My trip report to IAD can be found here AirTran From DTW-ATL-IAD (by 777ER Sep 4 2007 in Trip Reports)
After spending some time exploring Washington DC, it was time to head to New York. I contacted Super Shuttle the previous day and they gave me a pick up of between 4.45am and 5am. I woke up at 4am, had a quick shower and got ready, and was waiting in the Hotel lobby by 4.35am. As I was waiting a taxi driver who was waiting in the lobby for an passengers asked me if I needed a ride to the airport, and I said that Super Shuttle are picking me up. As I was waiting, I noticed that it was still raining. It started raining the previous day around 5pm. The taxi driver told me that when ever there is a cyclone, Washington DC always gets rain and plenty of it. The cyclone causing this rain was in Mexico. Super Shuttle arrived at 4.47am, and the driver was the same driver who picked me up from IAD the previous day. After hitting the road and doing the other pick ups, the weather turned real nasty and the rain just came down. The windscreen wipers were on as fast as possible, but seeing out the front window was basically impossible. A few minutes later, the streets looked like rivers and all we were hearing was the sound of a vehicle hitting surface flooding and seeing water flying out the side. In all honesty it felt like I was on a boat due to the amount of water flying out the side. Finally we arrived at IAD about 1 hour later and the rain had basically stopped. First impressions of IAD as we were on the other side of the carpark that’s outside the terminal as we were going around the circle loop approaching the drop off zone, was WOW. The check-in area looked nice. Once inside a few minutes later, it looked even nicer. All the UA check-ins were self check-in, with basically no waiting lines. UA staff were walking backwards and forwards making sure everyone was checking in correctly and helping if needed, with staff behind the counter going backwards and forwards going to different self check-in counters putting on luggage tags. A few minutes later I was checked-in and decided to explore before going throu security, since there weren’t many shops on the check-in side, I was heading to the TSA line quickly. Above the security entrance there was a big TV on the wall, with a ‘movie’ playing about TSA rules and how to get throu the line quicker. This was a nice change from DTW the previous day with a TSA lady screaming the rules at the passengers, and screaming at some passengers to get into the shortest line. After walking throu the metal detector, a TSA person kindly asked me if this was my bag, which I replied yes. He then asked me if I had a drink bottle with water in my bag, which I replied yes. He then said that the water can’t be taken throu, and asked if I wanted to drink it now, or empty the water into a rubbish bin. I certainly wasn’t going to drink it all then, as it was a big water bottle full of water, so I emptied it out in a rubbish bin and put the water bottle into my carry on bag and left. I then followed the ‘B Terminal’ signs which led me to the Inter-Terminal bus, found a seat and waited for the ride to the B Terminal. After arriving at the terminal, and walking off the bus, I instantly found my departing gate, as it was opposite the Inter-terminal bus. Since I had around 1 hour till boarding, I went on my normal terminal exploration. I walked past the colored wall lights and I was now in the C terminal. I found the gate where I boarded my flight to DTW in May, and the same flight I took in May was getting ready to board with a CRJ-200 parked outside the gate, which brought back memories of my trip to DTW, and the awesome time I had in Michigan over the three months I was there. I continued my exploration and at the end of it, I was back at my departure gate waiting for the boarding. There was a message on the gate display, saying that the flight was over booked, and UA were asking for any volunteers to give up their seat on the flight. Not another over booked flight I thought, as I knew this would cause a delay if my over booked LAX-IAD flight in May was anything to go by. After about 15 minutes, the pre-boarding call was made and the gate agent announced some names over the PA for their boarding passes and new boarding passes. About 10 minutes after boarding was supposed to start, the boarding call was announced with Business Class and any passengers needing extra help to board, followed by the rear of economy class. About 5 minutes later my row number was called, so I joined the line.
Airline: United Airlines
Once on board, my first impressions of this flash aircraft was WOW. The cabin looked very nice. I quickly found my seat over the wing and I thought that the seats were very comfy, compared to UA B737s, B767s, B757, A320, CRJ-200 etc that I had flowen on previously. Once on board I noticed that the air vents weren’t working. A few minutes later, the pilot came on over the PA and said the aircraft was having problems with its APU and would need a vehicle to come and connect a ‘jump starter’ as I call it to the aircraft for it to start its engines then the air can work. We waited on board for about 15 minutes before the vehicle arrived and we were all asked to open our air vents, so the aircraft can cool down quicker. About 5 minutes after that we were being pushed back and finally on our way around 30 minutes late. Once on the runway, all power was released and off we went. I was again surprised at how much power an RJ can have. Due to the low cloud, within about 2 seconds after lift off, we were flying throu cloud, which would basically be all I would see out the window for the flight. The snack/drink cart came throu, and I had a Coke, and given some biscuits for the snack. While trying to have a drink we encounted some turbulence, which made trying to drink interesting. Before descent into JFK, the pilot came on over the PA and announced the weather in JFK which was rain and low mist, with a high of 57f, which I knew was around 10-12 degrees, so it was cold, and it certainly was cold and raining. Once outside the terminal building I put on my sweatshirt which was in my carry on bag. The Super Shuttle van arrived and I was pleased to see it was a Chevy since I’m a Chevy fan. Once on board we headed to terminal 8 where we picked up the last few passengers and started the journey into New York. After being in the vehicle for about 1 hour I finally arrived at my hotel, and joined the long line for check-in. The Hotel I stayed at was one of New York’s biggest and oldest Hotels. It had around 20 floors, and I was given room 1544.
Over all I again enjoyed UA’s service and the E170 is a very nice aircraft. Check-in was different from what I’ve experienced at other UA check-ins and I give UA 10/10 for check-in as it was nice and easy. In-flight service was again excellent, but the problem while waiting at IAD was a little annoying, but couldn’t be avoided, so 9/10 there. I’ve always enjoyed my flights with UA and will continue to fly with them when possible