I took a day trip to MDW yesterday (loads were ~40 people on the way up and 17 on the way back) and used D on both ends. It’s very pleasant inside and will be even better once the south checkpoint opens. The ramp is a mess. Our taxi in to D5 featured lengthy sits in the penalty box, abeam C19, and abeam C23. Is WN getting C13 and 14 back post-IAB? That will take some of the pressure off.
WN Ops isn't controlling the pushes as of yet, so it's basically a free for all between the gate crews with no real coordination possible. Add to that the length of time needed to do the fancy 180 pushes from D1 and C16 (And C4,C7, and C9 when they reactivate those gates), the fact that pilots have memos clearly saying the line closest to the D concourse is a strict "Taxi in" line and next to the C concourse is a "Taxi out" line, each concourse pushes to the line closest to them regardless if it's considered a "taxi out" line, and you get a recipe for long holdouts. There needs to be a pushcall system in place to send certain gates out simultaneously to certain 'dots' which are painted on the taxi in/out lines that also times when gates go, and they need to give pilots the freedom to take either line if they can get in to their gate safely past the current pushes. So if a plane is going to C18 and a plane pushed out of D4 to their stop point, the pilot cannot Taxi in, even if ample room is given on the "Taxi out" line for them to take.
Dot 51 is infront of D2. Dot 52 is around D4. Dot 53 is infront of C18 and Dot 54 is inbetween C20 and C21.
Ex: D1 goes to 'dot' 51. When they get lined up for the 180, C16 proceeds to 'dot' 53. At the same time either D4, 5, or 6 can go to 'Dot' 52. Once C16 is getting ready to begin their 180 to 'dot' 53, C20 or 21 can go to 'dot' 54.
However this depends on the people doing the 180 pushes being able to be precise and accurate... and that's not gonna happen for awhile until people get used to this AND if management ever lets us do something like that. Add to that, whoever is doing the push has to be comfortable with it, since i believe wingtip to wingtip separation between both lines is 15 feet. Most of WN's pushing experience at BNA has involved either straight pushes or 90 degree turns that didn't have to be dead on the taxi lines. It really is a learning experience for all of us!
I don't know if we will be getting 13,14,15,or 17 back once the IAB is done. I guess that's just gonna depend on where Air travel is here in a few years and what sort of shape different airlines are in. Regardless WN gained an additional 2 gates out of the deal.