15 Feb 2001
I got to the airport a little bit early but most of that time was eaten up by finding a parking spot and walking in to the terminal from the back fence of the North Economy lot. I could park in the park and ride lot and take the shuttle, but I kind of like walking in and watching the airplanes taking off overhead. A whole bunch of MD-80s and 757s screamed by with a sprinkling of CRJs and a 767. All Delta/ASA, of course.
Getting checked and my bag checked was no problem, and my flight was leaving out of the A concourse, so I walked. If you only have to go one concourse, I always find that walking is quicker unless you happen to stumble on a train already at the station. At the gate, they were wheeling in the SkyDeli refrigerated carts.
After grabbing the SkyDeli bag and heading down the jetway, I settled into my seat, 25G. This was an exit/bulkhead seat by the galley - hooray for Delta's online seat maps and selection! The woman seated next to me dug into he SkyDeli bag as soon as she sat down and had most of it finished before we pushed back, but I decided to wait until we were airborne. Lokoing out the window, there was the usual row of MD-80s and one 727 visible from my side of the airplane. We were scheduled for a 1:30 pushback and were moving just a few minutes after that. After only 12 minutes of taxi by my watch, we turned onto runway 26L and departed to the west for Dallas.
The weather in Atlanta was overcast, so the view out of the window quickly becoame one of cloud tops. I got a drink and inspected the SkyDeli bag: sandwich, chips, apple and some shortbread cookies. It was actually pretty good.
The movie "Almost Famous" started playing, but there must have been a problem ith the projection unit in the forward coach section because the flight attendents came to the galley and started fiddling with the controls. I'm not sure what happened, but the movie stopped for about 30 minutes, then they got it running again.
The movie continued to play as we descended into rainy Dallas, encountering some slight chop. Apparently, it had been raining in Dallas for a few days straight and everything was soaked. We landed on runway 35R and then had to wait to cross runways to get to the terminal. The movie kept playing during the taxi, until it was replaced with the usualy boarding music and video right before we pulled into the gate. Someday, I am going to have to see the end of that movie.
18 Feb 2001
I saw a lot of different Delta types on the ground at DFW, including a 737-200 in mainline colors. I thought that all these aircraft were at Delta Express, but I was wrong.
The flight was 100% full but managed to push back only 10 minutes behind schedule. On this 757, I had seat 26F which is a window seat on the exit row. One thing I dislike about Delta's seating on the 757 is that they have both exit rows in the section reserved for Medallion members, so Joe Public deosn't get first shot at them. They don't do this on other aircraft types. I guess it is due to the positioning of the exit rows on the 757. I benefit, but it strikes me as a bit unfair.
Anyway, we taxied for about 10 minutes again. We cut in front of an American 777 and took off to the south on 17R. This was another SkyDeli flight, with the same food except for Ruffles chips instead of Sun Chips. The inflight entertainment was the standard CNN / PGA plus an episode of Drew Carey. One happy note: the FAs were very friendly and upbeat despite the absolutely packed plane. The lady sitting next to me asked for the can of her juice and got it with a big smile. Well done!
This day was crystal clear the entire way and the ride was silky smooth. The landing was a real grease job on 27L and we caught a break and didn't have to wait to cross the departure runway, shaving a considerable hunk of time off the taxi to the terminal. We arrived at the gate on time at right around 2:25 pm.
Overall, I have to give Delta 8/10 for this trip. Obviously, I would have preferred a less crowded plane, but I am sure Delta disagress with that! Also, the SkyDeli meals, though edible, are not exactly the height of class, if you know what I mean. Still those are just minor quibbles.