I did this flight over a year ago, but I never got the chance to tell about it in detail. This was the last leg of the 3-part leg from Zagreb, Croatia.
Aircraft: Boeing 737-200!
Departure: 10:00 PM
Actual Dep: 12:24 AM
Date: July 12, 2001
My brother, sister, father and I just got off a Lufthansa Airlines A340-313X from Frankfurt, Germany. And before that, we were on a Lufthansa 737-500 from Zagreb, Croatia. We were tired, and still adjusted to the time in Croatia, so we were really tired. After clearing customs, my father started to rush us to get to the "big glassy" terminal ( I don't know what terminal, but LH uses it) where are flight was to depart. I stopped us before we got on that shuttletrain to take to the terminal, and looked at the schedule. It seemed that our flight was to be delayed. We got on the shuttletrain, and I noticed a lot of cool aircraft I don't normally see: American heavies, LOT 767 (that LOT 767 dropped off people into customs which really clogged up the lines!) Alitalia, and a few LH aircraft. We got off the train, and made our way to the gate. We got to the gate, and saw a bunch of people in line. So my dad made us sprint over. I was suprised, I thought we were taking a UA 727 to MSP! Turns out it was the boarding line for the flight to La Guardia! Darn! We sat down while we waited for our aircraft to arrive. I noticed this blue-haired kid with his mother that I saw back in Frankfurt that was on our LH flight! I put my bags down, and did some quick exploring. Our LH A340 we just disembarked was already being loaded up back to FRA, and a UA 747-400 was using the other LH gate, which was operating to Sao Paulo. I got back to our gate, and noticed a UA 737-200 at the gate. I like the 737-200, but I kinda wanted that 727 instead, because I flew the UA 737-200 a month before when I left for Croatia! The flight was from Syracuse, NY, and looked pretty full. Once all passengers got off, the flight was then about 5 min late. Then there was some sort of delay (I forgot what it was) which kept us there 2 hours. I explored more and made some calls. Finally, we boarded the ol' 737-200. I sat down in 15A. My father was in 15B, and my bro and sis were in 16A-B. We pulled out 2 1/2 hours late, and I admired that large UA 747-400 to Sao Paulo which was still boarding. We taxied past many aircraft, I noticed a lot of CO 737s, about 6! I forgot what runway we taxied to! I remember there was a UA 757 that departed ahead of us. Another runway which seemed to not be perfectly perpendicular to ours had a All Nippon Cargo 747-200 taking off! I was amazed! We got on the runway, and had an unusually long takeoff roll. We tookoff into the starry night. I was in a different state of mind, I was amazed when I looked out the window to see all the lights of Chicago, and the 737-200 bucket-style engine right outside to window. We were served snack packs which consisted of stuff like you find in Gardettos. The F/As didn't care since it was the last flight, I was hungry so I took like 10. The lights got farther away, and ORD disappeared out of sight. I read a magazine and chatted with my father for about 30 minutes. The flight was very smooth the entire way, and the cabin was about 10% full. Guess not a lot of people like flying late. But in 98', I was on a UA 737-300 ORD-MSP and it was crowded late at night, I was stuck between two business people! Anyway, after a while, we started our initial descent into MSP. We swung around the city, and it's beautiful from the air at night! We went downwind for runway 12L. I saw an aircraft take off from 12R, it was pretty neat to see from so high up. The flight attendants collected our cups and empty bags. I stared out the window, and noticed the ground got closer and closer. We turned base, then final 12L. I saw the buildings and cars getting closer and closer. I really like crossing highways at only a few hundred feet. Before 12L, there is a ton of houses, then a highway, then the runway, so it feels like to are going to touchdown in some guys yard! We came in over 12L, and touched down smoothly. We slowed, and turned off the taxiway. The airport was dead. ORD at midnight is busy, MSP was just dead. There was maybe 1 or 2 flights departing and 1 or 2 arriving. All the rest were a bunch of NWA aircraft at the gates with no lights on in the cabin. We taxiied to our gate. For some reason, we got off at a Delta gate, I think because the UA gates were full. We came to a stop, and I saw a UA 727 next to us all of a sudden turn it's cabin lights off. Then my father said, "Well, the party's over." The few people on our flight got off, and I got out of our row, and down the cabin. I thanked the cabin for such a nice flight. I took one last look at the United 737-200's cabin, knowing I'd probably never be in a UA 737-200 or even a 737-200 ever again! I walked up the jetway, and my mother was waiting there. Seriously, she was the only one waiting there, no one else. That was odd, most flights even if they aren't full, have people waiting there. (Also, keep in mind this was pre-9-11.) We walked down the concourse, and saw a bunch of aircraft sitting there lifeless. All the signs were down and everything. It seemed kind of eerie. Usually at MSP when I'm there, it's loaded! We got to the garage, and went home.
Great job United, considering it's such a short flight, they made it one hell of a flight. I never been on a 737-200 since, and I never will most likely be on any 737-200 ever again. I cherished every minute of that flight! I give it a 9 out of 10. I really don't mind delays, but I was sort of tired and not in the mood for a 2 hour delay. Too bad United is in such bad condition a little over a year after I flew that flight! I really hope United recovers to a great potential. I hope you enjoyed this report!