So it’s been four months since I've posted my last trip report, and with my first three months of college complete I was ready to head home for Thanksgiving break. For those of you who don't know, this fall I started as a freshman at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Of course, before I showed up on campus and actually started going to school here I occasionally wondered whether or not I had made the right college decision. Well, once I got down here it didn't take too long to get over those feelings of indecision and so far it’s been great!
There's the independence, the parties, the warm sunny weather, and oh, did I mention the daily flyovers of A-10s/C-130s from local Air Force base?! So yeah, you could say it’s been a pretty good time thus far. It also doesn't hurt that I get the opportunity to fly home three times during the school year for visits.
Shortly after I got to Arizona in late August I bought my flight home for Thanksgiving on US going TUS
, and I wanted to have my return be on US as well, but the prices were pretty high for that so after waiting it out for a few weeks I eventually settled on booking FL MKE
for my second leg. I thought it would take ages for Thanksgiving to roll around, but the first three months just flew by and it was here before I knew it. So anyways, on with the report...(Nov. 24-28)
Flight departure time from TUS
was 5:50 PM
so after going to only one of my four classes that day (yeah, I was feeling lazy
) I went back to my dorm and waited for the airport shuttle to come pick me up. The van came by at 3:45 and then it only took about fifteen minutes to drive to TUS
. For those of you who are wondering, on my way down to Arizona in the fall I flew AA ORD
, so this would be my first time actually flying from TUS
After the shuttle dropped me off I went inside to check in at US's counters and found the whole ticket counter area to be pretty quiet. I had my boarding passes printed out and was set to go in a matter of seconds.
Before heading for the security checkpoint I went over to the observation area that's in the middle of the terminal and saw an AS
738 getting ready for its flight to SEA
. Do they have more than one of these planes with the lei on the tail? I could've sworn I saw a similar plane later that evening after landing in PHX
Next up was security. Now, as the cliché goes I hadn't been living under a rock or anything the past few weeks before my trip, so I was well aware of all the buzz concerning the new TSA
screening procedures. However, luckily for me there was barely any line whatsoever and they didn't even have any of those new "naked body scanning" machines set up yet. I was through there in a few minutes and it was a breeze! Supposedly the day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, but I guess that's one of the benefits of flying from "smaller" airports, right? There was still over an hour to go until my flight to PHX
and unsurprisingly my aircraft hadn't arrived at the gate yet. At one of the other adjacent gates there was a CO
738 that was flying to HOU
later that night. On a normal day just about of all TUS
's last departures go out by around 6 PM
, but since it was the day before Thanksgiving this was one of several extra evening flights that were added.
Right behind that CO
738 there was a US CRJ9 parked on the stand. I was pretty sure this one wasn't for my flight, so either it was sitting there as a hot spare or it was also probably operating another extra flight that evening.
I then turned my attention to the other concourse and saw two WN
737s doing simultaneous pushbacks. These flights were going to DEN
Eventually after waiting around for a bit my flight landed from PHX
and pulled up to gate B10.
Boarding started not too long afterwards and I made my way onboard back to seat 19A. This would be my first time flying on a CRJ9 and the first thing I noticed was that this particular aircraft still had the cabin/seats from its days with HP
It looked like a full load on this flight and once everybody took their seats we pushed back, taxied out to runway 29R, and took off into the fading sky.
is a very short flight, and if I hadn't flown ORD
many years ago this probably would've been the shortest flight I've ever been on. It seemed like only five minutes after we took off the captain announced we were already descending into PHX
! We flew right over Sun Devil Stadium on final approach and landed smoothly on runway 25L. After taxiing over to gate B16 I waited for everybody to get off and then I snapped a picture of the cabin.
And then here's a bad picture of my CRJ9 at the gate. Its next flight was to MEM
As you can see it was going to be somewhat difficult getting any decent pictures at that hour with the darkness/reflections. I then proceeded over to the moving walkway which I rode all the way down to the far concourse. When I got to gate A30 our aircraft hadn't arrived from SJC
yet, so in the meantime I went over to get a snack from Cinnabun.
After I got done eating I went to check out some of the other aircraft at the nearby gates. This US A320 was getting ready to go to DTW
. It seemed like all the gates in that area had flights going to Midwestern cities such as ORD
When I got back to the gate our A319 had arrived and people were still getting off from the previous flight. In the past whenever I've flown between MKE
on US it’s always been with an A320, so I guess the route might have been downgraded. Once everyone was off they started boarding for our flight to MKE
not too long afterwards, and while I was in line I even saw a YX
E190 taxi by! A definite sign that I was heading home.
I went aboard and took my seat in 18A.
After pushing back we got in a longgggg line for takeoff and we must've waited at least twenty-five minutes or so. It looked like they were using only one runway for takeoffs and then the other two for landings, so that's probably what caused the long wait. Eventually we got to the front of the line and then took off from runway 25R. We climbed out over downtown Phoenix and then turned around for the trek up to MKE
. It looked like another full load on this flight and shortly after takeoff the flight attendants started coming through the aisle with the beverage/snack service. I had planned on buying one of the snack boxes just to try them out, but I wasn't very hungry at all since I just ate so I opted only for a cup of cranapple juice. The cabin lights remained off and with a clear night it made for a very smooth, relaxing flight. For the most part I listened to music on my laptop and watched some videos until it was time to land. There wasn't much to see during descent because of the rainy weather around Milwaukee, but eventually we crossed over Layton Avenue and landed smoothly on runway 19R after a rather short two and a half hour flight. We taxied over to gate C19 and I was officially back in Wisconsin for the first time in three months!
My dad met me outside the concourse and then we headed home.
Of course it wasn't exactly that long of a visit, but it was just kind of "refreshing" to finally go home for a few days and take a break from school. We went to my grandparents' house for Thanksgiving and then the day after that I met up with some of my friends from high school. I also went up to the University of Wisconsin in Madison and stayed overnight at my friend's dorm and then the next day we went to the football game against Northwestern. The Badgers ended up winning 70-23 to clinch the Big 10 Title/Rose Bowl, and after the game we rushed the field!
Yeah, I know what you're thinking, I'm supposed to be an Arizona Wildcat right?
Well I've been a lifelong Badger fan and I'm also good friends with two of the guys who are on the team. It'd be kind of interesting if both teams were to ever meet in the Rose Bowl, but for now I don't see why I can't cheer for both, right? Anyways, the break flew by and soon it was time to head back to Arizona.
My flight back to PHX
we scheduled to depart at 8:50 AM
, so my dad drove me to the airport and dropped me off by the ticket counters shortly after 7 AM
. We said our goodbyes and then I headed inside the check in. There wasn't much of a line in front of FL
's ticket counters and instead of using one of the self-serve kiosks, one of the FL
employees volunteered to print out my boarding pass for me. Before heading upstairs, I glanced over and for the first time saw the new F9
counters which had replaced the old YX
I wasn't hungry so I just went straight towards the concourse C security checkpoint. Unlike at TUS
, they actually had the new scanning machines set out at MKE
, but for some reason they weren't using them. Oh well, I wasn't going to complain!
Then once I got past security, it was time for some spotting!
737 to LGA
My flight to PHX
at gate C20.
717 about ready to push-back for its flight to FLL
Well, the YX
signage around the airport might be gone, but at least some of the Embraers are still sporting the colors!
Not too long after I took that picture they started boarding for our flight to PHX
. I went down the jet way and took my seat in 25A.
We pushed back on time, but apparently this was our 737's first flight of the day so we had to go get de-iced which took about twenty minutes. Once that was taken care of we taxied over to runway 19R and then took off back towards Arizona.
The captain announced a flying time of three and a half hours to PHX
, which surprised me considering that was a full hour longer than my PHX
flight just a few days before. I didn't know that the wind could make such a big difference! I whipped out my laptop to try out FL
's on-board Wi-Fi, and surprisingly it turned out to be free since it was Thanksgiving weekend.
Nice! As for the rest of the flight, once again it was smooth and it looked like every seat was filled. I got two cups of cranapple juice along with some cookies/crackers, and for most of the flight I stayed on my laptop. I was hoping to get some good views of the mountainous terrain below, but unfortunately the clouds blocked out the view. Eventually the captain announced our descent into PHX
, where he said it had been raining and the temperature was only 51 degrees.
Not exactly the warm, sunny Arizona I thought I was returning to.
We flew past the Arizona State Campus and landed smoothly on runway 26.
After parking at the terminal and getting off, I snapped a picture of our 737 at the gate. For its next flight it was heading back to MKE
I wasn't quite done traveling for the day though, I still had to get back to Tucson. I went downstairs to the baggage claim area where I got on the shuttle for the nearly two hour ride back to UA
. Then it was only three weeks until I was flying home again for Christmas break.
Well this is my 19th trip report and I hope you enjoyed reading it!!! Like I already mentioned, it was great to go home, even though if it was only for a few days. My flights on US and FL
were all enjoyable, and I'm sure I'll at least be flying US many more times between MKE
. Comments are always appreciated, thanks a lot!!!
[Edited 2010-12-05 23:37:16]
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.