Famous Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg
Welcome back! This time my wife and I are heading home from the great battlefield at Gettysburg! While MDT (Harrisburg) is closer, it is also 2x as expensive. Therefore, I am flying out of IAD. Please check out the tourism bonus at the end!
Sit back and relax… we have a quick flight from IAD to CAE on United Express ( Air Wisconsin)!
Turkish Air lounge review is included!
Airline: United Airlines (UA)
Flight Number: UA3817
Departure Gate: A2C
Departure Runway: 30
Scheduled Departure Time: 10:40
Actual Departure Time: 10:46
Scheduled Arrival Time: 12:07
Actual Arrival Time: 11:48
Landing Runway: 11
Arrival Gate: 2
Block Time: 1 Hour 27 Minutes
Actual Flight Time:1 Hour 2 Minutes
I checked in via the United app 24 hours prior. The first screen was self-verification that I was free of COVID-19 symptoms. I was also given the chance to purchase bag but none are needed. All in all it was easy and smooth, similar to experiences with Delta and AA apps.
We arrived at 8am to a mostly empty IAD. The counters for an upcoming Ethiopian flight were busy but outside of that it was a ghost town. Security was a breeze as we were the only ones at either precheck or regular. By 8:15, I was in the A/B concourse. This is home to the famous Turkish Airways lounge (B) and a regional (all CRJ) gate cluster for United in A.
I was able to access the Turkish Air Lounge via my Priority Pass membership thanks to AMEX Platinum. This is the only PP lounge open at IAD so naturally I had to try it out. The lounge opened at 8:30 and I was standing outside waiting. The attendant was very nice and admitted me in no time. The lounge was very clean and features a mid sized seating area near a coffee bar and food bar and a smaller seating area near a bar. I am told an upstairs exists but that was closed. At its peak maybe 10 people were using the lounge so it felt almost private. I know one concern pre-COVID is that the lounge gets crowded and I can certainly see that happening. 2 bathrooms and 1 shower (closed) were on site as well as a prayer room. The wifi was fast and I had no issues logging on and staying on.
Two coolers were under the self-service coffee machine. These coolers hosted bottles of water and coke products. The coffee machine made all the usual barista style drinks. I found the quality and quantity just "ok". Under normal times, this food and drink area would be packed with options but during a pandemic this is just not possible. Food options were cookies, muffins, cold cut sandwiches and a salad, all of which were individually wrapped. A 2nd coffee machine was located next to the bar. I am not sure if the bar was open but a sign asked anyone seeking a stiff drink to see the attendant. I did not see juice or milk available and this agitated another traveler in the lounge.
The TK lounge was a nice place to sit and stare at the tarmac from massive floor to ceiling windows but other than that it was just blah. I will have to try again after COVID to enjoy all that the lounge typically has to offer.
The CRJ gates of United Terminal A are about a 15 -20 minute walk from the TK lounge. I would not recommend this trek if you have issues getting around or are short on time. Luckily IAD has a tram that goes directly to the A gates from other points at the airport, I could have took this if not for the stop at TK.
The A gates are very crowded as each gate served multiple CRJ 200 and what looked like 700 birds. Once again boarding was by rows and started early at 10:10. Once on board a Sanitizing wipe was once again given out. Load on this bird was close to 80% and I was not as lucky as last time… I had a passenger next to me.
The seat was fine for a short flight but would not want to push its 1,600 mile range. One thing I noticed was that the head rest was more like a shoulder rest. This is less than ideal if you wish to sleep. Leg room was what you would expect and the seat lumpy.
No wifi unlike other regional aircraft on United and other airlines. The only thing located in the seatback pocket was a safety card. I did not notice any outlets either.
This route typically has a beverage service but due to COVID does not. I could have rang the FA for a drink but decided not to risk exposure just to test this theory.
Boarding door closed at 10:34 and we pushed back at 10:36. We had a quick taxi to Runway 30 and at 10:46 had wheels up to CAE. The flight was a bit bumpy at times and on the CRJ 200…you feel…every bump. Other than that it was an uneventful flight and at 11:48 we touched down on Runway 11. Just 4 minutes later we arrived at gate 2 and thus ends this flight!
Famous Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg
Overall another solid flight during COVID for UA. My only complaint is the high loads but the fare was also under $150 round trip so I guess their is a trade off.
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