A few days ago on April 1, 2014, I flew two segment flights operated on US Airways. The two segment flights were MIA-CLT and CLT-LAX and I haven’t flown on US Airways in a long time. My very first flight with US Airways was in coach from PHL-BCN which was 6 years ago and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I booked a one-way milesAAver mixed carrier award in Business/First Class for 30,000 American Airlines miles. I flew from SAP-MIA (American), then MIA-CLT (US Airways), and finally CLT-LAX (US Airways). Here is my experience flying onboard US Airways since the recent merger.
Miami, Florida to Charlotte, North Carolina (MIA-CLT)
The flight from Miami to Charlotte was only one and a half hour long so I wasn’t expecting a hot meal during the afternoon. The flight was on a Airbus A321 and First Class was in a 2-2 configuration with recliner seats.
Service – No pre-departure beverage offered. The flight attendant purser in First Class was very cheery and upbeat. She greeted everyone in First Class by name and elite status which was pleasant. It’s very rare when a flight attendant even reads the names off the flight manifest and I appreciated that she thanked me for my loyalty. I had my American Airlines Executive Platinum number on the US Airways boarding pass, so I was labeled an Emerald. She said “Thank you for being an Emerald”.
Meal Service – The flight attendant was taking drink orders while the plane was taking off. She took her seat 10 seconds before the plane took off. Talk about good timing! Sadly, the flight was just a snack basket which I absolutely dislike and reminds me of Delta Air Lines.
I also noticed that the flight attendant was wearing an American Airlines lanyard with her US Airways Employee ID badge. Upon landing, the flight attendant thanked us for flying on US Airways, member of the Star Alliance (oops). She corrected it quickly with “member of the oneworld alliance”.
Charlotte, North Carolina to Los Angeles, California (CLT-LAX)
After hanging out at the US Airways Club in Charlotte, I headed for my flight to Los Angeles. It was my first time at Charlotte International Airport and I must say that the layout is very passenger friendly, despite the constant beeping of the electric carts (Excuse the cart!). A lot of the signage has changed at Charlotte airport with “oneworld” being added next to the US Airways logo.
The flight from Charlotte to Los Angeles was 5 and a half hours and it’s basically a transcontinental flight on an Airbus A321. The A321 was basically the same 2-2 configuration as my last flight. I was disappointed that there aren’t any angled flat or lie flat seats on this route, but I wasn’t having high expectations flying on US Airways to begin with.
Boarding – The boarding process was also changed over the past weekend, so now First Class and Uniformed Military Personnel board first, followed by Chairman’s, Platinum’s (emerald and sapphire equivalents). After that, Silvers and oneworld rubies board followed by Priority/PriorityAAccess and Group 1.
Service – The flight attendant purser offered me a pre-departure beverage and even offered seconds. The purser was very friendly and took drink orders swiftly, but did not recognize any of the First Class passengers by name or elite status.
Meal Service – After the plane was in cruising altitude, the flight attendant began the hot towel service. I received my drink, but it was missing hot nuts. I was sad there weren’t any nuts or snacks to accompany the in-flight drink. The meal service was basically everything handed on one plate. The chicken appetizer, salad, bread, and entree were all on one plate. On an American Airlines transcontinental flight, the appetizer and salad would arrive first, then followed by the entree. Dessert was salted caramel cheesecake which was pretty good and I yearned for more. On an American Airlines transcontinental flight, there would be a choice of dessert, which would be a made to order ice cream sundae or fruit and cheese plate. As a pre-arrival snack, the flight attendant brought over the dread “snack basket”. On American Airlines, the pre-arrival snack would be a freshly baked onboard cookie and the pre-arrival beverage would be sparkling water with a citrus garnish.
I predict that we will be seeing the Snack Basket a lot more on American Airlines flights. US Airways is way behind in alignment with American Airlines, but I hope they can catch up soon. There needs to be hot nuts on US Airways flights and baked on board cookies. Oh and of course, the made to order ice cream sundae. During both flights, the flight attendants hawked the 40,000 mile US Airways credit card. I really dislike the whole credit card hawking onboard a flight, but I do understand that it’s part of their job. I just hope it doesn’t transition to American Airlines flight attendants hawking the Citi AAdvantage card onboard AA flights. Overall, the US Airways employees I encountered were very nice and serviceable, but you won’t see me on another US Airways flight anytime soon until their planes get retrofitted and their meals align with American Airlines.