Foul weather and a delayed Continental Airlines flight gave me the opportunity to sample US Airways yesterday from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. While I won’t be defecting to US Airways anytime soon, the experience wasn’t half-bad.
The flight was operated by a brand-spanking-new A321 and featured gogo wi-fi internet onboard. The all-leather seats were fairly comfortable and the aircraft was immaculate inside. As a traveler who generally sticks to airlines that do not offer internet onboard, I found it wonderful to have speedy broadband access during the five hour flight for only $12.95. That’s a hefty price tag when you consider the monthly fee most people pay each month for internet, but when you are stuck in a metal canister for five hours, it sure is nice to have access to the outside world.
Flight attendants were in good spirits, though they only came through with one beverage service and one water run on the flight, and the US Airways buy-on-board menu (featuring wraps, sandwiches, and snack boxes) looked pretty good. With 24-seats in first class and even a few silvers upgraded (I overheard one), it looked like upgrade chances are not bad either.
The flight even landed 45 minutes early, which was appreciated considering my early departure this morning from LAX.
But even with all that went well, I cannot see myself deflecting to US Airways. Legroom was tight, the gate agents were rude, and I just like United, even without internet onboard. But with US Airways recent investment in their first class product and the seemingly high upgrade rate for top-tier Chairman Preferred flyers, I might one day be swayed–particularly if I remain in the Philadelphia area (which I wouldn’t count on…).
Nice job US Airways!