Jan 1st 2002 DL98 SEA-JFK B767-300ER Ship # 187 N187DN Gate B3
After the new years celebration at my flight school buddies and some friends from work attending two parties at one night was the right thing to do. I didn't catch any sleep and I left to pick up my luggage from home at 5 am. The cab driver arrived at 6:05 to
take me to my 8:05 am departure.
The airport was not as deserted as I would imagine to be. I guess a lot of people took advantage of flying in very first thing in the morning that day. The ticket counter was open and there was almost no line at the security check. At that point I was exposed to
what we can refer as "Reid effect". The "take off your shoes, let me scan bottom of your feet" stuff. I am so glad that this moron didn't hide the c-4 in his underwear..
During check in I requested a window seat and I ended up stuck with a middle seat on row 26. Yuck!! So I walked up to the gate agent and asked him if he could do something. He said that I 'd have to wait till 7:45 am or so and suggested that I should check back with him
at that time.. Fair enough..
Interesting thing is this aircraft was arriving from PDX. After I landed in JFK I realized that this specific aircraft makes PDX-SEA-JFK-SEA-PDX run daily. As far as I remember DL used to have a 757 in this route.
It was 7:45 and almost everyone was in the plane. Before I made my move to the counter I was called by the agent. He said "here's your window seat sir" . I was shocked to see that the seat was 11G. Business Elite?? Wow!!! I guess I never said "happy new year" to anyone
like him this year )
Having traveled in First Class on United several times on 2001 I can assure that getting a Business Elite seat on a domestic run could be explained with only one word "Awesome"
We pushed back at 8:12 am and taxied to 16L. During our taxi I noticed that one of the Express.Net A300s was in there. I have seen the 707 they had in PHX in year 2000. That looks better than this A300. FedEx had an MD-11 sitting on the ramp. That was a different
site compare to DC10s and A300-600s they bring in.
We used enough runway to get us airborne at the 6000 feet remaining marker. Right after leveling off I chose omelets menu for breakfast. The omelets was served with sausage and grilled potatoes. They also served a fruit plate next to the omelets. Mellon, honeydew,
two strawberries and a slice of pineapple was all that I can remember. We had the choice of bagel, croissant or French bread, I went for the croissant. All this was served with pre and post breakfast drinks of choice. I went for an OJ to start and coffee during the
breakfast and tomato juice after breakfast.
The business Elite seat is the greatest thing since the sliced bread. I have to confess that I played around with a for a while and even caught some Zs over the great plains. I also checked out the game features of the entertainment system. The "airshow" thing
which Delta calls "Delta compass". During the flight of almost 5 hrs, I was extremely comfortable.. All this for only $620 r/t? I'd say the year started pretty well for me )
Sometime around Chicago I realized that Virginia Tech was playing at Gator Bawl against FSU and I asked the f/a to ask the crew do the favor and check the scores with ATC. She was surprised about my request. I told her that I noticed that kind of a conversation
"on the frequency" before so she went along with the request fine.
We landed on JFK with a flight overhead of downtown NYC. Ground Zero was on my side and as we turned in that area the site was incredible saddening. We came up pretty high on that part and joined the arrival route from the south that took us from Sea Isle VOR to the left base for runway 31L.
Interesting thing on the ramp was an Aer Lingus 737. Either I was day dreaming after too much wine the night before , or it was in for some reason..
We deplaned through gate 25 and I had to hassle up a bit for my connection to IST at gate 14.
Jan 1st 2002 DL72 JFK-IST B767-300ER Ship # 198 N198DN Gate 14
Coming off from a Business Elite seat made such a spoiled passenger that I decided to ask for an upgrade on this flight also. I guess Delta employs some "local" people for the destinations that they serve. At the boarding area all the ladies were speaking Turkish
and they were all not interested in serving people on the line. While they talked about their friends, what they did for New Year's , latest make up stuff, the line got longer and longer at the counter. After one CSR started to take the boarding passes I asked her
if she could do me a favor and work on an upgrade as the gentleman in SEA did for me.
Her response was "I wonder why he upgraded you, may be the economy was full.. Let me see oh you came in Business Elite..." At this point I knew she was not going to upgrade me so I opted for seat 22A which still was not too bad.
We did not push back until 5:50 pm because, get this , a woman was missing her husband.
After push back, we got to the hold short point for rwy 31L and we did the regular, take off, left turn, and fly a climbing downwind departure. We lifted off at 9000 feet
remaining marker on 31L.
After passing Boston area pretzels and drinks were served. After another hour or so the flight attendants came over for dinner. The choice was either beef or chicken, I decided to go for the beef and a bottle of red wine from Ivan Thomas Vinery. Next to dinner a salad with Italian dressing, Rushlage bread, Tillamook Munster
Cheese, Land-o-Lakes spread and Wheatsworth cracker were served. To top it off Sara Lee black forest cake was the desert du jour ..
About an hour outside of Istanbul breakfast was served. It included a banana, very oily croissant, cream cheese, grape jelly and Quaker Fruit and Oatmeal Bar all served
with bottomless coffee/tea and Minute Maid Orange Juice.
- Service was OK. PDX based crew on the SEA-JFK leg was much better than the JFK-IST crew. I was woken up from my sleep to be asked "coffee or tea , sir?" when it was so obvious that I was sleeping.
- For some reason the Turkish F/As didn't do much work during the flight except a lot of giggling, etc.
- Delta's crew on JFK-IST flight looked waay much older than the SEA-JFK crew. I 'd say close to retirement age.
- The in-flight video system was a joke on the economy. The movie they showed was something
that was listed for a Pacific flight. The ear pieces that DL uses in Economy are the old big ones. I really missed the personal video screens on UAL 777s. They may not work 100% of the time but they are great when they work.
- The trays, food holders and everything that Delta used to serve food was cheap plastic that looked and felt like was done to save cost. It didn't feel like we were served "real meal" but gave the sensation that we were fed some boxed pre processed, pre-cooked meal.. United and Lufthansa's "solid plastics" are much better.
- If I would fly JFK-IST again I'd chose Turkish if the fare is same. But I will stick to my United-Lufthansa combination even that gives me one more connection.
SEA : Seattle, Washington
JFK : JFK, New York
IST : Istanbul, Turkey