View Full Version : ISP-LAS / LAS-MDW-ISP Jan 11/14 SWA

2008-01-16, 02:36 PM
Friday Jan 11th: SWA550 ISP-LAS Sched Dept 0730 Actual Dept 0800 Tail: N447WN
Arrived ISP @ 0600 for my 0730 departure, "fearing" SWA's new "confusing" boarding process. What I should have feared was the weather. A RARE mid-January Thunderstorm passed over the field and halted fueling operations. So even though they stated boarding @ 0710, and loaded 128 pax in 13 minutes, we could not go anywhere as we did not have any fuel yet! The one thing that really bothered me about this, was not that we didn't have fuel, BUT, the Ops agent who boarded us said all is good, we will be on time, YET she was the one calling in the lightning reports to Ops. Oh well...at least the boarding process was not as bad as Tommy made it seem. There was no confusion, she made a brief announcement about how the procedure worked 5 mins. before we "lined up" asked if anyone had any questions (there were none) and it was a very pleasant, calm boarding experience.

Pushed back from A2 @ 0800, departed off Runway 24 @ 0806, and headed west towards Vegas. Snacks were all that were offered on board, but knowing this, I brought some food along from the food court in ISP, so I wasn't hungry. ATC gave us a reroute about 2/3 of the way through the flight and that helped make up some time. Scheduled Arrival in LAS was 1030, Actual arrival was 1034 after a greaser of a landing on 25L, with a quick 4 minute taxi into C8.

Monday Jan 14th: SWA190 LAS-MDW Sched Dept 0700 Actual Dept 0658 Tail: N284WN
Having seen the nightmare of the off-site rental car facility, and being advised by the locals to arrive at th airport 2 hours ahead of departure time, I left my hotel @ 0420. I arrived at the Rental return @ 0430, and was on the shuttle bus to the terminal @ 0445, arrival at the terminal was 0450. Even getting to the terminal this early, it took 25 minutes to get though security (only 2 lines open). A quick hop on the terminal shuttle got me to the C gates @ 0520.

There were only 58 pax on the LAS-MDW leg, and boarding did not start until 0643, however, everyone was on board at 0652, and we actually pushed off "C3" 2 mins early at 0658. A rather "long" 9 minute taxi to Runway 1R and we blasted off LAS @ 0707 enroute to MDW. 3 hours and 9 mins later we landed in MDW @ 1216 on Runway 31C and blocked in at 12:20 local.

Monday Jan 14th: SWA190 MDW-ISP Sched Dept 1300 Actual Dept 1302 Tail: N284WN
Only 10 of us were transiting through to ISP, but MDW added another 110 pax for 120 total on to ISP. Even though there were clouds, and light flurries in MDW, we were off only 2 mins late, and that was due to a late arriving family of 5 that coud not get their "stuff" together. They show up at departure time and wonder why there are no empty rows for them, and why the overheads are full. I guess some people are just idiots.

Pushed back @ 1302, lifted off 31C @ 1310, and we were off to ISP. It was a quick hop, even with the bad weather in NY (low clouds, rain, bad visibility) and instead of coming straight into 24, we circled around for the ILS 6 approach. Another greaser of a landing @ 1607, and a rocket taxi to the gate arriving A3 @ 1610.

Overall, it was a very good Southwest experience. The flight crews were good, the FA's friendly, and the aircraft CLEAN. The ops agents were bubbly and really gave the public the impression that they liked working there, which, as a traveler, gives you more confidence to be flying on them.

Hope if didn't ramble too much, I did not take pictures on board either flight, due to the pax loads and length of the trips I wanted an aisle seat and didn't want to be bothered answering questions (to oter travelers) about why I had a camera out inflight.

2008-01-16, 05:38 PM
Good trip report John. I like WN's service but I still think the boarding process is very poor and infact the worst in the industry right now. It just simply doesn't do enough for WN's elite customers and that doesn't fly with me. Excuse the pun ;)

2008-01-16, 06:36 PM
Tommy, I agree that the Elite customers should get some sort of recognition other than the promise of A1-A20. However, the fact that I know that I checked in exactly 23 hrs, 59 mins before my flight and doing so secured my boarding position was comforting to me. It was also nice to not have to walk into a boarding area that looked like a hippie camp, with people sitting on the floor in all states of dress.

Aside from the fact that there is open seating, it probably went smoother than any legacy carrier, because you know when they call Rows 18-22 on AA at least 3 or 4 people in Rows 10-15 want to rush on board. This just slows the whole process down, and like I reported, they got 128 people on AND seated in 13 minutes. In all the years I flew UA, or last year fliying AA neither ever boarded an 85% full aircraft that fast.

Art at ISP
2008-01-17, 08:59 AM
Southwest? Elite Customers? Now there's a contradiction in terms if I ever heard one....... (he said in jest)

Nice trip report. If they ever do try reserved seats I might actually try them....but until then, no way....