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mke717spotter
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Posts: 2292
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:32 am

United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:10 am

Hello everybody I'm back with another trip report. These flights happened back before Halloween but I've been pretty backed up in terms of finishing up my other recent trip reports. As some of you may know, I'm from the Milwaukee area and I currently go to school at the University of Arizona in Tucson. A lot of my friends from high school are at UW Madison and I had always played around with the idea of flying out there for Halloween weekend. I always get told how crazy the parties are over there during that time, but at the same time I didn't want to miss out on the stuff going on in Arizona. Well, this time around Halloween fell on a Thursday and it turned out that most of the Halloween stuff in Madison was going on the weekend before, while in Arizona the day of Halloween. This way I'd be able to take in the fun of Halloween at both schools! Aside from that I was also excited about being able to fly into MSN for the first time. I pretty much went with the cheapest flights I could find, and MSN isn't usually a very cheap place to fly from. So without further ado, on to the report...(Oct. 25-28)
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This first couple of pictures don't really have anything to do with the flights, but I thought I'd include them anyways since they look kind of cool. I took them during sunset from the roof of my apartment a few days before I left for Madison.

Looking towards campus.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/827/774q.jpg

Downtown Tucson.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/835/7okw.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/41/kvce.jpg

On the day of departure it was an early wake-up call for me since my shuttle ride up to PHX was at 4:15 AM. Like I said, I went with cheapest flights I could find and that ended up being a 7:45 AM departure. I was already pretty worn out since my hell week with school had just ended and then I didn't fall asleep that night until after midnight.    In other words, it was going to be a day full of red bulls, coffee, etc. When we got to PHX the sun was just starting to come up.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/607/sqh9.jpg

I headed inside terminal 2 to check in for my flights and everything went routinely. This terminal never seems to get too busy since only UA and AS use it. When I got to the security checkpoint I put my toiletry kit on the belt for the x-ray machine since I had forgotten to get a plastic zip-lock bag for my liquids. Then one of the TSA agents proceeded to lecture me on how I have to leave it open and unzipped or else it "slows up the whole process." I didn't so much care when I was younger, but now that I'm flying a lot more often I'm starting to get tired of all the hassles that come along with dealing with TSA. Anyhow, once that was taken care of I headed over to gate 3 where our 739 was getting prepped for the flight to DEN.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/89/fzax.jpg

I walked down to the end of the concourse (where there's a lot of empty, boring space) and this AS 734 was going to SEA.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/849/24h8.jpg

With not much else going on, I headed back to the gate and waited for boarding to start. This flight was going to be full so I took advantage of getting my bag checked for free at the gate. My seat was 30A.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/594/ykgl.jpg

Once everything was set, we pushed back and taxied out to runway 7L. There wasn't any other traffic so we took off immediately and continued to climb out smoothly over eastern Phoenix.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/841/4lk5.jpg

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http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/20/jhvb.jpg

Not long after departure we passed over the famous Arizona Meteor Crater. This is the second time I've seen it on a flight from PHX.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/856/fcwl.jpg

During the beverage service I got a cup of coffee along with cranapple juice. Overall the flight was smooth and after the snow-capped Rockies came into view we started descending into DEN.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/19/h9vz.jpg

We landed on runway 35L and then taxied over to the B concourse.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/543/7leg.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/35/zmrh.jpg

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We parked at gate B20, and our 739's next flight was to EWR.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/203/3gh3.jpg

I checked one of the flight information monitors and saw that my next flight to ORD was leaving from gate B45, so I started walking down that way. On the walk over I got an up-close encounter with one of UA's new 787s. This particular flight was heading to NRT.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/853/7x9f.jpg

When I got to the gate the aircraft for our flight hadn't arrived yet, so I walked around the concourse some more. The last time I was at DEN, our evening flight got cancelled and we ended up having the sleep overnight in the terminal! Eventually the 757 for our flight did arrive though, so it didn't look like there was going to be any problems this time around.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/89/1w4z.jpg

I was seated in 31A for this flight, and after pushing back we taxied out to runway 8 for takeoff.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/27/7hp2.jpg

Luckily for me Channel 9 was turned on for this flight. I only flew UA for the first time a year ago so I've only been able to experience it a few times, but I love it! It’s too bad it’s not installed on all aircraft across the fleet.

Similar to the first flight, this one had a full load and it was pretty smooth throughout. I got some more coffee during the drink service and then just listened to channel 9 and looked out the window. Our descent into ORD took us out over the Lake Michigan coastline before turning around to line up with runway 27R. I love this approach into ORD because you get a great overview of downtown.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/819/k48f.jpg

It must've been a kind of windy outside because as we got lower it got a little bit bumpier. After landing we taxied over to gate C25.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/24/e9u0.jpg

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Since I had such little experience flying UA up to that point, this was the first time that I had been in terminal 1 at ORD. It also felt a little weird having to make a connection there, because in the past being at ORD meant the trip was over except for having to drive back up to Wisconsin.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/838/uql0.jpg

As expected, my flight from MSN was leaving from the F gates at terminal 2. I passed through the tunnel connecting both concourses of terminal 1, and reminded me a lot of the one at DTW.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/841/t5vr.jpg

On the walk over I stopped a couple times to check out some of the action. This UA 738 was going to ANC - quite a long flight!
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/36/0y7n.jpg

Once I got over to terminal 2 this ended up being my LAST up-close encounter with a DL DC-9 before they were all removed from service.   It’s pretty sad that they're all gone, but at least I managed to get on several flights the past few years in anticipation of their eventual retirement. This particular flight was to ATL.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/12/30n2.jpg

The gate for my flight to MSN, F1, was one of the ground level boarding gates and it was kind of a madhouse over there because it seemed like they were boarding 3-4 flights at a time. I walked around to get a view of the CRJ for my flight, and unfortunately it ended up being one in the boring OO livery. For some reason I always get annoyed flying in planes that have a mismatched/generic livery.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/822/vqb9.jpg

After a little bit of waiting they started boarding for our flight and we headed downstairs and onto the tarmac.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/854/wtx7.jpg

Following push back we made quick taxi over to runway 32L and then took off to the north. It was hard to take any decent pictures for the first half of the flight due to glare from the sun setting. Obviously this flight was just a short hop so there wasn't a regular drink service, but the flight attendant did come through the aisle offering water. About halfway through the flight I looked across the aisle through the other window and I could make out my house as well as MKE. It definitely was a little strange seeing that when I wouldn't actually be over there until Thanksgiving! Once was passed MKE we turned to the west and started the descent into MSN.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/542/jz41.jpg

We flew in from the northeast and our descent was mostly over the rural outskirts of Madison.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/812/m77o.jpg

We landed smoothly on runway 21 and then taxied to the gate. The terminal was pretty deserted at the time.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/35/4e4f.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/36/cghb.jpg

After deplaning I headed downstairs to the baggage claim to collect my luggage. Once down there I waited, and waited, until eventually the belt shut off and my bag was still nowhere to be seen. Lately I had been having some problems with airlines misplacing my bag so I was starting to think "here we go again." I went over to the UA office next to the carousel and saw my bag sitting in there along with a few others. The guy told me that apparently it had come in on an earlier flight about an hour ago. Not sure if that meant they put it on the non-stop DEN-MSN flight instead or what, cause I didn't think there was an earlier flight at ORD that I could've made it to in time. Anyways, with that taken care of I headed outside and about ten minutes later my friend picked me up.
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During my weekend stay in Madison I stayed with one of my friends from high school. He lives on campus in a house run by the Evans Scholars Foundation. It’s kind of like a fraternity, but instead its more of a scholarship house and they recruit people out of high school who were heavily invested in caddying/golf. On Friday and Saturday night we went in our costumes, and of course, I had to make my costume aviation related so I went with the Tom Cruise Top Gun outfit.  http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/27/b9ur.jpg

Overall it was a fun couple of nights. We went out to a few parties, and also hit up some of the bars. It was cool meeting up with some of my other high school friends who go to UW Madison and then also seeing the few others who came in for that weekend as well. It was also nice being able to experience the fall weather for the first time in a while, something I had been unable to do the past few years since I've been in Arizona during that time. Here's a picture looking down State Street up to the Capital Building. The campus in Madison is a lot different to mine in Arizona in the sense that it’s much more urban and blended into the city.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/196/vt22.jpg

Looking up Bascom Hill. It’s kind of the symbolic "center" of campus.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/546/mmhu.jpg

On Sunday we didn't really do a whole lot but just kind of relaxed/recovered from the past two nights. In the evening we watched Packers-Vikings game The Packers smoked them that night, but then the following week Aaron Rodgers got hurt and things kind of spiraled out of control for a while...Anyways, after the exciting weekend it was time to head back to Arizona.
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My flight to MSP was at 9:30 AM so I got up a little bit after 7 to shower and get ready to go to the airport. It was a short ride over to MSN and when we got there my friend and I said our goodbyes - although nothing too dramatic since we'd be seeing each other in a few weeks during Thanksgiving break. I then headed inside to check in and things were pretty quiet. I understand that MSN received some renovations not too long ago and the terminal definitely has a nice, modern feel to it.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/855/8q4r.jpg

After printing out my boarding passes I headed upstairs to the TSA checkpoint. Remembering what happened at PHX, I proceeded to take my toiletry kit out and unzip it, when one of the TSA guys interrupted and said "No, you don't have to do that. It slows everything down." At that point I was just kind of like "wtf?". I was about to tell him that the people in PHX had told me to do the exact opposite thing, but it was still pretty early for me so I just dropped it and went on through into the gates area.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/600/9lkw.jpg

At first the only other flight there was a DL flight to LGA that had been delayed, until this UA CRJ arrived from DEN.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/577/o0h4.jpg

I went over and bought a coffee and a muffin for some breakfast and soon afterwards the A320 for my flight arrived and pulled into the gate.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/18/io5i.jpg

The traffic started to pick up at that point as two more UA flights arrived.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/571/x9yk.jpg

Once everyone finished deplaning from the inbound flight they started boarding for my flight to MSP. Similar to when I left in PHX, the flight was full so I was able to check my bag at the gate for free.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/850/1w5z.jpg

We pushed and then taxied out to runway 36 for an immediate takeoff.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/827/no0z.jpg

Not long after reaching our cruising altitude we passed over the LSE area.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/19/vfuo.jpg

Soon afterwards we started our descent into MSP. It was a pretty cool, scenic approach, especially given the clear skies that day. We flew past the airport and went right over downtown before turning around to line up with runway 12L.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/199/wpzx.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/689/pkuu.jpg

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After landing we made a bit of a long taxi over to gate G15. Our A320's next flight was to ABQ.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/191/ypui.jpg

My connection time at MSP was somewhat tight, so after deplaning I headed straight over to gate F8 for the flight to PHX. Right as I got there boarding was about to begin, and almost fittingly at the adjacent gate they were also boarding this MD-90 to TUS. I ended up taking this flight following winter break on my way back to Tucson.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/812/58hp.jpg

Eventually they called my zone and I headed aboard to seat 37F.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/703/4pkm.jpg

Once everyone one was seated we pushed back and taxied out to runway 17. There was a small line of aircraft in front of us, but once they went up we took off. During the climb out I got another great overview of the airport and downtown Minneapolis.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/854/lubg.jpg

It was a smooth, uneventful flight and for the most part I just looked out the window and listened to my IPod. I took out my laptop and was going to access the WIFI, but it was a little too pricy for me. I think it’s a much better bargain on WN.

After we passed over the mountains the terrain below started to resemble the desert a bit more and that meant we were getting closer to PHX.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/191/u94z.jpg

Similar to the first flight, the perfect weather outside made for another great approach. We landed on runway 26 and from there it was a short taxi to the gate.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/36/v5t6.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/546/b1xg.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/15/p3hk.jpg

Here's our 757 at the gate getting prepped for the return flight.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/42/4s5z.jpg

I then headed out to the baggage claim to collect my suitcase and from there I went over to the shuttle pick up for the two hour drive back to Tucson.
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This is my 30th trip report and I hope you enjoyed reading it! I know there wasn't really anything that special about these flights, but like I said who knows when I'll get another chance to fly through MSN so that's the main reason I decided to write this report. It’s definitely a nice little airport (kind of like TUS) so hopefully the amount of flights through there continues to increase. Oh, and in case you're wondering I didn't skip class on Friday and Monday.   All of my classes were Tuesday-Thursday. Thanks again for reading!!!
 
EricR
Posts: 1226
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:15 pm

RE: United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:08 pm

Nice trip report....however......

Quoting mke717spotter (Thread starter):

I currently go to school at the University of Arizona in Tucson. This first couple of pictures don't really have anything to do with the flights, but I thought I'd include them anyways since they look kind of cool.

There is nothing cool about pictures of Tucson or U of A. Go Devils!
 
767747
Posts: 2230
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:48 pm

Good report!

Quoting mke717spotter (Thread starter):
We parked at gate B20, and our 739's next flight was to EWR.

Nice view of the 739. I'm flying on one in a few weeks from now for work; it will be the first time on one with UA.

Quoting mke717spotter (Thread starter):
Looking up Bascom Hill. It’s kind of the symbolic "center" of campus.

My wife and I live in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and headed to Madison two years ago for a long weekend, and really enjoyed ourselves. Definitely a very fun place to visit! Great view here!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew
 
jetblue01
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:28 pm

RE: United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:57 am

nice trip report! im flying B6 through JFK to PHX on 4/17 to see embry riddle there, im excited to go to PHX. I have never been there
 
brilondon
Posts: 3164
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:56 am

RE: United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:54 pm

I enjoyed this trip report, thanks for sharing your experience with some great photographs.

Quoting jetblue01 (Reply 3):

nice trip report! im flying B6 through JFK to PHX on 4/17 to see embry riddle there, im excited to go to PHX. I have never been there

PHX is a beautiful city, I hope to spend some time there in the future for sightseeing and just enjoying it beyond being there on business.
 
MSNfan
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:24 am

RE: United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:30 am

Awesome report-As a former Badger it is always nice to see a report around here featuring MSN and the beautiful UW-Madison campus!! Thanks for sharing...
 
User avatar
mke717spotter
Topic Author
Posts: 2292
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:32 am

RE: United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:22 am

Thanks guys I'm glad you enjoyed reading through my report!

Quoting EricR (Reply 1):
There is nothing cool about pictures of Tucson or U of A. Go Devils!

Ha, well I'll admit that Phoenix/Tempe might be a nicer city than Tucson, but U of A will always be superior to the scumdevils!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 2):
My wife and I live in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and headed to Madison two years ago for a long weekend, and really enjoyed ourselves. Definitely a very fun place to visit! Great view here!
Quoting MSNfan (Reply 5):
As a former Badger it is always nice to see a report around here featuring MSN and the beautiful UW-Madison campus!!

Yeah, its definitly a great college town and a fun place to be. I'm looking into doing my postgraduate studies there.
 
CIDFlyer
Posts: 2261
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:19 am

RE: United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:52 am

great report and pictures! thanks for sharing!
 
mhkansan
Posts: 906
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:02 pm

RE: United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:44 am

I've never flown in or out of PHX during the day - always at night to catch those red-eyes! The scenery there looks amazing!

I know that gate F1 in ORD too well. Last time I was I noted it looked very out of place in the foyer of T2- no carpeting, and away from nearly all the other gates. I'm glad Eagle doesn't bother with any of those ground boarding gates, but navigating some of the crazy jetbridges on the G concourses can be a similar experience!

Madison looks like a neat city to visit. I need to make a point to go up there for a day sometime and explore the city. Is there an easy way to get to the city center from the airport?

Thanks for the excellent trip report and beautiful pictures!

-Brennan
 
adamspotter
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:06 pm

RE: United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:40 am

Nice report!
Looks like you had some enjoyable flights on UA & DL, good to see all the flights were full as well!
Always nice to catch a 739 and good to see UA were on time as well 
Quoting mke717spotter (Thread starter):
This UA 738 was going to ANC - quite a long flight!

And on a 738, ouch!

Thanks for sharing

cheers,

Brendan
 
CalebWilliams
Posts: 292
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:48 pm

RE: United/Delta PHX-DEN-ORD-MSN-MSP-PHX (pics)

Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:59 am

Quoting mke717spotter (Thread starter):

Did you take off runway 17 or 12L/R at MSP? The reason I ask is the view you posted would only be possible if you went straight out from 17 and made a very sharp right turn.

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