These are the flights/vacation info we took to Vegas and from Los Angeles when we went to go fly the flight simulators at Long Beach.
Flight 962: ISP to LAS via MDW:
Got to ISP by 5 AM and lined up at the gate, I was the first person (insert "idiot" here) on line. My fiancee relaxed in a seat while I stood waiting. Then people started lining up later. Then the announcement came...for Flt.1969 (which is what we usually take to BWI and it's what we are taking again on in 2 weeks.)
So I stepped out of line, let them board all the 3 groups, then got back on line, our flight was next (about an hour later). Got my A group designation
When we got onboard, we got exit row window seats on the starboard wing.
I watched as Flt. 1969 took off on the rarely used 33L runway at ISP. But we would later use 24. A brisk takeoff sent us soaring above lush Long Island.
I read a bit then fell asleep. (ever read "The Richest Man in Babylon"? I t is a very good book. Seriously.)
Landed in MDW (never been there) and was shocked as I didn't know ATA was big there (BigPhilNyc loves them). So I took a few photos while we taxied and waited for more people to board.
While waiting, I introduced my myself to the co-pilot Max, and we shot the breeze a bit. He had me sitting in the jumpseat a while and explained the 737-700. Very clean cockpit. Then the pilot came back (he didn't seem too happy to see me. C'est la vie.) so went back to the seat and awaited departure.
Take off was bouncy as we encountered gusts (Windy City...I get it
Woke up with 30 minutes of flight to go. The desert opened up to buildings and then we saw the strip and the Luxor pyramid at Vegas. Great view but REALLY windy. It was pretty cool feeling how the crew was handling the plane in that strong crosswind. We hit the ground with left wheel first then slammed down. We are now in the desert!
Taxiing to the gate, our FA serenaded us with a tune about Southwest and thanked us. It went to the tune of "When the Saints go Marching in" Very cute. We all clapped. We arrived 15 minutes ahead of sched.
LAS airport has a tram to get you to the baggage. Once we got there, I noticed a huge old Chevy and an old Cessna hanging from the ceiling. Very interesting.
LAS is a Casino! IT is so true. As I walked up the jetway, I heard the sounds and saw the slot machines. Incredible. As we waited, we had many offers for Limos to the strip. You should get there, it was a nice 4 days of gambling and seeing 4 very good shows:
Cirque de Soliel's Zumanity and Mystere
Spirit of the Dance
Blue Man Group
We also made sure to walk the strip a few times and visit old Downtown Vegas. And took every opportunity to watch planes when in our hotel room. That was relaxing.
Flight 2575: LAX to ISP via BNA
Yes, within the week, we rented a convertible and drove about 4.5 hours to Los Angeles. Whilst there, flew the sims at Long Beach (did you see that trip report?), had a great dinner with MattD, hung out with MidnightMike, did happy hour at LAX Encounter Restaurant and relaxed with family.
Check-in at LAX was a fiasco with the TSA. But the Southwest counter itself was very efficient. We got our boarding group A passes again and headed for the gate. From there I was able to watch planes just reaching the threshold to land.
I lined up early again (with book in hand) and waited as the first person on line. Got my A group pass and waited until we were called on.
We boarded the plane and sat in the exit row over the port wing. Our aisle partner was pretty cool. We had Southwest drink tickets to use,... so we drank and talked the whole flight.
Takeoff at LAX sent us over the Pacific so once aloft, we took a wide left turn to send us on our way to BNA.
A few drinks later and we were landing at BNA. Many pax emptied out. We landed 15 minutes ahead so we had a relaxed layover while joking with the FA's.
I spoke with the co-pilot and he showed me the HUD that was folded up over the pilot's head. When I asked what info it shows, he folded it down and had me take a look. Thanks!
He said the flight would take up at 495 MPH at FL410.
We took off towards ISP. Night fell. So did our inhibitions with every drink.
At one point, I went to the bathroom. We had a good tailwind so it got pretty rough.The FA suggested I have a seat since there was so much turbulence. I sat while the girl in the bathroom did her thing. The turbulence settled so then I went in. The bathroom was a mess and I was hoping the liquid on the ground was only water.
But the FA didn't notice until after I walked out, so she thought it was me!
We landed @ ISP again 10 minutes early. Baggage pick up there was very quick.
Another great experience on Southwest.
Special thanks to SWA_TPA! for dealing with my idiocy.
Special thanks to MATTD for helping make the trip a good one.
Special thanks to MidnightMike for making the sims experince such a pleasant one.
[Edited 2003-10-10 04:24:31]