So on a whim I decided to take a non-rev adventure down to Ft. Myers Florida. The thing is that currently we are in the middle of the spring break rush, and getting from MKE to RSW is going to be a huge pain. I called a friend in RSW and said that I was coming, and that a friend who is a captain for Skyway would also be coming along. My friend jumpseating as we speak from MSP to RSW and I am in my seat writing this. I called a friend at the YX pass bureau to get a ticket for YX flight 818 departing at 1555, she booked me an e-ticket and I went to the YX counter to have them print it out, and list me on the flight. At the counter the YX agents were smooth and helpful, and I was in and out of line in 15 minutes. The ticket agent informed me that the flight was booked to139 of 143, and that I was number three on the list. Not the greatest of odds. I gathered my belongings and headed to my gate.
The flight was departing out of D-47, and by the looks of it they were about ¾ of the way done already. There was a LAS flight boarding right next door, so the end of the hammer head was quite busy, I presented my pass to the agent at the counter and she politely told me to wait a few minutes. At this point I’m a bit nervous about making the flight. If I was traveling alone, it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but meeting up with someone who is jumpseating in from another city adds a degree of difficulty to the situation. At last the agent handed me a boarding pass and said that I had gotten the last seat on the aircraft, seat 23B. I thanked her and proceeded to go to the plane. As I entered the plane I was warmly greeted by the lead flight attendant. I asked if she’d prefer that I gate check my carryon. I told her that I wanted the revenue passengers to have space, and that I’d have no problem getting my bag in RSW. The flight attendant said that she had saved some bin space, and that I could throw my bag above row 8. Not a big deal, because I don’t really need my clothes while on the plane.
I took my seat on the plane and there was a rather portly man next to me. He struck up a conversation, and I found out that he was a land developer. Not really a career that I am too interested in, but then he started to talked about airplanes. Bingo! A decent seat mate for once. We talked about the financial state of the airlines, mainly YX, DL, and NW. We also discussed flying in general. Apparently he had recently had the pleasure of riding on a Citation X, and he couldn’t be more proud of that. I was jealous, the Citation X is an awesome airplane, and it’s on my list of private jets that I want to fly, along with the Global Express, and the Gulfstream V.
Looking out the window I could see that ASIG was in the final stages of a Type IV application. MKE was supposed to get 3-8 inches of snow, but so far it hadn’t been as bad as predicted. I looked around at the airplane, and it was in pretty good shape. YX puts 143 seats in their Saver Service MD-80’s. 143 seats is a good number, it’s a crowded plane, but you still have decent pitch, and currently two hours into the flight I can still feel my legs. This particular MD-80 was registered N813ME and looked to be in overall good condition.
We pushed back about ten minutes late, that’s pretty good for YX, they don’t have the best on time numbers in the business, but they try to wait for all of their passengers that way they don’t have too many complaints. We pushed out and the captain started the number one engine. I hadn’t been on a mad dog in a while and I had forgotten how noisy they were, but it is still tolerable. We did a single engine taxi, and the proceeded to head out to 19L for take off. We were number one in line, so we turned the corner, ad the captain throttled up quickly. It was a long take off; we were full of passengers and bags. I always like it when you hit about 80kts and the Type IV begins to shear off of the wing.
We climbed out of MKE pretty quickly, and within ten minutes I had my laptop out, and began to watch Anchorman. While watching the movie, we hit a bit of turbulence near the BNA area. Our routing for the trip was OBK J73 SZW JOSFF1, and our assigned altitude was approximately 33,000 ft, with airspeed of 442 kts. It took approximately 17 minutes for us to reach 33,000 feet, and we stayed there for 2 hours and 48 minutes. We began our decent to the RSW airport and it was a rather quick approach. It took 19 minutes from initial descent to touchdown, landing from the southwest. We pulled into the gate about twenty minutes late, but no big deal. It took about ten minutes for the passengers to deplane in front of me due to an overwhelming number of children. I always though that RSW was a market for people without children, but times are changing I guess.
All in all it was a good trip on YX. I was given the whole can of Pepsi, and a bag of pretzels. The flight was backed, but the flight attendants still managed to do a good job. Now the next question is how in the hell am I going to get out of RSW? YX has 13 open seats on Sunday evening, but the face a weight restriction. I have tickets for USA3000, NK, DL, and can always go on FL. I’ll fill you in with the rest of my trip when I finally get out of here. This was my first trip report, and I hope I did somewhat of a good job.