Hello there my friends, once again I'm back with another trip report. When I got back from PUJ
a few months ago, I got that urge again to plan out another daytrip. I had never flown on one of YX
's 717s before and with them being on the verge of losing their remaining nine, I knew I had to try one out before they left. After mulling over whether to go to LAS
, I finally settled on MCO
only has one flight a day to MCO
, so I went with NW
on the return as that way I'd have some spare time to hang around the airport. Like my last daytrip, fellow A-netter Legacytravel took care of the bookings so I thank him for that!
And now on with the report...(May 24)
I don't know if my parents would've cared or not if they knew I was going flying for the day, but I was too lazy to argue so I just decided not to tell them.
After spending the night at my friend’s apartment, we got up at about 7:15 AM
and started driving up to Mitchell Field for my 9:20 AM
departure. Traffic was light and after getting dropped off by ticket counters at 7:45 AM
, I found the entire place to be deserted. There was absolutely nobody in line at YX
's counters and I was set to go with my boarding pass literally only a minute after I had walked in through the door.
I headed upstairs and as usual I went over to Cinnabon for a quick breakfast. Next stop was security and like the YX
counters, there was nobody else in line. I then found myself in the D concourse, a concourse I had not been at in quite some time. After walking around a bit I soon realized why it was such a ghost town around here. Aside from my 717, there were only two other planes parked at the entire concourse - a YX
E170 and a ZK
With not much else to look at, I headed over to gate D43 and my 717 to MCO
. This would be my second ever 717 flight as the first one was a few years back on FL TPA
There was still plenty of time before boarding, so I kinda just walked around the concourse. Here's the ZK
B1900 that I mentioned.
There was only one person on this flight! Is it just me, or does it seem like whenever I read about ZK
flights on here there's only like one or two pax onboard? That can't be good for business. Anyways, here's an overview shot of the E gates.
I spent the rest of the time sitting at the gate waiting for boarding. Announcements were made at the gate giving people the opportunity to upgrade to signature seats at a cost of $35, but I decided to pass on it. Boarding started about thirty minutes before departure and after heading down the jetway I took my first step ever onto one of YX
's 717s and made my way back to 19F.
Now to me, legroom is not a big deal and I hardly ever make note of it, but surprisingly enough even I noticed that the saver seating in the back had a pretty good amount of space. Definitely better than NW
's domestic coach.
After an on time push back from the gate we started taxing on one engine down to runway 1L. Right away I picked up the distinct difference between the sound of the 717 and the DC-9s I've been flying on lately. The 717 definitely had a much 'newer' sound to it. Here's a video I took of the pushback and engine start.
The second engine started up right before we reached the end of the runway and with no wait what so ever we turned onto 1L and took off to the north before turning around over downtown for the southerly trek down to MCO
Right after we reached our cruising altitude at FL350 the two flight attendants started coming through the isle with the meal and drink service. As I had feared, because our flight had left before 10 AM
no cookies were to be given out, just granola bars.
Dammit - oh well the cookies (hopefully) will always be around, but the 717s might not and that was more the purpose here. Now I wasn't really that hungry, but I've always wanted to try YX
's BOB meals so for $8 I got the blueberry pancakes entry and for my drink I got Dr. Pepper.
Like I said, I wasn't really that hungry, but I managed to finish the entire dish and for an airplane meal I thought it was great. Not too long after I got done eating flight attendants came around once more with a second drink service and I only opted for a cup of water this time. Midway through the flight I got up to take a cabin shot and from what I can tell the load was pretty full on this flight.
After a smooth ride of two hours, the engines wined down and we started our descent into MCO
. It got just a little shaky as we went through the clouds, but even that wasn't much. Once we lined up with the runway the flaps and gear soon came down and after flying over the suburbs of Orlando we landed smoothly on runway 18L.
After a short taxi, we shut our engines down at the gate and I got off the YX
717 for probably, but hopefully not the last time.
There wasn't much wait time for our plane as it was scheduled to fly back to MKE
only thirty minutes later. I went to the other side of the concourse to get a better view of our bird sitting at the gate.
Now that I was in MCO
, the first thing that I was going to do was to check in for my flights back to MKE
. I wasn't able to request a window seat online for the flight to DTW
, so I planned on headin over there right away to see if I could still get one. After looking around for a bit I finally ran into NW
's ticket counters, which had already been rebranded into DL
Upon first glance it looked like I'd have to wait in line a bit, but there were several stations with check in machines at the counters so I ended up not waiting at all. When I printed my boarding pass out it said I had to get my seat assignments for both flights at the gate. Great, now I wasn't sure if I was gonna get a window seat for either of the flights.
I went outside for a bit to get a taste of the warm Florida weather, but it was insanely humid outside and not all that comfortable. I went back inside to check out some of the shops they had there in the terminal, but none of them were really that appealing with the exception of the NASA store, yet I still didn't buy anything from it. Overall I'd say the MCO
terminal is in pretty good shape. I was last here maybe seven years ago and needless to say I don't remember much from it.
At this point there wasn't much to do around here in the terminal anymore and I wanted to get to the gate to make sure I got a window seat so I headed for security. It was pretty congested, but they had multiple stations open and it didn't long, maybe about five-seven minutes to get through. After taking the tram over to the concourse I walked over to the gate and found no gate agent there. I guess that was understandable though since it was still about two hours til my 3:42 PM
departure and my flight hadn't arrived from MSP
yet. In the meantime I headed out to do some spotting. Parked right next to our gate was a NW
Saab that was going to TLH
A little over from that were two DL
757s that were going to ATL
and then a DL MD
-88 destined for LGA
Next stop was the FL
gates. Nothing but 717s parked here. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really do like FL
's old paint scheme on their 717s. This one happened to be routing MCO
And then here's one in the new colors which was going to MDW
The third section of the concourse wasn't that active, but there was a VS
747 that was due to land from LGW
pretty soon. I did happen to find a JM
Airbus going to MBJ
. Happens to be another one of my favorite paint schemes, too bad they changed it.
I went back to the gate and found it the same as when I had left it, still no gate agent or aircraft. I just decided to sit and wait at this point and in the meantime I just watched other planes takeoff/land.
Eventually about an hour before departure the NW
guy showed up at the gate and my flight from MSP
landed shortly thereafter.
I went up to the guy and asked him if I could still get the seats I wanted and he said he doubted it.
But then he printed out my boarding pass I ended up getting the seat I originally had for DTW
plus my first ever exit row seat on the way up to DTW
Nice, looks like I'd be getting more legroom than I bargained for on this trip. There was still some time to go before boarding so I got a soda at Burger King and then went over to check out the VS
747 which had just landed from LGW
When I got back and boarding started I was one of the first ones to get on the plane since I had an exit row seat. I sat down in 10A and once again it felt good to have that extra space to stretch the legs out once in a while.
Once most of the passengers had made their way to their seats the captain announced it would be pretty bumpy during the first 10-15 minutes of the flight. We pushed back on time and made a short taxi to 17R before taking off and turning back around to head north. After takeoff I snapped an aerial overview pic of MCO
Immediately after takeoff the flight attendants started coming through the isle with the drink and snack service. I ended up getting two small bags of peanuts and hole can of coke.
Contrary to what the captain said, it wasn't bumpy at all during the climbout, however, it did get pretty shaky after the first fifteen minutes and it stayed like that for about half an hour. Here's a cabin shot, I'd say the load was just about full.
Aside from the above, it was just your plain old airbus flight, not much else to write about. I listened to my iPod for the remainder of the flight and eventually we started the descent into DTW
. Our route took us straight in from the south for a smooth landing at DTW
on runway 4R. We then taxied for a few minutes over to A18 and shut our engines down.
When I got off through the jetway I didn't have to look far for my flight to MKE
as its departure gate was right across from where I had gotten off at gate A17. A quick check of the departure screen showed my flight to be delayed about thirty minutes as it was late coming in from BWI
. With about two hours of spare time I took the tram to the other end of the terminal to get a bite to eat at Charley's Grilled Subs. Last time I was at DTW
I nearly missed my connecting flight cause I was getting food here, luckily I wouldn't have to cut it so close this time.
After I got done eating I still had lots of spare time on my hands so I headed back to do some spotting. I don't know what it is, but there's just something that keeps getting me to come back to DTW
. It must be the terminal because I'm not sure if I've been to a better one in the U.S. Very simple, yet very elegant at the same time.
Now to the spotting. This diesel 9 was headin to MSN
A320 about to go to SAN
I walked around and took some other pics but they didn't turn out well because of those stupid dots they got on the windows. I did see quite a few planes in the new DL
colors - 753, 747, A330, etc. Finally at around 7:30 PM
my flight landed from BWI
and pulled into the gate, a DC-9-50 still in the NW
Boarding started about twenty minutes later and I went down and took my seat in 22A.
We pushed back and then those old noisy engines of the DC-9 started firin up. To tell you the truth I don't think I could ever get tired of hearin that sound.
Here's the video from the pushback/engine start.
It was a short taxi over to 3L and with no other traffic we turned onto the runway and rocketed away to the north before turning to the west. Previously I had only used the runways on the west side of the airport for all my takeoffs and landings, so it was nice to try something new for a change.
Needless to say, this was a short flight and it just whizzed by. The flight attendants didn't even bother getting up. Here's a cabin shot, another full load from the looks of it.
Lake Michigan came into view in a matter of minutes and I managed to get a good aerial shot of GRR
We started descending into MKE
over Lake Michigan and when we came onshore I got another great overview pic, this time of MKE
We continued flying all the way west before turning around to line up with runway 7R for landing. Flaps and gear came down and full reverse thrust was used once we touched down at MKE
Taxied over to the E gates and shut our engines down next to a DL MD
I headed down to the baggage claim area and found it to be pretty packed and congested. After waiting a few minutes my friend pulled up to pick me up and we started the drive back to Racine.
Well this was my 10th trip report and I hope you enjoyed reading it! Comments are always appreciated as it took a while to put the report together! I have no complaints about YX
whatsoever and enjoyed my flights on both of them. Hopefully it’s not my last time on a YX
717, but who knows. Thanks again.
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.