Segment # 1
AirTran Flight 461 BWI-ATL.
I got up at 4:15 AM in order to catch the 4:45 AM light rail from my apartment in downtown Baltimore to BWI "Friendship" airport. I was surprised by the number of people on the light rail at 4:45; it was comprised of mostly airport workers. I had printed my boarding passes online the night before, but since the line at the ticket counter was short I went ahead and checked my bag. Security was a surprising breeze and I just walked around the D pier and studied the planes there overnight. The craft was AT a Boeing 717 in the new colors. Pushback was on-time and BWI was using 28 for departures that morning. We were #2 behind a new colors SW 737-700. The flight was uneventful and I listened to the XM radio. It was overcast once we left the DC suburbs until our initial decent into ATL. Landing was on ATL's Runway 26R. The aircraft was continuing onto Sarasota, FL.
Segment # 2
AirTran Flight # 792
Boarding commenced amazing early for this flight, despite a 50% at best load factor. The plane was an ex TWA craft and was still in the old AirTran colors. Pushback was ontime, although there was some significant ramp congestion. Take off was from ATL's Runway 26L. I always enjoy taxing past the DL maintenance base. Route of flight took us over Chattanooga, north of Nashville, Cape Girardeu, MO and into St. Louis. I was hoping landing was going to be on one of the 30's so I would have a nice view on the left side of downtown STL, however, STL was in East operations that day. Landing was on the (fairly) new Runway 11. It was a quick taxi back to the gate. The plane turned around to go back to ATL and it appeared to be a decent sized load.
Concourse C on Departure from ATL
This is a picture of the 717 after safe arrival in STL
St. Louis, to which I had been before was a great time. My dad and I stayed at the Hampton Inn near Union Station. Bonds didn't hit any home runs, although the Giants won both ballgames on Friday and Saturday evenings.. I'd rank the new St. Louis stadium in the middle of the newer parks. It in my humble opinion, was no where near as good as AT&T (SFO) Petco (SAN), PNC (PIT) or Comerica (DTW) although it was definitely much better than the old Bush. My dad and I had a car so we cruised around St. Louis and also cruised up the Great River Road.
We cruised around Missouri for a day and visited Jefferson City (State Capitol) and the University of Missouri in Columbia. I try and visit as many college campuses as possible, and my travels had never taken me to Columbia so it was nice to knock it off the list. We stayed in Columbia for the night, and I had the Bill Self suite at the Hilton Garden Inn.
The return trip was a little more eventful than the outbound trip.
The drive from Columbia took approximately two hours and we returned the Hertz Car around 12:30 for the 2:30 "Citrus" flight to Atlanta. This time I did not have my boarding pass, but there was no one in line at the kiosks. With the time to spare my dad and I walked around the STL airport including taking the long walk from D to E. I remember my first trip to STL on TWA when the D concourse was fairly busy.
AirTran Flight # 784
There was virtually a full load for this flight, which was good to see as the load in from ATL the previous Friday was disappointing. The aircraft came from ATL and was in the new color scheme (FL serves ATL and MCO from STL). Boarding and pushback were prompt, but unfortunately after we pushed back, we waited a few minutes for some straggling bags. The wait would prove costly. After the 3-4 minutes spent waiting on the bags We taxied to the end of Runway 30L for a departure to the Northwest. The female captain, stated we were #1 for departure and the second engine was started as we neared 30L. As we turned towards to Runway I noticed an AA MD-80 inbound for 30R abort its landing and go around. There was wind sheer reported in the area, so for approximately 10-15 minutes there was a halt on all arrivals and departures into STL. Unfortunately, we had lost our slot into ATL, so we taxied into a "penalty box" between the 30's. About 15 minutes later it was announced we wouldn't have enough fuel to take up back to Atlanta so we were heading back to the gate for more fuel......Good thing it was a 3 hour connection. The passengers were quite calm and this announcement did not appear to be met with any animosity. We refueled and were back off to the Runway. The winds had shifted, so this time we proceeded to 12R to take off to the Southeast. Once airborne the flight was very uneventful. It was cloudy the entire flight from take off until about 15 minutes prior to arrival. Landing (as usual) was to the West in Atlanta. We circled north of the field on continued a good ten minutes past the airport into the exploding eastern suburbs of Atlanta. Landing was on 26R over the abandoned Ford plant, one and a half hours late. The aircraft was continuing onto Indianapolis.
As a result of the delay, our original Chilli's dinner plans were scrapped and it was Atlanta Bread Company instead. My dad continued onto Richmond and I was going onto Baltimore.
AirTran Flight # 416
942 AT--Boeing 717
There isn't much to report on this flight. As uneventful as could be. I had been on this particular craft before back in 2002 on a MDW-ATL flight. Departure was approximately 30 minutes late. Departure was on 26L, which was somewhat of a surprise, because lately departures to the Northeast from Atlanta have taken off on the South side of the field and circled South of the field to do a turn to the East. Route was the unusual--approximately ATL-GSP-GSO-RIC-BWI. We had to circle and land to the East at BWI and we landed approximately 30 minutes late on BWI's Runway 10.
It was about a 15 minute wait for the light rail (didn't check bags), and the light rail at $3.40 round trip certainly always beats paying $10 a day for parking. I was having a hard time adding additional pictures. It said I had used up my profile limit--any suggestions.
Hope you enjoyed, feel free to send your critiques.
Go Cubs and Tigers