Airplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2 Posted (10 years 5 months 19 hours ago) and read 8031 times:
This whole trip was really exciting. Three years ago, I went with my mom and brother to go visit her brother and his wife in Brussels. I just loved traveling to Europe with my mom and brother and couldn’t wait to do it again. I was fortunate enough to have two other trips to Europe with different people between this one and my first three years ago, but that first was certainly the superior of the three and I hoped for this one to at least equal it, which it did. We, as you will read in a moment, flew into CO / LIRF), Italy">FCO and spent three days in Rome. We took a train to Venice where we also stayed three days. From Venice, we moved on to Trieste for two days, where we went to Piran, Slovenia for the day from. After that, we went to Lake Como for two days and Milan for one, which as you will also read, we departed from. It was wonderful. Anyhow, now that I’m done with my rambling on and on , I’ll give you the trip report! I have a hefty load of pictures that I took at the airports and on the flights, so I am going to try my best to put some of those into this report, but I will have to get a website from Geocities or some other free hosting place to put them on so I can put them here. There are no guarantees I’ll be able to do it, but I’ll try since I always enjoy when people put their own pictures in their trip reports. I hope you enjoy this report! Here it is:
I managed to convince my mom that we should leave for the airport really early because we don’t go to Europe often and she knows I love planes, especially when they are going to “exotic” destinations (at least compared to places like RDU or MIA which are regular run-of-the-mill destinations from ATL; MUC or MD), Spain">MAD are more exciting), and that it would only be an extra hour out of her life and my brother’s and over how ever long they would live, that would be very insignificant. With that said, we walked from our house to a neighbor’s house at about 1:45p.m. and she drove us to the nearby MARTA station. For those unfamiliar with Atlanta, MARTA is the subway and bus system for the city. We got our train to the airport at about two o’clock and were on our way. The ride, as usual, took about forty-five minutes. From the airport MARTA station, we walked to the Delta international check-in area and got in line. It probably took fifteen minutes or so to get to the front where a nice check-in agent checked us in. I love how international check-in always takes more than two minutes. Check-in is just so exciting because it kind of really gets your trip feeling like it is going because you finally get your boarding passes. Maybe you think I’m weird, but I love the check-in part. Well, after she put the CO / LIRF), Italy">FCO baggage stickers, we walked over to the giant white x-ray machines. We were directed to the next one and there the man operating it took the bags and put them through. I noticed that when we got to Rome, there was a little blue plastic TSA pseudo lock sort of thing on the zipper. Maybe they had to search it. What was it for?
Now that check-in was completed, we proceeded to security, which went quickly and seamlessly. ATL security is very efficient, but I wonder if that efficiency sometimes comes at a sacrifice in quality. I have one particular event in mind that if you’d like me to tell you, I will, but otherwise I’m not going to bore you with the details. Basically a friend and I took a trip to ICT and he put some things in his carry-on bag for the specific purpose of trying to get searched and it was missed in ATL but found in ICT. It’s a funny story. We descended a large escalator down to the train between terminals that is just after security. My mom and brother wanted the exercise, so decided to walk to the E terminal, the international gates. I would normally have liked the exercise, but decided that I would rather get to hang out in the international terminal, so elected to take the train. It took it’s usual 8 minutes or so to get to the E gates from the T gates where I went up into the terminal.
For a while, I just looked around at all of the planes, taking pictures of ours and others. I was happy to be on N866DA because I hadn’t flown it before (I had flown N867DA last summer from CDG to ATL, but it was going to CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO on this evening.) and it had the 2-5-2 seating which meant that our seats that I had carefully picked would remain the same. I then met my mom and brother in the food court area and got a muffin and frappuccino from Starbuck’s. It was good, but the frappuccino was so chunky with unground ice that I just gave up on my straw and ate it with a spoon. After that, we moved to our gate, gate E17, and sat down at the gate. I did a bit more exploring and then returned for boarding. It began about twenty minutes late because if I remember correctly, they were having trouble getting the plane cleaned and loaded with food in time. When the Medallion members were invited to board, we got on because my mom is a Medallion member. That is Delta’s elite program for those unfamiliar with Delta’s frequent flyer program. I always like that because you can get on and get comfortable without a stampede of people trampling you to death and leaving you a bloody mess on the floor for the rest of the flight, simply because you were trying to stow your baggage and they didn’t see you. Well, I guess it’s not that bad . I put my stuff in a little mini one person overhead bin, which was nice. I had carefully picked our seats to give us all bulkhead seats. This was my first ride in a bulkhead and I was looking forward to it. My brother and I were in the 2 section on the right side. Even though this plane is one of the newest ones in Delta’s fleet of 777s, it looked really ratty inside. There were a lot of stains, the leather headrests looked old, and it just felt generally kind of junky. No doubt, it was still comfortable, but I was surprise to see such a new aircraft be showing it’s “age.” The coach cabin was just over half full and the Business Elite cabin seemed to be reasonably full.
Relatively shortly after boarding had finished, the door was closed. The captain then announced that we would have a short wait and twenty minutes later, we pushed back. The plane taxied to the runway and with very little waiting to do there, we took off. The takeoff roll was average, as was climb. I was just happy to be on a transatlantic flight again. I love longhaul flights. Very quickly after takeoff, the first movie running commenced. Last summer when I flew from CDG to ATL on a Delta 777, each movie selection had three choices and when the movie was over, you got three totally different movies to choose from when the next movie playing began. This time, there were just three movies for the flight and you chose at the beginning of each cycle. The movies were “Head of State,” “Agent Cody Banks,” and “Maid in Manhattan.” I selected “Head of State” and began watching on my armrest PTV.
I didn’t know where to put this, so I’ll inject it here. Our flight path took us out of ATL, headed northeast crossing out over water at Norfolk, Virginia, continuing northeastwards following the East Coast, crossing south of Nova Scotia and St. Johns, making landfall near Brest, France, flying southeast across France, crossing out over the Mediterranean Sea eight miles west of Nice, flying over the northern tip of Corsica near Bastia, crossing out again across the Mediterranean, making final landfall over Italy northeast of Rome, then turning more south following the coast briefly and then landing in Rome.
Anyway, midway through the movie, the dinner service began. I’m not really into reading menus in trip reports, but I know a lot of you enjoy it, so here is the menu:
Seasonal garden greens with radish and cucumbers, offered with ranch dressing.
Beef tips enhanced by mushroom sauce, presented with green beans, carrots and garlic mashed potatoes.
Pappardelle with chicken strips. Pasta in marinara sauce accompanied by grilled chicken strips, topped with cheese.
Bread and butter.
Cheese and Crackers.
Strawberry cream cup.
Minute Maid Orange Juice
Fruit Cereal Bar Banana
Warm Croissant with butter and preserves
It was all actually pretty good. The service was really lacking on this flight though. I had noticed it from the start that the flight attendant serving our aisle was this old wrinkly bag that seemed offended that there were kids on the flight. She was noticeably nicer to the nearby grownups. I’m not one to say I didn’t do something when I did, but neither my brother nor I did one thing to annoy this woman. We said please and thank-you and were polite from the start and she returned the exact opposite from the start. Oh well. Not every flight attendant is going to be great and I wasn’t about to let her ruin the flight. I still enjoyed myself very much. She was just one minor blemish on the experience and nothing more.
At some point, I noticed two separate bugs flying around near me. I love it when bugs get on longhaul flights! They get to become such well traveled, culturally aware beings of the bug world, getting to travel from native Georgia to Europe. This is the second time I have noticed bugs on a transatlantic flight.
By the time the movie had finished, it was beginning to get dark outside and people were turning in for the night. I had decided days before that if I get tired enough to sleep, then I will try, but I will not force myself. In the past, I have tried to sleep on transatlantic flights, much to no avail, and it is just aggravating to be trying to sleep when everyone else is and I can’t. I decided to just enjoy the flight.
A coffee and tea service began right before the dimming of the lights. The lights were dimmed and I started reading some of my Airliner World magazine and looking out the window until I noticed that the next movie cycle had commenced. I had missed the beginning and was a bit too tired to try to figure out what was going on in another movie, so I just turned on “Head of State” again and watched that, not paying tremendous attention. Looking out the window is always an activity that I partake in on any flight that I have a window and this was no exception. It is so peaceful to look out the window and see the stars. There is never nothing to see on a night flight. If there is no light to see the ground, there are the stars in the sky to look at.
After several hours of periodic water rounds by the flight attendants, the sun began to rise. As always for what I have experienced, there were clouds off the coast of Europe, so I couldn’t see the water until we got closer. At this point, the third movie cycle began and I, feeling like something requiring the minimal brain usage of the three movies because I was tired, put on “Agent Cody Banks.” I put a halfhearted effort into paying attention, more interested in what I could see outside of the window. Eventually the clouds were no longer covering the water and then we made landfall near Brest, France. It had been many hours and thousands of miles since I’d seen my last land at Norfolk, Virginia. The first sighting of Europe for me is always exciting. We continued over France, me starving after just one or two pretzel services during the night, very much looking forward to breakfast. Flying over southern France, I reminisced about the last summer when I was there. It was one of the most wonderful places I have ever been! It was inflight there that breakfast was finally served. Thank goodness! I was on the verge of eating a blanket by then. Well, not really, but I was hungry. See the above menu for what it was.
The plane set out over the Mediterranean, crossing northern Corsica shortly afterwards. The landscape down there was very rugged and very beautiful. Not too long after that, I got my first sighting of Italy as we made landfall probably fifty miles north of Rome, then turned more south and headed down the coast over the land. The descent began. It was pretty dry looking down on the ground, but not arid. There were a lot of farms. I also noticed a lot of big sprinklers that I saw all over Italy later in the trip that were just like giant lawn sprinklers, pulsating and spraying in a circle. Right before the runway, the plane made a quick drop, leveled off, and then set down smoothly on the runway. We had arrived about fifteen minutes late. As it taxied to the gate, I noticed several Alitalia aircraft, a US Airways A330-300 (I didn’t know they served CO / LIRF), Italy">FCO until then.), two AA 763s, and a Continental 767-400. We arrived and deboarded, then, after a short walk through the terminal, got onto a train that took us to customs and immigration. The passport stamping part took about ten minutes. I was excited to see that at our baggage claim, there were also flights from Djerba, Monastir, and Taskent. Those were very exotic locations for someone from my part of the world. It took about twenty minutes to claim our bags, but the declarations part went very quickly as we had nothing to declare. A taxi driver sent by our hotel met us in the main area and we left the airport after a good flight. I was ready to sleep though by then.
So ended a fabulous trip, but fortunately I like the getting there and getting home (flying), so this was just another attraction and not really the end. The day began with an early six o’clock wake up. We all three got showered and met a man in the lobby that my mom had met on a flight from ATL to ORD that had just moved to Atlanta. He was in Milan on business and flying to MUC that day to visit family in Germany. Well, the long and short of all that was that he was flying out of MXP the same day, so he was going to drive us to the airport. We packed into his car at seven o’clock and were on the way. It was about a forty minute ride from near the train station in Milan is located, which is near where we were staying, to Milan’s Malpensa airport. Driving in, I saw a lot of Alitalia longhaul aircraft parked in one area. When we got there, he turned in his car to the rental car place and we walked into the airport and ascended a large escalator into the main check-in and restaurant area. My mom and brother and I decided to go check in and get our bags checked before eating breakfast so that we wouldn’t have three bags to worry about while we were trying to eat, so walked to the Delta check-in desk. To get to the area where that desk was, we had to show guards with machine guns that we had tickets. Could that perhaps have been because the EL AL check-in desk was also in that area? It was manned and operated by Alitalia workers and after waiting in a short line, we were quickly checked in and were on our ways. I noticed that MXP airport was very open. It was no architectural wonder, abounding in beauty, but it was nice and roomy. After walking back to a little eating place in the main wide open area at MXP. I got a cream filled croissant and a cappuccino, which was a tasty combination. After talking for a little while, we said goodbye to the man that drove us to the airport, my mom and brother went to the bathroom, and I went off looking at planes. I love how there are so many windows at MXP that look out over the terminals and runways. Besides seeing the many Alitalia planes, I saw a South African Airways A330-200. There wasn’t a huge amount of diversity of airlines at MXP, but it was more than my home airport of ATL and seeing a lot of Alitalia planes is not a sight I see often anyway, so it was very exciting. It was beautiful seeing the Alps in the distance. I met up again with my mom and brother and my brother and I each bought ourselves a Greek Euro proof set at the currency exchange booths. I went to a different one because they only had one set at the one my mom was exchanging her remaining Euros back into US Dollars.
With that done, we went down an escalator leading to customs and the B gates of terminal 1. There was a medium line in the customs area, but it only took about fifteen minutes to reach the front where our passports were stamped and we were on our way. There were a lot of shops just after customs before reaching the gates and we peeked into some of these. We finally reached our plane and I put my stuff down, and went walking around our nearby gates to take pictures. The plane right next to us was an Alitalia 763 headed to BOS. There was also an Alitalia 763 near us that was headed to CCS, as well as one of their 772s going to JFK and an MD-80 going to Tirana, Albania. There was a Continental 762 going to EWR, and of course the Delta 763 going to ATL, the aircraft that I would be flying shortly. I also noticed that near the CO aircraft, just sitting around not at a gate was a Georgian Airlines 737. Does that airline fly to MXP or was it here for some other reason? It never did move over the next hour or so from its strange spot just out from the gate.
Suddenly, we noticed that boarding had commenced. Do the gate agents at MXP not board by row numbers? There went from being on line to a huge one for our flight, as well as with the CO flight to EWR, which led me to believe that they just say boarding has begun for all rows. We got in line and after a few minutes, were on our way down the airbridge and got on the plane. We found our seats, which were normal Y class seats. I find DL’s 763s to be comfortable in economy though, at least compared to some economy classes. It wasn’t too long until the plane was pushed back and began its taxi. On the way by another part of terminal one, I noticed a Turkish Airlines 737-800 with winglets, an Aeroflot 737-400, an EL AL 757-200, a TunisAir 737 of some sort, and a TAP A319. As we taxied farther out, I noticed an Alitalia MD-11 and a Continental 777 parked near a hangar. Just before turning onto the runway, an Alitalia 767-300 landed on a parallel runway.
There were no planes ahead of us, so we just turned onto the runway and began the takeoff. After another average takeoff run, the plane was airborne for our ten hour and eight minute flight to ATL. Before takeoff, the captain had announced that it would be nine hours and forty five minutes, but by the time the plane took off, the airshow was showing nine hours and fifty minutes and then we were delayed near ATL. Anyway, we first started off heading east, but turned around after a few minutes, heading west, giving me a good view of the Alps, which were close out of my window. They really are very impressive!
Pretty quickly after that, customs forms were distributed. I love filling out customs forms for some reason, so my mom let me fill out ours. At that time, a Syrian couple in sitting in front of my brother and I asked if I would fill out their customs forms because they couldn’t really understand English. I was glad to do so, so he gave me their passports and I got to work. During this time, we began flying over the Alps instead of just parallel to them. It didn’t take long though to be over flat farmland of France. It took me about thirty minutes to fill out the customs forms due to frequent glances out the window.
While over France, the first drink and snack service was done, giving passengers, of course, a drink and a snack of pretzels. The first movie was started then too. It was “About Schmidt.” After a bit over an hour, I saw my last land in Europe at nearly the same place I had seen my first for this trip, near Brest, France. Our flight path brought us out of MXP, over western Switzerland, over France near Paris, heading out over water near Brest, flying south of Ireland, making landfall near St. John’s in Newfoundland, coming over the US at Maine and flying down over the eastern states.
At about the time when “About Schmidt,” which was enjoyable, ended, lunch was served. Here’s the menu:
Garden salad with dressing.
Roasted chicken. Chicken breast medallions on a bed of orzo with corn and sweet peppers, topped with asparagus, marinara sauce, and a cheese sauce.
Pasta. Cheese tortellini with mushrooms in red pepper tomato sauce, topped with cream sauce and a tricolor bell pepper julienne.
Bread and butter.
Cheese and crackers.
Tangerine Cream Cake
Smoked chicken and cheese served on focaccia bread.
I chose the chicken. The chicken was really dry, but the orzo and bell peppers tasted really good. Desert was pretty good too. The snacks part was served many hours later.
Just minutes after “About Schmidt” ended, “Chicago” began. I had absolutely no desire to see this movie, so decided to not even watch. I found it odd to see them start it right after the first movie had ended. I would have thought that they would have spread out the movies some instead of show the only two in the first four hours of the flight, leaving the next six with just some of the little programs that Delta plays after movies on longhaul flights. During the second movie, I just read a book and looked out the window. During the movie, there was a drink service or two. One of them was probably a snack service. Those, as well as just drink services, happened periodically throughout the flight. About six hours into the flight, I got up and walked around the plane with my mom. She was pretty bored at that point, but I was still enjoying myself. It was freezing on the plane though, so I asked a flight attendant if they had any extra blankets. They didn’t, but she suddenly disappeared and came back with one. She had searched the cabin for someone who did not want theirs. The flight attendants on this flight were very nice. The main one serving our row was very kind. I liked her a lot. There was one weird one who would always yell, “Coffee or tea?” He was like a robot and sounded the exact same way every time. After stretching a little bit more, I returned to my seat. Flying over the ocean, it was mostly cloudy below with the occasional break in the clouds when I could see the water. After a while, we made landfall near St. John’s. It was very green and kind of pretty down there. Meanwhile, mini programs had begun occasionally showing on the main cabin screens. I didn’t feel like watching any of these, so just kept reading and looking out the window.
About two hours before arriving in ATL, the “snacks” portion of the above menu was served. Anything would have tasted good I was so hungry at that point. The flight continued on uneventfully, with the periodic drink services. Nearing ATL though, the plane was just not low enough to be landing shortly. We had made a small descent, but then just stayed at the same altitude. This didn’t change and by then, my mom figured something was delayed at the airport. After the plane was over the state of Georgia, it did a loop, heading north again and then returning to where it had been, descending this time. I was happy about this though because it would mean that this would be my first flight over ten hours! Wee ha! The captain brought the plane in for a smooth landing and taxied to the international terminal where we all deplaned and waited in line in customs for two hours. A disproportionately high number of Delta’s flights from Europe arrive at 3:40 p.m., making customs at that time absolutely mobbed. This flight should have arrived at 3:10 p.m., but due to a longer than normal flight, we were delayed enough to be arriving at about 3:40p.m. The captain never did explain the strange circle made in north Georgia.
Overall, both of these flights were good experiences. On the first flight, the flight attendant serving our row was really kind of rude. The plane was comfortable though and the food was fine. I enjoyed it a lot. The second flight had a MUCH nicer flight attendant serving the row I was in and the food was also fine. It was comfortable for economy class. My only real problem with both flights was that Delta starved the passengers to death. On the first flight of 8 hours and 39 minutes, dinner, a small breakfast, and a two or three pretzel packs were served. Over nearly nine hours, that is not enough food. It was worse coming home though. Although plentiful beverages were served, a lunch, a few pretzel packs, and a small snack were all that were served on a flight exceeding ten hours. I don’t mean to sound like a big complainer because the flights were still very enjoyable, I was just famished when I got off of them, especially the return flight. I noticed these catering cutbacks when comparing it to last June when I flew Delta from CDG to ATL. Passengers were fed much better then.
Delta is a fine choice for transatlantic travel, but bring your own food to supplement what you will be given.
I hope you enjoyed this rather lengthy trip report and that it was worth your time! I certainly enjoyed the flights they talk about.
Airplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2 Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 17 hours ago) and read 7768 times:
Here are the pictures from the flight over. It's kind of late though and I'm sort of sleepy, so I will post the pictures from the way home over the next few days. These are pretty low quality scans so that it will take minimal time to load. Enjoy!
The desk at our gate:
Our plane at the gate:
The central area of the international terminal at ATL:
A different angle of our plane at the gate:
The seat by the window is mine.
Takeoff from ATL, bound for FCO!
Sunset over the Atlantic:
Sunrise after a short night:
Coast of the Mediterranean over Southern France:
Eight hours, 39 minutes after takeoff fron ATL, we land in FCO:
DoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (10 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 7712 times:
Wow, you must have spent quite some time writing that monster report! It was fantastic - congratulations, I really enjoyed it. I'm glad you enjoyed the trip to Europe and back, and it was interesting to read that cabin staff kept walking through the cabin with drinks - I don't take that for granted, as there are many airlines out there whose cabin staff simply disappear after serving the meal - that's ok for people seated on the aisle, who can easily access the galley, but not everyone wants to have to keep getting up, especially if they are seated in the middle.
I don't know about Georgian airlines, it's quite possible that Milan has an air connection with Tbilisi.
I guess you're missing the good food (and drink!!) already.
p.s. I'm getting those ubiquitous red crosses, not photos. Maybe you should just post a link direct to the site, it'd be easier for you, and no hassle for me.
UN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4288 posts, RR: 4 Reply 8, posted (10 years 5 months 5 hours ago) and read 7670 times:
you mean 9:05am it's an overnight flight.
I read that TR..but I don't remember what the item was.
Tell the story, to those who haven't read.
That's not funny...but it is, an F/A like a robot.
Miscellanious Comments i collected.
Airplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (10 years 5 months 2 hours ago) and read 7624 times:
I'm glad you all have enjoyed the trip report. I'm probably going to get going on the pictures from the way home today or tomorrow. I will also put a link to the pages so that if you get the little red crosses, you can see the pictures by other means. About the story in ICT, here it goes:
One of my friends and I had both been working jobs and at 14 and 15 respectively, we had no expenses so had money coming out of our noses. We decided it would be fun to just fly somewhere for the day where we could get a cheap airfare. Wichita turned out to be the most exotic of our possible destinations, so we selected it. In his backpack, he packed a stapler, a really strong magnet, and a bonsai tree kit. The stapler and magnet were so he'd get searched, the tree kit was so the searcher would be thinking why he had that. Well, all of this got through security in ATL, but we went outside at ICT to play in the snow, so had to go through security to get back to our plane. I had tons of change in my pockets, as well as my cell phone, so set off the metal detector and got searched. Meanwhile, his stuff had been noticed in the x-ray machine, so they started to search his backpack. The lady pulled out the stapler and then the bonsai kit and by then I don't know what she was thinking. She then asked, likely just as a formality, if he had any magnets. He, as a matter of fact, did, so she had to put that through and the stapler through the metal detector again. As the magnet was passing through, there was a clang. It had stuck to the side on the inside of the x-ray machine, which was funny. They had to stick their arms in it to retrieve the magnet and then we were on our way.
Airplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7444 times:
Here's the next batch of pictures. They are of the return trip home. I went a bit nuts, but enjoy! The links to the pages are below if you get the little red x's on here and the photos will follow the order here, so just refer to the description here if you want to.
The check-in desk at MXP:
The SAA A330-200:
Some Alitalia jets:
Our Delta 763 at the same terminal:
Our plane at the gate:
The Georgian Airlines 737:
Our nextdoor neighbor, headed to BOS:
Aeroflot 734, EL AL 752, and Tunisair 737:
Just after takeoff from MXP, bound for ATL. Two minutes down, ten hours and six minutes to go!
A mountain in the Alps:
Some more mountains in the Alps:
The last land of Europe I saw (near Brest, France) behind the wing:
An Iberia A340-300 cruising near us. It's almost impossible to tell with this scan what it is, but take my word for it.
I'm sure a lot of you have seen a lot of this... OCEAN!
It's funny how when I start posting the pictures, I begin to realize the little details that I left out of the trip report. I like to remember the little things. Well, I know I overdid it with this trip report, but I enjoyed making it a lot. I like to read old trip reports because I can reflect on the flight and relive it in my mind if I want to and the more thorough the report is, the more I enjoy reading it over again. Now that I conclude the making of this trip report with the addition of these pictures, I hope you enjoyed it! I certainly enjoyed making it and most of all the taking the flights that it depicts!
Airplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2 Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7319 times:
I have a question. Over the winter, which Delta transatlantic routes will be served by which aircraft? Will ATL-FCO remain a 777? Also, sorry about the pictures not working. The website works, so look at that if you want and I will try to fix it on here later.
Tbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 5 Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7278 times:
With your love of travel, attention to detail, and written skills, you've got the talent to be a huge success as a travel writer. Besides, it's a good thing to get paid to do something you truly enjoy. Keep up the writing skills and read anything and everything you like in travel. You've got a future, kid!
777guy From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 491 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 7139 times:
Hey Airplanetire, just finished reading your trip report. Lucky you! All my European trips out of ATL involve a stop in another city to change to international. Never seem to catch good price on Delta. This was a nice written trip report and I am glad you enjoyed trip.
Airplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2 Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7112 times:
Thanks for reading it everyone! So you mean to say that you don't like connections 777guy? It's more flying to get to the same place! What's bad about that? I'm just joking. I understand. I do love connections though. My only connections going to Europe were in Europe (LGW to get to BCN, ZRH to get to ATH), but that was even better. Where have you stopped on the way to Europe? Any cool airports?
777guy From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 491 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7077 times:
"So you mean to say that you don't like connections 777guy?"
Actually I do, Airplanetire, when it is the outbound flight. You get more milage as well as a chance to visit other airports and view their operations. The part I do not like is the return flight. The connection back to ATL really gets to be a pain after west-bound across ocean. Also it would be nice to be able to check out how DL is on international.
"Where have you stopped on the way to Europe?"
Well it has been DTW , JFK , STL , EWR , CLE . I think that is all. BTW the reason for CLE was to see what the B757ER is like on service to LGW . I would never do that again nor recomend it.
Airplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2 Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7024 times:
What is customs like in other US airports? ATL is the only US airport that I remember going through customs in (MIA when I was several weeks old is the only other one, but I don't remember that.). You get off the plane and walk to the customs desks where you get in line. When you get your turn, the person stamps your passport and declaration card and you proceed to an escalator that takes you down to a baggage claim that is in customs. You get your bags and wait in a line in which you give a person your declaration card and if they feel it is necessary, they search your suitcase. After that you put your bags on a conveyor belt if ATL is your final destination or you recheck them if it is not. You then go through security and go down to an underground train or back into the international terminal if you are connecting there. Otherwise, you go to whatever terminal you are connecting in or go to the main baggage claim and claim your bags there. It's kind of weird.
777guy From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 491 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7027 times:
Well I do not remember totally but in the case of STL we were probably the only aircreft, TWA 747 from LGW, so it was fairly fast. At DTW I remember that there was a big customs area and then having to recheck bag and go through domestic security. A lot of walking as I remember. JFK was at the time really busy but I feel run smoothly. EWR is also no problem. I am sorry but my memory on those things seem a little slack.
I have heard that ATL is a real pain for arriving passengers who are ATL bound, because of having to recheck bags and take train to baggage area. How do you find this from your arrival there?
Airplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2 Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7015 times:
In ATL, you do, like I said, have to recheck your bags and then take a train to the baggage claim. The international terminal is the E terminal and before it are the T gates and the A through D gates, so it's kind of a hike distance wise, but the train comes every two minutes I think and it goes pretty fast, so it's not a big deal getting to the baggage claim. Personally, I like having to recheck the bags because that makes it one less thing that must be carried to the baggage claim. The disadvantage is that Delta ingeniously puts all of their international flights on baggage claim 4, so when you have a flight from FRA, LGW, CDG, MXP, MUC, and CUN all on one baggage claim, you can imagine that there are a lot of people and way too many bags. As for the actual customs area, I think it looks really nice, but it can take forever if you come in during the 3:30p.m.-4:00p.m. timeframe when most of Delta's flights from Europe arrive. In several experiences I have had including this one, there were not enough passport stampers and way too many people. This time it took almost two hours just to get my passport stamped. The other it was a little over an hour. I feel badly for people that have a connecting flight to make from ATL when they have flown internationally.
DeltaRules From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3666 posts, RR: 9 Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6988 times:
Airplanetire- Great report...awesome! What did you think of the 767-300 trans-Atlantic overall? I may be taking it ATL-STR next summer.
10 hours & 8 minutes, jeez!- I thought FCO-DTW was bad in 2000, which was 9hrs 32minutes.
As for customs, DTW (in the old terminal) was pretty much summed up by 777guy, only I don't remember having to re-clear security. PHL (before the new extension opened) was basically following a walkway behind glass to an escalator, which took you to the basement & made you walk a bit. I don't remember if you have to go back upstairs to get your passport stamped & baggage re-checked or not. (Must have been long though, because we missed our connection! )
Airplanetire From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1809 posts, RR: 2 Reply 21, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6998 times:
DeltaRules, I enjoyed the 763 on a transatlantic flight. One clear advantage (I'm sure you've heard this before!) is that you can't really get a bad seat on one. With a 2-3-2 layout, there is no seat with difficult access to the aisle. The plain was marginally comfortable. It was a bit tight and the seat was not one of those spiffy economy seats with headrests and lumbar support. It is pretty basic, but not bad. There are no PTVs. Personally, I think the only huge advantage to having a PTV is that you can switch to airshow at any point instead of having to wait for the movie to be over. On Delta though, this doesn't seem to matter anymore. They have done something terrible to airshow. They now have this other stuff such as trivia questions and useless information about your destination and others playing over and over again on the airshow channel with only a little bit of airshow every once in a while. It's quite annoying. Anyway, Delta is a good option for transatlantic travel. The service and comfort isn't on par with good European airlines, but the seats are fine, service fine, food okay, and they get you there just as fast. If you had the option of taking a leading European airline for the same price, I would take that, but if Delta is the best deal, don't hesitate to go with them.
Also, don't worry about the 10 hours 8 minutes flight. That was a very long return trip from Europe. The wind over the Atlantic was strong and then we had that delay over ATL. Chances are that STR-ATL would not be that long, but more like 9 hours 30 minutes or even less.