Mke717spotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2520 posts, RR: 4 Posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 7836 times:
Spring break finally rolled around and that meant I was headin on vacation! My dad had booked our family a one week stay in Punta Cana on Funjet Vacations. This would be the 2nd straight time flying on Funjet and 3 out of the last 4 times I've flown overall. Its not that I hate funjet or anything, I guess its just some variety would be good. This would be my 2nd time in Punta Cana as I was there just about a year ago. So anyways, on with the report...(March 31 - April 6)
Flight departure time was at 6:05 AM so I woke up at around 3 AM. I got cleaned up and before long my grandpa arrived to take my dad, mom, brother, sister, and me to MKE. Traffic was light so we had no problem getting to MKE. We pulled into a pretty empty departures drop-off zone at MKE at around 4 AM. It was 50 degrees outside at that moment, so pretty nice considering MKE is known more for its cold weather.
We then headed inside to check in for our flight to PUJ. Unlike other airlines at MKE, Funjet has their ticket counters upstairs in front of Concourse C. Just to clear it up, Funjet isn't really an airline. They contract Ryan International Airlines to fly charters for them leasing 737's from Futura. I personally just like to refer to it as Funjet, so yeah, just so you don't get confused. Check in didn't take to long and their was still plenty of time to spare so I headed to Cinnebun and Starbucks for some breakfast. My seat was 6A and the departure gate was C8.
After snacking down a bit we started heading for the gate. Getting through security took a while since there was a pretty big line and only a couple of screeners. To make matters worse there was this TSA agent that wouldn't stop yappin about what you can bring through the screeners and what you can't. It was like a tape recorder playing over and over again, it was driving me nuts!
Finally, we got through security and proceeded into Concourse C. Before heading to C8, I decided to walk down the concourse and check out the other aircraft. Here's a shot taking a look at some of the early morning lineup at MKE:
After doing some more spotting, I started heading for our departure gate. Now even though this next shot sucks quality wise, I thought I'd put it in here just to show you what's goin on. There were actually two Funjet flights leaving MKE that day. Our flight to PUJ is on the left side of the photo, and the other flight parked at C7 was heading to Ixtapa, Mexico.
Boarding was called pretty soon and we went down the jetway to our 737. I got settled in my seat and just sat there patiently. Push back was about 10 minutes early or so, and we began our brisk taxi to runway 1L. I was kind of confused why we were taxing to 1L since during our taxi I saw a YX 717 head to 19R and then later a NW A320 was going to 7R. Interesting. Anyways...there was a short wait at the end of 1L before lifting off into the morning darkness. We made a sharp left turn over downtown Milwaukee and continued climbing smoothly into Indiana, where the sunrise created some pretty neat colors.
Once we reached our cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, a beverage and food service came through the aisle. I got a can of coke, but opted not the buy one of those disgusting snack boxes for 5$. The movie being shown onboard today was "Deck The Halls". I decided to watch it to make the four hour flight go by faster.
About half way through the movie, we crossed off the coast of North Caroline into the Atlantic Ocean.
Not to long after the movie finished up, the coastline of the Dominican Republic came into view and we started descending into PUJ. It got a little bumpy as we went through the clouds, but for the most part it was pretty smooth.
Soon, the landing gear and flaps went down as we lined up for landing. There isn't to much to see while on final approach into PUJ. Just endless tropical forests and a sparse road here and there. Eventually, we crossed the main road and touchdowned at PUJ. It wasn't the smoothest touchdown, but not so rough either.
After exiting the runway, I took a shot of the PUJ terminal.
After a short taxi to the stand, the engines shut down and we exited the aircraft via the forward airstair into the warm and sunny weather. Last year when I was at PUJ, it was down pouring rain when we arrived, so we ended up getting drenched!
While walking over to the terminal, I snapped a shot of a Canjet 737 heading for departure.
Once inside the terminal, we cleared customs and got our luggage in no time. Finally, we went out to the bus which would take us to our hotel. I was officially on vacation!!!
The hotel we were staying at was called the Ocean Blue/Sand Golf & Beach Resort. For the week, it was a great hotel to stay at. The weather was also great, you could only really complain on some days when the wind was kind of strong, but that really wasn't such a big deal. The hotels here in Punta Cana could be an underage drinker's paradise! Everytime I asked for no alcohol in my drinks I ended up getting alcohol in it. Anyways...here's a couple pics I took at the hotel:
A glimpse of the pool area.
White sandy beach.
I took this shot from our hotel room balcony as the sun was starting to set.
Mmmmmmmm Chinola(also known as Passion Fruit). This very sour and tasty Dominican fruit is amazing! I ate a ton of this stuff over the week.
Eventually Friday rolled around again and that meant it was time to head home.
In order to catch the bus to the airport at 8:20 AM, we woke up at 7 AM and went to the the buffet for a quick breakfast. After breakfast, we checked out and waited in the lobby for our bus to arrive. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 12:30 PM. The bus arrived a little late, but we still arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Check in took a bit longer then expected since apparently the machine that was supposed to print out our boarding passes was broken down so they had to fix it. They got it to work about 15 minutes later and we headed for security. We breezed through security and after that I headed straight to the viewing deck for some spotting! Lots of early USA 3000 action with flights heading to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.
I got hungry, so I grabbed some Wendy's and headed back for more spotting!
At around 11:30 AM our flight landed from MKE and pulled into the stand.
I then went over to the gate area to wait for boarding. Scheduled departure time rolled around and we had not even started boarding the aircraft! I went to the front desk to ask about the delay and the agent responded to me by saying there was some kind of problem refueling the aircraft. Apparently they thought the flight would be arriving tomorrow so they had to be given some kinda order to refuel? Anyone else ever heard of this? Anyways, the delay ended up being an hour. In the meantime I did some more spotting.
At around 1:30 they announced that our flight to MKE was ready to board. We immediately went out on the tarmac and boarded our 737 that had been parked for a while now.
While going up the airstair I snatched a shot of this Allegiant Air charter flight coming from...MKE!!!
This time my seat was 16A. It was right in front of the exit row meaning my seat did not have the ability to recline....grrrr..... Anyways it wasn't long before we pushed back and began taxing to the runway. We immediately took off when we reached the runway and then turned left and continued to climb along the coastline.
For the first half of the flight while we were over the Ocean there was consistent turbulence and for a couple of minutes it was pretty rough. There were two movies being shown onboard this time. They were "A Good Year" and "Just My Luck". I chose only to watch "A Good Year". Again there was a beverage service and I got a can of Coke.
Soon the four hours of flight time passed and we began descending into MKE over Lake Michigan.
We came onshore over Racine and I was able to see my school as well as my house as we turned to line up for final approach.
As we got closer to MKE the flaps came down and the gear eventually did to. The captain finished the flight off with a smooth touchdown on runway 1L.
After clearing the runway, we started taxing to the International Arrivals Terminal. While we were taxing, I managed to get some good shots of Concourse C hammerhead currently under construction. Looks like its coming along great!
Once the engines shut down there was a short wait for customs to clear the aircraft. We then proceeded inside the terminal where I took one last shot of the other Funjet Flight that had already arrived from Ixtapa.
Customs was pretty quick as was getting our luggage. We were greeted by my grandpa in the waiting area of the terminal and we then headed for the car. As I stepped outside I was blasted by the bitterly cold 32 degree weather! Ouch! I guess back to reality eh?! I guess that closes the door on another vacation.
Well this is my fifth trip report and I hope you enjoyed reading it! Comments are always welcome as it took a lot of time and work to write this report! Thanks again.
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
Oldman55 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1525 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7471 times:
Quoting Mke717spotter (Thread starter): The hotels here in Punta Cana could be an underage drinker's paradise! Everytime I asked for no alcohol in my drinks I ended up getting alcohol in it
That really works I bet if you sorta mumble and whisper no and say alcohol loud and clear Great report and pics. I really like the one of the sunlight reflected into the engine. For a moment I almost thought it was on fire lol. Your hotel and beach looked really nice.
too bad most of us get too soon old and too late smart
Phxtravelboy From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 295 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6967 times:
Nice report. I'm glad to see those pics of the new hammerhead addition at the end of the C concourse. I live in PHX now, but am from WI and usually fly into MKE when I come home. I'm planning on flying home over Memorial Day, on AA, so I'll be able to see the new concourse progress too.