Here's the trip report from my recent trip to DC.
I ended up booking my ticket a few weeks after my girlfriend. Her direct PHX-DCA flight increased in price by about $160 where as flights into BWI decreased by about $60. So I decided to book PHX-BWI-PHX. That was until I logged onto US Airways.com and saw a 540am flight connecting through CLT allowing me to finally fly an Embraer E-jet. I've yet to fly one so I figured It would be worth getting up early.
And get up early I did. I decided to take the bus to the airport instead of paying for parking. I was at the bus stop at 341AM.
I arrived at Sky Harbor roughly 35 minutes later only to find it empty and the Starbucks closed.
I waited for Starbucks to open and then headed over to the gate and boarded the flight.
US Airways 680
18A - Zone 2
Airbus A320 - N678AW
We boarded ontime and I took my seat, 18A. Soon enough we pushed to the 'T.'
Cactus Six Eight, Sky Harbor Tower, clear for take-off full lenght runway Seven Left.'
And we're off!
Climbing out of PHX as the sun rises.
I nodded off pretty quickly but every part of the flight I was awake for, we were over the clouds.
I took another quick nap but was awoken by the Captain indicating we would be hold outside of CLT because of fog in the area.
Make a race track!
Landed CLT about 30 minutes behind.
Luckily enough were about two gates down from my connecting flight to BWI and I could see the airplane was still there. I deplaned and walked over to the BWI gate where the gate agent announced we had an airplane but no crew. So I called my buddy that works for US and asked him for loads on the next to DCA flights figuring if the BWI flight went too late I would change my connection to a DCA flight enabling me to arrive with my girlfriend.
I did not want to switch right away because the DCA flights were on A319s and I really wanted to log the E175. But nevertheless that didn't happen, the crew was coming in on a cancelled flight. So I politely asked the gate agent to toss me onto the next DCA flight.
US Airways 975
7C - Zone 2
Airbus A319 - N758US
I boarded the airplane in Zone 2 since I have a US Airways World card. I sat down in my aisle seat on the left side of the aircraft. Now that i was flying into DCA, I really wanted the window to catch the Potomac approach. Luck would have it that a nice elderly couple walked down the aisle and asked if I could get up so they could take the window and middle.
I offered the nice couple the aisle seat if they preferred and of course they took my offer.
We pushed back and made our way to the runway.
NC ANG C-130s
Turning onto 36R
During the climb the wife (seated in the middle) commented about how great it was I had my camera since I was now in the window seat. HAHAHA!
The east coast was getting socked with rain and fog that day. So I have one photo of us in the clouds. I'll spare you all the rest.
We descended into DCA with very low cigs. Gear Down
Breaking out of the clouds
Just the shot I was looking for. Too bad it was so nasty out.
Clearing the runway.
We deplaned and I hit the terminal at 4:52pm. My girlfriends non stop PHX-DCA flight was due to land at 4:56pm any moment. Her arrival gate was right across from mine. So I walked over and saw her aircraft land.
She deplaned and we walked out together to the METRO station bound for Alexandria.
Here are some scenes from the time we spent in the DC Area followed by the return to trip to PHX including my WAS-BWI Amtrak segment.
Smithsonian American History Museum
Overall I really enjoyed Alexandria and wouldn't mind living there some day.
But soon enough the time came for me to depart.We jumped on the METRO and headed for Central Station. My girlfriend would follow me home a few days later but she came along to the station to drop me off. We ended up grabbing lunch and a few beers at the restaurant in the center. Union Station is absolutely beautiful! And the Blue Moons were good too!
Me excited for my first Amtrak trip! Such a dork!
Onboard and heading out of Union Station up through Maryland suburbs.
Arrived at the BWI Amtrak station about 30 minutes later.
You take a quick shuttle bus (free) from the Amtrak station to the airport. TSA was easy and quick so I had some extra time to grab a beer before my flight. After my beer I went for a walk down to the express gates to spot a bit. The taxi way runs adjacent to the terminal on one side so you get a really upclose and personal view of the aircraft.
My ride to PHX eventually arrived and was turned around for boarding. a/c 816. Oddly enough my girlfriend would be seated in 10F on this exact aircraft for her DCA-PHX flight just two days later.
US Airways 678
8F - Zone 2
Airbus A319 - N816AW
Arooo? What's he doing here?
Some cumulonimbus clouds were to the south and west of us so I was a bit concerned we might catch a scattered thunderstorm. Seeing Lufthansa on the ground sort of confirmed it for me since those clouds looked like they could be affecting IAD. Sure enough the captain comes on to let us know ATC will not release us due to wx in the area so we will be holding. He shut the #2 down. And we sat...
And sat some more...
Then I heard the #2 start to ignite and we taxiied up a bit. Then the captain announced ATC had blown our wheels up time and we were now back at the end of the queue. So we sat some more...
Our new slot came and the crew wasted no time getting out of BWI.
Opposite direction traffic.
I wish I could have captured how beautiful the sunset was but I could not angle the lens out of the window to get a photo of the sun setting.
We began our descent into PHX. On the river visual for 26.
By the time we landed it was pretty dark and the roll out photos came out too blurry. We parked on the A gates and I walked out to the Light Rail shuttle bus and took the light rail home.
Thanks for reading my trip report and I hope you enjoyed it. I love living vicariously through other a.netter's reports so if you like to do the same, let me know if there's anything else you would like to see or me to write about.