US Airways First Class Flight 3312 Minneapolis-Washington Reagan – Review
Having written extensively about US Airways over the past few years, prior to, during, and following its merger with American Airlines, there was always one term missing from the equation: first-hand field experience. I had never flown on the airline, and since it seems as though the sun may soon be setting on the once distinguished carrier’s name, I was determined to rectify this before the US Airways brand disappears forever.
On a cold and dreary day in Minneapolis, filled with heavy rain and just a dash of light snowflakes every now and then, I boarded the city’s light rail system, which took me straight from downtown Minneapolis right into the belly of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in just 25 minutes.
To board what may very well have been both my first and last flight with US Airways, I made my way to Terminal 1, or the Lindbergh Terminal, named after the pioneering Minnesotan aviator Charles Lindbergh. Construction on the terminal began in 1958, and operations began in 1962. The terminal now handles all of the airport’s international flights, and is the larger of the airport’s two terminals.
Upon arrival at the US Airways check-in counter, I was happy to see that there was no one in the first-class check-in line. Perhaps it was the weather, time of year, or even the time of day, but the area appeared singularly devoid of travelers. The agent was courteous and helpful, and check-in was quickly accomplished. He then politely directed me to the priority security checkpoint, where I was again met with no lines. Once performing the requisite actions of removing my belt, shoes, and laptop from my carry on, I was off to my gate.
When I arrived at my gate, I was happy to see that there was a Caribou Coffee shop located nearby and, as I planned on getting some work done during the flight, the outlet provided me with a much-needed caffeine boost. US Airways invites first-class passengers to board ahead of all others, including US Dividend Miles Chairman’s and other elite members of the airline’s frequent flyer program, and I made my way past those who were still waiting to be called, coffee in hand, and presented my boarding pass to the agent. A mere second later, I was strolling down the gateway, with only two other passengers in front of me.