I decided to put my two days off to use once again and catch a ride to LAS
on good old AirTran. If the flights were close to on time, I'd have about two hours in LAS
to grab some food, blow some money on the slot machines, and do some people watching. This was going to be my first time on an AirTran 737, so I was looking forward to it. Although not as crazy as my two previous "there and back" trips to Dublin and London, this one was fun in its own right.
Below you'll see a brief description of each of my four flights, followed by the numerous pictures. All pictures were taken with a Canon PowerShot SD630.
This flight was pretty uneventful. I was offered a pre-departure beverage when I boarded. Push back was ten minutes early at 1:47pm from gate C9
with a load of about 90%. We were airborne from runway 19 just about five minutes after that. Flight time to ATL
was annouced as 1h07m. Once we passed cruising altitude a second beverage service was offered, as well as an assortment of snacks from a snack basket. The particular 717 had the newly refurbished leather business seats, which look very nice...more classy than the older cloth ones. The flight attendants were all polite and helpful. Pretty smooth toucbdown on the new runway, and we had an extremely long taxi (think 25 minutes) to the gate. You can't just breeze across two ATL
runways after all.
B737-700 (no winglets)
One big thing jumped out at me when I boarded this brand new -700 (besides that new plane smell of course): The coach seats are more comfortable than the 717 seats. I made my way to 10A and found it to be comfortable enough for a 3h50m flight, even with the business seat in front of me in a full recline. Certainly, it was just as comfortable as any Airbus narrowbody i've been on...I still can't help but laugh when I hear people say "oh the 319/320 series is so much more roomy and comfortable than the 737's!" Funny, I've been on over three dozen Airbus narrowbodies and over five dozen Boeing 737's, and I think they are equal in terms of passenger comfort. Anyway, the load wasn't that full today, about 90 out of 137. Push back was right on time at 6:25pm from gate C4. It took us over fifty minutes to get airborne thanks to the huge takeoff line. During the flight we were served three rounds of beverages, plus a pack of pretzels. I spent the entire flight listening to the XM
radio and enjoying the view, which really was especially gorgeous towards the end, as we flew right over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam under one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. Parked at gate 23 in the beautiful D concourse. The 73G is an amazing aircraft.
B737-700 (same aircraft)
Seat: 18F (exit row)
On time pushback at 10:25PM. I had the middle seat next to me open once again. The flight time was never annonced, but the captain said we would be at the gate on time, so probably about 3h25 min in the air. Not much to say about this flight. Well, for one thing, it was very smooth...nary a bump the whole way to ATL
. I fell asleep about thirty minutes into the flight after downing a Sprite. I woke up and we were about an hour outside of ATL
. Not much of a view (understandably) so I put on my iPod and listened to Elliott Smith and some of the Garden State soundtrack. Very smooth landing and we parked at gate C4.
Fairly light load on this one, about 60 or so. Pushed from gate C18 at 8:10am. We were airborne at 8:30am. Climbed up to FL
340 for our one hour and nine minute flight. I slept through the vast majority of this flight...I even missed the drink service, which is out of the norm for me. I did wake up in time to catch some views of Lake Pontchartrain, bayou country, and the Mississippi River as we approached runway 1. Very smooth touchdown...we only used about 3,000 feet of runway to come to a stop. Parked at gate C9
. Great flight all in all. I'm looking forward to seeing the new 717 seat cushions. The seats right now (on the non-TWA planes) are not uncomfortable, but they can use some more padding. It will be a nice improvement.
And now...the pictures. Apologies in advance since a couple of them came out blurry for some reason, but I included them since I think they add to this trip report.
1) My chariot arrives.
2) The new colors grow on you.
3) Nose shot.
4) Gorgeous aircraft.
7) Flight deck.
8) Lining up on runway 19.
9) Mississippi River.
10) The TPC of Louisiana golf course which is undergoing renovations from Katrina.
11) Somewhere over Alabama.
12) Will we ever make it to the gate? Very long taxi from the new runway.
13) I'm loving those winglets.
14) View from seat 10A.
15) Might as well enjoy this while it's around....
16) ...this one too...classic 732.
17) First time i've seen Frontier since October! A nice sight!
18) The rain came down as we waited in a huge takeoff line.
19) After nearly an hour, we were number three for departure.
20) About 18-20 aircraft behind us in line.
21) #1 for takeoff at last.
22) Las Vegas here we come!
23) Look at all those planes.
24) The always busy DL
25) Climbing through the muck.
26) Blue skies at last.
28) Chasing what appeared to be a UA
767 or 777.
29) The world through a window.
30) Stunning sky for the entire flight.
31) Interesting cloud formations.
32) Initial descent into LAS
34) Love that sunset.
35) Flying over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam.
36) Final approach.
37) Almost there...
39) Baording the same aircraft about 2.5 hours later.
40) The Strip.
41) Only in Vegas.
43) Kind of blurry but kind of neat.
here we come! (view from seat 26A)
45) About to be swallowed up by the low ceiling.
46) Everything's peaceful at 34,000 ft.
47) Lake Pontchartrain and the 24-mile Causeway toll bridge.
48) Bayou country not far from the airport.
49) Final approach.
50) Skirting the cargo ships.
That's all for now. I hope you guys enjoyed this one.