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Southwest MDW-TPA and back

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  • Southwest MDW-TPA and back

    Well I wanted to get away from chilly ol' Chicago so I booked a flight from MDW to TPA and got it for a reasonable $146.00. I've gotten it much better but this wasn't that bad..I just wish I could still fly the ATA 757-300 to PIE

    BTW-This is the first time I've ever done a trip report so if the links don't work...tell me how to do them please!!

    So I had testing the day that I left and it was a half day but it was the LONGEST day ever. I got out of school finally at 1:35 realizing my flight didn't leave until 6:45...time DID NOT fly. But anyways, here goes.

    Southwest flight 2733
    Depart 6:45 Arrive 10:15
    Gate A15-Gate C38
    Row 15A
    Runway 31C-Runway 36L
    Boeing 737-700 N751SW-Old Colors-Winglets
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    So I got to the airport around 5:30...already printed out my boarding pass online so it was straight to security...really no one in line on a Wednesday evening so I just breased through...a really annoying TSA guy kept tellin people "LANE 7 IS OPEN--THEY'RE THE BEST AND FASTEST THERE IS--STEP ON OVER THEY'RE GREAT...everyone just looked at him like he was an idiot...he sure was acting like one.

    Kind of a long walk to A15, all the way at the end of the concsoure...I think it's one of the gates SWA acquired from ATA since they used to be only in Concourse B. This was my first time on SWA and when I got there, keeping in mind there was an hour left til' departure, there were already about 30 people standing in the A line--I was like Oh great...I wanted to wait by the window so I could catch the tail number of the plane...and by the time it came, only about 15 minutes before scheduled departure time, there was already a HUGE I just walked over and about 20 people were asking "Is this the A line" and I just nodded my finally we boarded and I was surprised at how fast the line went...I kinda like the noise the boarding pass scanner makes when it beeps...kinda fun

    My first impression of the plane was pretty darn nice...very clean and spacious. A male flight attendent (who looked like my old Science teacher ) in his UPS type shorts greeted me while making coffee or sumtin like that. Of course, I wanted a window seat right by the wing and there were plenty of open seats by the time I got there...everyone wanted the I plopped into 15A, happy with the seat I chose. The seats were very comfy and no one was sitting the middle seat but I miss the ATA headreasts...I'm 6'0 so the adjustable thingy made it nice even though they like never stayed!

    Surprisingly we pushed back on time, and they did their safety briefing and the flaps were kinda noisy, but that's the way I like em!! So we taxiied to 31C and we were #1 for takeoff...gotta love the three dings when you're cleared for takeoff. We used a pretty good amount of the runway and boom..we were on our way...actually heard the landing gear retract for the first time in a 737. I've only heard it once before and that was on a NWA DC-9. We turned left after takeoff and the flaps were retracted. I was looking for my house but still haven't seen it except for the time my instructor took me past it...that was kinda cool.

    At 10,000 feet, the flight attendents walked around and took our drink orders on a peice of paper...I think it's better if they just use the cart and pour as they took forever for us to get our drinks both there and back...I got the cran-apple juice...pretty good...they passed out a bag of peanuts and a bag of these Ritz snack sticks...really good actually, but that isn't very much for a 2 hours flight...but you get what you pay for. So the captain came on as the sun was setting and said we were at 41,000 feet and bla bla the rest of the flight I just kinda looked out the window and looked for airports...I didn't really find any since it was dark. I didn't really see the flight attendents much this flight...they really only came around three times...once for drinks and food and twice for garbage...hmm...they were nice just not...very attentive. I reallllly wish SWA would have some IFE b/c that was one of the most boring flights ever...all I did was listen 2 my music which got boring after a while.

    So we started our descent and flew along the west coast of Florida for quite a while. I was waiting to see the landing lights go on at 10,000 and finally they did. We were pretty low but still no flaps or nething...then we made a sharp left turn and I heard the thump of the gear go down and simultaneously the flaps went down to 25 degrees I think...they sure didn't go down in any increments that's for sure. Then outta nowhere I spot to parallel runways and there glidescope indicators...two red two I new it was TPA and we were just right...not too high...not too low...JUST RIGHT! So after the turn was done, the last degrees of flap went down and we just kinda glided in. We crossed a bridge which would be a cool spotting place for 36L. We crossed over the water...then onto land and reduced power to idol and set down on the runway...spoilers up and lots of braking and reverse...we came in kinda fast...we turned off at a highspeed turn-off I think and taxied to the new Airside C. We docked and it took about 15 minutes to get off the plane. We were 15 minutes early and my uncle had just left his house in Clearwater so I had about 30 minutes to wait. I finally got off the plane and WOW...the terminal was just amazing...everything was glass wood and marble. The ceilings were super high and the entire circle of the terminal was glass. The floor was marble and the walls were wood. I followed everyone to where you get on the train to the main terminal. The terminal was just dead...we were the only flight there and there was NO ONE at security except the TCA people. So I got on the train and we went to the main terminal. If you've ever been to TPA, you probably know that the trains aren't as cool as the ones at DEN say...they don't make cool noises and they dont go as fast lol.
    I knew I had time to kill so I looked to my left and saw signs for a observation deck, so I went out there and there isn't really a view of anything. Some guy was complaining about how the TSA banned lighters on flights and he can't smoke after the flight so the guy he was complaining to was like hey they have these automatic lighters on the railings...there kinda cool so he's like o yea...bla bla bla. So I went down the long escaltor and into the arrivals area. It looks kinda Dulles I guess. But TPA has a GREAT idea...everytime I fly somewhere my flight it either early or delayed...TPA has these biiiig boards that display if the flight is arrived, delayed, or early in the arrival area. I was actually surprised to see some people parked there and the cops didn't really care. If you've ever been to MDW or ORD, you know the cops are on your ass...for real they don't let you sit for like 5 seconds..specially at MDW...they toot there whistles and just yell at you. They're really annoying and rude! So my uncle finally picked me up and we had a good time at the beach and jetskiing.

    Southwest flight 447
    Depart 9:20 Arrive 10:55
    Gate C-38-Gate B1
    Row 16A
    Runway 36R-Runway 31C
    Boeing 737-300 N663SW-New colors
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    After a fun week, it was time to go home to cold Chicago and face reality. My uncle woke me up at 6:30. I had some smore pop-tarts and did my usual morning shtuff. We left at about 7:15. The traffic was horrible and just my luck...we caught just about every red light. We finally got to the airport and the drive into the airport is pretty cool-Gulf-to-Bay whatever is a pretty cool road...all along the bay. And then going into the airport is pretty cool-it has a good view of all the terminals and the runway action too. So he dropped me off at the SWA check-in desks and I walked in, hoping for an A boarding pass but my uncle pretty much told me I wouldn't get it. DARN!

    I didn't have any bags to check so I went to the rapid check-in kiosk. It asked for a major credit card but I'm only 14 so I don't exactly have one...but I did have my United Mileage Plus card with me so I put that in and it said we need more information...Confirmation number or flight number...I put in the flight number and it said we need more so I put in the confirmation number and it finally worked and spat out...alas...a B boarding card GRRR. I went upstairs and the weird thing is-in order to get on the train to the terminal they need your ID and boarding pass AND at security they check it again-kinda weird but who cares. I got on the train and all the doors closed and we just say there. Then, not the train doors but the terminal doors opened and we sat there some more...then they closed again and we were on our way...kinda weird but...ok. I walked into the terminal and it took me a while to find the gate. I think I misread A38 for A36 so I walked there and it said Birmingham so I checked again and it said A38. OOOK THEN. Security was fine. The things you walk through make weird noises when they go off and the guy in front of me took FOREVER to take off his watch...seriously like 5 minutes. So instead of walking to the gate, I checked out the Terminal. Nothin' but SWA at the terminal...the Midwest flight didn't depart til' 10:30 and for some reason, Independence Air and Spirit haven't moved in yet like they were suposed to? Anyone know why? There was a lone Song 757 sitting at the end of the terminal but no one was there. Song doesn't even use Concourse C...and I have no idea why it was there. Hmmm. So I finally walked to my gate and not too many people were in the A line and no one was in the B line. So I sat at the window hoping to get the tail number before the B line got full. I saw people start lineing up out of the corner of my eye so I walked over there and just waited. The plane finally got in and a few minutes before, the guy in front of me went to throw away something and no one cared so I just walked over to the glass and got it and walked back. I was nervous before b/c I've seen episodes of airline where people just like cut you outta line...pretty uncivilized. Boarding took a while and it was funny listening to a buncha business guys talking about the A380's maiden flight...they had no clue what they were talkin bout but luckily for me I got on the plane and got a good seat right by the flaps.

    We pushed back about 10-15 minutes late and started the engines. I think SWA should invest on their overhead bins like United did putting the inproved ones on the Classic just feels airier. One of the flight attendents names was Atlanta...never heard that one before. And not to sound racist, but she was white! But anyway, flaps to 10 I think and we were on our way to 36R. We turned on the runway and off we went. It was a pretty long roll and we just went straight north. They did the same thing they did on the way there with the drinks and food only this time we got these vanilla wafers--pretty good but I liked the Ritz sticks better. Once again it took forever but whatever. I dunno about you but I LOVE looking at the Sky Mall magazines. The stuff they come up with is so funny sometimes. So I alternated looking through that and out the window. We passed RIGHT over ATL and it was pretty cool. I could see some action on the runway and I was pretty impressed. We also passed a Delta 737-200, a Citation, and another Delta plane that I couldn't tell what it was. We cruised for what seemed like forever and then we sloooowly started to descend. I had to go to the bathroom so I walked to the front and before we took up, they said don't wait in the front b/c of FAA regulations. Sure enough, it was occupied so I walked to the back where all 3 flight attendents were. It was pretty cramped waiting for whoever was taking there time dumping in the bathroom. Finally after like 5 minutes I got impatient and walked back to the front where it was vacant. As I did the seat belt sign came on and so after I whizzed, I took my seat and just waiiiiiited. We came over Indiana and finally MDW. We dropped about 5-10 degress of flaps for about 5 minutes then the gear. Then in increments the rest. I hadn't landed on 31C in a long time. The last 3 times I've landed on 4R and even 22L which is pretty rare. I love that approach--over the railroad yard and the hotels and then plop...right onto the runway. Once again, we came in fast and lost of turning and corrections on final. We went over the fence and as he reduced to idol, he made sharp left turn and we touched down a tad bit hard but it wasn't too bad. Immediately all brakes and reverse and spoilers and we stopped without about 1,000 to go...I no cuz I saw the markers on the side of the runway. Now on the NG 737s, from the wing seats, you can't see the reverse doors, but on the Classic ones, you can see them quite clearly. I guess the engines are shaped differently!

    We taxied towards the gate, holding short of 4R-22L for a few minutes and then to B1. SCORE! Not a long walk at all. So once, again it took forever and the jetway was broken so they told us to hold on a few minutes. But finally I got off and walked downstairs and to the Southwest arrival area where I was the ONLY one and perfect timing, my mom picked me up in 2 seconds. On I was to school where I arrived in PERFECT timing to miss the worst class ever--HONORS ALGEBRA---yuk

    So ends my first Southwest trip. Overall impressions--pretty good I guess. You get what you pay for but Southwest has a good product. Just need some IFE. Hope this wasn't too long and boring and I hope the links work.
    There's nothing to fear but feat itself....ATA rocks my sox!!!!
    Go White Sox

  • #2
    Great Report...but the photos aren't working.
    - The baby will be back -


    • #3
      Nice job! I see you're pretty new to JP...welcome!

      Here are the two pics he had linked, babypurin:

      If you weren't sure ATAPIE757-300, here's how you stick photos from the database in posts: [photoid= pic number ] & take out the spaces.



      • #4
        Welcome to JP. Nice report.


        • #5
          Nice Report, Welcome to Jetphotos!!
          SET LOVE FREE!!


          • #6
            Awesome trip report! I miss flying Southwest Airlines, its only been 3 months but whatever lol, I only feel like I am at home with Southwest Airlines!

            Stop Searching. Start Traveling.