The Sunday before Labor Day weekend (USA) I looked on Orbitz and found a great fare down to DFW for the holiday weekend so I booked it. I paid about $10 more to fly on TWA and their 717 but actually the times worked out better with TWA anyway.
Friday 31 August 2001
LV CID 1820 (CDT)
AR STL 1916 (CDT)
N921L DC9-32 (1968) seat 11C Aisle
I had a friend drive me up to the Eastern Iowa Airport from Iowa City and drop me off. CID is very very small. The ticket counter was a short walk from the car and it was mostly empty. I think I got there about an hour and 15 minutes or so before the flight. There was one person in the economy check in line so the guy from the TWFirst line let me check in with him right away. I bought an expensive sandwich and waited at the gate. There is only one short concourse at CID so there was no point in walking around. Eventually it was boarding time and that was ok. When I was stepping though the door I found it funny that "LLC" was written on the fuselage with a permanent marker after where it says TWA stenciled on in paint in small print just to the right of the door. I got to my seat and I was pissed when some woman sat in the window seat but oh well. The flight was empty at the rear so I could have moved back but I was too lazy. We took off to the east on the main east-west runway at CID and it was going to be a quick flight down to STL. They announced it at 37 minutes I think. There was a drink and pretzels service even though the flight was short. We landed in STL pretty quick but it took a long time to get across the field to the gate. I think we were a little delayed because of this but not bad.
This was my first visit to STL. The airport is fairly practical but isn't impressive in any respect. I don't like to complain about things like this though. It's so stupid. Airports serve a purpose, they aren't supposed to be shopping malls, food courts or architectural masterpieces. I had an hour layover or so and just walked around to the different parts. I went to see an AC CRJ push back just for the heck of it. I think that's the only foreign carrier at STL. Eventually I went to my next gate for boarding.
Friday 31 August 2001
LV STL 2025 (CDT)
AR DFW 2216 (CDT)
[registration unknown] DC9 seat 19A Window
I didn't get the reg number in STL and couldn't see it from the terminal in DFW. Oh well. The boarding was pretty standard and I got my seat. In STL I asked to be reseated in a window since the guy in CID didn't ask where I wanted to sit. This flight was pretty full. We pushed back and left pretty much on time. After we got in the air there was a drink and bag of pretzels service. This flight was ok and before I knew it we were descending into DFW. One thing though, I was congested from having a cold and upon descent I rubbed my face and all of a sudden it started to hurt like a mutherfucker!!!! Ouch it hurt!! I thought for sure I was going to have a black eye and have blood coming out of it but it got better once I got on the ground. The pain was centered near my left eye so it was something to do with that sinus I think. Well, we landed and went to the gate. It took a while to get off the plane and when I finally got to the terminal I noticed it was closed in the boarding area but I saw my grandmother and her friend behind a window so it was ok.
I had a good holiday weekend visiting my grandmother but eventually it was time to head back. As we were approaching DFW from the east on I-635 we came up on some strong thunderstorms and I thought "Uh oh." I got dropped off and I figured whatever happened would happen and I sent my grandmother on her way back home since she says she can't see too well at night when she's driving.
I arrived at the airport at about 6:30pm for the 8:05pm flight and when I went to check in the lady said she was putting me on the standby list for the 7:00pm flight due to the weather and since the equipment for the 8:05pm flight hadn't arrived yet and would surely be severely delayed, diverted, or cancelled! She also went ahead and tagged my luggage for the 7pm flight so I guess she was pretty sure I'd get on the flight or else it wouldn't be too tough to remove my luggage from the plane.
So I went though the security and to the check in counter and was told that they'd start calling the stand-bys in a few minutes. I got called after a couple other stand-bys and got on the plane and so did my luggage.
Monday 3 September 2001
TW 393 -scheduled
TW 678 -actual
LV DFW 1900 (CDT)
AR STL 2049 (CDT)
N415TW? 717-231 (2000) seat 19E Middle-assigned, 21D Aisle -actual
I didn't get a great look at the reg number, I thought it was N45TW but that doesn't exist so using Bill Harms' site I narrowed it down to N415TW. When I found out I would be taking an earlier flight I was worried that I might not get to fly on a 717 as I had hoped when making the reservation but when I got to the gate I was relieved to see one sitting there.
When I stepped aboard I first noticed all the fog coming out of the vents. With the rain it was so humid that the air conditioning was producing the fog. On the 717 there is a vent behinf the cockpit door that has a bunch of fog coming straight down out of it and in the rest of the cabin there are vents all along the walls underneath the overhead bins. They pretty much make up one narrow vent all along the length of the cabin. The fog effect was very cool.
The second thing I noticed was that my assigned seat was a middle seat
but when I got there a kid sitting in it asked if I would take his aisle seat two rows behind and I happily complied. I guess they seated the kid apart from his mom and I thought that was strange. The flight was tightly packed.
Well, because of the storms we were delayed in pushing back. It was explained that they needed to take on a little more fuel and they couldn't do this unless the lightning stopped. We pushed back about 45 minutes late and then taxiied over to the east side of the field over the road. At this point could see a bunch of planes lined up in various places and figured we's be there for a while. The captain came on again and said that he tried to get them to let us take off from the other side of the field but they wouldn't let us and that we'd be waiting there for about 45 minutes
. The delay wasn't so bad. The pilot accurately predicted the delay time and they turned off the seatbelt sign and said we could use our cell phones if we wanted. They also went through with a drink and pretzel service but cautioned that some beverages might not be available when the service was repeated in the air. The only bad thing about the delay was watching the clock to see if I'd make my connection in STL. We eventually got in the air about when they said we would. I was glad I got to the airport when I did because I don't think I would have made it home to Iowa that night if I hadn't taken the earlier flight.
The flight was ok except it was interesting because it was turbulent. I almost pissed all over myself in the lav! I don't think anyone got sick though. I understand why the 717 is well liked and I must say I'll try to get this plane again if possible. It's pretty roomy inside and is aesthetically pleasing. Just what you'd expect from a new airliner. I noticed at the front there was an AA More Room Throughout Coach sticker which I found interesting.
We eventually landed in STL and got to the gate and I quickly walked though the terminal to my next flight which I stepped aboard right away. Very tight connection!
Friday 31 August 2001
LV STL 2239 (CDT)
AR CID 2336 (CDT)
N983Z DC9-31 seat 20D Aisle
I didn't have time to ask for a window seat but it ended up not mattering because I had the whole row to myself. The flight was very empty and they even invited us to move wherever we wanted. After takeoff I layed down on the three seats and tried to sleep a little. The flight was real quick and we arrived in CID quickly. It's kind of funny when you're up in the air because I could see the airport and I could see Iowa City but it takes a half an hour or so to drive between them.
After landing it was pretty painless getting off the plane and getting my checked bags. Another friend arrived to pick me up from the airport and the trip was over.
I was glad to fly on TWA while there was still some identity left before it all becomes AA and I was glad to fly on a 717, a very nice airliner.