Trip started Thursday morning, when I arrived at the UA ticket counter in ATW to request a jumpseat on the 6:00 Skywest flight down to ORD, flight 6691. The agent, who knows me, joked that it would cost me a dollar. I told him in lieu of that I would buy him a beer. He chuckled and gave me a seat assignment. My next leg would be US flight 873 to LAS, and since I would simply be a non rev, I went to my office upstairs to check in for that leg and save a hastle in ORD.
United Express operated by SkyWest
From: Appleton, WI
AC Type: CRJ-200 Seat: 11C
I went through TSA, and after getting a cup of tea from a vendor I boarded the flight, and took my seat 11C. As usual for the 6 am flight, we powered out on time (UA does not use pushback tugs in ATW, planes simply do a 180 out of the gate area), and a couple of minutes later we launched off of Runway 29. Of course the flight was real short, so 30 minutes later we touched down on runway 14R in ORD, and pulled into F1. My US flight to LAS would be out of gate F8, but I had time to kill, so I walked over to the H/K concourse and grabbed a Dunkin Donuts (I like DD better than Starbucks, and for some reason AA is the only place in ORD that has one). I walked back, and since US had the drink charge in place I decided to buy a few bottles of water and Vitamin Water for the flight to LAS. I then went to F8 to wait for the flight to board.
USAirways (Operated by an East crew)
From: Chicago O'Hare
To: Las Vegas
AC Type: A320 OW Seat: 1A
The funny thing was that I mentioned earlier that I loaded up on drinks for the flight. Then when I recieved my seat assignment, much to my surprise, I was seated in First Class. This plane was one of the few US planes still in the Navy blue paintscheme, but it already had the new US interior that they have been introducing, with leather seats in both coach and first class. Seat 1A was great, I had no one next to me, lots of room, and its a very comfy seat. Since I had to wait for a seat assignment as a standby, I didn't board early enough for a pretakeoff drink. But there were water bottles at my seat so I drank a bit of water. We pushed back 15 minutes early, and with absolutely no taxi delay or wait we took off from 22L very quickly. Shortly after takeoff the Flight Attendant served the first round of drinks, and I had my usual CranApple. Then the flight attendant offered me a breakfast, and I chose the cold breakfast, which consisted of a fruit plate, a huge strawberry yogurt plate, granola, and a croissant. It was delicious, and it was such a throwback to actually have a meal in flight. And the service was great too. The flight attendant was offering drinks every half hour or so for the rest of the flight. We ran into a bit of turbulence as we passed over the rockies, but that was due to mountain wave, which is normal. I took time to pray for a while as I am a devout catholic, and I read a little theology. Soon we descended into LAS and since I was playing in a disc golf tournament at Sunset park, I was hoping for a 25L landing so I could get a view of the park on approach. I soon saw 25L but it was way off to our left, as we would be doing what I like to refer to as the Stratosphere Visual. The folks on the right side got a great view of the strip. Soon after, we touched down on 19L, and were at the gate early. People complain about US all the time, but this was one of the best flights I had in a long time on any airline. Service was great, flight attendants were smiliing, and flights were on time and even early. Nothing I could complain about.
Next post I will write about the return trip, which was much more of an adventure.