Monorail From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 624 posts, RR: 5 Posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8371 times:
Featured in this trip report are a gratuitous amount of pictures of planes, palm trees, fountains, monorails, a couple short videos, and a good reason to think twice next time you lower your tray table.
After discovering a very nice $49 o/w fare to Tampa on southwest.com, I couldn’t resist taking a day trip.
I get to Hopkins Airport at about 5:15, two hours before my first departure. There’s already a long line at the WN ticket counter, which had not opened yet, it appears to be the only counter that hasn’t opened yet this morning. But it’s no matter to me, since I already printed my BP’s online, and with no baggage to check, I’m off to the security checkpoint, where there’s no wait whatsoever.
I now have plenty of time to wander around the terminal before my flight, so I visit all 4 concourses. The most active is concourse C, where the redeye bank is arriving, a lone 757-300 today (LAX, I believe) and the rest 737NG’s (SEA, LAS, SFO).
The 753 is headed to IAH.
Ship 502 (which I’ve flown on twice) is going to FLL.
Ship 508 just got in from SFO, headed to MCO.
Soon enough it’s time to go to the gate. Southwest operates 4 gates out of the end of the B concourse.
Southwest Airlines Flight 2065
June 10, 2008
N323SW (delivered 5/87)
Departs: 7:15 AM
Arrives: 8:20 AM
Load Factor: 100%
We begin boarding at gate B11 a few minutes before 7:00. I have ticket A31, so I board rather early on. I grab the first available window seat which happens to be 6A. Every passenger seat on board will be occupied on this very full flight, the agent warns us.
A batch of thunderstorms had come through the area very early this morning, so the ramp is still wet. It’s the same system we’re about to fly through/around on our way down to BWI.
We push on time, and a short taxi takes us to 24R for immediate takeoff. We turn north and head out over Lake Erie for a couple miles, then turn southeast. We find some rough air through the cloudcover, but it is still a relatively smooth flight. Flight attendants come through with coffee and orange juice for this short flight. I choose the orange juice. Many clouds sit outside my window for the first half of the flight, but nothing that interesting or threatening. As the flight goes on, the clouds become sparser and gradually become just a cloud of haze.
After 60 minutes of flying we find our way into an approach for 33L where we land smoothly. I’m amazed when we turn off the runway, because we taxi straight into gate A9, and it took less than a minute, definitely the quickest taxi from runway to gate I’ve ever experienced.
There she is, proud ship 323 arriving a few minutes late, now off to SAT. Ship 323 would pop up later today, I haven’t seen the last of her yet.
I have about an hour and a half until my next flight, so I have plenty of time to walk around the building, inside and out of the sterile area.
At the observation deck, a JT9D up close:
707 landing gear:
I think this is cool, the flight status boards have real time maps of the location of inbound and outbound aircraft:
As the time draws closer to my next departure, I head back to the WN gates. What I find at the checkpoint draws my attention. It’s been jazzed up a lot. For starters, the TSA agents wore royal blue shirts rather than the usual issue white. On the stanchions in the line were brief stories about individual agents, so you can “get to know” the people who are checking you. There are a lot of new fancy signs detailing the 3-1-1 policy. There are also several signs that explain the new controversial backscatter machines you can opt to go through if you win the lottery with an SSSS ticket, or if you set the normal metal detector off. Anyway, there was a very short line, so I’m though security quickly and I head to my gate, B9. The inbound a/c is still offloading pax from BUF, and the gate area is packed, with a lot of families, for another full flight.
Southwest Airlines Flight 1790
N637SW (Delivered 10/96)
Departs: 10:15 AM
Arrives: 12:30 PM
I have BP A20-something, so again I board early and take window seat 9F.
Once the bags are all loaded, we push about 10 minutes late, but the captain then informs us we are going to have to wait a while to get airborne with only 1 active runway, 33L, at the moment. We even let one company ship pass us in line before our number is called and we rocket down the runway at 10:45.
It’s a very smooth flight, and not many clouds to speak of, just a little haze.
Once we hit our cruising altitude of 34,000 feet, the flight attendants appear to take our beverage selections. Shortly thereafter, they reappear with snack offerings, a small bag of cheese crisps and the obligatory peanuts. Then they bring the drinks out.
My snack, drink, and IFE:
The rest of the flight is rather uneventful. Unexciting on the weather front, with smooth air all the way. After we’ve had a while to consume our in flight meals, the FA’s return to collect garbage and inquire if anyone desires a second round of beverages. I have a Diet Coke.
As we get closer to Florida, low level clouds (I don’t know the name of them) slowly appear, and they increase in size as we draw closer.
Our entire descent was over land. I hadn’t flown into TPA in 8 years so I was unfamiliar with the approach patterns. I have flown into FLL several times though and that is one of my favorite, most scenic approaches. Then again, I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised, since TPA has a north-south configuration, unlike FLL’s east-west, and we come straight in and land smoothly on 18L. Our taxi takes us into gate C37.
Two gates down I see a line of passengers exiting out the stairs down to the ramp. A closer look reveals it to be military personnel. A charter perhaps?
I over hear a bit of a conversation between an agent and a group of 5 UM’s in the front rows as I disembark. A young boy proudly told the agent who was supervising him, “I have $36 in my pocket!” to which the agent truthfully replied, “That’s more than I have,” in a tone that made me hard-pressed not to laugh but put a smile on my face.
My plane is serviced:
After missing the video function absent from my DSLR, I picked up another small P&S camera just to fill that void. This is my first dabble in posting video in a TR.
This is the monorail (well, train really) ride from the gates back to the main terminal:
Frequentflykid From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1197 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 8251 times:
I have a question about your departure from CLE. You said you took off from 24's and turned north then southeast. Are you sure you didn't depart the 6's? The reason I ask is because in my hundreds of departures from CLE I have never taken off on the 24's and turned right when departing to anywhere on the east coast. Just curious if maybe it's a new DP.
Monorail From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 624 posts, RR: 5 Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8167 times:
Quoting Frequentflykid (Reply 1): You said you took off from 24's and turned north then southeast. Are you sure you didn't depart the 6's?
I had to dig out my notes from the flight to double check, but I am sure we did takeoff on 24R and then turn immediately north then southeast. I'm not sure if it is a new DP or not, I'm sure you fly out of CLE more often than I do so I'm not in position to say. But there were thunderstorms all morning so that may have been a contributing factor.
Anyway, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
BAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4 Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8149 times:
Nice trip report with some excellent photos!
Quoting Monorail (Thread starter): I’m amazed when we turn off the runway, because we taxi straight into gate A9, and it took less than a minute, definitely the quickest taxi from runway to gate I’ve ever experienced.
Reminds me of a flight I did from SNN to LHR - we turned off 27R and pulled straight into our gate at T1...soooo nice!!
Thanks for the report.
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
Halcyon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8123 times:
Glad you got your pics working. An excellent report as always. I love the weather in the beginning.
My favorite part was not knowing whose feet have been on the tray table. How often do they wash those things, anyway? The time I was stuck on the CRJs all the way across America I slept on one. It was cramped, and because of the awkward angle, I think I drooled out three liters onto it. It was OK, because there was no one beside me or in the other aisle, but I just now realized how disgusting that is.
So, what was your drink? Cranapple? It looks good right now; I'm thirsty. I'm quite jealous that you got to see a BA777. I only ever see DL and UA ones. I also have to say that the Northwest Diesel 9 sure wears its colors well. Looking, too, at Spirit's new livery, the cream color of Airtran is very...almost dirty looking. But I don't find it that bad in real life.
Anyway, that's a great report. That kid had more money in his pocket than me, too.
CALRAMPER From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 92 posts, RR: 1 Reply 6, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8015 times:
Quoting Halcyon (Reply 4): My favorite part was not knowing whose feet have been on the tray table. How often do they wash those things, anyway? The time I was stuck on the CRJs all the way across America I slept on one. It was cramped, and because of the awkward angle, I think I drooled out three liters onto it. It was OK, because there was no one beside me or in the other aisle, but I just now realized how disgusting that is.
The aircraft cleaners wipe the tray tables down with a cleaning solution that kills almost anything every night
I'm just disappointed the worst came through in the morning while I was still at my house eating breakfast, so I feel a little cheated. The stuff I did see in the air was still good, don't get me wrong. I'm hoping for some better storms in MCO next month, since I'm flying in and out in the afternoon which is primetime.
Quoting Halcyon (Reply 4): The time I was stuck on the CRJs all the way across America I slept on one
I don't know which feat [pardon the pun] is more incredible, coast-to-coast in a day on a CRJ or sleeping with your face on the balance beam, and living to tell about both! It was a cranapple, very flavorful. I agree about FL, those old colors are looking real dingy now. Maybe they're trying to emulate AF.
Tsaord From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7774 times:
Quoting Monorail (Reply 7): I'm just disappointed the worst came through in the morning while I was still at my house eating breakfast, so I feel a little cheated.
Do you mean you like to fly through bad weather???
I'll be taking WN to Orlando twice this year. To the Citrus Bowl at the end of August and back for Disney and Not So Scary Halloween. I guess it rains a lot in Florida because its humid there. I just hope I do NOT have to fly through any bad turbulence or weather related stuff. My young heart can't take it lol.