Airline: Southwest Airlines
Scheduled Departure: 1:05pm
Actual Departure: 1:15pm
Scheduled Arrival: 2:05pm
Actual Arrival: 2:15pm
At 7:50am, my dad and I left the Marriot Hotel from downtown St. Louis, and we headed northwest to the airport. We got there about 8:30am. My dad dropped me off at the departure doors. I walked in and was amazed at the security line. It stretched all the way to the entrance doors. But within 15 minutes it cleared away. I’m guessing it was the rush for the early morning departures for Southwest. I checked in using the Rapid Check-in Kiosk Machine. This was the first time I had used it, as I was not checking bags for once. I inserted my Rapid Reward Card and my itinerary showed up. I clicked continue, and it spitted out an A Boarding. I was the 14th to check in according to my boarding pass. Figured since I was 5 hours early for the flight haha. I called Andrew (THRUST) to let him know I arrived and he said he would be on his way and be there about 9:15am or so. I chilled around and Terminal, and watched the passengers go through security while I listened to music. The charter gates were extremely busy. We had an Allegiant MD80 getting ready to leave, and a Midwest Connection as well. USA3000 was also leaving from there too. Then Patrick texted me on the phone to let me know he had arrived and was at gate C-8. So I was a bit rushed as Andrew hadn’t arrived yet and I was in a hurry. But thankfully Andrew had just arrived, so I called Patrick to let him know to hang tight and we would be there in about 15 minutes. So once Andrew checked in (he was 25th) we went straight to security and we both cleared and went through fine. I had to take off my body, my shoes, watch, wallet, and jacket. Walked through and cleared it. As well as Andrew. We gathered our stuff and made a run for it to gate C-8.
For those that know how long the walk is from the Southwest Airline terminal to the C concourse at the Main terminal knows how long and far it is. It took us about 10 minutes running and walking…we were completely out of breath by the time we got to gate C-8. I saw Patrick standing there with his father. So I waved and then we all met up. It was actually happening!!! To quote Andrew “no longer in computer mode, this is finally face to face” Anyway, once we all said hello, Andrew and I gave a brief tour of the C concourse showing him the gates and what was then for the international gates when TWA was in full operation. We had noticed the flags were taken down; a sad reminder of what TWA served n/s from STL. Then we all walked around the gates taking pics and such. Then we walked all the way back down the C concourse, showed them the security area, and then walked the LONG trek back through the D concourse and E Terminal.
empty C concourse gates-RJ side
We discussed aviation..(WHAT ELSE?!?! Haha) and comparison of ORD/MDW and STL. Clearly ORD beats STL hands down. We arrived at the East Terminal and walked around a bit. Talking about the flights we had taken. While we were talking, it had occurred to me that it was the anniversary of when the Southwest 737 went off the runway at BUR, almost 4 years ago. Same date, March5th, 2000, now4 or 5 years later. March 5th, 2005, I am flying a Southwest Flight..hehe Ironic I thought…It was time to show Patrick and his dad the way out to the world..or the “Gateway to the west!!” We showed them to the metrolink and Andrew being the STL guy he is told them how to get to the places they were interested in and such. We all said good bye and sent them off. Andrew and I went back through security, had to take the same things off etc etc. it got tiring after the 2nd time for me. Then we went to Burger king and grabbed some lunch. We took our time to eat and once we had finished, we walked down to the end of the E Terminal..E-2. We sat down and looked at some books that Andrew had brought from home. He had some interesting books about the giant airliners. I thought it was very cool to actually be able to fly with a friend who has the same interest as I do, whenever im at an airport with friends or family and I discuss planes and such I get such a blank stare. So it was nice for Andrew to say “heeey…yeah I know what your talking about!!” Ahem..off topic lol, but then it got close to boarding time (or so we thought….) We got to gate E-20 and then we saw two Boeing 737-500 landing in BLUE CANYON COLORS!! I thought that was a rare sight to see! So I snapped a few pictures of that!
excuse me..don't mind me..just passing through...:-P wow two boeing 737-500 in new colors at once! rare for me!
We also saw N711HK, which was the Herb D. Kelleher Plane..
Then an announcement came on saying our departure time would be 10 minutes later so it got moved from 12:40 to 12:50pm. Kev from MDW had texted me Friday letting me know we were getting N448WN a 737-700 with winglets. So that was what we were expecting. We sure hoped it would be that. Then the agent said our plane was landing, and Andrew and I looked at the window and saw THREE BOEING 737-700 all in winglets and new colors all landing one by one. So we knew we were pretty much guaranteed a 737 with winglets Then sure enough N448WN pulled up to the gate!! Just as Kevin told me. But what Andrew and I didn’t know was the plane we were flying on was THE SPIRIT OF KITTY HAWK!!
This was my first special Southwest Plane!! Two for one deal yee haaw. This flight had A LOT of FIRST for me. First new color, first winglet, first special plane, new airport (MDW)..it goes on and on. Everyone got off and we all lined up, me and Andrew in the A line. We got on board and walked to Row 15. We sat in seats A and B. Andrew had the window and I had the Middle. It was 124/137 so quite a full flight. Then in 15 minutes the doors closed and we backed out, it was 1:10pm. I was amazed they were able to unload a really full flight, get the inside cleaned up and board 124 people in 15 minutes. That’s Southwest for you!!! We taxied to Runway R30R. Gosh, the pilot was BOOKING, I guess he was trying to make up for lost time being late arriving. Geez, he really sped towards that runway. Then we turned onto the runway, and in 10 seconds the engine powered up and we shot straight down the runway. We took off and turned right. Those winglets were just bouncing!!! Once we reached the 10,000 feet level, the F/A came out and started the drink service. Andrew got water, and I got Coke. Then Andrew and I looked at some more books he brought and just talked on board. Pretty soon, it was time to start descending into MDW. This is what the landing approach everyone talks about!!! Then the plane just turned and turned and its hard to describe a landing lol.
Andrew and I were getting nervous because the –700 was taking a long time to put the flaps out, and just when it seemed we were about to land, the flaps finally came out slowly, but surely. Then we took a wide turn over the railroad tracks and the houses started coming closer and closer, and as many described it “you’d swear you were about to land on top of it!!” So I am snapping pictures like crazy!! Then finally just as “we were about to land on top of the houses” I saw the wall come under us and finally we landed plopped right on the runway. And MAN did we BRAKE!! I was about thrown into the seat in front of me, I almost dropped my camera.
We slowed, and took the whole runway to slow down, just about! We turned right and taxied past the SWA employee parking garage. Then we saw a fire truck racing down and for a second I thought it was for us. Then an ambulance came by too. Emergency I wonder? We never saw the aircraft or emergency so it’s left for us to wonder! We parked at gate B-8. We got off and just toured the Airport. We went to every single gate haha. I snapped pics of all kinds at MDW. We saw NWA 752, a Primaris 752, but no special liveries .
Air Tran 717
Frontier Airlines- The Raccoon!
So we just wasted time walking around until it was time for Andrew to board his flight. At 4:00pm Andrew checked in and then we went to a restaurant so Andrew could get something to eat. We saw some hot flight attendants for Southwest eating near us and I was tempted to go talk to them but..i didn’t lol. Im to chicken shit prolly. Then it got close to boarding time to we walked down to gate B-18. then we saw the plane pulling up to the gate. It was..N448WN AGAIN! Andrew could not believe his luck!!! TWO WINGLETS, OF THE SAME PLANE AGAIN in the SAME DAY! Then soon it was time for Andrew to board. We said good-bye and he boarded N448WN yet again, for the second time. I watched him taxi to the runway and then I had to go meet my friend down in arrivals.
Patrick and Andrew I had a WONDERFUL time meeting you both and it was GREAT FUN!! We most certainly should do this again!!!! My return flight is up next!
Thanks for reading
ps- i know the pic links don't work im working on it so be patient