You heard it here first. Today, October 9, 2006, Mesa Airlines d.b.a. United Express flight 7139 from RDU to IAD was on time! Not only were they on time, but both flight attendants were reasonably pleasant.

Those of you who fly Mesa often will understand what an accomplishment this was. I posted earlier that I’d managed to mostly avoid Mesa during my travels on United this month, and I have. I believe this will be the only Mesa flight I endure during October. If only every Mesa flight could be like this, I wouldn’t work so hard to avoid them.

Other items of note during the brief weekend trip. My first flight on a United Express (operated by Shuttle America) Embraer 170 was on Saturday. Nice airplane. United has equipped that fleet with a first class cabin and Economy Plus seating. Makes a big difference. This flight was on time as well, although we did have to wait for a gate upon arrival in Raleigh.

As a result of the new TSA rules allowing small amounts of personal toiletries, we did not check luggage. We packed our travel size toiletries in the clear quart-size zip top bags that TSA calls for and sailed right through security. You do have to place these items on the belt separately, and TSA did verify that they were of the appropriate size in both Dulles and Raleigh. Raleigh even had a TSA rep positioned at the security checkpoint entry checking everyone’s toiletries. Dulles on the other hand was still playing the video message stating that you could not carry these items through the checkpoint. Update your video message TSA!

All things equal, not a bad series of flights, and security went smoothly at both airports. I’ll be on the road again next Monday, and will post a trip report when I can.