This trip was booked for me after I successfully passed a phone screening for a company in Ft. Wayne, IN
. I had an option to drive for the interview, but being the aviation nerd that I am, plus looking at the weather forecasts, I decided that flying was a better option. Actually in hindsight, I probably should have driven. I realized that my flight was through ORD
and when weather gets going in ORD
, delays are inevitable. But luckily, everything worked out and now I'm waiting to hear back from the company. I was to fly out thursday afternoon and return was friday. I decided to break my journey in chicago and I took this opportunity to meet up with my sister who stays in chicago. I probably could have asked the company to alter the travel arrangements so that I wouldn't have to pay anything for my flights, but for some reason I didn't ask them and ended up purchasing a one-way WN
ticket back to CMH
for about $59, which wasn't too bad of a deal.
There is no direct flight from CMH
, therefore the choices were UA
, or DL
. Before I could even state my preference, I got an email from the lady from the company and told me that she wanted to book me on this one itinerary. This was on UA
. Since I am a United Mileage Plus member, I figured these would be free 1500 miles plus 3 segments
So without any hesitation, I agreed. So, I would leave CMH
thursday, stay the weekend in chicago, then fly back Sunday night. (or so I thought)!!! Plus I would get to try out my new camera that I purchased at the Thanksgiving sale (didn't wake up early though).
**Sorry about the image quality in some pictures. I'm still learning how to use my new camera**
The week of Dec. 3rd was finals week at Ohio State. I had 3 exams on Tuesday and one exam on Wednesday and by Wednesday afternoon, my brain was completely drained. I was ready for this mini-break and was looking forward at a chance to spot at ORD
and feed my need to check out some heavies. I was really excited.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
7580 (Operated by United Express/Shuttle America)
Depart: 1:27 pm
Arrive: 1:59 pm
Our route for this short flight
I had thursday off, therefore I took my time getting up on Thursday. My sister was to drop me off at the airport and we left our house in Blacklick by 12:15 and were at the airport by 12:35 pm without any problems. She dropped me off and I said my goodbyes and I was in the UA
check-in line. There were about 5 people in front of me out of which two were traveling abroad. The agents were there to assist; however the check-in was being done using the automated check-in machines. I added my United Mileage Plus number and got my boarding passes for both the flight to ORD
as well as the flight to FWA
. I proceeded to security and was through in no time. Boarding was to start at 1:12 pm so I pretty much sat and was on the phone just until they forced me to turn it off in the plane
A picture I took from my house
This plane was the E70 which was named as "Explus" by United, which is supposed to be a comfortable small plane. Well, my first impression was that the interior did seem roomy, although I believe there was no Channel 9 and no overhead LCD
screens. So that was the only let down as one of the best features of UA
is channel 9 service. The load was pretty normal I'd say for this flight as I only spotted a few seats empty. Unfortunately I sat next to a very very big man who's part of the body kinda "flowed" into my seat. I didn't really care cause it was a very short flight. If it were an international flight, I probably would have gotten up and asked for a seat change...
The safety demonstration was done manually and we were #1 to take-off from 28R. For a small jet, this plane has a powerful takeoff, which I enjoyed. We took off and I could spot the Easton market below as well as other freeways before the whiteness of the snow took over and I couldn't recognize stuff because it was too bright and small. At 10,000 ft, I turned my Ipod on and listened to music and I didn't really think of taking any pictures. A small drink service was offered on this short flight and I opted for Ginger Ale as that is my drink of choice on flights. I don't drink any sort of dark drinks because they have Phosphoric Acid in them, which deteriorates the human bones. Sorry for this info you coke lovers
But do read the ingredients, it's listed
I was on the right side of the plane and I missed the downtown view on the left side. So much for a picture opportunity
No harm done though as I was looking forward to taking pictures of some international heavies. We landed at T1 and my next flight was from T2
F gates. Overall the flight was decent. It wasn't anything special and it wasn't bad. I would liked to not share my seat with another person, but it wasn't really UA
's fault. Overall a great flight.
Snow on the ground everywhere
Spotting a LH
heavy while taxiing to T1
After landing, I had an opportunity to take the shuttle, but i opted to walk the terminal and check out ORD
up close & personal. I walked the entire terminal and made it all the way to the AA
gates and then realized that it wasn't such a great spot to take pictures. So I picked up a burrito from the food court near the AA
terminal and walked all the way to the end of the F gates and this gave me a perfect spot to take pictures as most of the biggies were landing at the runway opposite and would taxi right in front of me as well.
Underground Tunnel from T1 to T2
Visitors at ORD
The hallway where Kevin ran and missed his flight to France in Home Alone 2
Another picture with the Xmas decorations
Now it's time for the spotting pictures. This definitely was a nice spot to take pictures of the biggies arriving and leaving. I got to see plenty of international carriers until it got dark and then it was time for me to leave to catch my next flight.
747 arriving from LHR
PrivatAir departing to Germany
Heavy Departing to ???
Heavy arriving from ???
USA 3000, AA
Heavy and a small private jet
Heavy, different livery
LOT Polish Airlines arriving from WAW
A340 arriving from MAD
arriving from CDG
Aer Lingus Airbus
Aer Lingus Again
A340 arriving from ZRH
(I waited & waited to take this shot, and this truck showed up ruining the picture)
After a wonderful spotting session, it was time for me to go to the gate where my flight to FWA
was to board from. The aircraft hadn't arrived yet so we ended up waiting for about five-ten minutes. The A/C arrived and it took about 10 minutes for the crew to let us board.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
6024 (Operated by United Express/Skywest)
CRJ - Canadair Regional
Depart: 4:32 pm
Arrive: 6:29 pm
After boarding, we were told the flight load was very light and we all could have whole rows to ourselves. But the person sitting next to me decided not to move and I didn't move either because of the window seat ahead of the wings. We struck a conversation and we talked until it was time for us to take off. Again the demonstration was done manually and we were off to FWA
in no time. The flight time was a meager 29 minutes. It felt like it took more time for us to ascend and descend rather than cruising
There was no drink service for this flight. We arrived at FWA
about five minutes early and I headed straight to get my luggage and pick-up my rental car that the company had reserved for me. I ended up with a Kia Rio but I wasn't about to complain. This day had taken a toll on me so I decided to get dinner and head for my hotel room and sleep as the next day I had to wake up at 6 am to reach the company by 8 am for my interview.
Takeoff from ORD
One last one
My hotel room for the night (Courtyard by Marriott)
Another picture of the hotel room
Friday, December 7, 2007
6024 (Operated by United Express/Skywest)
CRJ - Canadair Regional
Depart: 6:55 pm
Arrive: 7:05 pm
Load: 5 people
The next day, I had the longest day in my life. I had six interviews from different people and by the end of the day, my voice was gone and I could barely speak. I got done by 5:00 and headed back to the airport. I had to fill up the rental car with gas as well as grab some dinner. So I stopped at an exit and filled the car up and grabbed some dinner. I got to the airport by 5:45 pm and proceeded to return the rental car and check-in for my flight to ORD
. I was told that this flight only had 5 people on board today. An extremely light load I thought
I got my bag checked-in to ORD
as I was gonna stay over in Chicago for the weekend. I proceeded through TSA
security and went upstairs. FWA
has a small aviation museum and I decided to check it out. Here are some pictures.
After that I proceeded to the gate. I got to know that due to ORD
ATC delay, the flight was coming in a little late and leaving around 7:45 pm. I roamed around this small municipal airport and found desktops that had free internet. So I took some time to catch up on email, news, ESPN, soccernet, cricinfo etc. etc. That passed the time well and I also took pictures to show how deserted this airport looks at 6:30 pm.
The flight landed from ORD
and we were boarding in no time. Since there was only 5 of us, boarding only took about 5 minutes and we were off and ready to go. Unfortunately, there was a 30 minute delay announced due to ORD
ATC. So we stood at the tarmac for 30 mins and the FA
gave us some water due to this delay. She was really friendly and offered drinks after takeoff as well. We landed in ORD
after a quick 31 minute flight and I was on my way to my sister's place to have fun.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Depart: 10:07 pm
Arrive: 11:59 pm
I started off pretty late for the airport. I had to catch the orange line to MDW
and I misjudged the time req'd. Therefore I got to the airport 30 minutes prior to departure time of the flight. My bag was late checked and I was pretty much one of the last people to board the plane. The load seemed ok as everyone had a middle seat empty. I found a row to myself towards the end, but to my dismay, a couple came in after me and decided to sit next to me. It was fine I figured, another 1 hr flight so it shouldn't be bad. So after boarding, we were told that we would have a delay because the plane would need deicing as well as they would wait for about 20 bags to be loaded. I figured now my bag will definitely make it on this flight. So after a powerful B737 takeoff, we were up and on our way to CMH
. At 10,000 ft again, I started my Ipod as I had no interest in listening to the conversation of the couple. So after about an hour into the flight, the pilot comes and tells us that we would be in a holding pattern because the fog is quite dense and the visibility is only about half a mile. So he said we would be in this pattern for about 30 mins and then see the situation.
So 30 minutes later, he tells us that weather has actually gotten worse and the visibility now is less then .25 of a mile, which is less than minimum required to land. CMH
instructed us to go back to MDW
so we started heading back to MDW
. An hour later, we land at MDW
and the pilot tells us that we would just re-fuel and take-off again. I was liking the updates but I definitely didn't like the fact that we would take off again after re-fueling. Well we were in the plane for 30 minutes and finally the good news came that the flight had been canceled and we would be allowed to deboard the plane. A sigh of relief. So we all de-boarded and waited to see what our options were. 30-40 minutes later, we were told that the flight would leave at 4:45 am and we would be using the same plane. Food had also been arranged at a hot-dog place at the food court. So I grabbed some food and then tried to sleep. Sleeping at MDW
is nearly impossible. I tried to sleep in this rocking chair and the "The walking way is coming to an end" announcement was right over my head. Then I tried sleeping on the floor, but it was too hard. Then i finally managed to use on of the stools as the middle part between the two chairs to make into a bed. I got about 1.5 hrs of sleep and it was time for boarding again.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Depart: 5:39 am
Arrive: 7:19 am
Since no one had boarding passes, WN
just called us by the last name in the order we checked in. I was in Group A so I got to board pretty quickly. I boarded and settled in 14A and passed out. I don't even remember the take-off and the landing part. After landing, my seatmate woke me up and I called up my mom to pick me up. I got home by 8:00 am. I took a shower and had to be at work by 8:30 am. I somehow managed to get to work on time and then I was sipping coffee the entire day to keep me awake. Unfortunately it wasn't really working out, so I managed to leave at 3:30 pm and drive back home. Only god knows how I made it home. I got into my bed and woke up the next day. I guess the lack of sleep plus the weather took a toll on my body as I'm sitting here sick with cold & fever
Overall it was a crappy WN
flight. Turned out a 2.5 hr flight and we ended up nowhere. Not really WN
's fault though. The pilot was really informative and kept us up to date with all the information and the service was really friendly with helping everyone out in this type of situation with the food and providing pillows & blankets for all the passengers. There were apparently 2 flights that went through the same thing, therefore they took care of both flights. Kudos to them. I would have liked to sleep more, but oh well.
Hope you guys enjoyed this trip report. Comments / Suggestions & Feedback is always appreciated so I can make my future trip reports better for you guys
Thanks for reading!!!
Pictures from the city of Chicago:
[Edited 2007-12-14 21:40:00]