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US Airways SYR-LGA-SYR December

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  • US Airways SYR-LGA-SYR December

    In December we decided to visit NYC. Rather than take the 6 hour trip on the train, we decided to fly. We booked our tickets 2 weeks in advance at $98 r/t. We would leave early in the morning on Friday (Our flight departed at 0740) and return around noon Saturday.

    We were due to get hit with a snow/ice storm the day of the trip. I woke up early to make sure the flight was still scheduled and SYR was still open (which is was, of course.) We left at about 5:30 AM, since SYR was still an hour away and we wanted to get to the airport an hour before the flight. It was raining the whole trip down, which is very unusual for Upstate NY. We got to the airport, checked in, grabbed a quick breakfast, and headed to the gate. We got to the gate about 30 min before departure time, and assumed that we would be boarding very soon. Then it started pouring. The temperature started dropping, and soon it was just a few degrees above the 32F (0c) freezing point of water. This made everyone more than a little nervous. Then came an announcement. "US Airways Express flight XXXX will not be departing on time today due to a mechanical problem with the aircraft." Flying in an aircraft with a mechanical problem through a developing ice storm did not make anyone feel any better! We waited, and waited, and waited, and finally departed at about 0900, a little more than an hour late. We had no plans, so that was ok with us. It was still pouring, and everyone walking to the awaiting Dash 8 got soaked.

    I hadn't been on a commuter aircraft since 1998, when I flew on an EMB 120 FAY-ATL. I was used to the larger DC-10s and MD-11s that I frequently flew on across the pond. I was amazed at the size of this little plane, but I was pleased with the leather interior. We took off, without being de-iced. I loved the sound and feel of the two props when we took off...to me, props are more enjoyable than RJs. As soon as we were airborne, we were in the clouds. There was some minor to moderate bumps, nothing too major. The view out the window was obscured by the cloud cover, so I read the inflight magazine. Soon it was time to land. The pilot announced the weather at LGA: Rain, ceiling of just 300 Ft. I am a nervous flyer, so a ceiling of just 300 ft worried me. The bumps became more frequent as we approached the airport, and I was worried because out the window I saw the gear come out, but still could not see the ground below. Finally, the ground appeared, and we touched down just seconds later. We pulled up to the US Airways Express part of LGA, and then took a cab to our hotel.

    Coming back, the weather was nicer. We arrived at the airport a few hours before our departure time to be greeted by sunny skies. We had more than enough time to observe the activity at the airport. A beautiful ATA 737-800 with winglets taxied past; larger aircraft included AA and DL 767s. Soon it was time for us to go. We boarded the Dash 8 and taxied to the runway. Take off was routine, and we had a great view of NY as we climbed and turned away from LGA. Cloud cover increased as we approached SYR, and I noticed that the rain that fell yesterday had been replaced by snow. We landed and picked up our car, and that was the end of another weekend trip.
    Fly Raleigh-Durham International, with direct flights on Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, American Eagle, America West, Continental Airlines, Continental Express, Delta Airlines, Delta Connection, jetBlue, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Express and US Airways to:

    ATL, AUS, BWI, BOS, CHS, CLT, MDW, ORD, CVG, CLE, DFW, DTW, FLL, BDL, HOU, IND, LAS, LAX, LGW, MEM, MIA, MSP, BNA, EWR, MSY, JFK, LGA, ORF, MCO, PHL, PHX, PIT, STL, SLC, TPA, YYZ, DCA and IAD.
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