Topic: Sun Country MSP-MCO-MSP (pics!)
Posted 2004-08-11 21:39:12 and read 7751 times.
Welcome to my latest trip report. I actually came back a few weeks ago, but I've been so busy doing everything, that I had very little time to write a decent trip report, but now finally I have some time. It was time for the annual trip to Florida with my mom and sister. I love going down to Florida, it brings back my great memories of living there, and it's always nice to remember what 100% humidity feels like!
Sun Country Airlines
Boeing 737-800 N806SY
Seat: First class, 2A
Departure time: 7:30 am
Arrival time: 11:04 am
July 22nd, 2004
My alarm clock starts blaring this annoying, loud noise which tells me to get up! The time was 4:30 am, it was time to get ready to head out to the airport. I pack the rest of my stuff, and throw it in the car. After waiting for the others to get ready, we were on our way to the airport at 5:30 am! I had nothing to eat yet, but either way I wasn't hungry, so I was alright.
We arrived at the airport and took our luggage out, and said so long to my father. We wheeled our bags into the new Humphrey Terminal at MSP. I haven't been in this terminal yet, so I was in for a surprise. It's definitely a huge, HUGE improvement over the old HHH terminal that used to house Sun Country, Champion, and others. The ceilings of the check-in were really high, a lot of space! We went over to the Sun Country check-in, which was a holy mess when we got there. 100's of people were standing in the ridiculously long lines, it wasn't good. Sun Country definitely needs to get some more check-in areas. We passed a bunch of people, and had cut in front of others in order to reach the 1st class check-in. This man gave us a dirty look, and said "You're not going to get anywhere!" I just looked in the opposing direction and continued.
We get to the 1st class line which was much better! We got our tickets in about 10 minutes, and we were good to go. We wheeled our bags to the X-ray machines to leave them off there (like in MCO). I saw that man again, smiled, and held up my boarding pass in the air for him to see. Haha, what a sucker. Anywho, we continued towards security. Security and gates were on the second level, so we had to take an escalator up. Security wasn't bad, it took about 10-15 minutes. We arrived at our gate, H1. We saw the flight to JFK board, and then they called Sun Country 347 to MCO at 6:30, and invited all first class passengers up to board. It was nice to be the first ones to board.
We got on the aircraft, and took our seats, 2A, 2B, and 2C. I sat next to my sister, and my mother sat in 2C. These seats were excellent! They were huge, padded, and had loads of legroom! I knew this first class upgrade was worth it the second I sat down! The recline on the seat was very nice as well, I peered back into the coach area and thought, "how could I possibly sit in there!?" Yep, I had become a snotty firstclassmen! The F/A came around and took pre-flight drink orders, and orange juice was the choice by me. 2 brothers came in and sat down in first class, and then loads of teenagers came in and sat in coach. They were going to a Lutheran convention on International Drive. The rest of the 1st class filled up with some more passengers, and we were on our way.
We taxied to 30L, and waited for a few aircraft to depart, including a nice new Frontier A319. We pulled onto the runway, and revved the engines up. We roared down the runway, and it seemed like it took a while to rotate, most likely due to the heavy load. We took an immediate turn left, and continued to MCO. Departure was nice, the clouds and the blue sky looked very inviting. We reach our cruise around 35,000 ft. I believe.
That's a shot of the wing, you really can't take wing shots from first class, so this was the only one I took. The morning sun only made it worse, reflections galore! We received a breakfast which was nice for a change.
The breakfast contained:
An egg omelet with peppers, onions, cheese, and probably something else.
Cut potato pieces
A bowl of fresh fruit including cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, and some other fruits.
And of course, a beverage.
The breakfast was pretty good, the omelet was very good. They gave us a little ketchup cup for the potatoes, and little packages of Morton salt/pepper. At first it looked like real silverware, but actually it was plastic, but it looked real. As I ate the breakfast, I watched the clouds passing by underneath. An American MD-80 passed underneath us, and a little later a UA 737 passed over us.
The rest of the flight went uneventful. I played cards with my sister, and read a book. About 2 1/2 hours later, we began our initial descent into MCO. I noticed that Florida was completely hazy, we couldn't see too much from the air. We made our way to downwind for 36L I think. We were approaching from the south, it was the runway farthest to the left.
There's the greenway, a nice toll road that will get you to the Orlando from the airport very fast.
We got lower and lower, we were almost there!
Finally, we floated over the runway, and made a nice touchdown.
We pulled off the runway, and made our way to our concourse. The concourse was on the other side of the airport, where Virgin Atlantic parks. We made a long taxi around MCO, and I got my first glimpses of the wonder palm trees. It was nice to see those instead of evergreens! We pulled into our gate, next to a Midwest MD-80 to MKE, and an Icelandair to KEF.
We got up, and the people in 1AB got off first, then us. It was nice to avoid all those kids. After using the facilities, we boarded the tram (which I love) and headed to the central concourse area. The tram goes right by the DL express parking area.
The ERJ-135 flight was unboarding. We got to the central concourse area, went down to baggage, and waited 20 min. for our bags. We then got a rental car (Chevy impala) and hit the road! As we drove away from MCO, I saw a USAirways 767-200 approaching MCO, but he was far away.
We were staying in the Disney area, as they have same of the nicest hotels in the Orlando area! We headed to our hotel (Grand Floridian), and decided to check-in later.
IN FLORIDA: I had a blast in Florida, I love it here! We spent time in Disney, time in ol' Podunk Florida, and time in our old neighborhood.
I got a shot of a few lounging alligators in Homasassa Springs. We talked with some old neighbors, and had a blast in Spring Hill.
The day before we left, we went to Wekiwa Springs State Park around Apopka, Florida. The water is 72 degrees year round, but the day was 95 degrees or so, so the water was friggen' cold, but refreshing!
Yep, there's me in the spring with my sister. The water was crystal clear, unlimited visibility. This spring pumps out 42 million gallons of water a day, so the water in the spring head is constantly being refreshed. There's a huge hole, that goes down around 15-20 feet until too narrow for human passage. The water flows from this hole, so it's hard to swim down into it, as so much water is gushing out. On the other side of the whole, a huge underwater cave system exists, where divers usually explore.
Just one last shot of the spring, it's where it leads the head and starts the run to the river. Look how clear the water is! If you are ever in Florida, go to a spring, it's awesome!
Anway, back to aviation!
It was finally our day to leave, it was sad to leave such a fun place!
Boeing 737-800 PH-HZJ
Seat: COACH, 1F
Departure time: 12:05 pm
Arrival time: 2:08 pm
July 27th, 2004
We wake up at around 9, and take the Disney monorail from our hotel to a different one for breakfast. Originally, we planned to eat Dunkin' Donuts on the way or have bagels sent to our room in the morning. We had breakfast, and it was already 10 am when we finished. We were going to be late if we didn't hurry!
We get back to our hotel, gather up our stuff, and head to MCO. We took the Greenway. The thing I like about Florida roads are that they are cement. It gives it a whitish look, pretty nice. We get to MCO, drop off our car, and head upstairs to check-in. The escalator from downstairs to check-in is HUGE! I mean, this escalator trip took 5+ minutes! We get to check-in, and the gate agents start telling us we're too late, and they might need to book us on another airline. Oops. We get our tickets, and they tell us we're not going to make it because sometimes security lines can be over 2 hours long! Thanks for the support agents, way to tell us we're not going to make it. What jerks. We don't check our bags, we head straight to the plane.
We turn the corner expecting a huge security line like the guy said. We get through security in under 2 min. So much he knows! We take the tram to the gate, and see that our tickets say 21A,B,C. CRAP! We must of showed up too late, and some else got our 1st class seats! What jerks. We get to the gate, and I see a Sun Country aircraft in Transavia colors. We ask about our tickets, and said there's no first class! Damn, I was looking forward to those huge seats. Instead there were small fabric seats, the cabin was still in Transavia colors.
We sit down in 21AB, then my mom says we're going to take the bulkhead. So we do. I told her that she better get her $$ back, because a bulkhead seat is not going to make up for a first class seat. We sit at the gate, and it took another 20 min. for the aircraft to load things and close the door. Those lousy gate agents, telling us we're not going to make it! As we push back, a huge Delta 767 (N108DL) arrives from ATL.
We started our way towards the runway, 18L I believe. I say goodbye to Florida, and get my last glimpse of palm trees. (when I'm done with college/med. school, I'm heading to SoCal or Florida, the palm trees and nice weather is what draws me in!) Takeoff was normal, we rotated normally this time as the plane wasn't 100% full.
We take a left turn, and fly over the Disney area. We fly right by our hotel!
We were walking by that pool on our way out less than 2 hours ago!
We climb to 35,000 feet, and continue our flight to MSP. The entire flight my sister and I played cards, we had nothing else to do! Our snack was a little sandwich which was VERY HOT, but pretty good. It was on a little roll, filled with melted cheese, and had turkey slices. Sun Country at least offers something worthwhile, unlike NW last year on MCO-MSP who gave us Spinzels.
We flew past BNA, and I got a crappy shot.
And I got another which wasn't so bad:
The rest of the flight went by fast. We flew over Missouri, Iowa, then into MN. We began our descent, and made our way to downwind for 12R. I got a shot of MSP from the air:
We continued to descend.
We flew right over my school and neighborhood, it was cool! I saw our football field where I play, and the practice fields where I went to football camp later on that day!
We made a right turn to intercept the localizer for 12R.
We got lower and lower, eventually over Bloomington.
Finally, we went right over Cedar Avenue.
My camera decided to focus on the dust on the window instead of Cedar! Oh well, you can still make it out.
We touched down on 12R, and pulled off the runway.
I got a final shot of part of the F concourse and one of the international gates! That NWA 747-400 was headed to NRT in a matter of minutes. We pulled into the gate, and got off the aircraft before anyone else. We asked a gate agent about our first class seats, and he said the money was already credited back to the account. I still feel we should receive some sort of compensation for the inconvenience. I mean, we payed for a first class seat expecting one.
Flight 1: 10/10. This flight was simply amazing! We got a meal for a change, I left the aircraft without cramped legs, the seats were that good! Service was good, and was overall I nice flight.
Flight 2: 7/10. It got a few points off for the 1st class screw up, but other than that it was a pretty nice coach flight.
I had a blast in Florida, I can't wait to go back! I'm probably going back next year and we're joining my cousin and aunt down there as well! I will probably take another daytrip in the next few months. I'm thinking LAX again, as it's so nice there. If I don't go in the next few months, then spring break for sure to LAX with a few nights stay!
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed!