WideBodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16 Posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 18776 times:
Background: I had been thinking for the longest time of going back to the UK for a couple of days in order to get some data I had left in my old lab. I also thought it would be nice to see some old friends and, for once more, breathe some fresh Scottish air.
The original plan was to travel in October but due to some paperwork problems I had to transfer my ticket to February and pay Delta some extra $300. I was to fly out of ORD (via JFK) to EDI on Feb 12 and return (via the same route) on the 16th. However, 5 days prior to the flight I received a phone call from Delta informing me that their company had stopped flying out of EDI on a daily basis and that I would have to come back either on the 15th or the 18th. Neither option was good enough for me so I asked their representative to get me out of EDI on my original dates through some alternative route. To my surprise, however, she claimed that she could not do so. I decided to agree to be transferred to the flight on the 18th, hoping that I could perhaps change it later on. I called Delta after a couple of hours asking if I could be transferred to a flight for my original dates but once more I got a negative response. Being rather frustrated I popped into our live chat on A.net and talked to a few guys about my situation (I am terrible with names, so I cannot name you guys, but I want to thank you once more for you help). They all encouraged me to call again and insist that my request is satisfied and, if necessary, that I should ask to talk to a supervisor. I did so and this time the guy on the other end of the line had no problem to look for a flight to accommodate me. Despite his efforts he could not find anything for the 16th and offered me instead an EDI-CDG-ATL-ORD route for the 17th with CityJet, AF and DL. I had no choice but to go with that.
Feb 12 2009
Delta Connection flight 6614 ORD-JFK
On the day of departure, and given that I did not have much luggage with me, I decided that I should use public transportation to get to ORD. I took the No6 bus from Hyde Park and then, once downtown, I transferred onto a blue line CTA train to O'Hare. I had checked in electronically the previous evening so I went straight ahead to the security checkpoint and then looked for my gate. I had 3 hours to kill until my flight so I wondered about concourse L for a bit and then sat down to read my book and charge my phone. I was wearing an Argentinean jacket so a couple of Argentinean people that were waiting for their Iberia flight to Madrid came up and talked to me.
Iberia A340 ready to depart for Madrid
With this and that time went by and it was time to for my flight to JFK. However, 15 minutes before the scheduled boarding time we were announced that due to strong winds at JFK our flight would be delayed for 2 hours. This was really bad news because my layover in JFK was meant to be just 1h. Even worse, my flight to EDI was the last one of the day to leave for the Old Continent and I immediately knew that it would be a long night at JFK. I tried not to think about it and I chose to watch the Heat-Bulls game that was shown on a screen opposite my gate.
Some of the early evening traffic at ORD:
Plenty of United traffic of course
An identical CRJ-100 to the one I was about to fly, standing at the same gate I would later depart from.
Two hours later, we were ready to board on our tiny CRJ-100. I was one of the first few in line but once the gate attendant tried to scan my boarding pass she told me that I had to step aside because the machine "didn't like my pass". After everyone else had boarded, she asked for my passport and tried to see what was wrong. After about 10-15 mins of trying to figure out so (and after making several phone calls) she gave me a new boarding pass and told me that the problem had occurred because I had checked in virtually the night before. I ran to the plane and once I got in the one and only flight attendant on board gave me a strange look and said "Oh, there he is, at last" (even though I am pretty sure what she really wanted to say was "Where the hell have you been"). I just said something along the lines of "It wasn't my fault" and sat on my seat. I had never been on a CRJ-100 before and I found its size rather entertaining. I did not take any pics of the interior, mainly because I initiated a long conversation with my seatmate that lasted until we landed at JFK. The winds were pretty strong on approach but, despite the strong wobbling, the pilot made an excellent job of landing us smoothly on the tarmac. The flight attendant asked everyone to allow me, and another two connecting passengers, to de-board first, so I made my way into the terminal as fast as I could. It was already 1 hour past the scheduled departure of my flight to EDI but I was hoping that perhaps it would also be running behind schedule due to the winds. It was however not. After wondering about the Delta terminal, unable to find anyone to talk to, I was guided to exit the secure area and talk to someone at the check in counters outside. Long story short, I was told that I had to wait until 10:30pm the following night (it was midnight already). I was provided with a hotel and 3 meal vouchers and headed over to the AirTrain which got me to the Federal Circle where a shuttle bus would take me to my hotel. Once I got there and switched on the TV I found out about the CO crash at Buffalo.
View from my hotel room
The news were all about the CO3407 at Buffalo
Feb 13 2009 (initially scheduled for Feb 12 2009)
Delta flight 96 JFK-EDI
B767 (instead of B757)
I knew I had to check out at 11am so after a quick shower I forced myself to sleep. It was 2am by that time already. I was back at JFK by 11:30am and I quickly scanned the area for a good spot for photos. Fortunately there are plenty of such spots so I kept moving between them trying to get some decent shots.
Cargolux with the NYC skyline on the background
ANA taking off
A big Korean bird
Straight from Athens
AF in JFK
I had some incredible views of the take offs from this window. Here an AA 767
JAL about to take off
More NYC skyline. I was asked to stop taking pictures by one of the security guys right after I shot this one.
A very stylish TC tower.
Some exotic traffic
Exterior of the Delta terminal
Despite the many interesting birds in sight it was a painful 12-hour wait and I could not wait to get onto my flight. At 9pm I headed to gate 9 but no sooner did I do so than we were asked to move to another adjacent gate because the equipment on the original gate had broken down. Shortly before boarding we were announced that instead of a 757 we would be flying a 767 and that some of us would have to get new boarding passes. After boarding was complete we were told that catering was not loaded yet (due to the sudden change of aircraft) so we would have to wait for it. It took about an extra 30 mins. The pilot announced that it would be a quick taxi to the runway but instead it proved to be a painfully slow and long one. Prior to taking off he also announced that we were 3rd in line but I counted 9 planes taking off before us. Weird.
The flight was OK. I had 2 seats to myself so I stretched and caught some Zzzs without feeling too uncomfortable. The 2 movies that were shown were not of my taste so I chose to read instead. After the movies were over, the route map was put on the screens but despite the fact that we were south of Iceland it kept showing that we were flying still over Connecticut. I walked over to the flight attendants at the galley (they were having some eats at the time) and told them of the problem. They said that they would try to see what the problem was but the problem was never fixed. We had a smooth landing in EDI and the passport check took literally a few seconds.
Interior view of our 767
Not that much of leg space
Hot meal service. It was OK but nothing special.
Flying over Long Island
Somewhere over the North Sea
Breakfast served about an hour prior to landing
During our final approach to EDI
Our Delta 767 at EDI. Not a common sight anymore...
My 3 days in Scotland were spent traveling between Edinburgh and St.Andrews and taking care of business. Before I knew it, it was Tuesday and time to get back home.
Here are some shots from my stay there:
St.Andrews Cathedral ruins
Driving over the Forth Bridge
Driving by the Dundee Airport
Rail bridge connecting Fife with Dundee
Forth Bridge seen from the train
A Delta 757 leaving for NYC, as seen from the train, the day after my arrival.
The train that brought me back to Edinburgh from Dundee
Waiting to go back to St.Andrews
Ships at the firth of Forth
The Old Course at St.Andrews
North Street at St.Andrews
The West Sands of St.Andrews
It says it all (about British Food...)
Leuchars train station as I was leaving for Edinburgh on my last night there.
Feb 17 2009
CityJet flight 5051 EDI-CDG
I took the No100 bus from Waverley Station and 25 mins later I was in EDI. While checking in I noticed that my assigned seat for the CDG-ATL leg was an E one (on a A340-300) so I asked to be changed to either an isle or a window one. I need that extra leg space, or at least something to lean against in order to sleep or get comfortable in general. The lady at the counter was more than happy to change my seat to a window one (K). I was very pleased with this but it was not until later that I was met with an ugly surprise (see below). The security check was fairly quick and I made my way to the lounge. To my disappointment I noticed that the big windows that gave viewing access to the tarmac and the airstrip were covered with huge advertising banners, presumably due to the ongoing work to the face of the building. I was really looking forward to shoot some photos through these windows. After buying some duty free I made my way to the gate.
EDI as seen from gate 3
Some easyJet traffic
We boarded on time on our Avro (named Collanmore Island) and we pushed back with only a short 15 min delay. It was sad to leave UK back. Soon I had fallen asleep only to be woken up for the cold croissant and drink service.
Leg space was OK
Cold croissant service
Some other aircraft passing underneath us
De-boarding at CDG
I had only once before been in CDG and I had forgotten how nice it looks. I had no time to waste though and I rushed to take the train to my gate.
Obviously lots of AF birds in CDG
Feb 17 2009
Air France flight 388 CDG-ATL
I made it to the gate for my flight to Atlanta just on time. While boarding, a problem with my passport forced me to wait for about 10 mins before being allowed onto the plane. It was not made clear to me what the problem was. Our aircraft was a lovely A340-300.
The A340-300 that would take us to ATL
I had 2 seats to myself yet again and I tried to make good use of all that extra space. However this was the lovely view from my window seat.
Amenity and menu
Drink and crackers
Hot meal. Orzo pasta salad with vegetables, olive oil sauce, Espelette chili pepper and sheep's-milk cheese, Beef Bourguignon with mashed potatoes and french green beans, Camembert cheese, an Actimel yogurt, and a pistachio apricot cake. It was delicious!
Pre-landing cold snack. Equally delicious!!
I was very pleasantly surprised by the AF service. Very clean aircraft, polite crew, an amazing and huge movie selection and some of the best quality food and drink service I had in a while (not to forget the metal cutlery)!. I had one of the most pleasant flights for quite some time, even without having a window! Once in Atlanta, I had to rush to get as far front in the immigration line as possible because I had to also collect my luggage, re-deliver it, get a boarding pass and make it to my gate in less than 60 mins. Immigration was painfully slow (more than it is usually) perhaps because of the unusually large number of people requiring an interpreter.
Feb 17 2009
Delta flight 1946 ATL-ORD
Once through, I took care of my luggage and headed to the train for terminal B. I got my boarding pass form the gate and no sooner did I do that than we had to board. I did not take any photos because it was fairly dark and I did not have a good view of our aircraft from where I was standing. I was given an exit row seat, which was highly appreciated. Service comprised of 2 small peanut bags and a drink (I chose a Bloody Mary mix). Our MD-88 was a bit old and rusty but the ride was smooth and pleasant.
Overall I have to say that it was a crazy few days. It wasn't Delta's fault for my ordeal but I have to say that I appreciated the fact that I was given a hotel and 3 meals. Other than that, their service was simply OK. As for AF, I don't know what to say. The service was truly amazing and so was CDG. If I ever have the chance again, I would choose them over an American carrier to do a Trans-A crossing.
Thanks for reading. Any comments would be welcomed.
Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
DFW13L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 18572 times:
Wow, that trip had drama from Delta the whole way and hardly anything was on time! My gosh I'm worn out just from reading it.
Loved the pics. And I am a HUGE fan of EDI and Scotland in general. In fact I actually have a trip report from almost 2 years ago when I flew a DL 763 ATL-EDI-ATL (both flights on time and without incident!!)
Once again, great pictures. And I'm glad you had good luck with AF. I hope you liked the A343.
Thanks for all the work you put into those pictures and all the details!
FCA767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 1741 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 18269 times:
Really nice...I liked your color play around Glad you liked air france...I am obsessed with them and I haven't been on them yet...I love learning french and can't wait for April Trip Report will come...Doing LFPG-TNCM (Juliana )
LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 18069 times:
Great report, really interesting to read.
You seemed to have some rather unpleasant experiences with Delta.
The interior of the 767 looked rather bad, why couldn't they also fit them with AVOD, just like the domestic ones? The food didn't look that good, and the plastic cups and bowls looked just awful.
Really nice pics of Scotland, i would love to go there some day
Your return trip looked a whole lot nicer than your outbound. The small croissant served on your frist leg didn't look like much food, but hey one shouldn't complain about that, when one would only get a glass of cranapple and a pack of biscoffs thrown at you on a 6hr transcon.
The food on AF looked amazing as usual, the real metal cutlery, glassware, and china is a very nice touch for economy class. The food looked very nice and fresh, by far much nicer than on Delta. When it comes to the 2nd meal, it was maybe the most proper 2nd meal I've ever seen for a EU to US East flight.
Comeflywithme From Argentina, joined Sep 2006, 265 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 17448 times:
Delta EDI flight looked pretty empty no wonder they're cutting back on the winter service,hopefully it's still profitable enough to maintain a year round service.
AF are great aren't they? I used to fly with them all the time on the CDG-EZE route in economy and their product never failed to impress. Wonder if they still serve free Champagne in economy they certainly used to.
Enjoyed the pictures of my native Scotland.........made me a wee bit homesick.
Flyboy_se From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 810 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 17399 times:
Nice TR, thanks for posting.
I have heard so much about new DL,so was thinking they changed. but it sound as bad as my experience with them 4 years ago.I am really surprised you had to call them several times so they can route you on the day you wanted to travel.I know airlines change their schedule, but they should at least book you on the day you had your ticket for, even if it means routing you on one of their partner airlines.
Also on the trip to EDI, i am surprised they didnt rebook you on some other airline when they found out your flight will be late.They could have put you on AF from ORD via CDG.At least you would arrive on the same day.
Anyway, glad you liked AF.
Thanks for posting
I prefer to be crazy and happy rather than normal and bitter
AY104 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 505 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 16885 times:
Thanks for a great, easy to read and informative, TR.
I especially like the way you explain things that went wrong with your trip, and how your rebookings/reroutings were solved - without whining! Few people seem to take these types of problems in their stride as you do.
It seems that the European carriers lately seem to do inflight better than the North American carriers. I say North American, because I usually travel on Air Canada. I don't travel often any more, but from what I read in these Trip Reports, the Eurpean carriers seem to have the edge over North American by a long way.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your trip.'
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
WideBodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 16454 times:
Thank you all for your comments so far! I am really glad that you enjoyed my pics.
Quoting DFW13L (Reply 1): Loved the pics. And I am a HUGE fan of EDI and Scotland in general. In fact I actually have a trip report from almost 2 years ago when I flew a DL 763 ATL-EDI-ATL (both flights on time and without incident!!)
I did EDI-ATL-EDI too, about 2.5 years ago, and they were two of the best flights I've ever been to! Too bad the quality of service has deteriorated so much so quickly...
Quoting DALCE (Reply 3): My favorite country (besides NL) is not too often covered here!
I couldn't agree more. I spent 4 awesome years there and I would recommend it to everyone.
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4): The interior of the 767 looked rather bad, why couldn't they also fit them with AVOD, just like the domestic ones? The food didn't look that good, and the plastic cups and bowls looked just awful.
I was wondering the same. If anything, it would make more sense to put the AVOD on the international routes first. I wonder why this is not the case...
Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 7): Delta EDI flight looked pretty empty no wonder they're cutting back on the winter service,hopefully it's still profitable enough to maintain a year round service.
Yes, the flight was probably 40% full. No wonder they stopped the daily service. It was kind of an abrupt stop though, I have to say.
Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 7): Wonder if they still serve free Champagne in economy they certainly used to.
Yes, they did! I was initially shocked and I immediately thought it must have been a mistake. In fact I was even too embarrassed to ask for some!
Quoting Flyboy_se (Reply 8): Also on the trip to EDI, i am surprised they didnt rebook you on some other airline when they found out your flight will be late.They could have put you on AF from ORD via CDG.At least you would arrive on the same day.
That was my thought too! In fact I could see the AF aircraft at the International terminal and I was about to ask to be perhaps transferred there. The guys at the gate weren't very helpful though, even though I could have pushed them more. At that time I was still hoping I could make it to JFK on time.
Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 10): Too bad DL didn't make your trip a very smooth one.
At least I am grateful that I was put in a hotel. Is it true that airlines are not obliged to provide you with accommodation if the reason behind the delay is the weather?
Quoting AY104 (Reply 11): I especially like the way you explain things that went wrong with your trip, and how your rebookings/reroutings were solved - without whining!
Oh trust me, I did my bit of whining at the time . It was rather frustrating but now I can look back at it and laugh. It was yet another of those crazy experiences that will stay in my memory for a while
Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
AlexEU From Serbia, joined Oct 2007, 1817 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 16384 times:
Nice trip report with great pics too! I think that you could have also flown with CO 757 from EWR...
Quoting WideBodyroga (Reply 13): I did EDI-ATL-EDI too, about 2.5 years ago, and they were two of the best flights I've ever been to! Too bad the quality of service has deteriorated so much so quickly...
WideBodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 15355 times:
I apologize for the fact that the photos were not visible for the best part of last month but as you can see they are now available again.
Quoting AlexEU (Reply 15): Nice trip report with great pics too! I think that you could have also flown with CO 757 from EWR...
Yes, indeed I could. When planning for this trip I had considered CO but given my excellent previous experience with Delta I decided to go with them instead. I should have perhaps followed my instinct which usually tells me to choose a new carrier every time (I have never flown CO).
Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter): I was very pleasantly surprised by the AF service. Very clean aircraft, polite crew, an amazing and huge movie selection and some of the best quality food and drink service I had in a while (not to forget the metal cutlery)!. I had one of the most pleasant flights for quite some time, even without having a window!
I also've had a very pleasant experience with AF. Great food, kind service (speaking and/or being fluent in French does help matters), and excellent IFE. Thank you so much for sharing this TR and I look forward to many more of yours in the future!
Hejmatt From Ireland, joined Mar 2009, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 14677 times:
Nicely done, WideBodyroga.
I like the Dundee shots. If you get the chance to fly into DND, the approach over Dundee is worth seeing if your aircraft lands on RWY28.
Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter): Other than that, their service was simply OK. As for AF, I don't know what to say. The service was truly amazing and so was CDG. If I ever have the chance again, I would choose them over an American carrier to do a Trans-A crossing.
I've never flown with Delta or Air France. Your report would make me consider flying with the latter.
Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 5): Just found out today actually that WX name their planes after Irish islands