Back in February I used some miles to fly out to New Orleans to visit my girlfriend while she's out there. I used my Alaska Mileage Plan miles, and arranged the whole trip online, which was great, and easy. All I had to do, was call Delta to choose my seats from them. So, with the help of www.seatguru.com, I picked them.
I chose Delta, because they fly their ex-Song aircraft on this route, with the refurbished interiors, and new seats. Also, seeing as myself and Dylan, AKA KPDX here on airliners, are spotting fans, we decided to use the morning as a chance to spot before I caught my plane out to ATL. His dad was gracious enough to drive me up to PDX, so I could save the $8 a day on parking, and my dad was going to pick me up at PDX on my return. So, without further delay(pun intended), here is my TR for my trip!
April 7th 2007
Delta Airlines Flight 1288
Scheduled Depature: 11:47 AM
Actual Departure: 11:51 AM
Scheduled Arrival: 6:58 AM
Actual Arrival: 7:00 PM
I woke up at about 4:30 AM, but not by choice. I was excited to get to see my girlfriend again after a few months apart, and I love to fly. So, those two things didn't allow me to get back to sleep. So, I eventually rolled downstairs at about 5:00 AM to watch some TV before I showered and ate breakfast. A little after 7:00 AM KPDX and his dad showed up, and we were off after I loaded my suitcases and carry-ons in the back. I was taking an extra suitcase on this trip, so my girlfriend could send me home with her winter clothing she'd taken with her to Baltimore in January. We stopped in Woodburn at WalMart to get some film, tapes, etc. for our spotting time. And, just after 9:00 AM we arrived at PDX, just in time to see Hawaiian's first departure to HNL. After I watched it take off, I went into the airport to check in, and check my bags. I used the first class check in line, and was greeted by a very friendly DL employee, who had just gotten her easter egg. She checked me in to MSY, and with boarding passes in hand, I dropped my luggage off at the CTX machine. I then re-joined Dylan and his dad on the parking garage roof. We spotted a little, then went in to get a snack, as we were all a little hungry. We went outside so we could see the second Hawaiian departure to OGG, etc. The plan was to watch my plane land, then I was going through security to try and find someone I knew who happened to also be on my flight that day. A little after 11:00 AM, I went through security. The line was pretty short, so there wasn't much difference using the elite/first class/crew line. I got to the gate, and checked with Kenan, one of the gate agents, about the possibility of catching the earlier MSY flight I noticed online that left just after our arrival at ATL. After a little confusion, he remembered the recent schedule change, and tried to charge me for the change. Then he looked at my info, and appologized, and started to arrange it. Big props to the PDX gate and ground staff. They located my bags in the hold, pulled them off, and re-routed them for me. This would get me into MSY a little after 9:00 PM, instead of 11:00 PM.
Soon after this, boarding began for elites and first class, so I proceeded onboard. My first impressions of the plane were great. It was clean, and ready to go. I took a quick left, and went to find my seat. I hadn't been seated more than 2 minutes before Anita came by and asked if I'd like something to drink before we took off. I ordered a gin and tonic, and got it very quick. The new PTV's are great. My only disapointment, was that this newly refurbished plane, was all ready showing some wear. The leather around the PTV screen was ripping all ready. And, the nice lady next to me couldn't use her PTV for anything but games the entire flight, because something had broken off in the headphone jack all ready. She was a good sport about it, and the in flight crew did everything they could. They brought by a little flashlight for me to try and see inside, and I could see the broken off object. Also my traytable was showing obvious signs of wear. It wouldn't lie flat unless I put pressure on it.
About 20 minutes later, we were ready to go. Door L2 was closed a little late, and we were on our way. They changed runways on us last minute, and we had a 2 minute taxi out to 10L. The engines spooled up, and the rain was quickly blown away from the windows as we thundered down 10L. About mid-way down we rotated, and were off into the clouds within a few seconds. Right away the IFE was started up. This is when I discovered the PTV's are all touch screen! I was searching and searching on the ground for a remote in the seat, under the seat, in the seatback pouches in front of me...Everywhere...But couldn't find one. I went right to playing with it, and seeing the movie and TV selections offered. I was pleased to see Pursuit Of Happyness being offered under the "New Releases" section. Knowing what I'd be watching, I then went to the music section. They had Delta Radio, and CD's. CD selections were very good. You could choose from current hits, 90's, 80's, childrens, American, etc. While I was playing with that, the crew came around asking if we needed more drinks, which I of course accepted
I talked a little with my seat mate, who it turned out had a daughter that participated in Americorps like my girlfriend is. We chatted about that, and her troubles with DL getting out to Oregon to ski on Mt. Hood. She had the right idea: Put the kids in the back in coach, while she flew F. It was a little disapointing, because today we had about 5 kids under the age of 13 in first class. They were a little noisy. I just put on my headphones, and cranked up the volume. We had two dedicated first class F/A's today, with a third coming to help during meals, etc. if coach wasn't too bussy. A very nice, older Asian man came around with our hot towels. That was a very nice touch. They had soaked them in something with a lemon scent. It was very soothing, and refreshing. Not long after that, lunch service started.
Today our lunch was a Chicken Parmasian with a cheese ravioli, ceaser salad, and a roll. For desert, we had a chocolate cake. The chicken was very good. It was a little dry for my tastes, but very good. I'm not a huge ravioli fan, but it was pretty good. It complimented the chicken very well. There were also sautaied mushrooms to go with the chicken and ravioli. A nice touch. Someone on here cautioned me the roll would be like a brick, and not edible. I found it was about as hard as rolls I've gotten at some restaraunts. It wasn't perfect, and it was harder than I like, but it was good. The salad wasn't very good at all. Had had a slice of tomato, cheese, and crutons. The crutons were both stale, and soggy. That was my only true disapointment with the whole meal service. Perhaps DL should leave the crutons off, and place a box of them on board for the F/A's to put on the salad when they prep the meals? The cake was fantastic, though. VERY good. Of course throughout the entire meal, our drinks were constantly topped off.
Our trays were cleaned up as soon as we finished. I was constantly impressed with how attentive the crew was. Trays didn't sit on tray tables for more than a few seconds. It may seem to some like a small thing, but I was impressed. It allowed me to get rid of the tray table, and recline my seat back to watch the movie again. About an hour and a half left in the flight, the crew came around with the snack basket, as well as another drink service. I browsed the other IFE options, watched a little TV, and listened to some music. The AVOD that Delta is installing is just great. It really makes the flight seem shorter, and more fun. I also enjoyed the trivia game. You can compete against other passengers.
All too quickly, we started our decent into ATL. We quickly came down, and right over downtown Atlanta. We flew to the east, and turned base and final. We touched down just a few minutes late, and went straight to our gate in the B terminal. This worked out great, because my MSY flight was literally JUST accross from my gate in the same terminal.
Delta Airlines Flight 597
Scheduled Departure: 7:59 PM
Actual Departure: 8:43 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 8:16 PM
Actual Arrival: 8:54 PM
Our flight was delayed do to a crew swap. We had to wait a while for our first officer to arrive. Once he got there, we boarded, and again were offered a pre-flight drink. We actually got two offered two us. That was a nice suprise. The flight was un-eventful.
I'll post my return trip later tonight. It was quite eventful!