Topic Author
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A Nearly Empty Flight To Orlando

Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:31 am

Southwest Airlines
Flight 376
Boeing 737-300
Push back: 7:00am
Airborne: 7:05am
At gate: 9:28am

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Photo © Manas Barooah

I quickly got a gate pass at the fairly empty Southwest ticket counter and proceeded to gate B-5 where my 737-300 was waiting patiently to take it's first load of the day to MCO. Only 11 passengers on this flight. Tuesday's are never too busy really, especially early morning flights. The 7:00am flight to Houston looked busy, but that's the norm since it's a big business market.

Boarding began at 6:45am. All 11 of us took our seats fairly quickly. Pushback was on-time at 7:00am. We taxiied to runway 28 quickly and we were number three for takeoff, behind a Continental 737-900 bound for IAH and another Southwest -300 headed for Dallas/Love Field. Takeoff roll was 15 seconds tops, and as expected, climbout was extremely steep. We made a swooping left turn once we reached 5000ft., overflying downtown New Orleans before heading out over the vast marshlands just East of the metro area.

In flight service was decent, nothing overly memorable, however it was one of the few times where I ever got a full can of soda on Southwest without asking. Gee, I wonder if the load had anything to do with it? The f/a's were nice, passed out some animal crackers, always wore a smile. En route, we pretty much followed the Gulf of Mexico coastline down the Florida panhandle, before making a Southeasterly turn inland. There was not a cloud in the sky until we commenced final descent, so I had a great view of the shiny blue ocean some 32,000ft. below.

We had a 160 knot tailwind so we reached the MCO area ahead of schedule. We landed under a very overcast sky, in fact, we just missed the downpours by about 20 minutes apparently. The tarmac was soaked. Touchdown was smooth, and I saw some Song 757's for the first time in person as we taxiied to Southwest's stunning new terminal.

Overall, a nice relaxing flight. Even though the interior was pretty dated, 733's beat 717's hands down, anyday, nopt even close. The flight was a nice prelude to my 23-hour rail adventure on Amtrak's Sunset Limited. If anyone wants a copy of that trip report, just let ,me know. It was quite a journey!  Smile

Steve/New Orleans

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Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2000 9:40 am

RE: A Nearly Empty Flight To Orlando

Thu Jan 29, 2004 12:32 pm

Nice trip report.
How long is the flight between MSY and MCO? I have a friend who flew that same route on Chautaqua (she dosen't know anything about planes ,so she was freaking out b/c she was on an RJ, which she condsiders unsafe- cause she says they are to little).
Fly the Flag!!!!
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 3:46 am

RE: A Nearly Empty Flight To Orlando

Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:39 pm

Nice report! Sounds like the service was great! I am assuming that the ticket was cheap, I wish we had WN at MSP!!

Topic Author
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RE: A Nearly Empty Flight To Orlando

Thu Jan 29, 2004 10:22 pm

Chepos, the flights are usually scheduled for about 1 hour and 40 minutes, although they rarely take that long to complete. I'd say usually 1h20m is about average.

Continental, the ticket was free as I'm an airline employee. One of the perks of the industry that's for sure.
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2001 3:51 am

RE: A Nearly Empty Flight To Orlando

Fri Jan 30, 2004 5:08 am

Thats funny that you took that flight Tuesday. I did it yesterday from MSY and we arrived about 45 minutes early. I had a passenger using a handheld GPS on the flight (which is a no-no) and he said we were doing about 660mph over the ground! Its too bad we cant cut across the gulf, otherwise we would have made it to MCO even sooner.. I do feel sorry for the poor folks going the other way though. Musta taken forever to get to MSY.
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RE: A Nearly Empty Flight To Orlando

Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:40 am

I'd be interested in the Sunset Limited Trip report!

Jim a semi veteran of the Lake Shore Limited (BOS-CHI) and the
California Zephyr (CHI-OAK-SFO) and the Texas Eagle CHI-HOU

What a long strange trip it's been
Topic Author
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: A Nearly Empty Flight To Orlando

Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:50 am

Clrd2go, just drop me an email, and I will send it to you today.

Steve/New Orleans

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