No announcement yet.


  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • US/YX MKE-PHX-MKE (pics)

    Hello there once again as I'm back with yet another trip report. This time the purpose of the flights wouldn't be for a vacation or a daytrip, but for college visits. Being a senior in high school, I knew I wanted to go out and explore some colleges located outside of the Midwest. I couldn't really picture myself going anywhere in the Northeast or Deep South, so I turned my attention to the Southwest and that's when Arizona State and the University of Arizona really started standing out to me. The campuses looked pretty cool from some of the pictures I looked at and both schools aren't too terribly hard to get into. Not to mention the, what is it, 360 days of sunny, dry, warm weather they get down there?! {sun} That pretty much sells itself! After all, having lived in Wisconsin my entire life I could definitely go for the idea of passing on a few winters. Oh yeah, and having the chance to fly out there and back for visits 2-3 times per year helps too. ()-) {thumbsup} It took a little convincing, but eventually I got the go-ahead as my parents warmed up to the idea of going out there to check the schools out in-person. My dad let me create the itinerary so for the outbound flight I picked US (because I had never flown them before) and then YX for the return. The flights were to take place only days before YX was to remove all their 717s from service, so at least this way I knew I'd get a chance to fly on em one last time...or so I thought. Turns out, two weeks after we booked the flights, our 717 flight got switched to an E190! {banghead} Ugh oh well, at least I had gotten to try the YX 717 once before, plus this way I'd get a chance to try out a new plane type in the E190. Anyways, two days after taking the ACT it was finally time to head out, so on with the report...(Oct. 26-27)

    Departure time from MKE was 7:15 AM, so after getting up at 5 AM we left for the airport not too long after and found ourselves in the parking garage with about an hour and half to go until departure. Only my Mom and I were going this time, so we just drove ourselves and then left the car in the parking structure overnight. We then went inside and down to US's ticket counters which are all the way at the end.

    As you can see from the picture, there really weren't that many people in line and in no time we got up to one of those self check-in machines and printed out our boarding passes. Since we had all our stuff in a small carry-on suitcase, we didn't have to worry about checking any bags so we were set to go. Then as we were heading up this for some reason caught me by surprise a bit when I first saw it, WN's new ticket counters! I guess it somehow slipped my mind that their start at MKE was only days away.

    After getting a quick bite to eat at Cinnebun, it was on to security. When we got in line there was this white, kind of fat, bald guy in front of us that looked strangely familiar. I knew I had seen him before and then it hit me, it was Gord Ash, the assistant general manager for the Milwaukee Brewers! A seal on his bag with his name on it confirmed it, it was him. I am a pretty big Brewers fan and I actually was wearing a Brewers shirt at that moment, but I figured I'd leave him alone so I didn't say anything. Anyways, after getting past security I found myself in concourse C for the first time since they finished building the new hammerhead. I was eager to check the place out and I thought the new gates area looked pretty nice, especially with the cool lighting.

    There was still an hour before departure and since it was still too dark out to take any pictures, I kinda just walked around and checked stuff out. There were some FL planes at the gate that were goin to IND, LAS, BWI, and MCO with other flights scheduled to arrive within the hour. That was basically it, so I just headed back to C19 and waited for boarding to be called. At about 6:45 they started boarding our flight as well as a company CRJ flight to CLT, and after getting on I made my way back to seat 19F.

    While getting on I noticed that Gord Ash (seated in first class of course) was also on our flight! I guess that made sense with him heading to PHX for baseball stuff, but I was a bit surprised that he was flying US and not YX, who happens to be the official airline of the Brewers. {scratchchin} Anyways, the boarding process as a whole took kind of long because everybody brought maximum sized carryons (gee, I wonder why) and this resulted with not enough room in the overhead bins. Eventually they got those issues sorted out and we pushed back and headed out to 19R. After waiting for a NW A319 and AE E145 to go first, we took off into the rainy/dreary sky and there wasn't much to see because almost from the time we left the ground we were already in the muck of the rain/fog/clouds. About thirty minutes into the flight the meal and drink service started. They were selling some snack boxes or sandwiches for around 5-7$ which I didn't pay much attention to, and instead just got a coke. Then I mainly just listened to my IPod and looked out the window. Here's a cabin shot, I don't think there was a single empty seat on this flight.

    Then we passed over the Rocky Mountains and while the view was indeed stunning, it did get pretty bumpy for a bit.

    They came around with drinks one more time before landing and this time I got cran-apple juice. Eventually populated areas started coming into view and we started descending into PHX.

    We flew past downtown before turning around to line up for a smooth landing on runway 8.

    We were actually on the ground thirty minutes early, so we had to go off to the side for a bit and wait for a company A320 to clear our gate before we could park.

    After getting out I snapped a pic of our A320 that had just brought us from MKE. Its next flight was to RNO.

    We then headed out to the rental car shuttle bus and it was off to see the first college!

    Check-in time for our hotel wasn't until 3 PM, so once we got our car we started driving down to Tucson to check out the U of A. It was about a two hour drive through some pretty desolate landscape, but we did drive past an airplane graveyard/storage site which was pretty cool to see for the first time. When we got down there, I was really impressed with what I saw after touring the school. The campus was great, way better than any others I had seen up to that point. Sometimes I wondered though how these guys can even stay focused on studying when they're in such a great vacation-like place!

    Here's the swimming pool.

    And then the stadium where I'll be playing my college football? Nah, I wish. {sarcastic}

    We drove into downtown Tucson afterwards and it was alright, a lot nicer than some of the other surrounding neighborhoods that looked kind of old and run-down, but it was getting dark at this point so we headed back to our hotel in Mesa. It was one of the Days Inn hotels, and I guess it seemed like it was a pretty nice, small kind of hotel. The next morning we ate a complimentary breakfast, checked out, and then headed over to Arizona State's Tempe campus which was a short drive from the hotel. The campus was good, but not as good as Arizona's. It was just a bit too 'urban' for me and it also seemed to me like there were way too many people at ASU which made it seem a bit 'crowded'.

    After seeing both I think I'm gonna have to go with Arizona as my number choice, but I'm still going to apply to both. We still had some time before we had to go back to the airport for our 4:25 PM departure, so we drove over to downtown Phoenix before heading back to the airport. Here's a shot I got of downtown.


    After dropping off our rental we took the shuttle bus over to terminal 3 to catch our YX flight back to MKE. When we got inside there wasn't anyone at the YX counter, so I went over to F9's counters to see if we had to check-in there, but they said it was still too early for that so we went back and eventually the YX person showed up to start checking us in.

    Since we were one of the first ones there, it as a breeze and in no time we were headed for security. Like check-in, that was also quick and we were at the gate 5 with still over two hours to go until departure. I walked the length of the concourse, but the only plane was an AA MD-80 going to DFW.

    There was no good food in the concourse so I had to go back outside of security in order to get some pizza at Sbarro's and then when I got back my mom went to go eat while I tried doing some spotting.

    My spotting opportunities at this point were kind of limited because in my opinion this concourse must've been the dullest one in the entire airport. I already mentioned that there weren't any good places to get food, but on top of that there was almost nothing going on airplane wise. Aside from that AA MD-80 to DFW, there was only our flight and then another AA flight to ORD. About half the gates on the concourse weren't even in use! Needless to say, it got pretty boring pretty fast so I just sat down and waited for our flight to arrive. Here's that other AA MD-80 going to ORD.

    Finally, our flight from MKE arrived and pulled into the gate, a Republic operated E190 still wearing the 'Connect' titles.

    It took forever for them to get a group of elderly folks off the plane, but when they finally did we got on and were set to go at the originally scheduled departure time.

    YX's E190s vary in configurations with this one in 2x2 all the way down and the first five rows having extra leg room (I was in 18D). After pushing back, we taxied to 25R and waited for a WN 737 and US CRJ to go before taking off into the hazy Phoenix sky.

    We climbed out over downtown Phoenix and then turned around to head to back MKE. It was moderately bumpy until we got up to cruising altitude.

    The flight attendants started the drink service not too long after takeoff and it seemingly took forever for them to get back to us because of how slow they were going, but when they finally did get to us, I got a can of Dr. Pepper and then they started going around with the BOB meals. I didn't get anything because I wasn't that hungry, but don't get me wrong the one time I had one of their meals it tasted great. Here's a cabin shot, there were quite a few open seats in the back so I'd say the load factor was probably around 70%.

    And then they finally came...THE COOKIES!!! I hadn't had these in forever! {drool} I did find it kind of interesting though that even some of the adults seated in the rows ahead of us kept looking up and asking the flight attendants when the cookies would be coming.

    The cookies were of course delicious and then the flight attendants came through with another drink service and I got another Dr. Pepper. Then I kinda just sat back and relaxed until it was time for landing. It was a pretty bumpy descent until we cleared the clouds, but after that it was pretty smooth as we made a nice landing on runway 1L and then taxied to the gate.

    As I mentioned earlier, there's only a few days before YX removes their last 717s from the fleet, so after getting off the plane I walked over to a nearby gate to see the YX 717 for probably the last time up close. I did have the chance to fly on one last May, but I definitely wish there would've been more opportunities. I'm definitely gonna miss seeing these around MKE because in my mind YX and the 717 just go together so perfectly.

    Anyways, after doing my 'goodbye' if that's what you wanna call it, we headed straight out for the parking garage, got in our car, and started driving home.

    Well this is my 13th trip report and I hope you enjoyed reading it!!! I'm usually not one to complain when it comes to flying, so I'd have to say that my flights on YX and US were both pretty good. It was nice trying US for the first time, and I'll consider them again if I ever need to go out to the west coast somewhere (I'm not flying the CRJ to CLT/PHL!). And the YX E190, well it may not be as good as the 717, but I'll still give it a good review in my book. I however wish they'd make it a traditional 'signature' configuration up front with 1x2 seating. Anyways, comments are always appreciated as it takes some determination to put these kind of reports together. Thanks a lot!!!

    Midwest Airlines - The Best Care In The Air

  • #2
    Cool photos, I enjoyed reading your flight review as well. Good luck for your college years!


    • #3
      Thanks for the comment!

      Midwest Airlines - The Best Care In The Air


      • #4
        aww man!!not flying the CRJ to philly??my sister works on the CRJ and ive fond of the plane now.
        August 29th will be the worst day of the year.


        • #5
          Wow, i just got back from checking out my New university. Louisiana Tech University.
          Im just about to write my trip report. At the moment im in New York in my sisters apartment, But i live in London so it will be hard as there is no direct route to Louisiana from anywhere in europe.
          Theres strong, then theres Army Strong!