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N776AU
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Posts: 927
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:18 am

My Usual Family Visit ATL-IAD-ATL on Southwest

Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:05 pm

Finally catching up on my backlog of trip reports. This was December 27 to December 30, so a short one. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I’ve visited my family in Virginia and flew to IAD, especially since a couple years ago I was up there what seemed like every other month.

It was another early morning, out just after 4am for an 8am flight. I was kind of anticipating big crowds, and ended up being right. The check in line for Southwest was what seemed like a mile long. There was a high school band traveling somewhere in addition to the regular travelers. This was just the beginning of amateur hour at ATL. I don’t know how so many people can be so clueless operating a self check in kiosk, but they were. I’m not talking about the previously mentioned high schoolers. I’m talking about adults.

Whatever. We checked our luggage and fought through the hordes of people to the Precheck line. Before we could get in said line however, there were three people in front of us who were not Precheck, and upon being told so decided to argue over it :banghead:

Once they got that settled and there was a small crowd behind us, we were finally able to get toward the checkpoint.

As the late Billy Mays would say, “BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE!”

I can only assume there were a flurry of people deemed low-risk enough for Precheck who don’t fly often. Aside from moving very slowly, there were individuals taking their shoes off and using multiple bins to send through when not needed.

Maybe I’m being too cynical, but as much as it’s advertised on local media in Atlanta, you would think being oblivious to how this works would be hard. Anyway, through the line we went and out to concourse F for a little time at the Club, and then back to gate C7 for our flight.
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Operating today was N8303R, one of Southwest’s first 737-800s, but looks like pretty recently with a new paint job.

Southwest Airlines flight 4250
ATL-IAD
Depart ATL – 8:05am (was actually 8:22)
Arrive IAD – 9:45am (was actually 9:46)
Boeing 737-800
N8303R

I don’t actually remember what the cause of the holdup was (and didn’t write it down). We boarded right on schedule at 7:35, though. We found a trio of seats in 9 A, B, and C.
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Cloudy morning (and N910WN going to Cleveland out the window)
Eventually we headed to runway 9L for takeoff to the east. Sadly, the clouds would hinder the viewing party for me.
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I don’t remember where this 717 was going, but here it is in all its glory.
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Immediately in front of us was N905DL going to Savannah. This one carried me back from (of all places) Washington Dulles a couple summers ago.
https://youtu.be/LZoocUBgQWk
I did some work overlaying ATC over my takeoff video. I think it turned out good. Check out in the distance the 737-700 that was drag racing us from runway 8R. He had a bit of a head start, but we got ahead in the end :spin:
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And up in to the clouds we went, unable to see much until we started in toward IAD.
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Did I mention this aircraft has the new interior? It has the new interior. Image
Finally we started down and I could see stuff.
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Flying past the airport for runway 19C
https://youtu.be/vgeQUa8om1c
There isn’t nearly as much ATC action at Dulles, but all in all it was a nice landing. Always some cool stuff to see when you come in from the north.
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We parked at gate B50 pretty close to the train station. From there it was picking up our luggage, getting the rental car, and then off to see our family in the Winchester/Stephen’s City area.

Our stay this time was a little quicker than most, just a few days. December 30 we left for IAD at 1:05, despite the fact that our flight wasn’t until after 5:00.
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I got a bit distracted refueling the car by a 737-900 arriving. I’m thinking it was from Denver, but it was long enough ago I couldn’t be certain.
My Priority Pass gave us some options. After checking our bags and going out to the gate we settled on the Turkish Airlines Lounge.
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The view in there was nice, anyway. The stay was enjoyable there, but soon it was time for our flight. Our inbound aircraft was coming in from Denver to gate B50, the same gate we come in at.
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This photo is just deep and artsy. You’re welcome :biggrin:
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Today’s flight was on N8600F, another of the older 737-800s, but again sporting a new coat of paint and a new interior.

Southwest Airlines Flight 4202
IAD-ATL
Depart IAD – 5:05pm (was actually 5:04)
Arrive ATL – 7:05pm (was actually 7:10)
Boeing 737-800
N8600F

I sat in row 9 again, but wish I hadn’t. The window was scratched and fogged all to hell (be warned, all my photos from here out are shit). I suppose I could have moved and created a big mess of people getting on, but I’m a considerate guy and took one for the team. It helped that the flight would be in darkness too.
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I mean, just terrible.
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Try as I might to find a “hole” in the mess, I really couldn’t.
As we pushed I wrote in ink that we would takeoff from runway 30 as normal. I was wrong. We turned the nose to runway 19L. That’s a nice change of pace. When we got close I felt us pulling off to the side. We were never told, but I assumed it was for slotting in Atlanta. Seems to happen on every flight of mine departing here between the hours of noon and 8pm. I pretty well expected that. No matter, I just pulled up ATC and Flight Radar and enjoyed myself.
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This 737-900 pulled up next to us for just a few minutes. I don’t remember where he was going. I just remember it wasn’t Atlanta.
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After he took of this CRJ-700 pulled up and his destination was Atlanta. I have to assume all 70ish people on there were staring out the right side and super jealous of us being on a non-Barbie jet going to Atlanta. I’m going to say they were, anyway.
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I didn’t note what time we got going, but I would guess it was somewhere between 5:20 and 5:30. As I saw after landing, the CRJ was right behind us.
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They did change the mood lighting a couple times. Can you tell the excitement that was happening?
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And, oh yeah, what America’s best and brightest have for dinner.

Everything was routine until approach and such. The airport was landing from the west, so we made the usual sets of turns and few out past the airport before coming back. It seemed like we went way the hell out before turning back in. Ceilings were pretty low, so I couldn’t see anything. After we and the CRJ landed on 8L we taxied via the Victor loop to gate C16.

Good flights. I do enjoy Southwest’s 737-800s. They’re quite comfortable. That actually catches me up on trip reports. I don’t have any more flights on the horizon until March, so I’ll enjoy being caught up for a while.

Thanks for reading :wave:
Careful, doors are closing, will not reopen. Please wait for the next train.
 
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mke717spotter
Posts: 2083
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:32 am

Re: My Usual Family Visit ATL-IAD-ATL on Southwest

Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:18 am

Thanks for the trip report and pictures.

N776AU wrote:
We turned the nose to runway 19L. That’s a nice change of pace. When we got close I felt us pulling off to the side. We were never told, but I assumed it was for slotting in Atlanta. Seems to happen on every flight of mine departing here between the hours of noon and 8pm. I pretty well expected that.

Same thing happened to me a few months ago when I was flying IAD-ATL on DL, though I'm not sure if it was specifically anything to do with ATL since there were various other aircraft holding for departure also. We sat near the start of runway 30 for nearly half an hour, during which time the pilots announced that ATC had just changed the flight route to a more easterly and longer track. I ended up missing my connecting flight because of it.
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
 
brucetiki
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:36 am

Re: My Usual Family Visit ATL-IAD-ATL on Southwest

Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:38 am

Love the humour in your TR - thanks for the report :)
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 423
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: My Usual Family Visit ATL-IAD-ATL on Southwest

Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:14 pm

Great pictures!!

I will chime in about the zombie-like process of many passengers at security. I have been SCREAMED at by TSA in the past when I (a) didn't move fast enough, (b) moved too fast, (c) didn't get everything out and subdivided quick enough, and (d) took shoes off when "obviously you don't have to anymore!!"

One [email protected]$$ at MSP told us that a different security line was now open. A group of us proceeded down there, only to find it closed. As we were walking back, I politely told him, "it isn't open". His very snide and condescending remark: "well, I guess you know better than I do".

You just can't tell with TSA. Virtually all of my experiences have been positive, but all it takes is one negative to make people afraid they're going to be branded as a terrorist and banned from flying for life.

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