I have a NW worldperks account, and I was looking into a milage run on a Skyteam airline. I knew that fares from OKC-DFW were relatively low due to the WN competition, so I set out on NWA.com and DL.com to see if they even offered OKC-DFW service. NW did not offer it, and I was unable to find any allowed iteneraries on DL.com for a same day flight.
I then tried approaching the booking using a little trick I learned about finding strange itineraries. I went to AA.com and selected the ¡§search all carriers¡¨ option when I looked for a flight. To my delight, DL was matching AA¡¦s fare, and allowing a same day itinerary. I paid $129 total for my flights.
I booked the DL flight, which was scheduled for OKC-ATL-DFW-ATL-OKC with 80 mins in ATL, 2 hours in DFW, and 90 mins in ATL again. This same day itinerary was booked on Wednesday, Jul 6th. Since I booked with AA, this itinerary would require a paper ticket, which would be sent to me free of charge using regular first class mail. Since I booked this six weeks in advance, this was no problem.
I received my paper tickets, printed on AA card stock, about a week later in the mail.
OKC CHECK AT Macedonian Airlines (Greece)">IN WED. JUL 6TH
I stayed with a family member the night before, and left for the airport about 8:10 am, arriving at OKC at 8:30. After parking, I entered the terminal about 8:40.
DL and WN were recently moved to the new concourse, and the last of the old concourses was recently demolished. WN was moved to their permanent new gates, and DL was given some temporary gates near the CO and NW gates. The new OKC airport is a very impressive, world class facility. For pictures and information, visit www.flyokc.com .
There were no lines at the DL counter, so I walked directly up to an agent. He commented on my interesting itinerary, and said that there were two seats left on the flight to ATL, and two seats left on the ATL-DFW leg. Luckily, I was able to get a window seat in each case. The ticket agent was very friendly.
I went to the central security checkpoint, and was directed down a hallway to a secondary checkpoint after informing the TSA agent that I was flying DL. When I arrived at the checkpoint, there were no other passengers there. I got through very quickly, the whole time being the only passenger at the checkpoint.
Again, I was very impressed with the new OKC airport. The variety of shops and restaurants rival those of much larger, hub airports. Also, the amount of glass and natural sunlight was staggering. I again invite anyone to visit www.flyokc.com to check it out for themselves.
FIRST FLIGHT OKC-ATL
Flight # 1566
Load Factor: 100%
After arriving from ATL, our MD-88 had a very quick turnaround, probably no more than 30 mins. Boarding was orderly, and the usual plea from both the gate and the flight attendants about carry on luggage was repeated over and over. I don¡¦t understand why people carry such large bags onto the plane. Of course, by the time about 80% of the plane had filled up, there was little or no room left in the overhead bins. I only had my backpack with me, so I put it in the seat in front of me.
My seat was on the three seat side, right in front of the mid-cabin lav. There was my window seat, a middle seat, and then a special seat for the flight attendant. There were three flight attendants on our flight. The lead FA looked to be in her 50¡¦s at least, and the other two looked as if they were almost that old.
I got to sample DL¡¦s new relatively nice snack selection. I had a choice of Animal Crackers, Sun chips, Cheese&Crackers, Granola Bar, or peanuts. I chose the Animal Crackers. Beverage service was standard fare. The in-flight service in this flight was efficient and reasonably friendly, although one of the FA¡¦s was a little curt.
We arrived at ATL about ten minutes early, and pulled right up to our gate after a lengthy taxi.
The ATL airport was packed to the gills. Every gate I passed had all seats filled and people sitting on the floor. Also, every gate seemed to have the computerized announcements saying that first class is full and a list on the screen showing which standby passengers would and would not make the flight. From everything I saw, DLwas having a very good day as far as loads were concerned. I was really hoping that my flight would be overbooked.
I arrived at the gate for my flight to DFW after only having to go over one terminal. I checked the flight monitor, and it showed 14 people standing-by for the flight. However, the gate agent informed me that the flight was not overbooked, and they wouldn¡¦t be looking for volunteers. I then walked a few gates down to get some lunch. I decided on a place called ¡§Checkers¡¨ because it had the shortest line of all the establishments in the food court. I paid $5.50 for a hamburger, fries, and coke. There were no open tables, so I stood near a window to eat my food. I instantly got indigestion ƒº. I then walked over to my gate and we began boarding shortly.
SECOND FLIGHT ATL-DFW
Flight # 1500
Load Factor: 100%
My window seat was about halfway down the plane, right in front of the Exit row, so I had limited recline. The same problems with carry-on luggage occurred on this flight also. After finding a place for everyone¡¦s luggage, we took off on time. I absolutely love the take-off on the 757. Even though this flight was packed full, we absolutely shot off the runway.
The service on this flight was very similar to the first, except these FA¡¦s were a little more friendly all around, but not younger. The snack selection was the same on this flight, and I chose the peanuts since I was still full from lunch. I put them in my bag to save for later.
We arrived at DFW about ten minutes early. I walked into the now ghost-like terminal E. Little did I know what awaited me here¡K¡K¡K¡K
CONNECTION AT DFW
I was really excited to try the new SKYLINK train at DFW, but I had to do a little business first. I really wanted to try SLC or CVG as a connecting hub on the way back, so I approached a gate agent. I was informed that the outbound CVG flight and the SLC-OKC flight were both booked solid. I was going to have to go home through ATL again. This didn¡¦t bother me too much since I was going to get my first flight on an MD-90 going to ATL. I turned in my paper tickets for the last two legs and got my boarding passes.
Then it was time for the skylink!!
I rode the train around twice, and it takes about 10 mins to go all the way around. It stopped twice in every terminal, and zoomed around at about 35 mph. The train cars were clean, cool, bright, and comfortable. There is an outer train, and an outer train, that go in opposite directions. According to the literature I read, there are 44 train cars zooming around at all times.
I took the outer train. The train car zooms right in front of every single gate, offering an unparralelled overhead view of every gated aircraft in the airport, including amazing views of all runways and taxiways. I really wish I had brought a camera.
The day they started operating the skylink, DFW went from one of the most difficult connecting airports to one of the easiest connecting airports instantly.
I saw a gated AA 777, and I got a great view of a BA 777 taking off. I saw an Air Canada Jazz CRJ, two Mexacana jets, both a UA and US express E170 (that I¡¦ll be flying next week ƒº, oh so many polished AAluminum jets, among several others. I also saw a Mesa Beech1900, used for flying EAS routes to cities in Arkansas, taxi and take off.
After about thirty minutes in the train, I stopped at a lounge near the DL gates and had a nice Shiner Bock.
After a few more trips around the SKYLINK, I approached my gate about an hour before my 5:45 departure. My flight had been pushed back an hour !!!
I approached the gate agent, to ask about my chances of making my 80 min connection at ATL. I was informed that the delay was due to Tropical Storm Cindy which had decided to park itself over ATL. She then announced that our flight was being pushed back another 20 mins, and that ATC gave us a 40% chance of taking off during that window. We were tentatively boarded on the plane, with no promises.
We taxied out to the waiting area next to our runway and we held position. We were informed that we missed our window, and we were going to hold there until further advice from ATC. The FA¡¦s came around with free headphones and water, and a movie was played. After about an hour waiting, the captain informed us that ATL was at full shut-down indefinitely due to winds of 30 knots, driving rain, zero visibility, etc. We were sent back to the gate and told that there was know way to know when or if we would take off for ATL tonight.
The line of people became very long behind the gate counter, with two agents handling re-bookings for the whole flight. I had no intention to wait in that line for God knows how long. I immediately called my Aunt and had her look up my ATL-OKC flight status. It was going out about an hour late, and was currently boarding ƒ¼.
I had no intention of spending the night in ATL, and getting there god knows when, so I instantly called DL¡¦s 800 number. After about 15 mins on hold, I was able to be rebooked on a flight through SLC the next day. I lauged at all the fools waiting in line (which had moved very little at this point). I went out of security and used a direct dial phone to call the Fairfield Inn. They did not have a stranded travelers rate. I then called La Quinta which had a nice stranded travelers rate of $39 and was instructed to wait out on the curb for the shuttle, which would be there for me in about 5 mins. They were true to their word, and the shuttle showed up very quickly.
I want to personally thank La Quinta for great service, a great room, and a great rate.
After sleeping, I took the 7:30 shuttle to DFW to catch my 8:43 flight to SLC.
This trip report is getting very long¡K¡K Check back later for the last two legs !!