December 14, 2006
N759GS (737-700, old colors)
Scheduled Departure: 2:50pm
Actual Departure: 2:55pm
Scheduled Arrival: 5:00pm
Actual Arrival: 5:05pm
I arrived at MCO
really early, as my partner had things he had to do before he flew up the following day to meet my parents for the holidays. My flight wasn't until 2:50pm, however I was dropped off curbside at 11:45am. The airport was busier than I expected, still being 11 days away from Christmas. Come to find out, they must have been going other places than Louisville, because my flight was quite empty.
There was a bit of a line at the Southwest/Jetblue/Airtran entrance to security, so I walked about 75 feet further, to the Delta entrance, where there was absolutely no waiting. I find it funny that, although both lines lead to the same place, everyone always waits toward the north end of the terminal. I was through security in just about 3 minutes. I hopped on the rail and arrived at Airside 2 by noon.
I grabbed some lunch at Au Bon Pain, the new deli/bakery that just opened in the terminal. There are lots of changes happening in that terminal. More food options, In Motion DVD Rental, etc. I think Airside 2 is the most beautiful terminal at MCO
. The floor mosaic is truly amazing. For the next couple of hours, I read my book (Wicked) and spotted. About 45 minutes before boarding, I headed over to Gate 125 to await the inbound aircraft. While waiting, I recognized the voice of the person sitting next to me, as he was on the phone. It was Andrew Dan Jumbo, the hunky carpenter from TLC
's While You Were Out and Trading Spaces. Before you know it, he had massed quite the crowd of fans, anxious for an autograph. He was very nice to everyone, even pulling out his own head shots to sign. I thought he was going to be on my flight to Louisville, but as soon as they announced final boarding call for the BWI
flight at the next gate, he and his partner got up and boarded. I would think he would want to board first, so he and his traveling companion could sit next to eachother, but oddly enough they were most likely separated, and in middle seats, due to the flight being full.
Back to my flight... The FIDS display was showing a 20 minute early arrival from DEN
, however the plane arrived at the gate right on time. Even though there were only 65 passengers, I knew we would not pull off a 25 minute turn. There were 8 wheelchair passengers in the pre-board line. The captain came up to push one, and the operations agent pushed the other 7. After all the pre-boards, the operations agent began general boarding. Oddly, there was no announcement, EVER, by the agent. Actually, no announcements at the gate, period. I double-checked with the ops agent that this was indeed the flight to Louisville, and he told me it was. I was in the A Boarding Group, as I had printed my boarding pass online 24 hours before departure. I was the 10th person to check in online.
I went straight to the back, picked a row to myself (18F), and settled in. We pushed about 5 minutes late. We taxied to runway 36R and blasted off. It was cloudy most of the flight, but finally cleared up over Atlanta. The friendly flight attendants served drinks, crackers, and peanuts shortly after take-off. I opted for a Bloody Mary, as this would be my last drink for a few days! I had my money ($4) in hand, ready for the flight attendant, but she said "the first one is on us!" Very nice touch. So, needless to say, I had 2.
Decent into SDF
was very smooth. We flew north, past the field, into Indiana. We then made a 180 degree turn and flew right over downtown Louisville, past the University of Louisville, Papa Johns Stadium, and Churchill Downs. We touched down on-time, arrived at Gate B15 just about 5 minutes late. The renovations to SDF
are REALLY nice. Just about everything is brand new. I had no bags to claim, so I was picked up by Mom at the departure drop-off, to avoid the traffic.
December 18, 2006
N383SW (737-300, Arizona One)
Scheduled Departure: 11:35am
Actual Departure: 11:30am
Scheduled Arrival: 2:00pm
Actual Arrival: 1:30pm
Seat: 12A (Exit Row)
Once again, I had checked in online, this time the 2nd person to check in, so I received an A Boarding pass. I arrived at SDF
about 75 minutes before my flight. Security was painless, however they confiscated my Kenneth Cole after shave that I had received as a Christmas gift from my parents. The container it came in was 3.1 ounces. Of course, as we all know, the limit is 3 oz. I could've exited security and checked it, but the line was growing, and then I would've had to wait for baggage at MCO
, so I just gave it up. I REALLY wanted the cologne anyhow, which was in a smaller container. I was on the people mover toward the gates when I noticed a 757 near the cargo area at SDF
. After closer inspection, it turned out to be Air Force 2. I watched, who I'm assuming was the Vice President board, and take off at about 10:30am.
At the gate, I spotted mostly RJ
's (US and NW
), and a number of UPS 747's and an MD
-11, which I love. I noticed our plane on final to 35L. I knew it was ours because of the alternating landing lights, unique to many WN
aircraft. While taxiing to the gate, I noticed the Arizona flag painted on the side. This was indeed Arizona One. I boarded at the end of the A group and took a seat next to the window at the emergency exit. The flight attendant asked if I was willing and able to assist in the event of an evacuation, which I agreed to do.
For the leg room, of course! The service consisted of a beverage, crackers and peanuts. I asked for a can of Diet Coke, and was greeted with an "absolutely" by the flight attendant. The lead flight attendant, doing the announcements added a few of the "Southwest Standard" jokes into his briefing. However, he talked SOOOOO fast, I couldn't understand him, and I used to be a flight attendant for WN
! I knew what he was supposed to say, and I still couldn't get it. The flight was very smooth, at 37,000 feet. I actually fell asleep on the flight, which I never do. When I woke up I had a nice view of the Great Smoky Mountains (not so smoky!) and the east coast of Florida. We flew east of downtown Orlando and the field, then did a 180 towards the airport. Touchdown on 35R was very smooth. We taxiied the LOOOOONG taxi towards gate 120.
One final note: I would like to say "hi" to the spotters that were photographing our arrival into MCO
. I think there were 2 of you taking pictures of us behind the Comair Hanger as we were taxiing to our gate. I waved at you from seat 12A, so maybe I'm in one of your pictures.
Overall, I give WN
9.5 out of 10 for this trip. They delivered a good, clean product with no operational issues at all. I really enjoyed my flight. Coming from a former employee, it's nice to see them still doing, today, what made them so successful years ago.
This is my first trip report. Hopefully I'll be able to put some pictures in my next report. I wanted to get this one out of the way.
The safest place to be in an airplane crash is on the ground.