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A Postponed Trip: ATL-IAD-LAX-ATL on United and Southwest

Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:01 pm

It’s been 3 weeks since I took these flights. I guess the trip report isn’t going to write itself. This was Wednesday July 8 through Friday July 10, 2020.

This particular trip was for my own amusement and plane spotting fun. I had it booked for April, and kept pushing back and pushing back. I was supposed to score two new aircraft types on earlier trips this year. Through some creative booking, I managed to score two new types on this trip. For once, I was flying to Washington Dulles and it wasn’t my final destination (unless you count deliberately staying a night in the area and changing airlines “connecting”).

So came Wednesday June 8, I was off to the airport and parked at 12:15 for my 2:45 flight. By sheer coincidence, my aircraft was arriving from Chicago the same moment I parked. I only know this, because I happened to watch it fly over and double checked on Flight Radar 24. TSA was a breeze. There was nobody there.
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The Club at ATL had just reopened that very day. I don’t keep a credit card with Priority Pass for nothing. There wasn’t much to explore, so I spent most of my preflight time here, mainly snacking and looking out the window, since I wouldn’t have a proper meal until I was in Los Angeles, nearly half a day later.

When the time came, I took the train all the way back to the other end for my flight out of T16. My flights out were on United, not an airline I fly very often, but for the new aircraft types, the price was right. The windows at the end of Concourse T are minimal at best, so I didn’t get any exterior shots of the plane until I got to Washington.

United Express Flight 4303
Operated by Republic Airways
ATL-IAD
Depart ATL - 2:34pm (was actually 2:43)
Arrive IAD - 4:34pm (was actually 4:19)
Embraer 170
N643RW

The first of two new aircraft types of the day. I’ve caught the 175 and 190, but never the 170. I guess it’s a semi-rare catch.
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I was in seat 20A. I would have put myself farther forward, but the windows are all misaligned. As a taller person whose height is mostly in my torso, the windows on this aircraft are nice.
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We pushed right on time and pointed the nose toward what I thought was a runway 8R departure. Then we turned right out of the ramp. Turns out they reversed the airport at the same time. We were maybe the 3rd or 4th takeoff to the west after the direction change.
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Old school livery. N637NK was going to IAH.
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Can’t catch the tail number on this 717. It could have been going anywhere.
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Looking down the runway. It was looking like we were about to fire up a thunderstorm.
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Did you really have to take a wide-angle?…..Maybe….
https://www.youtube.com/embed/oyt_8IH1LFY
So off and out we went.
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Clouds impeded most of the views of Atlanta. Shame, because I was pretty much front row for it.
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I was able to see my hometown of Snellville. My house was obscured by clouds, but cool to see anyway.
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There wasn’t much to see the rest of the way, and no cabin service besides a round of water as we passed Athens.
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Dulles was landing from the North. The winds were out of the southeast today. I was hoping for something wild, like landing on runway 12 or something. Instead it was my usual 19L.
https://youtu.be/-9UYFiKLvV0
It seemed like we were flying really hard on approach. Nothing alarming or anything, just an observation having made that exact same approach many times.
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777s parked
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The end of Concourse C with a couple widebodies going places far away, and one about to carry my happy ass across the country :bouncy:
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Those same parked 777s from another angle.
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We parked at gate D14. N865RW next to us was going to PIT.
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I was the very last passenger to step off (again with the wide angle…)
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N643RW was going to SDF next.

One note about United’s E170s: they are significantly more comfortable than the 175. It was very comfortable, even back in in the land of the peasants where I was.

I had 90 minutes to work my way down to gate C4 for my next flight. Almost nothing was open, so I had to grab a quick snack from a news stand, although it wasn’t so quick because the line was super long, and I had quite possibly the two most obnoxious individuals on the planet in front of me. I’ll spare you details, but I’ll say that I was very happy that they were flying on a short hop to Norfolk and not with me. Note: I didn’t get this information by speaking to them, just observing their behavior and conversations.

So to gate C4 and my main attraction:
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N12006, an almost brand new 787-10, and with United introducing the new livery, flying something in these particular colors and style is going to go down as a very rare catch.

United Airlines Flight 719
IAD-LAX
Depart IAD - 6:15pm (was actually 6:19)
Arrive LAX - 8:42pm (was actually 8:14)
Boeing 787-10
N12006


I put myself in Premium Plus as a gift for myself :bigthumbsup:

After fighting through gate lice, I made my way to my seat, 22L.
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N16009 was pulling out to FRA.
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Legroom was plentiful, and the window was positioned just perfectly for me. Again, as a taller person, I really like the big windows.
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There was a little bit of landing action to watch, but not a ton, mostly regional jets.
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These people and their darkened windows. Ain’t nobody got time to sleep when you can see fun stuff outside.
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We pushed more or less on time and pointed toward runway 30. I guess a small tail wind isn’t so much to worry about. This 787-9 I think was going to Denver.
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I don’t know where this 757 was going.
https://youtu.be/pMOTgX6rlfs
We lumbered this big beast off of runway 30 and headed west.
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We flew right by my family’s area in Winchester. Too bad I couldn’t get in touch with them and tell them to go outside.
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And then I played with the window tint because I’m a child at heart :spin:
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But then I opened it back up.
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Until someone in the cabin crew seized control of all windows :bored: One would think the tinting windows are cool, but if you want to look out that’s a big old minus for the 787. Looney Toons was my entertainment during the “blackout.” Then the crew rolled around with cabin service, I kindly asked if they could allow me to open mine, which they did.
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I did dim it one notch because the sun was very bright.
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The rest of the way, I pretty much just enjoyed life.
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Soon enough, it was time to descend to Los Angeles.
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Sunsets are best viewed from the air.
https://youtu.be/J-sRU-f58C0
Landing on runway 25L.
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And in. I’ve never been to terminal 7, so a new experience for me there.
Just like in Washington, I was the very last one off the plane. It was kind of by accident. I was chatting with a couple of flight attendants.
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I did snag a photo of Polaris before I got off. I didn’t explore the aircraft in flight so as not to disturb my seat mate.
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No really good places to take a photo. This was the best I could get. Kind of old school at gate 74 just pulling right up to the side of the building. N12006 was resting overnight before flying back to IAD the next morning.
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I caught a bus to the Embassy Suites where I was staying. I was rather tired, so I ordered dinner and then went to bed.
Thursday was my day of fun.
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Starting off the day with Randy’s Donuts is never a bad idea :yummy:
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The view from my balcony was decent enough.
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United 777-300 from Sydney. Eventually, I ventured out for some more.
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Beautiful morning.
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When you’re in LA, of course you have to get the goods.
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Not much variety these days. Lots of Southwest and Delta 737s and ERJs.
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I walked back to my hotel in an effort to not be in the sun too long. I didn’t bring any protection, and wasn’t interested in purchasing something overpriced. I hung out there with the intention of going back out later. My previous night of sleep was very, very poor because my hotel room was simply too warm and my body still being on Eastern Time. Because of that, I kind of accidentally took a 4.5 hour nap and didn’t wake up until after dark. Oops. It was late enough I just ordered some dinner and went to bed, since I did have to wake up Friday at a somewhat of a reasonable hour.

Friday I was dropped at Terminal 1 at about 11:15. I did myself a solid arriving at Terminal 7 and leaving from 1. Then I didn’t have to sit in any of that absurd traffic.
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TSA was again a breeze, and I had some time, so I sat in one of those chairs right near where it spits you out. N8561Z was going to Dallas.
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N8303R was driving from San Jose. I caught a ride on him before.
My aircraft landed from ATL just after 12pm. Today was on a 737-700.
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Southwest Airlines Flight 3214
LAX-ATL
Depart LAX - 1:34pm (was actually 1:34)
Arrive ATL - 9:00pm (was actually 8:33)
Boeing 737-700
N468WN

Boarding in groups of 10 was more reminiscent of “normal” boarding where people crowd the boarding area even though they’re among the last in order.
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I took seat 5A and remembered how spoiled I was having good window placement on the way out. The 737’s windows are so low I have to hunch over big time.
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A couple of fun things taxied by while we were waiting.
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Pushing on time and heading to runway 24L.
https://youtu.be/D5e8g562NmI
Takeoff from 24L. I deliberately sat on the left side for the good views leaving Los Angeles.
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And they did not disappoint. Beautiful day.
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Long Beach, specifically the Long Beach GP Circuit.
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Auto Club Speedway in the distance.
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Then the landscape changed pretty rapidly, and we all settled in.
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I saw the snack bags and hoped the honey-roasted peanuts were back. Oh well.
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Wasn’t expecting to see Meteor Crater.
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Which would then mean this is Winslow, Arizona. Such a fine sight to see.
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I didn’t purchase wifi for this flight, so I have no way of knowing where this aircraft was going. I swear it looks like Lufthansa, but it was way too late in the day and too far south for that to be passing by.
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Some of the American landscape, including the Mississippi River.

The time in between was mostly filled with me watching Jeopardy and Undercover Boss on my iPad. Easy enough.
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Passing Six Flags on the descent to ATL.
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And Atlanta itself.
https://youtu.be/6PlQve58_T8
Landing on runway 26R. The controller sounded like he was having a good time.
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Some RJ going somewhere
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Taxiing in to the ramp as an A330-300 takes off for LAX, coincidentally enough.
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And in at gate C21. I got a little disoriented with the Delta half of C being walled off. The place was a ghost town. The only flight left of the evening was one to Pittsburgh. Sad.

Good flights, and another fun time. I really hope all our favorite airlines make it to the other side. I’m trying my damnedest to not be deterred. I have nothing else booked as of now. Hopefully can get some more soon. Thanks for reading :wave:
Last edited by 777ER on Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Flame bait language
Careful, doors are closing, and will not reopen. Please wait for the next train.
 
DrAustin
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:41 am

Re: A Postponed Trip: ATL-IAD-LAX-ATL on United and Southwest

Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:48 am

Your Flight Reports are simply the best!
 
maps4ltd
Posts: 894
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: A Postponed Trip: ATL-IAD-LAX-ATL on United and Southwest

Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:59 pm

The plane you thought was Lufty looks like UPS.
Next flights:
Who knows? :/
 
User avatar
MarcoPoloWorld
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:37 am

Re: A Postponed Trip: ATL-IAD-LAX-ATL on United and Southwest

Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:55 am

Thank you for this cool and interesting trip report of a domestic hop... I thought that United now offers the full Premium Economy service in Premium Plus even for domestic flights - but perhaps that's only for the PS service between EWR and LAX/SFO. Here's what one reviewer was served on a 787 PE flight EWR-SFO last fall:

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Credit: Live and Let's Fly

Aside from the meal, other enhancements included free booze and better headphones.

About LAX, I love staying at any of the hotels on Century Boulevard; usually I walk there coming out of the airport, and then just use their shuttle service when going back.

After your RJ + widebody adventure on the outbound, it was a bit anticlimactic to see you return on WN lol. Is DL not flying any widebodies between LAX and ATL during covid?

Anyway, thanks for the great TR! :airplane:
 
CO764
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:50 pm

Re: A Postponed Trip: ATL-IAD-LAX-ATL on United and Southwest

Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:20 am

Great TR & pics, thanks for sharing!

maps4ltd wrote:
The plane you thought was Lufty looks like UPS.


Looks more like a FedEx DC-10 or MD-11 to me. Probably heading westbound out of Memphis.

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