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N776AU
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:18 am

Chicago Day Trip: ATL-MDW-ATL on Southwest

Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:56 am

This is my 1000th post. It only took me 15 years. What better way than with a trip report?

For starters, this trip was Tuesday March 3.

Back in January, I was just messing around with flights and I found a round trip to Chicago for $98. Well who was I to say no to that. I booked it almost immediately. It would be the first time I had both segments in and out of Midway. Every other time if I’ve used Midway, the other half of the trip was through O’Hare. O’Hare is a royal pain. I’d prefer Midway anyway, not to mention taking off and landing there is much more fun :bouncy:

Quit yacking. Do Plane stuff.

It was another day trip for me. My first flight was at 7:15am, so it was a very early start. I was up and out just before 3:30am. I did a bit of walking around before my flight, but there wasn’t much happening.
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I made my way to gate C10 for my flight. Operating today was a 737-800, N8610A.

Southwest Airlines Flight 323
ATL-MDW
Depart ATL - 7:15am (was actually 7:11)
Arrive MDW - 8:05am (was actually 7:54)
Boeing 737-800
N8610A


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I grabbed seat 9F. As it turned out, the load was pretty light, maybe 75% tops. The crew kept sending people to the rear of the aircraft for balance. That was fine with me. I ended up having the whole row to myself.
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We pushed and taxied to runway 26L. Weather in Atlanta wasn’t pretty. It seems to have been that way most of the year so far.
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Delta T-tail heaven
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United A320 for some reason at concourse E. I’m surprised they had enough aircraft resting at their regular gates to force one over to E.
https://youtu.be/Es9ajgzkLP4
Video of takeoff. Listen to that buzz saw sound :cloudnine:
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Trying to figure out where I was through the small breaks in the clouds.
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Dobbins
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And through the clouds with nothing to see.
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Nice and bright in the cabin.
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This is just artsy as hell.
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Clouds, nothing but clouds. I need my in flight entertainment.
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We did finally come down below the layer in Indiana getting close to Midway.
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I think this is VPZ in Indiana, but I could be wrong.
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And out over Lake Michigan (and a totally necessary wide angle).
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And the whole reason I sat on the right side, Chicago.
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RIP Meigs Field
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Soldier Field
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Fantastic views.
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Again, totally necessary to take a wide angle shot.
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Oh hey, the Sears Tower.
https://youtu.be/j2iDwKMgSJc
Landing on runway 22L. Landing at Midway is way more fun than O’Hare.
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All the Southwest aircraft (and why the hell didn’t I bother to straighten this up?)
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N738CB, the aircraft I left my flight notebook on a couple years ago after a trip to…Chicago. RIP my old flight notebook.
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We parked at gate B11. N7850B next to us was going to SJC.
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I paid $1200 for a wide angle lens that also happens to make phone calls.
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N8610A was going to RDU next. Slowly, I started making my way to the train station.
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Colorado One landing. Not sure where from.
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Wasn’t expecting to see N666DN here. As best I can tell, it brought the Anaheim Ducks in for a game against the Blackhawks. I caught a flight on this guy some years ago to Jacksonville.
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I got to the train station, and after purchasing a day pass, hopped on. I’m a donut junkie, and over the years I’ve grown fond of checking out good local donut places wherever I travel. That was my first mission.
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First was Do-Rite Donuts on Randolph Street. Delicious.
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Then I walked back to Clark and Lake and grabbed a Green Line train all the way to Harlem.
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Found a place called Firecakes Donuts right by the train station.
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I ended up with one of these monstrosities. Amazing. I love cold weather, so I grabbed a bench nearby and ate it while not wearing a jacket. I think a few people passing by looked at me like I was certifiably crazy.
Once I was done, I strolled back to the train station and headed back to the city.
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Not a lot of people on the train at this point.

I didn’t get any photos, but I went to the Boeing Store, and sat down in their headquarters’ lobby for a bit. I had good self control, and only spent $60 there.
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After I was done puttering around at Boeing, I walked to the Washington and Well station heading toward lunch (as if being a total pig with some donuts wasn’t enough).
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At the urging of some folks on here, I visited Lou Malnati’s for the first time. I’ve been meaning to for a while, and finally was able to get to one. Love the flavor of the butter crust. I’m not as much a fan of the cornmeal-ish texture. I prefer the more flaky crust. If we could somehow combine that flavor with Giordano’s crust, we’d have the perfect pizza.

After finishing that, I grabbed a couple of frozen ones to go because Atlanta is quite lacking in Chicago style pizza places.

So back to the train I went toward another place I’ve never been in Chicago.
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I’ve been to Chicago 5 of 6 times and never visited the bean. I think that’s a sin or something. Anyway, I finally went and saw it. Pretty cool, and some nice views.
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Ice rink that wasn’t so busy. Turns out, 2:00pm on a Tuesday isn’t prime time.
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A look down Monroe Street.
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Nice views from the area.
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Oh hey, more trains.
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It was starting to rain as I was walking back toward the loop and thinking about heading toward Midway, so I got underground at Jackson and rode a couple of trains to burn some time and ride out the rain. Also, I paid for that all-day train pass, so damn it, I’m gonna use it.
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An ever elusive car with the old roof boards for pantographs.
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All the artsy photos.

I got to the Roosevelt station and grabbed an Orange Line train to Midway at 3:45. If I was thinking, I probably would have gotten that train back in the loop. It was very crowded. I had been on my feet for a lot of the day, and stood almost all the way to Midway.
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Everything was super easy. I made it through TSA Precheck in under 5 minutes and was airside. As it turned out, my flight was delayed.
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N666DN was still chilling.
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I don’t know what this 737-800’s tail number was, or where it was going, but it made for a nice photo. Wish I had written it down.
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My plane home landed at 5:54 from CHS.
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Southwest Airlines Flight 377
MDW-ATL
Depart MDW - 6:00pm (was actually 6:29)
Arrive ATL - 9:00pm (was actually 9:10)
Boeing 737-700
N461WN


I was impressed how quickly this aircraft was turned around. You’ll recall I said it landed at 5:54. We started boarding at 6:05 (just 11 minutes after it landed), and closed the door at 6:25. This flight was about 95% full, so it wasn’t like we were only boarding a few. I think that is an anecdote as to why Southwest lets everyone check bags for free. Nobody had a chance to be a dipshit with their carryon baggage because it was all checked (or I’m going to say it was, anyway). Shouts to everyone who made that possible.
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I sat in seat 7A. Obviously, there wasn’t a ton to see with the flight being in darkness.
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Nice views of Chicago upon takeoff. Taking off from Midway is fun as hell. I’d really like to try it on a larger aircraft than a 737-700. I got a video, but there was a lady a few rows back having a borderline panic attack, so that didn’t make audio very nice. I get it. I used to be a nervous flyer myself. I kind of wish I was closer to her to tell her exactly what was about to happen (turns and such).
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I think this was Indianapolis. I spent a good chunk of the flight catching up on a podcast I listen to.

Atlanta was still landing to the west, so we made a left over Atlanta, went all the way out to Conyers, and made a u-turn back in to runway 26R. We parked at gate C12, right next to C10 where it all started 15 hours earlier.
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N461WN was going to IAD. I took the train back to the terminal and a bus back to my car, where I went home, and promptly slept for 10.5 hours.

What a fun trip. I love Chicago. I can’t argue with a flight for under $100. I’m done with flying for a couple more months, but I do have two good trips at the start of summer. I wrote this over the course of an evening. Hopefully my errors were minimal. Thanks for reading :wave:
Careful, doors are closing, and will not reopen. Please wait for the next train.
 
SRQLOT
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:05 pm

Re: Chicago Day Trip: ATL-MDW-ATL on Southwest

Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:23 pm

Great trip report! As a former Chicagoland resident I love taking the CTA and Metra whenever I visit. My family up there thinks I’m nuts, but here in Florida really there is no option for that.
LO LH CL BA AZ WN UA DL AA B6 NK G4
717 733/7/8/9/M8 744 752/3 763 788 319/20/21 332/3 M90 RJ85 CR9 Q400 E7/95 (PA28,152)
 
rampbro
Posts: 507
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:00 am

Re: Chicago Day Trip: ATL-MDW-ATL on Southwest

Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:32 pm

Awesome train pictures! Have been to Chicago at least a dozen times myself and never been to the bean.
 
maps4ltd
Posts: 518
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: Chicago Day Trip: ATL-MDW-ATL on Southwest

Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:22 am

Colorado One (N230WN) was coming in from Orlando.

The 738 at MDW on the return was N8551Q, headed to LaGuardia from Gate A11.

Great report!
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