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Returning Home MCO-RDU ATL

Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:19 pm

I've procrastinated writing this for a while. This is my trip home from Orlando back to Atlanta. The afternoon was already pretty bizarre, with my buddy flying Delta via Memphis, and me flying Airtran via Raleigh. Turned out it would get more bizarre. Keep reading to find out

My flight was the later of the two, not departing until 3 that afternoon, but we got to the airport at 11:18.
This was where we were dropped off, but it didn't really matter since we already had boarding passes in hand.
Nice little view of the tower before we went in.
And this is where we went in
Delta had quite a line, not that it mattered to us
So we headed toward TSA
And thankfully we were both turning right.
Man was TSA at MCO a giant cluster fornication
I was in no hurry with my flight being so far away, so I went to the Delta gates with my friend to see him off. I got a pretty good video of the train ride too:
We were hungry, so we got some lunch
Nice views out the window of the Outback.

After we ate he left for Memphis, and I went to explore a bit. I walked around the international area which was completely dead.
A few shots before I headed to my gate. I caught a train back toward the main terminal, and then another to head for my gate, gate 109.
Getting closer on the train
Looking down the concourse.
I got to my gate to find out my flight was delayed.
So our gate sat there with nothing for quite a while.
False alarm. Just another 717 passing by
Finally our plane arrived at 2:46. Not sure where it was coming from.

Airtran Airways Flight 842
Depart MCO: 3:00 PM (was actually 3:42)
Arrive RDU: 4:40 PM (was actually 7:19. No that's not a typo).
Boeing 717-200

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Photo © powwwiii

They got everything going as quick as they could, boarding at 2:56. Boarding was so fast it was borderline cattle-call. I got on ASAP and took my seat in 25A
I miss economy comfort already
I had a pretty cool view out the window, though.

Unfortunately we were late pushing, not getting going until 3:42. We taxied to Runway 17R and headed for RDU.

I got a video. I actually think it turned out pretty good.
I think the 717 is an underrated airplane. It gives a nice takeoff. Climb out was kinda fun. It was bumpy as hell pretty much all the way til we got to cruise, which was at 33,000 feet.
The Florida landscape
The usual drink and snack service began at 4:04
After that I pretty much just watched the scenery go by.
The Sidney Lanier Bridge in Brunswick, GA
We began descending to RDU at 4:43
Weather was looking pretty rough in Raleigh.
As we got closer the air was quite rough. I saw us make a slight left to line up with the airport. Not but probably 2000 feet from the ground we aborted the landing. Max throttle, hard turns the whole bit. We made a really hard left and began climbing again. I got it on video. I wish I had left the video rolling. It was a very shaky turn and climb.
So anyway, nothing was coming out of the cockpit and we just kept climbing and climbing. Finally when we leveled off they came on and said we were going to CAE to refuel and wait out the storm. I still don't know why CAE and not CLT or GSO or even RIC. Airtran doesn't even fly there. In any case we landed on Runway 29 at CAE and taxied over toward the GA ramp where we were met by a couple fuel trucks. I didn't take any times down, but it took maybe 45 minutes or so. We took back off from Runway 29 at 6:42 for RDU, landing at 7:19.

I was a little stressed after the diversion, because I had a connection to ATL to make, which I thought I missed. Thankfully the aircraft operating my flight was also operating my next flight. There were a few of us who were in that boat, which I was surprised about. The agent told us not to worry and that our next flight (Flight 730) was going to operate as normal, just 3 hours late, and made a shade later by a short ground stop in ATL

Airtran Airways Flight 730
Depart RDU 5:20 PM (was actually 8:14)
Arrive ATL 6:38 (actually was 9:17)
Boeing 717-200
Ready to go

There was an earlier flight to ATL which apparently was pretty empty, because all the passengers for that flight made it on. As a result our flight had only 12 people on it, all of us originating in Orlando. The crew was the exact same as well. I didn't notate boarding time, but we pushed at 8:14 and headed for Runway 23
My view looking forward
And looking back
Blurry look out the window
Drinks and snacks at 8:28 PM

Very skimpy on the pictures since the flight took place in darkness. Takeoff was unbelievable. I don't think I've ever been in an airplane so lightly loaded. What a rocket!

We cruised at 34,000 feet and landed in ATL on Runway 26R arriving at gate C8. Getting home was a hell of an adventure, but I enjoyed it.
Careful, Doors Are Closing And Will Not Reopen. Please Wait For The Next Train
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2002 11:39 am

RE: Returning Home MCO-RDU ATL

Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:49 pm

I'm amazed that you were basically already at RDU, then had to turn completely around and fly a whole state away, just to come right back. Seems like there must have been a better option! Better safe than sorry though, I suppose. Enjoyed the videos  
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:57 pm

RE: Returning Home MCO-RDU ATL

Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:10 pm

Not that your day wasn't interesting...but you could have driven in 6 hours!

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