Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Return Leg: AirTran BWI-GRR

So after a quick few days in the Washington D.C. metro region, it was time to return to 'The Mitten'. Good times, great family, amazingly delicious bbq and middle-eastern food and more than a few tasty East-coast craft beers were had.

On Sunday, July 17 we began our journey up the 295 Baltimore-Washington Parkway toward BWI about 1:15pm EST for our 3:30pm departure. Immediatly upon entering the parkway we encountered bottlenecked and clogged traffic travelling at only 5-10mph. My concerns began to grow each minute we were stuck in the mess with no forseeable end. Soon enough however (in about 15 mins) the clog mercifully cleared at the exit for the (now closed) Goddard Space Center. No accident, no construction, no lane closures. I guess beltway people like to gawk at off-ramps ;). At any length, we arrived promptly curbside about 2pm sharp. I immediatly got myself checked in at a kiosk and then proceeded to show my technology-deficient mom how to use the kiosks, haha. A small backup in the TSA lines were no problem, and by 2:30 we were walking toward gate D23.

Sunday, July 17, 2011.
AirTran Airways
Flight #484 BWI-GRR
Equipment: Boeing 717-200
Seat: 23A - Window
Dep. 3:33 PM
Arr. 5:06 PM

On time departure saw us launching to the West, which sadly meant no banking out over the Chesapeake. One could immediatly see the heat haze in the small-popping clouds as we ascended over the mid-atlantic toward the great lakes region.

Super-quick climb-out. You can simply tell how warm and volatile the air is from the clouds.

The last shot over Lake Erie really let's the viewer see the heat-haze I speak of. Pictured is the start of the Toledo River. Upon landing in GRR it was well above 90 Degrees F.

During the flight I would have said the load was only between 60% and 70%. We were seated in row 23 on the left side, right behind the second exit row. Behind us there were only 5-7 people. Both seats in the exit row in front of us was empty, so yours truly jumped forward and grabbed some extra leg room for a little bit.

All too quickly I recognized the Northwestern Ohio coast of Lake Erie below us, and soon after decent began. The quickness of that hop seemed odd to me, as all my travels in the last several years have taken me to California. It was however over all too soon and we landed parallel I-196 on rwy. 26L in GRR. A quick taxi in and my amazing girlfriend was waiting for us at the end of concourse B. I could not think up a better welcoming comittee!

As mentioned in the out-going trip report, the only flaw of AirTran was the dang destroyed arm-rest. Boarding was event-free and even though I was in zone 5, I was on in under 6 minutes! Now I use Delta (and formerly Northwest) for most of my flying needs. It seems as if on all of my Delta flights, no matter where, the gate lice and line-jumpers are everywhere. The gate dragon calls for first class only, and 40 people run to the gate, or during the call for those needing assistance four able-bodied business men/women head up. I don't know what the difference is, it might have just been random circumstance, but it was pleasant to see!

Apologies for the lack of photos on this leg, I think I was more focused on the chores to catch up on at home upon return, as well as being somewhat sad of the vacation's end.

I hope all have enjoyed, even though the experience is short and ordinary.

Thank you and happy travels!

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