I was flown to BWI as a non-rev for a Job interview with Southwest. My ticket was marked "must ride" going and "positive space" on the return. I had to endure the 2 hours drive to Birmingham though.
Flt 1487 BHM-BWI
Gee....the 2nd time I have seen this plane at BWI. Maybe this is a good sign:
Photo © Bruce Leibowitz
I got to the airport at 8am for the 9:30 flight and did get the "A" card. I saw at my gate that the plane was not there so I decided to go and watch a Comair CRJ leaving and try to photograph it. Also, a Sunworld 727 with winglets pulled in for a charter flight - I was in a bad spot to shoot it though. Winglets make the good 'ol 727 look way more modern. I went back to my gate at 8:50 and found the people were already lined up! But there was no plane! Damn.....I was in the back of the "A" group. The plane arrived from MSY at 9:10, and when I boarded I had hoped to get a seat in the front since I got the "A" card but that was not to happen. The front was full. I kept walking back and did get a window seat behind the wing - and found that the window pane was all flaky. Oh well. I still took lots of pics. This plane had the traditional old colors interior that looks really drab.
We departed at 9:30, all but 3 seats were filled. Flight Attendants were 3: one very pretty female, one very pretty and obviously pregnant female (she's been getting a lot of LUV! lol) and one gay male. Service consisted of Chips Ahoy cookies and the traditional cup of coke (see my last flight). We departed runway 6, turned on a 90 degree heading, and headed for Atlanta at 37,000 feet where we joined another airway and turned northeast, past Richmond, out over Chesapeake Bay for the descent. I was able to get a very nice view of the Chesapeake area of Maryland as we headed for arrival on 15L, zipping over the Thomas Dixon Aircraft Observation Area which was packed on a beautiful morning.
My return flight was scheduled at 4:55, and I got to the Terminal at 2:45 and the first bad sign was the looooooooooooooooooooong line at the ticket counter. I needed to get the boarding pass there since I had a paper ticket. Damn...I got a "B" card. Another bad sign. Then I made my way to BWI's security checkpoint to find over 100 people in line! Another bad sign.....
I got to the gate and only a couple of people were in line at 4:10, so I decided to check out the action on the "C" pier. I spotted a BA 767 (or 777?) arriving and rushed to find a spot to photograph it. Unfortunately I could only get it from behind but maybe it'll be upload quality after editing. It was beautiful with the "Ireland" tail art. Then I went to my gate and........ uh oh, everybodys lined up! Yup.....not only did I have a "B" card but I was at the back of the "B" line. My chances of getting a window seat were fading.
Our plane arrived on time - N753SW, a -7H4 in the old colors inside and out still. I boarded the plane and was able to find a window seat - but it was over the wing.
Well...we pulled out a couple minutes late because they had to find seats for everyone. every single seat was filled. I could not see much of the ground but our pilot said we were cruising at 39,000 feet. The descent into BHM was odd: we usually descend in steps as directed by ATC, but this time when we began going down we continued going down gradually until landing! I could feel it in my body the whole time, we never levelled off. or at least it felt like it. Service on this flight was the Air Crisps & coke brought by 2 female and one male F/A. Landed on runway 6 and parked at C-10 and my long day is not over, I have a 100 mi drive home. But first I noticed a Comair CRJ - the one with the 100th paint scheme - sitting in a good photo spot so I took advantage of it.
Southwest's seating arrangement is great for people who just want to hop on a jet and go, but for those who love window views it can be a royal pain. Anyway, I will be taking many more trips if I get the job~!