The Story of WN 2130 (N461WN), and Flying Aircraft in IF That You've Flown On IRL!

I was just looking at some old pictures and screenshots, kind of reminiscing of the days when we used to be able to travel (sigh)… gives me a very large feeling of melancholy.

…aaand I came across some photos and screenshots of WN2130. What an adventure.


You see, back in February of 2018 - I flew Southwest 2130 (Reg: N461WN) departing from KBUF direct to KPHX, to see the lovely city of Phoenix with a lovely girl I had just started seeing. This particular flight became very memorable to me, as I did not realize my newfound mate had a full on fear of flying and a tendency to act tougher than needed - despite us knowing each other very well.

It didn’t even come up on the days prior to the flight, when we were planning on what to do in Phoenix, when I was walking her through how air travel works in the USA - TSA procedures, what Southwest is like, why it’s better (imo) to drive to America as a Canadian and fly domestically in the USA, what the airport experience will be like, etc… All I knew about her air travel experience is that she went to Disneyland when she was really young… on… “I think a 7447…?”

This fear did not fully come out at any point during boarding, takeoff, etc… It didn’t even come out when the plane was suddenly stopped on the taxiway at KBUF during departure, well before the hold short line which perked everyone’s attention. All of a sudden the pilot is now walking out of the cockpit, back into the cabin - towards us, practically to our row. But, he’s just there to look out the window and check the left wing (to see if the aircraft was properly de-iced - even that one had me thinking, bad omen?), he gave it a quick glance and an all clear, then headed back to the cockpit to rotate this thing into the sky without incident - still no fear in her that I can see btw…

Nor did her fear come out when the aircraft was stopped yet again… (sorry, did I say we took off without incident? nah… lol), It stopped again just short of runway 5 and air stairs were driven out so that two Buffalo Police officers could board and take a gentleman off the aircraft. Phew, safe to say at this point even I am having my doubts (no longer just a bad omen) and feeling the heebie-jeebies’ maybe. But, in typical Southwest style the captain made a hilarious announcement which had the cabin and crew laughing as they safely got us up in the air smoother than the ice we were escaping, which completely covered seemingly everything on that extremely cold and snowy Thursday, February 8th, 2018.

DRINKS
Cue the drinks please…


I mean, I totally get it, she was exhausted that day - almost made us late to the airport (not to mention the weather did not help) so I figured the mood she was in, which was not great - was just a product of all that. She wasn’t scared of flying was she? After all, my nickname for her was “tough girl” as she didn’t take anything from anyone - a quality I admired. She was just being tough girl, right? I was wrong.

That mood was the fear manifesting and growing, and it finally decided to come out - at a great time, when were hurdling through the air at 38,000ft going 719km/h about 2h25mn into the flight. I mean, why wouldn’t it?

719KMH
(…remember what FlightRadar used to look like back in 2018?)


At this point everyone was nicely settled in the cabin, it was a fantastic crew with great PAX - I was a few drinks deep, lights were dim but there was still chatter and a great dynamic among everyone. What could possibly go wrong?


LOCATION
So, I dropped $7 for in-flight Wi-Fi to watch my hockey game… (Go Sharks!!)


BLACKOUT
…only to find out that being 38,000ft in the air puts you in a “blackout” region and you’re unable to watch (sports fans will understand this… sigh)


SPEEDTEST
Then, being left without hockey, and an angry girlfriend I just wanted to see smile - I did what anyone would do… In-Flight Wi-Fi speed tests… oh wow look it shows that I’m in Row 44… cool… sigh… would have prefered hockey, but great latency though…


Anyways, tough girl was still not happy, and I couldn’t chalk it up to all the other stuff anymore. So I did what any nice guy would do, I just asked…

“Hey, is everything alright? What’s wrong?”

Tough girl replies “Nothing. I have to go to the washroom.”, now obviously I let her have the window seat when we boarded, I fly all the time… meh… so I stood up and let her squeeze by me in the 2nd seat, and past the 3rd seat which was empty.

At this point, she snags her purse on the outside seat armrest - I yell her name in an attempt to get her attention and help her, she turns and looks at me (the look on her face is now pure rage), she is now somehow embarrassed and mad now, as a few people are looking at her - but they’re all nice, no big deal right? Don’t be so self conscious I’m thinking. It’s Southwest, after all… (she wasn’t feeling the Luv)

Before I can tell her about the purse strap snag - it catches the seat, she runs out of slack… and BOOM… she eats the floor of a Boeing 737-700… like a complete FACEPLANT.

Oh boy. Oh no. No, no, no, no… please, no.

That didn’t just happen did it? Oh wow, that’s quite the gash on her face I thought.

She decides to take this out on me. I am trapped in Seat 44B.

I start looking around to see if Tom Hanks is onboard.

Have you ever been screamed at, and I mean SCREAMED AT - by someone whom you’ve bent over backwards for to make sure she was comfortable, in an confined airplane cabin, with 109 or so PAX staring at the newfound entertainment? She is swearing and yelling, saying things about me I know she doesn’t mean. I am mortified. I somehow caused this to happen… definitely my fault right? 🙄

I am sitting there, watching this all unfold… blank stare in my head, picturing the aircraft making a landing, imaging a second set of air stairs hugging the side of the 737 - the TSA arresting her (and probably me somehow, for some reason), 7500 squawk, etc… you name it, I am afraid of it all now. I am waiting for the nonexistent air marshal to wake up and tackle her. She is really making a scene.

She is literally YELLING at the top of her lungs. I’m just praying she doesn’t say anything about a bomb or something of that nature. Clearly all the stress has gotten to her.



Did I mention that right before this happened, I checked the status of the flight, as I couldn’t wait to get off and now 9:11 is the new landing time… really? It can’t be 9:10, or 9:12?


While she was in the bathroom getting patched up, numerous people consoled me, one old man even shook my hand and the rest of the PAX gave me the “we understand, it’s allll good” nod - and the wonderful cabin crew brought me a few more badly needed drinks, on the house. There was even a 9 year old boy, bless his heart - who drew a picture of me and her, and wrote “hero” underneath me, he even drew “anger lines” coming out of her head and colored it red. Hilarious, you can’t make this stuff up. I had to hide that souvenir and my laughter before she came back.

Safe to say, she was super embarrassed and didn’t say much the rest of the way. There was another freak out inside KPHX after we deplaned (beautiful airport btw) but we won’t talk about that one - we both smoked at the time and they really encourage you to quit at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, as you have to walk 30 miles across a thousand terminals to do so. I’m glad I’ve kicked that nasty habit since.


Once I got to baggage claim, I was notified by Southwest that the TSA held my luggage for a random check and it was still at KBUF. wicked!… Southwest was amazing about it and gave me enough Rapid Rewards points for about 4 flights as I wasn’t screaming at them mad about it - I was just happy to be out of that cabin, and HAPPY IT WASN’T HER BAG. They actually found my luggage once I got back to Canada, delivered it to my doorstep, and let me keep the RR points.

Apparently my luggage logged slightly more nautical miles than I did during this trip, making stops at KDAL, KLAX, KBWI, and finally ending up and being found at KDTW. Thanks, TSA random baggage check. They also ripped it open. There was no lock…?

They certainly do a fantastic job at keeping America safe, and I salute all TSA officers for the never-ending vigilance they are tasked with.


At least they left me a nice love note.


It was one of the worst trips ever in terms of my luck, Phoenix was beautiful though… we made the best of it. Fun fact: I am so lucky that it hadn’t rained in the desert for something like 211 days, but when I got there - oh wow did it rain for a day. The locals were amazed. (Picture snow-in-Hawaii style amazed), also someone died in a helicopter crash @ the Grand Canyon the day after we visited it. :(


My luck doesn’t get any better, especially now that we’re heading to sin city - leaving Phoenix on the 50min connecting flight from KPHX to KLAS. We took the 737 MAX challenge this time and lived to tell about it. Those really are fantastic airplanes, and they can go. I remember the pilot just giving 'er on takeoff, cool feeling. Bad joke: MCAS intervention would have been a welcoming remedy to me at the time, considering the week I had.

Then just as I think it’s smooth sailing home, while sitting at KLAS airport during the “45 minute” connection, I see the nice gate agent running towards us at Usain Bolt speed at about the 20 minute mark. Turns out the flight from KLAS to KBUF (final leg home) boarded super early and was already pushing back, and this poor gate agent was badly trying to find us as she somehow heard about what happened on WN2130… lol I am now apparently famous for keeping my cool during that cabin blow up.

IMG_4548
Literally, they hooked the tug back up to the aircraft (it was ready to taxi, out on the taxiway - you can’t even see it in this last photo I snapped) and drove it all the way back to the gate, air bridge moved back and everything, and we board… to everyone staring at us. I literally can’t catch a break. I feel so bad. Thank god for these employees and how dedicated they were.

If it could have gone wrong, it did. But I would do it all over again if I could.

The end.



Do you ever lookup aircraft you’ve flown on before?
For instance, by the registration of the plane in FR24/FlightAware?

…to see where it’s at, and what it’s doing - and then find out the aircraft is still in service, and try an replicate the flight it’s doing on Infinite Flight? That’s what I did today with N461WN. When I looked it up, to my surprise not only was it still in service, but it was boarding at KDAL on it’s way to KLAX - reminded me of one of the trip’s my luggage probably took in the story above… lol

So I quickly started a flight and ended up almost completely mirroring it.

(Aww yeah, some of y’all must have done this… I can’t be the only one!)


Same speed, same altitude, same position in the sky - different apps, different maps*
…one thing I messed up though, point it out and you get a ⭐!



In conclusion: I’m going crazy, now writing stories apparently, and I can’t believe you’re still reading this. I hope this pandemic ends sooner rather than later (said everyone…) I’m still friends with tough girl, but we are seeing other people. We still talk to this day and joke about the adventure that was WN2130, and the time she screamed at the top of her lungs after faceplanting the floor of a Boeing 737-700 with 3h of flight time to go, slicing her head open:

“I NEED TO GET THE ___ OUT OF THIS _______ AIRPLANE!!! NOW!!!”

Even though I’m from Canada - I usually always drive to Buffalo and fly Southwest to whenever I went because they love us Canadians and it was almost always cheaper, not to mention the many employees that (jokingly) saved my life in one sense or another.

I can’t wait to travel again.
Hope you got a laugh out of my story, and if not - sorry for making you read all that nonsense.

Safe travels!

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Ok that was a funny/tragic/greatly written story!

You made my evening!

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As long as I made one person smile, you’ve made my evening… haha

Good times.

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That’s amazing! I read all of it and enjoyed it! Nice to see someone flying out of my hometown!

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Man!!! This was such a great story. Usually, I stop after so long but the is one got better and better every sentence 😂 I wish you well😊

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Holy crap you seem to have had a hell of an experience 😂

Cool story and thanks for sharing 👍

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This probably one of the most interesting #general topics I’ve seen on the IFC. I’m glad your experience with Southwest was at least somewhat good but I am sorry about the incident on WN2130 but kudos to you for keeping your cool.

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Cheers! I’ll fly them any chance I get. I’ve literally never had a bad experience, it’s always the self-induced ones that get you.

Sometimes I imagine that situation on say, Delta or United… :\

I don’t think it would have been pretty… haha!

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OMG the old FR24. My dad and I would always look at planes flying over the Hong Kong Harbor using FR24 and we had to spot them IRL. Back when I was 9.

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Hmmmm you must’ve got the D concourse. The C concourses are absolute garbage

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Is it still under construction?

Because it definitely was when I visited.

Despite that it was still nice though!

I’ve done this many times, especially with the Southwest aircraft I’ve flown over the years since the other aircraft I’ve flown on aren’t in the sim yet.

This is a very interesting story though, and thanks for sharing! It’s interesting to see the what happened at the outcome.

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My next goal is to fly the flight in IF that I’m sitting on IRL… syncronized.

FA: “You need to turn your iPad off just for a bit, hun…”

Me: “yeah sorrrrry, I can’t turn off my iPad - I’m also currently taxiing to Runway 25R… just tell the pilot he’ll understand.”

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I know what you messed up on the flight the aircraft on the picture WN2621 it’s a 737-700 and the story is talking about the aircraft that you rode on and you are a 738-800 on the other picture I read the whole thing even though I didn’t laugh I loved it!

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Haha! You nailed it… I noticed right after takeoff… D’oh!

Here’s your ⭐… as promised! :)

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Thank you for the star!

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I mighta missed it, but are you and “tough girl” still together? 👀

The real question

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We are not… but definitely buds for life!

I would never fly w/ her ever again though…

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Yeah, must’ve skimmed that lol

It’s late here

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That was such a great story you had me laughing at so many points 😂

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