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In Our World

United vs. US Airways

We took a whirlwind trip to Chicago over the weekend, stopping in for a few bites to eat, to take in a show and to visit the two of the three tallest buildings in the city. We made our plans last Wednesday, having planned well in advance to…

We took a whirlwind trip to Chicago over the weekend, stopping in for a few bites to eat, to take in a show and to visit the two of the three tallest buildings in the city. We made our plans last Wednesday, having planned well in advance to have a spontaneous trip over the weekend. Odd, I know, but we do what we can.

So on Wednesday, the e-savers came out and we were rather disappointed with the selection. So we set about to find something else to do. We then visited Site59 and decided on Chicago. Our flight there was a non-stop, but the return was a one-stop through Dulles. Both legs said USAirways, and we didn’t think much of it.

The flight to Chicago was uneventful. We disembarked at about 10:15am local time, and by 10:45am we were in our hotel room. Very sweet indeed, though most of that was luck, I believe. The trip home was a bit more of a hassle.

It started at the kiosks as we were checking in. It turns out that the first leg (Chicago to DC) or our return trip was operated by United. So we had to hike over to another counter to check in. Still, we were there early so that worked out okay. Then we had tickets that were separated by a number of rows. We had time, so we asked nicely and were placed on the same row, even. Still okay.

In fact, we were placed in the tail end of the economy plus section of a 767. This means we had lots of legroom (it seemed to be about double the normal space, perhaps half of what the real E+ folks had), but smaller seats without the fancy seatback lights and that didn’t recline as far. Still, it was better than regular economy, so we were happy. Everything went well, though we were a bit late, so we made our connection with only about 10 minutes to spare (it had been scheduled at something over an hour).

Then we boarded the final leg of the trip, another USAirways flight.

Living in Charlotte, I fly USAiryways a lot. And usually I’m not all that disappointed. They aren’t great, but they aren’t bad either. Until I flew that United trip. Wow. The flight attendants were so much nicer. Even the regular 767 economy seats (which I checked out while standing in line for the bathroom) were more comfortable than the standard job on the A319 on our USAirways flght, to say nothing of our almost-economy plus seats. Wow.

The pillow on the USAirways flight was like an undershirt folded in half, and I had to request it (and get a look in return, like ‘how dare you’). On United, there was both a pillow and a very nice blanket already on the seat. And the pillow was perhaps one-third to one-half the size of a regular pillow, such as I might find on my bed at home. With a real cloth cover, not those stringy monstrosities you usually find on plane pillows.

About the only thing going for the USAirways flight was that they had Cranium trivia playing throughout the flight. Of course, the United seats each had their own video screen. So it was something of a push at best. I’m trying to be helpful here, and realisitically, United won hands-down.