In August I booked my flight home for thanksgiving. I decided to go with AA for the flight out, and UA for the return. I originally booked PHX-SFO-ORD-SYR. A few weeks after booking, there was a schedule change, and I switched to PHX-LAX-CLT-SYR. I was glad I made this change because on the day of the flight there was weather and strong winds in SFO, and I would have missed my connecting flight. My flight was scheduled to leave at 9:30pm. I left for the airport a little earlier then normal, since it was 2 days before thanksgiving and it would be busy. After checking in, I headed up to security. There were only a few people ahead of me in the precheck line, but the regular line probably had over 100 people on it. TSA were telling people it was taking about 45 minutes to get through the regular line.
November 26, 2019
Phoenix, AZ (PHX) – Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Scheduled Departure Time- 9:30pm
Actual Departure Time- 9:56pm
Scheduled Arrival Time- 10:01pm
Actual Arrival Time- 9:55pm
20A with a 757 going to PHL later that night
Once everyone had boarded, they realized that one person did not have a seat. They went through and counted multiple times trying to find him an open seat. The person without the seat, was traveling with a few other people. After a few minutes they decided that they would all get off, and take the later flight to LAX. As soon as they got off, the door was closed 10 minutes late. A few minutes later we pushed back, and quickly taxied to 25R. We were number 1 for takeoff. We took off to the west and climbed up to 28,000ft. We climbed through some rain showers, and some light turbulence. It was a quick flight to LAX. By the time the flight attendants were finishing the service, we were descending into LA.
We touched down at 955pm. There was another A321 going to PHL still at our gate. We waited about 15 minutes, before we taxied to the gate.
I had a little over 2 hours until my flight to CLT. The airport was really busy, and there were a lot of flights leaving. It was a full flight to CLT, and they started boarding 40 minutes early.
November 27, 2019
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) – Charlotte, NC (CLT)
Scheduled Departure Time- 12:28am
Actual Departure Time- 12:59am
Scheduled Arrival Time- 8:05am
Actual Arrival Time- 7:53am
3 hours 54 minutes
Once the door was closed, we pushed back. All of a sudden, we stopped. We then were pulled back into the gate. The captain made an announcement that “everything was normal, we just needed to allow a plane to enter the ramp, before we could push back.” A few minutes later, we were pushed back again. Once the engines were started, we taxied to runway 25R. After a long takeoff roll and an immediate left turn after takeoff, we climbed up to 33,000ft. It was a bumpy in the climb, as we flew through multiple cloud layers. Shortly after takeoff the flight attendants came through with drinks and pretzels. Most people on the plane were already sleeping. The flight attendants made it through the front half of the plane in less then 5 minutes.
It was an overcast morning in CLT. We were IMC through the entire descent. We broke out on final for runway 18R.
Taxing to gate C12, next to the A321 arriving from PHX
November 27, 2019
Charlotte, NC (CLT) – Syracuse, NY (SYR)
Scheduled Departure Time- 9:19am
Actual Departure Time- 9:43am
Scheduled Arrival Time- 11:09am
Actual Arrival Time- 10:58am
1 hour 15 minutes
Just like PHX and LAX, CLT was really busy this morning. By the time I got to my connecting flight, boarding started about 15 minutes later.
N660AW next to us was going to DEN
The door was closed, and we pushed back a few minutes later. Once the engines were started, we taxied to runway 18C. We were number 3 for takeoff behind two A320s. It was rainy in CLT, and eventually we were on top of the weather. It was a quick flight up to SYR. Before long the CA made an announcement with the weather and how long until we were landing.
Descending into SYR
Final runway 10
Arriving at gate 8
Over the weekend, I got an email from United. There was supposed to be a snowstorm in the northeast, and they had put out a waiver to change my flight. I decided to move my flight back two days. I went with the last flight of the day, that still had seats available. My new flight was SYR-IAD-EWR-PHX, but that did not end up going as planned.
United Express “Air Wisconsin” 3872
December 3, 2019
Syracuse, NY (SYR) – Washington DC Dulles (IAD)
Scheduled Departure Time- 2:45pm
Actual Departure Time- 2:50pm
Scheduled Arrival Time- 4:10pm
Actual Arrival Time- 3:44pm
N442AW at gate 26
Everyone was onboard by 2:30pm, 15 minutes early. A few minutes later the door was closed, and we pushed back 5 minutes early. Once the engines were started, we taxied to runway 28.
After takeoff, we climbed up to 31,000ft. Once we leveled off, the flight attendant came through with drinks and snacks. It was a turbulent descent into IAD. During the descent the CA said that it would be a bumpy approach, since the winds were gusting 30.
Descending into IAD
Final runway 1R
Taxing to the gate
N442AW preparing for it’s next flight to LGA
I had a little over an hour until boarding began for the EWR flight.
December 3, 2019
Washington DC Dulles (IAD) – Newark, NJ (EWR)
Scheduled Departure Time- 5:30pm
Actual Departure Time- 7:05pm
Scheduled Arrival Time- 7:06pm
Actual Arrival Time- 7:58pm
We pushed back 5 minutes late. As we taxied towards the runway, the CA made an announcement that EWR was in a ground stop and no flights could take off. He was only expecting the delay to be 10-15 minutes. We taxied down to the end of the runway and pulled off to the side to wait. About 10 minutes later he made another announcement that, EWR was still in a ground stop, and there was a lot of holding going on. Once all of the planes that were holding, had landed he was expecting an update. At this point the engines were shut down. Every 20 minutes or so, the CA would update us. After 1 hour and 15 minutes sitting, he finally said that the ground stop at EWR was lifted. We were given a wheels up time, about 20 minutes later. Several people on the plane were asking the flight attendants about connections. A lot of people had connections around the same time as my flight. At one point the FA made an announcement that with our wheels up time, it was going to be a close connection for many people. Once we were in the air, they would let us know our arrival gate and what time we should be landing. She also mentioned that they had several people connecting to Edinburgh, Lisbon and Madrid. She said there were a few people going on each of these flights, and that a lot of times they will hold international flights. About 5 minutes before our wheels up time, the engines were started and we taxied to runway 1R. After holding short for a few minutes, we were cleared for takeoff.
“United 1972 fly heading 350 runway 1R cleared for takeoff”
Flight attendants came through with water and snacks, and within a few minutes of leveling off we were descending into EWR
As we taxied to the gate the FA made an announcement reiterating that several people in the back of the plane had really tight connections, and that if you did not to let those people off first. We got to the gate after waiting for 10 minutes for a plane to push off our gate. As usual, once we got to the gate everyone ignored the announcement and stood up, and the people in the back were stuck. As soon as I got off the plane, I asked the gate agent about my flight to PHX. He said they literally just closed the door one minute ago, and that was the last flight of the night to PHX. He told me to go to the service desk to get rebooked. There were a lot of people who missed their connections, and the line was very long and moving slowly. I decided to call UA, and see if I could get someone sooner. Eventually someone picked up, and I explained the situation. She said she would rebook me for the following morning. The first flight she could get me on was at 11am. I would have to get a hotel for the night, which I did not want to do. I figured it was unlikely but I asked if I could take the last flight to SYR tonight spend the night there, then tomorrow fly to PHX. She said she would have to talk to a supervisor. To my surprise she came back, and said I had been confirmed on the flight leaving at 9:30pm to SYR. About 5 minutes after hanging up and printing my new boarding pass, I got a notification that the flight was now delayed until 11:00pm. After looking up my flight, I saw the plane had not left DCA. Since I had some time to kill, I got some dinner and then took the shuttle to the A gates where my flight was departing from.
United Express “ExpressJet” 4388
December 3, 2019
Newark, NJ (EWR) – Syracuse, NY (SYR)
Scheduled Departure Time- 9:30pm
Actual Departure Time- 11:39pm
Scheduled Arrival Time- 10:45pm
Actual Arrival Time- 12:15am
It was a quick taxi to runway 22R. A LOT 787 to WAW, and a UA 773 to TLV followed us to the runway. We taxied on to the runway, and without stopping started our takeoff roll. After takeoff, we climbed up to 22,000ft for the quick flight to SYR. The flight attendant came through with snacks and water. It was an overcast night, and it was a bumpy descent.
Climbing out of EWR
Descending into SYR
Final for runway 28
Arriving at the same gate I was at 10 hours earlier
When I was rebooked at EWR, I was told my bag was rerouted as well. When I went down to baggage claim, my bag was not there. After speaking to someone, I found out my bag was still at EWR. Since I was leaving the next day, she had the bag rerouted to PHX and I would get it there the following night. My flight the next day was scheduled to depart at 5:30pm. Since I did not have my bag and had my boarding passes already, I got to the airport 45 minutes before my flight. I went right to security and by the time I got to my gate, they were just starting boarding.
United Express “SkyWest” 5783
December 4, 2019
Syracuse, NY (SYR) – Chicago, IL (ORD)
Scheduled Departure Time- 5:29pm
Actual Departure Time- 5:35pm
Scheduled Arrival Time- 6:48pm
Actual Arrival Time- 6:08pm
1 hour 33 minutes
Everyone had boarded and we were ready to depart about 15 minutes early. The door was closed, and we pushed back a few minutes later.
N161SY at gate 21
Taxing to runway 28
After takeoff we climbed through the clouds and rain. We broke out on top of the clouds, just as the sky was almost dark.
Final for runway 27R
After we landed, we had a long taxi. We landed 40 minutes early, and had to wait for about 10 minutes for the plane at our gate to pushback.
Arriving at gate E4
N161SY preparing for it’s next flight to OKC
I had an hour and a half until my flight to PHX was departing. It was a full flight, and boarding started about 35 minutes prior to departure.
December 4, 2019
Chicago, IL (ORD) – Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
Scheduled Departure Time- 7:37pm
Actual Departure Time- 7:58pm
Scheduled Arrival Time- 10:32pm
Actual Arrival Time- 10:19pm
3 hours 21 minutes
The door was closed 10 minutes early, and we pushed back a few minutes later. With the engines started our taxi to runway 22L. We were #5 in line for takeoff. Once it was our turn, we taxied on to 22L and then sat for a little bit. Once an AA 787 from DFW landed on runway 28C, we started our takeoff roll.
Taxing to 22L
Line up and wait
Climbing out of ORD
Once we were in the air, the flight attendants came through with drinks and snacks. It was a smooth flight down to PHX. About 30 minutes before landing, the CA made an announcement that we were starting our descent. We flew through some clouds during the descent.
Final runway 26
Pulling into gate 6B
N69816 preparing for the overnight flight to IAD
This was the end of my interesting trip back to PHX. It was a first for me, ending up back in the city that I started from. Overall all the flights on AA and UA were good. I fly UA the least often of the major airlines, and I am always glad when I get the opportunity to fly someone different.