March 8-16, examples of good and bad travel!

US 4570 (Piedmont), TRI-CLT, Dash 8-100, seat 4C exit aisle:
This flight was quick and uneventful save the bumpiness. We departed on time and arrived 32 minutes later. There was no beverage service and the FA’s jump seat was broken, so she had to sit in 1C. However, when we arrived CLT, runway traffic and another aircraft occupying our gate caused to sit on the plane another 47 minutes–longer than the actual flight–both props running and burning fuel! IMO, CLT is the new ATL and US is the old DL of yore. I have crappy luck on US. I see NO improvement.

US 1202, CLT-LGA, A319, seat 1A window:
US 938 was scheduled to depart 11:35 am, but cancelled three hours later @ 2:30 pm due to weather (although US 1644 to LGA at 1:00ish did depart late!) The GAs sent everyone back to ticketing outside security for rebooking (!), but I called Platinum Preferred instead and was rebooked on US 1624 departing at 8:00 pm. I found a nice GA who printed my boarding pass and put me on standby for the 4:10 pm, US 802. It was delayed until 5:00 pm due to a late arriving aircraft (international arrival) and air traffic. They asked for volunteers due to weight and balance restrictions and also called for an accurate count of children under 12. US 802 took another delay until 5:30 pm, and then finally boarded up everyone, including volunteers, and I did not get on. So I went to the next flight, US 1202 at gate B6. I inquired twice at the gate about the rolled-over standby list and apparently the previous flight had not been closed out, which is what triggers the rollover, so it had not been rolled over yet. They started boarding and all of a sudden my name was called and the GA had marked through my 21E seat assignment and given me 1A. The flight was scheduled to depart at 6:15 pm and finally left CLT at 8:05 pm and landed at 9:20 pm. Much of the power was out in the US terminal at LGA, so the jetway was not working and we had to deplane by stairs, go through some offices, and came out in baggage claim!

I had a celebrity sighting on the flight, Cameron Mathison. I noticed him because I went to the lav and when I came out we were face to face and almost ran into each other! I wish we had run into each other!

In flight I had wine, then per my seatmate’s recommendation, two Glenlivets on the rocks! Very good and very potent! He was a lawyer from New Orleans married to a French girl in NY. We had a grand time. He was also from the canceled 11:35 am flight!

What a long day! US is very weak when it comes to handling IRROPS!!

DL 5504 (CRJ) and DL 365 (737-800) JFK-BOS-BDA March 9, exit row 8A/B and business class 3C/D:
What a difference a day and a different airline make! We departed JFK late at 7:40 am due to the late arrival of the captain (wonder if he forgot DST?), but arrived early, 35 minutes later, at 8:15 am. We had only a 30-minute connection and when we arrived the gate, boarding had started and we had been upgraded. The flight left 20 minutes late due to a minor maintenance issue (unknown) and another aircraft noticed a rear door not closed (I assume there is a visual indicator outside) so the first officer went back and took care of it. We still arrived on time at 12:05 pm BDA time. The flight time was only one hour 40 minutes. We had a standard beverage and snack service on both flights (glassware and IFE on the 2nd flight.)

DL 364 (737-800) and DL 5513 (CRJ) BDA-BOS-JFK March 15, business class 2C/D and exit row 8A/B:
My 11th anniversary with John! (We met March 15, 1997!)

Our airport shuttle (a huge bus!) arrived at the resort at 12:50 pm. We were the only two passengers to board! We drove the couple of miles to the airport. There was a business class check-in with no one in line. We checked in, turned in our pink Bermuda tourist cards, and proceeded to US Customs. We passed quickly through and proceeded to regular security, where again there was no line! Once we were through everything, we realized that we were two hours and 15 minutes early for our flight! We had lunch and discovered an executive lounge, for all airline club members and first class passengers. We entered and there was NO ONE in the lounge, not even an employee at the front desk! The lounge was very basic, with no bar and only a hot drink machine. I tried to get online, but could not connect to two wireless networks that my computer found.

About 30 minutes before departure, an announcement was made that our flight was delayed by approximately an hour. The aircraft arrived around our original departure time. We boarded around 3:45 pm BDA time (one hour ahead of the East coast.) In BDA, there were no jetways, just stairs, like in the good old days! They called specials, then the zones in numerical order. However, they did honor Breezeway boarding which allows all SkyTeam elites to board at their leisure.

The aircraft was a refurbished 737-800. The seats in both classes were medium blue leather. There were seven of 16 passengers in business class, when they moved 8 up from coach just before departure. I am not sure if they were elites or not; a few did not appear to be, but who knows these days. There was one open seat in the front.

We were served non-alcoholic pre-departure drinks due to customs regulations. They were served in DL/Coke branded plastic cups.

We departed one hour late, at 4:19 pm.

Once in the air, we he had a full beverage and snack basket service (with glassware.) I had Amstel Light, which the FA partially poured from the can into my glass and then gave me the rest of the can. For seconds, she just brought the open can. Snack choices were Sun Chips, peanuts, Captain’s Wafers, granola bars, and Biscoffs.

Delta On-Air was the IFE, which is a series of television shows. I noticed “Friday Night Lights” and “Two and a Half Men,” but did not watch them. Headsets for all customers are complimentary on international flights.

We arrived at BOS at 5:17 pm ET to cold and overcast conditions. We arrived at gate A17 and had to hoof it to the commuter terminal, gate A10. We walked up just as the GA called elites to board.

DL 5513 was a Comair CRJ. We had exit row seats 8A and B. Our FA was Jewel and was one of those “stickler for the rules” types. She made the four of us in the exit row answer a series of questions with verbal responses and said that we had to read the seatback card, even if we flew this row every week! She also fussed at someone who got up to use the lavatory too early. At any rate, we departed at 6:20 pm and landed at 7:02 pm 42 uneventful minutes. She gave us water only “due to the short duration.” We arrived 30 minutes early at JFK.

Delta calls first class on this short international flight Business Elite and one upgrades into X, business class. DL still has nice business elite ticket jackets as well. However, the service we received was standard domestic first class. I would not have paid for this class with only snack basket and beverage service each way.


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