Buck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 886 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7059 times:
This trip was booked for me after I successfully passed a phone screening for a company in Ft. Wayne, IN. I had an option to drive for the interview, but being the aviation nerd that I am, plus looking at the weather forecasts, I decided that flying was a better option. Actually in hindsight, I probably should have driven. I realized that my flight was through ORD and when weather gets going in ORD, delays are inevitable. But luckily, everything worked out and now I'm waiting to hear back from the company. I was to fly out thursday afternoon and return was friday. I decided to break my journey in chicago and I took this opportunity to meet up with my sister who stays in chicago. I probably could have asked the company to alter the travel arrangements so that I wouldn't have to pay anything for my flights, but for some reason I didn't ask them and ended up purchasing a one-way WN ticket back to CMH for about $59, which wasn't too bad of a deal.
There is no direct flight from CMH to FWA, therefore the choices were UA or AA via ORD, NW via DTW, or DL via CVG. Before I could even state my preference, I got an email from the lady from the company and told me that she wanted to book me on this one itinerary. This was on UA via ORD. Since I am a United Mileage Plus member, I figured these would be free 1500 miles plus 3 segments So without any hesitation, I agreed. So, I would leave CMH thursday, stay the weekend in chicago, then fly back Sunday night. (or so I thought)!!! Plus I would get to try out my new camera that I purchased at the Thanksgiving sale (didn't wake up early though).
**Sorry about the image quality in some pictures. I'm still learning how to use my new camera**
The week of Dec. 3rd was finals week at Ohio State. I had 3 exams on Tuesday and one exam on Wednesday and by Wednesday afternoon, my brain was completely drained. I was ready for this mini-break and was looking forward at a chance to spot at ORD and feed my need to check out some heavies. I was really excited.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
CMH - ORD
UA 7580 (Operated by United Express/Shuttle America)
Depart: 1:27 pm
Arrive: 1:59 pm
Our route for this short flight
I had thursday off, therefore I took my time getting up on Thursday. My sister was to drop me off at the airport and we left our house in Blacklick by 12:15 and were at the airport by 12:35 pm without any problems. She dropped me off and I said my goodbyes and I was in the UA check-in line. There were about 5 people in front of me out of which two were traveling abroad. The agents were there to assist; however the check-in was being done using the automated check-in machines. I added my United Mileage Plus number and got my boarding passes for both the flight to ORD as well as the flight to FWA. I proceeded to security and was through in no time. Boarding was to start at 1:12 pm so I pretty much sat and was on the phone just until they forced me to turn it off in the plane
A picture I took from my house
This plane was the E70 which was named as "Explus" by United, which is supposed to be a comfortable small plane. Well, my first impression was that the interior did seem roomy, although I believe there was no Channel 9 and no overhead LCD screens. So that was the only let down as one of the best features of UA is channel 9 service. The load was pretty normal I'd say for this flight as I only spotted a few seats empty. Unfortunately I sat next to a very very big man who's part of the body kinda "flowed" into my seat. I didn't really care cause it was a very short flight. If it were an international flight, I probably would have gotten up and asked for a seat change...
The safety demonstration was done manually and we were #1 to take-off from 28R. For a small jet, this plane has a powerful takeoff, which I enjoyed. We took off and I could spot the Easton market below as well as other freeways before the whiteness of the snow took over and I couldn't recognize stuff because it was too bright and small. At 10,000 ft, I turned my Ipod on and listened to music and I didn't really think of taking any pictures. A small drink service was offered on this short flight and I opted for Ginger Ale as that is my drink of choice on flights. I don't drink any sort of dark drinks because they have Phosphoric Acid in them, which deteriorates the human bones. Sorry for this info you coke lovers But do read the ingredients, it's listed
I was on the right side of the plane and I missed the downtown view on the left side. So much for a picture opportunity No harm done though as I was looking forward to taking pictures of some international heavies. We landed at T1 and my next flight was from T2 F gates. Overall the flight was decent. It wasn't anything special and it wasn't bad. I would liked to not share my seat with another person, but it wasn't really UA's fault. Overall a great flight.
Snow on the ground everywhere
Spotting a LH heavy while taxiing to T1
After landing, I had an opportunity to take the shuttle, but i opted to walk the terminal and check out ORD up close & personal. I walked the entire terminal and made it all the way to the AA gates and then realized that it wasn't such a great spot to take pictures. So I picked up a burrito from the food court near the AA terminal and walked all the way to the end of the F gates and this gave me a perfect spot to take pictures as most of the biggies were landing at the runway opposite and would taxi right in front of me as well.
Underground Tunnel from T1 to T2
CO Visitors at ORD
The hallway where Kevin ran and missed his flight to France in Home Alone 2
Another picture with the Xmas decorations
Now it's time for the spotting pictures. This definitely was a nice spot to take pictures of the biggies arriving and leaving. I got to see plenty of international carriers until it got dark and then it was time for me to leave to catch my next flight.
BA 747 arriving from LHR
PrivatAir departing to Germany
UA Heavy Departing to ???
Another UA Heavy arriving from ???
USA 3000, AA Heavy and a small private jet
UA Heavy, different livery
LOT Polish Airlines arriving from WAW
IB A340 arriving from MAD
AF arriving from CDG
Aer Lingus Airbus
Another AA Heavy
Aer Lingus Again
LX A340 arriving from ZRH
(I waited & waited to take this shot, and this truck showed up ruining the picture)
After a wonderful spotting session, it was time for me to go to the gate where my flight to FWA was to board from. The aircraft hadn't arrived yet so we ended up waiting for about five-ten minutes. The A/C arrived and it took about 10 minutes for the crew to let us board.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
ORD - FWA
UA 6024 (Operated by United Express/Skywest)
CRJ - Canadair Regional
Depart: 4:32 pm
Arrive: 6:29 pm
After boarding, we were told the flight load was very light and we all could have whole rows to ourselves. But the person sitting next to me decided not to move and I didn't move either because of the window seat ahead of the wings. We struck a conversation and we talked until it was time for us to take off. Again the demonstration was done manually and we were off to FWA in no time. The flight time was a meager 29 minutes. It felt like it took more time for us to ascend and descend rather than cruising There was no drink service for this flight. We arrived at FWA about five minutes early and I headed straight to get my luggage and pick-up my rental car that the company had reserved for me. I ended up with a Kia Rio but I wasn't about to complain. This day had taken a toll on me so I decided to get dinner and head for my hotel room and sleep as the next day I had to wake up at 6 am to reach the company by 8 am for my interview.
Takeoff from ORD to FWA
One last one
My hotel room for the night (Courtyard by Marriott)
Another picture of the hotel room
Friday, December 7, 2007
FWA - ORD
UA 6024 (Operated by United Express/Skywest)
CRJ - Canadair Regional
Depart: 6:55 pm
Arrive: 7:05 pm
Load: 5 people
The next day, I had the longest day in my life. I had six interviews from different people and by the end of the day, my voice was gone and I could barely speak. I got done by 5:00 and headed back to the airport. I had to fill up the rental car with gas as well as grab some dinner. So I stopped at an exit and filled the car up and grabbed some dinner. I got to the airport by 5:45 pm and proceeded to return the rental car and check-in for my flight to ORD. I was told that this flight only had 5 people on board today. An extremely light load I thought I got my bag checked-in to ORD as I was gonna stay over in Chicago for the weekend. I proceeded through TSA security and went upstairs. FWA has a small aviation museum and I decided to check it out. Here are some pictures.
After that I proceeded to the gate. I got to know that due to ORD ATC delay, the flight was coming in a little late and leaving around 7:45 pm. I roamed around this small municipal airport and found desktops that had free internet. So I took some time to catch up on email, news, ESPN, soccernet, cricinfo etc. etc. That passed the time well and I also took pictures to show how deserted this airport looks at 6:30 pm.
The flight landed from ORD and we were boarding in no time. Since there was only 5 of us, boarding only took about 5 minutes and we were off and ready to go. Unfortunately, there was a 30 minute delay announced due to ORD ATC. So we stood at the tarmac for 30 mins and the FA gave us some water due to this delay. She was really friendly and offered drinks after takeoff as well. We landed in ORD after a quick 31 minute flight and I was on my way to my sister's place to have fun.
I started off pretty late for the airport. I had to catch the orange line to MDW and I misjudged the time req'd. Therefore I got to the airport 30 minutes prior to departure time of the flight. My bag was late checked and I was pretty much one of the last people to board the plane. The load seemed ok as everyone had a middle seat empty. I found a row to myself towards the end, but to my dismay, a couple came in after me and decided to sit next to me. It was fine I figured, another 1 hr flight so it shouldn't be bad. So after boarding, we were told that we would have a delay because the plane would need deicing as well as they would wait for about 20 bags to be loaded. I figured now my bag will definitely make it on this flight. So after a powerful B737 takeoff, we were up and on our way to CMH. At 10,000 ft again, I started my Ipod as I had no interest in listening to the conversation of the couple. So after about an hour into the flight, the pilot comes and tells us that we would be in a holding pattern because the fog is quite dense and the visibility is only about half a mile. So he said we would be in this pattern for about 30 mins and then see the situation.
So 30 minutes later, he tells us that weather has actually gotten worse and the visibility now is less then .25 of a mile, which is less than minimum required to land. CMH instructed us to go back to MDW so we started heading back to MDW. An hour later, we land at MDW and the pilot tells us that we would just re-fuel and take-off again. I was liking the updates but I definitely didn't like the fact that we would take off again after re-fueling. Well we were in the plane for 30 minutes and finally the good news came that the flight had been canceled and we would be allowed to deboard the plane. A sigh of relief. So we all de-boarded and waited to see what our options were. 30-40 minutes later, we were told that the flight would leave at 4:45 am and we would be using the same plane. Food had also been arranged at a hot-dog place at the food court. So I grabbed some food and then tried to sleep. Sleeping at MDW is nearly impossible. I tried to sleep in this rocking chair and the "The walking way is coming to an end" announcement was right over my head. Then I tried sleeping on the floor, but it was too hard. Then i finally managed to use on of the stools as the middle part between the two chairs to make into a bed. I got about 1.5 hrs of sleep and it was time for boarding again.
Monday, December 10, 2007
MDW - CMH
Depart: 5:39 am
Arrive: 7:19 am
Since no one had boarding passes, WN just called us by the last name in the order we checked in. I was in Group A so I got to board pretty quickly. I boarded and settled in 14A and passed out. I don't even remember the take-off and the landing part. After landing, my seatmate woke me up and I called up my mom to pick me up. I got home by 8:00 am. I took a shower and had to be at work by 8:30 am. I somehow managed to get to work on time and then I was sipping coffee the entire day to keep me awake. Unfortunately it wasn't really working out, so I managed to leave at 3:30 pm and drive back home. Only god knows how I made it home. I got into my bed and woke up the next day. I guess the lack of sleep plus the weather took a toll on my body as I'm sitting here sick with cold & fever
Overall it was a crappy WN flight. Turned out a 2.5 hr flight and we ended up nowhere. Not really WN's fault though. The pilot was really informative and kept us up to date with all the information and the service was really friendly with helping everyone out in this type of situation with the food and providing pillows & blankets for all the passengers. There were apparently 2 flights that went through the same thing, therefore they took care of both flights. Kudos to them. I would have liked to sleep more, but oh well.
Hope you guys enjoyed this trip report. Comments / Suggestions & Feedback is always appreciated so I can make my future trip reports better for you guys
PlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 7094 posts, RR: 76
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6583 times:
that was a really interesting report and you made some good pics with your new camera. You have lots of snow up there, almost none over here.
Quoting Buck3y3nut (Thread starter): The safety demonstration was done manually and we were #1 to take-off from 28R. For a small jet, this plane has a powerful takeoff, which I enjoyed.
That's why I like the E-Jets - even though they're relatively small is seems you're flying on a larger jet.
Quoting Buck3y3nut (Thread starter): A small drink service was offered on this short flight and I opted for Ginger Ale as that is my drink of choice on flights.
Ginger Ale is also my favorite drink whenever I travel - while you get it on many American and Asian carriers it's harder on European airlines.
Quoting Buck3y3nut (Thread starter): I got home by 8:00 am. I took a shower and had to be at work by 8:30 am. I somehow managed to get to work on time and then I was sipping coffee the entire day to keep me awake.
Reminds me of an expericence last year when our Air Berlin VIE-NUE flight was delayed by five hours. But I got at least some four hours of sleep before I had to be in the office.
Thank you very much Gabriel. It was a lot of fun spotting all the heavies at ORD. Since I'm from CMH, the biggest plane I get to see is the B757 and that's also rare. So it definitely satisfies my hunger to look at the biggies
Quoting OA260 (Reply 6): Hey there nice TR and photos. I love the Swiss one , it looks really nice in the snow!!!
Thank you very much for the kind words. I really appreciate it.
I'm glad you liked the trip report. Thank you for the encouragement.
Thank you very much for your comments and feedback. This helps me to improve my trip reports in the future. My next one will be me going to SNA for the new years on UA I will be flying to DEN for the first time and also flying to SNA for the first time... Keep a lookout for that one next year!!!
Vio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1509 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks ago) and read 5594 times:
Nice trip report. I would've driven though. Google maps show it about 155 miles, so 4 (at most) you would've made it okay. Going through ORD is a nightmare, but you did get time to spend with your sister and enjoy some spotting, so that's cool.
What a terrible way to end the trip, but good for WN staff for taking care of the pax. Weather is not something we can control.
I flew into MDW this October and I wasn't very impressed. I find WN like taking the Greyhound, but for the $ none of us should complain.
Nice report again,
BTW, did you get the job?
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
Triple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 767 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 4821 times:
Nice assortment of international heavies at ORD. I assume you were in AA Terminal 3 when you took them. If you go to the end of the concourse you can see them as they taxi by, but you're not close to the runway. Are there any good spotting places at or around ORD?