Started my Monday morning with a 6am checkin for my US Airways flight to Phoenix, connecting to Spokane, Washington. As US Airways flight numbers will officially cease on Oct 17th, this will be my last US Airways roundtrip flight. I mentioned this to Victoria as she checked me in, noting that I had flow US Air since the good old Piedmont days in 1986 when I lived in Virginia. She smiled and said ‘That’s the year I started with them!’ Wow – we’ve both been through a lot, I said, and she smiled. Her start date was St. Patrick’s Day, while my flying start date was Jan 7, 1986. Wow how time flies! Pun intended!
I then went back to the Orlando Airport Hyatt, where we stayed last night, and met DOS for breakfast. It was pretty quiet in the airport at this early hour, and as I walked back to the hotel, I realized I left my key in the room. (You need your room key to go up the guest elevator, and the restaurant is on the 9th floor, while our room was on the 10th.) I notice DOS is standing by the open atrium balcony on the 9th floor, and I hand signal up to him from the airport 3rd floor lobby, doing my best charades act of ‘I forgot my room key’, assuming he would come down and meet me. Instead, either clueless or more likely my hand signals were lacking, he interprets this to mean ‘Oh, he wants his picture taken!’ So DOS takes a couple pictures of me, before I signal ‘louder’. Funny way to start the early morning!
We then had a nice and full breakfast buffet in Hemisphere’s Restaurant. We’ve only been here for breakfast as it’s closed for dinner on Sunday night’s when we arrive, but really enjoy the restaurant, and the nice view overlooking the runway. We will be again staying at the Hyatt on Friday night when I get back from Spokane, as we are leaving for Maui on Saturday morning – I’m not even going home from one trip to the other! And on Friday night, we are looking forward to having dinner at Hemisphere’s as they will be open then.
After breakfast, I strolled down to gate 12 on the opposite side of the airport. Fortunately with TSA Pre-check, I was quickly thru security and onto the tram and my gate. My four 1/2 hour flight to Phoenix was on an Airbus 321, and I sat next to a lady in First Class who was going on to Kona. We had a nice chat on the flight, and she’s actually meeting her husband on Maui on Sunday, staying at the same resort we are there – the Grand Wailea! After an uneventful (fortunately no bumps or emergency landings this week!), we arrived on Phoenix slightly early. I said by to my seatmate, and told her I would see her in Maui!
I stopped by the US Airways Club on the A17 airside, but it was standing room only, so I took a hike all the way up to Airside B, where I could at least get a seat and a cup of coffee. I took a pic along the way of a US Airways plane I saw, to get one of my last pics of their planes with their color and logo.
I’m not one to complain, on the contrary I usually write complimentary letters, but I did send a quick email ‘suggestion’ to American that I hope they expand their Admiral’s clubs in Phoenix while they are renovating them (the other A club is currently closed for renovation.) The US Airways clubs in Phoenix have always been way too small for a hub airport, and now with the AA merger they are way beyond packed where there are literally no seats, and waits for the men’s room. I also requested that they re-open a club in Orlando. There was a former US Airway club in Orlando until Hurricane Charley shut it down in 2004, and it never reopened even though the concourse has since been repaired.
On my next flight to Spokane, I ran into a co-worker of mine also going to Spokane. While she was also in First Class, we were across the window seats from each other, but we chatted before and after the 2 1/2 hour flight. We actually got lunch on this flight, and breakfast on the first flight! I haven’t been to Spokane since 2012, so took a couple photos shortly before landing, and then once in the airport upon landing.
I then rented a car from National Car Rental, and headed to my hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn, Spokane Airport, which will me home for me until Thursday. Due to the lengthy flights, schedules, and time change, I will be flying to PHX Thursday evening, and overnight there, flying back to Orlando on Friday evening, just in time to relax before flying to Hawaii on Saturday!
Hoping for a quick week here in Spokane!