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STL-MKE-ATL Return On Airtran (Pics)

Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:06 am

The very next day after my trip up to STL I headed home, as I had class the day after my return. After my buddy’s graduation we got to STL at 2:00.
Apparently the rain just had to follow me form Atlanta. I think I’ve seen enough rainy days since September for a year. It was so cold this afternoon it was almost unpleasant, and I usually like cold weather. In any case I would be out of there shortly anyway.

My buddy and I were both on Airtran (though he was flying direct), so we headed to check-in together
I went through check in and decided to upgrade to business class on my flight from MKE. I changed from 21A to 2A. For some reason the machine said my check-in required special assistance. I’m not sure why, but the agent ran it through and handed me my boarding passes.

We had a little bit of time to kill, so we each went and got a quick bite to eat.
The departure board
Our flights were departing from gate B12 one after another, so we went to security and on to our gate.
With the unbelievably long line for security
A look down Concourse B
Looking over to the A gates
We arrived at gate B25 at 3:25. My flight was the first to depart

Airtran Airways Flight 355
Depart STL: 4:09 PM
Arrive MKE: 5:24 PM
Boeing 717-200

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Photo © Mark Kopczak
The board. My friend was on flight 794 later.

The airplane didn’t land until 3:35, but they did quite a good job getting everyone off and cleaning the plane, and boarding started at 3:45
Pulling in. Sorry for the reflection
They called zone 4 and I said goodbye to my friend and told him I would see him in Atlanta.
A little bit of a different look at the boarding door.

I went back to the exact same seat I flew up in, 23A. Once again, the seat next to me was unoccupied
Looking forward at the boarding madness
My window view from the gate
The American 757 across the way through the fog and all
Boarding finished pretty quickly, most likely because the load wasn’t 100%. We pushed back at 4:05 and taxied to runway 12R.
The B gates.
A random white ERJ sitting at the Delta gates
Takeoff was great as it was in Atlanta, and it was also extremely rough climbing out because of the weather, which was fine with me
Climbing through the storm
And out through the top
Cabin as we neared cruise.

We topped out at 35,000 feet still getting tossed around by rough air at times, and again I was just fine with that. Drinks and whatnot came around at 4:29
Simple, yet still enjoyable. Almost immediately after service was done we started descending at 4:40.
Spoilers up
Cabin during descent
Finally breaking through the clouds
One of several hard turns we would be making
Spoilers up again
The Milwaukee Mile
The city

We made one final turn to line up with runway 19R and I could have sworn we were going to roll over. He was turning the plane really hard, and the wings kept going, and going, and going, and going, and not only turning forever, but turning fast too. They had to be beyond 45 degrees. I’m not going to lie. I was alarmed for a second. Other than that approach was enjoyably rough,. We landed a 5:00 on the dot, 24 minutes ahead of schedule.
A Delta A319 and CRJ
Some paint I don’t see to much back home
US Airways A320 probably heading to PHX or CLT

We pulled in to gate C14, and I set foot in the state of Wisconsin for the first time.
Heading in to the terminal
N995AT prepping for the second leg of flight 355 to IND
My first impressions of MKE. It’s a nice terminal.
The end of the concourse where my flight to ATL would be leaving from
Something I found really cool was a map of all arriving flights.

I had a little bit of time to kill, so I bought a few magnets and then walked the concourse end to end, finishing at gate C23 where I was scheduled to depart.
The 717 that carried me from STL pulling out for IND

Airtran Airways Flight 211
Depart MKE: 6:05 PM
Arrive ATL: 9:02 PM
Boeing 737-700

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Photo © James Richard Covington
The arriving aircraft was a little late, so our departure time was thrown back a little bit. We started boarding at 5:51. My upgrade to business allowed me in with zone 1, so I hopped on immediately and took my seat in 2A

With some good legroom
Random look up front. Not sure why I took this
Window view. Sadly this flight would be at night, so pictures aren’t as abundant.
Takeoff from runway 19R. Takeoff was weak, with a very long roll, and so clearly not at full power (and the flaps weren’t out too far either). We really weren’t gaining much altitude and then about 30 seconds after rotation we throttled up a lot and then really started climbing. Is there a reason for this?
The pitch-up angle looks steep, but we really weren’t going much of anywhere. We eventually made it to 38,000 feet.

I set my watch to Eastern Time as they were coming around with drinks at 7:33.
There were clouds everywhere, so I really couldn’t get oriented. I spent the early part of the flight listening to 50s, 60s, and 70s on XM until it came time for the World Series of ESPN Radio, which I listened to all the way to ATL.

Descent started a 8:35 west of Atlanta for a runway 8L arrival
Some lights around the airport. Landing was fine, and we taxied to gate D3. We ended up having to wait for about 25 minutes while another plane cleared out. During this time I kept listening to the World Series.
Last picture, a 777 loading up and heading for Europe over at Concourse E. We finally pulled in and I met up with my patiently-waiting friend that I split from in STL and we headed back together. I had no baggage to collect, so we took the train back to the terminal, paid for my parking in the terminal, and drove back to Snellville.

I had a great experience on Airtran. I like the XM radio. It made my flights more enjoyable than just my MP3 player. It had been almost 4 years since I flew Airtran. I’m glad I could again.
Careful, doors are closing, and will not reopen. Please wait for the next train.
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RE: STL-MKE-ATL Return On Airtran (Pics)

Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:39 am

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
Apparently the rain just had to follow me form Atlanta. I think I’ve seen enough rainy days since September for a year.

October in STL has been ridiculous. The rain has been almost constant, which might be worrisome for the people by the river. Much of the area you would fly over on approach to the 12s, including that large mall off the left wing, was under water in 1993. But I guess people won't learn...

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
We had a little bit of time to kill, so we each went and got a quick bite to eat.

That place at the west end outside of security is new. I've never had the chance to try it, but it definitely looks like it beats the Burger King that was there before.

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
A random white ERJ sitting at the Delta gates

One of RP's house color planes probably, which are actually a relatively common sight in STL with all of the American Connection flying. (which is going away)

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
the load wasn’t 100%.

...which seems to be the rule rather than the exception on that route. A relative will be flying MKE-STL this week, and I'd be willing to bet that his flight is less that 3/4 full.

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
I had a little bit of time to kill,

If you have time to kill in MKE you should check out that little museum they have, which is outside security unfortunately. It isn't very big, but is stuffed with some pretty interesting memorabilia.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
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RE: STL-MKE-ATL Return On Airtran (Pics)

Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:32 pm

Good trip report and pictures. Always nice to see pictures from MKE.
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
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RE: STL-MKE-ATL Return On Airtran (Pics)

Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:08 pm

The random white ERJ-145 is actually a MESA/Freedom bird. That is their generic colors. CHQ is a blue/white combo.
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RE: STL-MKE-ATL Return On Airtran (Pics)

Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:36 pm

Good to see inside photos of STL airport of the Future
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RE: STL-MKE-ATL Return On Airtran (Pics)

Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:36 pm

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
Is there a reason for this?

Most likely ATC needed them moving. MKE going south feeds right into Chicago approach and/or center and there were probably traffic issues and ATC instructed you guys to climb at a faster rate, if able of course.

Great report though. Wisconsin is my home state and I learned to fall in love with aviation from one of those houses in your photo on short final.

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