Welcome to my first trip report! I enjoy reading the reports that folks post here but I haven't flown for a while so this is my first chance at contributing.
My wife and I planned our first week's vacation since before our son was born. He is 18 months old now. We found a nice place to stay in Orlando and then had to book our flights. We wanted to fly direct ALB
since we figured we would be on borrowed time as it was with a baby. I thought that we would be flying WN
since they fly direct 3 times a day. I had forgotten that US flies direct to MCO
one day a week during the winter (Saturday). The prices were comparable (at least to fly direct on Saturdays) so we chose the US flights since my wife has the majority of her frequent flier miles with them.
US used to fly direct to MCO
more often but once Southwest started up at ALB
April 1, 2006
US Airways 819, ALB - MCO
Boeing 737-300, N577US
Scheduled departure 11:55 Actual departure ?(about on time)
Scheduled arrival 14:44 Actual arrival ?(about on time)
We had booked 2 economy seats opting to not buy a ticket for our son. At the time of booking, we picked an empty row taking the window seat and the aisle seat hoping that the middle seat would remain empty. No such luck. As we were checking in, we inquired and they reported the flight overbooked and yes, the middle seat had been claimed. We proceeded through security. No big problems though it is interesting going through with a stroller. Take the baby out, fold up the stroller and on through the machine it goes with the rest of the carry-ons (the stroller, not the baby).
I took a quick pic of the waiting area at the gate at ALB
Thunderstorms were rolling into the Northeast that day and it was raining pretty hard while we waited for our flight. Our gate was at the end of the concourse and there is a nice window at the end. Unfortunately, they have tinted the window a horrible blue. That, combined with the rain made for a bad picture ( I did my best to correct the color in photoshop)
While we were waiting, there was an announcement asking if anyone wanted to upgrade to first class for $100. We went for it - not looking forward to 2.5 hours in a packed coach holding a baby. So we moved up from row 21 to row 3
The flight was pretty uneventful except for the holding a baby part. He cried on and off for the first 1.5 hours of the flight and then finally fell asleep. Cocktails for mom and dad at that point
Here's a picture of me holding our son - he looks a little old for his age
Food was pretty disappointing. Even in first class it was nothing but the snack basket and drinks. I guess that is standard on domestic first these days
Once the baby was asleep I had a few chances to take pictures out the window
Here's some airport we flew over on the way into MCO
(somewhere near the east coast of florida)
Some nice cumulus clouds
We pulled into the gate next to a 734 with the control tower in the background.
We did some cool things while in florida. One of these was a side trip over to St. Pete. We went to The Pier which has a 5 story building with restaurants and shops etc. The top floor has an open air restaurant that looks over the waterfront. It also happens to have over-looking views of the St Petersburg - Albert Whitted Airport (KSPG). Perfect spot as far as I was concerned. They were using runway 18/36 which is only 2864 ft long. Mostly just small single engine airpcraft - many doing touch and go's. I tuned in the tower on my scanner and had a good time listening and watching. Even a little Cherokee was using every foot of runway on its touch and go.
Here's the view from the restaurant
April 8, 2006
US Airways 612
Boeing 737-300, N588US
Scheduled departure 15:40 Actual departure 16:30 (approx)
Scheduled arrival 18:28 Actual arrival 18:48
We anticipated another full flight so this time we upgraded to first class by phone before we left for the airport. Same seats as on the way down. We checked in and made our way to security. When they checked IDs at the begining of the line, I was told that I would be receiving the Super Stupidly Slow Screening - my wife did not. So off my wife and son went to one line while I went in the other. I felt bad that she had to deal with the baby and the stroller and other carry-ons without my help
. The only difference I could tell in the SSSS was that I got a pat down and they did more swipe testing with my carry on (camera bag, scanner, GPS, etc). In the end, it only took me a few more minutes than the rest of my family.
I had my camera with me in the terminal which was good but the windows were pretty dirty and most of the aircraft I could see were backlit. Not the best of shooting but here are some that I like enough to share
We saw this AC
A320 land while we were pulling into the airport. I like the color scheme of the tail.
Here's the only heavy that I got a shot of this day.
I had seen a VS
744 but only from a distance
I also saw my first TED aircraft in person
There was a traffic jam at our gate. The flight before us was just pushing back as our aircraft was inbound to the ramp. They didn't waste any time. As soon as the one pushed back, the next swung in from the other side.
We also saw a former America West A320 in the new colors
While waiting for our flight (we had about an hour to kill before our scheduled departure) my son became restless so I took him for laps around the terminal in the stroller. I noticed on the TV
monitors that our gate was changed and the flight delayed. Turns out there was a strong wind from the South and our plane, which was inbound from ALB
, had to make a tech stop in RDU
for fuel because of the headwinds so it was an hour late. The good news was that those winds were in our favor on the return trip so all told, we were only about 20 minutes late in arriving at ALB
Some nice clouds on the trip
We came up over the Hudson River on our way into ALB
We left 90 degree weather behind. It was in the 40s when we landed. We were still in our shorts and Tshirts. Brrrrrrr
Hope that you have enjoyed this report!
[Edited 2006-04-11 23:08:21]