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Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6939 posts, RR: 77
Posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Goodbye, Red Tails!
ATL-MEM-ORD-DTW on Northwest DC-9-40/50 & Delta MD-88
+ Chicago City Tour




Intro
The focus is on the rare DC-9-40 (NWA), the DC-9-50 (NWA) and the MD-88 (Delta) in the second part of my latest trip report series. It has been likely from the time of booking that the MEM-ORD and ORD-DTW flights would be my last ones on Northwest Airlines, so it was time to say goodbye to the good old Red Tails. And considering the limited number of current and future operators it is very likely that my first DC-9-40 and DC-9-50 flights were also my last DC-9 flights. In addition to the flight reviews, I have also added numerous pictures from a Chicago city tour (including the Sears Tower).
All those who have missed part 1 – including Air France A318 & A340 reviews and pictures from downtown Atlanta and the World of Coca-Cola - simply need to click here:

Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL


Background
In early January my brother and I decided to go on a short sightseeing trip to the United States. We weren't fixated on a certain city, but my brother suggested to integrate Chicago. Numerous airlines offered attractive fares for mid-February, but the cheapest options on US Airways and British Airways couldn't impress me. Finally I found some interesting options on AF/KL/NW, including the DC-9. Now I sniffed a chance to get what I missed two years ago: the DC-9-50. I continued searching and suddenly an entry on NWA's website caught my attention: an ORD-DTW flight operated by a rare DC-9-40. Honestly, I hadn't ever tried to find those, because I had never seen them separately in the NWA timetable. However, they did now indeed show up in the system. Now I still had to solve an old problem: How to include the DC-9-50, too?

I continued searching, probably for several hours. In the end I hadn't only found the desired DC-9-40 and DC-9-50, but also a (Delta) MD-88 which was also missing in my log. The long-haul sectors would be operated by Air France and KLM, airlines which I had flown several times before. And I had also been on the A330-200 and the A340-300 several times before. However, I hadn't boarded an Air France A340 and a KLM A330 yet. An A318 also showed up on the MUC-CDG sector, but I had already flown that type before. So I finally booked the MUC-CDG-ATL and ORD-DTW-AMS-MUC sectors on AF’s website and added an ATL-MEM-ORD trip on orbitz.com. Final price: 490 Euro.





Sunday, 15 February 2009
Atlanta (ATL) - Memphis (MEM)
Delta DL2043
17:05-17:36 (17:00-17:11)
Flying time: 00:57 (hrs)

McDonnell Douglas MD-88
N960DL (s/n 1711), delivered in 06/1990
Economy Class, Seat 29A



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Photo © Jason Bisson




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Photo © Norman Walesch
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Photo © Thomas D. Mayes, Jr.



Check-in & Aircraft
We arrived at the airport in the early afternoon and a friendly Delta agent welcomed us at the curbside check-in. I had booked the ATL-MEM-ORD flights separately, so we had to pay USD 15 for each piece of checked luggage. We got our boarding passes with the seat numbers reserved in advance on NWA's website and the agent asserted that both flights would be on time - a perfect start for my "Northwest & DC-9 Farewell Tour".  Wink
More than an hour later we arrived at the gate where N960DL, an MD-88 built in 1990, was being prepared for our flight to MEM.



Cabin Comfort & Departure
Boarding was started on time and we walked down to row 29. The cabin looked worn and the old-style leather seats weren't in good shape any more. Certain seat covers were damaged...



...and the seat pitch was very tight. I was really glad that the flight would be only a short one.





Shuttle America Embraer 175 N203JQ was parked next to us - one of a growing number of E-Jets in Delta Connection colors:



We left the gate early and passed the excellent and spotter-friendly Renaissance Concourse Hotel:



The MD-88 took off only a few minutes later and we passed gates full of AirTran and Delta jets:





Snack
The flight attendants soon started serving free drinks and peanuts - at least you still get a small snack free of charge on such short Delta routes. I ordered a Coca-Cola Zero which tastes so much better than the Diet Coke stuff.



The FAs on that flight were ok, but I noticed that one lady didn't look at me at all while she was handing out the drink - she was already asking the next passenger about his choice. Anyway, not a big deal.

Approach & Arrival
We passed countless warehouses on approach to Memphis...



...which is the home of FedEx.



It was my second visit to Memphis airport and again I couldn't get a single FedEx registration...  embarrassed 

On disembarking I asked the captain whether I could have a look at the flight deck and he invited me to do so. After a short chat it was time for some more MD-88 shots in the evening sun. Btw - N960DL is one of 116 active Delta MD-88s.






Transfer at Memphis
Memphis Airport is definitely showing its age with an outdated interior design and low ceilings. Corridors and gate areas were crowded, but at least you don't have to walk very far in transit. Numerous shops offer all kinds of Elvis souvenirs - and believe it or not, I even saw Elvis on an escalator in front of me! Well, I guess it was a good imitator.  Wink
Memphis Airport is not very spotter-friendly due to the concourse layout and the limited number of windows, but I could still get some Northwest registrations. Red Tails everywhere:






Saturday, 15 February 2009
Memphis (MEM) - Chicago (ORD)
Northwest NW352
18:45-20:36 (18:37-20:27)
Flying time: 01:50 (hrs)

McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51
N783DC (s/n 937), first delivered to North Central Airlines in 01/1980
Economy Class, Seat 22D



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Photo © Michael Carter




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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.
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Photo © Pierre Langlois



Registration Invisible
We directly went to our gate and I was glad to see that the flight was still on time. The plane was already being prepared and the fuselage length clearly indicated that it was a DC-9-50. However, I couldn't see the registration...
I even walked all around the adjacent concourses, but other aircraft blocked the view. So I simply had to wait.



Cabin Comfort & Departure
Just like on the DC-9-30 two years ago, the interior didn't reveal the plane's age. The DC-9-50 had been re-equipped with a modern interior, including comfortable fabric seats:



The seat pitch was sufficient, too - definitely better than on Delta's MD-88.



A mid-aged guy with worn clothes and a giant baseball cap in the aisle seat next to me looked a bit confused when I started taking pictures of the seats, but at least he didn't raise the alarm. Instead, he continued snarfing fatty chicken wings out of a plastic bag...not a scene which I wanted to watch.  Wink

Again we left the gate early and soon I noticed the enjoyable sound of the engines starting up. Some minutes later the engines close behind us howled and the DC-9-50 powerfully climbed into the dark sky. The noise level was enormous until we reached the cruising altitude.  thumbsup  You simply don't get to hear anything like that any more on all these modern jets!

Snack Box
NWA only offered free drinks on this flight, so I had a look at the menu. A snackbox for USD 5 soon caught my attention and both my brother and I decided to place an order. It looked quite nice:



The box contained a quite good Bumble Bee chicken salad (with mayonnaise), pieces of Swiss and Muenster cheese, (dry) wheat crackers, very tasty pretzel crackers, good Milano cookies - and an A330-300 collector card. Not bad at all!



In addition to ads for low fares and destinations, there was an interesting statement on the side of the box: "We're investing more than $6 billion in new aircraft to bring you greater comfort, amenities and convenience." Well, they didn't mention how much they have invested into the DC-9 fleet upgrade.  Wink
I decided to order an additional snack box as a souvenir - and my brother and I started joking about the possible reaction of the flight attendant if we ordered five or more of the boxes. We had a good laugh and were enjoying the time on the DC-9-50 - but I guess the guy in the aisle seat simply had to wonder about our mood and my behavior in particular (e.g. taking several pictures of snack boxes and arranged food items).  Wink

Registration Inquiry
After I had not been able to find a badge in the cabin during boarding it was about time to find out the registration. I noticed that one of the flight attendants had taken a seat behind us and was counting the money made from the onboard sale. The big guy in the mid 30s looked a bit grumpy, but turned out to be extremely friendly and easy-going when I told him about my hobby, my DC-9 tour and my intention to find out the plane's registration. When I asked him about a flight deck visit after landing he immediately agreed and invited me to do so.  thumbsup 

Flight Deck Visit
After the thrust reversers had loudly stopped the DC-9 on one of Chicago O'Hare's runways and all other passengers had left the cabin it was finally time to have a look at the flight deck. The captain who had been saying goodbye to the passengers at the door gave me a warm welcome. He almost couldn't believe it when I told him about my "Mission DC-9" and he invited me to take pictures. Then he invited me to sit down and he even took a picture of me - that's service, isn’t it?  thumbsup 
Classic flight deck:



I asked the captain about the DC-9's future in the fleet after the merger, but he said he didn’t know any details about that issue. Anyway, after a short chat it was time to say goodbye. Of course, I didn't forget to ask about the registration. The plane was N783NC, built in 1979 and first delivered to North Central Airlines. It’s one of 34 DC-9-50s in the NWA fleet. Great plane, beautiful color scheme:



We grabbed our luggage and took the Blue Line train from O'Hare to Monroe station in downtown Chicago.



Hampton Inn Majestic
Our hotel, the Hampton Inn Majestic, was located just around the corner of Monroe station. It is part of the elegant Majestic Building and currently ranked #1 of 190 hotels in Chicago on Tripadvisor.



The rooms were clean and very comfortable, the staff were friendly and helpful, there was a large choice of breakfast items - and we only paid $126 per night which is quite reasonable considering the great location.




Downtown Chicago
On the next morning we decided to visit the Sears Tower first - it was only a few blocks away from our hotel. It was a beautiful sunny morning, but it was freezing cold. Clear blue sky, tall buildings everywhere:



Here it is - the Sears Tower, meanwhile officially renamed to Willis Tower. With a height of 442 meters (1,450 feet) the 108-story skyscraper is the tallest building in the United States and the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in the world.





The skydeck at a height of 412 meters is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Chicago. The facility offers breathtaking views of the city:





The black tower on the left is the John Hancock Center, the tower on the right is the Trump International Hotel and Tower which is now the second tallest building in the United States:







The Boeing International Headquarters:



The building with the green roof is the 77 West Wacker Drive, also known as the United Building:









The light-toned area in the distance is O'Hare Airport:



The massive Sears Tower again:



We bought tickets for a multi-stop bus tour and enjoyed watching the diverse architecture:





Welcome to the 1,010 meter (3,300-foot) long Navy Pier on the shoreline of Lake Michigan:









The Sears Tower is hiding behind some other buildings:









The John Hancock Center again:



One of Chicago's main symbols: the Water Tower.



Just across the street: the Water Tower Place shopping mall and the Chicago Avenue Pumping Station:



The Sears Tower in the evening sun after we had finished our tour:





There's a lot to see in downtown Chicago and we enjoyed the sightseeing tour - but next time we will visit the city in the summer. In February it can be really really cold in the "Windy City"...





Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Chicago (ORD) - Detroit (DTW)
Northwest NW1248
16:16-18:39 (16:12-18:21)
Flying time: 00:56 (hrs)

McDonnell Douglas DC-9-41
N751NW (s/n 261), first delivered to SAS as OY-KGA in 02/1968
Economy Class, Seat 20A



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Photo © Eduard Marmet



In Service since 1968
On the next day at around noon we took the train back to O'Hare airport where an unkind NWA ground staff member checked us in all the way to MUC. I had reserved the seats in advance, so fortunately, there was no reason for a conversation with that lady. We passed security and I started waiting for the most desired bird during that trip - the rare DC-9-40. "Will it really show up?" was the key question for a while. Finally an NWA DC-9 arrived - a quick look at the registration cleared up all concerns about our plane: It was N751NW, a DC-9-41 model built and first delivered to SAS in February 1968.



The plane was transferred to Swissair in October 1974 and finally joined the Northwest fleet in September 1991. It’s one of only seven active DC-9-40s in the NWA fleet – and NWA is the last remaining airline in the world operating the passenger version of that type. Spotless DC-9 nose:



By the way: N751NW is the second DC-9-40 ever built - and with an age of 41 years it's the oldest plane I have ever flown on. DC-9-31 N8921E was "only" 40 years old when I flew on it in 2007.  Wink

Cabin Comfort & Departure
The cabin was in good shape, just like on the DC-9-50 two days before (cabin shots taken after landing):



Comfortable seats...



...and sufficient seat pitch:



We had picked the best row on the plane with the engine right behind us:



Parked next to us was N8920E, the oldest active DC-9-30 in the world, built in January 1967:



We left the gate with a load factor of about 90 percent and the engines loudly demonstrated their presence.



Ten minutes later the 41-year-old jet powerfully lifted off - and the noise level seemed to be even higher than on the DC-9-50.  thumbsup 



Very cloudy late afternoon:



Drink Service & Approach
The friendly flight attendants offered free drinks and I ordered a tasty cranberry juice.



Shortly before we left the cruising altitude I decided to purchase one more snackbox as a souvenir. After the flight attendant had handed it out to me she even offered another drink which was quite nice.

Left turn over a rather uninviting landscape:



Hard to see: another plane on parallel approach to DTW:







We touched down at DTW only 56 minutes after takeoff and the thrust reversers loudly slowed down our good old DC-9-40. Too bad the enjoyable flight was already over.

Disbelief or Serenity?
After all other passengers had left I took some more pictures. One female flight attendant, probably 40 years old, was watching me, so I decided to tell her my reasons for doing so. I explained that I like taking pictures of different aircraft interiors and mentioned my "DC-9 Farewell Tour". She seemed to be a bit confused about that term and repeated it as a question: "DC-9 Farewell Tour?”
Then I told her that this particular type had been missing in my flight log and I added: "The cabin looks quite new, even though this plane is already more than 40 years old." Her face express didn't change and she replied: "Oh really?"
I'm not sure how to interpret her reaction - disbelief or serenity? I have no idea, but I hope my comment didn't shock her.  Wink



Conclusion
Even though the onboard service was slightly better on Delta, I found the Northwest flights more pleasant because of the better seating comfort. And the cabins on the DC-9s were in better shape. While the ground staff members were more friendly on Delta, I found the flight attendants on Northwest more likeable.

Anyway, the most important aspect of that trip was getting the DC-9-40 and the DC-9-50. I will really miss the good old DC-9 - and I will miss Northwest Airlines. Even though the carrier has never offered an outstanding onboard product, I have never had a bad NWA flight. What I will always remember is the beautiful silver and red livery - and the fact that the carrier operated my first (and partly only) flights on the rare 757-300, DC-9-40, DC-9-50, DC-10-30 and DC-10-40. Goodbye, Red Tails!


Next report: DTW-AMS-MUC on KLM


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - other recent reports:
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330


[Edited 2009-08-27 12:03:33]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The FAs on that flight were ok, but I noticed that one lady didn't look at me at all while she was handing out the drink - she was already asking the next passenger about his choice. Anyway, not a big deal.

That's really awful ... She should have think twice when serving you.

Chicago, awesome.



Airliners.net of the Future
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6939 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting September11 (Reply 1):
She should have think twice when serving you.

I simply found it a bit discourteous - and she couldn't be sure whether I really had safely taken the stuff. Anyway, the FAs have to work quickly. As I already said, not a big deal.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hey, PH,

that´s what I call a great tour and also story.
Definitely something what I need to do also as soon as possible.
Great pix about "The windy city", but for sure a place to be in spring or summer for me.

And glad to hear that you had no problems with taking pictures, not always the case these days.

Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineForce13 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 229 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for the report! I have many fond memories of flying NWA's DC-9's all over the country. Especially from ROC/BUF-DTW. Loved the pix of Chicago as well, gives me an idea of places to see if I am ever there.


Do not taunt. Do not shake. Do not pander. Add coffee. Subject should be slightly human within an hour.
User currently offlineMKP1013 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 32767 times:

I had to look at the dates again because when I read 'it was freezing cold' I got confused, haha. Loved this report though - Great pics and great writing. Loved the Chicago tour as well. You did a great job of selling Chicago to those like me who have never had a chance to tour the city.

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27312 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hey great report and great pictures. Love the ones of Chicago, brings back good memories.

Was trying to think the last time I flew on a DC-9 and it was with British Midland!! Shows you how long ago it was.

Thanks for the report.

OA260


User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3173 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I will miss NW..I only flew them once  cry  and it was a great flight. It was FLL-DTW-ALB back in 2005. Now, I wish they were on DC9s instead of both being Airbus aircraft. The Fas were nice, and they surprisingly had magazines to read in Y. Long live NW!


E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5702 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report! I did my "farewell" tour if you will too back in Feb of 2009!

Great pictures and glad you had a good time and got the planes you got!

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 9, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

A very enjoyable read. I especially liked the great shots of Chicago, the crisp (if cold!) spring weather makes for great photo opportunities. Makes me want to go there as well - the only experience I have from the Windy City is entering the US in ORD and continuing onwards to SEA on AS...

Never flown NW, and it looks like I'll never will either, which is a shame.

Those DC niners bring back great memories - the -50 series used to be the main workhorse for the AY domestic fleet in the 90s and early 2000 and I've logged quite a few flights on these great birds. Too bad they are all gone now, replaced by far more boring Airbuses and not that boring E-jets.


User currently offlineTranspac787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3217 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Parked next to us was N8920E, the oldest active DC-9-30 in the world, built in January 1967:

Extreme nitpick moment...

N8921E is actually the oldest, N8920E is the second oldest, with N8921E being delivered on 22 March 1967 while N8920E was delivered on 29 March 1967

Younger by 1 week... which doesn't make all that much difference, considering they are both now 42 years old, haha.

Extremely lucky you got on the DC9-40. As it is now, I think they only have 6 or 7 active D94's in the fleet now. It wouldn't surprise me if they are retired prior to even the D93's.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6672 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH!

Very nice report! Great pictures from what looks like a very cold Chicago......Next time you should go to the John Hancock building which has (had ? haven't been there since 1982) a great bar on the 96th floor overlooking the city on one side and the lake on the other.

I'm very happy that everything worked out for you and that there were no last minute equipment substitutions......

I've been on many flights on the DC-9-41 on SK when I was a kid but most of them were before I took down registration numbers......I've also flown a DC-9-51 on TW JFK-DCA in May 1994.

I've only flown on NW twice; KIX-MNL and MNL-KIX; one flight on a 742 and the other on a 744. Both flights were okay but nothing memorable. Can't really say I will miss Northwest.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineWNTex From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Really enjoyed the TR! You're a great writer, and the pictures were great. Now, let's see if I can catch a DC-9 soon...

thanks for sharing,

WNTex in AUS



"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now." -Zig Ziglar
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1908 posts, RR: 42
Reply 13, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Lovely report and I'm happy for you that you got the rides! Luckily the DC95 is covered in my own log! (Ship 9857) Still the most comfortable flight I had up to date!

Rgds, Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8589 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi PH,

What a really great report, loved it and the reason for travelling it, just brilliant!

I have fond memories of NW myself, they were the first airline I took across the atlantic and back, on a 747-100 from Dublin to Boston with a stop in Shannon. I also had ,my first 727-100 & DC-10-40 flight with them, happy days  Smile quite sad they will soon be gone, confined to being a bit of history.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the excellent and spotter-friendly Renaissance Concourse Hotel:

- Yes, stayed there, great place & the best roast beef sandwich I have ever had, blooming big too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It was my second visit to Memphis airport and again I couldn't get a single FedEx registration

- No, what a bummer!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
believe it or not, I even saw Elvis on an escalator in front of me!

- I saw him in Vegas last month  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
A mid-aged guy with worn clothes and a giant baseball cap in the aisle seat next to me looked a bit confused when I started taking pictures of the seats, but at least he didn't raise the alarm

- Good, I remember 'the' trip!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The box contained a quite good Bumble Bee chicken salad (with mayonnaise), pieces of Swiss and Muenster cheese, (dry) wheat crackers, very tasty pretzel crackers, good Milano cookies - and an A330-300 collector card. Not bad at all!

- Not bad for $5, don't think it's that good for you though.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The skydeck at a height of 412 meters is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Chicago. The facility offers breathtaking views of the city:

- Bet it was cold up there!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
N751NW (s/n 261), first delivered to SAS as OY-KGA in 02/1968

- Wow, 41 years old, that's older than me!!

I might have to take a quick tour to snag a few more DC-9's with NW/DL, I have the -30,-40, really need a -50 in the log though.

Thanks again PH, looking forward to the return on less, though the equipment is a little less exciting.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineOAKBWIfella From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wonderful TR! My last trip on a DC-9-40 was IND-MSP. I purposely sat in the last row to hear those engines...such a beautiful sound!

Next time you're in Chicago, take a tour of the Shedd Aquarium (you'll get great views of the entire Chicago skyline), or head to the North Side for a tour of Wrigley Field...both are well worth the money!. Of course, a trip to White Castle for slyders is damn near mandatory...



Clear for Takeoff RWY 29 contact NORCAL departure
User currently offlineEconojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The -50 and the -40, and all in one trip! Lucky you! Congratulations!
I don't think I could make this happen for myself, so I'll be satisfied with that one flight I had on the -30 a couple of years ago.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Her face express didn't change and she replied: "Oh really?"
I'm not sure how to interpret her reaction - disbelief or serenity? I have no idea, but I hope my comment didn't shock her.

Haha... I can picture that. She's probably thinking to herself, "Pretend to care, pretend to care... can't... move... face muscles... too tired."


User currently offlineAAce24 From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 849 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report!

I really enjoyed all of the pictures of the classic DC-9's and of The Windy City.

Chicago is such a beautiful place.


User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

I have had a thoroughly enjoyable read. Many thanks for sharing your experience with those beauties!

I really want to fly DC-9, but I can not get my partner convinced about her safety.  Sad

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineLuftfahrer From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 1042 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH, been waiting for this report  Smile Very nice read and great pictures as well. Thanks for sharing!


'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
User currently offlineKaran69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2893 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

Thanks for sharing you wonderful experience with us,

i just hope i get to do the DC-9s soon,

awesome pics of the windy city,

Do you get your log book signed ? if yes were the FAs approachable on this aspect

Karan


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6939 posts, RR: 77
Reply 21, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for all your comments!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
that´s what I call a great tour and also story.

Thanks, Markus.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
Definitely something what I need to do also as soon as possible.

In don't know exactly what's the current retirement plan, but numerous DC-9-50s have been painted into Delta colors, so I guess they will be around for some time. However, I'm not very optimistic about the DC-9-30s' and DC-9-40s' future.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
And glad to hear that you had no problems with taking pictures, not always the case these days.

Indeed, you have to be very careful in the United States.

Quoting MKP1013 (Reply 5):
Loved this report though - Great pics and great writing. Loved the Chicago tour as well.

Thanks a lot!

Quoting MKP1013 (Reply 5):
You did a great job of selling Chicago to those like me who have never had a chance to tour the city.[/quote

Nice to hear - I'm very glad we had sunny day there.


[quote=OA260,reply=6]Hey great report and great pictures. Love the ones of Chicago, brings back good memories.

Thank you, Phil!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 6):
Was trying to think the last time I flew on a DC-9 and it was with British Midland!! Shows you how long ago it was.

Yes, that must have been a long time ago. Did you get the DC-9-10?

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 8):
Great report! I did my "farewell" tour if you will too back in Feb of 2009!

Great pictures and glad you had a good time and got the planes you got!

Thanks a lot, Alex! Yes, I remember your trip report!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 9):
A very enjoyable read. I especially liked the great shots of Chicago, the crisp (if cold!) spring weather makes for great photo opportunities.

Good to hear! Yes, we were lucky - it was even snowing when we arrived in Chicago on the day before the sightseeing tour!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 9):
Makes me want to go there as well - the only experience I have from the Windy City is entering the US in ORD and continuing onwards to SEA on AS...

I can only recommend to visit the city.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 9):
Never flown NW, and it looks like I'll never will either, which is a shame.

There's still some time left.  Wink

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 9):
Those DC niners bring back great memories - the -50 series used to be the main workhorse for the AY domestic fleet in the 90s and early 2000 and I've logged quite a few flights on these great birds. Too bad they are all gone now, replaced by far more boring Airbuses and not that boring E-jets.

I like the E-Jet, but of course they cannot match the DC-9.

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 10):
Extreme nitpick moment...

N8921E is actually the oldest, N8920E is the second oldest, with N8921E being delivered on 22 March 1967 while N8920E was delivered on 29 March 1967

Younger by 1 week... which doesn't make all that much difference, considering they are both now 42 years old, haha.

N8921E (s/n 096) was delivered earlier, but it had been built after N8920E (s/n 095). N8920E is older in terms of age - by two days.  Wink

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 10):
Extremely lucky you got on the DC9-40. As it is now, I think they only have 6 or 7 active D94's in the fleet now. It wouldn't surprise me if they are retired prior to even the D93's.

Yes, I'm very glad about getting the -40. I also expect them to be history quite soon.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
Very nice report! Great pictures from what looks like a very cold Chicago......

Thanks a lot, Lars!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
Next time you should go to the John Hancock building which has (had ? haven't been there since 1982) a great bar on the 96th floor overlooking the city on one side and the lake on the other.

Sounds nice. Too bad we didn't have enough time for the John Hancock Center.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
I'm very happy that everything worked out for you and that there were no last minute equipment substitutions......

I had been very concerned about that.

Quoting WNTex (Reply 12):
Really enjoyed the TR! You're a great writer, and the pictures were great.

Thanks a lot, Reed!

Quoting WNTex (Reply 12):
Now, let's see if I can catch a DC-9 soon...

I wish you good luck! I'm sure you'd enjoy the ride.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 13):
Lovely report and I'm happy for you that you got the rides! Luckily the DC95 is covered in my own log! (Ship 9857) Still the most comfortable flight I had up to date!

Thank you, Martijn! Good to hear you enjoyed the flight on the D95.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
What a really great report, loved it and the reason for travelling it, just brilliant!

Many thanks, Mark!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
I have fond memories of NW myself, they were the first airline I took across the atlantic and back, on a 747-100 from Dublin to Boston with a stop in Shannon. I also had ,my first 727-100 & DC-10-40 flight with them, happy days Smile quite sad they will soon be gone, confined to being a bit of history.

Wow, 727-100 - I guess I'll never get that one.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
- Yes, stayed there, great place & the best roast beef sandwich I have ever had, blooming big too!

I'll keep that in mind.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
- No, what a bummer!

Yes, let's see what happens when I go again one day.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
- Good, I remember 'the' trip!

 Smile

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
- Bet it was cold up there!

The open terrace was closed due to construction work. But I guess we would have stayed inside anyway...

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
I might have to take a quick tour to snag a few more DC-9's with NW/DL, I have the -30,-40, really need a -50 in the log though.

I think the chances are still quite good to get it.

Quoting OAKBWIfella (Reply 15):
Wonderful TR! My last trip on a DC-9-40 was IND-MSP. I purposely sat in the last row to hear those engines...such a beautiful sound!

Thanks a lot! Indeed, that sound is just marvelous.

Quoting OAKBWIfella (Reply 15):
Next time you're in Chicago, take a tour of the Shedd Aquarium (you'll get great views of the entire Chicago skyline), or head to the North Side for a tour of Wrigley Field...both are well worth the money!. Of course, a trip to White Castle for slyders is damn near mandatory...

Alright, I'll keep that in mind.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 16):
The -50 and the -40, and all in one trip! Lucky you! Congratulations!

Thanks!

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 16):
Haha... I can picture that. She's probably thinking to herself, "Pretend to care, pretend to care... can't... move... face muscles... too tired."

Yes, could be true.

Quoting AAce24 (Reply 17):
Great report!

I really enjoyed all of the pictures of the classic DC-9's and of The Windy City.

Thanks a lot, Travis!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 18):
Hi PlaneHunter,

I have had a thoroughly enjoyable read. Many thanks for sharing your experience with those beauties!

Hi Suryo, thanks for your feedback.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 18):
I really want to fly DC-9, but I can not get my partner convinced about her safety.

Don't stop trying to convince your partner! The DC-9s are proven and reliable birds.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 19):
Hi PH, been waiting for this report Smile Very nice read and great pictures as well. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you, Marius!

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 20):
Hi PH,

Thanks for sharing you wonderful experience with us,

Thanks, Karan, nice to hear you enjoyed reading.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 20):
i just hope i get to do the DC-9s soon,

I wish you good luck!

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 20):
Do you get your log book signed ? if yes were the FAs approachable on this aspect

No, I don't get it signed. However, the captains on the DL M88 and the NW D95 would have signed it after the flight, no doubts about that. I'm not sure about the D94 sector, but the FA was quite ok. The flight crew had already left the aircraft when I passed the flight deck.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6456 posts, RR: 38
Reply 22, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

Another great TR with many fantastic pictures. Can't wait for the next one!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I ordered a Coca-Cola Zero which tastes so much better than the Diet Coke stuff.

I'm lead to believe they're exactly the same thing by looking at the ingredients etc, just branded differently to attract a different market. Normal Coke any day for me!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
He almost couldn't believe it when I told him about my "Mission DC-9" and he invited me to take pictures. Then he invited me to sit down and he even took a picture of me - that's service, isn’t it?

Great to see friendly crew onboard flights!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I decided to order an additional snack box as a souvenir

Yeah, I saw that you damaged your first one! Looks like great value for $5.

Thanks for sharing!

Regards,
Nicholas

Just one comment: I find the red writing in large paragraphs harder to read against the blue background, not that my eyes are bad or anything. Might just be my screen placement.



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 23, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

no need for me to say that the quality of the report is supurb once again, and not to say the choice of aircraft types. Wonderful machines those DC Niner's.
These frames are unbelievable strong, with so many activity on them in their life till now.
The service you got on both airlines seems ok to me, taking in mind the shorter duration of the flights.
Chicago looks a nice city for a break away... I hope shopping is good too, beside all the sightseeing. Then it will definitely be another destination to visit for me in the future.

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Hello there,

What else can I write than the usual "Great and entertaining report with great pictures"? All of your reports have a really high quality and they are a pleasure to read!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I ordered a Coca-Cola Zero which tastes so much better than the Diet Coke stuff.

I agree! I wouldn't mind when they would discontinue Diet Coke/Coca-Cola Light for good, I wouldn't miss it since I also became a fan of Coke's Zero products.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Btw - N960DL is one of 116 active Delta MD-88s.

I've never flown on the MD-88. Good to know that so many of them are still active in the Delta fleet.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
he invited me to take pictures. Then he invited me to sit down and he even took a picture of me - that's service, isn’t it?

Great!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Great plane, beautiful color scheme:

NWA's livery is one of the best out there, too bad that all the planes get the - rather boring - Delta livery.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The skydeck at a height of 412 meters is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Chicago.

I remember that place from a Chicago trip a few years ago. I also enjoyed the views from there on a sunny afternoon.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It was N751NW, a DC-9-41 model built and first delivered to SAS in February 1968.

Build in 1968 and still going strong... amazing!  Wow!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I ordered a tasty cranberry juice.

Count me in as a fan of cranberry juice. It became one of my favourite drinks lately. Unfortunately is it hard to get here in Germany. Lidl has it from time to time but it doesn't belong to their standard product line-up. I always buy 20 or more packs when I see that they have it on offer.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Next report: DTW-AMS-MUC on KLM

I am looking forward!

Patrick


25 Contact Air : Hi PH, Thank you for this really great report about your DC-9 Farewell Tour and congratulations for getting the desired DC-9-50 and also the really ra
26 Globetraveller : Another great trip report PlaneHunter. Your pictures, especially those of Chicago, were excellent! I also really enjoyed reading about the history of
27 PlaneHunter : Thanks a lot, Nicholas! No, Diet Coke and Coke Zero are different. I read that the difference in taste comes from the differences in the syrup formul
28 Sabena332 : Unfortunately is Cherry and Vanilla Coke not available as Zero here in Germany. And I guess we can wait a long time for it. Germany is - for some rea
29 Ronerone : Mr. PH! Only recently did i come to learn that this great TR has been floating around here! .. As always, a superb PH-style TR will take you on one of
30 PlaneHunter : That's too bad, at least regarding the Cherry Coke Zero. I don't like Coke Vanilla at all. Hi Roni, thanks a lot for your comments. I'm glad you like
31 HOOB747 : Wow, what an interesting and unique trip report, one done for enjoying the pleasures of an aircraft type, as opposed as a vehicle for transiting to on
32 MrSkyGuy : This trip report really cheered me up. Congrats on the farewell tour.. in 10 years you'll look longingly upon these hulks as they sit in the boneyards
33 PlaneHunter : Thanks a lot, Michael! Too bad we didn't have enough time to visit the Hancock Center's observation deck, too. Good to know, I'll keep that in mind.
34 atpcliff : Hi! Update (2010): DAL has been pulling DC-9-3Xs OUT of the desert, and is keeping them and the DC-9-40 longer than planned. You will be pleased to kn
35 PlaneHunter : Very interesting. Has there already been an official announcement? Sounds like a an exciting job! PH
36 USAirALB : Again, nice TR! Whenever my dad flew a DC9 he said the cabin was so well maintained, "it was like putting lipstick on a pig".
37 MSPNWA : Last I checked, the DC-9-30s are still scheduled for a Sept 6th retirement. However the DC-9-40s have been given a life extension till at least early
38 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Thanks! Nice saying. Very good news! Probably DL prefers to retire a few older A320s... PH
39 Post contains images buck3y3nut : What an amazing trip report. I absolutely love Chicago. Definitely one of my favorite cities in the US. Those sites are so so familiar as I actually l
40 PlaneHunter : Many thanks for your feedback! I'll keep that in mind. Good luck! PH
41 KingFriday013 : Finally got around to reading this. Great report! Sounds like you had a marvelous trip. Twice when I was flying home from school, I flew through DTW i
42 stratosphere : I know I am just a disgruntled ex nw mechanic but I can tell you as far as the interior. I always HATED those wafer thin seats in the DC-9. I always f
43 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Many thanks, great to hear you liked it! I didn't feel uncomfortable, but I only had three rather short flights on NWA's DC-9s. Interesting to hear.
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