Dallas-Venice on US Airways Coach: Eurabia, Part II

I’ll be honest: this probably won’t be the most exciting flight report ever.  It was mainly US Airways international coach service on their A330.  There were no suites, no sliding doors, no showers, no caviar.  It’s a wonder how I survived, huh?  I know I know, I’m a bit spoiled, but at the end of the day whether I’m in the front of the plane or the back of it I’m still traveling!  I’ve always said I’d never let Coach stand in the way of a good trip, and plus I’d get to check out a new airline’s international service.  All of this is what I told myself to get me psyched up for what I was sure to be a big ol’ bucket of meh.

US Airways availability
I was using AAdvantage miles for this trip, which book for the same rate on US Airways flights as they do on American ones.  This is great, because US Airways has a fairly interesting routing network to Europe and hit quite a few places American does not.  My friends who I would be meeting in Venice took a routing that led them from DFW to MIA to DUS to VCE on American and airberlin.  Having US Airways available for a nonstop into Venice was really nice schedule-wise, so I couldn’t pass it up.  You can search US Airways award space alongside American award space on AA.com.

We pick up our report in PHL
There was quite an effort getting back to Dallas in time to catch my flight to Philly (I left San Antonio at 4am to drive to Dallas), but I drove fast…er…safely, and even made it with enough time to stop by the Centurion Lounge before my flight.  I got to PHL and made my way towards my gate.  I stopped along the way for some nice planespotting.

Planespotting at PHL

Planespotting at PHL

I found the gate with our plane at it.  I generally like the A330 and have ridden it back and forth across the Atlantic numerous times on airberlin, so it was a pleasant familiarity that stared at me through the window at the gate.

sup

sup

There was still a bit of time before boarding was to commence, so I made my way down to the Admiral’s Club (which I believe is new, and includes a US Airways desk) and tried to relax a bit.  It was downstairs from the terminal, so no great views of the tarmac.

Snackies

Snackies

Out of focus snackies

Out of focus snackies

Those of you who know me know I follow CrossFit, and there was a big competition going on, so I obliterated the wifi bandwidth and watched the streaming finale of one of the events.

I put my passport in to make it travel-related

I put my passport in to make it travel-related

Eventually it was time to board a rather empty flight to Venice.  I had a window seat, and the person next to me eventually moved seats, which gave me an open seat next to me, which I LOVE.

Economy Cabin

Economy Cabin

The flight attendants were nice enough, a good mix of American and Italian crew.  We set off to the East and, during dinner, I saw another plane fairly close to ours heading in the same general direction.

You can see the other plane's contrails

You can see the other plane’s contrails

About the same time the flight attendants came by and served us some…matter.  I’m sure somewhere someone decided that it should be called “dinner” but it was pretty much inedible.  Even the salad tasted funny.

Dinner?

Dinner?

The meal made me glad that the New American is going to mimic the old American’s service and food standards instead of US Airways.  As I sat back to relax (and by “sat back” I mean “popped some melatonin”), I noticed something really peculiar on the in-flight entertainment screen.

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

If you want to see where everyone’s favorite shipwreck occurred and 1500 people died, now you know.  Similar shipwrecks were noted as we got closer to Europe.  It was just offputting, almost inviting the passengers to think of mass casualty events.  Being that this was just over a month after the MH370 disaster, I just thought it was strange.  But then I had breakfast.

“Ladies and gentlemen, for breakfast we will serve you coffee and a muffin top.”

Ok, full disclosure: I didn’t know muffin tops were a thing.  Apparently they’re big in the northeast.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the northeast and had never heard of it, but I read it on the internet so it must be true.  Anyway, I thought I had misheard the attendant, but sure enough…

Yep...a muffin top

Yep…a muffin top

It was exactly what it sounds like.  Just the top part of the muffin.  I don’t know who came up with the idea, but I guess bravo them.  I ate about half of it before giving up the battle going on in my cognition and just main-lined coffee as we made our final descent into Venice.

Final Review of US Airways
I guess the easiest way I have of describing the service on the flight is: at.  I felt like everything was done at the passengers.  “We served dinner at the passengers.”  “We served muffin tops at the passengers.”  It wasn’t bad service by any means, and ultimately we landed safely so I shouldn’t complain too much.  It’s just that I didn’t see very many of the flight attendants smiling.  Hopefully they’ve found something to smile about since.

All in all, it was a pretty nondescript flight.  Nothing great happened, and nothing terrible happened.  It was just a flight.  Those are the hardest to write these posts about, because I feel like I always need a story to tell all of you.  I’ll never let Coach stand in the way of a good trip, and tried to remember that I should be amazed that I sat for 8 hours in a metal tube and ended up in Venice.

Coming up next: Venice!

 

Best,
Andy

 

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