This was my trip to California this past weekend. My friend Marilynn was going to visit her sister and I had some skymiles to burn, so why not? We got the tix and off we were.
Friday, Nov. 9th
Delta Flight 1579 Boeing 767-400
Dept. 11:40 Arrv. 12:30
We left for the airport quite early (Marilynn can’t stand cutting it short—her boss is a stickler for being late for flights and it really bugs her) Anyway, it was a good thing that we did leave early because Long Term A was full and we had to cruise over to B. Lot B proved to be quite full too, and it took us forever to find parking. Then as we were running to the shuttle stop the shuttle pulled away and we were stuck waiting for the next one. Oh well…
The next shuttle finally came and it was off to the terminals. Lo and behold there was a UA 777 parked out on the tarmac which I’ve never seen before at SLC. What could this be? UA starting 777 service from DEN??? A charter flight, perhaps? Anybody know?
When we arrived at Terminal 2, we both realized we had no bills smaller than a $20 and so no skycap for us today. We headed in to join the serpentine of folks lined up at the Delta counter. Well at least the line moved at a reasonable pace. We tried to make it fun by wagering which of the 15 counter agents would help us. Pretty soon everyone around us joined the fun with the winner receiving free lunch at Wasatch Brew Pub.
As it turns out, none of us were right, and we made our way to the security checkpoint. Marilynn tried to sneak some fingernail clippers on the plane, and Bertha the security guard caught her. She would not relinquish the purse until she had bent the nail file off even though we persisted that she could simply throw the whole set away and give us back Marilynn’s purse! By the time we were done with security, we had just enough time to grab a cinnabon and watch a few planes push back from the D gates.
Our flight boarded right on time. I was impressed by the LCD screens DL installed in their terminals giving the status of each flight at the gate, including the standby passengers and seats available etc. Very helpful! We were seated in 32 F & G, a perfect place to watch the wing apparatus. Marilynn was quite impressed with the interior of the –400 and it was still really clean and smelled brand new.
We pushed back as the delta video went on about the safety features of the 767-400. We took off on 16L and made a smooth climb to 33,000 feet where we held and bumped our way to clearance for 37,000 feet. We headed south west over Zion national park and Las Vegas. Within no time we were flying over Cajon Pass and turned to line up for 25L. It was a nice, smooth descent. A few min later we were flying over those poor fools on the 405 and then touchdown.
Taxi in was a breeze as we didn’t have to wait to cross 25R. We were towed into gate 52 and headed to the rental car pickup. Los Angeles was a blast, we went to the Santa Monica Pier and rode the stupid ferris wheel and we went to Hollywood to see the new Kodak Theatre. Marilynn also yielded and let me eat at the In-N-Out on Sepulveda and Lincoln so I could watch the planes land on 24R. Much to her dismay, that was the best part of the trip for me.
Sunday, Nov 11th
Delta Flight 1540 Boeing 757-200
Dept 3:15 pm Arrv. 6:05 pm
Sunday came all too soon and we headed back to LAX for our flight home. Rental car return went unusually well (no dents or broken parts this time!) and we hopped on the shuttle back to LAX. When we drove by Terminal 1, I almost slit my wrists at the site of the check in line for WN winding out the doors and past Terminal 2. We had a quick moment of silence—not for the poor fools in line, but for what the line might be like at Terminal 5. Our prayers must have been answered because check in at DL took 10 min max, and no line at security, leaving us plenty of time to go have a look at those UA 777s at Terminal 6.
Marilynn tried to act interested as I taught in the ways of 777 enchantment. When I saw that she could bare no more, we went across to see a 744 getting ready to depart. She had now found her favorite plane, the one with the “hump”. Well those planes both left to bigger and better places so we headed back to gate 54B. There was our 757, and Marilynn judged that based on the condition of the paint, this aircraft would never make it to SLC. I had to admit that there was not much paint left on this plane to help identify it as one of Delta’s 757s in the old-old colors, but I knew the aluminum would hold up for at least 2 more hours.
We checked in at the gate, hoping to get seats together, but to no avail. As we contemplated how we could be apart for 1hr and 50min, she remembered that she had a People magazine she had bought in SLC, and I had an unread Car and Driver in my carry on. Saved!
We boarded the plane to our seats, 28E and 30B. We pushed back on time and headed for 25R. Ahhh takeoff performance in the 757 is always incredible, even if paint was flying off as we rotated and headed for the sky. The interior of this aircraft was very clean and new looking, even with the old seats on board. We quickly climbed to 10,000 ft, and it seemed even quicker to 37,000. Horizon’s Spectrum was shown and was totally entertaining. (Ha! just kidding I was just seeing if you were still paying attention to what you were reading!)
Anyway, all too quickly we commenced our bumpy descent to SLC. The capt was using all kinds of spoilers on our steep descent—we had a strong head wind on approach. Touchdown was a little bumpy, but completely routine for this type of weather I’m sure. I had to convince the lady next to me several times that 30 min was plenty of time to hit the E gates for her flight to BOI. I think she still ran over there…
Back to lovely, cold SLC I hope you enjoyed reading and I welcome any comments!