Smalbany
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:29 am

ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Wed Apr 12, 2006 5:58 am

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 - MCO 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 from ALB 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!

Dan

[Edited 2006-04-11 23:08:21]
 
corey07850
Posts: 2335
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:33 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:57 am

Nice job... It's pretty unfortunate that you didn't get any food in F, I know Continental at least has "full meals" in Domestic First. I wonder if it had to do with the time of day your flight was?

Quoting SmAlbany (Thread starter):

Here's some airport we flew over on the way into MCO (somewhere near the east coast of florida)

New Smyrna Beach (KEVB)
 
Smalbany
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:29 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:28 am

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 1):
New Smyrna Beach (KEVB)

Thanks! I had no idea how far south we were when I took that picture but we seemed to go west bound soon after that so it makes sense.

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 1):
I wonder if it had to do with the time of day your flight was?

Well, the way down was smack dab at lunch time and our trip back was right around dinner.
 
User avatar
alaskaqantas
Posts: 856
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:12 pm

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:43 am

Quoting SmAlbany (Thread starter):
there was an announcement asking if anyone wanted to upgrade to first class for $100

WHAT????

thats a bit of a rip off. number i guess the airline was smart in asking if any one wanted to pay 100 bucks to upgrade... the only thing is that on most airlines if they over book they will upgrade high FF, for free... ohhh well I guess they got some extra $$$.
Also 100 dollars, on AS it would only be 50 for the distance. ohh well I guess first class with a baby for 100 is well worth it!!!!!  Wink
bummer on the no food thing.
nice report!!!
~Cheers mate-
~~Kyle H.
to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
 
christao17
Posts: 902
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:14 pm

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:05 am

Nice first report... it is interesting how in some cases $100 for a first class upgrae seems unreasonable and in other cases it is well worth it!

Look forward to your next report and I trust that your son is actually a cuter baby than that!  Smile
Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
 
767747
Posts: 2122
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:07 am

great report and nice pics! That's interesting that US Airways uses the 737-300 on the trip; I'm surprised nothing bigger.
I love to fly!
 
columbia409
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 12:39 pm

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:00 pm

Nice to see a fellow ALB guy posting a trip report!

I've done US Saturday-only ALB-MCO run...not a bad way to go. My work has taken me to MCO recently, and I stick with WN since I rarely fly on Saturdays.
 
Smalbany
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:29 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:17 pm

Quoting 767747 (Reply 5):
That's interesting that US Airways uses the 737-300 on the trip; I'm surprised nothing bigger.

Well, Albany not that big a place (hence my user name) and I think that the flying public in the USA has demanded more flight frequency rather that bigger planes. Wide bodies rarely come into ALB usually only for a divert. The fact that the runways are only 7200 feet could play a factor.

They are currently lengthening the main runway by another 1200 feet. We'll see if that brings any different aircraft types.
 
panam330
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:58 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:32 pm

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 1):
New Smyrna Beach (KEVB)

Damn; beat me to it. I was there last night, hoping to fly out with a few of my Riddle friends, and the winds were just too high to do it (I believe gusting to 22. Limit is 15 for my friend, IIRC).
 
Smalbany
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:29 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:50 pm

Quoting Alaskaqantas (Reply 3):
I guess first class with a baby for 100 is well worth it!!!!!

Actually, my wife flies US quite a bit and she had some upgrades banked so we used those rather than pay cash but $100 for the upgrade definitely would have been worth it for us. Interestingly enough, even though they told us that they were overbooked, first class was half empty. I guess not many people with FF standing were aboard. Same thing for the return flight.

Quoting Columbia409 (Reply 6):
Nice to see a fellow ALB guy posting a trip report!

Thanks! There's a few of us ALB guys floating around these forums. I'd like to see that WN pilot do a trip report some time when he flies into ALB. It would be nice to hear about the approach and airport from a pilot's perspective
 
tmarch291
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:06 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:18 am

Great First TR,

I've been to ALB a few times, I lived in East Greenbush for a year. I, like many of the other posters here were very surprised that you did not food in First. Even though ALB-MCO is a moderately short flight, I do not know of any other legacy carrier that doesn't offer food in domestic first.
 
User avatar
mke717spotter
Posts: 1947
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:32 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:07 pm

Good report and pictures. I really like the wing shots lookin out the window. Just curious but how many airports are in St. Petersburg cause I know they have comercial service to that city on some airlines.
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
 
Smalbany
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:29 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:44 pm

Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 11):
Just curious but how many airports are in St. Petersburg

As far as I know there is one other airport in St pete - the larger international airport. There was a lot going on over the bay during our lunch there. In addition to the little airport, there was a KC-135 doing touch and gos across the bay at McDill AFB and there was commercial traffic turning final for what I assume was TPA. I loved it!

Here's a map I pulled off of Google Earth. We were at the bottom center of the map.


Big version: Width: 735 Height: 742 File size: 119kb
Tampa Bay area airports
 
san747
Posts: 4344
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 10:03 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:24 am

Quoting SmAlbany (Reply 9):
There's a few of us ALB guys floating around these forums.

I'm sort of an ALB guy... During the summer, I live in Columbia County with my Dad, and ALB is my airport (I love the observation deck!). This year, I may move to that area permanently...
Scotty doesn't know...
 
User avatar
mke717spotter
Posts: 1947
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:32 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Fri Apr 14, 2006 6:21 am

Quoting SmAlbany (Reply 12):
St pete - the larger international airport.

Yeah thats right, I was thinking of Clearwater which you just said so thanks for clearing it up. I wasn't sure if you were at that one or the smaller one.
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
 
BritPilot777
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 10:05 am

RE: ALB-MCO And Back On US (w/pics)

Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:12 am

Good trip report mate, nice read!

BP777
Forever Flight

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Feedfetcher, jasoncrh and 29 guests