coming back from chicago today i took a bump which put me on a flight with a connection through Ontario, versus a direct flight, which got me in about 4 hours later. all fine and dandy, especially considering i got my one-way fare plus $300 back (a total of $640.80). what made it even more worthwhile was that MDW-ONT (WN 381) ended up being my first flight on a plane with boeing sky interior (on a 737-800). i knew something was different when while still on the jetway i spied an overhead bin opening downwards (instead of the typical flip-up bin door), and it wasn’t until i got closer that i saw the blue lighting overhead.
definitely nicer looks-wise, imho, than the overly-clubby atmosphere of virgin america planes, which i totally get what they’re going for, but it’s just a bit over the top for me. when i’m flying i want to feel like i’m in a plane, not a dance club. i know, i know, so not cool of me, but no one said i was cool.
the only bad thing was that this plane, which was pretty new, was already falling apart (well, ok, that’s a slightly dramatic interpretation):
- the pilot noticed a warning light after pushback and we had to return to the gate where a mechanic determined the warning system just needed a reset (we were at first going to be so delayed i was going to miss my connection, but luckily we made up more than enough time so i was at my connecting gate five minutes before boarding)
- i noticed a wifi hump on the top of the fuselage but the purser announced before takeoff that he didn’t know if it worked or not (we’d see when we reached 10,000′), and indeed it didn’t, meaning no work for me during the flight, which i was really hoping to do
- i think one of the fluorescent tubes at the front was burnt out (you can see the back right one in the group of four on the ceiling at the front end of the aisle is not on)
- my tray table (14E) was broken where the left arm attaches to the tray — missing screw, so i had to rest my laptop and tablet on my lap (i suppose “lap-top” is quite fitting, in this case). the purser offered me a free cocktail, but as i don’t drink, i politely declined. he also suggested i could move to another empty seat, but they were all middles and i got the last exit row middle (despite being C48 for boarding or something like that), so i didn’t want to move either. eh, it was ok. i clearly survived.
one thing about the overhead bins — i knew beforehand (thanks to a youtube video i saw of a 787 interior) that you could open them by either pulling down on the top part of the handle or up on the bottom part, but i did see someone trying to squeeze the top and bottom parts together to open. i guess i couldn’t blame her, since at a quick glance you might infer that’s how you operate it.