Our Tribute To US Airways

 

Old Dec 2, 13, 1:49 pm
  #1  
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Our Tribute To US Airways

My wife and I live in Phoenix and we have flown on US Airways exclusively over the last 5 years. We truly enjoy flying US Airways and for the majority of our travel, we have had positive experiences. We only fly for fun, mainly on weekends after the work week, and never for work. During 2012 we flew 60k and bought up to Chairman. When 2013 started, we thought that we would do about the same miles as 2012. When the merger was announced early in the year, we decided to go for 100k; if we were every going to fly 100k in a year, now was the time.

We are waiting to see what happens with the merger but this was our personal tribute to US Airways, our once hometown airline that we are disappointed to see leave.

In the end, we traveled 35 weekends, flew 112k miles, who knows how many hours, but the memories of our adventure are of course…priceless.

Goodbye US Airways, it was fun while it lasted.
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Old Dec 2, 13, 3:24 pm
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I'm also going to miss the US name/brand. I'm only 30, but my oldest memories of flying were with US Airways, well technically USAir (ha - I finally get to type that without getting flamed on here). I think I was 13 or 14 when I signed up for the 'USAir Frequent Traveler Program' and I still have that dark grey and navy blue card around here somewhere. Being born and raised in PHL it's always felt like my hometown airline, so I'll be sad to see them go.

I guess eventually I'll just have to look forward to the occasional run-in with a US heritage livery when flying the New American - I hope! I'll finally get to feel like one of those old guys who appreciates the random spotting of the Piedmont/Allegheny/PSA/AWA planes. It'll be a shame to see the US brand 'demoted' to the little history logo next to the boarding door.

Cheers, US. I'll pour one out for you the next time I'm sitting up front...
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Old Dec 2, 13, 4:30 pm
  #3  
 
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I still remember my USAir Frequent Traveler program number this much later (a bit disturbing, perhaps?) Growing up and spending a lot of time in the Northeast, US has been part of my life for a long time, from F100s in Boston in pre-renaming days, to Global Carrier of Choice, to upstate New York Dash 8 service, Metrojet out at Dulles, transfers in Pittsburgh ... (ah, the nostalgia).

I may be one of the few people to feel this way, but I hope there's a good amount of US in the new AA, especially on the route planning side. Post-Wolf it never really pretended to be a Premium Airline for Premium People, and I kind of liked that; it could support a somewhat unorthodox but quite useful network. If it goes so far down the Premium road that it's no longer able to profit in CLT and PHL, and degenerates into the old Cornerstone/feed everything through LHR AA again, there'll be precious little reason for me to stay.
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Old Dec 2, 13, 7:56 pm
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Au revoir also to the flying boxcar (shorts 330) in Allegheny livery which started many a trip out of ABE when I was young(ish).

And, as a silver in the new humongous air, au revoir to upgrades too. It was fun while it lasted though
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Old Dec 2, 13, 8:30 pm
  #5  
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The US Airways that I flew over a million miles on is long gone. I remember flying in F circa 1990 from SNA to LGA and back. The SNA-SFO flight had dinner service. The F pax from SFO-CLT were given amenity kits (still have a couple) that were nicer than what you get today on international J. Elites were given one-way upgrade certificates (confirmable at booking). I think you were given 2 (or maybe 4) for every 10K miles you flew. And even though award flights were never easy to book. You could book an award ticket for any random date, then show up at the airport on the dates you wanted to travel, and go standby. I did this countless times both domestic and international. I only got "shafted" once during a 4th of July weekend. I started out as a "Priority Gold" elite. Then when "Priority Gold Plus" was introduced, I was that. When the program was renamed Dividend Miles, I was always Gold Preferred. After the merger, I reached Platinum Preferred. But then the "new" FF program became too much for me to consider beneficial. So I started crediting my US flights over to CO (then UA), where I was getting a larger elite bonus (until last year when UA devalued their FF program as well).
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Old Dec 3, 13, 1:24 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by Fanjet View Post
The US Airways that I flew over a million miles on is long gone. I remember flying in F circa 1990 from SNA to LGA and back. The SNA-SFO flight had dinner service. The F pax from SFO-CLT were given amenity kits (still have a couple) that were nicer than what you get today on international J. Elites were given one-way upgrade certificates (confirmable at booking). I think you were given 2 (or maybe 4) for every 10K miles you flew. And even though award flights were never easy to book. You could book an award ticket for any random date, then show up at the airport on the dates you wanted to travel, and go standby. I did this countless times both domestic and international. I only got "shafted" once during a 4th of July weekend. I started out as a "Priority Gold" elite. Then when "Priority Gold Plus" was introduced, I was that. When the program was renamed Dividend Miles, I was always Gold Preferred. After the merger, I reached Platinum Preferred. But then the "new" FF program became too much for me to consider beneficial. So I started crediting my US flights over to CO (then UA), where I was getting a larger elite bonus (until last year when UA devalued their FF program as well).
Those days are long gone on any US airline.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 7:25 am
  #7  
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My first flight ever was on a USAir flight back in 1990 to go to my aunt's wedding. I grew up in western PA, and PIT was the closest major airport. First flight was US1949 PIT-LAX on a 727. I remember getting a full meal on the flight, as well as them coming around regularly with snacks and drinks. They even gave out Klondike-like ice cream bars ... all of this in Y!

5.5 hours seemed like a long flight to a 13 year old - wondered if it would never end. There was no video IFE, but they had the looping audio.

The way back was on a 737 (wonder if it's one the -400s they're still flying? ). Similar service. I remember one of the meal options was Chicken Kiev. It was actually quite good.

It was a good start to the beginning of my travels.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 8:52 am
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I just got an anniversary card from my work the other day. Two years at the job. It got me thinking about how really it has been 2 years of traveling for me. I started off late in 2011 flying whatever was cheapest. I then started lurking on FT and decided that based on some commons sense and the information on FT that flying US exclusively was best for me. Being out of PHX it was mostly a no-brainer (Although WN would work). I can only imagine how some of you feel towards the merger. While I'm intrigued by the future, I can't help but be a little bummed. I have had nothing but great experiences with US. I honestly can't think of a better airline I have flown. Yes, there are tons of things I can point out that US doesn't come close to with competition but for what I need they are by far the best.

Thanks for a great two years!
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Old Dec 3, 13, 9:24 am
  #9  
 
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I made my first elite at US Airways between the Air Shuttle LGA-BOS and religiously flying LH to Europe, at age 19. I used to love the easy upgrades off-peak and familiar faces at BOS gates 15, 16, 17, LGA gates 18, 19 and 20, and onboard. I had the opportunity a number of times of flying with the same crewmembers who would bid the shuttle regularly, and LGA and BOS were very small crew bases when they were around.

While I largely left for Delta in 2008, US introduced me to the world of Status and I haven't gone a year without it since. I definitely miss CLT as my SE connecting hub instead of ATL, maybe I'll come back now that the carrier will have an upper-Midwest hub and a larger NY presence...
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Old Dec 3, 13, 9:39 am
  #10  
 
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I'd been a casual two-or-three-trips a year traveler till about 2003 or so, when I flew US DCA-PHL-LAX and was offered a cheap upgrade to F when I checked in. Having never flown in F before, I gave it a try, and landed at LAX pretty darn drunk on red wine, courtesy of the FA who seemed all too happy to make my first F experience a memorable one, although I guess that quantity of wine tends to make memory a bit of a challenge--- the only details I really remember were that the FA was a male, very good at his job, and loved keeping my glass full. Oh and that I had a clear plastic trash bin liner full of my clothes to tote around as my checked bag would have cost me an overweight bag fee if the ticketing agent hadn't suggested I offload some stuff to carry on.

When I changed jobs a year or two later and started traveling frequently, I remembered that F experience and spent the first couple months buying cheap upgrades on US whenever I could. I found myself on US a lot due to my corporate travel policy and then one day I discovered I'd made Silver without even noticing. Flying primarily DCA-MCO/JAX/TPA at the time, upgrades were pretty much guaranteed, and on my first trip out West with no upgrade, I made it a point to get the highest status I could. I figured out how to mileage run (hello Detroit in January on a 2xPQM offer combined with a $49 rt fare) and eventually made CP and never really looked back.

And I converted my now-husband into the cult of the frequent flier, as he and I were long distance for the better part of a year, and at least once a week one or the other of us would be flying between MCO and DCA. We had a lot of mini-vacations where we'd meet in PHX or CLT to continue on to SFO or LAS or wherever together, and he thought I was out of my mind to shop on anything other than price, till we did our first *A award together and flew to Auckland on NZ in business class. Now I don't have to try too hard to convince him to take a weekend on the west coast just because the fare is cheap, or check into a local hotel for the sole purpose of cashing in on some hotel points promo (we usually stick around for Jeopardy! at least).

Sad to see the adventure coming to an end. I'm moving into a new role with my job so my business travel for 2014 is either going to skyrocket or completely vanish, and I still don't know if the "New American" is going to be bookable through my corporate travel desk, so who knows what's ahead. But it's been a fun chapter, for sure, and while US has seriously pissed me off more than once, overall they've been very good to me. I know US is the red-haired step-child of the USA airline industry but the only things I regret are not having stocked up more heavily on Track it Back tags or Booking Buddy reservations.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 8:51 pm
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My very first trip on US was in 1980: AVP-PIT-DFW-PIT-MCO-PIT-AVP. I thought it was really cool that we had to backtrack to PIT to go from DFW-MCO. They served Chipwich's after the inflight meal on the PIT-DFW-PIT-MCO-PIT legs.

I had a few other trips on US before I finally joined Dividend Miles in 1987. I fell into Silver Status from one roundtrip LAX-PHL-MUC in 2002: Double EQM's for trips booked on US-branded credit cards. That trip plus an earlier trip I had taken from LAX-PIT-AVP were enough to get me to Silver. After that, I concentrated all of my flying on US, and I made Gold that year, and for the next 6 years thereafter.

US and I had a bitter breakup in 2008, but now we're friends, even though we don't spend much time together these days. A lot of us on this forum got to know each other in person through our flying on US. (Remember ROACHfest 2004, Limes for Chiames and the Lipstick campaign??? ) To all of you former "US Cockroaches" out there, those were some great times, even if the catering in F was on the level of a Happy Meal!!!

I will be very sad to see the US Airways name (and logo?) go away, but the memories will be with me forever.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 10:22 pm
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I know that most, if not all, of you are pretty loyal US (or Allegheny) fans but I came from what I still consider the best airline in the world. So my first US flight was my first flight in August 1989 - PI disappeared as far as the public was concerned on Aug 1, 1989.

That's the only airline that I know of that won Best Airline of the Year on the strength of strictly write-in votes - if wasn't listed on the ballots. After paying lip service to "taking the best of both" US and PI, Colodny managed to eradicate everything even resembling PI within 2-3 years. For example, after that merger I talked to the FA who had a wholesale flower business on the side and supplied all the flowers PI used in FC service. He went to Colodny with a presentation of how much US could save by having him overnight the flowers to the various caterers. The only thing Colodny asked was "Is that the way Piedmont did it?". When told that it was, Colodny wasn't interested.

Because of that history, I take at least a little pride in saying that I never used "US Air" or "US Airways" in a PA.

Jim
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Old Dec 3, 13, 11:05 pm
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Wow... I remember back in the days of "The New US Airways" and here we are on the forefront of the "The New American". This incarnation of US Airways (2005-2013) was definitely a roller coaster, but I'm glad I got to be a part of the adventure from the customer perspective. I remember the day I got the email about our 500 mile minimums and free soft drinks in Y being restored, and I remember thinking "times are gonna get better". Sure enough, they did.

I remember the switch from IFE to no IFE. Safety Video to Live Demo. No meals on a late west coast bound transcon to late night meals being available.

I remember getting plentiful upgrades as a silver back in 2008 in the markets I flew in. Every flight was truly a unique adventure.

Welcome to the wall of "airlines of yesteryear", US Airways. Thanks for the memories.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 11:17 pm
  #14  
 
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I'm going to miss flying F and J all over the world for little more than economy thanks to the Dividend Miles program and the ridiculously lax rules around it. I have (and never will) set foot on a US plane.
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Old Dec 4, 13, 12:50 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
Those days are long gone on any US airline.
Ain't that the truth. It was great while it lasted. However, the airlines were bleeding cash while it was going on.

I hope that in keeping with the retro PSA/Piedmont/Allegheny/America West A319 liveries. We will have a US Airways one (in the navy blue/light grey scheme). As well as an Air Cal (preferably an Air California one) and a TWA one (preferably the double-globe and single red ribbon one).
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