Trip Report part 2 - Dublin-Philadelphia

by Kevin Marshall January. 16, 2009 4825 views

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At Dublin Airport

After arriving at the far D gates, I made my way into Ireland cursing the person who designed this pier, through Irish immigration (hand over passport, smile, go through), through baggage, and turned left and up – straight into US Airways check-in area. A delightful mix of paperwork was issued, with a data collection form for APIS, a wavier form to remind me to get over to customs queue by 9:30, as well as the I-94(W) :rolleyes: (so much for ESTA) and customs form., and then over to US airways check-in.

After all the boarding passes were spat out, it was through security and off to the B pier for pre-clearance (after raiding Duty free for some cigarettes for my friend :rolleyes:).

Of course, there was a queue for pre-clearance that took about 10 minutes to the pre-check, and 15 minutes of hard queuing to see an immigration agent. After some gentle probing, I was asked for my fingers, thumbs, and face – and stamped into the USA. At this point, there was nearly an hour before departure… and to be honest- there’s not a lot to do in the pre-clearance area apart from wait, maybe drink something or eat something, and go to the toilet. Basic, but sufficient.

Boarding was of course the usual shambles with just family preboaridng, even every man/woman/flyer for themselves, however, with just a rucksack, I wasn't in a rush to get aboard as it was going to live at my feet

Leg 2 - US723, Dublin Airport - Philadelphia International Airport
US Airways, Boeing 757-200 (ETOPS), Seat 30K
Miles Flown: 3273, Miles Earned: 3274:

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The economics for a narrow body jet have always made me think that it's great they can run thin and long services that otherwise were unviable, yet as a cabin … a narrow body over the pond? Up until now I've always preferred wide body aircraft for these hops (least of all the for the on-board ambiance and feeling of room). Lets find out if I can remove my prejudices against the 757 on a long-haul run over the pond…

I have been actively checking the seat map, only a few days before this flight for everything to be zero’d out. In act, looking through the cabin, there was only 5 seats I could se in Y that weren’t sold. Luckily, one of those seats happened to be next to me and the other seats were behind me. Some small luck I suppose.

Of course, in-flight entertainment and US Airways seems to be an oxymoron with some very bad movie on the overhead screens that aren’t visible at a window, and the ghaul to charge $5/4€ for a headset, so I was prepared this time with the iPhone, loaded up with some proper IFE.

After a short taxi and a hold to let a few movements occurred, we took off, and had one of the bumpiest takeoffs I can remember (I’m sure that the unsecured US Airways pretzels that were in a bag behind me were happy bouncing as we took off), with a lot of chop whilst airborn for first 20 minutes before things settled down.

Cabin crew were very slow off the mark to be completely blunt, finally making their way to my seat with nearly 1 ½ hours gone. Alas, in meal terms, I was very restricted, and had the pasta choice. Lets just say I should really have had a irish breakfast or something in BHX as it was god awful. The bean salad was passable, as weas the brownie (this time I was hungry enough to eat it at that moment in time).

To be honest, service was not great at all. Being in the second to last row, I seemed to be forgotten about more than once when it came to drinks or rubbish pickup.

Which brings me onto the state of the aircraft – the seat pitch was thankfully not too bad – but this can be attributed to the clear middle seat for where junk can be stored. The cars themselves are leather, without adjustable headrests. It honestly feels like the aircraft has been taken out of domestic service, some Envoy seats added, ETOPS certificate added with some winglets and shoved back into service. As a result, the aircraft was clean, but seats were looking worn, with the one in front of me trying to loose its cover at times. Nothing that a total refurbishment couldn’t fix…

Once the first batch of chop cleared, it was a nice flight, heading towards Greenland, where upon it chopped up again, not clearing until into the ice wastes of Canada.

A mid-flight service of orange juice from a can and unsecured pretzels from earlier were served, with water and pretzel mix available near the toilets – a nice touch if people wanted a nibble or 2 in-flight.

Towards the end of the flight the traditional US Ham and cheese bread thing that is totally plastic, but surprisingly edible was made available. This was welcomed and tasted how it looked – considering that lunch was a let down.

Service was cleared down and the cabin was prepared for arrival.

The service landed into Philadelphia early – too early alas. From a 45 minute early to a fast arrival at the gate, we were then forced to wait 35 minutes or so whilst the jetbridge team were working out how to dock the plane to the airport

Overall. Not a stunning US Airways flight by any stretch of the imagination. The extra seat was pretty much core to a good journey, and thus it paid off well. The food was probably the worst I’ve had on a plane for a long time, so kevin’s top tip: Avoid the Macaroni cheese ;). The 757 is still IMO a bit narrow and does feel a bit claustrophobic after a while, but considering the length of flight… it could had been a lot worse…

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Grozdan Georgiev 10 years, 4 months ago

#3 is very nice!!!!

10 years, 4 months ago Edited