Okay time for a mini-mileage run with NW and a trip to see my friend out in LA...here is the report for the flight out...
Wednesday, September 21
Scheduled departure time: 12:04 PM
Actual Departure time: 11:59 AM (wheels up @12:07)
Scheduled arrival time: 1:57 PM
Actual arrival time: 1:45 PM
Departure Gate: Gate A7
Arrival Gate: Gate A74
Seat: 3D -first-
I was fortunate enough to accrue the mileage to be Silver on NW for this year, so fortunately on this long jaunt across the country I got complimentary upgrades for the first two segments, and an exit row seat on the flight from MEM-LAX, so not too bad altogether considering i was flying 'K' class, the cheapest NW fare bucket. This flight was not heavily loaded, 100% up front, but about 50% or so in back, so boarding was pretty quick. The plane and crew had come in on the morning MSP inbound. I had a pre-departure drink as the other pax boarded but rapidly they loaded up the luggage underneath (wasn't very much, maybe two carts worth) and shut the door for a early departure which is typical for NW out of BDL- unless there is a groundstop or something its rare to see them NOT depart on time- in fact, typically they will leave early enough that the wheels are up shortly after the listed departure time. Today was about that case- we taxied out, and after waiting for a NW 319 to land (from DTW) and a US 733 probably heading to PHL takeoff, we departed and flew over to DTW 1 hour, 29 minutes enroute at 38k feet. Routing took us over ROC and by BUF with a great aeriel view of Niagara Falls which the pilot was nice enough to point out to passengers. FC service was beverage and the mixed nuts, pretzel combo, but to my chagrin, as I have heard through the wire, spinzels are indeed gone, even up front. They now have other mini-pretzels that are nowhere near as good! Anyhow, off my soapbox, the FA's were awesome and kept refilling drinks and such, made for a great flight. We approached DTW via the Ambassador Bridge approach and came into one of the runways east of the new terminal before our long taxi to gate A74 on the opposite side, about 12 mins early. Flight 1219 continued onto DEN, and since I had a layover now of about 3 hours and i'm from Michigan orignally, I exited the terminal and had lunch with a buddy at Ruby Tuesday's down Eureka Road, and returned to DTW around 4 for:
Boeing 757-200 (5500 series)
Scheduled departure time: 4:58 PM
Actual Departure time: 4:58 PM (wheels up @5:20)
Scheduled arrival time: 5:55 PM
Actual arrival time: 5:54 PM
Departure Gate: Gate A6
Arrival Gate: Gate B8
Seat: 6A -first-
Checked before boarding for the status of my upgrade on the MEM flight, was informed that there were a couple of plats above me on the waitlist, so at that point I knew my chances were nil, so I asked about a window seat in an exit row and she printed me a new baording pass for that. I figured that had decent enough legroom, better than first actually. I boarded the older 757 and had a vodka and diet sierra mist before we absolutely rocketed down runway 22L behind a Pinnacle CRJ. Enroute we were 1 hour, 27 minutes at 40,000 feet. Routing took us down towards CVG, over LEX, and down to MEM. FA's were good but not as good as the BDL-DTW leg, however, she did get around to refill drinks a couple of times. Load was 100% up front, close to 90% in back. We had a really funny FA that joked with the F/C pax during the pre-boading drink service- he was asking everyone "steak or lobster....jk what can i get you to drink" When he got to my row i told him i wanted to special order the filet mignon. Before starting descent there were some huge clouds up at 40k feet, which is pretty rare I believe, to have clouds up that high. However, they really didn't produce much turbulence on the descent. We land in MEM and its littered with NW jets, but mostly CRJ's and ARJ's. The lone DC-10 on its way to AMS was at the end of the B pier at gate B-43. Later, it would depart two planes ahead of my LAX-bound flight. Our crew was DTW based on flight 293, and they turned the 757 around and headed back to the motor city after our on-time arrival into MEM.
Scheduled departure time: 6:40 PM
Actual Departure time: 7:22 PM (wheels up @7:32)
Scheduled arrival time: 8:31 PM
Actual arrival time: 9:04 PM
Departure Gate: Gate B3
Arrival Gate: Gate 25
Seat: 11F -exit row-
Flight came in (on a different aircraft no less), from TPA, and overnighted in LAX once we arrived. We boarded in prep for a reasonably on-time departure, but once on board got caught in a maintenance delay for 'backlogged items' apparently. Afterwards, we had to gas up the plane more, i guess the idling at the gate burned off enough fuel that we wouldn't have enough- seemed bizarre to me. This was the most miserable time I've had on a plane in a while because the air conditioning was inoperable and it was 93 degrees in Memphis with the boarding door open not much cooler in our plane. It didn't come on until we departed, meaning NW left us for about an hour or more in a hotbox aircraft...not good NW! Anyhow, we departed 3 hours, 27 minutes enroute, and during the flight I bought the $3 grey snack box which was decent and close to being worth $3 but maybe not considering on DL they pretty much give you the same thing free on a longer flight. They did the drink service and then came around with water about 40 minutes prior to arrival but were otherwise invisible the entire flight, which pretty much sums up the difference between coach and first in the US, better legroom, pretzels, and drink refills. Not too much more. Flight 881 was 100% full, in front and in back, so altogether I would say pretty good for NW, two of three flights were heavily loaded on a Wednesday. Our flight had a LAX based FA staff but the pilots had southern accents so I figure they must have been MEM based. One of the F/A's looked familiar to me like i'd been on a flight with her before, but i couldnt think of which one...we came into LAX on the standard approach (straight in), and after i turn on my cell my buddy calls me to tell me of the JetBlue emergency (thank goodness everyone was ok), but incidentally, i saw nothing at LAX two hours later that tipped me off before his phone call.
Anyhow, thats my story of my travels out to sunny LA (72 degrees now, very nice)....I'll post the return (LAX-MSP-DTW-BDL) once I arrive back Monday night. Hope you enjoyed it.