Welcome back to my next trip report, a short trip to visit my roommate and his girlfriend in SE
Pennsylvania / New Jersey over spring break.
Flagship Detroit DC-3
Not a whole lot of background. This trip kind of happened on a spur of the moment about a week and a half before spring break started. Tickets were purchased on the airlines' respective websites (AA was $89 sans taxes, WN
was $114 sans taxes, IIRC). I used electronic upgrades for both upgraded segments.
Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
As this was a short trip, I attempted to maximize my time up there by getting an early flight. Well, my best option was the 6:00 am flight to ORD
. As such, I never went to sleep. I left for the airport about 3:40, getting to the Airport FastPark about 4:00. I didn't have to stop at all on the way there, and I really think I could count on one hand the amount of cars I saw. Parking was easy, and about 10 minutes later, I was inside the terminal. I checked in with ease, checking my bag through to PHL
. Suffice to say, the airport was empty, and I was through security by 4:30. My flight was scheduled to board at 5:30, so I plugged in my laptop, and played a game of StarCraft (retro, I know!).
That preoccupied me until about 5:15, and shortly thereafter, boarding began for this really light flight up to ORD
Scheduled Departure: 0600
Departure Gate: 17
Seat: 4A (and 4F)
Departure Runway: 17L
Cruising Altitude: FL 370
Cruising Airspeed: 442 KIAS
Route: AUS2.LZZ FUZ MLC SGF J105 BDF.BDF5
Arrival Runway: 4R
Arrival Gate: K15
Scheduled Arrival: 0835
325, according to FlightAware
We pushed back early, and taxied to 17L. Our two JT8D-219s powered us skyward, and we made a turn to the west, then northwest to join the departure. It was still well before sunrise, but I was already anticipating the opportunity to get some awesome shots of it. The load was really light today (5/16 in F, 62/120 in Y, IIRC), so I had plenty of room to move around (everybody was behind me in F). Service was a continental breakfast , which consisted of sliced fresh fruit with choice of a bagel or biscuit. I scarfed that down, and got ready for the sunrise. Little did I know how beautiful it was actually going to be. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Note: This is my first TR
using my new Canon DSLR, so I've lost video capability, but hopefully my pictures will be a little bit better.
First rays of light over Dallas
Sunrise over Oklahoma (about the only nice thing about that state!
The rest of the flight continued uneventfully (I read and played around on the computer). The morning grew, and eventually we began our descent into ORD
from the southwest.
Descending into ORD
Final for 4R
Over the numbers
772 at K17
I was the first one off the plane, and made my way over to H14 for my flight to PHL
, with a quick stop off at McDonald's for a proper breakfast (lol).
Scheduled Departure: 0945
Departure Gate: H14
Departure Runway: 4L
Cruising Altitude: FL 370
Cruising Airspeed: 424 KIAS
Route: MOBLE ADIME GERBS J146 CXR EWC JST BOJID1
Arrival Runway: 27R
Arrival Gate: A9
Scheduled Arrival: 1240
2001, according to FlightAware
This flight was a lot quicker than I thought it would be. We pushed back a little early, and quickly taxied to 4L.
We jetted into the Illinois morning, and made an immediate turn east.
We quickly made it up to FL
370, and a beverage service with the Premium Snack Mix was done.
Cruising over Ohio
After what was a much shorter flight than expected, we began our descent into the crowded NE Corridor airspace. Surprisingly there was no hold, just a little bit of vectoring for sequence.
Philadelphia Shipyard on final for 27R
Over the numbers
We quickly taxied to the gate, and I made my way over to baggage claim. After a short wait there, my bag was the 2nd one off. Lucky me! I was picked up by my roommate, and we made a b-line for Pat's. I'd been craving a real Philly Cheese Steak for a long time. Whiz witout please!
Saturday, March 21st, 2009
After a fun, easy-going vacation, it was time to head back to Austin, and school. Many of you may know my dislike for WN
, and I tried everything to avoid them. Alas, they were the only airline that even remotely fit my desired schedule, and I didn't feel like taking the Greyhound home (though the fact that it crossed my mind should be testament enough to how much I didn't want to fly WN
!). I managed to check-in almost exactly 24 hours prior (I think 23 hours 59 minutes prior), and secured myself A35. We made it to the airport about 12:30, for my 2:35 flight. Curbside check-in took a little while, but I had my boarding pass in hand and made my way to security, where quite a line awaited me. It moved reasonably fast (they had the three divisions, and surprisingly, the Expert Traveler line did go faster). I was through about 1:10. I had plenty of time to kill. I walked to the end of the D concourse and took some pictures, but I was shooting into the sun, so none of them turned out very well. I chatted for a bit with a WN
F/O about the industry, and read a little bit, as well. Finally, N214WN pulled into D2.
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I got on board. I figured the front-most seats and the exit-rows would be taken, so I knew at the very least I could get a window somewhere. I really think I wound up with the best seat on the plane, 12F. Row 12 is right behind the overwing exit, and there is no F seat in row 11 (exit row), so I had two rows of legroom! Not too shabby!
View from 12F The winglets sure make the wing look bigger!
It took a really long time to get everyone on board, and we wound up leaving about 20 minutes late.
Scheduled Departure: 1435
Departure Gate: D2
Departure Runway: 27L
Cruising Altitude: FL 380
Cruising Airspeed: 447 KIAS
Route: TXE PENSY J110 FLIRT J6 LIT J131 TXK WINDU.BLEWE1
Arrival Runway: 17L
Arrival Gate: 10
Scheduled Arrival: 1745
1331, according to FlightAware'
We pushed back late, and taxied to 27L.
Rolling on 27L
This flight was very uneventful. I had some reading to catch up on so I did that. Snack service consited of our choice of Cheese Crackers and 100 calorie packs of Chips Ahoy and Lorna Donne shortbread. A perfectly acceptable offering, and sadly light years ahead of what AA
offers on such a flight.
Eventually, we began our descent into AUS
Descending over Central Texas
Short final for 17L
Over the numbers (note the B24 holding short)
We taxied (slowly...surprising for WN
) to gate 10, where we pulled in, 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
Spirit of Kitty Hawk pulling into gate 9.
I deplaned, and eventually got my bag from the crowded WN
baggage claim. I got my car, and made it home in time to watch UT break my heart, barely losing to Duke in the 2nd round.
Hope you all enjoyed! Comments/Questions always appreciated.
My next report will be coming tomorrow, a proper A.nutter trip report to BNA