First off, I apologize for not having any photos. I was taking this trip with 4 others with the purpose of going to see two friends get married. After driving half way to PHL, I completely remembered that I did not grab by camera on the way out the door. Oh well. Onto the details!
I chose WN because I have never flown them and have always wanted to try flying them even though I live kind of far from PHL. I usually fly out of EWR or LGA. I mostly fly Conti, DL, Song. I have tried Air Tran out of LGA, US out of PHL, and YX out of EWR as well. I now wanted to now add WN to this list.
Friday November 4
Scheduled DT: 8:40AM
Actual Pushback: On Time at 8:40AM
Scheduled Arrival: 9:55AM
Actual Arrival: 10:00AM at gate.
Equipment: Boeing 737-700 (old livery) N764SW
Arrived to the long term economy lot at about 630AM and found a nice spot. My friends and I already had checked in online to get "A" group boarding, but needed to go to the check-in counter to check our bags. I was greeted by a very friendly young lady. She took our bags and wished us well. My friends and I then went to our gate which was E-9 or 10. (It was one of the gates all the way at the end of the E concourse) Security looked packed but it only took 10 minutes to get through. I grabbed a bagel, and went to the end to notice that there were many other WN flights that were closed to their departure time. I took a seat for a few minutes and spotted. I then got in line with the "A" group once I noticed other passengers starting to form lines.
At about 8:25 an employee explained the boarding proscess. (I was surprised it didn't start earlier because this plane was there when we arrived at the gate. This plane must have been a plane sitting over night. My group was called and I headed down the jet way where I was immediately greeted by two F/A's.
Everyone of course was taking seats at the front and not letting us pass. THe one F/A came on and politely asked everyone to settle down as quickly as possible for an On Time departure. They truly seemed dedicated to getting this plane off as quickly as possible. I took a seat in the emergency exit row over the right wing. We were then greeted by one of the F/A's Shelby who explained to us our responsibilities. She stood by in the other row and I began conversing with her about WN and some of their procedures and how I thought it was amazing how they do 20 minute turns. She said its a fun challenge, but very hard when you have 137 passengers unloading, and then 137 to be put back on. She also said our group was an easy group today because we only had 60 passengers on board. Prior to the doors closing the F/0 came out of the cockpit and talked to the PA and welcomed us which is something I have never seen before.
Push back was right on time and after about 4 seconds of moving away from the gate the pilot went to start the number 2 engine which shocked me! F/A's gave the safety instructions and cracked the only joke of the flight.They really don't was any time with anything! The F/A giving the instrucions said if there was a loss of pressure oxygen masks would drop and that adults should put their masks on and then help out a child or anyone who acts like a child. Kind of corny, but funny at the same time. We taxied to 27 R where we waited for about 30 minutes before we took off which lead us to being five minutes late to the gate at PIT. No big deal really.
This trip kept being full of surprises. As we were holding on the runway the pilots held the brakes and pushed the thrust up and released the brakes after about 8 seconds. I don't really understand why this was done considering the length of the runway. This 737-700 darted down the runway and got off the ground so quickly. I really enjoy the roar of the 737-700 on take off. IT seems much more powerful than any of the other 737 series I have been on. We quickly climbed and cruised at 22,000. Shelby came by and took our drink orders. I have heard of this being done before, but this was a first for me. I think it adds a really nice personable touch that many airlines should mirror when possible. Shelby came back a few minutes later with my apple juice and peanuts. After my quick delicious snack I tried to rest because I was very tired, but wasn't able to. However, I do feel that the leather seats on WN were very nice. It was also nice having a ton of leg room in front of me.
As we started to descend the pilot came on and thanked us for flying WN, that we should be arriving at the gate close to arrival time, and that it may get a little bumpy due to gusty winds. The bumps really weren't as bad as I anticipated. The mountains and scenery looked great as we descended into PIT. The pilot or autopilot kept making corrections constantly after the gear went down and we were at full flap setting. We obviously were battling cross winds. The plane constantly was moving right to left and vice versa all the way until we touched down along with the throttles reving up and then going back down. Landing was surprising very smooth. I expected it to be rough because of the winds. Once we got off we taxied very fast to the gate. We pulled into gate 1 next to another WN 737-700 in the new colors. As I grabbed my carry on I noticed two of the F/A's already cleaning in the front seats of the plane. They really are dedicated to those quick turns! Shelby and the Captain wished my friends and I well as we left.
This was my frist time on WN and I thought they were great and would take them again in an instant even though it would involve driving 90 minutes or so. Every employee I encountered was great and seemed really dedicated to their job. Can't beat the price either. 29 dollars one way is cheaper then probably filling up my friends SUV that we would have taken. I know many people have had their bad experiences on WN, but this was not the case on this trip. Look for my return trip in a day or two which was just as good as this one. This week I will also be trying B6 for the first time, so look for my RT JFK-ROC report next week! Hopefully i won't forget my camera again.