Nov. 9, 2000
Photo © Marc Sauthier
Getting to the airport wasn't a big deal, I usually arrive early so I have plenty of time to check in and sneak a peek at the traffic on the tarmac. Storms were brewing along the east coast and the airport was packed with stranded travelers. Not a good sign, however my flight still read "on time". Departure was to be at 5:55pm. If you have ever been to RDU you should know there is a lack of seating space and gates for that matter in Terminal A. So when there is delays, forget it. The flight to Clevland that is set to leave at 4:15 was still at the gate empty at 5:30 and my flight had just landed. So a little shuffle was in order and my flight was set to board at 5:57pm. Obviously we were going to be a few minutes late. Boarding was fast and I grabed seat 08F. We backed out at 6:13pm. Not bad considering the airport looked like a relief shelter. As you might expect a 737-200 going to MCO was totally packed to its limits, but we still took off at a good clip. Flight attendents waited way too long in my opion to start the drink service. We were near Jacksonville before the cart made its appearance. Nothing special here, a cup of soda and a bag of mix nuts. This 737 sure showed it's age inside and out, but got me there just fine. We touched down in Orlando 20 minutes late. It was not a bad flight, but a sold out crammed 30 year old 737 is by far nothing to write home about.
Now for the good part. So here I am driving back to Orlando, pretty excited to try out the MD-11. I arrive at the gate all that awaits is a empty gate streched up high. I sit and day dream waiting for a plane to land on the runway I over look when I hear the hum of engines. I glance over to my gate and this is the exact plane I see pulling in.
Photo © Saul Loeb
Nov 13, 2000
YES! Now I am pumped. Actually to the point that I run and buy a disposable camera to snap some shots for myself. I am about ready to board my first 777, and I have a window seat (45A)! As I walk in I am naturally eyeing everything. I like what I see. Totally impressive. So I head to my seat and yup 45A is the emergency exit with no window. I played dumb because the numbers didn't match up well with the seats and so I sat in 46A by accident . Now I am stressing that I am going to get booted to my windowless seat. But nobody said anything and people sat where my seat was in excitement that they had no seat in front of them. Cool, take it I thought. Once the big foot started to back away from the gate I was able to revert my attention back to the plane. As you can see from the picture my windows were the first two behind the third exit door. so I had a great view of the massive wing. Man does that thing sit up high! Take off was amazing and we shot up like a rocket even though the plane was sold out. The windows were cool because they kind of curved out. I'm 6'1" and I didn't have to cramp down to look out at all. The personal video screens worked perfectly and were awesome. The seats were extreamy comfortable. How come Delta doens't put those seats in all their planes? I like the head rest. As we approached ATL we hit some bad weather. The 777 went threw the turbulance like a knife threw melted butter. The captain came on and said there would be a slight delay because traffic is begining to back up at ATL so we might have to circle for a while. I was thinking, Hey forget ATL, lets go to Paris or something. Eventually the ride was over and we touched down smoothly. I was kinda sad the flight was over so soon. We parked in terminal E which left me with no view to take one last picture of the second 777 to Delta's fleet N861DA. Oh well, maybe next time. Great flight and great plane. Oh by the way we landed 1 minute late. Perfect considering the weather conditions and the airport.
Sorry this is so long, but we are headed to the final leg of my journey. Once I was in ATL I was able to get a good view of the brand new paint scheme. Yes it is bare bones, but in person I liked it much better. The tail is looks great when there is multiple planes in the scheme at the same terminal. Anyway off to terminal B to catch my 757 to Raleigh.
Photo © Michael F. McLaughlin
I was just thinking about the new scheme when bang my 757 rolls up the gate wearing it. COOL, it must be my day. The plane looks clean and new on the outside but on the inside, nothing new here. Maybe it was because I just got off a state of the art 777, but the 757 just looked old and dirty inside. I think its that yellow tint in the lighting system that makes the plane look dirty. Off we go to Raleigh, and yes once again the flight was sold out. Once airborn we were shaking and bumping nearly all the way. I was seated in 40F and the drink service made it to me but was canceled a few rows in front of me because of the turbulance. It was kind of fun trying to drink and not spilling all over yourself. We landed from the north and as we flaired over the runway I could tell it was going to be a rough one. The ground came up way to fast and we hit hard. Hard enough to startle a few passengers. We arrived ontime and taxied to the gate quickly. It was a fun couple of flights and the 777 made my day. I will love to try the Airbus now so I can compaire, but next time I fly over the Atlantic it will be one of the two. No more 767's that far for me. And thats coming from someone that till today put the 767 at the top of his list. I still hope one day Delta puts the 767 between RDU and ATL, those 757's are just so packed out all the time. A widebody at peak times would help out so much and would not feel so chlostophobic if its over sold.
Anyway, thanks for reading!