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ATL-STL On Airtran (Lots Of Pics)  
User currently offlineN776AU From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 755 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 9 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 11666 times:

Time to fly again. This time it was on very short notice. I only found out a week before my travel date that I would not be having class October 28th (thus allowing me to travel without missing anything. My best friend was at his AIT for the Army at Fort Leonard Wood. I really didn’t think I could make it because of class, but it opened up, and I jumped on it. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive. I did do some searching and got my fare for $273.

My day traveling out would be very different than my norm. I usually like to fly early, but I had class this Wednesday morning, but only two of them, then it was off to the airport.

I guess I’ve sort of gotten famous for this, so I’ll start of with a picture of my flight notebook. Notice anything different about it?


First up for me was school. It involved a 40 mile drive to Gainesville for my two classes:
http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/615/1000776.jpg
My school stuff strewn about
http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/8456/985sign.jpg
Sorry for the cell phone crappiness in this photo. It’s just showing my route up I-85 and 985.
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/3650/germanjp.jpg
First up was German. Sorry for the quality, again.
http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/514/psychology.jpg
My last class was Developmental Psychology. I had to keep it low because it’s hard to chronicle your day in photos without looking like a total creep, especially in a classroom.

That class ended at 10:50, and I headed to my truck and drove the hour to my house. There I got on my computer really quick, ate a quick lunch and left my house at 12:11 PM.

In an effort to keep these reports fresh I present some pictures of the on-the-way part of my trip.
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/5446/1000777n.jpg
Heading up my neighborhood
http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/5853/1000779.jpg
Getting on I-20
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/3923/1000780.jpg
Getting closer to I-285….and yes I took this picture running about 70 MPH
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Needless to say I would be heading south.
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/5594/1000782h.jpg
This picture does no justice at all. When you come from the north you round a bend and you can see the entire airport, and the view is really spectacular. It’s even cooler in early morning when the road and airport are totally quiet. It’s remarkably peaceful.
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/2669/1000783y.jpg
Getting close to my exit at Riverdale Road, I passed under the taxiway next to runway 10/28. You can see the huge tunnel under the runway itself ahead.
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/6660/1000784jc.jpg
Under the runway itself
http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/6007/1000785y.jpg
Riverdale Road next to the runway
http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/4679/1000786h.jpg
And this little driveway, friends, is the entrance I use for the busiest airport in the world…
http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/952/1000788o.jpg
For the first time since 2005 I would be heading to the North Terminal.
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/1016/1000789u.jpg
Getting close to parking. I ended up parking shortly after 1:00, and watched some takeoffs from runway 26L for a minute before walking to the terminal.
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/8651/1000792y.jpg
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/6686/1000793x.jpg
Random sign walking through the parking garage
http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/8083/1000794b.jpg
The lower level entrance
http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/5724/1000795ta.jpg
Heading in
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/1150/1000796h.jpg
Part of Airtran’s pretty big check-in area. The North Terminal’s check in is in a much more traditional layout than Delta’s down in the South Terminal. Lucky for me I didn’t need to check in. I printed my boarding pass at home.
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/9623/1000797f.jpg
I double checked the monitors with my boarding pass to see I was still supposed to depart from gate C11, and I was (TRAIN )

Before I went through security I went around the atrium and got some photos:
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/3350/1000799s.jpg
The concept for the new international terminal. Sorry for the reflection. There wasn’t any way to avoid it.
http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/8415/1000800i.jpg
Part of the area from the second floor of the perimeter
http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/8852/1000801x.jpg
The huge skylight window on a bright, sunny day. Couldn’t ask for better weather to take to the skies
There was only so much of that I could take, so I headed to security.
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/6295/1000802xf.jpg
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4624/1000803gk.jpg
Pretty much no line at all. I really would have thought there would be one.
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/8541/securityz.jpg
Really easy time going through. Pretty much all the lanes were open (and there are lots of them.

I went through and they stopped my bag an asked for a check on it…and then I realized my own stupid error. I had a nearly full bottle of Neutrogena T-Gel in my bag (clearly a sign that I am a terrorist). That had to be tossed. There’s $15 well spent. Surprisingly they didn’t get my toothpaste. It was a full-size tube. Remember that book of matches that was in this same bag when I flew ATL-CVG-STL in 2008? It’s still there, and the TSA has still yet to catch it (and I have passed through airport security now TEN TIMES with it in there unnoticed). Which will do more damage?

Oh well. I wasn’t going to let my or the TSA’s stupidity bring me down. After all, I still had to carry my giddy self down to my favorite part of the airport, the train
http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/4391/1000804aq.jpg
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/9011/1000805c.jpg
Looking down
http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/5595/1000806o.jpg
A flooded Concourse T station
http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/6748/1000807c.jpg
http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/4276/1000808t.jpg
Station that heads back to the terminal
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/8085/1000809u.jpg
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/75/1000810xw.jpg
Station monitor at Concourse C
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/9027/1000811r.jpg
A more broad view of the Concourse C station
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/1883/1000812v.jpg
Train arriving at the station
http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/124/1000813g.jpg
Train letting out

After some strange looks and plenty of time I decided to head up to my gate at 2:15 to at least establish where it was and that it had the right destination, which it did.
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/2158/1000814f.jpg
Going up to the concourse
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/4005/1000825h.jpg
My gate
http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/3541/1000816m.jpg
The sign
http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/4561/1000815k.jpg
A general look out Concourse looking toward B

I had lots of time, so I decided to ride the train everywhere, starting with the T-Gates. I also had noted some gates I departed from on flights past, and I visited those along the way. There wasn’t much activity at Concourse T, especially on the Delta half of it. The only flight leaving was a 767 to Caracas.
http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/104/1000817.jpg
N381DA at gate T7. I actually left from T7 to fly to LAX.
Next was Concourse A, which was mostly an assortment of 757s and MD-88s, so nothing really picture-worthy, but I did stop and look at a couple past departure gates.
I did the same with B, except I sat down in the spot my brother and I always sit at when we leave from B. It really made me have a flashback, because pretty much everything was the same outside, an ERJ-170 at the nearest gate, and an MD-88 at the next, with 757s and 767s across the way at A. It brought out some great memories of May 21 flying to ORD.

Since I was leaving from C, I decided to skip that, and I skipped D as well and headed straight to Concourse E, the international concourse.
http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/1039/1000823.jpg
The Concourse E station is a little different from the others.
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/2927/1000824r.jpg
It’s the only station to have the old signage like this. Not sure why, but I wish it was still around everywhere. I like it better than the new flat-panel TVs. It gives a more old-school feel, and makes me think back to childhood.

Concourse E was totally dead. The only two flights leaving from the whole concourse were going to Stuttgart and Paris. The lack of activity didn’t stop me from finding a few good planes, though:
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/5029/1000818e.jpg
A 777. I think this one would eventually head to Munich.
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/1272/1000822w.jpg
The Habitat for Humanity 767, if I remember right, bound for Frankfurt (apparently lots of Germans come through ATL )
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/5629/1000819g.jpg
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/9935/1000820x.jpg
There’s what we’re after, the Northwest 747. I don’t know where it was going to, probably Tokyo. The gate was deserted and nothing was on the board.

I successfully killed off my extra time in my fun journey, and had to leave the world of 767s, A330s and 747s, and back to my world of a 717. Now it was time for me to fly

Airtran Airways Flight 781
ATL-STL
Depart ATL: 4:09 PM
Arrive STL: 4:48 PM
Boeing 717-200
N964AT

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Justin Idle



Boarding started at 3:28. I was in seat 23A, which was in zone 4 as I patiently waited to step on.

Sorry. There were a lot of people behind me, and I didn’t want to be a holdup.
http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/9790/1000828.jpg
Boarding
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/8453/1000830l.jpg
My window view at the gate. You can see my shirt’s reflection in the window, unfortunately.
http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/117/1000831.jpg
The thing I always forget about when I fly…the legroom. Sometimes, being 6’3” is an advantage, but not when flying. The person in front of me couldn’t recline if they wanted to.
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/5677/1000832k.jpg
Wi-Fi on board, but I didn’t have my laptop with me. The flight was almost too short for the internet anyway. It’s all about enjoying the ride

A look at the rest of row 23. Nobody ended up sitting in the row at all. I took advantage of this and put my bag under seat 23B.

We pushed at 4:07 and began our taxi towards runway 26L.
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4361/1000834do.jpg
Pushing back
http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/1229/1000835i.jpg
A look out with the famous Renaissance Hotel
http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/4416/1000837z.jpg
One of a million CRJs there. If I flew Delta at the same time I flew on Airtran, a CRJ would have been in my future. 717 > CRJ…In fact 717 > a lot of things.
http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/9717/1000838r.jpg
MD-88 taking off immediately in front of us
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/4515/1000839fz.jpg
Looking down 26L
I’ll go ahead and say that we had a lightly loaded plane with a minimal flap setting, and I forgot what takeoff on a 717 felt like. I’ve flown several MD-80s and even an MD-90. Those are weak planes. The 717 is a ROCKET. Not only was the takeoff roll short and fast, but steep as well. It felt better than even a 767. I was amazed to say the least.
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/1923/1000840b.jpg
http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/5807/1000841.jpg
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/3715/1000842f.jpg
Cabin shot during climb
http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/7853/1000843c.jpg
We started to level off at 30,000 feet, the sun started to set, and I settled in for the flight.
http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/7853/1000843c.jpg
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/148/1000844z.jpg
My XM receiver. I really enjoyed listening to it. I spent most of my time on 60s on 6, 70s on 7, and ESPN Radio. Occasionally I would flip to 50s on 5.

Drink service started at 4:01 ET. For some reason I didn’t set my watch back to Central Time, and didn’t until I landed.
http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/3887/1000845u.jpg
My little snack
http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/4489/1000846v.jpg
http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/6491/1000847.jpg
Looking out 30,000 feet over Tennessee
Because there was nobody in my row, I had the freedom to get up whenever I wanted. I figured a walk to the back for a couple pictures was in order:
http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/8742/1000848s.jpg
Head level
http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/3210/1000849.jpg
Up high

And one more
Descent started at 5:18 Eastern over a an overcast sky.
http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/420/1000851.jpg
http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/9992/1000853n.jpg
Hanging a left
http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/9080/1000854.jpg
Getting lower…
http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/6094/1000855x.jpg
And hanging a right
http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/8531/1000856n.jpg
http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/6920/1000857a.jpg
Knifing through the clouds
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/5649/1000858g.jpg
http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/2615/1000860.jpg
http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/516/1000861.jpg
Getting closer still. Check out that vortex coming off the flap.

We landed on runway 12R at 4:41 Central Time, 7 minutes ahead of schedule. We taxied to gate B12. I had a ton of time before my ride was supposed to be there, so I took it slow in just about everything I did, getting off the plane included.
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/7198/1000862f.jpg
717 at gate B12 turning around back to ATL
http://img2.pict.com/cf/fe/d3/1880573/0/800/1000864.jpg
Look at the B gates (or is there only 1 gate on that concourse?)

My ride wasn’t supposed to be there until after 9:00, so I sat and did various things. I brought some homework so I was able to chip away on that. I walked around and explored every corner of the terminal. I sat down and ate dinner at the Pasta House on the lower level, and eventually parked myself in the bar section there to watch the World Series. Come about 9:15 I got out of there and drove to St. Robert for the night. It was an enjoyable flight. I love the XM radio. I had forgotten how much I liked Airtran and the 717. It was almost a 4 year layoff from them for me. Great flight


Careful, Doors Are Closing And Will Not Reopen. Please Wait For The Next Train
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLuckyone From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 2165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 9 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 11495 times:

Good God you drive a LONG way to get to school!!!! I grew up about ten minutes from the 85/985 split. And incidentally I usually go around 285 to Riverdale Road to get to ATL as well. Glad I'm not the only one avoiding the Connector mess!! Good report!

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (4 years 9 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 11495 times:



Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
Look at the B gates (or is there only 1 gate on that concourse?)

I think that there is a few gates there, but AirTran is the only airline down there now if I'm not mistaken. B used to be swarming with Jetstreams, ATRs, and Embraers when it was the TWE concourse.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineLiquidAquifer From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 9 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11177 times:



Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
My school stuff strewn about

Ah, Rose and his 40 studies and 32 etudes. Good memories.


User currently offlineDL_mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1926 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (4 years 9 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11115 times:

The B gates in STL look almost the same as they did in the '80's......I think the only thing different is the carpet (and the TW 727's sitting at the gates).


This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offlineXJRamper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2460 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (4 years 9 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11096 times:

Fantastic report.

Loved the photos.

Just a few things. One, complaining about TSA, while they are always subject to some torment from the travelers, one thing you mentioned was never banned from going thru TSA. Matches were never on the "no-fly" list. It was lighters (all) and that ban was lifted late 2007.

The 77L that you captured at E12 was just an arrival. From the looks of the nose wheel number, 7102, that aircraft is (after a visit to TOC) either turning to LAX-SYD or DXB or JNB. The 77L is slated for starting ATL-DTW to make up the DTW-PVG flights.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):

I think that there is a few gates there, but AirTran is the only airline down there now if I'm not mistaken.

That would be the C concourse's low gates. They used to inhabit all of the low D concourse gates as well, but that was whittled away a while back, so now its common use. A and B belong to Delta solely. And upon completion of the new international concourse, the E concourse will also be all DL's.

Fantastic report. Loved the pics.

xjr



Look ma' no hands!
User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1652 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 9 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 10961 times:

Great Report......if you were 2.5 hours later than that in ATL, I would have been next door at C9 heading to Flint coming in from Jacksonville

 Smile So close



Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (4 years 9 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 10823 times:



Quoting XJRamper (Reply 5):
That would be the C concourse's low gates. They used to inhabit all of the low D concourse gates as well, but that was whittled away a while back, so now its common use. A and B belong to Delta solely. And upon completion of the new international concourse, the E concourse will also be all DL's.

I think he was talking about the B concourse in STL, but maybe I misunderstood.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineN776AU From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 755 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 9 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10571 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
I think he was talking about the B concourse in STL, but maybe I misunderstood.

Yeah. It didn't look like they were using any of the other B gates in STL both days.



Careful, Doors Are Closing And Will Not Reopen. Please Wait For The Next Train
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 438 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 9 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10561 times:



Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
Getting closer to I-285….and yes I took this picture running about 70 MPH

We've all done that! So no worries!

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
I successfully killed off my extra time in my fun journey, and had to leave the world of 767s, A330s and 747s, and back to my world of a 717. Now it was time for me to fly

That is indeed a sad event, to be so close to such amazing engineering, without being able to fly on them!



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 10, posted (4 years 9 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 10409 times:

Interesting report, always nice to read about ATL.

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
I guess I’ve sort of gotten famous for this, so I’ll start of with a picture of my flight notebook. Notice anything different about it?

Nice. I used to have such a sticker on my pevious car, but the 777 one, of course.  Wink However, the blue color doesn't go well together with my new car's color - a transparent 777 sticker would be great.

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
First up was German.

Very good.

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
A 777. I think this one would eventually head to Munich.

Unfortunately, Delta's 777 never fly to MUC.

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
apparently lots of Germans come through ATL

Yes, there are several daily flights from several airports.

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
I’ve flown several MD-80s and even an MD-90. Those are weak planes. The 717 is a ROCKET. Not only was the takeoff roll short and fast, but steep as well.

I would never call the MDs "weak". They can be rockets, too, just depends on the load or the takeoff settings.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineC8fromONT From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 9116 times:

AirTran seems to have gotten their stuff together when it comes to passenger satisfaction. I flew them 10+ years from from ATL-TPA and back and it was quite scary!! I'm thinking about flying them again to MCO this summer now. Between the XM radio and the wi-fi on the plane, it seems like a good deal.

Does the wi-fi cost? If so, how much?


User currently offlineStarAlliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8637 times:

Thanks for the TR! I like FL much more than DL. Looks like you had a great trip!


Roar, lion, roar
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