DL 2009 MD88 (old colors) DCA-CVG Flight 90% full
I arrived at National early so I decided to walk around a little bit before my flight. I walked down the long connecting hallway that connects the new terminals with the old terminal. It was quite a treat to see some of the old architecture of National especially the waiting area with the huge windows that look out at the airfield. There was a huge lineup of old pictures showing the growth of National from 1940 to the present. Sitting in that waiting area, I tried to imagine what it was like to travel from National back during the era of DC3's, Connies and the 707. After that, I headed back to the Delta terminal, which is also quite nice but lacking the historic value obviously, and boarded my flight through gate 19. As we taxiied out to runway 1, I watched a brand new DL Shuttle 737-800 (2000 colors) land. The flight from DCA to CVG was only 1 hour and ten minutes and it went by incredibly fast. The flight attendants were friendly and the MD88 has a pretty decent amount of legroom. My only disappointment with this flight was the pilots. They never once during the whole flight came on the PA to talk to the passengers. We approached CVG and flew right over the Ohio River and we pulled into gate B22.
I had about a two hour layover in CVG so I decided to walk around a bit. The airport was rather quiet (it was a saturday) except for the Comair terminal which was bustling. I walked over to the A Concourse where there wasn't a single flight for the next 5 hours. I couldn't believe an entire Concourse was completely empty in the middle of the day. Overall though, CVG is an extremely nice airport with wide concourses and good stores as well. Delta certainly has lots of room to grow in CVG.
DL 715 737-200 (1997 colors) CVG-ATL Flight 98% full
We departed out of gate B10 on a very full flight. This plane had been completely refurbished and with a relatively new paint job no one would suspect how old this plane really was. This flight was only 1 hour long but seemed to last a lot longer because of a screaming baby two seats ahead of me. This kid screamed from take-off until touchdown in ATL. The FA's were really good on this flights though. They did everything possible to try to quiet the child plus to keep all the other passengers comfortable. One FA spent much of the flight singing as she served drinks and our little bags of snack mix. Other than the screaming kid, my only other complaint was legroom. The 737-200 has no legroom in comparison with the MD88. I'm 6'1" and my knees were right up against the seat in front of me. We arrived in ATL from the east on the Southernmost of ATL's four runways. We then taxied to gate B26.
In comparison with CVG, ATL was much busier but then again when isn't ATL busy. I really like traveling through ATL even though it can involve quite a bit of walking. ATL's design is very efficient except for the fact that Concourses A, B and D are too narrow for the number of people that pass through them.
DL 517 MD88 (old colors) ATL-PNS Flight 60% full
This flight left out of gate B8 so I didn't have to walk to far from B26. We taxied out and were number 7 for takeoff. While waiting for takeoff, I looked over at the International terminal which was starting to get active since it was about 4pm. I saw a Lufthansa A340 taxiing in, plus an Air France 777 and a British Airways 777. Also saw an Aeromexico MD80 along with all the DL international planes. The flight to Pensacola only takes about forty five minutes so I knew the service would be quick. We had DL's fastbreak service which meant we only had three beverage choices: lemonade, cranapple juice or bottled water plus the usual bag of snack mix. Since it wasn't cloudy and we only reached a cruising altitude of 28,000 ft I could see quite a bit of the landscape below. We passed over Columbus, GA, then Dothan, AL and finally made our approach coming over Milton, FL. As we came over the University of West Florida, the pilot made his final turn to line the plane up with runway 17. Our landing was very smooth and we taxiied in to gate A2.
My overall evaluation of this flight is very good. All flights were on time or only a few minutes late, my luggage arrived at PNS at the same time I did, the FA's were all friendly and did their jobs well, the MD88's were comfortable, quiet and had a good amount of legroom.
My only complaints are relatively minor. First, pilots failed to communicate with passengers on DCA-CVG flight, 737-200 legroom is poor and lastly DL seems to wait too long to start boarding its planes. On every flight, we didn't board until about 15-20 minutes before we were scheduled to pushback. This meant that FA's had to really hurry people to get on the plane and get seated quickly. Amazingly, on two of the three flights we were still on time with our departure. However, on the CVG-ATL flight we departed about ten minutes late because DL waited so long to start boarding a flight which was very full.
My overall grade: A-