Flyover Drive-Thru



Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Southwest Airlines Flight 341. It’s a beautiful night. Let’s make it a beautiful flight.

That’s right. We’ll be flying nonstop to 57th and Cicero. Mm-hmm. That’s right. Right over a White Castle.

Anyone here from Chicago? Yeah? Y’all goin’ home, too?

Where you from, sir? Bridgeport? Oh, all right all right. Got the boss man here. South Si-ide!

We got any Cubs fans on this plane tonight? C’mon, now, don’t be shy. There we go. There we go. This gentleman right here. Cubs fan. Looks like a long year for you, sir, I’m sorry to say. But hey, what’s another year for the Cubs?

Nah, I kid, I’m playin’ with you. Best of luck to the Cubs. Not that you’ve had any in, I don’t know, a century. Nah, I love the Cubs. I love ’em. Second only to my Sox. And about 28 other teams.

Anyway, we’re gettin’ ready to move, so strap yourselves in and we’ll soar on the wind. Please place all seat backs and tray tables in their full, upright, and locked position, and make sure your seatbelt is correctly fastened. At this time, we ask that all electronic devices are turned off. That means completely off. No airplane mode, no headphones—off. If you are unable to go 10 minutes without your phone or your music, just hit the call button and I’ll be happy to come over and lay some beats down. Or else beat some sense into you. Nah, I kid. I’m playin’. Cell phones do need to be off, though.

It’ll be about a two-hour flight from sunny Tampa to chilly Chicago, where the current temperature is 34 degrees and the current rain is what we like locals like to call “miserable.” Maybe another word I can’t say. But you know what, folks? It’s home, ain’t that right? And White Castle’s got warm booths and hot food 24 hours a day. I know I’ll be makin’ a stop.

We know you have options when you fly, and we thank you for choosing Southwest Airlines, serving lovely Midway Airport on Chicago’s lovely Southwest Side. For real, now. You don’t believe me? Yeah, all right: Midway could use a facelift. But the Southwest Side is lookin’ fine. Sometime when you’re not rushing around, trying to catch that Orange Line or that yellow, you should stay a while. Our White Castle’s great.

Anyway, my name is Robert, and I’ll begin serving drinks and in-flight snacks shortly after we reach cruising altitude, along with my partner in crime, Chicago Lawn’s own Tanya. Say hi to Tanya, y’all. Feel free to call us Young Cuz and T-Ball, or just “Hey, flight attendant!” It’s all up to you.

Until then, grab a friend so you’re not alone. Chicago, we’re comin’ home.

Writer: Pat Chesnut
Photographer: Geoff Stearns