From Southwest to Southeast (Part 1)

Hello Community!

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to fly! It was a surprise vacation, and my parents wouldn’t tell me the destination until we reached the gate. Eventually, I found out we were going to visit Fort Lauderdale for the weekend!

I will be sharing some pictures and experiences of the day. Please enjoy, and make sure to give me some feedback!

Earlier in the morning, I packed my bag and prepared for a long road trip (we normally don’t fly during COVID). Apparently my mom wanted to keep the details of flying secret, but my dad slipped 😬.

So I immediately energized and prepared for the best (still having no clue where in the heck we were going).

We showed up to the airport and unleaded our bags, soon to pass through security uneventfully.

We began to walk toward the gate, and stopped for lunch at Nathan’s Hot Dogs (yum). I had three hot dogs with mustard.

And I saw New Mexico One sitting at her gate.

We get to our gate, and I immediately read the departure board. This is where I discover our destination, Fort Lauderdale!

I then turn to the aircraft, and research the registration.

Our plane is a 737-8H4 owned and operated by Southwest Airlines, registered as N8655D. After some web surfing, I discovered that it was 5.7 years old, and first flew in 2014. It had the cool brown seats (see a few paragraphs below).

I also found some more interesting information.

Apparently, my aircraft was involved in a ground collision in Baltimore during May 2018. It was pulling into the gate, when a ramp vehicle smashed into the side! It damaged both gear doors, as well as the forward fuselage skin and stringers. No injuries were reported. The plane was then ferried to Indianapolis for repairs, and returned to service a month later.



Photo Source:

We boarded uneventfully, and I got the best seat! Forward wing has the coolest view 😁. Here is a shot from the seat (and of the seat).

I thought I would include this, because I though it was quite odd… a Southwest 738 with BLUE splits? Sorry for bad quality, it was zoomed quite a bit.

Takeoff was fun, very fast because we were so light. The wing flex was minimal 😒.

After we climbed up a bit, the cabin crew came out with some water and snacks. They were really helpful and polite, this is why I love Southwest. ❤️ 💛 💙

Grand Canyon.

I know, the whole mask deal. I’ll get to that here.

So yes, Southwest does require masks at all times. I don’t like wearing a mask, especially for long times. But there is a way to break it up.

I mean, you have to take it off when you eat/drink, right? Just time your eating and drinking so that you space out your time without a mask.

We hit some clouds at cruise (FL390), so that was quite fun.

Here we are over New Mexico!

Dallas here we come, and I thought I would shout out some of our community members I may have passed over. @Altaria55 and @mwe2187 I can see you there!

East Texas is gorgeous.

A baby started screaming at this point, so that was quite annoying. However, we are still passing over @anon79257371 in Louisiana!

It seems to be getting dark, as we start our trek of the Gulf of Mexico. I could see a storm start brewing, and it became awesome once it got dark.

Here’s a shot of some lightning mid-way over the Gulf. Sorry for the poor quality, I did a screenshot from a video. (Be in mind, the baby was still screaming 😩)

I see you down there Florida!

Time for the Approach! It was quite pretty with the colored lights.

Our landing was okay, but I give the pilots a lot of credit because the weather was very poor. Let’s just say it was a lot better than I was expecting.

We got to the gate, and I stopped to thank the crew. They were very polite, as always.

As soon as I stepped out of the plane, I was hit by a wave of steam… eek. I got used to it soon though, so all was fine.

We rented our car, and drove safely to our hotel in West Palm Beach. I’m ready for a fun weekend!

So in conclusion, I don’t think that flying during COVID is really that bad. It’s not the normal experience, but hey, you still get fly.

What did you think of my trip report? Did you like it? Should I do another for our return flight?


Disclaimer: All photos are MINE unless stated otherwise. Please do not sell or pass them off as your own. I don’t care if you use them for wallpapers, but DO NOT SELL/USE. Thanks!


I love Southwest. I flew with them once, and I would kill to fly with them again. Their cabin crew is awesome, and their aircraft are always spotless. Great trip report!

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Thanks Pingu! Southwest ❤️ 💛 💙

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Where’s the Canyon Blue? 😭 Great report though!


I spotted one in Vegas, but didn’t have my camera ready. 😞

Absolutely love the Southwest heart livery!!!

Great Report

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Nice trip report! Love flying into FLL.

Genuinely curious, how the heck did you not know where you were going until you reached the gate? You didn’t see the tags they give you to put on your bags checked to FLL? You didn’t see the destination on your boarding pass when you had to go through security?


My dad keeps the boarding passes all on his phone, so that was a no. He just shows them to the TSA employee all at once.

And my family packs really light, so we never check bags.

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I spotted you! Ill send the pictures soon!

You guys had a steep departure!

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Yeah, it sure felt like it.

Cool that I was spotted.


Those were some nice pictures, and definitely a great idea to not wear a mask for a certain time, however, there are over 20 pictures here, about 22. Other than that, it’s a great trip report and i hope for a return one soon!


I’m pretty sure the mods don’t really care about the pictures exceeding, they had to approve it after all.


oh, yea, than i guess not

Amazing trip report! And awesome photos!!!

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Thanks @MJP_27! I appreciate the feedback. 😊

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Great photos! If you were on the other side of the aircraft I wonder if you might’ve seen Hurricane Hanna in the Gulf. 🤔

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Maybe… it was dark though.

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At least you got to fly! I was lucky enough to back in the beginning of July.

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Nice, I had a surprise Cessna flight on thursday.

Glad your flight went well. And the steam? That’s Florida for ya, it happens everywhere.

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