This is the second half of my little adventure to ATH, which has me flying Delta on our flight back to the United States. Like I said before my boarding passes have been lost but I did make and educated guess at my seat assignments and aircraft that I was on. I will also make a few comparisons with my Italian trip in 2001 pre 911 where I took Delta to and from Rome. I hope you enjoy!
3 July 2004
ATH - JFK
N1605 - I know that this is the aircraft I flew on
Depart - 12:10pm - On time
Arrive - 3:50pm - On time
Well I had a wonderful time in Greece, it is a great country with wonderful people and the islands had so much to offer. So now it is time for me to save up again to be able to go back to Europe for the third time. If any of you have the opportunity to visit the Greek islands, do it, you will not be disappointed. But now on to what you all have been waiting for, the flights!
We arrived at the brand new Athens airport after about an hour drive from our downtown hotel in our bus, with the guide telling how awesome it was that Greece was in the Finals of the Euro Cup (only to have them win it) and how Athens would be ready for the Olympics this August. Once at the airport we all made our way to the Delta check in counter where I kind of got in one line while the rest of my group went down to a shorter line only to have them wait much longer to get checked in. So I made my way through passport control and went and found something to eat. Near the middle of the concourse I found a snack shop where I had a ham and cheese pressed sandwich and a hot chocolate. I then made my way to my gat where you had to go through security where we were then put in a "holding cell" waiting for our flight to depart.
I along with the others in our group did not yet have a seat assignment so once they came we waited around to get our seating assignments. Finally they were giving them out and I was stuck in in 40E while one of our group members were given a seat in row 15 which was the crew rest area and was a business class seat, but got economy class service. Weird. As I made my way to the aircraft and I boarded it, it seemed that the aircraft was a little "tired" and could use a refresh even though the aircraft. I also noticed that the coach class now extended in front of the group of lavatories and towards the back where the old crew rest area used to be they put more coach class seats and you could still the buttons where the hung up the curtain.
Upon arriving at my seat I noticed that Delta has still has decided to offer menus to their coach passengers, while they are a little cheaper then what they gave in 2001, but still a nice touch. I think, though, that in the current financial situation that these menus could be the first thing to go. Passengers just give them a passing look with no other consideration and I do not feel they are absolutely necessary in the current situation the airline is in. I then sat down in my seat and found it fairly comfortable, but my legs were a little pressed for room. Soon everyone had boarded the aircraft and we were ready to go. We pushed back and the safety video and I recited my favorite line from memory, lets see if I still have it. "White lights lead to red lights and exit signs, which lead to exits." any who....... before long we were off and I noticed that Delta now had a moving map product where they did not in 2001 and I found it to be far better then LH's moving map. Once we reached cruising altitude the first drink service was provided. I had an apple juice and then fell asleep for awhile only to wake up and then watch about the last 80% of Starsky and Hutch. During the movie lunch was served and were offering either chicken or pasta, and the people right before me got the last chicken, but no matter, I wanted the pasta anyway. The meal was ok, salad was fresh, the bun was good (I love DL's baked goods, especially their crasonts), and the pasta was interesting, but good, just slightly overdone. The desert was a chocolate cake and was very good. Soon after drinks came by again and then everything was taken away. Soon coffee and tea were offered and I gladly partook in some.
I then tried to get some sleep, but found it tough with my knees killing me, but I did manage about a 2 hour nap. Every so often the flight attendants would come around with water. The flight attendants did a good job but the In-flight Leader was a bitter older woman who was very caddy and very unpleasant and did not crack a smile even once. I was not pleased with her service and I have no idea how the others could work with her.
The rest of the flight went was pretty much uneventful, watched some of Delta Horizons, talked with my seatmates and had the pre arrival snack of a sandwich and chocolate and I ca not remember what else. Soon the arrival video of JFK was shown and looked a little outdated, but then again Delta's JFK terminal is a little outdated. Upon arrival we made our way down to what seemed like a dungeon to customs with the escalator not working and the dreary atmosphere it didn't seem like we would get out of there alive. Customs was easy with lots of younger agents and we then made our way to wait for our luggage.
While waiting for our luggage there were 3 gentlemen in front of us that were in Business Elite and from the sounds of it they were not impressed with the service. It seems that Delta's business product, once the envy of every airline has taken a back seat to newer products. But the luggage soon arrived and we went through customs, dropped off our luggage and went through security... again. DL's JFK terminal sure has changed since 911 and one can tell that this airport was not built to accommodate the security needs that we have in our world. Because of these needs, a once spacious terminal has really been cut in half with the new plexy glass windows and those large bomb-sniffing devices. This could especially be seen when we made our way to terminal two at gate 27 where the boarding area was cut in half due to these new “barriers” and thus created a very cramped space for people trying to get by and those waiting for the flight to CVG.
All of us in our group did not have boarding passes yet for our next two flights, but we got them here in JFK. After I received my seat assignment, me and a friend went back to terminal 3 to get some snacks and then came back and bordered our flight for CVG
July 3, 2004
JFK - CVG
N120DL - I think, but not for sure
Depart - 5:37 - about 20 min late
Arrive - 8:00 - about on time
I made my way on the aircraft and found this one to be very clean and in good shape compared to my last two 767 flights (JFK-ATH I was just on and BOS-ATL in March). I made my way to the back and sat down in the C seat of row 37 or 38, not for sure on the exact row. I stowed my back pack and sat down only to find the leg room was very spacious I had about 3 inches until my knees would hit the seat in front of me. Once everyone was on board, we pushed back, the safety video was shown (white lights lead to red lights... well you get the idea) and we were about number 5 for take off with a Czech A310, AA 767 and a couple of DL aircraft ahead of us. The take off was very powerful and before long we were in the air. Service on this flight was minimal. I had water and refused the pretzels and then was out cold. Only to wake up about 20 min outside of CVG. The landing was smooth and we made our way to gate B4. I really like connecting in CVG but I have only had problems with this airport, mostly on flights going out, weather it be delays or diversions, it has not been a good airport for me.
We then made our way to the C concourse, only to find that our flight to MSP was delayed. So I looked around the terminal and waited and waited. Our flight was delayed for a long while due to a mechanical problem and they eventually gave us the airplane that was to go to Louisville. We later found out that they were thinking of not doing the flight that evening, but gave us the airplane that was going to go to Louisville and so the people going to Louisville were not going to go to Louisville that night.
July 3, 2004
Not for sue on times, so lets just say I made it....eventually.
I got aboard this flight via the stairs from the muggy Kentucky air. You could tell that this was a flight no one wanted to bid for. Our combined age of the whole flight crew was about 12, but they did a great job and got us to our destination safely. There wasn't much to talk about on this flight either. Just after our jungle jet departure and a little talking to a Comair pilot that was sitting next to me, I was fast asleep only to wake on final into MSP. Getting off the airplane on this fight took forever because they were getting the pink-tagged luggage out of the cargo bin. I love departing aircraft via stairs and right next larger jets and you just feel so small even next to a 737-200. But that was to pass quickly because it was raining out and before long I was in a deserted terminal in MSP. We went down, got our luggage and was off a fun trip now over.
Delta has a good product, but like many have said they need to give their interiors a face-lift and except for one cranky flight attendant all of the crews were very friendly and did a wonderful job. I did not see a whole lot of difference between LH's product and DL's product overseas except maybe LH crews had just a little bit more fun and were more pleasant, but they were also much younger, which helped. But I would not discourage myself from flying DL internationally again, or LH. So over all both did a great job in my book, but then again, I am easy to please.