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Goodbye, US Airways: Envoy Suites First Class Farewell Flight FLL-PHL-MCO

Goodbye, US Airways: Envoy Suites First Class Farewell Flight FLL-PHL-MCO

Old May 20, 14, 10:07 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Programs: Transport Workers Union Local 568/Holland America 3 Star Mariner
Posts: 740
Goodbye, US Airways: Envoy Suites First Class Farewell Flight FLL-PHL-MCO


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Routing for my US Airways Envoy Suites Farewell Jaunt.
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US Airways Envoy Suites Farewell Jaunt FLL-PHL-MCO

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FOREWORD
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Even before I had booked my last trip on United First Class, I had always wanted to try out US Airways' Envoy Suites product, as a sort of quasi sequel to the first in my series of 2014 airline retirement journeys, http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ad.main/250714 . Of course, not much widebody flying in America remains, much to the chagrin of the online aviation community, with the US Airways A330s, the only A/C in their fleet that has the Envoy Suite hard product serving mostly European and Middle Eastern routes. Well, one day I was terribly bored and decided to see if US uses their 333s and 332s on domestic routes, and found an entire FlyerTalk thread devoted to the subject. One poster claimed the carrier ferries the aircraft between the CLT-PHL and PHL-CLT hubs, but I couldn't find any A330s on those, and the routes that were on Envoy 757-200s were crazy high in price!

I also could never afford a full-fare Envoy European route. What was I to do?

Another poster suggested PHL-MCO and CLT-MCO, so I searched through US's booking system on random Saturdays in May. Nothing turned up for CLT-MCO, so I tried a random Saturday in the middle of the month: May 17. And I found exactly what I was looking for


US Airways Envoy Suites for $262 USD one way! Woohoo!


Yes, definitely Envoy Suites! 1 - 2 - 1 Configuration in Envoy Class, operated as "First Class" as this will be a domestic flight.

Of course, I would have to get to PHL from my home airport of FLL before I could even consider taking any PHL flights. So, I had to do a multi city-routing of FLL-PHL-MCO. US Airways, at the time of writing, served four one-way, nonstop flights on the FLL-PHL route: US Airways # 1835 departing FLL at 6:00 AM EST and arriving into PHL at 8:45AM EST, US Airways # 1884 departing FLL at 11:50 AM EST and arriving into PHL at 2:38 PM EST, US Airways # 1790 departing FLL at 2:00 PM EST and arriving into PHL at 4:50 PM EST, and finally US Airways # 1985 departing FLL at 7:25 PM EST and arriving into PHL at 10:13 PM EST.

US Airways flights (I am not counting any AA routings) 1835, 1884, and 1985 are all operated by A319-100s, while 1790 is operated by a lone A320. The first flight departing early in the morning (1835) was $253, not bad IMO but I only paid that price to get to the A330, which is the real purpose of this journey.



Choosing my seats after checkout. Envoy remained mostly empty, while coach was filled to the brim from the start.

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This report will document Part 1: US Airways Envoy Suites Farewell Jaunt FLL-PHL-MCO

Click here to see my return to MIA on American Airlines Flagship Business Class from MCO: American Airlines 757-200 Lie flat Flagship Intrafloridian Business Class MCO-MIA

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Last edited by LPDAL; May 20, 14 at 10:19 pm
LPDAL is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 10:08 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Programs: Transport Workers Union Local 568/Holland America 3 Star Mariner
Posts: 740
KFLL (Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport) - KPHL (Philadelphia - International)
  • Airline: US Airways
  • Airline IATA Code: IATA Code # US
  • Airline IACO Code: IACO Code # AWE
  • Airline Callsign: Radio Callsign CACTUS
  • Airline Flight Number: # 1835
  • Aircraft / Equipment Used for Flight : Airbus A319-112
  • Aircraft / Equipment Registration: Registration # N819AW, Formerly with US Airways as N819AW, Formerly with America West Airlines as N819AW
  • Aircraft / Equipment Nationality: United States of America - FAA - Registered A/C / Equipment
  • Airline Fleet Number: 819
  • Aircraft Manufacturer: Airbus Group (Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, and Airbus Helicopters), formerly EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, reorganized into Airbus Group effective January 1st, 2014)
  • Aircraft Sub - Manufacturer: Airbus
  • Aircraft's First Flight: November 30th, 2000
  • Aircraft Test Registration: Test Registration D-AVYX (Germany)
  • Aircraft Config: C12Y112
  • Total Number of Passenger Seats: 124 Seats
  • Aircraft Construction Number (MSN) : # 1395
  • Aircraft Delivery Date: To America West Airlines as N819AW: December 21th, 2000, To US Airways as N819AW: September 27th, 2005, To American Airlines as N819AW: December 9th, 2013
  • Aircraft's Age as of Date of Flight: 13.5 Years Old as of May 17th, 2014
  • Aircraft Powerplant (s) : 2x IAE V2524-A5
  • Aircraft Owned by / Leased from: tfd, leased from CIT
  • Cabin: US Airways First Class
  • Fare Class: A
  • Meal: Refreshments
  • Seat Assignment: Seat # 3F, Window Seat
  • Row Assignment: Row # 3, First Class
  • A/C Equipped with IFE: No
  • A/C Equipped with Wi-Fi Wireless Internet Access: Yes, Go-Go Inflight Wi-Fi available for purchase
  • Airline Frequent Flier Program: US Airways Dividend Miles
  • Miles / Rewards / Points earned: 1,097 US Airways Dividend Miles
  • Airline Flight Date: May 17th, 2014
  • Boarding Call Time: 5:00 AM EST, May 17th, 2014
  • Boarding Zone: Boarding Zone # 1, Preferred Access
  • Departure Time: 6:00 AM EST, May 17th, 2014
  • Arrival Time: 8:45 AM EST, May 17th, 2014
  • Time Aloft: 2 hours 45 minutes (165 minutes)
  • Filed Speed: 458 KIAS
  • Filed Cruising Altitude: 33,000 feet
  • Flight Distance: Direct: 996 SM | Planned: 1,207 SM | Flown: 1,097 SM
  • Routing Waypoint (s) : ARKES2 ARKES ORL J53 CRG J51 SAV J55 CHS J121 WEAVR J121 SAWED J121 SWL JIIMS2
  • Fare Cost: $253.95 USD

FLIGHT DATA SOURCE (S) :

1. PlaneSpotter Airframe Data

2. PlaneSpotter US Airways Airline Data

3. FlightAware Live Flight Tracking Data


FlightAware for this flight. Copyright FlightAware 2014

The night before my journey, I turned in at midnight after a long shift at work and attempted to get at least a bit of sleep before my trip began at the early hour of 3:00 AM EST. However, I end up being completely sleepless and roll around in vain. By 2:30 AM I still hadn't fell asleep, and decided to wing it and got dressed, grabbed my backpack and set off.

When I get down to the street and look for Julio's number, the excellent cab driver who drove me to FLL for my last report: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...d.main/252548/ , I realize I had forgotten that my phone had been wiped after it was one with the pavement during my bike ride home from work a week earlier. So I try Yellow Cab, this time making sure that I dial an actual representitive instead of using the fully automated booking system. The African American lady on the line sounds barely awake, but promises an ETA of 30 minutes. While I wait, I proceed to walk over to the other side of my house and admired the dark beauty of the oceanic beach vista.


If you've ever wondered what the beach looks like at 3 AM, here you go.


Finally, a Yellow Cab on time. Looks like I got a minivan for this segment.

The cab driver is a friendly Indian chap from New Delhi who formerly worked for a travel agency in his home country before immigrating to America and settling down. This man actually has been on several airlines' premium cabins, and we share another lively discussion about the industry. He recommends I try LH longhaul F, I told him that a trip like that isn't quite on the cards at the moment. I tip him and pay the $38 cab fare, stepping into FLL Terminal 3, the "Purple" building.


Cruising down A1A, FLL's beachside road.


Arriving into Terminal 3.

Terminal 3 at FLL is an elongated version of T2, but has been under construction since 2013. When I come in the place is still under renovation albeit the new American signage, which is at the far right end. The US Airways desks are much more omnipresent here, and I walk up to a kiosk which is actually open (I've never seen a kiosk open that early). The US Airways computer system is very easily navigated, all I have to do is place my final destination and last name, and instantly I receive my receipt-paper boarding passes. The gate agents seem disintrested at this hour, however, when I ask them where the First Class security lane is they snarl at me with a "it's right down there and the TSA will show you!"

Well, I find out there is no First Class security lane after what seems like 300 people line up at the checkpoint. Amazingly, I walk past the insanely long line and right into the checkpoint and no one seems to mind.


American Airlines signage for the US Airways First Class checkin.


Checking in at the kiosk.


Sorry for the bad picture, but this is FLL Terminal 3.

Security was your normal TSA affair with your standard nudoscope and metal detector treatment. Shortly after, I am airside in a rather empty concourse E, luckily I had packed a few granola bars to hold me over while I wait. Concourse E serves mostly American Airlines, US Airways, and a single Jet Blue gate. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous ceiling floodlights make any attempt at taking pictures outside to be an extremely difficult task, but I manage. After that I grab a quite mediocre sandwich and coffee at Key West Coffee Co. for $13, I know it's the only food vendor open at the moment but still....

There are no US Airways clubs nor American Airlines Admirals Clubs in FLL so I just head to the gate to join the great unwashed. I find an outlet and start charging up when suddenly a man bumps into me. After excusing himself he sits down and starts talking to me, and is quickly enthralled by the concept of a trip report, A.net, and the fact that someone would write solely about airplanes for many paragraphs. After I explain the airline fandom for about an hour, I bid farewell to my new friend Jeff and fall in line in the Preferred Access queue, while the gate agent declares that anyone in Zone 5 will not be able to store their bag as there will be no space left in the overhead bins, requesting volunteers to check bags. Surprisingly, a large amount of volunteers came forward.



Walking into FLL's concourse E.


My ride today to PHL today would be N819AW, a former US Airways A319 that was painted in AA colors a few months back, but retains its US Airways interior. Before US Airways, this bird was in service with America West before their own merger with Cactus.


A small and terrible breakfast at Key West Coffee Co. Not only was the food expensive, but it was also tasteless. The sandwich's bread was like chewing on modeling clay, and the coffee tasted like it was brewed weeks before. Oh well, filling grub I guess.


Boarding over at gate E5.


I decided to try out the electronic boarding pass feature for this flight, which worked flawlessly.


Walking down the jetway.


Boarding the ship.


Now it makes sense!

Jeanne the flight attendant, who seems quite senior, welcomes the First Class passengers into the small 12-seat cabin. US Airways allows a few minutes between zones 1 and 2 to allow flight attendants to serve PDBs to F class passengers, but the gate agents were probably not aware of this policy as soon the flood of Y passengers begins boarding and hinders her efforts to serve the customers--but she improvises by halting the Y class passengers at the L1 door every now and then to get the PDBs out.

First impressions of US Airways Domestic first seats--a pillow and blanket was provided, which is apparently rare for US flights. Seat width is good with a pretty large adjustable headrest and a nice amount of recline. A module for Audio IFE is present but does not work-US removed inflight IFE for domestic routes many years ago.


US Airways First Class Domestic Cabin.


A very comfortable seat with a large adjustable headrest.


Knee space is unimpressive although I could extend my legs under the seat infront of me.


First Class cabin during boarding.


PDB of tonic water, while my seat mate orders a "screwdriver". What is that?

Once boarding was completed (along with the captain being given a beer by the F/A, quite strange) we taxied out to 10L while a live safety demonstration was given, then turn right onto the runway as nobody was in line for takeoff at this hour. Takeoff was something else with the captain jamming the throttle levers forward as soon as we were lined up with the centerline. Those two IAE V2524-A5 bypass turbofans sounded exactly like RB211s with an insanely loud buzzsaw roar as we shot down the runway, before lifting off just before Terminal 2.

US Airways A319 Takeoff Video from FLL

After we flew over the beach and turned back to Florida, my lack of sleep caught up with me and I promptly passed out until Jeanne came around with the snack basket. US Airways snack basket contained some quite interesting food choices, a little more than DL. The biggest treat for me was the apples, my fruit of choice. The rest of the flight was very uneventful, with drink refills and snack basket service, not much else.


Taxiing out.


Turning onto runway 10L.


Starting the takeoff roll.


Liftoff.


Blowing past Terminals 1,2, and 3.



Intercepting Hallandale beach just before we turn to the north to begin our jaunt up to PHL.


As we fly northeast, the sun rises in a spectacular fashion.

When we reached 10,000 feet, drink service began. Jeanne made sure that all (awake) passengers were well watered and fed with snack basket service throughout the flight. I awoke just in time for her second pass of the snacks, also ordering a coffee to keep in an energetic state for the upcoming adventure at Philadelphia.


I begin with a simple mug of coffee, along with a cup of cream and sugar.


Snack basket. Slightly better than DL's or United, maybe it's just my palate....


Cruising slightly above the cloud cover, with a blanket of soft blue skies overhead.


Cabin during our climb to cruising altitude, everybody is snoozing.


Cruise.

The rest of the flight was entirely uneventful, and soon I heard the captain's voice crackling on the intercom, announcing we would be on the ground in twenty minutes. Not bad for my first flight in US Airways F.


Beginning the approach.



A US Airways Express Dash 8 is already ahead of us in the pattern as we descend.


Long final.


Downtown Philadelphia comes into view as we close in on the airport.


Short final over some shipyards.


Touchdown, reverse thrust and spoilers engaged.


Welcome to Philadelphia!


Taxiing in past a company ERJ-190. US is one of the few airlines that uses the 190 as a mainline aircraft.


Pulling into the gate.


Deplaning.

As I leave the aircraft, i ask Jeanne for a cockpit visit. The captain overhears our conversation and welcomes me in with a personable aura.


US Airways A319-100 N819AW's flight deck.


One last look at N319AW before I head up to the US Airways Club.
LPDAL is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 10:09 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Programs: Transport Workers Union Local 568/Holland America 3 Star Mariner
Posts: 740
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PHILADELPHIA AIRPORT
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PHL's Concourse C is slightly tight with all the Saturday morning travelers walking back and forth, but nowhere near as packed as IAD. I walk forward from my gate and come upon the concourse connector for B/C, and strolling left I find the escalator entrance to the US Airways Club. Inside I buy a day pass for $50 USD, then leave for the A-concourse club as it apparently is the best one in the entire airport according to TripAdvisor reviews.


PHL Concourse C




The US Airways Club in Concourse C.


Leaving the club, I spot a very nice Fedex DC-10 taxiing by, great to see these old birds still in use.


Thankfully, PHL's concourse A terminal, which is primarily used for international flights, is pretty spacious and with massively high ceilings.


This maze of stairways, escalators, and elevators is the entrance to the US Airways Concourse A club.


Loving this new spot! Very high off the ground, quiet, and with great views of the tarmac below.


Food selections include bagels, pastries, and other munchies. No oatmeal, though.

I then remember my friend's advice of trying out the AAdmirals Club, but was unsure of the reciprocity of the day pass. The lounge agent dialed the other club, and it was confirmed that I could use the US Airways Club Day Pass to get into the Admiral's Club.

Well, the Admiral's club at PHL is really nothing to write home about--no windows, virtually the same food selection, and no separate bar. I take a few photos before leaving to the food court to eat an actual meal:





The mediocre Admirals Club at gate A6A.


Later, enjoying some orange chicken from Asian Chao in the A/B concourse connector.

After wolfing down my lunch I decided to find where all the Dash 8s were--turns out they all go to one end of the F concourse, the farthest terminal from where I was standing at the moment! Luckily, US provides a free shuttle bus and I'm quickly stepping off at F in no time at all.



Hello, Dash 8s, I must get a flight on you in the future.

Once I finish spotting in Concourse F, I take the shuttle back to Concourse A and stay in the club there until my Envoy Suites flight. Arriving in the club, the agent notices me from before and lets me in with no hiccups, while inside the bartender sets out the lunch offerings. US Airways provides a mushroom bisque soup which doesn't really appeal to me at the moment, although I'm glad they are making baby steps to provide some real chow. I set myself up near the window, spotting all the way up until I leave the lounge to board the A330 taking me down to Orlando.




Lunch food selections: Mushroom and Brie Bisque, snack mixes, olives, chips, fresh fruit, and dipping sauces.


My hometown airline arrives.


Three US Airways 752s crowd the north end of the A concourse.


N280AY, the expected A332, arrives and parks at A19.

At 3:00 EST I made my way down to the gate, all happy and giddy that I will be experiencing a suites cabin for very cheap.

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LPDAL is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 10:10 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Programs: Transport Workers Union Local 568/Holland America 3 Star Mariner
Posts: 740
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KPHL (Philadelphia - International) - KMCO (Orlando International - McCoy)
  • Airline: US Airways
  • Airline IATA Code: IATA Code # US
  • Airline IACO Code: IACO Code # AWE
  • Airline Callsign: Radio Callsign CACTUS
  • Airline Flight Number: # 769
  • Aircraft / Equipment Used for Flight : Airbus A330-243
  • Aircraft / Equipment Registration: Registration # N280AY
  • Airline Fleet Number: 280
  • Aircraft / Equipment Nationality: United States of America - FAA - Registered A/C / Equipment
  • Aircraft Manufacturer: Airbus Group (Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, and Airbus Helicopters), formerly EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, reorganized into Airbus Group effective January 1st, 2014)
  • Aircraft Sub - Manufacturer: Airbus
  • Aircraft's First Flight: June 4th, 2009
  • Aircraft Test Registration: F-WWYP Test Registration (France)
  • Aircraft Config: C20Y238
  • Total Number of Passenger Seats: 258 Seats
  • Aircraft Construction Number (MSN) : # 1022
  • Aircraft Delivery Date: To US Airways as N280AY: June 18th, 2009, To American Airlines as N280AY: December 9th, 2013
  • Aircraft's Age as of Date of Flight: 5 Years Old as of May 17th, 2014
  • Aircraft Powerplant (s) : 2x RR Trent 772B-60
  • Aircraft Owned by / Leased from: OWNED BY American Airlines Group, Inc. as of December 9th, 2013
  • Cabin: Envoy Suites Business Class
  • Meal: Refreshments
  • Seat Assignment: Envoy Suite # 4H, Window Suite
  • Row Assignment: Row # 4, Envoy Suites
  • A/C Equipped with IFE? : Yes, PTV System
  • A/C Equipped with Wi-Fi Wireless Internet Access? : No
  • Airline Frequent Flier Program: US Airways Dividend Miles
  • Miles / Rewards / Points earned: 926 US Airways Dividend Miles
  • Airline Flight Date: May 17th, 2014
  • Boarding Call Time: 2:55 PM EST, May 17th, 2014
  • Boarding Zone: Boarding Zone # 1, Preferred Access
  • Departure Time: 3:55 PM EST, May 17th, 2014
  • Arrival Time: 6:29 PM EST, May 17th, 2014
  • Time Aloft: 2 hours 34 minutes (154 minutes)
  • Filed Speed: 470 KIAS
  • Filed Cruising Altitude: 14,000 feet
  • Flight Distance: Direct: 864 SM | Planned: 976 SM | Flown: 926 SM
  • Routing Waypoint (s) : OOD TEBEE HAYDO SIE B24 AZEZU L453 PAEPR M201 BAHAA AR15 HIBAC CWRLD4
  • Fare Cost: $262.32

FLIGHT DATA SOURCE (S) :

1. PlaneSpotter.Net Airframe Data

2. PlaneSpotter.Net US Airways Airline Data

3. FlightAware Live Flight Tracking Data


FlightAware for this flight. Copyright FlightAware 2014

Arriving at the gate I am confronted by a large number of children running about, understandingly excited about what awaits them in Orlando. First Class passengers are called after what seems like 10 families board in the "pre-boarding" zone. I initially fear that my Envoy experience would be ruined by noisy children upfront, but no kids are to be found up front, only in coach.

David is the senior purser on this flight, directing each passenger to their seat (or suite upfront). I, however, am so excited about being in a suites cabin that I begin rapid fire photography, much to the humor of my quite heavy seatmate behind me.


Gate A19 for US 769 to Orlando.


N280AY, an Airbus A330-200 would be my ride down to Orlando today.


Walking down the jetway to the aircraft.


Boarding, note that massive door which i am not used to, considering all my domestic narrowbody flying.


Sneaking a picture of the suites cabin as I walk up to the right side of the aircraft.


Arriving at my suite, 4H.

Saying I love the Envoy suite would be an understatement. I had never been in a non-angle-flat bed seat before this, and I fully realized what I had been missing. These suites make it effortless to get a nap in, with thick cloth padding reclining all the way down to form a six-foot-long bed. My friends had advised me that the IFE would be off, but it wasn't. The massive screen folds out and can be swiveled up/down so you can watch it while the seat is fully flat. A pull-out remote enables you to use the TV while you're laying down as well as all the other features of the suite.


Legroom is unlimited considering the seat needs enough space to recline into a bed. Some basic bedding was provided as well.


On the lower armrest are the pop-up tray table with classy wood accents, the simple recline controls, and a compartment presumably to hold a mobile phone as my iPhone fits perfectly inside.



To the right of that, you have your IFE remote, reading lamp, headphone jack, and USB/AC charging ports.



A better view of the suite. David came around with a round of PDBs right before departure, and I ordered a coke.


Literature holder near the entrance to the suite. I quite like the carpeting design as well.


The IFE is loaded with a pretty decent selection of television programs, movies, games, and of course the Airshow.


A look around the whole Envoy cabin.

A few minutes after boarding begins, the first officer comes onto the PA and announces that our departure is going to be delayed because a passenger is running to the gate in order to join us. Next thing I know, an Asian lady boards and has a fit at David claiming "no terminal announcements were made, this is ridiculous" Well duh, if you're 10 minutes from departure there will be no terminal announcements...I question the intelligence of the American population sometimes. The captain then comes on the PA again and tells us that our flying time will be longer than scheduled to avoid storms on the eastern seaboard--no problem for me, the longer I am in this cabin, the better! Soon enough we are being pushed back past a LH A343 and a BA 777, making a rather long taxi to the active.

Once we crossed the hold short line, the low pitched groan of the A330s two RR Trent 772B-60 nacelles comes to life and we slowly build up speed as the heavily-laden aircraft increases it's momentum to the point where the whole cabin is rattling, lifting off slowly, then turning to the south to head to Orlando. The lumbering aircraft gracefully turns slowly yet climbs quickly as we depart into the deep blue sky of Pennsylvania.

US Airways A330-200 Takeoff from PHL Video


Pushback past a BA 777 and LH 343.


Taxi out of the stand.


David handed out IFE-compatible headsets during taxi, a nice touch.


Holding short for an Express E175.


Turning onto PHL's runway 27R.


And we're rolling!



The big girl flexes her wings as we ascend.


Turning to the southeast.


Climbing away from PHL.


The captain steers us through the clouds as we gain altitude.


Climbing...



Once at cruise altitude, David and the other female F/A begin service. I inquire about the possibility of a cappucino as I have seen other Envoy reports with people being served them. Well, I come to find out that the milk bags for the machine in the galley are only loaded for translantic flights, which is understandable since espresso machines are very expensive to service, so I end up ordering more cokes instead. David brought out the standard snack basket, so I asked him to hold it so I could take a picture, but he insists that I take a picture of a full one instead and brings a fully-stocked snack basket with the works and everything!


A coke in a classy US Airways branded glass starts out the service.


David hands out snacks.


The full snack basket that David provided for a nice photo-op.


I proceed to take one of everything and David certainly does keep me well fed throughout the flight.


Watching the airshow on the IFE. This flight is really going by too fast...


Not much to see outside...


Envoy cabin during cruise.


Playing BeJeweled while fully reclined. I could get used to this cabin....


Getting ready to take a micronap. The seat was nice and padded, but I could use a much nicer pillow and blanket to sleep with as they were quite mediocre and thin.

I woke up from my nap right as we were descending, while David collected all the service items, trash, and other waste. This flight had been one of my best in years, and I really do love the Envoy suite. It's sad to see that it will probably be gone soon, replaced with AA's First/Business layout, but regardless, this flight was an excellent way to hop down to Orlando.

We intercepted the Floridian Coast before making a series of turns to line up with MCO, eventually turning over a lake and slamming down hard on a satellite runway on the north end of the airport. The taxi took a very long time for some reason, and when we reached our gate the marshallers weren't there so we ended up pausing for a few minutes before pulling forward. The whole Envoy cabin seems in a giant hurry to deplane and the cabin quickly empties, except for me, as I ask David to take my obligatory cockpit shot. He snuck in the cockpit, returning with an invitation from the captain. I end up talking to him about the prospects of going to the Daytona Beach campus of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and he said that most of the pilots that start at Piedmont came from ERAU. He also makes sure to mention the tiller for this aircraft is extremely sensitive and apologizes for any abrupt taxi maneuvers, which I didn't even notice.

US Airways A330-200 Landing at MCO Video



Beginning the approach.


Descending into some marshes.


Turning onto base.


Long final over an unknown lake.


Long final near a development. Which house is yours?


Touchdown, quite hard if you ask me.


Turning off the runway.


A rather long winded taxi to the terminal.


My next trip report in Upper Class...Nope, I wish though. Just two Virgin Atlantic 744s, old and new livery. The new livery has more of a chic title and no "Miss Virgin" on the winglets...any other differences?


Pulling up to US Airways 757-200 Winglet N540UW. If I catch one of these plus one of the "new" G4 752s I will have collected all the legacy carriers 757s. ( UA, US, G4, DL, AA)


Parked, and a little teary eyed as my first suite experience comes to a close.



US Airways A330-200 N280AY's cockpit. I'm having real trouble with the condition in the second photo, how do I get rid of that?



Some last looks at the Envoy cabin. I'll miss you, old Cactus girl....


Deplaning, melancholically.
LPDAL is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 10:11 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Programs: Transport Workers Union Local 568/Holland America 3 Star Mariner
Posts: 740
Click here to see my return to MIA on American Airlines Flagship Business Class from MCO: American Airlines 757-200 Lie flat Flagship Intrafloridian Business Class MCO-MIA

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Thanks in advance for all responses!

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-LPDAL

Last edited by LPDAL; May 20, 14 at 10:20 pm
LPDAL is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 10:17 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: LON
Programs: AS MVPG, Marriott Titanium, UA Silver
Posts: 1,344
Cactus was America West's call sign, and was kept with the US merger.

As far as I'm aware America West didn't make any acquisitions, aside from some interesting partnerships, and didn't acquire "Cactus" airlines. Also the ex-US/America West Airbus fleet has a mix of CFM/IAE engines depending on when they were delivers. Not RR's.

Maybe someone else can fact check me on that.

Also a screwdriver is a delicious drink of vodka and orange juice. Once you're 21, you'll have to decide on the "delicious" part yourself.

Awesome trip! looks like fun.

Last edited by MonThruThurs; May 20, 14 at 10:25 pm
MonThruThurs is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 11:05 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: PHL
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Nice to see a fresh prospective on a plane I've had the pleasure of flying many times in Envoy. Thanks for the great read!
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Old May 21, 14, 9:23 am
  #8  
 
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Yep, I've flown in Envoy on the A330 many Saturdays between MCO and CLT. About two months ago I flew a red-eye form PHX to CLT in Envoy followed by an A330 form CLT to MCO. Glad to see you got to enjoy it!
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Old May 21, 14, 10:43 am
  #9  
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Another great report! Thanks.
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Old May 21, 14, 5:38 pm
  #10  
 
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by MonThruThurs View Post
Also a screwdriver is a delicious drink of vodka and orange juice. Once you're 21, you'll have to decide on the "delicious" part yourself.


You'll learn all about this when you get to college turn 21. Embry Riddle's a great school btw, especially for an aspiring aviator ^^

Glad you enjoyed the Envoy suites like I did! They get a lot of hate from some folk as being "drab, boring, less isolated, and not as nice" as some other airlines' J products, but I found them very utilitarian and functional.

Love reading reports like these, they're incredibly refreshing
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Old May 22, 14, 2:23 am
  #11  
 
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Long final over an unknown lake.

Depending on which direction you were landing you were either over Tohopekaliga or Conway.

Nice report. Definitely can tell this is geared for the a.net crowd. lol

Also, the only thing that you're saying good bye to from the US Airways brand is the name. It will still be US Airways with an American Airlines wrapper.
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Old May 22, 14, 7:14 am
  #12  
 
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Nice report.

Not sure you were being serious when you posted you hadn't heard of a screwdriver? It is just an orange juice with vodka. Personally never order one that way and ask for a "vodka with orange juice".

Pretty common adult beverage.

Last edited by apodo77; May 22, 14 at 8:33 am
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Old May 23, 14, 3:24 am
  #13  
 
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Thanks for the nice Trip Report. 14,000 sounds low for a cruising altitude on any flight other than a very short flight.
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Old May 23, 14, 8:01 am
  #14  
 
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Brilliantly captivating report...Had to read it in one go !
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Old May 24, 14, 1:24 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by LPDAL View Post
Getting ready to take a micronap. The seat was nice and padded, but I could use a much nicer pillow and blanket to sleep with as they were quite mediocre and thin.
Awesome report. Love you enthusiasm.

Seat works much better with Westin Heavenly In-Flight Bedding. I've been flying Delta A330-300s BusinessElite almost weekly BOS-AMS. Suites are quite similar, though, I feel the Delta cabin seems a bit more refined (perhaps, just bias). The TV screen and remote seem to be situated in a more logical fashion on Delta.

In any case, I do very much like these configurations; and the A330.
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