So, done with the pupose of the trip, buying an aircraft, I got into the Tiny Nissan rental and headed northward.
Had to stop and fuel up before I left town, and then driove north on the state highways for an hour until I got onto I-75, and then, since the road was clear, I unleased all 73.6 horespower of the Nissan engine…..Did I mention that this car had absolutely zero redeeming qualities? I mean, yes, the turn signals worked, and the AC blew (sorta) cold air, and that was about it for the good qualities…..I will say that given enough room to accelerate it would get up to (ahem) 85 or so and could cruise with traffic if you paid enough attention to what was up ahead and reacted accordingly. The tiny engine did spin like a sewing machine motor though. 4000 +Rpm at 85 MPH. But hey, rental car…..
I thought I had plenty of time to get back to ATL, and I did….because my flight didn’t leave until 10 PM….so I didn’t push it. Despite a few slowdowns, I got back to the Rental Car return point with time to spare. They must really be having issues with finding employees, becaus ethere were ACRES of cars waiting to be checked in, and they weren’t checking them in. Just drop your car and go….
So then, again, a train to the terminal, TSA line (nuch better and professional in ATL than MDW (but that is a low bar) and then another train to the gate,
Got to the gate at 8:30 pm or so, plenty of time for a 10 Pm flight (9:30 boarding).
I had originally planned to take an ealier flight, but all the flights that left for MDW earlier were one or two stop flights that arrived withiin a half hour of the time this later (direct) flight….which was scheduled (note that word carefully) to arrive at 11 PM local….so I made reservations for the direct flight that was scheduled (notethat word again) to depart at 10 Atlanta time and arrive at Chicago at 11 Chicago time…..
And that is where Southwest then again showed their ineptitude….the gate was occupied by about 300 people half waiting for a flight scheduled to depart before us….Finally that plane arrived (at 9 PM) and did the deplane/emplane dance….then that plane pulled away from the gate at 10 PM….and we all waited .
Finally, about 11 15, the gate attendant announced that our flight was “on the descent” into ATl….and a half hour later told us that it was “on the final descent”. and 20 minutes later, was on final. (we obviously had different definitions of what those terms meant). At about 12:30 or so, we were told that our plane had landed (finally) and would be at the gate “momentarily”.
Now, I know that ATL is a BIG airport and all, but it shouldn’t take 25 minutes to go from “landed” to “at the gate”. But bitching about it to the gate attendant who couldn’t make anything happen wasn’t gonna gain anything, so we waited…..and waited.
Finally, at 1:15, the plane pulled up and 10 minutes later people began stumbling out of the jetway door.
We finally began boarding at 1:45 or so, and what with everything, didn’t depart until 2:15.
The departure was normal, as was the climb. No beverage service as there was some significant turbulence, buth they did hand out salty snacks…
Arrival at MDW was at 3:15 local, and we deplaned.
Now I had an hour and fifteen minute drive home.
I got home at 4:20 and crashed.
Southwest used to be so much better. Hopefully, I won’t have to use them again as I will have my own aerial transportation.
But I BOUGHT A PLANE!