Southwest Airlines WN 260
Boeing 737-300 (Registration: N677AA)
Los Angeles, CA, USA (LAX) to Austin, TX, USA (AUS)
March 28, 2004
Seat: Window (Group A)
Gate: 3B (Terminal 1)
Scheduled Departure: 03/28 1:10 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 03/28 5:55 PM
Scheduled Flight Time: 2:45
I booked my Ticketless Award in early March via the Rapid Rewards hotline because the website wasn't working for me. In about mid-March, I needed to change my travel date, and the task was completed easily without additional fees or taxes. By the time I was traveling, Online Check In had become system-wide. I was fascinated by Southwest's Online Check In, so at 12:10 AM, I promptly checked-in for my flight and printed my "A" boarding pass.
When I arrived at the airport about an hour prior to departure, I was hoping to check my bags to Austin. However, the lines at the counter and curbside were incredibly long, so I passed on checking my bags. I joined the security line, which almost extended outside. Fortunately, the line moved quickly, and I was inside the terminal area in almost five minutes.
I checked the monitors for my gate, but I still had quite a bit of time to burn. I headed to McDonald's and spent too much money on a Chicken McNugget meal. There were no more seats in the gate area, so I used my luggage as a table. I decided to stand in line, and when boarding began about 25 minutes prior to departure, I was able to grab a window seat in row 4.
The nightmare began after I sat down. After 15 minutes past our departure time, the Captain came on the intercom notifying us about a mechanical problem. Mechanics were already working on the problem. 20 minutes quickly passed, and the doors were closed and armed. The flight attendants did their safety demonstrations, and the lights were dimmed. Shortly after the aircraft in front of us took off, we taxied onto the runway. The Captain powered the engines, and I thought we were taking-off. However, the engines were kept at minimum, and we made a huge U-turn back to Terminal 1. The Captain returned on the intercom, and he said the problem had re-emerged. We returned to the gate. After 15 minutes or so, a Customer Service Coordinator came on board updating us on the situation. The mechanics have decided to replace the part, and we would not need a change of aircraft. 15 minutes later, we were on our way to the runway.
Whatever happened on the ground was easily made up by Southwest's in-flight service. We were asked for our choice of beverage, and I chose apple juice. I got the whole can of Minute Maid Apple Juice and a snack pack. The snack pack included Planters Toast Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies, and Teddy Grahams Cubs. I was pleasantly surprised since I only expected two packs of peanuts.
I was so tired that I fell asleep after giving my trash to the flight attendants. When I woke up, I was thirsty, so I asked the flight attendants for some more apple juice. Another can of apple juice came with a cup-full of ice. Wow! I felt so spoiled.
We began our descent into the evening Austin sky. The flight attendants came by one last time to collect all their service items. It felt so good to be in Austin especially since the flight was delayed for over an hour. I enjoyed the flight, although the delay was a little disappointing.