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The Flight Home
Fall Amtrak Vacation Trip 2006
The Flights Home
Flying Home On Southwest Airlines
   24 hours before my first flight, I printed up my boarding passes for the 2 flights home on Southwest Airlines. I would be flying out of Ontario, CA to Chicago-Midway Airport then flying home to Buffalo from Midway. I said goodbye to my Aunt and left the house around 6:30am even though my flight wasn't scheduled to leave until 10:20am. I left so early because I wasn't sure how bad traffic would be as well as if the lines at security would be long. It turns out there was very little traffic and a short line at the security checkpoint so I ended up getting there way too early. After arriving at the airport, I turned in my rental car then took a shuttle to the main terminal. After going through security, I had breakfast at Carls Jr. in the terminal. I would end up waiting in the terminal until our boarding call was made. Southwest Airlines employees seem to very much enjoy their jobs as the crew on both flights were very friendly and funny! The flight out of Ontario was on a Boeing 737-300 and it made a stop in Phoenix. My only gripe about air travel is that the seats are a lot smaller than seats in an Amtrak Coach! From Chicago-Midway to Buffalo, I flew on a Boeing 737-700. Southwest Airlines only flies Boeing 737's on all of their flights. Both flights went smoothly with no problems other than bad weather heading into Chicago though we were able to take off before the storm hit the area. I finally arrived back home in Buffalo where my parents picked me up at the airport, and so ends one absolutely incredible Cross-Country trip!!!
   This trip proved to be one of the absolute best trips I've ever taken on Amtrak. With the only exception being the nasty waitress on the Lake Shore, all of the Amtrak employees I spoke with were excellent. It is obvious that these people do their best to take care of customer needs and want Amtrak to continue to grow. Amtrak now has a new president, Alexander Kummant, he did some work for Union Pacific before coming over to Amtrak. As always, I urge you to write your elected officials and let them know we need Amtrak. I sincerely hope to get another Cross-Country trip in again within the next few years as these trips are always lots of fun. I'm thoroughly amazed that both the Empire Builder and Coast Starlight reached their endpoint destinations EARLY! All Amtrak needs to do is keep them on time (which also takes cooperation with the freight railroads) and this will definitely be a good way to increase ridership. Until next time when I make my annual trek to Albany for Christmas Shopping, Happy Railfanning...