When you fly Sun Air's twin-engine Piper Chieftan, you get a close-up view of everything, including the cockpit. I sat a row behind the pilot.
With some trepidation, I prepared Thursday to fly Sun Air out of Victoria.
We recently reported the airline's poor performance -- many delayed and canceled flights -- but I appreciate free parking, a quick trip through security and avoiding the drive to Houston. I also want to support Victoria air service as much as I can.
I knew from our coverage that baggage is limited, so I fit everything for a three-day trip into a 13-pound duffel bag. A soft bag squeezes into the small plane easier, the airline told reporter Allison Miles.
Standing fourth in line to check in, I heard the agent the people in front of me that all of our bags likely wouldn't fit. We had seven on board the eight-passenger plane. Bags that don't fit would be sent Federal Express to their destination, she said.
"I only have a duffel bag," I said crossly.
Two pleasant women in front of me said not to worry. They were headed to Las Vegas to see George Strait in his annual Super Bowl eve concert. They said they had successfully flown Sun Air before.
As it turns out, they were right. All of our bags fit, the plane took off on time, and the flight was smooth.
I still have to get used to how small planes fish-tail during take-off and landing. When you drive a car, you know fish-tailing indicates you're losing control, but a plane is a different animal.
Another passenger, who is a more seasoned traveler, said he would be on an even smaller plane after he lands in Colombia, where he was working on a construction project. Another passenger, who builds cremation operations for funeral homes, was headed back to St. Petersburg, Fla. He said he's a kite rider who enjoys windy Corpus Christi.
The friendly Victoria airport staff and the chatty passengers made the trip worth taking. Of course, the bottom line is getting safely to your destination on time.
Now I just need to get back from Houston after my Associated Press Media Editors board meeting in New York. So far, so good.
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