US 2231 GSO-CLT CRJ- 700 Seat 2A
I was able to get a confirmed seat 90 min before departure at GSO ticket counter, changing from the 6P E170 departure I was originally booked upon. (Once again I am denied flying on a 170.) I was extremely disappointed to see that they replaced the free internet at GSO with the pay Boingo service. I could also get the T-Mobile signal from the club. No matter, I wasn’t paying for Internet, I could wait until I got to CLT.
Flight was 90+% full. I was told at the counter the 2PM went out full. We departed 2 minutes early. Quick up and down. No drink service. We landed 20 minutes early on 18R and then ended up in the penalty box outside E. After a short 10 minute wait, our gate, E18 opened up. We ended up only being 4 minutes early. My rollerboard was the first to come off.
US 390 CLT-LAS A321 Seat 2C US WEST service
This was my first “real” service with the West side. I’ve taken them on short hops out of PHX to SNA and LAS, but never done them long haul in F.
This was a brand new A321, it even had the new plane smell. The F seat backs had the adjustable headrests.
We boarded on time with 174 on board, which is almost full. There was no pre-departure beverage service.
The captain told us the winds which slowed them down inbound from LAS were going to give us a fast flight west, 3:56 en route, giving us a good 30 minutes early to the gate. We left six minutes late after a minor mechanical (never told exactly what), and were #1 for departure on 18C at 8:12P.
Once over 10,000 feet, the A flight attendant, Maria, served the drinks. Since this was West service, drinks were pre-made in plastic cups. No one got cans of mixers or beverages. My premixed tomato and vodka came with a green lime. It actually was good, even though I prefer to mix it myself. (Guess it’s all those years of flying East.)
After drinks, Maria started the dinner service. Choices were grilled chicken with mashed potatoes or roast pork tenderloin with fingerling potatoes and roasted peppers. I chose the pork. The salad came with ranch dressing. Upon reading the ingredients, I discovered it had MSG. So I asked Maria for some lemons/limes to use instead. She brought me a cup with four wedges. That worked very well as a salad dressing. All in all, the pork was too dry and lacked flavor (even when I dipped it in the Port Wine sauce). My seatmate got the chicken. He said it was actually good. It didn’t look dried out.
After taking the trays, Maria came around with a lemon tart for dessert. I passed, but took a coffee with Baileys and asked if she had any Biscoffs in the snack basket. She brought me two packs and later a third. Biscoffs with coffee/Baileys hit the spot!! That would hold me over until I got to have a real dinner in LAS. All in all, her service was very good, making up for some of the shortcomings.
I wrote this report on board and I was very disappointed in the lack of space. I did like the new tables on this 321. I’m used to having to tuck my big fat gut in to move the table down. These came out and I still had plenty of room. However, my laptop was at about a 75-degree angle after 1C reclined his seat the whole way back–still usable, but not the most comfortable computing position. At least I could still type well. Another inch or two of pitch would have gone a long long way.
Maria came around about 90 minutes before arrival with the snack basket and drink requests. I had a couple of cups of seltzer to get some water into my system.
We arrived at the gate 22 minutes early, but still had to wait for a gate agent to bring the gate to the aircraft, so net of maybe 10 minutes early.
All in all, I like this description of US F service: faux class. It gives all the appearance of real F service, but under-delivers on quality. The plastic and styrofoam cups are getting old and still as tacky as ever. I don’t miss the IFE, as I have my MP3 player, which seems to only get used when I fly. So it’s good to hear the “old music” I like.