Thursday, March 5, 2009

Monday, March 2 2009

Daddy took very ill Sunday morning and died Sunday night.  He had been sick for a very long time but still it was kind of a shock.  Thankfully it was over relatively quickly.  I had to make last minute travel arrangements to go to Orlando.  I had initially wanted to get on a red eye through Philadelphia, but that wasn't available when I went to go make my reservation so I ended up on a 6AM flight on US Airways the next morning that went through Phoenix and got me into Orlando at 4PM.  It was surprisingly cheap.  I paid less than $350 for a round trip ticket.  I thought last minute tickets were supposed to be expensive and I was pretty relieved that I got such a good deal.  A huge storm hit the east coast and there were a lot of flight cancellations.  I think if I was on that red eye to Philadelphia I would have been stuck there for a couple of days.  Eeek.

I didn't sleep very well Sunday night and got up very early for my flight Monday.  When I went to check in I was able to get better seats than I had originally gotten which was fabulous because I was originally in a middle seat for the Phoenix to Orlando leg.  Huzzah!  The terminal wasn't very crowded and I got through security pretty quickly.  US Airways is making a huge deal about their return to complementary beverages in coach.  It was such a stupid move to start charging for them in the first place and all the hoopla they're making about the return kind of highlights that fact.  It's like "We're so pleased to be able to offer a service level that everybody else never abandoned." 

I took a few pictures of the US Airways planes at the gate.  I like the current livery a lot better than the last one. 



Our ride:




US Airways 81 SFO-PHX Dep 6:00 AM Arr 8:51 AM A319

Loads were light.  You can see that this was originally an America West aircraft based on the design of the bulkhead.  I'm impressed.  My last trip to Phoenix was on a ratty America West 737-200 that was old, dirty, and just plain sad.  This aircraft was clean and really nice.  I approve:



We took off on time and the flight was pretty uneventful.  We got the much ballyhooed free drink.  No food at all in coach.  Luckily, Mr. Poe had sent me with snacks.

We got in on time.  It looked like a beautiful day in Phoenix:



Looking good:





I love love love the control tower in Phoenix.  It's so futur-licious:



I ate a kind of meh burrito and waited for my next flight to board.  There were a bunch of storms on the East Coast and the flight was hopelessly overbooked and they were looking for volunteers.  Usually I can't resist a travel voucher but under the circumstances I just couldn't.  Definitely on the way back if it's offered.  I was worried that I had been bumped and they just weren't telling me because I was in the last boarding group and America West had once done that to me in Albuquerque and I've been suspicious of them ever since.  Luckily, we boarded without incident.

US Airways 567 PHX-MCO Dep 10:00 AM Arr 4:05 PM A321



I'd never been on an Airbus A321 before and they're so cool!  A lot like 757's on the inside but subtly more futuristic. It looked new and was spotless inside.  I like!  US Airways has no in flight entertainment at all but there was a drink service and some nasty looking buy on board food that should have come with an apology written on the napkin.  "Sorry about this shitty sandwich you just had to pay $7 for.  We could probably have done better but we couldn't be bothered."  Halfway through the flight I headed to the back of the aircraft for the rest room only to see that the flight attendents had drawn an opaque curtain separating the galley from the cabin and then fixed it with snaps.  Keep out!  I guess they were on break.  I'd never seen such a thing and it kind of shocked me because, from a service standpoint, it looked just terrible.  You'd never see that on Southwest.   We landed in Orlando on time and it was looked the same as it did when I was in town last month:



Spirit Airlines Airbus:



I like the Orlando control tower but not as much as the one in Phoenix:



My brother Sam picked my up and we headed back to my parents's house where we distracted ourselves by hanging out with my brother's adorable children:



We went to bed pretty early.  We were all exhausted.

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