during the smooth flight of 1 hour, 13 minutes (we waited in a long line for departure in PHL). F/A even gave me an extra mini to take with me. It was a nice consolation for a frustrating misconnect in PHL- not even NW's fault at all. Glad this "real airline" was there to bail me out. We got to DTW, plane went to Flint, flight # and crew went to Green Bay.
Sunday, January 30th
Detroit Metro (DTW) to Pittsburgh (PIT)
US Airways EXP 3539 (op'd by Trans States)
Scheduled departure time: 605pm
Actual departure time: 610pm
Scheduled arrival time:707pm
Actual arrival time: 705pm
Departure gate: Gate A5(DTW)
Man do I hate the Smith Terminal in DTW.... US has even removed their computers from their desks, and they now staff their flights solely from the gate podiums- i noticed they do this in PIT too....well, Express got out a beverage service on a smooth 35 minute trip to PIT, not bad....again there was a lapse in time waiting for a ramper....PIT airport is still nice, but the television monitors on the US gates are in disrepair and many don't work any longer. A sad sight for a sad-sack carrier. The airport is a veritable ghost town compared to a few years ago. Part of the A terminal is even closed off!
Pittsburgh (PIT) to Hartford (BDL)
US Airways EXP 3520 (op'd by Trans States)
Scheduled departure time: 850pm
Actual departure time: 844pm
Scheduled arrival time:1013pm
Actual arrival time: 1025pm
Departure gate: Gate A4(PIT)
Completely anonymous flight much like the last, beverage service, no turbulence, just more sulky f/a....old guy like 50ish years old... A 20 minute wait upon arrival for ramper to open door to the RJ- they were too busy handling the incoming PHL flight next door to us. We came in early, but deplaned late. Pilot thanked us for flying "US Air"
I will not shed a single tear about the demise of US, whenever it happens to come. They are a piss-poor airline that really should never be an option for the traveler that needs to go somewhere on time. Their employees clearly dempnstrate no concern for pax or their planes. I now have a second $100 voucher after this trip and i may not even use it.