9 Airports, 1 Day: Follow Cranky All Day Long

Cranky 10

The day has finally arrived. Assuming everything runs on time, I’ll be taking 8 Southwest flights touching 9 airports today both to earn a companion pass but also to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the blog. If you want backstory, click here and here.

You can get updates three ways.

  1. Bookmark this page and it’ll be updated with my location as I go.
  2. Follow me on Twitter @crankyflier where I’ll post updates and answer questions while I’m flying. If you want to use a hashtag, then let’s make it #9Airports1Day.
  3. Follow me on Busker for live streaming at each airport along the way. My goal is to do a live stream at each airport, and that starts with Long Beach at 6:30am PT. You can download the app either at the link above or by using the Google Play or App Store for Android and iOS respectively. If you don’t want to download the app, you won’t be able to ask questions in real time, but you can watch. I will send a tweet when I’m about to go live. You can also watch at busker.co/CrankyFlier anytime and if I’m live, it’ll show there.

And if you’re just curious how it’s going, then you’re in the right place. Here’s where Cranky is now:

Cranky 10 Home

Thanks for following along!

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61 comments on “9 Airports, 1 Day: Follow Cranky All Day Long

  1. Good luck with the marathon!

    (Incidentally, the map on the front page of crankyflier.com says “en route to San Jose” while the map inside the post still says “Long Beach.” You may want to remember to update both of them, or delete the one inside the post.)

    1. My guess is that Cranky premade all the images and put them in the post, but hid the ones that aren’t needed right now. The blog software then chose one of them to display as the preview.

    2. grichard – Doh! I forgot about the featured image on the homepage. That one is tough to switch so I just switched it to the default map showing the whole route. As Andy says, the images are pre-made and put in the post. I’ve just commented out the html for the images I don’t need, and then I just update that all day long. Easy to do, but the featured image is little more of a pain!

  2. Hey Brett – good luck today. Here is hoping that Southwest does not create another self-inflicted wound today (like an IT melt-down; it would be interesting to read your take on how “well” DL and Southwest dealt with their respective disasters).

    One suggestion: make the links in this post open up a new tab. Now when I click any of them it takes me away from this page.

    1. malbarda – Thanks! So far it appears Delta has recovered far better than Southwest did. Of course, Delta had the benefit of having its systems fail overnight instead of the middle of the day.

      As for opening new links, I let the user decide. To open in a new window, just right click.

  3. Brett, glad I caught up with you at, literally, the last minute..hope the last 8 legs go as well as the first (LGB-OAK) one did!! Safe and fun travels to you from Team OAK..

  4. This is great and inspiring! I want to do this on other airlines too! Has anyone ever done it on DL and got status on KLM?

    1. I doubt you could get enough in one day to get status on a traditional airline, but I’m sure plenty of done runs like this to top off back in the old days.

  5. Wow, nice plaque from Southwest on your Twitter feed.

    On another note, you better have at least a few negative things to say about Southwest on your trip report, Cranky, or people are going to start to question your impartiality. ;-)

    Not your fault that Southwest is having fun with this trip in there light-hearted way and trying to make the best of it for you, though, so kudos to Southwest.

  6. One of my long term non rev goals was to do the “Coral Route” on the old Air Micronesia. On the 727 starting in Honolulu, to Johnston Atoll (can’t go there anymore, its closed, and the runways are destroyed, to Majuro to Kwajelein to Phonpei (with a date line crossing) to Kosrae to Guam. Flights were always empty, until you reached Guam, then it was impossible to get home on any flight out of GUM.

    Enjoy your day.

    1. Brings back fond memories of non-revving this route in 1982. A Continental co-worker and I spent 2 weeks in Micronesia. We stopped at Johnston, Kwajalein, Truk, Yap, and Tinian; stayed 1-4 nights each in Guam, Saipan, Ponape, and Palau. On the way home we got bumped at Majuro, the next flight was several days later! The island’s water pumping station was broken, so we had to use water from a village well to flush toilets and bucket bathe. The “hotel” was several old trailers on cement blocks.

      There was a cholera outbreak at Truk, with a quarantine order. If you got off there you couldn’t board an Air Mike flight, not sure how long that lasted but we obviously didn’t get off the plane. At Tinian the pilots announced they would walk over to the B-29 loading pits with anyone that wanted to see them. Little Boy and Fat Man, the atomic bombs, were flown to Hiroshima and Nagasaki from there. Very sobering with bronze plaques to mark the spots.

      In those days most of the runways were crushed coral, the aircraft were specially under-coated 727s with giant cargo doors. Only the back half of the plane was seating, the forward compartment was freight and it was amazing to see what was off-loaded at the various islands: fridges, washing machines, pallets of toilet paper, etc. Most of the “airport terminals” were tin-roofed open-air sheds with a few backless benches for seating. Every flight was full, we were lucky to only get bumped once.

      It was a great adventure full of surprises, one of my best memories of working for Continental.

      1. As a fellow old CO employee (ORD, PIA, RSW) I, too, non-revved Air Mike HNL-Johnston-Majuro-Ponape-Truk on the old 727-100 combi with my pregnant wife and son. They used every inch of the crushed coral runways to get off the ground. Customs in Truk was 2 pickup trucks back to back with a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood between them. Full load coming home out of Ponape so a non-rev mechanic, who had his family too, and I sat with the DPS up in a rack of 3 seats amidst the pallets “up front” sworn to secrecy by the pilot until we left the company. Didn’t want to wait 3 days. Awesome trip experience in many more ways than I’ll take time to share! One of my great airline memories. Cranky, I hope yours yesterday was great too.

  7. Need you to discuss the Delta disaster.Cannot believe there are no backup computers or backup to the backups. I was a victim.
    Steven Newman

    1. Steven – If I get more info, I’ll discuss it. I suspect I’ll end up covering it the same way I covered the Southwest one, find another reporter who received access and then post the link.

  8. Given how Southwest has been involved in your trip, I’d expect them to bend-over backwards to make sure that everything goes smoothly, that you don’t mis-connect. With all of the people following you, the optics and PR would be terrible for them

    1. Exactly.

      I respect Brett, and I respect his ethics, and I know he paid for these flights out of pocket and is having fun today, but I think this is why need he needs to be a little careful about throwing too much “LUV” on Southwest. Appearing to play up the Southwest angle a bit too much can make him appear (again, intentionally or not) as a bit of a Southwest shill.

    2. AA-Platinum – I think you’re right. I’m trying to get a sense of what has and hasn’t been done for me. I do know that all the stuff at the airport level has been done by those people at the airport. The PR people just told the airports that I was coming through and they could all decide if they wanted to do something or not. I definitely have some good and some bad to say, but no question this has just been a lot of fun.

  9. Brett.

    I really didn’t do the “time math” before I went to bed last night, (about 2300 my time on the 9th). Thought you’d be farther along by now. It’s a long slog indeed. I woke up at 0730 on the 10th to see you on the way to San Jose. Hope the last few legs and the connections all hold up.

    Just to give the fans of air travel a little thought, I mapped out a trip with Google Maps last night, leaving LGB the same time you did, visiting all the southern airports, then the northern end, and then scurrying back from SFO to LAX. According to the planning function I would have beat you back by an hour or so … slightly more than 1050 miles total driving.

    If you’ve time to spare go by air, LoL.

    1. Dave – That is fantastic and hilarious. Of course, with LA and Bay Area traffic, I think I might still end up winning by flying. Then again, that depends on how late my last flight is…

      1. If there is another power outage in Atlanta or another broken Southwest server, though, my money would DEFINITELY be on Dave… :-)

    2. Should have thought of that earlier. With two or three people in the car to share driving duties it would have made a fun experiment. Turtle vs hare.

      Maybe for the 20th Cranky anniversary.

      1. the KC aviation authority did one of those races a few years ago. They started at the same place in downtown KC, one in a car on I-70 east bound to STL and the other on a bus to MCI, then a Southwest jet to STL, then another bus to downtown STL. The aircraft and bus combo beat the car.

      1. It will definitely be a fun story for her to tell to her girlfriends…

        “Yeah, so you know how my husband is a professional airline dork? About that… He flew eight flights, touching nine different airports, in a single day this week… No, he isn’t crazy, well not THAT crazy… But we’re going to be going on a lot of couple’s trips next year, because he did it as part of some kind of Southwest promotion, so I’ll fly free when he buys a ticket. Still not sure if it was worth him spending 16 hours straight in airports and airplanes, though…”

  10. Legs 2-3 (OAK-ONT-SMF) were on the same equipment
    Legs 6-7-8 (SJC-BUR-SFO-LAX) are on the same equipment

    Talk about some great luck (all the more so since those were your three closest connections

    1. AA-Platinum – All of those are routed to be the same aircraft every day in this schedule. We could see that when we were planning. The only one that wasn’t was the last one back to LAX from SFO. I spoke with a friend at Southwest and he said there were some 737-300 problems earlier in the day and this was a normal swap. So it might not be all that much just for me.
      Then again, I guess I’ll never know.

  11. Did they make you get off between legs 2-3, or could you give your BP to the FA to give the agent? Any chance you’ll be so lucky between legs 6-8 considering it should be the same crew?

    1. Phllax – So in Ontario I got on the jet bridge and they said I could just stay on, but I had to at least set foot in the terminal. Seemed like the right thing to do. I’ll try to do the same in Burbank and SF.

  12. I don’t have a comment on your article, only to post a comment to say how disgusted I am with Hawaiian Airlines. They won’t refund my $150 extra comfort seat when United changed the flight time coming out of Chicago to SFO. They only allowed 5 minutes to get a connection to catch the Hawaiian flight to Maui. As a result I asked Hawaiian for a refund on the extra comfort seat and was denied. They lost a customer. Plus I am cancelling my credit card with them as well.

    Sent from Tracy’s iPad

    1. Chris – Must be a slow news day. ;) At cruise altitude right now heading back to LAX. It’s going to feel good to be home.

  13. My kids think I’m an aviation dork, then I show them stuff like this and they realize I’m comparatively normal. This is brilliant! My craziest run was a day trip DCA-LAX-DCA for In’n’Out, which my boys thought perfectly reasonable. All tame by your standard.

    1. Will – Honestly, that sounds like a tougher run to me than this one! (But I admire the cross country In ‘n Out run. That’s a beaut.)

  14. Congrats on completing the journey. It was fun trying to keep up with you all day – but being on the East Coast meant I couldn’t hang with you thru the end! Busker was an interesting addition and I loved how each SW station got into the spirit of the trip! I’m sure you’ll get plenty of value from the pass.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, Busker was kind of fun. I need to see if there’s a way I can incorporate that more regularly going forward.

  15. Really enjoyed following your journey and thought Busker was a great addition…and thanks for running with my SJC/Reno Air comment! Back in the day, to maintain elite status, I did a few BWI-CLE-DTW-MKE round trips on Saturdays that was somewhat reminiscent on your trip…and my craziest journey was a Saturday round trip, BWI-ORD-LAX and return with the ORD-LAX-ORD on a 744 in Business. Not a bad day!

    1. Chris – Thanks for the feedback. I did have fun with the real time comments on Busker. I think it might be worth trying to roll this out in some kind of talk show format. I’m playing around with the idea.

      Sounds like some good runs you’ve done. I’d be all for that 747 run in business just to get on her again.

    1. ChuckMO – Thanks – I can’t imagine United could do anything like this since they’ve cut flights in most intra-Cal markets now. It’s incredible how much they’ve shrunk. (But ops-wise, I’d pick United over American these days…)

  16. I was targeted for this offer and would like to do a similar run from DEN. Anyone want to join me and help me construct my day of flying? Lots of cheap flights, but having trouble stringing the sale fares back-to-back like you did. The fares and fights seem to change multiple times a day.

    1. Flygirl555 – If you were targeted for the same offer I was, then each flight has to touch California on one end or it won’t qualify. Make sure to double check those terms before doing this.

  17. I was without power due to storms in the northeast all weekend. Will there be a recap post with flight and airport reviews that I can look forward to?

  18. Congratulations on 10 years! I’ve been reading for about 5, very helpful information for those of us in the travel industry! I wish I could have followed along, but I flew out to New Zealand on the 8th – which means I arrived on the 10th, so missed the 9th entirely!
    On my way back into the states this weekend, I stopped over in LA and made sure to hit the In N Out at LAX – and saw a bunch of cool planes, including my first A380.
    Thanks for all the entertainment and information!
    PS last year I visited 77 breweries in one day – so 9 airports would be a breeze for me!

    1. John the Kiwi – Well don’t worry. I’m writing up my entire adventure and will post it soon (probably across multiple posts). So you’ll be able to follow along.

      77 breweries? I can only imagine how drunk you were.

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