TWFirst
Topic Author
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

Trip Report: ATA From MSP To MDW

Tue Jul 18, 2000 2:09 am

I flew ATA for the very first time, from MSP to MDW this weekend. Left on Saturday afternoon. Flew on 727's both ways. I was very pleased with how clean and refurbished both aircraft were, along with the seat comfort (I'm accustomed to NW's crappy 727's). The departing flight left the gate about 10 minutes late, but then we taxied about 20 minutes due to ATC delays. Got into MDW right at the scheduled time. I was impressed with the friendly and expedient beverage service, and they offered cookies AND peanuts as a snack - something NW doesn't do. (I don't think Vanguard does either - don't know about Air Tran).

The return flight last night departed over an hour late because the incoming aircraft from DFW that was to be our aircraft had to wait until a delayed flight to Boston pulled out of the gate. Boarding was pretty expedient once it commenced. Both outbound and inbound flights were full. Midway was absolute chaos. It's a complete mess. We initially went to the gate to check in but you couldn't even get close to the counter. So we went out to the terminal to check in at the main ATA counter. VERY long lines. When we finally checked in, the agent was very nice, and gave us seats (that reclined!) in the exit row, so we had tons of room.

Overall, nice service, nice aircraft. I'd fly them again, but I think until MDW is done, having a hub there is going to be a liability. Only minor complaint about the service is they seem to really like talking on the plane intercom, repeating the standard announcements more often than I've noticed on other airlines.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
MEA-707
Posts: 3671
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 4:51 am

RE: Trip Report: ATA From MSP To MDW

Tue Jul 18, 2000 2:22 am

TWFirst, nice report ! Did you read mine:
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/256371/

So we agree on all points actually !! That report also contains answers to your other questions. Vanguards snack was quite nice (a sugercake) but AirTran (small bag of salty biscuits) minimal.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
nwa man
Posts: 1752
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 1999 3:24 am

RE: TWFirst

Thu Jul 20, 2000 2:30 am

What were the loads like on these flights? I think it would be great if MSP could support 6 (NW, UA, AA, FL, Vanguard, and ATA) carriers on the MSP-Chicago market, but it's unlikely.

NWA Man
Create your own luck.
 
Ilyushin96M
Posts: 2506
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 1999 3:15 am

RE: Trip Report: ATA From MSP To MDW

Thu Jul 20, 2000 2:43 am

Last month, I took a trip to Las Vegas on ATA. We flew out of Midway at about 3:30 pm, and the return flight came in about 6:30 am. ATA is a pretty decent airline, nothing special, and I noticed both flights - 727-200 going out, 757-200 coming in - were full, save a scant few empty seats. Seems lots of people fly ATA.

TWFirst, I agree with you 100% about Midway. It is such an awful airport, I would almost go out of my way to avoid it in the future! I wonder what it will be like when the reconstruction is complete? Hopefully MUCH, MUCH better.
 
TWFirst
Topic Author
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Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: Questions From NWA Man, Ilyushin96M

Thu Jul 20, 2000 5:03 am

NWA Man: I think my observation about the loads kind of got buried in my post. Both our outbound and inbound flights were full - probably around 85 -90%.

I agree NWA Man, I was thinking the other day how competitive the MSP-CHI market has become. Currently 6 choices, and a possible 7th! (SQ's slots at ORD). It would be cool if all airlines could get good loads, but I wonder how many seats are in this market now with the addition of FL and ATA.

Ilyushin96M: I think the new Midway is going to be great! Completely new terminal and concourses. Right now though, it reminds me of some third world airport - brought back memories of the Athens airport when I was there last September. (I was in Moscow in '87 and it was a hell of a lot better!!)

We had a bad experience getting a cab. We were getting ready to get into a cab, and some other driver came over and told us to get into his cab. Then he stood outside a couple minutes looking for other people, and asked us if we minded sharing a cab (we were going downtown). We said OK, and then some other guy comes over and tries to sit in the front seat, but he was pretty tall and there wasn't enough room, so the driver told us that one of us should sit in the front seat. We said no, the other guy said he wanted to take another cab anyway and demanded his luggage, and then the driver came back and berated us for not sitting in the front seat!! We told him we were travelling together, wanted to talk, and either drive the frickin cab or we would get another one. He told us to get out!!! When we got to the hotel, I called the number the City of Chicago lists for cab complaints, and reported him.

Needless to say, we took the train to the airport for the return trip.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.