This was a quick weekend trip over to kansas city for a job fair. I got a good low price fare on southwest for a non stop flight.
7/11 flt 660 n/s BNA-MCI
Well, on this flight I did something that I haven't done before, or at least it was so long that I forgot: I did not get a window seat! That's like one of my rules of flying, but I got up just a little late to make it in time. I have to drive 100 miles to the airport and then all over the long term park lot to find a space and walk up to the terminal. I checked in 50 minutes before the flight and was given a "C" card (#94, BTW) and went thru security with no problems. The plane was N313SW, and it arrived full from RDU
at 11:00 and was ready for pushback, full again, 25 minutes later. Its that legendary Southwest service at work! I knew my chances of getting a window seat were slim.... there were only a few people after me. As I walked back in the aisle I wondered if I'd even find a seat at all! I did find a middle seat about 3 or 4 rows up from the back and there was a very large black man (think of the McDonalds character called "the Grimace") sitting by the window. The interior of the plane was the old tan colors and just looked very old and drab. Passenger load was nearly full.
We pushed back on time and made the very short ride over to runway 31 and without stopping we were hurling down the runway and into the clear blue sky. Service consisted of a small cup of coke (geez....why cant they just give us the whole CAN
?) and both peanuts and Nabisco Air Crisps (pretty good, IMO). We flew at 35,000 ft across southern Missouri and the flight was very smooth..1 hr 17 minutes. There was some great scenery as we descended toward MCI
including an airport which would have made a great photo overview if it weren't for The Grimace sitting next to me. I also saw the big Kansas Speedway. We made our approach from the south to runway 1L and were soon at the gate.
If you have not been to Kansas City let me describe it for you. This airport was designed in the 60s and it does appear that they were smoking some kind of 60s drugs when they drew up the blueprints. Each of the 3 terminals is shaped like a "C"; everything is on ONE level. baggage claim, car rental phones, ticket counters, gates, and door to the outside. when we exited the jetway the baggage claim carousel was immediately to my left and the door to the curbside was right in front of me. Each group of 2 or 3 gates has its own security checkpoint too. Think of a giant letter "C" and the gates/baggage are all around the outside diameter, and restaurants & phones on the inside diameter, and a 2-story parking deck in the middle of the "C". There are no windows to watch any action, unless you are inside your gate area. and once you go thru security into your gate area you cannot go out to go to the bathroom or the restaurant without checking thru security again or go wander to another gate. And if you smoke, you must go OUTSIDE which can suck in the winter and if you leave your gate area you need to go thru security again. If I was rating airports this one would get a Zero. MCI
sucks. Avoid connecting flights at MCI
7/13 flt 2312 n/s MCI-BNA
This time I was determined to get a window seat, so I got to the airport early, checked in my case, and got the "A" card (#23). I bought a hot dog - oh yeah, I forgot to mention the food choices suck and are expensive as hell. I went thru security for gates 28, 28A, and 29 and then found a seat to eat and wait. My plane was N414WN a new -700 in the blue colors. After eating I looked at the security line and there were like 200 people in line because all 3 gates had flights that were boarding soon. Cant go to the bathroom. This airport sucks. The Ops Agent announced a delay due to storms in BNA
and power outage at the airport - but that only lasted 10 minutes or so. My flight had a long line of pre-boards and quite a number of "A" cardholders ahead of me - i hoped to get a seat in the forward section but upon boarding most of the front half was full. The back was empty at this point in the boarding process so I snagged a good seat behind the wing. I like the leather seats. Really comfortable.
I knew that traffic was using 19R going toward the south and looking at a map of KC
i knew that if I sit on the right side I'd get a good view of downtown, so I chose a seat on the right. This flight was nearly full. We pushed back and headed up to rwy 19R and were on our way. Left turn heading 90 degrees at the outer marker and I could see downtown kansas city. Got some nice pics - the sky was very clear. We climbed thru 20k and flew parallel to I-70; got a nice shot of the stadium where the Royals play. Our cruising altitude was FL350, and we made a slight tutn to head southeasterly across missouri. Service again consisted of a cup of coke, peanuts, and Air Crisps. not bad. I do not expect more for this fare price, but I would like the whole can of coke.
The scattered clouds became more numerous as we crossed Jefferson City, MO
and then Cape Girardeau, MO
, and the Mississippi river, and began our descent over Kentucky. We were flying around some realy big puffy rain-producing clouds and I got some incredible wing shots that should make the upload. The cloudscape was beautiful. However, it was too cloudy for me to recognize what our approach to BNA
would be until the end, when I realized we'd be landing on 2C. I was hoping to get an overview of the city but it was too cloudy. We touched down on 2C and headed for the terminal where we sat for at least 15 minutes because someone else was in our gate and we waited till they pushed back. with all the gates available at BNA
I would think they could have deplaned us at another gate. This plane was due to continue on the BWI
, but nearly everyone got off and a fresh load of pax got on for that segment. The F/A announced that the BWI
segment would be full so for any of the people staying on to find a seat now if they wanted to change. I got off, checked out some of the action at the other gates and then headed downstairs to baggage claim.
overall, good experience with southwest. I had 2 trips on them from BNA
now, and both times departed rwy 31 and returned to rwy 2C. Hmmmmmmmmm........luck I guess. It was my own fault for not getting to the airport early enough to get a window seat on the way out....I hate that and the 100 mile ride to get a southwest flight. The fare was $150 more at my local airport, BTW. I wish they'd just give the whole can of coke!!!!!! Oh and did i mention that kansas city airport sucks.
[Edited 2003-07-15 02:16:18]
[Edited 2003-07-15 02:20:59]