So, this ended up being a quick trip to Los Angeles. I ran into my friend Margie who invited us to join her and her husband in L.A. this weekend, and I remembered I still had some credit on Southwest so I called Marilynn and said, “We’re going to LA Friday, so I hope you don’t’ have any plans.” I was able to book the Friends Fly Free fare, and so Marilynn’s ticket was free.
Friday, May 03 - SALT LAKE CITY UT(SLC) to LOS ANGELES INTL(LAX)
WN Flight 1498 M
Depart SALT LAKE CITY UT(SLC) at 06:40PM and
Arrive in LOS ANGELES INTL(LAX) at 07:35PM
I left work at 4:30 incase there was bad traffic and I headed over to Marilynn’s. She was all ready so I threw her bag in the Cruiser and off we went. We hit the usual slow pockets on I-15, but they were much easier to navigate, even at the 5 o’clock hour. We ended up at Long Term A at about 5:30 and had plenty of time to find a parking spot in the crowded lot.
Security in Terminal one was a breeze (gosh it’s been a long time since I have been on this side of the airport) and I even got the “pat down” Gosh I love that.. In fact, I even try to look a little suspicious, just for the extra attention
We found our gate, out in the armpit of SLC, the lower B gates, and joined the line to pick up our boarding passes. Much to our surprise, we were 24 and 25! Hooray! The first cattle call! I passed the time by watching the 737’s come and go, determined to find a 73G, but to no avail, so I simply peered towards DL’s C gates for a little variety. Then came the call for the pre-boarders. Now, if any of you have flown WN out of SLC, or into SLC, you know why I mention the pre-boarders. In fact, half of the plane are pre-boarders, with their “small” children
And I use small liberally! Oh well, we found a seat together, on row 8, so I can’t complain. Although this was a 733, it was fitted with the new interior, with the new leather seats. It even smelled very new. I was impressed I’ll have to say with the cleanliness of this interior, and the seats were very comfy too. Like clockwork, we pushed back right on time and headed for 16L.
We were third inline, after another WN 737 and a UA 737. Takeoff and climb-out were smooth (for SLC) and we turned to the southwest for our destination. The professional, and not funny flight attendants started the drink/snack service and tonight it was cheese nips and peanuts. I had a shot of cran-apple, while Marilynn was served a shot of water (gosh their drinks are SMALL!) I passed the rest of the time by reading my new book on the 777 while Marilynn was reading a new book she bought, “The other side of Heaven”
We followed the usual path into LAX, over the Cajon Pass and then west to line up with 25L. (isn’t 25L the south runway at LAX?) Touchdown was smooth and we were immediately cleared to cross the active, as there was no departing traffic. We taxied around the Tom Bradley Intl. Terminal and all the way around to Term 1. We ended up at the gate 5 min early, and walked to the curb where our friends were waiting.
LA was a blast, we did a lot of swimming and we went to the Getty Center which was awesome. There are some great things on display there. We ended up at the Kodak theater Friday night and Sunday we slept in. For lunch we headed down to my favorite place to eat, In N Out at LAX, and watched a few heavies land. Does anyone know where the Air New Zealand 767 comes from? There’s no way it flies all the way to New Zealand from LAX? Does it stop in HNL on the way? We also went to the beach, and just relaxed. LA is a great spot for a quick vacation! Well, it was finally Sunday night and we headed back to the airport.
Sunday, May 05 - LOS ANGELES INTL(LAX) to SALT LAKE CITY UT(SLC)
Flight 1517 M
Depart LOS ANGELES INTL(LAX) at 08:55PM and
Arrive in SALT LAKE CITY UT(SLC) at 11:35PM
Well much to our dismay, our flight showed that it was delayed until 9:15, and because of a cancelled America West flight (fuel leak on an A320) the Terminal was a mess of angry upset passengers, trying to get on WN flights to PHX and LAS. Southwest was also busy, and I noticed that they were really running behind, in fact 6 of their departing flights showed that they were delayed. There were kids crying and people yelling, it almost reminds you of the Christmas season!
At 9:10, the trumpet was sounded and the gate agent started the stampede for the gate. This 737 was a 733 painted in the new colors with the old interior. It looked our 9:15 departure was wishful thinking. Marilynn and I were in the first boarding group again, but of course there were 50 pre-boarders who just couldn’t wait to get on the plane and sit. Everyone took their time trying to find just the right place for their carry-on to reside for the 1hr 30 min flight, and all the FA’s could do to help is tell everyone that the overhead bins were already full. 9:30 came and went, while several families played musical seats trying to find seats together in the same half of the plane. Finally the door was closed and we pushed back.
Taxi time was short, as Term 1 is at the end of 24L, and we were incredible #1 for departure. We headed down the runway and rotated up over the pacific Ocean, the FA came on the intercom “L.A., You are the weakest link, Goodbye!” Ok, a little cheesy… but at least we’d get our little shot glass of water with more cheese nips! The rest of the flight was uneventful and I fell asleep. When I awoke, we were on our final approach to 34R. The pilot floated down the runway to a smooth touchdown and right into gate 17. Ok so I’m embarrassed for this family a few rows in front of us. They had their cheerios and crackers all over the seat, and what looked like barf too. I was so annoyed! If I was the FA, I would have said, “Guess what, since you let your kids make that horrendous mess, here’s a dust buster and a rag so you can clean it up!” I’d hate to see their house!
Overall impression? Well it was Southwest, except our return flight was late, as were several of the flights that night, so it was Southwest without being on time. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that my beloved Delta would not have let me fly two people to LA at the last minute for $130 each, so can I complain? Not really. But maybe some advice to Southwest: Market yourself as the “inexpensive” way to fly, not the “CHEAP” way to fly. There’s a difference. Look at Jet Blue. Same idea as Southwest, but not CHEAP. More of a “Great Value” look to the airline. Also, how about more than 2 oz of liquid to drink on your flight? I was dying of thirst! And try cleaning up your filthy terminals. I know it probably has more to do with the clientele of the airline, but you could teach them some manners!
To sum it up: “Southwest, the CHEAP way to fly, and you’ll feel it too!”