For those of you who haven't read my PHX
route, I encourage you to do so, as many of the jokes you will read in the following may not make sense. Chelsea may be gone, but new characters will take her place in the second installment of Return from Hell.
PHX-PHL-MAN-GLA With US And FlyBe (by Airbus3801 Apr 6 2007 in Trip Reports)
The morning began in the Brunswick Hotel, a nice hip hotel in the heart of Glasgow. We went to bed at 3:00 AM
and had to wake up at 5:00 AM
for our 7:00 filght for MAN
, which we have already had such pleasant experiences with....NOT. A Pakistani taxi driver appeared in front of the hotel, and we got in for the quick ride to the aiport, which was about 10 minutes away with zero traffic. Our bags we had been told by finally a nice baggage service assistant from FlyBE (or Fly Better with someone else is what they should be rechristened) were still in MAN
after told them they couldn't bus them to us because we were leaving before they would get there. We got to the airport and I was thinking the lord we were flying with BMI
. When I have flown PHX
-BFC, the LHR
-BFC leg with BMI
has always been enjoyable.
Check In and Boarding:
The line was non-existant and a lady promptly got us our boarding passes for all three legs, something that the US agent in PHX
had not done on the way over. We checked our bags and then made our way to security where it was a bit more than it has been in MAN
. Shoes had to come off, my light sweater, everything, but it was still much quicker than the TSA
in anyplace in the US. We went to our gate, and to my horror, our flight was delayed from 7:00 to 9:05 due to foggy conditions in my favorite airport, MAN
~! We began to worry because the FlyBastards agents had told us that we should pick up our bags in MAN
. We had a 2.5 hour connection time, and being 1.5 hours late made it tight for us to get all the way over to T2
or whatever terminal US airways is at and to the gate. The helpful BMI
agents were very helpful even though this issue was with FlyBastard and not their own airline. They advised, well Laura told us litterally "Screw the bags, your flight is more important. They will just have to ship them". BMI
kept us informed throughout the whole delay. They boarded us at 8:05 so we might have a chance of getting an earlier slot if we were ready to go. BMI
agents strolled the lounge looking for bags that wouldn't fit in the small ERJ-145 overheads, which was one of our bags, and they instead of making us check it, "gate valet"'ed it which was very helpful. We boarded, and were ready to go by 8:30, and pulled out at 8:45 after acheiving an earlier slot. See people who said I was a moaner, BMI
actually pleased me, but they would be the only ones that would this whole return trip!
I like the takeoff in ERJ"s because they always seem to be really powerful. We sped out and flew over the completly fogged in skies around MAN
. You could see in the smooth fog the indented areas where previous planes had descended through which was pretty nifty. We landed in about 40 minutes or so, and our fun in MAN
was about to begin.
-made Hell - A tale of confusion, terror, surprising help, and betrayal -
We let the people who had a very tight connection on BMI
, and then we deplaned. Screwing our bags, we followed directly the signs to Transfers. Easier said than done. The signs to transfers took us down a narrow halway, to a door that led us out into the Departures lounge for the terminal. Automatic doors opened, and then closed behind us in a creepy CSI way entrapped us in the Departures lounge. The doors of course would not open again, but at least we were a bit closer to our goal of getting to the next Terminal, which would actually acquire sufficient effort. We roamed around the termianal completly lost, as I guess MAN
just assumes you must already be well familiar with the layout of the terminal, I mean really WHO DOESN'T KNOW THEIR WAY AROUND MAN
? Obviously us American turistas! We started asking the people in the highly neon yellow jackets how to get out of this terminal. Every single one responded with "I dunno, I just work here", or "Sorry, I can't help you". My favorite response was from a bartender whose response to the question of what terminal are we in was "I don't know, I just work here". I mean come on. Who doesn't know what building they work in. That's like saying "Where do you live?", "Oh I dunno, I just live here". We found finally the security checkpoint and just made our way towards the lines when a bewildered security agent goes "Hold up hold up, where exactly are you going". My mother, who was quite irate by this point responds with, "We are getting out of here to US Airways". The security guards had no idea how after coming through arrivals we ended up in the departures section and at the security checkpoint, and neither did we. A nice agent got someone else to take us to the exit, where we got back on the skywalk. Yes, I think I did find one. A helpful person in MAN
. But to imagine this whole picture of us running through MAN
in panic that we will forever be enclosed within the grey halls of hell, you must play Maneater (get it MAN
-eater hahah I crack myself up but I digress) by Nelly Furtado and imagine a read head lady with a heavy rolly bag and her sun running around asking people who would just look back at us dumbfounded. Really it is quite enjoyable. Then you can see us running down the "skywalk" or whatever they called it, to T2
. We were so close to our bags, yet so far.....
We finally got to the next terminal which was a godsend, one of the few that we received at this airport, and got our gate which was in the midst of boarding. We got on board, to find that ours was the second to last row on the A330. At least it wasn't the last one, but close to it. We put our bags up in the lockers, and sat down. Of course with our luck, we were D and E again on Flight 705 this morning. A smallish man with circle glasses that almost met in the center, who I will name Rubin was sitting in F. I scarily awaited who would take C. Would it be another Chelsea, perhaps an overweight Texan who wanted to talk to me about hunting and farming. Maybe even, god forbid, a non-rev'ing FlyBE employee. The horror that was consuming my brain however was lifted by God in some mystical way. No one took the seat. I was saved, and also confused, why would they book us 2 middle seats together instead of an aisle. Oh well, I HAD AN
AISLE. I was happy. I spread out and enjoyed my seemingly infinite bliss. Chelsea and were broken up, for good, and I couldn't be happier. Flight time was announced ast 7 hours and 20 minutes. With only 2 hours of sleep, I was ready to crash, but not after some "enjoyable" things took place....
After take off, our gray flight attendants, who I am sure had their outifts designed by someone famous. Chanel, no to long, she likes short flapper lines. Marc Jacobs maybe, no not him either. I KNOW! The Westboro Baptist church must have designed these! Who else wouldt thinking of grey uniforms to match a grey interior. How silly of me! Our "visions in grey" paraded through the aisles blasting through anyone who had there legs even an cm. into the aisle. They came through for drinks, I got a giner ale and was given the whole can, but wasn't even looked let alone received a smile. I am sure US's goal is to give other airlines a run for their money in the service department! The master designed IFE system was switched on, and I was surprised how it actually functioned. I selected "Stranger than Fiction" and was about 10 minutes it, when an F/A came on, "Well......we....are..................." ".....sorry ummmmmm going..............to......restart the system, yeah that, it will take about 20 minutes". Maybe it's just me, but no one in my row, or in the 15 in front of me were having problems. Maybe behind me there was issues, but of course because of this expert designed system, we all had to wait 25 minutes as it restarted. After it restarted, we were all treated to my previous experience of the 10 minute delay between the time I pressed the button, to when the action actually took place on the screen. While I was wrestling with this retarded system, a colorless, (well she might of had color had she actually taken a minute to make herself look presentable before the flight) F/A passed out our meals, with the selections being (surprise surprise) chicken or pasta. I chose the chicken which was once again the size of maybe Rubin's eye brows, and awaited as the system restarted. After our wonderful Passport system came on, I selected my movie again and waited as I fast forwarded to where I was, only to find out the movie was in Spanish. Sure I can understand Spanish, but seeing Will Ferrel and Emma Thompson with low Venezuelan accented Spanish was not bearable. So I had to restart and confirm that I hadn't selected Spanish for the movie and fast forward again. Unfortunately, I fell asleep with the head phones on anyway for 5 hours. I have never slept this long on a plane before, but maybe it was God sparing me from what was such a boring, grey if you will (both physically and mentally), flight. I awoke to a sandwhich of sorts being passed out but I wasn't hungry really. The lady who obviously thought she could still rely on her un-makeup-assisted beauty at the age of 56 came on the PA talking about the forms we needed to fill out. However, she couldn't make it through the announcement because she couldn't stop laughing, I guess the US F/A's are such party-goers. "You need, (muffled laugh) to fill out your customs form, one for hahahah sorry for each fami-(muffled laugh)-ily" After we landed we all deplaned, as the F/A's didn't even say goodbye. They stayed in the galley's talking to each other about their next legs. I am telling you, SIA
better watch out, US is coming to town!
- The city of too much love -
We had 2.5 hours again for our connection. We went through customs, which didn't take to long, got our bags, and I didn't recheck the one we actually did have, not the ones stuck in MAN
-made-hell, as I could have 2 carryon's now. We went through security again, where I was treated to the world famous hospitality that could only belong in a city like PHL
. We put our stuff on the conveyor belt and I went through the metal-detector. A snappy TSA
agent barked at me, "Is that your stuff?" "Yes..why" "Well if you want to see them, you have to PUSH THEM THROUGH the machine". Okay this makes no sense, she was standing right by them, doing nothing, not even checking boarding passes, and she wouldn't even put a bag on the conveyor belt. I am glad my taxpayers only go to pay for your lunch breaks sister! After that episode of famous PHL
hospitality, we went to the B terminal, in an airport that actually has, can you believe it, signs telling you where to go. After arriving in the B terminal, I made my way to a CNBC News store to get some more magazines. I had a visa gift card for $50, and grabbed two magazines, and one for my mom that she asked for and went to check out. She looked at my card for a minute, swiped it, and then told me it was denied. I don't get this because I checked the balance when I got back and it was $50 dollars, so she must have done something wrong. But when I sold wait for a second, to go grab my mother for some cash, she just said "NO I can't wait for a minute, Are you GOING to CANCEL this or not" I said yes, and by now I was very annoyed with her. She said "WAIT, you have to sign this". Well Paddy O'Bitch-a-dougal, you haven't heard the last of this. She printed this thing for me to sign, and gave me the pen. Just to piss her off, I dropped the pen.............slowly bent.....down....and plucked it up...............started to write, but OOPS, wrong side.....turned the pen....... (by now Paddy was getting very annoyed and loudly tapping her ugly foot), I .....wr....ote........N......I.......C......H................ and this lady literally snatched the receipt away, and said "JUST GO, uuuggghhh". Laughing to myself and we went to our gate.
But of course things don't go so smoothly, our flight was delayed an hour and a half because of the incoming A/C. Typical, so I got some Asian food at an amptly named culinary delight called Asian Chao or something. We came back for boarding, and of course there was the usual fight to get up front. Really I didn't realise how many people have had children under 5 these days. Jeez, they must of found a cure for menopause or something because everyone seems to have young children. We boarded with the Elites, and went to our seat. There were no old ladies to help across the aisle this time, and we were off fine.
Our F/A's straight out of the latest addition of Vogue in their uniforms strolled the catwalk with their kamikaze zero carts, and offered drinks, and then disappeared into their hovels at the back of the plane. Maybe the are all witches, and brew their potions back there. Maybe satanic rituals are taking place in the "Cult of the Grey", who knows, maybe they are....shhhh....Republicans! Right-wing attacks aside, they literally were not seen for the duration of the 5 hour flight afterwords, until one, maybe the lookout they sent out quickly went by taking drink orders. If you weren't paying attention, she didn't bother with you and just went to the next person. I am telling you, the NSA should get on this cult, an attack from within would be devastating. Elmira, the colorless F/A from the last flight was probably cackling into the PA out of sheer joy that none of us knew what is really going on in the depths of the galley. It was a long flight, accompanied by a painfully long movie called "The Holliday". I haven't seen such a great script since Gigli or maybe even Jersey Girl, the latter being a wonderful film filmed in PHL
, as was pointed out by PHL
in the hallways. After painfully finishing the movie, Madeleine Albright entertained me for the rest of my jail sentence on board. We landed and at last my trip was over. Why don't we recap
My trip involved the following
1. No luggage
2. US Airways ...enough said
3. FlyBE ................I am just done with even describing them
4. An evil cult.........one that gathers in the very A/C we fly on
5. Westboro Baptist Church designed uniforms
6. A small fable that goes great with Maneater by Nelly Furtado, the lesson being don't connect through MAN
7. An old lady who no one would help
8. An OCD girl in desperate need of medication
9. An IFE system that refused to function
10. A trip full of memories, for better or for worse.
Hope you enjoyed reading my quest for the lost thrill of flying. Hopefully I will find it soon, probably without US airways. I have PHX
to Ottawa coming up soon. Hopefully things will be better.