Hello forum Aviation lovers and enthusiasts:
I am currently crashed at Denver Airport in Concourse A. It’s 3:03 AM and no activity here until about 4 AM when UPS starts bringing in its A300s and Frontier mixes in a few flights.
Anyway I’m writing this trip report on my second flight, DCA - DEN that I just finished. I will geta trip report up of the first flight later but since I have nothing to do right now and the second trip was much more adventurous I thought I’d write one up here.
So I spent the day in DCA and got some spotting done for my channel. 5:30 PM rolls around and boarding begins for my flight home on Mia the Dolphin, an Airbus A320-251N aircraft under 1 year of age.
My flight sitting at Terminal A gate 7 deplaning.
Caught it arriving on FR24 (video will be posted on my YT channel)
The flight arrived early after being put in a holding pattern. It was deplaned and cleaned and everyone boarded as normal. I was sitting in 4A and was enjoying my full sized tray table.
We pushback maybe 5 minutes delayed. Nothing major. Flight crew is exceptional. Captain is joking around and being funny on the PA. Lead FA is a nice woman who is very helpful. Overall great time so far.
Then the fire nation attacked…okay maybe not but we sat in the ground for 2 minutes as the engines powered up. The way we had pushed back was straight back with the tail to the left of the gate. So I was facing the gate from my window on the left hand side of the plane. Without warning the aircraft begins moving forward and makes a sharp right turn. It just does this full 360 circle from pushback and taxis back into the gate.
So all of us are sitting there like huh? The Captain comes over the PA with the following message:
“Ladies and gents we had to pull back into the gate as you have seen. One of our engines is giving us incorrect information and we do not feel it is safe to fly until we have maintaince come and check it out. It shouldn’t be more than a 30 minute wait. We’ll let you deplane for bathroom and water breaks but please remain in the boarding area for a quick departure once we get the green light.”
At this point in time I hear groans but most people are okay. They laugh and joke and half the aircraft gets off. I get up and go to the front galley and chat a storm up with the female FA who looks like she is worn out but trying to be positive and smile at everyone (bless her heart).
Empty aircraft as most people deplaned
We all are waiting, most people have gotten off the aircraft and only a third or so remain in their seats. The Captain comes over the intercom again:
”The update I can give you now is that our maintenance guy is working on another aircraft and can’t e here for an hour. So we do expect this delay to be about an hour and a half to two hours, as such I am having the crew fully deplane everyone. Feel free to take your bags you brought on with you back out into the boarding area.”
At that point a lot of people are getting upset and understandably. A 2 hour delay isn’t something people want. I personally didn’t mind it. I love delays lol.
So we all deplaned and went into the gate area. People drifted away but stayed near the gate, I went and plugged all my devices in and just settled down.
The agent comes over the intercom in the gate area:
“May I have your attention in the boarding area for F9 flight 547 nonstop service to Denver. At this time we have a new set departure time. Due to the engine issue we will be scheduled to depart at 8:17 PM local time. Feel free to use the restroom or use the shops but do not go to far.”
”Folkd in the boarding area for F9547 nonstop to Denver Update is that the mechanical issue in the engine is too much of a hazard p. As such your flight is being delayed again until 9:30 PM local time as we are flying in a brand new aircraft for you all.
At this point people were starting to get upset and yelling at the gate agent. I felt really bad for the poor F9 employees but they valiantly held on.
“Folks know the boarding area for F9547 out of gate 7 our inbound aircraft has been delayed until 10:045 PM local time. We will begin boarding at exactly 10:53 PM and expect to be out of DCA by 11:10 PM. We do realize this delay is more than any of us expected and as such we will be issuing meal vouchers to everyone. Please see me at the podium for your voucher.
The voucher itself was not a lot and many people made their opinion clear that they thought F9 was cheating them. But I found no issue with it and went and got a cheeseburger and fries for 9 bucks.
The gate crew came and announced that the inbound flight was actually scheduled to come in 30 minutes early and that there was a huge chance we could depart before 10:30. Long story short that did not end up happening, inbound aircraft arrived on time but because of the faulty aircraft sitting at the only F9 gate at KDCA, F9 had to use one of SWA’s gates.
There was a gate change to Gate 4 and everyone flocked over. New aircraft deplaned and got the old flight crew from our previous aircraft on.
Our new aircraft was Yukon the Cariboo p, an Airbus A320-214 in the silver block livery.
By the time everyone deplaned and got the aircraft cleaned it was time to board again. An OnTime Departure now held to a 5 hour delay. Everyone was exhausted. Everyone wanted to go home. People missed connections. Frontier made sure to give hotel and taxi vouchers to anyone with missed connections as well as to make sure all bags got dropped off at Denver instead of heading on to their connecting airports.
We finally took off. I was so exhausted from the delay that I almost instantly feel asleep. The flight was 4 hours long and I ended up sleeping maybe an hour out of that time. I never sleep in Airplanes so this was a big deal for me.
Unfortauntely during the whole flight the crew never serviced the meal and drink carts so no one had any drinks or snacks or anything the whole flight. I was hot, sweaty, tired, and dehydrated so I had to go up to the front and ask for a glass of water. After I did that many others I saw also went up and asked for a water, thank goodness F9 doesn’t charge for water or we would all have been screwed.
As you can see on this photo, our original arrival of 8:05 PM turned into a 5 hour delay that led to a new arrival of 1:21 AM. It was hard and at times frustrating to have to experience this delay, but I do not blame F9 in any way shape or form. An engine issue is a serious deal. The entire flight crew and ground staff weren’r Even getting paid the whole 5 hours. So no one was really happy about the situation on either side.
I am now off the plane and eating some McDonald’s. The day was stressful but in the end I got to Denver. For anyone wondering why I’m here at 3 am and not home I need bed cuddling up to my stuffed dog, my parents drive me to and from the airport until I get my license. I convinced my dad to not try driving out here at 2 am. So I’m legit just sitting in the airport until 6 am while my folks sleep. I enjoy seeing what DIA looks like in the early hours of the morning.
Extra Material: Cockpit Chronicles:
On landing, I was about to deplane when the very nice FA woman stopped me and said:
“I remember you had wanted to get some pictures of the cockpit during our delay. Let me check with the Captain now.”
Surprised, I waited. I had asked but the Captain had been busy talking to maintaince about the delay so I figured that was the end of that. But sure enough I was able to go into the cockpit. I met the nicest captain I have met in a while. He and I talked for a bit. He expressed his sincere apologies for the delays and asked me about my F9 shirt. I talked to him about how I plan on being an FA there and he winked and told me he’d put a good word in for me lol.
Anyways I got some cockpit photos. I also took a video that will go up in this “trip report” on my YouTube channel in a week or two. So keep an eye out for that.
The lighting was pretty bad considering it was 1:30 am but I did my best.
So happy I got to go into the cockpit. Amazing captain and amazing airline!
Frontier Flight 547:
Ratings on Flight Overall: I rate the overall experience as a 3/5, I rate it so high considering the 5 hour delay and measly $15 voucher because I truly got to see what it’s like to be in the position of someone who complains about big delays. I also got to admire how professional and calm the F9 crew remained throughout the whole ordeal. Absolute hat off to them. They have inspired me to be better at my own customer service job.
Ratings on Flight Crew/ FAs: *5/5! The employees on this trip were the best I have ever had, on all my United delays the FAs acted like we were the issue and never apologized and always huddled off in groups and tried to avoid passengers. Frontier didn’t do this. They stuck to keeping professional.
Ratings on Food/WiFi/Accessories: 3/5 simply because of the small voucher and the issue that they didn’t even try serving food or drinks (I mean no water at all cmon on a 4 hour flight) at all. I think they were just hoping everyone would be asleep.
Ratings on Voucher Received: 5/5! I got to the airport and checked my email to find a $100 voucher as an apology that F9 sent out. Not only did they have amazing staff who kept cool through it all, but they also made sure people had vouchers from meals to hotels to next flights. Absolutely impressed with how classy F9 acted tonight. They definitely proved to me how even in delays as bad as 5 hours they remain the best airline I’ve ever flown.
Edit: wow after posting this I realized how long this got. Lol when I type these things up I forget time and just spill out my story. Hope you guys don’t mind the length and just enjoy it for the story :)
Here is the link to my YouTube channel guys! The following videos are coming out on the channel starting within the next week or so:
- Trip Report KDEN - KDCA
- Trip Report KDCA - KDEN (Massive Delay)
- Spotting at KDCA
- Night Terminal Spotting at KDEN
- A review of F9’s first row seat with tray table and 4th row with exmaniation of seats and tray tables.
- Look into an A320 cockpit
- Exploring Ghosy Town Concourse A