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Inaugural Flight-SWA STL-BOS Jan 10, 2010  
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5700 posts, RR: 52
Posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 7519 times:

Hey Folks-

I fly Southwest Airlines quite a lot, and I don't normally take trip reports because it's usually the same ordeal, check in, check your bags, get on, get your peanuts and drinks and you are there. I had some plans to try to get on the inaugural STL-BOS flight that was starting for both STL and BOS, and Southwest Airlines too. Also starting on Jan 10th for Southwest was STL-MSP, DEN-RNO, DEN-GEG, DEN-BOS as well. So we at Southwest had if you will, 5 inaugurals going on today, and I decided to do the STL-BOS one.

For those that use Flight Memory I had already flown STL-BOS previously and that is added on my map, but that was for 2009, I needed to re add it again for 2010!  Smile

So with that in mind, I had settled for STL-BOS, I flew up on Cape Air on the C402 the day before, and due to immense weight restrictions and no room on board I was not allowed to have my bag with me so I wasn't able to take pictures for the flight and do a trip report. I was quite disappointed but, you win some, you lose some. After I flew STL-BOS I had to head to Dallas for a mix of Business and Pleasure trip so my total itinerary for the day was STL-BOS-STL-DAL. My main focus will be the STL-BOS with pictures and videos, but I'll briefly touch up on how the other flights did for me as well.

Here we go!

Southwest Airlines
Flight 1318
Boeing 737-700
N258WN
STL-BOS
Gate E-8

I arrived into the airport to check in and since I wasn't checking bags I was able to head through security. I had gone through security before with my Cochlear Implant for those who had been following me in the off-topic thread about that. The implant went through fine, no qualms or concerns. Didn't even set off the metal detector as some had feared.

For those who already know I am with SWA as a CSA in STL but took a Leave of Absence for personal reasons regarding my Hearing, so I went to go say Hello to some of my co workers and catch up and let them learn more about the implant.

I spent the next hour talking with the agents, checking up on CS2 the new system for Southwest and just catching up on old news and gossip. The inaugural BOS-STL flight was due in VERY early, and I had a friend on that flight heading to training to DAL. So he was coming in through STL from BOS and I was heading to STL. He got in so early they had to wait for a gate. This is becoming more common, and our ground time is getting much longer now, some as long as 2 hours! This is not the norm but on some occasions it seems SWA has to schedule unique ground times between flights.


Southwest Airlines Flight 1318 N258WN sitting at the gate.



We started the boarding process, I was B-8 so I was in the second group to board. I had gotten on board, we were booked to 77 I was told, so not to horrible for the first flight. I was settling in and my friend that arrived on the BOS-STL came on board to surprise me and say a quick hello before his connecting flight to DAL.

I chatted very quickly to say Hi, and then he got off the plane, and I settled back into my seat. While it was booked to 77 or so, there was still plenty of room to spread around.







We backed out of the gate and taxied behind 2 other SWA planes as well. Can you imagine? We actually had traffic and had to wait to take off! Come May, SWA will be adding 9 more flights, 2 to LAX/BNA, 1 each to MSP, RDU, MSY, SEA, SAN, so that STL will see 83 daily flights to 31 non stop cities. Not bad STL!

We continued the taxi to the runway and did a rolling take off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCWBysiT4fE

We turned right to head northeast for Boston-Logan International Airport! The inaugural flight has begun!

Small note- An announcement was made on board thanking us for choosing SWA to BOS and for being on the inaugural and a round of an applause was given as well. No certificates or anything it is just the idea I was finally on an inaugural for once, and on my own airline out of my hometown airport. Was very neat. So that is why I decided to do this randomly.

We continued making our way past St. Louis checking downtown out and the Arch as well.











We continued the climb to 41,000 feet. It seemed to take awhile to reach cruising altitude but I am not a pilot so I don't know a darn thing haha. It was a nice steady climb if you will.



Within about 30 minutes or so in flight service had started. Since this was a morning flight, we would only be served peanuts/pretzels for "food". However due to the duration of the flight, any afternoon or evening flight for STL-BOS/BOS-STL will see a snack bag, peanuts and as always unlimited drink service which we did get on my return BOS-STL segment.


In Flight "meal"

We had reached cruising altitude and of course snow was everywhere on the ground.




However a cloud cover had formed

I spent the rest of the flight listening to music, reading my book or working on my SWA Flight Log which actually took me a long time to complete! It was a very nice, enjoyable and relaxing flight. I was hoping there would be wifi on the flight but, my computer needed to be charged and we do not have them on board so it would have been useless anyhow.

We made the announcement soon that we would begin our descent into BOS Airport. So we did a couple of turns and went under the clouds to reveal a gorgeous downtown Boston and Area covered in snow.





Soon we were creeping up to the city of Boston and flying paralel to the airport to turn around and head back for the landing. Gorgeous approach!


Downtown!


If you had told me a year ago I'd be flying Southwest Airlines non stop STL-BOS I'd have laughed at you...well look where I am now!  Silly


Boston Airport!


Turning near BOS Airport

At this time, trash was collected and tray tables/seats were asked to be in their upright and locked position.





The view was just absolutely gorgeous flying over the water as we made our turn for final for the runway at BOS, will let the pictures speak for themselves.



























At this time wheels came out and flaps and we were read to land.

Landing into BOS Airport-Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0h0KKEC6b4





Welcome to Boston!  Smile

We landed and I had 3 hr layover before heading to Dallas via STL Airport (once again). So I walked to the intl terminal and grabbed a few pics of the heavies.







That's it folks! Hope you enjoyed the report!

Other Flights...
BOS-STL was on N257WN
STL-DAL was on N365SW


Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTUNisia From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1845 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 7479 times:

Great TR and nice pics of the approach into Logan.

If you ever fly WN back to BOS at least stay a day and head out to Yirrell Beach in Winthrop for an amazing experience with arrivals into Logan on 27 (weather permitting).



Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
User currently offlineC8fromONT From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7421 times:

Glad to see WN FINALLY flying into BOS! Thanks for the TR - love the views!!

User currently offlineMtaabq From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7405 times:

Great trip report and awesome pictures! Thank you, Airtude777!

Quoting Atrude777 (Thread starter):
He got in so early they had to wait for a gate. This is becoming more common, and our ground time is getting much longer now, some as long as 2 hours! This is not the norm but on some occasions it seems SWA has to schedule unique ground times between flights.

This is starting to become a real issue with me and WN. I love WN, don't get me wrong, and have earned countless free tickets with them. But, more and more, I'm on flights that are arriving early, especially flying into MDW, and then we have to sit and wait for our gate. My last arrival into MDW (in December '09 the day after a snowstorm) we were 20 minutes early and everyone starting applauding. Then I, being a total buzzkill, told the woman next to me not to get too excited as I was sure our gate would be occupied. Sure enough, the Captain gets on the PA and tells us that although we're 20 minutes early we are gonna have to wait 10 to 15 minutes for our gate. Although, on the flip side of that, five days later, on my return to ABQ, we left MDW 30 minutes late and blocked in at the gate in ABQ only 5 minutes after our scheduled arrival. Now that I think about it, my previous trip (ABQ-MDW-ABQ Summer '09) we arrived 25 mins early at both airports and had to wait for a gate. I'm all for early arrivals (who wouldn't be?) but I'd rather be able to use that time to get my car and get something to eat (baggage claim at MDW takes forever!) than sitting on the ramp. And when I go and look at the empty gates and see that another flight isn't expected there for over an hour I always wonder why we couldn't pull in there. I'm sure someone will post a reply to this explaining why that is not always possible. ~sigh~ Such are the ups and downs of my love affair with WN, LOL.

Mike
(mtaabq)


User currently offlineTWA757 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 7089 times:

Great report and great pics indeed! I will be on this flight on Friday so I appreciate the sneak peek. It's about time AA has competition on this route, especially after they downgraded it to 1x/daily. Nice to see WN go in w/ 2x/daily.

What was the load factor on BOS-STL? Any higher than on the eastbound leg?


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5700 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6834 times:



Quoting TUNisia (Reply 1):
Great TR and nice pics of the approach into Logan.

Thanks TUNisia! Was a pleasure to write out!

Quoting TUNisia (Reply 1):
If you ever fly WN back to BOS at least stay a day and head out to Yirrell Beach in Winthrop for an amazing experience with arrivals into Logan on 27 (weather permitting).

I was going to but plans came up that I had to get to Dallas that night so I had to change plans, AND planes  Silly However I would love to go back and stay a night for sure!

Quoting C8fromONT (Reply 2):
Glad to see WN FINALLY flying into BOS! Thanks for the TR - love the views!!

Thanks! I thought the views were amazing indeed!

Quoting Mtaabq (Reply 3):

Wow that is quire frustrating. Been talking to our ops agents and the biggest complaint is planes arriving early causing more ground time and wait for gates. It sucks to not be able to get off the plane. We must not have had a headwind of any sort on the BOS-STL segment since we landed 50 min early!

Quoting TWA757 (Reply 4):

What was the load factor on BOS-STL? Any higher than on the eastbound leg?

We were booked to 50 on the BOS-STL night departure I believe. Which surprised me cause most of the paxs including me were continuing onward to DAL Airport, but some were OD also!

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineStarAlliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6627 times:

Thanks for the TR! Great pictures of the interesting things seen on the BOS approach.


Roar, lion, roar
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5700 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6255 times:



Quoting StarAlliance38 (Reply 6):


Thanks for the TR! Great pictures of the interesting things seen on the BOS approach.

No problem! It was very unique approach for me to experience and really enjoyed it!

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineJMackey From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5789 times:

Alex-

Great TR ! Kind of unusual to catch an inaugural flight, and especially good to see Southwest investing more into STL.



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5700 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5582 times:



Quoting JMackey (Reply 8):
Alex-

Great TR ! Kind of unusual to catch an inaugural flight, and especially good to see Southwest investing more into STL.

Thanks for reading!

I am always pleased to see any airline invest into STL, and much more pleased when it is SWA too.

STL is going to have lots more inaugurals in May so try to catch one of those too!

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineJMackey From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5388 times:

I have family all over the STL area, and I miss the city greatly. I do thank you bringing all sort of news about Lambert to light.

Question for you, with AA and Eagle dropping so many services, do you know how much of the C Concourse will be empty, when it all goes down in April ? Any sign of WN expanding into the eastern half of D, or will they just use every ounce out of the gates they currently have ?



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5700 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5274 times:



Quoting JMackey (Reply 10):

Question for you, with AA and Eagle dropping so many services, do you know how much of the C Concourse will be empty, when it all goes down in April ? Any sign of WN expanding into the eastern half of D, or will they just use every ounce out of the gates they currently have ?

It is technically American Connection that is completely leaving STL, and Eagle remains for STL-JFK which is the ONLY new market or rather a return for American Airlines for STL while STL-BOS becomes all Eagle. Everything else will remain mainline to ORD, DFW, MIA, LGA, DCA, SEA, and LAX.

So it is safe to say the odd numbered gates at C Concourse will be unused, as well as some of even numbered gates at C too. Even C were mainline, Odd C were RJ's.

As for WN, we have 8 gates in operational use, and use 7 of them Gates E6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 with E-20 being used for RON.

However when we spill over to 83 daily flights, My guess is we will have to re-open E-4 again as E22 and E24 do not have jetbridges attached to them nor can they be done anyhow. Otherwise we'd be at capacity, and it already is hurting us at STL in terms of turn around times, and whatnot.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineJMackey From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5234 times:

Thanks Alex, for the wealth of info. It's part of a project I am working on with a friend, but I am trying to tabulate all of the empty gates on C and D, and which type of aircraft is the largest each vacant gate can handle. IIRC, if an MD80 size a/c would have parked on the odd C side, with an MD80 at the average D gate, movement between might be a problem.


I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5700 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5226 times:



Quoting JMackey (Reply 12):
Thanks Alex, for the wealth of info. It's part of a project I am working on with a friend, but I am trying to tabulate all of the empty gates on C and D, and which type of aircraft is the largest each vacant gate can handle. IIRC, if an MD80 size a/c would have parked on the odd C side, with an MD80 at the average D gate, movement between might be a problem.

When we had the TWA Hub, the 747's, L1011's all parked at the end of C, the international gates if you will.

757 and S80, as well as 727's, DC9 etc, were able to park easily at all the C and D gates, movement was not much of an issue if I recall.

STL has 88 gates total for A, B, C, D and E.

On occasion, when AA was RON S80's they would park on the Odd/RJ Side of C Concourse so that wasn't an issue either there.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineJMackey From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5207 times:

Thanks again for everything. I will more than likely be back in late spring. My family has quite a bit of land in rural Pike County, Missouri and we are going up to visit it.

Of course we will spend a little time in STL. It is my intent to stop by my favorite burger joint in Kirkwood.



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning
User currently offlineLuvfa From United States of America, joined May 2005, 447 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5064 times:

Great TR and wonderful photos. I will be working that STL-BOS flight in February as I have BOS overnights the last couple of Tuesdays of the month. Looking forward to the overnights in my hometown!

User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5700 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 4915 times:



Quoting Luvfa (Reply 15):
Great TR and wonderful photos. I will be working that STL-BOS flight in February as I have BOS overnights the last couple of Tuesdays of the month. Looking forward to the overnights in my hometown!

Oh that is great! It seemed an easy one to work STL-BOS. Enjoy BOS!

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
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