When I joined airliners.net almost 12 years ago, I was just a single 20 something living in NY and travelling whenever including a long weekend to England just cause I could... Now that I'm married with two kids, my love of aviation hasn't diminished but the frequency of travel has. Therefore I present this brief trip report all 4 of us (plus my parents) took recently. With my first cousin getting married in Lexington, KY on labor day weekend, flights were expensive. We decided to cash in some DL miles.
DL 3618 HPN-DTW operated by Pinnacle Airlines CRJ
For those familiar with HPN, parking is extremely limited. I've seen cars parked on the grass just to find a space. My wife found out about Purchase Park 2 Fly a nonprofit parking facility run by nearby Purchase Collage. With the online deal it was only $10 a day. They have frequent, friendly shuttle bus service that runs on back roads through the woods right to the terminal.
Now flying with children (3 year old and 3 month old) wasn't going to be fun and I was stressing but honestly this leg was easy. Our 3 year old was entertained by everything on the plane and enjoyed looking out the window. Baby ate and slept. Flights were early, smooth and safe. What more can you ask for.
Our 3 year old LOVED i mean LOVED the moving sidewalks. We spent the 1 hour layover going on every single one we could find. It was awesome. DTW is a very nice airport but with a short layover we didn't have time to get over to the A terminal. We saved that for the way home.
DL 6078 DTW-LEX ERJ
Our only ERJ flight of the trip. We gave the 3 year old the single A seat and he loved it. You see, the trick to having a well behaved child on a flight is keeping them occupied!!!
Stay in LEX
Despite the humidty and rain from the remnants of Hurricane Issaic, we enjoyed Lexington. It's a very nice town and the wedding was at a Downton Abbey type place out in horse country.
DL 3023 LEX-DTW operated by Comair CRJ
With Comair shutting down at the end of the month, it was annouced that this was the last flight for the pilots and the first officer's wife was on board. I made sure to wish them good luck on the way out. Another early arrival.
With over 2 hours in DTW, we spent a lot of time on the tram and the moving sidewalks. Again, whatever you need to do to keep your 3 year old out of trouble. Tried to get an artsy shot of the fountain with a awesome looking 744 in the background but it just didn't work. We ate at the Mediterranean restuarant, pretty flavourless food but huge portions.
DL 3702 DTW-HPN operated by Pinnacle CRJ
So with 3 early / ontime flights of 4 our luck was about to run out... Boarded and pushed ontime. We were sitting in row 11, myself on the isle. Focused on the kids I didn't immediatley notice what was going on but at some point a passenger got up and start walking towards the front. I said to my wife "we are taxing, that guy is going to get yelled at." Next thing I know there are about 5 people standing up in the front galley area. Then I see some woman violently slapping the guy who I first saw get up. Next thing I know we do a 180 on the runway (we were using a runway to taxi) and we haul ass back to the gate. I know the CRJ appears to taxi fast but this was extra fast. We slam on the breaks by a gate (landing hard type of breaking) the door is immediatley opened and police and resuce are there. Turns out some woman went crazy / had a panic attack and started slapping her husband. She wanted off that plane!
It took about an hour to reset everything. They had to replenish the oxygen canister they gave her, unload their bags, file new flight plan, etc, etc. All things considered, I guess 1 hour isn't too bad. We just sat there and did our best to keep the kids entertained.
So a little excitement to end the trip. Good thing we were still on the ground though.
I'm not a fan of the TSA, their body scanners and procedures but i must say that EVERY single TSA agent we encountered was nothing but extremely friendly, pleasant and accomidating of traveling with kids. At HPN we got to by-pass the body scanner, same thing at LEX. At LEX they even reassembled the snap-n-go and baby carrier for us after security.
Kudos to the DL employees. Everyone was so nice. The FA on 3702 was especially nice. During beverage snack service, we practiced her name with our 3 year old so he could say "Emily, can I please have some apple juice?" He said it perfectly when the time came and I could tell she was impressed.
Ground crew at HPN also setup the snap-n-go and carrier for us at the gate check. It's almost like everyone went out of their way to provide amazing customer service to a family travelling.