I just finished getting back from an extended weekend trip to St Thomas. All told about 4424 miles on 2 different carriers. The trip down was on American and the trip back was on USAir. Both had their problems, let me start with the trip down.
I left on April 13, (yeah friday the 13th, so that should have been the first sign that stuff was going to go wrong) from PIT to go to STT. But to get there I had to go through LGA and MIA. Needless to say the FAA put a 18 minute hold on flights in to LGA. But that only set our flight from PIT there off by 8 minutes. Nice smooth flight, right past downtown NYC (still have not been out in NYC, but I have seen it from the air a couple of times and this time it was very nice.) When I got to LGA of course I had to change gates, but this also meant changing the concourses. So the bottle of water I had taken on the flight after purchasing it from PIT was not allowed to be taken through the TSA gate at LGA, so I had to throw away an almost full bottle of water that I had hoped to take with me the whole way.
While at LGA I went to Wendy’s to get something to eat. I ended up paying almost $6.00 for a single cheeseburger. Why is stuff in Airports so much more expensive than outside of them? Anyways, I shoved the cheeseburger in my mouth and took a couple huge gulps of my water before throwing it away and going threw security again. All is well until we missed our boarding time and therefore missed our takeoff time. We were supposed to push back at 1:35. We did not push back until 2:29. This had me very worried by now as I was supposed to have about an hour and 40 minutes of time in MIA between flights. Well this turned in to 5 minutes by the time we landed, I had enough time to run from the one gate to the next (luckly the plane I was leaving on was docked at the gate next to the one we just docked too). I ran to the plane and got on and about 2 minutes later they shut the doors and off we went. We got to St. Thomas pretty close to on time.
So my picks about American. Next to 0 service on board. On the first two flights I was offered one of their “glasses” with some soda in it (about 3.5 oz). No food or anything. The flight from PIT I didn’t care as I had my water bottle with me, but the flight to MIA, that is 2.5 hours and only 1 little thing to drink. The flight from MIA to STT had fewer people on it so when the lady came around I asked for the whole can of soda, but still there was still no free food offered (i.e. chips/pretzels/nuts/anything). So I ended up buying a can of chips from them for $5 just to have something to eat, since I had no time in MIA to get any food. So by the time I got to St Thomas, I was pretty well starved. I realize they are trying to save money but at least jetBlue, Delta and other carriers offer free food even if it is a 2.5 oz bag of pretzels.
Now the flights back to PIT from STT were handled by USAir…. We actually left pretty close to on time from STT to CLT and actually landed about 30 minutes ahead of schedule. They offered a full can of soda/drink and a mini bag of mini pretzels, and I also bought their “snack pack” for $5, which had chips, candy, fruit bar, and some other stuff in it so I had something to eat on the plane. When I got to CLT I was sitting at the gate and our board time came and went after about 40 minutes, the gate worker came on and said that the crew that would be flying us to PIT had just docked at a different concourse and was on there way over to ours and they would have to go over the plane before we could board. Well needless to say we did not push back until 10:45, an hour and 5 minutes after we were supposed to have left (and actually should have been in PIT by this time). But we ended up landing at PIT at 10 till midnight way later that the 10:43 we were supposed to have been. I slept through this flight so I am not sure what they offered the people, but it was probably the same as the first flight.
My biggest gripe about both carriers, LEG ROOM. Sitting in a coach seat for 9 hours going down and about 6 coming back was NOT fun. I wish jetBlue would have flown to STT as I would have used them even if it was a little more than the AA/US combo. I can’t say how much it sucks to be a tall person and have the person in front of you ram their seat in to your knees for 2 or 3 hours straight.