Background: It had been a while since our last trip to Wisconsin, and it was time to head back for Thanksgiving/my 21st birthday weekend. Last time I went up there, I flew DCA-MSP and MSP-RHI and drove home with my family, but two years ago we flew DCA-MKE-DCA on WN and drove to our final destination and it was super affordable, so we decided to do that this time.
At the airport: We left home in an uber at around 10:10, and although there was some traffic, we made it to DCA about 20 minutes later. On the way, I checked the inbound flight from MCO, and it was on time. My mom had checked in the day before, so we tagged our bags to MKE and got through PreCheck in virtually no time at all. Since we were two hours early, we just hung out in Terminal A, which was super busy on the busiest travel day of the year. While Terminal A doesn't have a ton of amenities food-wise and otherwise, I had a good burger/fries/shake for lunch as I watched the action at our gate and got some work done.
This flight was headed to DAL; another plane came in between this one and ours, and it was headed to STL
Boarding started pretty much right after the inbound flight de-boarded, and we were in the early part of group B, despite our best efforts to check in exactly at 12:55 the day before. Once we got on, I was able to get a window seat in 10A, and got settled in pretty well, although it wasn't as spacious as I remembered from my flights two years ago. My seatmates were these two middle-aged women who spent the whole flight chatting about their kids, work, their vacation plans, etc. As much as I like WN for their low fares and baggage policy, the open seating is kind of a double-edged sword. The less efficiently people find their seats, the longer it takes to board, thus delaying the flight, and on this day we wound up pushing back late. We were second in line for takeoff, and we were airborne just after 1:00.
Inbound flight had just arrived from MCO
The Flight: We took off to the north, and from where I was sitting I could see Northern VA, including the Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, and my high school alma mater, among other things. As soon as we got the green light to take our laptops out, I pulled mine out and tried to get on the live TV to watch some ESPN, but it wasn't working for the first half of the flight. Also, it didn't help that the person in front of me had reclined her seat, thus giving me virtually no room to use my laptop comfortably, so a good part of the flight was me fumbling with my various devices to try and work out the best arrangement. I got cranberry apple juice to drink, and the person next to me actually gave me her bag of pretzels once we got those, which was a nice touch (even though one of them got trapped under my seat, so I just wound up with one.
The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful. I eventually found a somewhat comfortable position for my laptop to watch the live TV, while I tracked the flight on my phone, and once I did that, the flight moved by pretty quickly. Before I knew it, we were over Lake Michigan, and beginning our approach into what looked like a very snowy Milwaukee area, about 10 minutes ahead of schedule, to boot. We landed from the north and made a relatively quick taxi to Terminal C. Our flight number was continuing on to LAX, so the flight attendant made it a point to tell those passengers to remain seated.
Post-flight: Terminal C was packed, especially our gate with the rest of the LAX-bound passengers, but we got out of there quickly, and our bags were waiting there for us when we got to the baggage claim. I haven't really spent much time there, but MKE's landside area after exiting the secure area is impressive, and if I have more time next time I want to check out the museum that they have there. My cousin was waiting there for us, and she was there to drive us the rest of the way to our final destination.
Washington - DCA
Milwaukee - MKE
Just what I was expecting from WN, which on a trip like this was all I was really looking for. The one downside was the wifi not firing on all cylinders throughout the entirety of the flight, but it got working eventually.
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