American carriers like DL
and US sure send a lot of heavies to SJU
which makes sense with all the cruises. I would think others like NW
could do it as well because the demands obviously seems there.
The Concourse quickly crowded with people. It was a very spacious concourse, but with literally thousands of people in it at one time, the place was crazy.
We ate lunch at this great restaurant and relaxed for a while. Once done with that it was time for my parents and I to head to our gate because out of my friends our flight was leaving first. I never had such an enjoyable 4 hours in an airport before.
Departure time 2:15pm
Load factor- 100%
15 minutes after we sat down boarding began and I was sure the flight was going to be full. As we took our seats in row 17 the first thing I noticed and liked about the 767-200 was its cabin height. I was on a 764 some years back and I don’t recall the cabin being quite so high and open. Infact the overhead compartments were no match for some of the flight attendants who had to step up on the seats to reach and close them before takeoff. For the longest time it felt like the plane was not filling up at all. People stopped coming in and I thought it wasn’t going to be full after all. Then suddenly one last rush of people made their way on and every single seat was occupied. That kind of disappointed me because I wanted to ask if could move to an open window seat nearby if there were any. 95% of the time I have a window seat so this was one of the rare occasions that I did not and that meant I wouldn’t be able to take many pictures. I got over it pretty quickly and sat back and enjoyed the flight anyhow. Taxiing to the runway I looked at the tickets for our connecting flight to ORD
and I noticed that we were flying first class on our next flight, most likely another move by US/UA to try to make us happy.
We did not have to wait long for takeoff as there were only one AA757 taking off and an AA
ATR72 landing before us. Once airborne I listened to my Ipod and looked at my pictures on my camera. Before long snack/drink service came around.
Nothing beats pretzels on a 3hr and 45min flight…
The nice blue leather seats were very comfortable and I almost had enough motivation to start To Kill a Mockingbird for my English class but after reading the first page I changed my mind. Don’t take me wrong, the book is good but I was not about to read a book during my spring break. Eventually I got tired and before dozing off I went to the bathroom and took a picture of the cabin when I was in back to not make it as noticeable. For some reason I feel strange taking pictures of the cabin in-flight, but I do it for you guys!
For the remainder of the flight I rested until I was woken up from some moderate turbulence. We were flying up the weekend of that big storm that struck the east coast. A very eerie scene was created with the dark storm clouds out side, rain streaking across the windows, and the quietness and darkness in the cabin. We seemed to fly at a very steady altitude coming into CLT
and it felt like we were never going to land. I imagine we were trying to avoid the storms as best as possible but we really didn’t make many turns either as if we were holding or anything. Once I heard the gear go down then I knew we would finally be on the ground soon. The rest of the landing went pretty smoothly as we touched down on 8R. This was my first time to CLT
and I was curious to how large the airport would be in person. Once inside the concourse it didn’t appear to be that large to me but it was still a fairly good size. I was not able to do much spotting in CLT
because we realized that we only had about 45 minutes layover time. We swiftly walked to concourse A and our gate 4.
Dark storm clouds surrounding the airport. The plane to the left was our 762 that we just got off.
Departure time: 7:30pm
Load factor 95%?
Before we got to the gate I did not know if we were going to be on a 737 or A319... It ended up being a 733 also a new aircraft for me.
To the north we noticed some lightning and the gate agent said we were going to start boarding and leave as soon as possible. Because we were in first class we boarded first along with a few other passengers. My seat was 1A and this was my first time in first class. 6 of the 8 first class seats were occupied on the flight and I’m not exactly sure how full the coach cabin was but I think it was nearly full from what I saw. We were offered drinks as we waited at the gate for the rest of the people to board. I turned on channel 9 as soon as we began taxiing and one of the first things I heard was that we were going to have to hold on the taxiway due to the weather,
I don’t know what these 3 planes were doing whether they were holding or just parked there for some other reason.
Right as we began to shut our engines down ATC cancelled our delay and we started them right back up which took a moment.
We used 18R again for our takeoff which for the most part wasn’t too rough .
The initial climb was a little choppy but we climbed to higher altitudes quickly to find smoother air.
We passed some neat looking clouds and then a little bit later into the flight I captured the sun setting behind some dark clouds.
I was not sure what food would be offered on the flight being in first class and all, but it just ended up being pretty much nothing. I didn’t mind though because I was not hungry. Nothing to exciting happened the rest of the flight and before too long we were descending into a dark ORD
. Our route took us over northern Indiana then to the west before turning back to the northeast to land on 4R. The airspace was not terribly busy at that time but the ground was as we taxied to concourse C in terminal 3. We took the long route that went over the road and around the north side which seemed to take forever. I was first off the plane (something I’ve never had the privilege to do before) and then my parents and I went straight to baggage. As my dad and I went to get our 2 checked bags my mom went to talk with UA
baggage service about our little problem. Here is where the unthinkable happened. We waited patiently for 20 minutes and the same freakin bags were going round and round. There were still several passengers that were still waiting for their bags too which leaves me to wonder whose bags were really on the carrousel. Like 30 bags were on there and no one was claiming them. It took me a minute to realize what just happened as other people began to explode with outrage. Then it hit me; THEY LOST OUR BAGS AGAIN!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it. Instead of 3 missing bags we had 4. It was so ridiculous that I just began laughing. The 10-15 of us who had lost bags complained over at the UA
baggage kiosk. When people heard that we lost our bags on our way down and had no clothes for our cruise people were sorry for us and didn’t feel as bad. The lady taking care of us mumbled under her breath, “US has been killing us all day.” which I thought was funny. We filled out the claim and walked outside into the cold which really sucked and made me feel even worse. On the shuttle to the hotel where our car was parked everyone heard about our story and a flight attendant I believe for Delta said that we should write a letter and that was exactly what we were going to do. I fell asleep during the 1.5 hour drive home and once home I chatted with my brother and his fiance before going to bed.
Summary: Overall this was one crazy trip that I will never forget, but it was still enjoyable. I don’t know why I spent so much time choosing what flights I wanted to go on before the trip because we did not end up on a single flight that we were supposed to! Besides the whole luggage deal I liked US and UA
’s flights and aircraft. I’m a little upset that they lied to us everyday in saying we would receive our baggage at every island. As for the cruise it was terrific. Royal Caribbean was great and worked hard to get our bags back even though it never happened. The entire ship was clean and very fancy. The food and service reached the highest possible standards. The only thing I felt needed a little work was the evening entertainment, but besides that everything was perfect including the itinerary. All of the islands we stopped at were amazing and I would recommend them to anyone who loves picture perfect water, beaches, and snorkeling.
Two days after returning, 2 of our bags (the ones we lost most recently) were sent to our house. After several phone calls with United they informed us that one of our bags was sent to Frankfurt!!!! I couldn’t believe my ears. I thought that was good news because they at least had a locate on the bag, but I was wrong. Two weeks after coming home US said our other bag was sent to Antigua: nice try but you guys were only a few weeks too late. That day we received that bag which made me happy because the majority of my clothes were in it. To this day we have not heard any news on the bag supposedly sent to FRA
. That bag was lost over 4 weeks ago and I highly doubt we’ll ever see it again although I still have a little hope. It would be nice if it came back with some bratwurst and German beer!