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Topic: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: MIAspotter
Posted 2007-01-06 10:42:05 and read 5418 times.

Hey!

Well after 10 months since my mum purchased my ticket to spend X-mas in Miami the wait was finally over.  santahat 


Sector 1
December 13th 2006
London Gatwick-Atlanta Hartsfield Intl (LGW-ATL)
Delta Airlines DL-11
Boeing 767-300ER N176DZ
Departure 11:10am gate 52
Arrival 03:35 Gate E something
Seat 37A


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Photo © Adam Wright
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Photo © Paul Robbins - Nashville Aviation Photographers



Woke up at the Un-holy time of 3:00 am to get ready to catch my 4:55 am coach to Gatwick (Via Heathrow), My flat mate kindly offered me to give me a lift to the station and he dropped me off at 4:35 am. Boarded the coach and just listened to my trusty iPod all the way to LGW.  bouncy 

We Arrived at Gatwick North Terminal at 8:30am and walked inside the terminal only to be greeted by a massive check-in line! DL at this time has flights from Gatwick to Atlanta, JFK and Cincinnati. So there was a line for passengers traveling to JFK while the ATL and CVG passengers had the other lane.

After having my passport checked and questioned about why I was going to America  sarcastic  I finally was cleared to check in, and the whole thing took 1:30 minutes! Yes 1 hour and a half to check in!!! I was already suggesting to bring in some FR ground staff since they know how to check in a lot of people quickly. Anyways a DL staff was asking people if they wished to give up their seats for a later flight and was offering 500 Delta Dollars for it. I passed on the opportunity since I had a connecting flight in ATL.

Anyways after check in the woman told me I would have to collect my bags in ATL and re-check them for the onward leg to MIA, I thought this was a bit stupid, but she said she could not check my bags all the way to MIA.  sarcastic 

After that I proceeded to security and It was done in a breeze since there were not many people and I had nothing with me to take on-board. After that I went to WH Smiths to buy Jeremy Clarkson’s second Installment of “The World According to Clarkson” the book is really funny and worked as a good “IFE” rotfl 

Since check-in took so long, boarding time was almost upon us, so I just went straight to my gate (52) where our big jet was patiently waiting to take us across the pond.
Boarding started at 10:30 by zones, zones 1 and business elite members first then zones 2 and so on, I had zone 4 so I was in quickly. Once onboard I was greeted by a nice F/A who asked me “ Hiya there do you know where to go?” to which I replied “right and all the way down!” the cabin looked really nice and bright and clean and had leather seats all around, also there was some nice Christmassy tunes playing on the P/A, found my seat and made myself comfortable on what it would be my living space for the next 9 hours.  boxedin 

The F/A’s passed around offering Headphones and handing out menus while the rest of the people boarded, It was to be a full load today, no spare seats. Captain came on the P/A to introduce himself and the crew and to give us some info about the flight, we would be flying at FL340

We pushed back a little late at 11:30 because of the usual baggage issues and with only one engine running the captain made his way towards RWY 26L where we were N.4 for takeoff, then with both engines running the captain gave the engines the full beans and we roared into a cloudy English Morning, we turned south and overflew SOU and then turned right towards the vast Atlantic Ocean.

Shortly after takeoff the F/As started a snack service which consisted of a bag of mixed nuts and drinks. Then the Entertainment system was started with some ABCNews program followed by the first movie, Heart of the game, Since I was not interested in the movie I just listened to my iPod and read Clarkson’s book.

Then Lunch was served, there was a choice of Cheese tortellini or roasted breast of Chicken, together with salad, bread and butter and cheese and for dessert a chocolate chip cookie.

I chose the Cheese tortellini and washed it down with apple juice, the meal was very tasty, one of the most delicious meals I had on a plane (after VS) then a drink service was again offered and I opted for a Coffee which in this case was absolutely horrid! It looked like dirty water and tasked like it! a shame after such a nice meal.

I then read some more and filled my I94W immigration and customs form, then read some more and a bit more, the view out of the window was water, water, clouds and more water. Until we hit land and it changed to Snow, mountains, rivers and IAD. Later during the flight the crew came around offering Haagen Dazs Vanilla ice cream! Nice touch! And more drinks. The overhead monitors were now showing some Food network programme and videos. Since the Air show was not working there was no way of finding out where on earth we where at any giving time thus making the flight seem longer.  tired 

Then like 2 hours before arrival a snack was offered, consisting of a slice of vegetarian pizza. Which was also nice warm and tasty! Catering in DL is obviously good! They just need to get some decent coffee.

After 9 hours which seemed like 300 we finally started our descent into Atlanta!

After some twists and turns we lined up to land on 27L, after a firm touch down we slowed down and exited the runway and taxied to our assigned gate in terminal E, we arrived at our gate at approximately 4:20, slightly behind schedule. I quickly made my way to immigration where of course the queue was huge and took a good 45 minutes to get thru. The woman at the counter did not gave me any grief and stamped my passport, then I went downstairs to re-check my bags like the lady back in LGW told me, and this process consists on me picking up my bags from the belt, walking like 10 meters and handing them to some fat guy who will then put them in another belt…. That’s it!

Then I catched the people mover towards Concourse A… That’s Concourse A as In Alpha, said the voice on the aforementioned train.

I phoned my mum and proceeded to Gate A16 where yet another 767-300 was waiting for me, this time for a much shorter 1:50 minutes flight to Miami.

Sector 2
December 13th 2006
Atlanta Hartsfield Intl-Miami International (ATL-MIA)
Delta Airlines DL-1782
Boeing 767-300 N143DA
Departure 06:15pm Gate A16
Arrival 08:10pm Gate H10
Seat 40F


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Photo © Adam Wright
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Photo © Paul Robbins - Nashville Aviation Photographers



Again Boarding started started by Zones and again I had zone 4, once onboard I made my way towards my seat, this time the cabin on this particular plane was awful! It looked worn, very yellow and unpleasant, the cloth seats and old style audio controls on the seats did not help either, but hey! It’s a 1:50 minute ride.

The passengers on this flight consisted mainly on wannabe gangstas, Army soldiers, and normal people. I noticed some of the F/A’s wearing “Keep Delta my Delta” Buttons which were discussed on this forums not long ago.

We pushed back on time-ish and proceeded to Runway 27R where again we blasted off towards Miami. Soon after the crew started their snack service which was a choice of soft drink, water or coffee and a snack, I had an Orange Juice and a bag of Sun Chips, tasty things those are, and watched as we crossed little patches of lights on earth called “cities and towns” our route today took us over the gulf coast of Florida down to the everglades where we made a left turn towards MIA.

We started our descent and the approach was just a straight line towards RWY 27R, Since I have not been to MIA in 3 years I was kind of excited and started pointing out places as we flew the approach (dolphin mall, expressways, etc) we smoothly touched down and made our way to our parking position on Concourse H.

I thanked the crew and made a beeline towards Baggage claim so I could be reunited with my bags and then it was the oh-so-dramatic tear jerking moment of seeing my mum again after 3 years. My Mom’s Co-worker (a nice looking Colombian girl) picked us up on her super cool brand new Civic and we went for dinner at some Italian restaurant on Dadeland Mall.

And that’s it! The first part of my journey was over. I Hope you enjoyed reading this long and boring trip report.

Stay tuned for the next installments:

MIA-SFO on AA first Class
SFO-LAS on Ted
LAS-MIA on AA first class again
And Finally…
MIA-ATL-LGW on DL

Plenty of Fun....

MIAspotter

Topic: RE: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: DALelite
Posted 2007-01-06 14:07:07 and read 5309 times.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
I was on a DL over the pond trip a month ago. And they served us exactly the same food. Except for the Ice Cream i didn't like the food at all.
Well we all have different tastes.

cheers: DALelite

Topic: RE: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: DeltaWings
Posted 2007-01-06 15:23:04 and read 5273 times.

This TR made me laugh quite a bit, very funny. I know, some of DL's domestic 763s are dreadful.

I look forward to your other reports!

DeltaWings

Topic: RE: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: Jeffrey1970
Posted 2007-01-06 16:28:26 and read 5232 times.

Quoting MIAspotter (Thread starter):
Anyways after check in the woman told me I would have to collect my bags in ATL and re-check them for the onward leg to MIA, I thought this was a bit stupid, but she said she could not check my bags all the way to MIA.

I remember back in 2000 when I flew on Usairways from Montego Bay to Baltimore, they told me I would have to do the samething when I changed planes in Charlotte.

Topic: RE: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: SK601
Posted 2007-01-06 16:49:31 and read 5214 times.

Quoting MIAspotter (Thread starter):
Anyways a DL staff was asking people if they wished to give up their seats for a later flight and was offering 500 Delta Dollars for it. I passed on the opportunity since I had a connecting flight in ATL.

If you are interested in some extra $$$ -or TCVs- you can always tell them that you are willing to give up your seat, provided that DL will rebook you to your FINAL destination. When I was a gate agent I rebooked volunteers to any destination they want (within reason of course), if I could just get that 1 seat for this angry standby passenger!

Topic: RE: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: MIAspotter
Posted 2007-01-06 21:19:07 and read 5072 times.

Quoting SK601 (Reply 4):
If you are interested in some extra $$$ -or TCVs- you can always tell them that you are willing to give up your seat, provided that DL will rebook you to your FINAL destination. When I was a gate agent I rebooked volunteers to any destination they want (within reason of course), if I could just get that 1 seat for this angry standby passenger!

Yes, the lady did say she will arrange for me to be rebooked on the next sector, but since my mum hates driving at night, I did not want to arrive in MIA too late at night, and besides... on such a long journey you just wanna get there ASAP!

DeltaWings. Glad you enjoyed the Report, will start typing the rest soon.

MIAspotter

Topic: RE: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: WN230
Posted 2007-01-07 02:38:01 and read 4943 times.

Quoting MIAspotter (Thread starter):
Catering in DL is obviously good! They just need to get some decent coffee.

It sure looks like it. Next time, fly UA. I think they serve starbucks coffee onboard. Overall, DL sure made a good impression on me, and I hope they made a good impression on you as well.

Quoting MIAspotter (Thread starter):
MIA-SFO on AA first Class
SFO-LAS on Ted
LAS-MIA on AA first class again
And Finally…
MIA-ATL-LGW on DL

Hope AA and UA(Ted) gave you good experiences as well. Looking forward to those reports.  Smile

WN230

Topic: RE: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: ExFATboy
Posted 2007-01-08 01:35:51 and read 4749 times.

Fun report! Thanks, looking forward to the next part!

Quoting MIAspotter (Thread starter):
Anyways after check in the woman told me I would have to collect my bags in ATL and re-check them for the onward leg to MIA, I thought this was a bit stupid, but she said she could not check my bags all the way to MIA.

You have to have all your bags with you when you pass through Customs, in case they want to inspect your bags, or the "Beagle Brigade" dog smells contraband or something. 999 times out of a thousand all you do is grab your bags after passport control, hand the official the US customs form, have the guy say "ok", and leave. It seems silly, but every country I've ever visited has this requirement, even if the "customs inspection" just consists of walking down the green "Nothing to Declare" channel in the UK.

(I'm not sure if ATL has the beagles, but last time I went through LAX they did - you had to take your bags off the trolley and put your backpack on the floor so the dogs could smell them. Saw basset hounds at YYZ once with little "Agriculture Canada" jackets on - don't think they were doing much good because kids kept going up to the dogs and petting them.)

[Edited 2007-01-08 01:36:47]

Topic: RE: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: B742
Posted 2007-01-08 01:55:25 and read 4728 times.

DL sounds good, I will have to fly them next time I go to the US.

How did you like Miami? I've just got back from there the other day (AA to LHR)!

Great trip report  Smile

Rob!  wave 

Topic: RE: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: VC10DC10
Posted 2007-01-08 03:15:12 and read 4680 times.

Quoting WN230 (Reply 6):
Next time, fly UA. I think they serve starbucks coffee onboard.

Unfortunately, no matter which line you're on and what brand of coffee they're serving, you still stand a good chance of getting terrible coffee. I have a friend in the coffee importing business who explained to me that the brewing process is affected by altitude and atmospheric pressure, to say nothing of water quality and temperature. No matter how hard an airline tries, sometimes one or more of these factors will be off and the coffee will stink.

BTW, my friend's company has (or did have, not sure if it's still there) a mockup of an airliner galley at its headquarters for the benefit of one major airline customer -- part of trying to eliminate the problem factors I mention above.

Topic: RE: To The USA For Christmas On DL-AA-UA
Username: MIAspotter
Posted 2007-01-08 10:44:41 and read 4563 times.

Hey guys Thanks for the comments.

They do have the Beagles in Atlanta, I saw them while waiting for passport control. And Yep I had to pick my bags up give the Customs Officer the form and he waved me in, no problems there.

Quoting B742 (Reply 8):
How did you like Miami? I've just got back from there the other day (AA to LHR)!

I used to live there a few years ago, but my mother still lives there, so I try to go there at least for Christmas. Miami was very good! warm and sunny compared to freezing England! BRRRRR!

Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 9):
Unfortunately, no matter which line you're on and what brand of coffee they're serving, you still stand a good chance of getting terrible coffee. I have a friend in the coffee importing business who explained to me that the brewing process is affected by altitude and atmospheric pressure, to say nothing of water quality and temperature. No matter how hard an airline tries, sometimes one or more of these factors will be off and the coffee will stink.

Strange, but one time I went on Ryanair from BOH to GRO and I bought a Cappuccino onboard, and it was actually quite tasty, but like you said, altitude and pressure can affect the taste, I suppose the same happens to the food.

Next Installment coming up!

MIAspotter


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