skywest by KoryC757, on Flickr
Airline-Delta Connection (Skywest Airlines)
Flight Number 7808
Date, August 1st 2012
Seat 12D Window. LF 100% full
Route-Bemidji Regional (BJI) to Minneapolis (MSP)
Departure Time,1:14PM CDT,
Arrival Time, 2:03PM CDT,
Departure gate. 2 Arrival gate B-16.
Departure Runway 31 Arrival Runway 30R
Aircraft. N492SW, CRJ-200
Flying time 0:49, at FL180.
Currently there are two daily flights between MSP and BJI operated with Skywest CRJs, BJI-MSP has departures at 6:00AM and 1:00PM and MSP-BJI flights depart MSP at 11:35AM and 10:15PM, even though the route is flown with regional jets now the number of daily flights is way down from what it used to be in the Northwest days.
We both arrived at the airport nice and early and parked the car and with the car parked we made our way into the terminal to check in for our flights. Recently the terminal at BJI underwent a renovation that doubled its size and included the addition of a jetway, from what I've heard the biggest reason for the upgrades and jetway addition is to try and get Allegiant to start service to Bemidji, something the City and airport have been trying to get unsuccessfully for the past 3 years now, They do however occasionally get Casino charters to IFP flown by SY B737s. Since we had arrived early there was nobody in line to check-in and we quickly printed out our tickets all the way to PHX from one of the self serve kiosks, and then one of the Regional Elite agents tagged our checked bags and put them on the belt for us. After that we went to the concession/viewing area at the other end of the terminal. BJI doesn't get a lot of air traffic but there were quite a few private aircraft on the ramp including three State Of Minnesota Beech King Air's and CR2 N447SW parked in front of the jetway that was supposed to have flown DL7807 the 6:00AM service to MSP. Delta CRJ-200 by KoryC757, on Flickr
After a spending some time taking pictures we made our way through security which was easy enough this time, although the TSA people at BJI while friendly they tend to search just about everybody's bags and scan their shoes which can be a bit time consuming. Anyway the gate area at BJI isn't anything special just two boarding gates (gate 1 has the jetway) a vending machine and two restrooms which is a bit of an improvement as the old "secure area didn't have any restrooms in it. After awhile our plane N492SW arrived from MSP and parked at gate 2 parallel to the terminal facing N447SW that was blocking the jetway at gate 1.
After the inbound passengers exited the aircraft, boarding began for 7808 back to MSP, We were one of the first ones to board. I was able to take a couple quick shots with my phone while walking across the ramp to the plane and was greeted by a friendly flight attendant upon entering the cabin. I had seat 12D almost all the way at the back of the plane. Boarding was completed quickly and after a bit of final paperwork by the flight crew the cabin door was closed up and the engines thrummed to life, a short taxi to runway 31 and after a brief pause the engines throttled up and were quickly airborne. With a flight time of only 40 minutes or so there was no beverage service offered which was okay. We climbed up to FL180 but we didn't stay there long before starting the decent into MSP after a uneventful flight, there were however a few infants on the flight that decided to start crying on the way down into the Twin Cities which made the decent a noisy one. We passed right over downtown Minneapolis before making the final approach to 30R where a rough landing ensued and after some hard braking slowed down enough to exit the runway and taxi back to the gate. After a short taxi we docked at B-16 a just few minutes behind schedule.
Flight Number 999
Date, August 1st 2012
Seat 5D Window. LF 100% full
Route-Minneapolisl (MSP) to Phoenix (PHX)
Departure Time, 5:57PM CDT,
Arrival Time, 6:29PM MST,
Departure gate. G-22 Arrival gate 15.
Departure Runway 30L Arrival Runway 26
Aircraft. N6704Z B757-200. Former Song aircraft. 12.5 years old.
Flying time 2:32, at FL340.
We had some time to kill after arriving on 7808 so we went to the Friday's on concourse C for some lunch and then I went up to the observation deck on concourse D to take some pictures before making our way to gate G-22 for our PHX flight. There wasn't a lot of traffic to see but I was still able to get some shots.
After lunch and spending time at the observation deck a few hours had gone by and we started to make our way over to the G concourse, DL999 would be departing from G-22 which from the D concourse is just about as far as you can go inside T1 at MSP. The gate area down by G-22 was very busy with very few seats left, there were flights scheduled from G-19, G-20 G-21 and G-22 all within a few minutes of each other and two of the flights were on B757s so it was a bit crowded and chaotic down there. Things thinned out somewhat after a flight to ORD started to board. With less people around thanks to the ORD flight boarding I walked over to see if I could make out what the registration of our B757 was but the jetway blocked the plane except for the tail fin, I was able to make out the numbers 6704 on the tail however and with a quick internet search I discovered it was N6704Z which was delivered to DL in 2000 and was one of the former aircraft operated by Song. After short wait they began to board our flight starting with the usual pre-boarding, First Class cabin, Priority Skymiles members ect. Once on the aircraft we were greeted by one of the flight attendants at the 2L door and then greeted by another FA in the F class cabin. The interior of the aircraft looked to be in fairly good condition with personal TV's in the seats and WiFi available on board. Once we settled into our seats one of the flight attendants came by to see if we would like anything to drink, I chose a Ginger Ale. I don't know what it is but there is something about Ginger Ale on an airplane that just makes it taste better. After all the F class passengers were on board the flight attendant passed through the cabin taking our dinner order, the choice was a chicken sandwich with chips or a Chimichurri beef entree. Both my Mom and I chose the beef entree. Shortly after that the boarding door was closed and we were pushed back from the gate a few minutes ahead of schedule and after both PW2037s came to life we joined the cue for runway 30L behind a Delta B757, Delta A319 and a DL MD-90. After those 3 aircraft took off and a DL MD-90 landed it was our turn to launch into the sky and both PW2037s roared into life launching us into the air in typical B757 fashion. Once we passed the 10,000ft mark the captain came on over the PA and welcomed us aboard and told us we would be flying a slightly different route to avoid a few thunderstorms near the Minnesota South Dakota border and told us we would be cruising at altitude of 34,000ft. Not to much later the two flight attendants working in the F cabin came by to get our drink order that we would like with the dinner, I ordered a beer and shortly after the entree's were brought out along with the ordered beverages, my mom and I both went with the beef and although it was served as a cold dish the flavor of the meat was pretty good all things considered. photo-28 by KoryC757, on Flickr
After dinner I settled in and looked through the TV and movie choices that were available on the flight but I didn't find anything I felt like watching and ended up just putting on the moving map for the flight and watched an episode of Futurama on my iPad, and then read my lasted issue of Airways and listened to music.
photo-29 by KoryC757, on Flickr
After a smooth uneventful flight we started our decent shortly after crossing the Arizona-New Mexico border, as we got closer to Phoenix I could make out the AZ-87 highway and the city of Payson and then we flew by Fountain Hills and Scottsdale before making a right turn to line up with Skyharbor's runway 26, I was able to see SDL airport and the 101 and 202 freeways before crossing the 143 and moments after the wheels made firm contact with the pavement fallowed by heavy braking and reverse thrust and after slowing down enough we taxied off the runway and made our short taxi back to Terminal 3, there were only 3 other Delta aircraft at the terminal a B757 at gate 23 a CRJ-700 to LAX at gate 16 and an A320 at gate 19. After a short taxi we docked at gate 15 two minutes ahead of schedule and were in the terminal and on the way to the baggage claim in no time at all. But of course I had to stop and get a picture of our plane photo-32 by KoryC757, on Flickr
Flight Number 244
Date, August 5th 2012
Seat 3D Window. LF 100% full
Route-Phoenix (PHX) to Minneapolis (MSP)
Departure Time, 1:29PM MST,
Arrival Time, 6:45PM CDT,
Departure gate. 18 Arrival gate G-2.
Departure Runway 25R Arrival Runway 30L
Aircraft. N919DN MD-90-30. built 1996.
Flying time 3:16, at FL310.
Both my mom and I arrived at the rental car ramp at 11AM to return our Chevy Captiva and after a few minutes we were on the shuttle bus to Terminal 3. The bus ride took about 10 minutes to get to the terminal and we then went inside to check-in. It's interesting to see how much the check-in area of T3 has changes over the last decade, the area where the NW ticket counters were is blocked off now and the delta counter is smaller but with more self serve kiosks. Today the only carriers using T3 are Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue American and seasonally Sun Country that are handled by DL, It's amazing how much this airline industry changes in a short time.
We went to the priority line and were quickly helped by a DL agent who printed out our boarding passes and tagged our checked bags through to BJI and then went up to security which was quick and after that we went to a Mexican place that's across from the Wendy's in T3 for some lunch, the food was okay but nothing special. After lunch we went down to the Starbucks and got some coffee and then I walked around and took a few pictures of T3 and Delta aircraft.
A short while later our aircraft N919DN taxied in after landing on 25L from MSP and parked at gate 18, and after all the inbound passengers exited they then refueled and catered the aircraft before boarding. Flight 244 routes PHX-MSP-AMS with an equipment change from the MD-90 on PHX-MSP to a B767-300ER on MSP-AMS. Boarding started at 1:00PM with the usual pre boarding routine and once on board we quickly found our seats and settled in. Once boarding was complete the door was closed and we were pushed back from the gate pretty close to on schedule and I could hear the engines start up but then we just kept sitting there on the taxi way, I figured the delay was because runway 26-8 was closed for maintenance and we were waiting for ATC clearance, after several minutes the captain came on over the PA and said they were getting a warning light for some sort of heater or something and that they had to try and fix it before we could depart. Fortunately they were able to resolve the problem, according to the captain the Arizona heat caused a sensor to give a false reading and they had to reset it and after sitting on the taxiway for over 20 minutes we finally started to taxi. Since runway 26-8 was closed we had to taxi over to 25R for departure where we joined a US Airways A319 and a Southwest B737 in line for departure and after a few minutes we entered the runway and the engines throttled up and into the air, we flew west of Phoenix for a bit before making a long shallow right turn eventually ending up heading in a northeastern direction and as I was seated on the right hand side of the plane I could see all of Phoenix, along with parts of Deer Valley, and Scottsdale before we climbed above the cloud layer. There wasn't any meal service on this flight just a beverage service and complimentary snack items. We eventually leveled off at 31,000ft which is as high as we got on the flight. It was a perfect day for flying the entire route up to Minnesota with almost no turbulence the entire way which is always nice. After an uneventful flight we began our decent shortly after passing the FSD area and about 25 minutes later the wheels touched down on the pavement of runway 30L and after quickly slowing down exited the runway and taxied to gate G-2 where we parked next to a B757 that was bound for MCO at G-3, there was also a B767-400ER at G-4 that was going to LHR. We docked at G-2 about 10 minutes behind schedule and were in the terminal a few minutes later.
skywest by KoryC757, on Flickr
Airline-Delta Connection (Skywest Airlines)
Flight Number 7809
Date, August 5th 2012
Seat 5D Window. LF 70% full
Route-Minneapolis (MSP) to Bemidji Regional (BJI)
Departure Time,10:19PM CDT,
Arrival Time, 10:55PM CDT,
Departure gate. A-6 Arrival gate 1.
Departure Runway 12L Arrival Runway 31
Aircraft. N445SW, CRJ-200
Flying time 0:36, at FL260.
After we got off our plane from PHX we went over to Ike's in the mall over by concourse E to get some dinner, I tried out an Oatmeal Stout and a pot roast dinner and both were pretty good but the service there was a little slow so by the time we were done eating the sun had almost set so I wasn't able to get to many pictures from the observation deck. Minneapolis KMSP by KoryC757, on Flickr
Once the sun had set we headed down to our departure gate of A-6, we still had about an hour and a half before departure and the gate agent or flight crew hadn't even showed up yet, so I went down to the Caribou Coffee at the end of the A gates and got a small iced americano and then I snapped a picture of our plane with my phone.
Around 9:15PM or so the gate agent arrived to prep the flight and then at 9:30 the flight crew arrived and boarding began at about 9:50PM, it didn't look like it was a completely full flight this time, I'd say it was somewhere around 70% or so. Boarding was completed quickly and we were pushed back a few minutes behind schedule and once the GE-CF34s were running we taxied out to runway 12L for departure, there were 5 Compass E-175s in front of us but the captain said ATC had us move up in the line passing 3 E175s in the cue and were airborne a few minutes later. There were a few bumps after take-off but the air smoothed out once we were past the 10,000ft mark, it was a perfect night out for flying a very bright full moon and good visibility with almost no clouds to speak of, the flight went by very quickly after playing two games of Ticket to Ride mobile we started to descend into the Bemidji area. We approached BJI from the east passing over Lake Bemidji and downtown before making a solid landing on runway 31 and after a quick taxi we docked at BJI's gate 1 6 minutes behind schedule and once the jetway was positioned we were in the terminal and at the baggage claim. After all the flying on DL this trip I have to say overall I was satisfied with the service and will likely fly with DL again.
I hope you enjoyed reading my report.
I love the polished aluminum surfaces on this bird. I'm a big fan of how SkyWest maintains their aircraft.
Quoting treebeard787 (Reply 2): It's interesting to see how much the check-in area of T3 has changes over the last decade, the area where the NW ticket counters were is blocked off now and the delta counter is smaller but with more self serve kiosks. Today the only carriers using T3 are Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue American and seasonally Sun Country that are handled by DL, It's amazing how much this airline industry changes in a short time.
Yep. It wasn't too long ago that one could see the likes of Northwest, Midwest and ATA at Terminal 3. At least T3 North still has plenty of activity these days. T3 South is just sad now.
Next upcoming trip: MKE-PHX-MKE on American Airlines' A320
treebeard787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 683 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6863 times:
Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 9): Nice report and pictures. Good to see you enjoyed your travels. Also...
Quoting treebeard787 (Reply 3):
You said the right words. I have a bit of a thing for them. To that end, see my little jaunt through MSP: The Next Ten (Leg 1/8): Triple Seven, Twin Cities (by Tigerguy Jun 30 2012 in Trip Reports)
Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. I just read about you're adventure and found it very interesting. I have done trips like that my self, I flew PHX-ORD-DEN-PHX, I took a "Ted" A320 PHX-ORD and then a UA B777 ORD-DEN and another Ted 320 DEN-PHX, that was quite the day, all to fly on a 777 I also noticed how empty MSP was in your report and I've found that MSP is always much quieter in the winter time, during the summer things pick up again. Although its never seemed as busy as it was in Northwest's heyday with DC-10s flying everywhere