December 3, 2010
I arrived at the airport about 90 minutes early, as WN recommends for DTW and parked in the "Big Blue Deck," which is conveniently connected to the North Terminal. I'm not sure exactly what the thinking was in the deck's design. It's laid out kind of weird, and you could easily spend a lot of time trying to find a parking spot (or trying to figure out how to exit) since there's so many different ways through the structure. I'd probably park there again when departing from the North Terminal, but would probably opt for off-airport if flying from the McNamera terminal. I've heard that the DTW on-airport parking shuttles are rather infrequent, and indeed I did not see I saw any while I was walking through the structure.
I checked my duffel bag (for free of course, which is very nice) and proceeded to the security checkpoint, where I got to go through one of the millimeter wave scanners. I then proceeded to gate D21 and waited for the plane to come in from MDW.
The flight was nice and short. I was rather surprised that the flight attendants did not ask the lady next to me to stow her rather large handbag under the seat. She instead just left it sitting in the legroom area for the entire flight, including takeoff and landing.
The landing at MDW (runway 4R) was very smooth, surprisingly. The last couple times I've landed there we have come in pretty hard because of the short runways.
Pictures at DTW:
I had about two hours at MDW, during which I got some disappointing sweet and sour chicken from one of the food court restaurants, and caught up on some homework.
December 3, 2010
This was a completely full flight (overbooked, actually). Departed MDW on time and arrived into PHL on time as well. The landing into PHL (27R, I believe) was quite scenic.
Pictures at MDW:
I took the SEPTA train down to the Market East station, and checked in at Apple Hostel for my three night stay. I was very impressed with the hostel, and highly recommend it for travelers on a budget.
Some of the things I saw in Philly were the Eastern State Penitentiary, Mutter Museum, Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, and Independence Seaport Museum.
December 6, 2010
WN 464 PHL-MDW
Monday morning I woke up a bit late, but still ended up making it to the airport 90 minutes prior to departure (which was plenty of time). I took the SEPTA train from Market East again. After checking my bag, I proceeded to security. To my surprise, the non-TSA employee at the entrance to security sent me to the priority line. I double checked with her (since I didn't want to get to the front of the priority line to get turned away), and she said that because I have "RR" on my boarding pass, I was eligible for priority screening. I thought that was just for Rapid Rewards elite members (or whatever Southwest calls their higher tier), but I certainly wasn't going to complain!
I proceed to gate E11 to wait for the plane to arrive from Providence, and had a McGriddle for breakfast (heart attack in a wrapper, but so good!).
Photos at PHL:
Again on this flight, I was rather surprised at the flight attendants' lack of compliance with safety procedures. I don't think they did any kind of final check before landing, and as a result there were multiple people who had their seats reclined during landing. I wasn't going to send anything about the earlier flight, but even though these are minor things, I think there might be some kind of systemic problem in Southwest's flight attendant safety training or procedures. I sent Southwest an message about it but haven't heard anything back.
December 6, 2010
WN 464 MDW-DTW
N407WN (I think, not completely sure)
We were supposed to be on the same aircraft continuing on to DTW, but there was a last minute aircraft swap. It wasn't a huge deal, since the new gate was directly across the concourse. The new incoming aircraft was late, though, so we ended up departing and arriving 30-45 minutes late.
Overall, a good trip!
[Edited 2010-12-19 15:00:34]