So I'm sure after reading the title of this report, you must be thinking that there's some sort of mistake. I mean, a trip report from Mke717spotter not on Funjet/Ryan International Airlines? You probably didn't think that would be possible huh? Well in that case I guess we can all breathe a fresh sigh of relief because I finally took matters into my own hands and was able to fly on a "real" airline for once. For those of you who don't know, my last 4/5 flights had been from MKE
on Funjet/Ryan International Airlines Charter (Check my out my other trip reports below for more info) and I was getting quite sick of it to say the least.
I had been planning on going for a daytrip for about the past year or so, but I was too lazy and just never got around to booking any flights. Then a few weeks ago I finally got more serious about it and starting lookin around at some options. I decided this might be my last chance to fly on NW
and the DC-9 so that pretty much made the decision for me. Of course, I would have preferred to fly to/from MKE
, but a one way flight MKE
was well over $300, a bit out of my budget to say the least lol. Then I checked prices out of ORD
and found those to be much more manageable, only $75 each way. I was considering flying NW
out to DTW
and then maybe AA
on the way back but eventually just decided to do NW
for both flights. So I drove up to MKE
, paid for my flights and then anxiously waited for my upcoming flights...(Sept. 20)
My flight to DTW
was scheduled to depart at noon so I left my house at about 9 AM
and started driving towards ORD
. After getting through that maze of roadwork in northern Illinois, I arrived at the airport about two hours before departure and dropped my car off at the Economy Parking lot.
While I go to ORD
pretty often to drop off/pick up my relatives for their flights to/from Poland, it had been a while since I've actually flown through there. I took the airport tram over to terminal 2 and then headed down to check in for both of my flights. The NW
ticket counters were pretty quiet so it wasn't long before I found myself in front of one of those self-ticketing machines.
I wasn't even sure where to begin since I've never used one of those machines before, so I just waited until one of the NW
guys came by to help me out. Then with both of my boarding passes in hand, I headed for security. There was only about ten people in front of me to get checked so I thought it would go quick but I ended up sitting in line for almost fifteen minutes until I eventually got through. After putting my shoes back on, I made the walk down to E11 to check out the Diesel 9 that would be taking me to DTW
With plenty of time to spare before boarding, I checked out the surrounding gates and did some spotting. On the opposite side of the concourse I had my first sighting of a B6
E-190 that had just pulled in from JFK
Being at ORD
, there was an abundance of UA
traffic almost everywhere you looked.
I hadn't eaten anything yet that morning so I got some McDonalds and then went to do a little bit more spotting. This uniquely painted Skywest CRJ was getting ready to go to SAT
738 pushed back and set to go to HOU
Still with time to spare, I went over to the F gates on the other side of the concourse where I got a better view of my flight parked at the gate.
US 734 pushing back for its flight to PHL
With that, I headed back over to the gate and waited to board. As the gate agent announced boarding for the DTW
flight, I caught a glimpse of a NW
CRJ-900 arriving from MEM
Anyways, I proceeded down the jetway and made my way back to 17F aboard this old workhorse.
I gotta admit, it was kinda weird finally being on something other than a 738, but I'm sure it was a "good" kind of weird. I had checked NWA.com the night before and the seat map showed this flight to be almost full so I was a bit surprised that almost half the seats were empty. I was sitting on the side with 3 seats but there was only someone in the aisle seat. Unfortunately I wasn't lucky enough to have our DC-9 do a power back from the gate, but the classic, noisy engine start up after pushback was still one of the things I looked forward to. Once we started taxing to the runway I spotted another DC-9 flight from DTW
that had arrived at the gate next to us.
After a quick taxi and short a short wait, we turned onto runway 32L and the engines spooled up sending on our way and into the air as we climbed out over North Illinois and continued flying up along the coast of Lake Michigan into southern Wisconsin. It was loud, but it wasn't as loud as I thought it would be.
Now this was a bit special for me because right as we turned to the east to head out over the lake and to DTW
we flew over my hometown of Racine, WI
and I was even able to spot my house!
The flight attendants came through the aisle and I opted for a glass of Pepsi. Aside from a few light bumps during climbout, the flight was pretty smooth. I guess I must have been spoiled by the 3-4 hour flights I've been going on lately because I got caught a bit off guard by how quickly this one went by. It wasn't long before the captain announced the start of our descent into DTW
The flaps and gear came down as we came in from the north and made a smooth landing on runway 22R with the thrust reversers kicking in full gear with authority. Again, it was loud but not as loud as I thought it would be.
After exiting the runway we made a rather long taxi back to the terminal before shutting down our engines at gate A35. When I exited the aircraft and entered the terminal it took me a while to realize that its just a long, straight hallway. I noticed right away that it would be tough to take good pictures here because there were tiny black dots all over the windows. Anyways, my flight back to ORD
was supposed to depart from the other end of the concourse so I figured I'd just walk along the entire thing taking pictures along the way. I had three hours of spare time before my 5PM departure so I was in no hurry.
Couple of CRJ-900s parked at the B/C gates.
DC-9 flight to CMH
prepping at the gate.
A "friendly face" so to speak departing from gate A15.
A couple of gates down there were 2 other DC-9s that would also both depart to ORD
later in the day.
Another diesel 9, this one having just arrived from MEM
757 flight to BOS
When I got back to the middle of the concourse, I bought some Starbucks and sipped on that while I watched this interesting/cool fountain they got there which I've seen pictures of in a few other TRs on here.
Then it was back to some more spotting. Here's some more DC-9 pics for ya, these flights were goin to ATL
Out of the sea of red, the only non NW
aircraft parked at the terminal was this AF
After a long walk I finally got to my departure gate A74, but the flight hadn't arrived from SAN
yet so I decided I'd head over and check out the NW
Airlink terminal in the meantime. In order to get from the A gates to the B/C gates you have to take an underground tunnel which is pretty cool looking and colorful.
There wasn't to much goin on over here, but I did get a shot of a CRJ to AZO
and a Saab to MKG.
At that point I was getting tired of all the walking, so I took the opportunity to take the airport tram back to my departure gate.
I ate some Taco Bell and then went over and saw our A320 at the gate getting prepped for departure.
Parked next to our A320 was another NW
Airbus that was going to DCA
, this was only one of two NW
mainline aircraft I saw that day that weren't painted in the new colors.
Anyways, until boarding was called I watched some of the Michigan State - Notre Dame game on one of the bar TVs. When they finally did call for boarding I was one of the first ones on the plane and I took a seat in 20F. Also checking the seatmap of this flight the previous day on nwa.com it showed about half the seats filled, but I don't even know if it was that much. I'd have to guess the plane was about 40% so another empty flight. No wonder these tickets were so cheap eh? We pushed back from the gate on time and you could really notice how much of a distinct difference there was between the DC-9 and the A320 engine startup. It seemed so much quieter this time around. On our way to the runway we taxied past the North terminal and it was completely deserted.
The captain announced we were number one for takeoff and we quickly turned onto runway 22L and departed with a sharp turn to the west right after takeoff.
Almost immediately after takeoff the flight attendants started coming through the cabin with the drink service and again I got a glass of Pepsi. While I got up to use the bathroom I took a pic of the sparsely filled A320 cabin.
Remember when I said that I thought the DC-9 flight went by fast? That doesn't even compare to how quickly this one went by. Right after I got back to my seat from the restroom we crossed over Lake Michigan and started our descent into ORD
. We made a direct flyover of ORD
before turning around to line up for landing.
Flaps and gear came down as the captain made a smooth landing on runway 4R to conclude an eventful day of flying.
While taxing to the gate I was able to get a pic of a LOT 767 parked at the international terminal in between a couple of AA
We parked at the gate next to where I had departed earlier in the day. A company A320 from MSP
was also at the NW
I got one last look of the A320 that brought to ORD
as I headed for the tram for the ride back to the parking lot. I got my car back and then started the one hour drive back to Racine.
Well there ya go that was my 7th trip report and I hope you enjoyed it! Overall it was a great experience on NW
and I hope its not the last time I get to fly them. The same goes for the DC-9, very refreshing to fly on one of those and hopefully its not the last. Thanks a lot for reading and comments are always appreciated!
My other trip reports:
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.