First off, I'm not dead - I haven't posted here for a while because I've been very busy. They sure pack in the schoolwork the week before vacation.
I am currently in Spokane, Washington - a great city. I flew out from Boston two days ago, on United Airlines. Economy Plus both legs - it was via O'Hare - and pretty good service too, all things considered. Nice thing about Economy+ is that it gives me just the right amount of leg room.
Plus the second leg of the flight the captain enabled Channel 9 on the audio, which allows you to listen to what the pilots are listening to (the ATC chatter). It's enabled by the pilot - at his/her discretion, and I didn't get it on the BOS-ORD leg. But we had a bumpy flight over North Dakota and Montana, and we could hear the pilots always asking ATC for a different altitude. Here's an actual exchange:
PILOTS: Uh, Salt Lake Center, this is United 1711. Moderate chop up here at 28 [thousand feet]. Got anything smoother?
ATC: Sure. United 1197, descend and maintain flight level 2-6-0.
PILOTS: We sure complain a lot, don't we?
ATC: No, it's your job.
The landing at Geiger Field was great.
Speaking of United, reports are in that two days ago it wants to participate in a possible auction of Independence Air's assets. If it did happen, the auction would be on the third of January. This is the first time UAL has publicly expressed interest, even though it's no secret they wanted Atlantic Coast (iAir's former name) back again. From 1989 to last year, ACA provided flights to UAL as one of the United Express carriers. But after United went for Chapter 11 and wanted to renegotiate its contract, ACA declared its independece - har har - and went its own way.
And they've been regretting it ever since. Rumors are rampant that the airline will fold after the holiday travel season (read: the first few weeks of January) and sell its self off. Mesa Airlines, another regional carrier that does 'express' work for the big boys, is also interested in Indy Air.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. . .