adamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1001 posts, RR: 3 Posted (1 year 3 months 6 days ago) and read 9499 times:
The U S of A, a great country IMHO. A country where everything is big, a country I have lived in for a year, a country I have visited many times (mostly in the summer) for vacation or other purposes. This year would be no exception. Visiting friends in Maine, Pennsylvania and Canada while enjoying my 4 week vacation from work.
Hello everyone and welcome to my 14th trip report featuring part 3 of my vacation to the USA/Canada!
It wasn’t until the 27th of May when my dad and I started looking for tickets. Booking was done, the same day, on delta.com (as my dad is a SkyMiles member). 6 flights for about 1200EUR p.p, not a very bad deal for the time of year and the date that we booked IMO.
There were a lot of different options for that price, so we eventually chose:
July 21: AMS-BOS // 11:10-13:00 // DL231 // A330-300
August 1: BOS-JFK // 12:00-13:17 // DL901 // A319
August 1: JFK-PHL // 16:10-17:28 // DL3544 // CRJ900 Pinnacle Airlines/DL Connection
August 8: PHL-LGA // 14:10-15:10 // DL4050 // CRJ100 Pinnacle Airlines/DL Connection
August 8: LGA-YYZ // 16:45-18:25 // DL7145 // B736 operated by WestJet
August 16: YYZ-AMS // 23:05-12:10 // DL9399 // B744 operated by KLM
A nice itinerary with all different types, and for me it will be the first time flying Delta longhaul and WestJet. This would also be a chance to catch the fairly “rare” B737-600 type.
This series will be split into 5 parts (due to the many pictures made):
Part 1: AMS-BOS
Part 2: BOS-JFK
Part 3: JFK-PHL
Part 4: PHL-LGA-YYZ
Part 5: YYZ-AMS
Every part will not only contain a report of the flight(s), but it will also be accompanied by many pictures of places I visited/things I did during my stay.
So sit back, relax and I hope you enjoy this report!
The map for this part, thanks to the Great Circle Mapper:
And the map of this whole trip, also thanks to the Great Circle Mapper:
In part 2 I left you guys just deboarding my BOS-JFK flight and entering terminal 3. We had 2 hours to go before boarding time of our next flight that will be departing from the next door terminal, terminal 2. So we took the passenger walkway and headed straight towards T2.
JFK Terminal 2
JFK terminal 2 can best be described as a dump. Way too small, overcrowded, old, falling apart and downright filthy, I won’t even describe what the bathrooms looked like! I tried connecting to the WIFI for about 2 hours (eventually 4 hours but more on that later), but it kept on loading and didn’t do a thing. As you can understand I wasn’t impressed with this place at all.
During our 2 hour layover we looked around at the shops, got a bite to eat and of course did some spotting.
Spotting @ JFK
Like this beautiful whale jet, LH D-AIMF, getting ready for its flight back to FRA:
Aeroflot A330, at T1, getting ready for its flight back to SVO:
Up close and personal with this DL A319:
Gotta love these special SkyTeam liveries!:
While walking around the terminal I saw another whale jet getting pushed into its gate. So I ran straight to the window to take some pictures, AF F-HPJF getting pushed to its gate for the flight back to CDG:
As it was getting close to our boarding time (15:30) we headed to our assigned gate: 25.
Gate 23 and 25 are used for DL connection flights at JFK. After scanning your BP and walking through the jetway you enter into a “metal walkway” . The metal walkway has several exits, marked with A,B,C etc. Each exit is for a different flight. Once arriving at the exit assigned for your flight the plane is right there so you can walk straight to it. Gates 23 and 25 are in each corner of the terminal not too far away from each other. As you can understand it can get very busy at those gates, with all the “connection” flights departing from there and the terminal being way too small.
Anyway, once arriving at the very crowded gate 25 we couldn’t see our flight on the screens. There were several announcements being made on the PA, but barely understandable. I decided to go check one of the FIDS at the gate and saw that we were delayed for 40 minutes (new dep. time: 16:50). Not only our flight was delayed, the 5 other flights that were on the FID were also delayed. I’m guessing the reason for all the delays was announced but as I said before it was not understandable.
We made our way out of the crowded area and headed over to the other side of the terminal where there still was some place to sit. There was not much to do now except sit, watch people, read and still try to connect to the WIFI while waiting for our flight:
A closer look at the FIDS, our flight was further delayed until 17:06 and changed to gate 23, note there are 31(!) other delayed flights and 3 cancelled:
Boarding pass for this flight:
At 16:40 we decided to head over to our newly assigned gate 23. What followed was one of the most chaotic boarding scenes I have experienced in a while.
First of all the corner where the gate was located was packed to the brim, you could barely pass through there. Full of eager people standing in front of the gate waiting for their flight to be called.
Every 5/10 minutes a flight was being called for immediate boarding. After every call people would just scramble to the gate/agents thinking it was their flight, for half of those people it wasn’t even their flight yet, imagine how chaotic this looked. During one final boarding call 2 girls(who were being called several times) got their BPs scanned while trying to call their friend who was still at a restaurant further in the terminal. The flight was being closed so instead of heading towards the plane they ran over to the restaurant to pick up their friend, once coming back they were surprised to hear that they were kicked off the flight and the plane was gone.
After 40 minutes of this kind of “fun” flight 3544 to PHL was finally called for boarding at 17:20, 1h50min after our original boarding time!
We zigzagged our way through the crowd, scanned our BPs and headed into the jetway.
We walked straight into the “metal walkway” where an agent was standing. She tagged my carry-on with a pink gate claim tag and asked me to deliver it at the aircraft before boarding the plane. After acknowledging we headed to our assigned exit which was exit K out of my head.
After delivering my carry-on to one of the ramp workers we entered the aircraft, but first I took a quick picture of our aircraft, during all the chaos I completely forgot to check the registration of the plane and I couldn’t read it off at PHL so any help on how to track the registration is much appreciated!:
No greeting from the 2 female FAs during boarding, they decided to look at me and instead of greet me look away again. I walked past the 4 rows of business class and settled into my seat 5A, to my surprise I was once again upgraded to economy comfort for free.
While boarding was still underway I took a quick look outside:
These are the “metal walkways” I was talking about:
The load on this flight will once again be a full 100% in Y with business class only being half full (6/12). The flight crew consisted of 1 female purser and 1 female FA, can’t say much about them due to it being another very short flight and there once again was no service in C or Y during flight.
At 17:30 the front left door was closed. The purser came onto the PA with the usual announcements followed by the flight deck with another welcome onboard and an announced flying time of just 33 minutes. There was no apology or reason given for the big delay. We were now all ready to go, or so I thought..
While waiting for 5 minutes on the tarmac the door was opened once again and a ramp worker entered the cockpit. 2 minutes later the pilot came onto the PA announcing a further wait of 15-20 min due to congestion at JFK.
The door was finally closed for the second time at 17:50 and we were ready to go.
Pushback + Taxi
At 17:55, 1h45min behind original dep. time, we pushed back and taxied to runway 22R.
We are clearly at the Delta side of JFK:
Of course I was once again seated at the wrong side of the aircraft so no terminal views, I did get some aircraft taxiing by on my side.
Like this Mesaba Airlines // CRJ900 // N924XJ:
We joined a long line of aircraft awaiting take-off clearance:
Comair (DL Connection) // CRJ700 // N669CA:
American Eagle // EMB145 // N692AE:
After taking this picture, the purser (who I didn’t see) was walking around the cabin. Once seeing me with my camera she told me that the camera was an electronical device and asked me to shut it off immediately. So I was a bit more careful with taking pictures now.
Take-off + Climb
Finally at 18:25, 2h15min behind our original dep. time, it was our turn for take-off. We taxied onto runway 22R and started take-off roll immediately:
And lift off!:
Over the coastline:
Seatback + Contents
The seatback had the same contents as my previous flight except for the safety card of course:
The very nice legroom:
After cruising at a low altitude (No flight level given) for about 5 minutes we already started descent:
adamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1001 posts, RR: 3 Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 6 days ago) and read 9523 times:
Taking a left turn:
Final Approach + Landing
to runway 9R:
Passing by this Boeing Rotorcraft Systems factory:
It seemed that PHL had been closed for the past hour as there was 1 huge line of aircraft waiting for take-off clearance from runway 9L:
Taxi To The Gate
After exiting the runway we taxied over to our gate: D15:
First we had to hold short at runway 9L due to all the departing aircraft:
US Airways // A321 // N167US:
Southwest // B717 // N981AT:
Crossing runway 9L:
A view of the huge line of aircraft:
We then had to wait another 10 minutes due to all the aircraft blocking the way to our gate:
The line behind us of planes that had also just landed with a beautiful rainbow in the background:
At 19:25, 2 hours behind schedule, we arrived at our gate D15:
After a couple of minutes the front left door was opened and I was one of the first ones off the plane. I waited in the jetway for my carry-on, which of course arrived as one of the last ones.
We exited the terminal where our friend was waiting to pick us up. Once exchanging greetings we headed downstairs towards the baggage claim where our baggage was already on the belt.
We walked over to our friends car and headed to New Holland, Pennsylvania where we will be staying the next week, in the middle of Amish country.
One of the first days we drove around in Amish country which was quite interesting to see.
During our stay we also visited Philadelphia for the day. We went by car and parked at the Franklin Institute. Inside the Franklin Institute is this big statue of Benjamin Franklin:
I spotted this plane outside of the institute:
First we walked over to the Museum of Art. They have statues everywhere in Philadelphia, like this one of Francisco de Miranda the Great Soldier of Freedom:
To get to the Museum of Art we walked down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
Along the parkway there is a flag of practically every country, of course I had to take a picture of the Dutch flag:
The museum of Art:
Museum of Art fountain:
Next to the museum is another statue, this time of Rocky who is fairly popular:
We didn’t go inside the museum but headed back down the Benjamin Franklin parkway towards downtown.
Cathedral of S.S. Peter and Paul:
Love Park with City Hall in the background:
Love Park fountain:
Of course I had to have a Philly cheesesteak at the Reading terminal market:
After that we visited the Liberty Bell:
Liberty Bell center:
Old City Hall:
Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier:
After a great day in Philly we headed back to the car and drove back to New Holland.
adamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1001 posts, RR: 3 Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 6 days ago) and read 9506 times:
On Saturday (August 4th) we met up with friends in Allentown whose son was playing at the Drum Corps international DCI Eastern Classic. We had a bite to eat and headed over to the J. Birney Crum Stadium to watch the show:
The Cadets 2 from Allentown, Pennsylvania:
The Cascades from Seattle, Washington:
Jersey Surf from Camden County, New Jersey:
The Academy from Tempe, Arizona:
Crossmen from San Antonio, Texas:
Glassmen from Toledo, Ohio:
Blue Knights from Denver, Colorado:
Blue Stars from LaCrosse, Wisconsin:
Madison Scouts from Madison, Wisconsin:
The Caveliers from Rosemont, Illinios (this is the band where our friends son was playing):
After a great show and a short but great time with friends we headed back to the car and drove back to New Holland:
On Sunday I went over to Missions Fest as they had a bunch of prop planes on display. You could also take helicopter and airplane rides:
We stayed in New Holland until Wednesday, August the 8th before heading on to Canada but that is for part 4.
First JFK Terminal 2, what a dump I have already explained why. Delta should really change to a better terminal for their passengers, I did read that there will be a new Delta Terminal 4 opening in May 2013.
Then the flight, a big delay and no communication what so ever was made towards us on why there was a delay, not good customer service is you ask me! I’m guessing it was due to PHL being closed but not sure and I guess I will never know. A big thumbs down for Delta here!
Can’t say much about the service as there understandably wasn’t any due to the short flight.
So this will end part 3 of this series. If you’re still reading, thank you very much for taking the time to read this report, it is much appreciated.
Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question, I would really appreciate that!
Part 4 showing my 2 flights up to Canada with DL and WestJet should be up next week featuring another delay and a missed connection!
LFutia From Netherlands, joined Dec 2002, 3239 posts, RR: 29 Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 9420 times:
Been there and done that with the Delta delays! Last year I flew into JFK from PIT on the 757! but my connecting flight to Chicago went out of Gate 23 and I will say what a huge clusterf*ck it was! Every thing you said was just about the same experience I had.
In ieder geval, very nice trip report! can't wait to read the rest!
Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
jwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 983 posts, RR: 2 Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 9263 times:
Legroom did look good on that CRJ!
Shame that Southwest 717 isn't in the full livery, although i guess it was good to catch the AirTran livery before it goes.
Quoting adamspotter (Thread starter): During one final boarding call 2 girls(who were being called several times) got their BPs scanned while trying to call their friend who was still at a restaurant further in the terminal. The flight was being closed so instead of heading towards the plane they ran over to the restaurant to pick up their friend, once coming back they were surprised to hear that they were kicked off the flight and the plane was gone.
Quoting adamspotter (Thread starter): Once seeing me with my camera she told me that the camera was an electronical device and asked me to shut it off immediately.
Dont you just hate it when that happens?!
Quoting adamspotter (Thread starter): One of the first days we drove around in Amish country which was quite interesting to see.
Had a similar experience in Ohio a few years back. Its certainly something!
LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1702 posts, RR: 14 Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 9194 times:
Hoi Brendan, nice report!
Quoting adamspotter (Thread starter): I tried connecting to the WIFI for about 2 hours (eventually 4 hours but more on that later), but it kept on loading and didn’t do a thing. As you can understand I wasn’t impressed with this place at all.
Man that's bad. Wasn't it possible to connect to any wifi network at a Starbucks® or so?
EWRkid1990 From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 175 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8966 times:
Hey man, I love the series of reports so far. Funnily enough, I actually march in Glassmen with several people from the Netherlands, and my room mate and neighbor march with the Cavaliers! From your pictures of the show, it looks like you sat in the same section as my parents! Glad to see that there's a fellow aviation nut who knows what Drum Corps is!
Great writing, can't wait to see the rest!
burj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 892 posts, RR: 5 Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 8676 times:
Nice trip report...
What you experienced at T2 is what many of us Delta frequent fliers refer to as the "RJ corral" and those metal tunnels we lovingly (not) refer to as the "cattle chutes".....(guess who are the cattle!)
It is cool that you got a shot of the A380....it was at the RJ corral that the AF A380 hit a Delta connection RJ as it was waiting at the entrance of the corral to go to a specific spot.....
MSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2472 posts, RR: 15 Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8520 times:
Nice report, thanks for sharing.
I can only say after reading this "Welcome to the USA"
The country where flying equals taking the bus, not more not less.
Your expercience reminds me about 80% of my NYC flights. Even on normal days these airports can barely cope. Let alon a day like this.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
Quoting LFutia (Reply 3): Been there and done that with the Delta delays! Last year I flew into JFK from PIT on the 757! but my connecting flight to Chicago went out of Gate 23 and I will say what a huge clusterf*ck it was! Every thing you said was just about the same experience I had.
haha yeah, not a very good experience for many people
Quoting LFutia (Reply 3): In ieder geval, very nice trip report! can't wait to read the rest!
Thank you very much Leo and who knows I will maybe see you in November @ Chicago
Quoting The777Man (Reply 7): Thanks for a great report once again with nice pictures
You're welcome, thanks for once again commenting really appreciate it!
Quoting The777Man (Reply 7): Sounds like a bad experience with DL and they really seem in need of a new terminal there for their regional jet operation.
Yes they sure do!
Quoting The777Man (Reply 7): Great that you got the upgrade to First class and legroom there looks fantastic.
It was economy comfort actually and yes it was great!
Quoting The777Man (Reply 7): Southwest does not operate any 717s and probably never will. FL still operates as a separate airline although owned by WN. All the 717s will be leased out to DL starting in August 2013.
Yes I know, I meant it sarcastically Will be great to see 717s in Delta livery by the way!
Quoting burj (Reply 9): What you experienced at T2 is what many of us Delta frequent fliers refer to as the "RJ corral" and those metal tunnels we lovingly (not) refer to as the "cattle chutes".....(guess who are the cattle!)
haha those are some interesting names, thanks for the info
Quoting burj (Reply 9): It is cool that you got a shot of the A380....it was at the RJ corral that the AF A380 hit a Delta connection RJ as it was waiting at the entrance of the corral to go to a specific spot.....
didn't know where that exactly happened. Nice to know, thanks once again for the info
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 10): I can only say after reading this "Welcome to the USA"
hehe well I sure have had much better experiences!
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 10): The country where flying equals taking the bus, not more not less.
Your expercience reminds me about 80% of my NYC flights. Even on normal days these airports can barely cope. Let alon a day like this.
deltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1060 posts, RR: 7 Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8118 times:
Doesn't sound like you got the best service by Delta but at least you had a nice amount of legroom!
Glad to see some pictures from Philly, it seems to be a town with a lot of history, I'd like to visit one day.
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7783 times:
Good to read the third part too. Not much flightwise here, but enjoyable pictures from Pennsylvania which is fine in my books anyway. Good to see those Philadelphia shots, I'm paying the city a short visit in February so very nice to have a sneak preview. The weather might be quite different by then though...
Oh and as part of that trip I'll be taking one of these Pinnacle operated CRJs to JFK to connect to my DL transatlantic flights, I'm certainly hoping for no delays on that flight as I don't have that much time at JFK (and given the crap terminals DL uses there you kinda want to minimize your time there anyway...). If things look bad I'll probably try to get to be rebooked on one of the far more frequent LGA flights...
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16): Good to read the third part too. Not much flightwise here, but enjoyable pictures from Pennsylvania which is fine in my books anyway. Good to see those Philadelphia shots, I'm paying the city a short visit in February so very nice to have a sneak preview. The weather might be quite different by then though...
Thanks, enjoy your short stay there, hope it doesn't snow too much!
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16): Oh and as part of that trip I'll be taking one of these Pinnacle operated CRJs to JFK to connect to my DL transatlantic flights, I'm certainly hoping for no delays on that flight as I don't have that much time at JFK (and given the crap terminals DL uses there you kinda want to minimize your time there anyway...). If things look bad I'll probably try to get to be rebooked on one of the far more frequent LGA flights...
Good luck and hope there is no delays. My next part in this series I will be flying to LGA too, a much better flight and great airport!
adamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1001 posts, RR: 3 Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7308 times:
Quoting roberts87 (Reply 18): Nice report again, thanks for posting!
Flying in the Northeast can be such a mess with all the weather delays and congestion. Arriving on time seems to be an exception, whist delays are common!
Hi there Robert,
Thanks for stopping by and commenting once again, really appreciate it!
Flying in the Northeast sure can be a mess, but hey nothing much to do about the weather EH
Dash8Driver16 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 90 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 7220 times:
Sounds like a great trip. I am always in and out of PHL int he F terminal and if you thought JFK was bad come over to F terminal after a big delay. Where is New Holland and that air show you went to? Living in the area and not being from around there I am always looking for some cool things to do. Hopefully the rest of your trip went well.
plateman From United States of America, joined May 2007, 914 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 months 1 day ago) and read 6791 times:
The scene you describe at Delta Commuter Hell is the exact reason I will never fly DL, esp DL Connection out of JFK. I fly DCA-JFK about once a month and no matter how pricey AA is, they get my business.
The DLCx flights are always heavily delayed, the terminal is the definition of a shi*hole, the gate is not even a gate, the staff rude, the annoucments impossible to hear. No thanks. Never. Ever/.
One time we even boarded the DCA flight and were on the plane when the crew realizes this plane is going to IAD. They had to unload the entire plane and start over.
adamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1001 posts, RR: 3 Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 months 1 hour ago) and read 6575 times:
Quoting N62NA (Reply 22):
Word to the wise - if at all possible, take Amtrak in/out of NYC (obviously you can't take Amtrak internationally, but in the case of NYC-PHL...)
Maybe I'll try the train next time
Quoting plateman (Reply 23): The DLCx flights are always heavily delayed, the terminal is the definition of a shi*hole, the gate is not even a gate, the staff rude, the annoucments impossible to hear. No thanks. Never. Ever/.
hehe agree with the terminal definition there
Quoting plateman (Reply 23): One time we even boarded the DCA flight and were on the plane when the crew realizes this plane is going to IAD. They had to unload the entire plane and start over.
wow that is crazy!
25 win1290: Hi Brendan, Nice pictures of your trip! An interesting read, and great pictures of Philadelphia. Great once again that you got the Economy Comfort sea
26 adamspotter: Hi there Win, Thank you very much Thanks once again I had no idea that it was Y+ when selecting the seat You are welcome! cheers, Brendan
27 FLIEGER67: Hoi, B., great pictures and story once again. What a shame, these DL place at JFK sounds like definitely not that good. Looking forward to the next pa
28 adamspotter: Hello Markus Thank you very much Indeed, such a dump! cheers, Brendan