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T-Bird76
09-17-2005, 10:02 PM
Well as promised in last weeks trip report I reported Iíd bring you the Boston Shuttle this week and here it is. I must say just when I thought all civility was lost in air travel the U.S Airways Shuttle all tucked away on the other side of the US terminal restores my faith in mankind and service in air travel.

From check-in to boarding the US Shuttle from LGA and BOS is a pleasure to fly. The Shuttle offers large comfortable waiting areas with free workstations, quality reading material that is plentiful and interesting, and clients who on the surface understand personal dignity and proper decorum while in public. This probably has something to do with the fact that 97% are business people and know how to conduct themselves in a crowd. Unlike Helga, the Dancing Churchwoman, and Bubby who graced me on my other flights in the past month who should have been exiled to the cargo hold, being around the Shuttle clients were a pleasure and a good opportunity to do some networking.

Now the last time I flew an Airbus I was in college and was to buzzed to remember how I liked it, spring break flight. Now all grown up and a professional successful member of the business world (wow that sounds like a load of crap) I was very concise of the comforts of the aircraft and service. Right off the bat I have to give the A319 an ďAĒ for comfort, noise levels, air quality, and cabin features. Iím a Boeing fan tried and true but I must give credit where credit is due, the A319 just rocks. Now of course this opinion is based on USís configuration for the A319.

The first thing I liked about the A319 was the height of the PSUs. The PSUs are a bit higher then the 737ís PSUs, this gave me the feeling of being on a much larger aircraft, which is important to me. The added height did have its draw back though, you have to stretch out of your seat a bit to reach the light switch and vent, not a big deal but for short people this could be a problem.

Silence really is bliss when it comes to air travel. I know we all envy over the good old days when jets were loud and could break your Momís best china when they flew over but when you travel often a quiet cabin is a must. I was shocked absolutely shocked how quite the A319ís cabin was, and I was sitting right near the engine. It was so quiet I could clearly make out a conversation two rows behind me, sadly the conversation wasnít anything juicy.

Man who ever said an inch canít go a long way? Well on USís A319s the 18-inch seat width compared to AAís 17-inch seats makes all the world of difference. These were some of the most comfortable coach seats Iíve ever sat in. I could easily do a trascon flight on this plane. Besides the width the seats were soft and very supportive.

Its very interesting to note something, all the carriers Iíve flown in the last month who were either flirting with Bankruptcy or were in Bankruptcy had the best staffs. I was very pleased to see how professional and accommodating the staff was on the ground and in the air at US. With all the cuts those folks have taken they still do their job with pride and with a customer first attitude. Great work U.S and your Airbuses get an ďAĒ in my book.

P.S You get free booze on the Shuttle, shh don't tell anyone...

cancidas
09-17-2005, 11:30 PM
tommy i'm very glad you liked the shuttle flights. our busses are very comfortable, even in Y when compared to the boeings in the fleet. you're right about the travellers though, the fact that they're all business people goes a long way to making your flight more enjoyable. drop me a pm and i'll give you my #. give me a call next time you're in the terminal. i'm working morning shifts now...

PhilDernerJr
09-19-2005, 11:50 AM
I was thinking about this service today as I came home from Boston myself. I took the Fung Wah bus in Chinatown. Three and a half hours in each direction. I've also flown to Boston on a US Airways Shuttle, both First Class and coach. However, I must say that in several ways, I prefer bus over plane. These are the reasons:

Price. This one is obvious. On US Airways' site, a last minute flights costs $277.70. Planning two months ahead, $128.70. Fung Wah wins with $15 in each direction. Just show up and hand them a Hamilton and Lincoln.

Time is another factor. While a 30 minute flight sounds appealing, that does not include your early check-in time. Nor does it include the time you wait on security lines, boarding time, taxi time. The whole process of a flight to Boston easily can take 3 hours or more.

Another issue with time is the commute. Airports are far from the busy locations where the people really are. That also creates the time spent getting to the airport and back. With the bus, you go from central location to central location. A big time-saver there as well.

Add it all up and you've got the same amount of time, at 10% the cost.

Now lets' talk about bus versus train. Train makes sense, at least over flying, but I still feel that bus wins. Travel times on the regional trains take close to, or exactly, five hours, and cost $69. Acela Express's Business Class is the only one that competes with time, and that's at a travel time of 3:30 and a cost of $109. Booking Acela in advance costs $89.

This is not to say that US Airways or Delta Shuttle service is not good. Aside from the obvious enjoyment of flight, the comfort level on an airplane is beyond question. Though I suggested its annoyance earlier, walking around and doing something before a flight creates a lot less boredom than you'd feel sitting still for three to five hours on a bus or train. Not to mention that airports have better food and shopping.

PhilDernerJr
09-19-2005, 11:50 AM
I was thinking about this service today as I came home from Boston myself. I took the Fung Wah bus in Chinatown. Three and a half hours in each direction. I've also flown to Boston on a US Airways Shuttle, both First Class and coach. However, I must say that in several ways, I prefer bus over plane. These are the reasons:

Price. This one is obvious. On US Airways' site, a last minute flights costs $277.70. Planning two months ahead, $128.70. Fung Wah wins with $15 in each direction. Just show up and hand them a Hamilton and Lincoln.

Time is another factor. While a 30 minute flight sounds appealing, that does not include your early check-in time. Nor does it include the time you wait on security lines, boarding time, taxi time. The whole process of a flight to Boston easily can take 3 hours or more.

Another issue with time is the commute. Airports are far from the busy locations where the people really are. That also creates the time spent getting to the airport and back. With the bus, you go from central location to central location. A big time-saver there as well.

Add it all up and you've got the same amount of time, at 10% the cost.

Now lets' talk about bus versus train. Train makes sense, at least over flying, but I still feel that bus wins. Travel times on the regional trains take close to, or exactly, five hours, and cost $69. Acela Express's Business Class is the only one that competes with time, and that's at a travel time of 3:30 and a cost of $109. Booking Acela in advance costs $89.

This is not to say that US Airways or Delta Shuttle service is not good. Aside from the obvious enjoyment of flight, the comfort level on an airplane is beyond question. Though I suggested its annoyance earlier, walking around and doing something before a flight creates a lot less boredom than you'd feel sitting still for three to five hours on a bus or train. Not to mention that airports have better food and shopping.

NIKV69
09-19-2005, 07:23 PM
Great post Tommy. I may be using the shuttle this November to visit some friends at BC. I am not a scarebus fan but it sounds like a great alternative to driving. Plus I can try to get some shots outside the window! 8)

NIKV69
09-19-2005, 07:23 PM
Great post Tommy. I may be using the shuttle this November to visit some friends at BC. I am not a scarebus fan but it sounds like a great alternative to driving. Plus I can try to get some shots outside the window! 8)