CLT-XNA on US Airways by Bruce

Allergy season in Northwest Arkansas and the Mrs. has had it develop into pneumonia and my daughter is also unwell. So when I got a call Thursday evening, I dropped my weekend plans and burned some miles for a last minute flight. Booking the award on united.com was easy and fast – 25000 miles and $5 for a direct partner flight on US. [I’ve since learned that with my Gold status, it should have been $25.] During booking, I was offered the itinerary for $346.10 if I wanted to buy it with cash. I was at the airport 90 minutes later.

When printing my boarding pass, in addition to the usual “destination weather and highlights,” I was offered tick boxes for Sudoku and crossword puzzles (with the answers on separate sheets). Nice touch!

Parking shuttles at CLT are hit-or-miss. Sometimes, it’s quick. Sometimes, it isn’t. I missed the first one that was just arriving when I parked as I had to run back to my car for my phone. The next one was 10 minutes later and I was the only one boarding in the Long Term 1 lot at 21:15. The ticketing concourse was quiet with a dozen or so people in line at one of the US counters and no one elsewhere. Security gates A & B were closed and there were 10 passengers in the line at C. There was no one in the “preferred” line and I was not queried for my status. The TSO scanned my boarding pass, glanced at my ID and I stepped into one of the three scanning lines.

When directed to the AIT, I opted out. The TSO had me regather my items from the belt before they went into the scanner and sit in the chair (penalty box?) for a few minutes until the “male assist” arrived, still putting on his new gloves. He put my two bins and two bags back on the belt in front of another passenger (not very politely) and I went through the magnetometer without alerting. Standard “enhanced” pat down. All told, ten minutes from entering the queue to putting my shoes back on.

I stopped in the US Club with my blue “United Club” card for a drink, but there were five people already waiting to catch the bartender’s eye. I bailed, grabbing a bag of “sweet potato” chips and 6 packets of Milanos. The D/E corridor was busy in the opposite direction with arriving passengers and this is the first time I’ve been down the E concourse in at least a year. [Is that a new international arrivals TSA scanning station at the top of the escalator?] No other changes – the slidewalks were working and I stopped next to E27 at the combined Salsarita’s / Burger King for a burrito. I got to listen to the CLT-AVL being weather delayed at the next gate while I ate.

My flight was called on time with a warning about how boarding works by zone. I was prepared and with Zone 1 on my boarding pass, I was the first to board the aircraft. This gate has one of the “regional jet” jetbridges, so we were not outside. I left my yellow-tagged rollaboard at the door. Seat 3A on this CRJ-200, I was fortunate that a seatmate never boarded allowing me a reasonable amount of comfort.

Our flight attendant was super excellent. Truly top notch. I’ve never seen an FA ensure that ALL of the passengers were paying attention to the safety briefing and he achieved this with humor and a great outgoing nature. “Welcome aboard US Airways to Rio de Janeiro. Oh… wait. Sorry!” and “The word of the day is ‘unencumbered’.” Professional, but engaging. If I had an Above and Beyond certificate, I would have given it to him. Instead, I wrote a compliment on usairways.com. The highlight was his spot on lip-sync to the recording while he demoed the equipment. He got a full round of applause and took a bow at the end.

Lights dimmed, we were third to go on 18C. Half-can service with buy-on-board. Smooth flight, we were 12 minutes late as we had to zig-zag around two weather systems. There was also a slow loop over XNA for some reason after which we landed smoothly and taxied to one of XNA’s new gates. Gate checked bags were brought out with the usual idiots blocking the way in the jetbridge.

Summary: I can’t complain much. I was transported safely and in a timely manner to my destination. US did what they do just fine. If I had had a seatmate, it would have been uncomfortable for two hours. But I didn’t and with the great FA, US gets a B+. 25000 miles for an 800-mile roundtrip is a lot – I could have gone to SEA or SAN for the same “price.” Even a “Saver” award to LHR is only 50000.

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14 July 2012 YBG-YUL [AC] YUL-EWR [UA] EWR-CLT [US] by Bruce

Returning from three weeks onsite in lovely Bagotville, Quebec. A nice little town, I was pleasantly surprised. Lots of French speaking, but almost the entire time I was able to get by with English or I could fall back to pointing. Lots of restaurants (smoked meat is basically pastrami) and good beer. I was sad to learn that I missed this weekend’s wine festival and next weekend’s beer festival.

Bagotville (YBG) is a very small airport, with one departure gate area. I checked two bags which did not get a Priority tag on them. I didn’t really want to be one of “those” people at this point, so I let it slide. I waited in the main area about ten minutes before the flight was called.

Their version of the TSA only opens up when the arriving flight is on final approach. Just as well, as there is not even a Coke machine in the waiting area. Magnetometer and baggage xray only, we get to keep our shoes on. I did not alert and was not selected for a wanding.

Three flights a day from Bagotville to Montréal are served by Air Canada’s Jazz Express on a DH-1. Eight rows of two-by-two and a ninth row that is five across. It’s a one-hour flight, but the flight attendant managed to dispense half-can drink service and a small bag of AC-branded pretzels. There are no decent seats on the aircraft – the exit row has a bit more legroom but it is right behind the propeller so there is more engine noise. I had 6F and fortunately no seatmate. If you can choose, 9A and 9F are the best only because they are the furthest from the engine.

Arriving at YUL, we used the “domestic jetty” area and the aircraft’s own stairs. It’s a long walk to the US departures area. US Customs and Immigration at YUL is staffed by US agents. I had my immigration card ready and was not queried extensively. From there, it’s another good walk to the gate areas.

AC has three Maple Leaf lounges at YUL and somehow I thought that one of them was where I was headed. I was mistaken. There is the Domestic lounge (which I used when I came down to YUL a couple weekends ago), an International lounge and the Transborder lounge. None of these are in the USA departures area where UA, AA, DL and US have their gates.

The flight was called for “All elite 1K, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Zones 1 through 5 may board at this time.” The gate agent here is an airport employee and is not UA. UA upgraded me on this ERJ-170 and I had seat 3F. A pleasant flight attendent served a half can (with a lime!) with a bag of snack mix and offered a refill. An hour flight, we were on the ground in Newark before the battery on my laptop even reached 50%. I spent the two-hour layover in the Club, eating single-wrapped cheese, yogurt raisins and drinking Sam Adams.

Over to the gate, there is no transfer shuttle between the two concourses, you have to leave the secure area. Security took 20 minutes, including 7 crew who showed up at the head of the line. I don’t begrudge them, but 7 in a row is a bit much. I did not set off the magnetometer and there is no advanced screening at this particular area.

Very few power outlets in this area, so I people watched. Especially the US-operated EWR-LAS flight at the next gate. The gate lice here are extreme. Even the one guy who I thought was cutting through the crowd when they called Zone 1 came to a screeching halt in front of everyone. And then he stood there through Zone 2. And Zone 3. And finally moved forward for Zone 4. Twit!

It was the same again for the Charlotte flight, but I was past caring. At least the FA turned away a Zone 5 and a Zone 4 that tried to board with Zone 1, but she had no enforcement of carry-on bag sizes. I had seat 3F on this A320, a bulkhead. This gave me a bird’s eye view of the massive luggage being carried on and lugged down the aisle. Two of them came forward again as they wouldn’t be jammed into an overhead.

After departure, the dude in 3D put his feet up on the wall. It’s no longer carpet, it’s some sort of plastic that must be easy to wash if they ever get around to it. I caught his eye and told him to take his feet down. “This isn’t your house.” Half can beverage service was interrupted by brief turbulence and then discontinued for the remainder of the flight. The FA’s had already done their last patrol and then they pulled out their electronics again. I caught the eye of the guys in 3B and 3C and told them to turn off their electronics. “Why?,” they asked. “Because they said so,” I replied. I was now going to be one of “those” people.

We arrived CLT 25 minutes early (pad your schedule much?) but our gate was ready. B1. The carousel areas were very crowded with a couple of flights in the B areas waiting. EWR’s took 25 minutes to appear on the carousel. Even though I did not have a Priority tag, my two were among the first to appear. Amazingly, there was a Long Term 1 parking shuttle just pulling up as I stepped outside.

Summary: I was expecting my luggage to get screwed up with a three-carrier itinerary across a border, but it somehow made it. Kudos to AC, UA and US on that. The travel itself was good. Nothing to complain about, though I would prefer UA was using a mainline for YUL-EWR. US was just fine. Grade of B all around.

Side note: Flying three carriers in a day gave me a good look at their in-flight magazines. Of course, all the cover stories were on London. Air Canada’s enRoute had the most detail with three reporters filing stories on the city, but United’s Hemispheres was the best read. Their “Three Perfect Days” column has always been useful for me when visiting a new city. Having spent two years in the London area, I thought their recommendations were pretty solid. US’s in flight magazine (no special title) was more of a sales tool with more stories about the Piedmont Triad area than London.

Total Trip Cost: $ 1,285.21
Actual Airfare: $ 1,102.24
Actual Miles Flown: 2191 (3058 EQM’s with 500 mile rounding)
Yield: $ 0.503 per mile (0.360 per EQM)
Taxes & Fees: $ 182.97, 14.24% of ticket price

US Airways: CLT-EWR-CLT 16 Apr-20 Apr 2012 by Bruce

Thanks to my compadre in travel, Bruce, for reviving my blog!

Mon., 16 Apr 2012
US1972 dep CLT 15:10 arr EWR 17:06 (737-400)

Fri., 20 Apr 2012
US1291 dep EWR 13:15 arr CLT 15:09 (737-400)

It’s been five months since I was last on a plane, so I got to the airport extra early to soak up the atmosphere. As is normal at Charlotte, the shuttles from the long term lot bunch up – nothing for ten minutes and then three in a row. I was finally at the terminal at 12:00 where I easily printed a replacement boarding pass at one of the US kiosks. This flight will be credited to Mileage Plus and my Star Gold status meant that it printed with Zone 1.

Security was a breeze with no queue at the B terminal where I used the priority lane even though there was no one waiting in the regular lane. There are still none of the advanced screening devices there, so I emptied my stuff into bins, removed my shoes and belt and pulled my laptop. I did not set off the magnetometer and did not earn any additional screening. The TSOs were friendly.

A 20-minute shoe shine ($5 plus $2 tip) and then I spent two hours in the C/D Club. Free soft drinks and the snacks were good – fruit and a big bowl of pretzels. I liked the individual packs of Milano cookies and grabbed a handful for later.

At the gate (the last one in the C terminal), they were offering $250 vouchers for volunteers. I was tempted, but the next flight wasn’t until 9 PM. Boarding was called right on time with F and then by zone. The gate fleas were not too bad.

Seat 5A in Y is the second row in coach. There was plenty of room in the overhead when I got there but the seat was far from Choice. No premium economy and a tight pitch. A married couple exchanged with a guy across the aisle so that they could have B and C. I did not see any empty seats in the aircraft.

We pushed back on time, were first for takeoff on 36L and there was a beverage service (half can, no lime) that was picked up a half hour later. Decent into Newark was from the north and the landing was good. We were at the gate a few minutes later, which was 14 minutes ahead of schedule. I was out at the taxi stand a few minutes later.

For the return, more of the same. The ID check for the concourse was well backed up, even for priority passengers. That took ten minutes and they pulled a few people forward who were headed to Miami. There was a whole body scanner being used for one of the security lanes, but I bypassed that and went further in where there was not one of those. I did not set off the magnetometer and was not selected for additional screening. Security took about 20 minutes from start to finish.

The concourse where US has its gates is served by an Admirals Club, so I had a sandwich at Phillips Seafood and then waited with the rest of the cattle. Boarding was again F first, then Zone 1. The usual obliviots with Zone 2 and higher were standing in the flow.

Otherwise, the flight was the same. It could well have been the same aircraft as the outbound with the same tight pitch and lack of power or IFE. Smooth flight, half can, and we landed 15 minutes early on runway 23.

Summary: I’m glad I decided to keep my UA status and not return to US. The lack of premium economy, power, and IFE would make this a very uncomfortable flight for anything more than a short trip. There’s no way I could do a transcon in that seat. When we talk about a bus in the sky, this is it. The rest of my flights to Newark on this engagement will be on United metal. Grade: C.

Total Trip Cost: $ 406.10
Actual Airfare: $ 359.07
Actual Miles Flown: 1057
Yield: $ 0.340 per mile
Taxes & Fees: $ 47.03, 11.58% of ticket price

My latest trip on US Airways

As some of my friends and followers know, I have a sordid relationship with US Airways. It was my carrier of choice until after a disastrous year of air travel in 2007, where I earned around $1200 in vouchers due to countless incidences of mishandled irregular operations and poor customer service. I went from Chairman’s Preferred to Platinum Preferred to Silver Preferred to non-elite from 2007-2009. I still find it hard to give US Airways my money.

Recently I flew a four-segment, roundtrip award ticket to Providence, RI on US Airways by redeeming Continental OnePass miles. Overall, the travel was just OK. It was very basic transportation. The two longer, mainline segments between Charlotte and Providence were honestly quite boring. There is no in-flight entertainment, no power outlets for one’s own portable electronic devices, no Gogo inflight Internet, and no food at all (free or for sale). There is one pass of the beverage cart.

One incident I found bothersome is that US Airways, like other carriers, sells “Choice” and exit row seats. Before departing Charlotte, a flight attendant invited anyone to come sit in the exit row. There was a lady seated there who had paid an extra $27 for her exit row seat and she was upset that people were invited to sit there for free. In this case, I think the flight attendant was just trying to help people have more room, but what she did was contrary to company policy. The woman who purchased the seat had a right to be angry and she told the flight attendant she would be writing to complain. I don’t blame her. Either sell the seats or don’t sell the seats, but don’t give away paid seats in front of paying customers.

My trip ended with a delayed US Airways Express flight. First we had no aircraft, then no crew, and then we sat on the runway for at least 30 minutes waiting in line to take off. When I arrived at my home airport, my bag didn’t make it, and I had to stop and file a baggage claim. The end result was that I arrived late for an appointment and my bag was delivered five hours later.

My recommendation regarding US Airways is that if you want a no-frills, bare-bones method of air travel, then this is the airline for you. However, if you want more, select another carrier.

TRI-CLT-SFO roundtrip on US Airways 11-14 July 2011

This was a 50,000-mile first class award ticket redemption booked on continental.com. It was very easy to research and book and I was able to find the US Airways record locator by entering my flight number and passenger name at usairways.com. I was automatically assigned seats according to my preference (aisle).

The day I was scheduled to depart, I went to check in for my TRI-CLT flight and usairways.com wouldn’t let me. Then I checked my BlackBerry and my first flight had been canceled, according to the Tripit Pro alert I received. Since I am affiliated with a travel agency, I called the US Airways travel agent center to be rebooked. Luckily there was another flight option I could take so that I could make my original connection to SFO. However, I was never notified directly by US Airways that my flight was canceled.

The rebooked first flight was rather uneventful, except that it was blazing hot on the Dash 8-100 prop plane. The flight attendant said that US Airways almost canceled that flight due to the heat. It was in the 90s on the East Coast and she indicated that maintenance would be waiting on the plane upon its arrival in CLT. To help compensate for the heat, she offered us an unscheduled beverage service.

Upon arriving in CLT, I spent my time waiting in the club until I received a Tripit Pro alert, not a US Airways alert, that my flight was delayed until 6:40 pm. Around 6:10 pm, I headed to the gate and when I arrived, the gate agent announced that there was a weather/ATC delay into SFO and that he had not received any updates from operations except that the flight’s wheels-up time was estimated to be 8:45 pm. However, he advised customers to stay in the gate area. 6:40 pm came and went with no further updates, so I returned to the club and hoped that I could rely on my Tripit Pro alerts to keep me informed. When I reached the club, I overheard another passenger on my flight asking the club agent the CLT-SFO flight status and the club agent promised to contact the gate and monitor the flight. After that, there was no further information about the flight provided. The flight even dropped off the departure board, as operations neglected to keep the ETD current.  Finally at 7:45 pm, the club agent announced that customers should go to the gate for an 8:00 pm boarding time. The flight did board around that time and we pushed back and headed toward the runway. However, just short of the runway, the pilot announced that the plane was overheating and we had to return to the gate. We spent another hour at the gate while the plane was repaired and finally took off around 9:40 pm, three and a half hours late. In-flight service in first class consisted of two dinner choices and beverage service. There was no pre-departure beverage, no hot towel service, no snack basket, no in-flight entertainment, and the Gogo Inflight Internet was inoperable. It was a long five hours to SFO. We arrived three hours late. My bags arrived after about a 45-minute wait.

My return was scheduled for 7:25 am July 14. This was the one, near perfect flight of the trip. I was able to check in quickly and pass through the security checkpoint by way of a first class/elite line. I was not chosen for the full body scanner, but instead the metal detector, because apparently there was a problem with the scanner and the agent called for someone to “recalibrate it.” We boarded on time: specials, first class, then by zone. There was no pre-departure beverage service or snack basket service, as catering did not provide snacks. However, the Gogo Inflight Internet worked, the in-flight beverage service was plentiful, there was hot towel service prior to the meal, and there was a choice of two breakfast entrées. We arrived early, but were given an arrival gate change at the last minute, so we arrived at the new gate a few minutes late.

I hurried from gate B13 to E29 for my connection.  Around our scheduled departure time, 4:12 pm, the gate agent announced a delay until 4:40 pm due to a late-arriving crew. Finally the crew arrived, we boarded, and we took off close to our delayed departure time.  There was no in-flight service, but the flight attendant did have time to sit and chat with one of the passengers.

Upon arrival in TRI, my two bags, tagged Star Alliance Priority, arrived as scheduled.

Grade = C-

*Only one of four flights was not canceled or delayed; customer service and communication regarding the canceled and delayed flights were poor; there was simply nothing to do on the CLT-SFO flight with no in-flight entertainment and inoperable Gogo Inflight Internet. The saving grace was the one on-time flight.

Thanksgiving Travel on US Airways

Wed., Nov. 24, 2010:
US 2370 departing TRI at 1:00 PM arriving CLT at 2:02 PM CRJ Seat 4D aisle
US 1490 departing CLT at 4:11 PM arriving LGA at 6:00 PM A321 Seat 22D exit aisle (Thanks, Tad!)

Sat., Nov. 27, 2010:
US 2181 departing LGA at 4:00 PM arriving DCA at 5:16 PM E190 Seat 12C exit aisle (Snagged when I checked in Saturday)
US 3109 departing DCA at 6:30 PM arriving CLT at 7:56 PM E175 Seat 7D aisle (There are no exit rows on the E175)
US 2559 departing CLT at 10:35 PM arriving TRI at 11:31 PM CRJ Seat 4D aisle (But I moved to 3C to have a row to myself)

My trip report is very brief. All flights operated on time and arrived either early or on time, except for my LGA arrival, which was only about 15 minutes late, as the flight boarded very slowly due to many pre-boards (imagine that on Thanksgiving Eve)! All flights were full or nearly full except for the CLT-TRI late last night. The service in coach was very basic on all flights:  complimentary beverages, alcohol for sale (except the Shuttle flight, where beer and wine are complimentary), and snacks for sale, except for the legs in and out of TRI, which are beverages by request only. There is no IFE, as you know. The CLT-LGA flight had Gogo Inflight Internet for purchase, which I used. The flight attendants were efficient and professional, but not friendly. The friendliest was one on the A321, the one who sat in the jump seat facing my row. I did not receive beverage service CLT-LGA due to some turbulence and the pilots asked the flight attendants to discontinue service. I checked a bag both ways and it arrived as scheduled. First class on the shuttle was offered for $50, but I declined, as I knew beer and wine were free anyway, it’s a short flight, and I knew I was going to sit in the exit row.

I visited the LGA, CLT, and DCA clubs with my Continental Presidential Plus MasterCard/Presidents Club membership. I appreciate the quiet and free Wi Fi, but I don’t like that only certain beers and wines are free and others are for sale. The freebies included Beringer Merlot, Beringer Chardonnay, Bud, and Bud Light in the LGA club.

Grade = B+, good service, but nothing above and beyond and no in-flight amenities except Gogo Inflight Internet on one flight.

Follow up to when Beth Effect strikes 29 June 2010

Below is the US Airways Customer Relations response to my mechanical delay, baggage misroute/delay (it was misrouted to LaGuardia, not JFK), and return flight tarmac delay.  Is it me, or does 8000 miles come across as too little compensation?  Please post your thoughts.

Dear Dr. Smith:

Thank you for contacting Customer Relations. I’m sorry your flight was delayed/canceled from Charlotte to LaGuardia.

Please accept my apology for the disappointing service you received on Flight 1630. Our customers deserve a pleasurable experience each and every time they fly with us, and I am sorry this trip did not meet your expectations. Your comments regarding our service are important, and we appreciate your taking the time to tell us about your experience. Through your feedback, we will be able to isolate and correct the problems you described.

We would appreciate another chance to earn your business. I have authorized 8,000 Dividend Miles to be added to your account as an invitation for you to travel with us again. Please allow 10 to 14 days for the miles to post in your Dividend Miles account. Your comments regarding your luggage not arriving with you have been documented and will be shared with the John F. Kennedy station manager. We are sorry that you had an unpleasant experience on this trip.

We have sent notification to the maintenance department regarding the temperature on your flight. The maintenance department appreciates your feedback and will look into this issue.

We appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns and hope you continue to choose US Airways as your preferred carrier.

Sincerely,

xxxxx
Representative
US Airways Corporate Office

Geni Gore
Representative
US Airways Corporate Office

When Beth Effect strikes

Friends jokingly call my air travel challenges the “Beth Effect,” and when I have one of those, it’s usually a doozy.  This past weekend would definitely qualify.

Friday, June 25:
I was scheduled to fly TRI-CLT-LGA on US Airways to attend the Travel Blog Exchange conference. How ironic! The ticket was a Continental mileage award redemption.  The TRI-CLT flight was uneventful. However, the next flight was the beginning of the Beth Effect. We boarded, pushed back, and started to taxi, when the pilot noticed a problem with the hydraulic system readings. We returned to the gate and spent the next two hours on board while maintenance tried to fix the problem by replacing a computer and cleaning sensor contacts. Around 8:15 pm, we were told to deplane and see an agent, as their efforts had not been successful.  Many passengers formed a line to see the gate agent, while I proceeded to a nearly empty Special Services counter, where the agent rerouted both me and my bag to a 10:09 pm departure to JFK.  The flight to JFK was fine, but upon arrival, no bag. The JFK baggage agent checked and of course, my bag was never pulled and rerouted, but sitting at LGA, most likely having remained on the LGA flight which ended up flying after all.  She filed a claim and requested delivery to my hotel in Manhattan.

Saturday, June 26:
Although my bag was sitting at LaGuardia since the evening before, it did not arrive my hotel until almost 6:00 pm.  Because I had a conference to attend, my boyfriend in Westchester County had to drive to Manhattan to bring me clothes and toiletries so I could make the afternoon sessions.

Sunday, June 27:
I tried to do online check-in for my return flights and received an error message that my reservation was “out of sync” and I needed to call US Airways Web Support.  I did, and after being on hold for about 15 minutes, the agent came back and said I needed to see an agent at LGA on Monday.  Frustrated, I contacted a supervisor friend at US Airways who was able to fix the check-in problem.

Monday, June 28:
I arrived the airport very early, so I went to the US Airways Club.  The club agent saw how late my departure was and that thunderstorms were approaching, so she tried to change my itinerary to an earlier one.  No matter what she tried, the system would not let her change anything but my LGA-BWI leg.  After doing so and calling the US Airways Help Desk, a boarding pass would not print and she kept receiving an “invalid flight” error message. She sent me to the gate and the gate agents received the same message, so they sent me to Special Services.  The agent there called US Airways Help Desk again and I was finally able to obtain a boarding pass.

The new flight to BWI was delayed to a late inbound aircraft, but we quickly boarded by 2:30 pm.   However, due to storms in the BWI area, we were subjected to a two-hour ground stop aboard our US Airways Express Dash 8 with no air conditioning.  The flight attendant did serve drinks and brought a small bag of ice to a passenger who was evidently overheated.  Once we took off, it was another hour with little to no air conditioning.  Needless to say, I was suffering from heat exhaustion when I deplaned.  I went to the restroom and accidentally left my BlackBerry there in a cosmetic bag and when I rushed back to retrieve it, someone had already taken it.

The next flight to CLT was also delayed to a late inbound aircraft.  However, we did board quickly and departed around 8:30 pm, about 35 minutes late, and arrived CLT at 9:45 pm.  My last flight to TRI was on time and uneventful.

In retrospect, there is obviously something wrong with the baggage system and issues with certain types of tickets.  It’s unacceptable that my bag was not pulled from the LGA flight and put on the JFK flight, when there was nearly a two-hour time block to do so.  It’s also unacceptable that gate/club/special services agents have to call a help desk to complete simple transactions and that agents are not empowered by the system to proactively move customers to their final destination in the most expeditious manner.

LGA-CLT on US Airways 26 May 2010

US 1509 LGA-CLT 8:15-10:13 am Seat 22D Exit Aisle A321 secured at midnight Tempe time. (The exit rows were wide open!)

Pre-departure: Showed one lady how to use a kiosk and watched a couple try to get yogurt and water through the security checkpoint. Busted!

US Airways Clubs in LGA and CLT: Best perk of my CO Presidential Plus MasterCard so far, being able to use US clubs while flying US and the ATL CO club in D. Both clubs were nice, quiet, relaxing and the agents were friendly at both locations.

Boarding: First Class, specials, then by zone.

Departure and Arrival: Pushed back four minutes early and arrived 15 minutes early, but there was some ground traffic in CLT, the new ATL.

In-flight Service: Full beverage and snacks for sale and Gogo Inflight. The FA nearest me was very friendly. DCA-based crew.

Credit Card Spiel: One of the hardest and best! The 25,000 mile free flight + 500 mile bonus is only good for today, so please fill out your applications on this flight and return them to the crew! Don’t let this offer pass you by!

Seatmate: Roxy Perry (and her hubby) – New York Blues Queen Bio here: http://www.roxyperry.com/gigs/biography.htm. MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/roxyperrynybq. Headed to: May 29 2010 8:00P THE JOKER’S WILD FREEPORT BAHAMAS, BS

US Airways Club at LaGuardia: A Review

I realized today that I haven’t been to this club, or to the US Airways LaGuardia Terminal, since 2008. So I thought a brief review was in order.

The club is still very relaxing and the free Internet rocks, although as a “guest,” I had to ask for a T-Mobile access code. How pre-merger Delta!

Most of the clientele was businesspeople. It wasn’t crowded.

For breakfast hours, there were muffins, yogurt, coffee, and choice of juices. They do still have US Airways-logo silverware and glassware.

The snacks at “lunchtime” include Fiesta Snack Mix and Kettle Classics® Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt chips.

I also decided to check out the bar. The free beer choices are Bud/Bud Light and the free wine choices are Berenger’s. Other adult beverages are “premium” selections and cost additionally. Boo. So, this Bud Light’s for you!

Score = B