Recently I took Delta to Seattle for a Cruise vacation in Alaska. Here's the story...
N389DL (manufactured 2000)
Arrived at the airport at about 12:30 for the 2:20 departure. Headed right to the Medallion/First Class check-in and as usual got our boarding passes quickly and easily. I was really glad to see that because of the engine checks going on with 757s, we got an equipment change! The new plane was a 737-800, which was great because I wanted to see how the plane was since Delta is buying so many of them. The plane was painted in the new livery...looked great. Departure from the gate was on time and we took a short taxi to the only runway at RSW. We passed a DLX 732 that literally looked like hell...the tail and the fuselage were all in the old Delta Livery except for the new Delta Express lettering at the front. The top of the plane was almost black from wear and they obviously slapped the DLX lettering on there and put it in the DLX fleet from the regular DAL fleet. At least DLX clears those things out of the mainline fleet
The plane looked like a joke compared to our plane and the jetBlue A320 behind us. Anyways...the DLX plane taxiied out behind us for take off. Storm clouds were moving in overhead...but we got out before they could really effect us. We didn't use much of the runway to rotate and had an uneventful climb out. If anyone read my post in the proper first class apparel/ettiquet topic...you'll get a good laugh out of this. I was sat next to a Business man in his 20s who seemed flustered that he had to sit next to a teenager. I was wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt and he looked at me asked if I was allowed to wear shorts in First Class. I could tell that he just did this to show me that he didn't approve, and I told him that there was no real dress code any more and I have flown first class many times with shorts. Anyways...the 738 didn't fly very nicely...nothing compared to a 757. There were TVs in bulkhead that had connecting gate info and GPS. I didn't notice any difference in room like some people have stated...and coach had the new seats. The plane was VERY quiet, like a 763. We had a bumpy climb and a bumpy descent into ATL...I've found this very common of 737s. Landing was uneventful. When we were taxiing to the gate we passed L1011 ship 738...that thing looked like hell too. The fuselage was all beaten up with paint chipping and the white part was black from wear. I really hope that they buff or clean this plane before its last flight...I know this won't happen but it would be great to see an L1011 with the new livery. Anyways we arrived on time and stayed in the Crown Room for a little while. I decided to walk around ATL for a little while and get some pics with my digital camera...got to see the soaring spirit...tons of other Delta planes...and a BA 777. Ate dinner at Fridays and headed to the gate for our flight to Seattle.
July 18, 2001
N175DZ(manufactured 1999) Landor Scheme
Boarding started just a few minutes after we arrived at the gate...I boarded and took my window seat 2F. I noticed that the interior was not the trademark pinstripe walls but pastel walls that looked like Dixie cups :p Anyone know why it would have this interior? Sat next to a nice lady who knew the FAs and was based out of Zurich with Delta. Had the nicest FA I have ever had on this flight, always a huge smile on her face...really nice. Taxiing out we saw all of the 757s at the Delta Maintenance hanger with their engines out for checking. Very short and powerful take off roll...great climb out. The 763 flies just like the MD-11 only quieter. Shrimp with coctail sauce was served for the appetizer. Had steak with a baked potato, green beans, bread, and salad for dinner. Steak was barely edible (SP?)...bread was hard...green beans dried out and gross...but the salad and baked potato were alright. Had a Sundae after Dinner. Watched the movie Heartbreakers (projection screens suck...could barely see Jennifer Love Hewitt's perfect body
) and Frasier afterwards. Very quiet and smooth flight. Approach to Seattle was really beautiful...Mount Ranier stuck out above the clouds. The cloud cover was at about 8000 ft and the sun was bright when we were over them...but when we descended smoothly through the clouds below them was a great sunset with purple clouds. I could literally hear the "oohs and aahs" from the pax as we went from the bright serene view to the much darker sunset view. Flew right over downtown Seattle and had a nice landing at SEA after coasting over the runway for a little longer than usual. Right as we left the active runway I got to see an Aeroflot 777 take off right away. Great looking plane...looked bigger than usual. Seattle airport had kind of a wierd set up...but it was alright...
While in Alaska I saw alot of...Alaska Airlines. Also saw tons of seaplanes. I saw some crazy landings by Alaska Airlines...especially in Junaeu....I don't know if it was the pilot or the terrain.
I got to see the Boeing plant on the way back...although the tours only happen Monday Through Friday and I was there on a Saturday. Got to see the old air force one and the UsAir 732 with a First Class Theater inside.
July 29, 2001
SEA-ATL (Didn't catch reg.#)
Flight was delayed for about 30 minutes in SEA for reasons unknown to me...so I got a little time in the Crown Room. Got to see a BA 747 depart as well as many NW DC-10s. Relatively smooth Take off and climb out... climbed really high. "The Tailor of Panama" was shown on this flight and it was so boring that I couldn't seem to follow it...so I brought out my joystick, laptop, and Bose Noise Reducing Headphones. I played FS2000 on the Laptop with the headphones blocking out all of the noise from the real plane and playing the noise from the game. It was cool playing FS2000 while really flying...quite a few people watched. Lunch was a Hamburger which wasn't bad and a Sundae with your choice of caramel, chocolate, peanuts, or everything combined. Some rough storms moved through ATL just before we got there and the airport had been closed for awhile...so it was a miracle when we landed almost on time. Approach was really bumpy with rain...I think I was the only one not nervous in the FC cabin...everyone else looked nervous. Landing was a little rough but relatively routine...taxiied to the gate uneventfully.
July 29, 2001
DL Flight 1243
Flight was originally delayed 20 minutes due to huge back up at ATL because of weather. I sat in the crown room for awhile and then headed to the gate as we were going to try to get one of my dad's friends to get on our flight standby. When we got to the gate we noticed the new Delta T.V. screens mounted at and around the gate areas. These screens were very helpful, as they showed a weather radar, when the first boarding was scheduled, when the take off was scheduled, the upgrade list and the standby list. There were 17 people on standby for the full flight so we figured that my dad's friend wouldn't get on anyways. The funny thing was that my dad's friend left from Charlotte on Delta and circled the ATL airport so long that they ran out of fuel and had to be diverted to Columbia, SC for refueling. He was also on the recent Delta 763 that lost an engine cover and had to execute an emergency landing. Needless to say he didn't make it. Anyways, the flight ended up being delayed further because the crew was late (probably because their plane was late). Our full flight finally took off at around 9:50, an hour and 20 minutes late. We had a smooth climb out and a smooth flight back to RSW for the most part. Watched Spin City on the projector screen which actually worked better than the projector screen on the new 763. I was surprised how nicely the cabin was kept up...I wouldn't have known I was on a 762 instead of a 763 if it weren't for the different seat config and my knowledge of what kind of plane I would be taking. Anyways...at about 5000 ft or so there was a sound like the landing gear coming down...only it lasted for the entire remainder of the flight. I remembered the cargo door that opened on that United DC-10 and sucked 8? First Class pax out...and the report of it by one of the surviving pax. This seemed just like the report...so I was a little worried...but of course...we landed safely and uneventfully. One of the FAs on the flight was the mother of one of my friends at my school and wife of a retired Delta Pilot. It was funny seeing her again, as I saw her on another vacation as well. Another nice Delta Flight.
Once again I had 4 nice flights with Delta First...all nice planes. My next trip report will be DLX TPA-CMH and back. How have your Delta Experiences been? Please post any comments or questions that you have