Welcome to Procrastination Station. I’m N776AU, your host. My cousin and I decided on Pocono again this year for a race. Just like last year, I would fly north on Southwest, and south on JetBlue. A round trip on either airline was a good bit higher, as was any other airline. I sweetened the pot a little bit. For only $10 more, I could connect in St. Louis heading north
For a nut like me (and I assume you too), that was an easy decision.
This was Saturday June 1 through Tuesday June 4.
I treated my wakeup and such like a regular work day, with my normal 5:30 wakeup. My flight wasn’t until nearly 10:00, but I was feeling like exploring and seeing stuff.
I started out at concourse F and worked my way back toward concourse C. N812NW came in from South America early in the morning, and was waiting to turn around to Rome later in the day.
Swift Air 737-400. Not sure where it was going. I searched the tail number and didn’t get anything. For a while, I stayed in that spot listening to ATC and watching planes takeoff from runway 27R.
One of my coworkers was flying to Toronto. I went over to concourse E to go say hi to her, but they had already boarded.
N685DA is my Twitter handle, Instagram handle, and Xbox Live gamertag. I’m always happy to snap a picture of her. This morning it came in from Fort Lauderdale (I think), and was turning around to San Jose, Costa Rica.
Eventually, I got back to concourse C. The Southwest half of the concourse was rather active this morning.
My aircraft arrived from Nashville at 9:05. Operating today was an ex-AirTran bird, N7741C, formerly N315AT.
Before boarding, I was able to see my friends takeoff.
Southwest Airlines Flight 3832
Depart ATL - 9:55am (was actually 9:52)
Arrive STL - 10:40am (was actually 10:27)
I boarded with A group and grabbed seat 7A. The window in that row is forward enough that my tall self can lean down and see out pretty well.
As we pushed back, it was Delta tails for days over at concourse B
We were heading out to runway 26L. N1402A was making one of its very last flights. This morning it was going to Seattle.
N951AT was going to Greensboro.
Not sure on this 737-900.https://youtu.be/BSG9Gu4dhco
Takeoff was meh. Damn, these long runways I live with.
We paralleled this MD-88 leaving from 27R.
Weather in Atlanta was beautiful.
Chattanooga from above.
Weather was clear all the way up. I didn’t take many photos the rest of the flight until we got close to landing. Everything was very routine.
I knew the flooding was bad in the area, but man, seeing it from the air puts a new perspective on it.
I was bummed that I couldn’t see the city, which was one of the reasons I sat on the left, but it was cool to land on runway 29. I’ve taken off from there, but never landed there before.
I’m not familiar with my St. Louis landmarks, but the views were ok coming in. https://youtu.be/yi6XfLCIDCw
Man, I didn’t realize how close to buildings you get landing on 29. That was pretty cool.
We were coming in to gate E24. I had never been to terminal 2, so this was going to be an all new experience. My connection was pretty tight (just 35 minutes), so this is one time I was a bit antsy and in a hurry to get off, figuring my next flight would be boarding in less than 15 minutes. That ended up not being the case.
N554WN next to us was going to Nashville.
Terminal is quite nice. It’s definitely nicer than concourse A.
Passed by N8513F, an 737-800 that I took to Washington Dulles a couple years back.
My aircraft today was N8664J, a relatively young 737-800 that landed just ahead of us from Houston Hobby.
Southwest Airlines Flight 3629
Depart STL - 11:15am (was actually 11:34)
Arrive PHL - 2:25pm (was actually 2:32)
Because of the very short connection, I never bothered to set my watch to Central Time. I don’t think I goofed any times, but if something seems an hour off, it probably is.
Boarding on this flight took forever and a day. Holy hell, there were wheelchairs galore. You would have thought this was a flight to Florida or something. I didn’t count exactly, but there had to have been 8-10. Consequently, that slowed up everything else. I found out later we were also holding at our gate for some connecting passengers, so the slow boarding turned out to not be a difference maker.
I took a seat in 11A. N8608N next to us was going to Denver.
This baggage cart has seen some stuff. How the heck has it evaded being painted and/or breaking for all these years?
So at 11:34 we pushed and made the very short taxi to runway 30L. N7741C pushed back at the same time, and was heading back to Atlanta.
I can’t quite make the tail number out on this one, but hey look, a 737-700 taking off!https://youtu.be/MbyCIFzdopg
There’s you some takeoff action.
I was on the wrong side to see anything fun, but man, again that flooding was quite a sight.
Up at 37,000 feet everything was nice. We were over mostly clouds until we crossed in to Indiana.
Shitty shot of Indianapolis through clouds and haze.
Around this point we had cabin service, which was lovely, but oh do I have a story. I can forgive the lady next to me for being all in my personal space the whole flight. I’m not going to make a stink over that, and I could easily deal with it by distracting myself looking out the window and/or looking at FlightRadar24 to see what’s whizzing by outside (unrelated: we flew parallel to a Delta 757 to JFK. It was fun to race each other). Anyway, what I had a hard time getting over was this lady and her salad. She realized she forgot a fork when she bought in St. Louis. Instead she used a pair of drink stirrers are chopsticks. Impressive and crafty given the circumstances. However
, she made slurping noises on that damn salad so loud even I found it disgusting
I should mention, I’m not
someone who is typically bothered by chewing, or any other random noises. I never realized a salad could be louder than a CFM56, but here we are.
Rant over. Back to planes and pictures and stuff.
Again, just in and out of clouds.
CMH as seen from above.
This is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania if memory serves me correctly.
We started our way down to runway 27R in Philadelphia just before 2:00.
King of Prussia Mall. Actually, the hotel we were staying in was also in this shot (though, I didn’t know it at the time).
Once again, I was on the wrong side to see the really exciting stuff, like making a right hand turn over the cityhttps://youtu.be/8XT6vtUrIlM
Landing was butter. Shame I couldn’t see a little more stuff.
Not in Delta Land anymore, that’s for sure.
Pulling in to gate E16. N8309C was going to Nashville.
My aircraft, N8664J, was turning around to Phoenix.
After getting off, I called my cousin and he picked me up, and it was off to our hotel for a great weekend of fast cars and good food.
We’ve made a tradition of going to a Brazilian steakhouse wherever we go. This time was Fogo de Chao in King of Prussia. Fantastic as always
Nothing screams freedom-loving Americans like watching Nascar and getting the meat sweats from all the delicious beef
After being rather full, we walked it off at a huge Wegmans nearby. This was my first experience in one. Pretty great.
I would file this selection of lobster compost under the WTF category, however.
Then came Sunday, race day.
Starting off with a trip to Duck Donuts. Always great (even if it does burn your mouth).
Forget going over mountains to get there. Let’s go through them.
Turned out to be a very nice day after a pretty bad weather forecast. I wish that weather would come to Georgia. It felt like October.
On the way back, we stopped at the Iron Hill Brewery in Phoenixville. I can’t pretend to know where that was, but it was pretty good.
When you go to a race, always leave an extra day on the back end in case weather delays it. It didn’t, so on Monday we started at a hole-in-the-wall donut joint the next town over. Can’t remember what it was called, but it was good.
Our first activity was Valley Forge. Got a lot of walking in today. There was a lot of cool stuff there, but it is super spread out. As you can see, it was another very nice day.
Plaques. Lots of plaques.
Huge memorial. Very nice.
This looks like a really nice house to spend the winter, right?
Maine, half of my family’s home state.
We got some serious steps in, and then next was walking around the King of Prussia Mall. Neither one of us is exactly in to shopping, but we figured it was worth walking around in case there was some good stuff. Plus, how many times would we be there to walk around it?
It started by playing giant chess outside, because why not?
There were a few cool sauces I would like to have gotten here, but they were all over 3 ounces, and since I was traveling with just a carry-on bag, that wasn’t gonna fly. I did get a couple little bottles of dry rubs, which were later swabbed for explosives by TSA in Philadelphia. (Spoiler alert, the test came up negative).
Any other old-school wrestling fans in the house? Wasn’t figuring I would purchase a pair of nWo socks on this trip. After it was all said and done, we walked over 8 miles on the day.
For dinner we found a little hole hole in the wall near our hotel. It’s in the middle of some neighborhoods. Interesting location. It was pretty good, though.
Starting with Philly cheesesteak egg rolls. I’m not sure who decided this was a good idea, but I salute them, because it’s an excellent idea.
And finishing very healthy with deep fried hot dogs smothered with Cheez Wiz and bacon.
Then came Tuesday and time to go home. My first flight was stupidly early, but it was for a good cause, flying JetBlue
Yeah, I could have taken a non-stop on other airlines for a similar price, but it’s JetBlue. They’re worth going out of the way for. I could have routed myself via Boston, but it would have meant E190s for both segments. Nothing against the E190, but I prefer the A320, so I went via Fort Lauderdale.
I was dropped off at 4:30am, and breezed right through everything after TSA swabbed my spices for explosives.
I got to my departure gate, E2, only to see an E190 there. Turns out the other gate was out of commission for whatever reason, and our A320 was being towed in from elsewhere.
N206JB was the E190 in question.
I got a special livery this morning
JetBlue Airways Flight 375
Depart PHL - 6:27am (was actually 6:27)
Arrive FLL - 9:14am (was actually 8:48)
From the time we started boarding to the time we pushed back was 23 minutes. My boarding has always been quick with JetBlue. I have to assume it’s because they still board the old-school way.
I was in seat 15F. Love me some leg room on JetBlue.
N213FR down the way was going to New Orleans not too long after us.
N704US landing from RDU. I flew this guy way back in 2011 with US Airways.
N127UW landing from PVD.https://youtu.be/8ANpvcxlSoA
Takeoff was meh. It got more fun once we throttled up right after we lifted off. Good views, though.
It was a beautiful day in Philadelphia.
I watched a little tv. Ignore the fact that it’s a NuWave informercial on the screen
Heading up to 36,000 feet, and later 38,000 feet.
Dover International Speedway
I tried to AirDrop a beautiful photo to some who lad left theirs open, and there was just no love on this aircraft
Hey, food! I enjoy JetBlue’s selection of snacks. Definitely changing it up form what I’m used to on Southwest and Delta.
Then we were over clouds and I couldn’t see a darn thing.
A little 60s on 6 for some good listening.
And when you have super fast internet, what else do you do but surf airliners.net? (Also, enough legroom and an empty seat next to me that my 6’3” self could be comfortable.
I don’t remember where this cargo 767-300 was going, but he was heading southeast-ish. He was only 1000 feet below us. If CNN got a hold of this, the headline would probably read, “Scary Moments for Passengers Aboard a JetBlue Flight as an Airbus 767-500 Nearly Collides with their Boeing B340.”
As we got closer, we lost sight of land for a little bit, so there wasn’t a ton to see.
These are just artsy as hell.
Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (I think).
And finally away from population before making the left turn coming in.https://youtu.be/-wu2MWcbHjk
Landing on runway 10R, the only runway in operation because of construction.
Spirit A320 (or A319, can’t tell for sure) and Azul A330 looking very nice.
We parked at gate F1. Next to us was N179JB, which took me on my first JetBlue flight back in 2017. RIP to JetBlue’s IAD operation. That was where I left from. He was going to New Orleans this morning.
I had a long layover, on the order of 5 hours, so I was in no hurry to get off. I got a free meal on my Priority Pass over at terminal 4, so that was a nice and new area to explore for me.
Including this Emirates 777-200.
After a little exploration, I found my way to gate E8 where my flight was departing from.
My aircraft home arrived from Boston at 12:40.
JetBlue Airways Flight 468
Depart FLL - 1:30pm (was actually 1:34)
Arrive ATL - 3:31pm (was actually 3:24)
“Wild Blue Yonder”
We boarded more or less on time, but there were agents in the jetway weighing every single carry-on bag. I’ve never seen that before. Why would that be happening? The flight wasn’t full, and definitely wouldn’t be packed with fuel, so I wouldn’t imagine we would be near any maximum weight. Seemed strange to me.
N583JB next to us was going to Barbados.
I paid a little cash to upgrade to Even More Space. Damn, that’s some space.
And really even more because I had the whole row to myself.
N994JL was going to JFK. It’ll really be nice when the A320s are up to par with the A321s.
As we pushed, N648JB was arriving from EWR.
The line to takeoff from runway 10R. It wasn’t a moment too soon, either. There was weather bubbling up everywhere. https://youtu.be/NPJVDNi6xLQ
Love that V2500 buzzsaw sound from the front
Turning back to the north to point the nose toward Atlanta.
We did pass through some heavy weather briefly, and it got rather rough, enough I think that it had some people on edge. Kind of wish I had some video for posterity. I was enjoying the sights and sounds. Pretty awe-inspiring, really.
Daytona International Speedway and DAB from 35,000 feet (and quite a distance away).
Following on FlightRadar24 and getting my snack on. Love it.
Still some weather as we got toward Georgia.
All the space.
As we got closer to Atlanta we transitioned from clouds to smoke from wildfires in Canada. Unfortunately, that made things difficult to see.
Tried to get a shot of ATL as I passed by, but the smoke made that rather difficult.
Smoke, smoke, and more smoke.https://youtu.be/WYcstUGM5hw
We made a rare (for me) landing on runway 10. If my count is right, it’s only the 3rd time I’ve done so.
Concourse F was rocking and rolling with the first wave to Europe. Great to see that Virgin 747 in here.
N370DN was taxiing to takeoff for Boston.
Didn’t see the tail number completely on this one, but I assume this E190 was going to Philadelphia or Washington Reagan.
We pulled in to gate E32. Next to us was N179DN. This one and I go way back. I flew it so long ago, it was coming back home from London Gatwick and not Heathrow. Tonight, it was going to Frankfurt.
N506JB was turning around back to Fort Lauderdale. I didn’t wait around much. My mother stayed behind in Washington on Memorial Day, and flew back this day since I was passing through the airport myself. I didn’t have any checked luggage, so I took the train back to the terminal, found her, took her home, and went on my way.
It was a fun trip. It was a very different experience from last year’s adventure to Philadelphia. I always love flying JetBlue. I hope they stay around here in Atlanta. I try to fly them whenever I can. I’m not much a proofreader, so hopefully my errors were kept to a minimum. Thanks for reading
Careful, doors are closing, and will not reopen. Please wait for the next train.