BZN = Bozeman, Montana
HNL = Honolulu, Hawaii
SAN = San Diego, California
SLC = Salt Lake City, Utah
DL = Delta Air Lines (member of SkyTeam Alliance)
HA = Hawaiian Airlines (not an alliance partner, but codeshares with American (Oneworld), Continental and Northwest (Wings), and Alaska (unaligned)).
BZN = Mountain Daylight Time (UTC-0600)
HNL = Hawaiian Standard Time (UTC-1000)
SAN = Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-0700)
SLC = Mountain Daylight Time (UTC-0600)
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
HA 32 HNL-SAN 1340-2205 767-300ER N583HA seats 19AB, 20AB
Arrived at the airport at about 1130 for our 1340 scheduled departure. There was a rather long line for agriculture inspection but it moved reasonably quickly. Put our checked bags through and went in line to check in. Did that without trouble and went through security, again without a problem. Stopped at Burger King in the interisland terminal for lunch before heading to gate 32. Once there they started boarding and we got on. My brother was pulled aside for a pat-down screening but they didn't look through is carry-on. This aircraft was the first delivered to Hawaiian of the four ex-LTU 767s the airline is leasing from ILFC. Instead of the normal cloth economy class seats, they were leather. The back was oddly shaped; I don't know if that's supposed to be some ergonomic support but it wasn't all that comfortable. I was sitting in 20A, with my brother next to me and parents in front of us (a configuration we'd maintain throughout the trip, though on our return Delta flights my brother got the window seats). We pushed back 9 minutes behind schedule at 1349. As on my previous Hawaiian 767 flights, the safety demonstration was done by the flight attendants, not a video. Taxied to runway 8R where we were #2 for takeoff following a Hawaiian 717. After takeoff, drinks were served (I asked for a Sprite), headsets rented, and the HawaiianSkies in-flight videomagazine was shown. After that the meal was served, with a choice of sweet and sour chicken or bow-tie pasta in a cream sauce. I selected the pasta, my brother the chicken. Both thought our choices weren't too bad. Along with the entree was served a small garden salad with caesar dressing, a package of two small crackers, a triangle of Laughing Cow cheese, and a cookie. After the meal cart was the beverage cart, this time I selected apple juice and was given the small 5.5 ounce can. After dinner the movie, "The Time Machine" started. Hadn't seen it before but had thought about it when the movie came out, so I watched it. Wasn't too bad but was a little difficult to follow. Throughout the flight, the radio program wasn't working, just the audio that accompanied the video. Not long after the move ended we started our descent into San Diego. Passed Lindbergh field to the south, then turned and flew in for touchdown on runway 27 at 2150, 15 minutes early. Took about 5 minutes for rollout and the short taxi to gate 22. Got off the airplane and headed to baggage claim. Our bags came rather quickly, but there was an announcement being made about most of the bags on the flight being blocked by another airline, so there would be a delay in getting the rest of the bags off the airplane. We headed to the curb to wait for the car rental shuttle; as has become usual in my recent experience nobody was checking claim tags to bag tags.
Monday, June 17, 2002
DL 1450 SAN-SLC 0620-0906 737-300 N312WA seats 18AC, 19AC Ron Allen livery
Left the hotel about 0445, filled up the tank and returned the rental car. The shuttle waited a while and then had to stop at American Eagle in the Commuter Terminal and US Airways in Terminal 1 before it could drop us off at Delta in Terminal 2. Got in line to check in our bags; they were calling out people on the 0620 departures to Salt Lake City/Houston and Phoenix/New York to go to the front of the line. We checked our bags and went to security, the line was a bit long but as usual moved pretty quickly. At the gate, they announced a 15 minute delay because the flight crew was late arriving, but they still hoped to get the flight out soon since it wasn't that full. Soon the flight crew arrived and boarding started through gate 40. Things went pretty quickly and we were able to push back at 0623, just three minutes behind the scheduled departure time. After the tug disconnected from the airplane, I noticed that the towbar was marked "MD88/MD90". As the aircraft was not equipped with video or audio entertainment, the safety demonstration was done by the flight attendants, notably the white and red lights on the sides of the seats were briefly illuminated when this feature was mentioned. We taxied to runway 27 where we were fifth for takeoff, following a SkyWest/United Express EMB-120, a United 757-200, an Alaska MD-83, and an American Eagle Saab 340. I noticed the seatbacks on this ex-Western Airlines aircraft were rather low, reminiscent of my 1999 flights on a WinAir Airlines 737-200. A full beverage selection was offered during the flight, accompanied by pretzels. On both of these north-bound Delta flights, there was nobody in the seat between my brother and I nor between our parents. I don't recall the flight attendants making any mention of the SkyTeam Alliance during the flight. The flight touched down on Salt Lake City's runway 16R and headed to gate C12.
It had been quite a while since I had been to SLC; the last time was while flying between Long Beach, California and Rapid City, South Dakota on Delta. The only thing I remember about SLC from that trip was seeing a Delta Connection jet; it must have been among the first CRJs. As we had a layover scheduled at just under two hours, I wandered around the terminal a bit taking photos of SkyWest CRJ's in various Delta Connection liveries (old, Ron Allen, new, and Olympic) as well as an EMB-120.
DL 1700 SLC-BZN 1100-1211 737-800 N390DA seats 25AC, 26AC Ron Allen livery
The flight left from gate D11, where you could not see the aircraft from the gate. This was to be my first flight on any Next Generation 737, and through the little jetway windows I could see that this aircraft was in the Ron Allen livery, though I would not be able to see the registration until I was in the terminal in Bozeman. The aircraft was fitted with flip-down LCD video screens (like those on United's A320s) as well as seats with leather headrests, similar to those on Delta's 767-400ER aircraft. Just before starting the safety video, one of the flight attendants identified the aircraft as a 737-400, a type Delta doesn't operate. Following the video a briefer video in Spanish was played. We taxied to runway 34R for takeoff where we were first in line; an American MD-80 landed while we were taxiing parallel to the runway. After takeoff free headsets were handed out for those interested in listening to the radio program. As is usual for Delta they were the pneumatic ones that go in the ear that start to hurt after not too long. All throughout the flight Delta Horizons Spectrum played on the video screen, alternating a moving map display of our flight progress with flight details (altitude, speed, etc), quotes, trivia questions, and ads for Delta. Delta's FastBreak beverage service was provided, with a choice of lemonade, cranberry apple juice, or water, along with a Biscoff cookie. I selected the cranberry-apple. The only mention of SkyTeam, as with the remaining Delta flights, was on the video screens. Towards the end of the flight connecting flight information for SLC came up on the screens, from the previous leg of the flight from Philadelphia to SLC. The flight touched down on runway 30 at 1201, a full 10 minutes ahead of schedule, and taxied to gate 2. We were the only airliner I could see on the field. We parked at an angle to the terminal, like is done at Hilo and Lihue in Hawaii. Like many small airports, BZN was easy to get around and baggage claim wasn't too far from the gate. We claimed our bags and headed for the rental car desk.
Sunday, June 23, 2002
DL 1153 BZN-SLC 0625-0735 737-800 N394DA seats 27AB, 28AB new livery
My father dropped the rest of us and our bags off curbside and went to return the rental car. There was virtually no waiting to check in however, so we ended up doing little more than taking the bags inside and waiting for him to get the car dropped off. After check-in we headed up to gate 2. This time BZN was busier, with two Northwest A320s and an Air Wisconsin/United Express BAe-146 parked at gates in addition to our Delta 737-800. At Bozeman was the only place where the Delta agent actually tore off the stub and gave us just the receipt portion, rather than just scanning the boarding pass and handing the whole thing back to use (they didn't have the scanner at BZN). Officially we had been assigned seats 27AC and 28AC, but this was a full flight so we switched seats so that there wasn't a stranger between us. At 0624, one minute ahead of schedule we pushed back. We were pushed back by tug despite the angled parking; in Hawaii when aircraft are parked like this they just turn the nose wheel and power themselves out of the gate (not powerbacking, just turning away from the terminal). Even did this in an Omni Air DC-10 in Lihue once. As we headed to runway 12 for departure, I spotted a Horizon Air Dash 8-400 landing. First time I've seen one of these. Headsets were not handed out, but the Delta Horizons Spectrum did play, with the same trivia questions and quotes. The morning version of FastBreak beverage service was provided, giving a choice of water, orange juice, or coffee along with two Biscoff cookies. The orange juice was my selection. The seats on this aircraft did not have the leather headrests but were of similar height. When the connecting flight data came on the screen (this time it was for our flight) it showed our flight to San Diego as departing from gate C03, whereas the boarding passes issued in Bozeman indicated gate C10. The flight touched down on runway 16R at 0723, 12 minutes ahead of schedule, and taxied to gate C12. During the taxi I spotted SkyWest's 30th Anniversary CRJ but couldn't get photos since it was parked at the SkyWest hangar. After we parked and passengers started gathering their carry-ons, the captain came on and said that he had pulled in 4 to 6 inches too far, and as this gate's jetway was fixed-length and only able to move towards and away from the aircraft, the aircraft had to be pushed back by tug. He didn't ask the passengers to sit back down, but did tell us to hold on. We were gently pushed back the necessary inches and we were able to disembark.
Upon arrival in the terminal, we re-checked the monitors. Gate C10, occupied by an MD-90 in Delta's new livery, was headed to Orange County, California, while the MD-90 to San Diego was indeed at gate C3. Possibly interesting difference, in some places the gate was listed as C03 while in others it was C3. Since the permanent sign at the gate itself said C3, that's what I'll call it.
DL 641 SLC-SAN 0830-0918 MD-90-30 N906DA seats 23AB, 24AB old livery
We settled back into our seats, just forward of the wing root. This was the second aircraft for which I was flying on the type for the first time, having previously been on several DC-9s, MD-80s, and 717s, but never before on an MD-90. Headsets were waiting for us in the seats. After pushback at 0835 I could barely hear the engines as they were started. I also saw a Frontier A319; the first time I'd seen one of Frontier's new airplanes. The MD-90 featured flip-down LCD video screens, but they were smaller and thicker than the ones on the 737, but were also faster and quieter to deploy and stow. We headed for runway 16L for departure where we were number 3, following a Delta 757-200 and a Delta 767-300, and a landing Delta 737-300. The video screens showed various video programming: F.Y.E. (For Your Entertainment, a entertainment industry newsmagazine created by cable's E! Channel), an episode of Spin City (one of the newer episodes with Charlie Sheen instead of Michael J. Fox), a couple of music videos, and they started a profile/interview with Sting, but this was cut off as the flight approached San Diego. The flight also provided full beverage service (I selected a Sprite) along with two Biscoff cookies. A nice quiet plane; I'd pick an MD-90 (or any DC-9 variant) over a 737 any day, but both (as well as the A320 family) do their job well and I won't go out of my way to avoid any of them, though I'd still prefer to find a way to avoid 757s for long flights. We touched down on Lindbergh's runway 27 at 0913. Our taxi at first appeared to be taking us to gate 41, but as we turned around I realized we were just getting out of the way so a Continental MD-80 could get out of the alley and towards the runway, and we headed for gate 37. Disembarked and headed to baggage claim.
Monday, June 24, 2002
HA 31 SAN-HNL 0930-1210 767-33AER N582HA seats 21AB, 22AB
After one last day in San Diego it was time to go home. When we arrived at the terminal there was no line for security, but we had to check our bags first so by the time we were ready there was quite a line, but again it moved reasonably quickly. Only as we reached the front did we realize there was a priority line for special passengers (my father is a top-tier member of Hawaiian's frequent flyer program due to the year he spent commuting to work daily by DC-9 and 717, so we would have been able to use it). But in reality it didn't matter since we still had over half an hour until boarding started once we reached gate 22. My father, who hadn't flown Hawaiian out of San Diego before, was surprised at just how close the gate was to security. It's right there. Boarding was as usual, our seats were directly over the wing. Pushback was at 0929, during which I saw a Sun Country 737-800 takeoff. Again the safety demonstration was done by the flight attendants, and in a case of poor timing an announcement was made during the trailer for the in-flight movie "Monsters, Inc.", without stopping it. After the engines were started, the captain came on to apologize for the odor in the back, which resulted from having to turn off the air conditioning packs while the APU started the engines. We were second for takeoff following a Southwest 737-700 in their new colors and a landing SkyWest/United Express EMB-120. As we took off, I barely noticed the rotation. We must have been inline with the wheels, where I presume the rotation axis of the aircraft is (at the rotation axis, there would be no change in height off the ground when the plane rotates). It was an overcast morning in San Diego with the typical low marine layer clouds, and after bursting out of the clouds we leveled off and skimmed the top of the clouds for several seconds before resuming our climb to our cruising altitude of 34,000 feet. Headsets were rented, but the HawaiianSkies videomagazine started started before the flight attendants were finished. Headset rentals were followed by beverages (apple juice for me this time, I was given the whole small can) and a package of pretzels, ranch triangles, and macadamia nuts. Quite tasty, we had them on the outbound flight as well. My mother asked for and got a couple of extra packages. Later came lunch, a choice of barbecue chicken or the same pasta as the outbound flight (this time identified as a pasta with alfredo sauce and ham). This time around, I had the chicken and my brother, the pasta. Accompanying the entree was a garden salad with champagne mustard dressing, crackers, Laughing Cow cheddar cheese, a dinner roll, and chocolate pudding. As usual, the meal cart was followed closely by a drink cart (a cup of Sprite was my selection). I made a mental note that Hawaiian's cups were smaller than Delta's. Eventually the movie started, and as is usual with Hawaiian, a couple of galleys were open and serving drinks during the movie. I had seen it in theaters and enjoyed it, so I watched it again. The "This movie has been formatted to fit this screen" message didn't mention the movie being edited for content, something that probably wasn't necessary for a child-oriented animated film. The movie was preceded by Pixar's "For The Birds" video, as it had been in the theaters. Following the movie the end credits were accompanied by "bloopers", which in an actual film mean extra work since the "mistakes" still have to be animated, or in the case of Monsters, Inc., computer rendered. After the movie, the Department of Agriculture declaration forms were passed out and an arrival video played describing these forms, as well as a video of a hula dance (in the past, visitors arriving in the islands were greeted by hula) and a quick overview of the Honolulu airport. Headsets were collected following this as we begun our descent. Passing north of the Big Island, Maui, and Molokai, we crossed over Hawaii Kai and Waikiki on Oahu, then out over the ocean again, making a 180-degree turn over the Ko'Olina Resort to line up with runway 8L. Flying over Kapolei, Ewa, and Pearl Harbor, we touched down hard at 1154. We parked at gate 29, where we were welcomed to Honolulu and informed that due to construction, the Wiki Wiki shuttle to the interisland terminal was departing on the third level (normally they only send international arrivals up there to take them to customs and separate from domestic and international departing passengers), and our bags would be available at carousel B-1 in the interisland terminal. We walked over, and when we arrived, B-1 was labeled for our flight as well as HA 1 from Los Angeles. First an announcement was made that Los Angeles bags were on the floor next to the carousel next to B-1, then that San Diego had been "changed" to B-1. We claimed our bags and home we went.
Overall, the post-9/11 flying procedures are becoming routine. Lines, especially security, tend to be longer but still move at a reasonable speed. All I want to know now is, what happened to the people at baggage claim who matched your claim checks to the tags on the bags to make sure you were leaving with your own? My guess is that with the extra security procedures, they've been reassigned up to other areas, leaving this area, which has little impact on aviation security (but does have an opportunity for theft) unattended.