My alarm woke me up at the early hour of 4:30AM, and my parents and I were out of the house driving to the airport by just after 5:00AM, The 1st was a Saturday so traffic was nice and light on the freeways and it didn't take to long to reach the airport, Although traffic on Sky Harbor blvd was terrible, there was only one lane open from T4 to T3 as they were doing some roadwork, So because of that we didn't get parked in the ramp until just after 6. We didn't check any bags this trip so we just quickly printed out our boarding passes at one the self serve kiosks, and a few minutes later we had tickets in hand and we went thru security, The line wasn't long at all and we where threw it in 5 minutes or so. One interesting thing, I forgot to take the liquids out of my bag before sending it threw the X-ray but the TSA didn't seem to notice, thankfully, As then they would have done the whole search you and your bag routine.
By this time boarding was going to be starting in soon so my parents and I got a quick bite to eat at Starbucks as well as some coffee before boarding. I got a peek of the aircraft before I got on and noticed it was N376NW which is one of the few mainline planes still in the old colors. Unfortunately gate 26 doesn't offer any good photo ops so I didn't get a picture of the plane at PHX. Flight 116 was the only NW flight departing at the moment so the gate area wasn't to busy, The next flight to leave was a 7:20AM to MEM. Northwest boards First class and frequent flyers first then then instead of boarding economy by row or groups they call all the economy pax at once which made for a mad dash to get on the plane to secure overhead bin space, Seems like an inefficient way to board to me, defeats the purpose of assigned seats. Never the less all the passengers were boarded by 6:50AM and a few minutes later we were pushed back ahead of schedule and after a bit of a smokey engine start and the obligatory safety demo, We taxied out to runway 8 for take-off, Runway 8 is the best one for eastbound and northbound flights because once airborne you are already headed in the right direction. We were number 1 for take off and we only had to wait a few minutes for a Mesa CR9 to land. just after lining up the aircraft's two CFM-56 engines roared to life power accelerating us to V2, In the process creating a lot of loud rattles from the overhead bins and paneling. The aircraft became airborne between Terminals 3 and 4 and continued to climb and fly east for a ways before making a left turn out over east mesa and climbed up to FL370.
The flight was your run of the mill domestic USA flight, the in-flight service consisted of free soft drinks and snack boxes that were for purchase, I opted for orange juice and settled in to watch Mythbusters on my iPod for the rest of the flight. The crew provided adequate service, nothing great but it was good enough for me, one good thing is they were giving full cans of soda and juices out, Something not all airlines do anymore. We made pretty good time, with a total flight time of 2:30 which is pretty good as it usually seems to take 2:50 to fly this route. According to the pilot we started descending about 80nm from the airport and 15 minutes later we made a very smooth touchdown on runway 12L in a balmy MSP at 11:32AM about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. As the aircraft slowed down we turned onto the taxiway and conveniently the pilot turned off the runway right by our gate of C-15. We had to wait on the taxiway by the gate for a few minutes for the ground crew to show up to marshal the airplane into the gate and we were docked at the gate by 11:35 and in the terminal shortly thereafter. The flight was good, Safe travel from point A to point B with adequate service provided by the crew, It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the combined NW and DL.
Here are some Pictures
Taxing off the runway
just pulling into gate C15
Just after getting off the plane, The aircraft continued onto LGA about 2 hours later.
N376NW getting a breather before flying onto New York
After we got into MSP my parents and I went a grabbed some lunch at TGI Fridays on the C concourse and also got us some more Starbucks. After we finished with all that my dad and I did some plane spotting from the observation deck at concourse D.
here are the pictures I took.
gate C-13, I only took that picture because of the old NW logos
C concourse loaded with NW old colors
E concourse, The is an AS B737 tail and a 747 on final for 12R
E concourse with MSP tower in the background
Busy C action, N781NC has just arrived at C-2
AA MD80a at the E concourse
parked at B-4, will operate a flight to INL
N443XJ, My flight to BJI.
After spending around an hour spotting it was time to head to the B concourse, Flight 3048 was scheduled to depart from gate B-2, When we got there there was still sine time before boarding was set to begin, By the looks of the gate area the flight was going to be pretty full and in the end only about 3 seats were left open by departure. I used the available time before boarding to add today's flights into my flight log and to relax before the flight,
The time passed quickly and boarding began, Once again all the passengers were called at once instead of by row, Though it's not as big a deal when we are talking about a 34 seat turboprop vs a 130+ seat jet. boarding was fairly quick and the door was closed up by 2:30ish, we had to sit and wait at the gate for a little bit while a few NW Saabs and CRJs taxied in the alleyway behind us, just before push back the pilot started up the number 2 engine at the gate, That was huge relief as the air conditioning was finally turned on when the engine was running, we pushed back and the other engine was fired up, I always like the sound of the Saab 340 but today's plane was making a very annoying high pitched squeal and a lot of vibrations. The tug was detached and the pilots taxied out to the runway, We were to use the same runway as we landed earlier, runway 12L, we were number 2 for take off behind a CRJ and a NW A320 also landed and then it was our turn to take-off, the 2 GE CT-7 engines roared to life causing a lot of rattling in the cabin as only a Saab can do, I didn't have a window seat so I don't have any pictures of the flight, shortly after take-off the pilots made a left turn and flew over downtown and proceeded on up to FL160, It was a pretty fast flight of only 45 minutes. Service on the flight was a drink service with just about anything you could want, I just had a water on the flight, there were no snacks offered on this flight just beverages. I used most of this flight to sleep after getting up at 4:30AM, We descended pretty steeply from FL160 and and ran into a little turbulence on the approach, we flew in over Lake Bemidji and the Town it's self and flew along the north side of the airport and made combo sharp left turn and decent and made a firm landing on runway 13, the landing was a pretty rough one and they slammed on the brakes to the point I slide forward on my seat a little bit. taxi was pretty short and we parked at the Terminals single gate shortly fallowed by the engines shutting down, once the ground crew unloaded all of the gate checked bags then the passengers were allowed to get off and walk to the terminal, Bemidji airport is a pretty small terminal but is plenty big enough for 3 daily Saab flights. We didn't have any checked bags this time so we just went and picked up the rental car and we were off to the hotel.
Northwest once again preformed well with on time flights and good service, Good luck to all the NW crews with the new Delta.
After two days in northern Minnesota it came time to head back to the airport for the flights back home to PHX.
We arrived at the terminal by 10AM returned the car and received our boarding passes.
The BJI terminal layout is pretty simple with the ticket counter for NW on the east side of the building and the baggage claim on the west side and the security and boarding area is right in the middle of the terminal, all 3 rental car company's counters are on the south side across from the baggage claim area.
BJI terminal, the ticket counter is just out of veiw to the right.
Northwest ticket counter at BJI
Shortly after getting our tickets the aircraft that would fly us to MSP arrived, and it turned out to be N443XJ again! At this point security opened up and we made our way threw, This time the TSA here didn't like my liquids, I took them out of the bag this time but they said they were over 3oz, and yet at PHX I never even took them out of my bag and they didn't even notice, Good old TSA!
Any who it was a minor thing, after security we entered the small "Secure" boarding area, which is enclosed by glass and can only be accessed by the security line or boarding door, there isn't any bathrooms or any food in the "secure" area, luckily you don't have to be in that area for to long before boarding begins.
Aprox 10 or so passengers got off the inbound flight from MSP and a short time later boarding was started.
Before boarding though I got a few pictures of the small northland airport.
not sure what it is, but it was pretty loud for it's size
N443XJ awaiting passengers.
Boarding is a painless experience at BJI, First one of the XJ ground crew comes in and passes out tags for gate checked baggage, Then they open the door to the ramp and passengers then walk on the ramp to the aircraft and show boarding passes to the flight attendant before taking there seats.
I was supposed to have seat 9A on this flight which is a window and aisle seat, I stowed my bag and got as comfortable as I could on the Saab.
I think there were around 10 open seats on the flight to MSP, All the rows behind me except one were empty which would turn out to be a good thing later on.
After the passengers were all on the plane, the FA closed up the door shortly fallowed by the engines starting up and safety demo, With both engines running the pilot then taxied the plane out to runway 13 for departure, Being that BJI doesn't have much traffic the pilots didn't stop before applying full throttle and once again all the panels and bins rattled like crazy before the plane became airborne using a fair amount of runway 13, Just after take-off we continued to head in an easterly direction over the town before making a right turn to the south to fly on to MSP.
Shortly after departure the old guy in front of me reclined his seat as far as it would go and let gravity slam it into my knees jamming them into the seat, That was extremely annoying and it hurt as well, Thankfully the flight had a pretty light load so I moved over to seat 10D and had the whole row to my self which was wonderful. Not to long after passing approx 10,000ft the in flight service began which was the same as the previous XJ flight and I again had orange juice. This flight wasn't to long so I just reclined my seat and relaxed on the smooth flight, Another good thing about moving to seat 10D was I was able to see BRD airport as we passed over, And I took a picture of it.
At FL160 just passing by Brainerd
By this time we were only 90nm from MSP and the pilots started a gradual decent into the city. We flew in from the north and would be using runway 12L to land on, 15 minutes later we made a rough landing, Our pilot said we would be parking at gate A-6, There were a lot of other planes trying to park at the A and B gates so we had to sit on the taxiway for a few minutes and we also had to wait for a CRJ to push back from our gate, several minutes later the aircraft was finally parked at the gate where we waited for 5 minutes for the jetway to be moved into position, finally though we were able to get our plane side baggage and were in the terminal by just after 12PM.
taxing to our gate
A new CR9 pushing back
Mesaba and Pinnacle action
A Saab duo at the B gates while we waited for a CRJ to move out of our way
finally at the gate
Just after getting off the plane at MSP
All in all XJ did a good job with this flight, the passengers were offered whole cans of soda which was nice and it's also nice that there is still free beverage service on such a short flight flown with a Turboprop.
After we got off the Saab flight we decided to grab a quick lunch from the A&W which is at the end of the A concourse, and there was a coffee shop right there too that we went to after eating, after lunch I checked out the NW flight monitors and found our flight NW127 to PHX would be departing from F-13, Just about the furthest gate from the A concourse At least we had lots of time to get there before our flight. Anyway once we got to the F concourse my parents found seats to relax in before the flight, I left my bags with them and went and watched all the action around the concourse, the highlight was the daily NW flight to NRT which took off right in front of me off of runway 4/22.
Here are some pics I took.
NW127 is our flight
Taxing to the E concourse, We could be seeing more of these around MSP not to long from now
Taxing to the C concourse
B744 taxing to the runway
NW19 Heavy to NRT rolling
Our plane coming in from LGA and going to PHX
Pretty soon we will see delta everywhere but at the E concourse
I used up a lot of time spotting and before I knew it our plane was at the gate unloading from its previous flight from LGA. After taking some time to update my flight log boarding was called, and again first class and frequent flyers were called first then all economy passengers were called to board at once, Even still everybody was on board pretty quickly and the door was closed up not to long after and was shortly fallowed by the safety announcement. We were pushed back on time and the pilots fired up the engines with no problems and at first I thought we were going to take-off from 12R but it turned out that we were to use the newest runway 17/35 at MSP. A SY B738 took off before us then we lined up and I noticed an FL B737 was fallowing right behind us, just after taxing into position the engines came to life propelling us inevitably into the air, 17/35 is good for PHX flights as we were already headed generally in the right direction and you don't have to do any long loops to get on course, Shortly after passing 10,000ft the FA's started the in-flight service which consisted of free non-alcoholic beverages and a snack box for purchase that costs $5 which I passed on and just settled for a water and settled in to watch TV on my iPod and I also slept a bit on the flight, It was a normal domestic flight really, nothing to special.
After 2 hours of flight the pilots came on and announced our decent into the PHX area and also gave us the weather in Phoenix, Sunny skies with a light breeze and a temperature of 80 degrees, Not to bad although still a little warm for November.
We flew along the north side of Phoenix and passed right over SDL airport which was very busy with Biz jets, I'm kicking my self for not taking a picture looking back on it
I could also see DVL to the north of us a little ways, we flew over downtown and made a hard left turn as the pilots started to bring the flaps out, A minute or two later came a smooth touchdown on 7L and we used up most of the runway to stop and exited the runway down by Southwest's D concourse and taxied back to the north side of the airport and were docked at gate 26 where flight 116 had departed approximately 48 hours earlier with me on it. Terminal 3 was dead at this time of day with only a NW flight to MSP and a DL flight to SLC at the gates, Before we left the parking ramp I took picture of the AA gates on the south side before finally heading home again.
All in all NW was a pretty good airline, with free drinks still offered and they were giving out whole cans of soda which is nice and flight crews did a good job with the service in my opinion so hopefully DL will retain some sort of tie to the old NW culture.
Have a good Thanksgiving holiday!
DeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8916 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 9843 times:
Nice report. I was about no more than 20 feet or so away from you on Nov. 1 - I was at MSP at that same time, and was lounging in the WorldClub immediately next to the TGI Fridays (in fact, I was sitting in the TV room watching football, which if you tear down that wall, you're in Fridays). Took the tram right down the C Concourse as well to walk over to the E Concourse for my flight (I was on the DL MD-88 that would be blocked off of the photo looking at the special livery AS 737-800, but we were right next door to that at E15).
Treebeard787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 676 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 8940 times:
Thanks for all the complements!
Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 5): Nice report. I was about no more than 20 feet or so away from you on Nov. 1 - I was at MSP at that same time, and was lounging in the WorldClub immediately next to the TGI Fridays (in fact, I was sitting in the TV room watching football, which if you tear down that wall, you're in Fridays). Took the tram right down the C Concourse as well to walk over to the E Concourse for my flight (I was on the DL MD-88 that would be blocked off of the photo looking at the special livery AS 737-800, but we were right next door to that at E15).
Ha, small world isn't it? who knew we would pass threw MSP at the same time.
Quoting Tmarch291 (Reply 6): Nice TR. It was interesting to see pics of BJI and learn how they get things done.
No matter how many times I fly, I am still amazed that from hub airports like MSP, I am able to go almost anywhere...
Thanks for the comment!
Quoting TDubJFK (Reply 7): Treebeard: Great Trip Report and photos. You put alot of work into it and it certainly showed.
One thing that surprised me was the Saab being pulled up to a jetway. I had no idea that was possible!
Thanks for ur report!
Thank you for the kind words!
I think NW also uses gates for Saabs at DTW as well, And I have also seen American Eagle use jetways for their Saabs at DFW when they still had them . Pretty interesting boarding a turboprop using a jetway.
Burnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7594 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6828 times:
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Reply 15): I've never seen a departure board listing flights in an alphabetical order, but I guess it makes sense, especially at airports largely dominated by a single carrier.
Only way that it is done here in the US, never understood the point of the way Europe does it since most people don't know why flight number or exactly what time their flight leaves, especially when there is more than one flight to somewhere.
"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009