This is the return portion for my weekend trip to Hawaii. The NW flights were pretty overbooked out of HNL and I didn't want to take the chance of having to be forced into the cockpit but then having the captain not able to verify my employment (besides the fact I have IDs, posess FAA certificates and am in uniform) because the verification number isn't 24 hours and is closed by the time the HNL flights depart. I also wanted to milk the most time out of my days off and settled for 1 of the 4 UA flights to SFO or LAX. I had an after thought and rang up DL to find 90 seats available to SFO!! I dropped UA and chose DL as my ride home.
DL233 HNL-SFO 767-400 ship#1801 (1st one!)
sked dep: 1045pm
sked arr: 645am
flying time: 4:31
I showed up at HNL at 945pm and was literally through security, checked in at gate 20 and waiting by 955pm. I was pretty surprised, but better to be early than late. Especially when jumpseating. I was assigned 11C and was escorted on by a nonrevving agent. I guess it was beneath the working ones to escort me on. Why couldn't they have just printed me a boarding pass like NW? Ah well. Introduced myself to the FA at the door, who apparantly isn't the lead on Delta. She looked at me like I had 4 eyes and was almost in disbelief in that I introduced myself to her. I was just being polite, whatever... Went up to the front and talked to the Capt and FO and then returned to my seat. I love the monitors throughout playing Hawaiian music. This one was a video of a Kealii Reichel concert. Door closed and were soon pushing. The lead, an older gentleman was very robotic in his announcements. He spoke clearly and was quite articulate, but hello, we're not 3 year olds! (though many pax act like them at times). He was so programmed that his adlibbing sounded so corny and cheesy to the point where people were laughing at him. Quick taxi and takeoff was at 1055pm. Quicker than the normal 15 minute taxi to the reef... must be a 2 engine start thing. The movie was the Count of Monte Cristo which I had no interest in, especially if I had to listen to it through pain in the ear headphones. It's ok, the guy in 11G had his volume so loud, I could hear it fine. Snack service started and was a salad with chicken breat pieces with southwestern ranch dressing. To go along with this there were mini tortilla chips and picante sauce. About 4 grapes and the very best cookies ever (well... not really, but they're **** good!) Pepperidge Farm Milanos! I miss those on NW. I ate, consumed a can of OJ and went to sleep in the semi comfy seats with those cool winged head rest thingies. I love that plane!! I can't wait until NW gets the new long haulers next year... all in due time. I decided THE coolest thing abou this plane was the segregation feature of the PA for the FC cabin only! Being in the second row of coach I could hear faintly an announcement a few times for only the first cabin. How cool. Hey, what's up with those goofy peep hole things in the bulkhead? Has anyone ever seen these? Anyhow, went to sleep and woke up on approach into SFO. I think they might have done a water walk, but the FAs practically ran down the aisle in the dark asking for any takers, they couldn't see who wanted water or not. At some point they popped in Harry POtter, which wasn't even close to being finished when they shut the entertainment off for landing. The people accross the aisle from me kept their window shades closed, so I couldn't really see the spectacular morning views we had in a clear SFO. TOuched down nicely on 28L and were on gate 42 a bit early. Anyone know what is to come of the former international terminal? Deplaned and started my wait for the flight to MEM. Pretty decent DL flight, FA's were simply weird, food good and the plane being a new toy was the best part. THis was my second time on a 764, the other time, in Jan, was on DL as well from LAX-OGG. I wanted to venture out in to the new intl terminal but stayed confined to the DL/NW concourse for fear of a strip search at security. Not much food otherwise, a muffin and a starbucks held me over until the flight. Shoulda had a Jamba Juice though.
NW258 SFO-MEM A320-200 ship 3273!
I finally got a new NW plane! I was so excited to get on this 4 month old bird. It smelt new, looked new and the crew was excited to be on it too... it showed.
sked dep: 1005am
sked arrival: 357pm
flying time - 3:25
Checked in at gate 45 at 9am and did the paperwork formalities. Got a boarding pass with 18E (dreaded middle seat) next to my name and got on with the preboards and the other jumpseater to say hey to the crew. Very cool bunch today. I think it was the new plastic and new paint fumes they were inhaling! The captain was British/Australian on this flight. He's really from PA, but his accent for today was of our friends accross the pond, but it wasn't all that convincing as it dabbled a bit on the downunder side. Settled into 18E and then the crowd came. A 60-ish looking woman had the window and a woman of equal maturity occupied the aisle. Door closed and we pushed ontime.
The whole flight I felt that I had smoked a few ciggarettes and bathed in a bottle of cheap perfume. Oh wait, that was the smell of the lady at the window. She was hilarious! Picture it. A skinny woman in her 60s in a nice suit, covered in diamonds and gold. She had so many diamonds, when the light caught her rings just right, it created tiny spreckles of light on the cabin wall. If it were a movie I would have directed the lights to be turned down, a BeeGees song to come on and a disco ball to drop from the panel above our seats. Out come the FA's dressed in traditional 70s attire discoing the demo...or perhaps John Travolta could walk down the aisle, but we'd only see his feet, nothing else. Ok, I digress. Add to all this her ENORMOUS dyed dark brown buffont hair and her perfectly manicured nails. Then she opened her mouth to chat and out bellowed a raspy, 2, possibly 3, pack a day voice with the thickest southern/Louisiana drawl you've ever heard this side of Lake Pontchatrain. She declared her fear of flying and I assured her nothing would be wrong. The whole time she was coaxing the airbus down the runway and enouraging Sophie (that's the name of the plane) to fight with her might and get "the he** off the ground." Oh yeah, she had a mouth like a sailor too.
Lest I forget the other seatmate. Another native Louisianan, yet on the opposite side of the coin. She was short, plump and orange. Yes, from her frock, to her makeup to her hair. Orange as the holloween pumpkin. She was a scholarly type woman who spoke elloquantly (I bet she spells better than me too), described fine southern venues for consumption of gumbo, catfish and other seafood paraphanalia in her and Miss Hair's Baton Rouge. Under her vest, she wore a frilly while shirt (think Seinfelds "Puffy Shirt" episode) that she had spilled coffee on at some point in the day.
Anyway, now that the stage is set for the next 3 hours... back to the flight. Lunch was cheerfully served and it was a choice of ham or turkey sandwich (I swear, the buns keep getting smaller and smaller!) with an apple and then sunchips. My new friends and I discussed the finer points of Dr. Pepper and how the diet version really isn't so bad. Then Miss Hair told us about her having 1 kidney and how she ought not consume Dr. Pepper. She had a 7-up. Miss Hair also told us about her 3 prevous husbands who have all passed on and her poodle she and her 4th husband live with. They paid $2000 for lasik surgery and to implant permanant contacts in their dogs eyes. He's 10 and his name is Trevor. Miss Orange was reviewing a boring old book about raising kids in the White House, but broke off from her reading to insert a plump ladies giggle and a southern phrase of exclamation. Miss Orange also told us about her and her husband never having kids but are very involved in LSU Baton Rouge and their hosting, but not housing of foreign college students. I was invited for THanksgiving if I get stuck in BTR again this Thanksgiving. I managed to fall asleep and woke in the descent into MEM. We continued our discussions about flying and the fact that jets use Kerosene Jet fuel and not Diesel, as they thought. This was Miss Hairs second ever airplane ride... what could I have expected. Landed nicely in MEM on 17 and as we taxiied a lady puked her guts out into a barf bag held by her husband in the aisle. Gosh, I hope it wasn't something she ate. The lady in the green sweater never vomits at home. She was 2 rows infront and everyone peered into the aisle (think AIRPLANE and the music scene with the sick kid... "now the river of Jordan, it flows to the sea...it flows to you... it flows to me" everyone now!) Arrived early at gate B3. I was headed to the C concourse to check my mailbox so I dutifully and more than willingly escorted my two new friends to gate C4 where their BTR flight on my beloved chubby jet was departing.
Nice DL fight, nice NW flight, nice trip to Hawaii. It was a good weekend. I am not kidding about how this NW flight was. I promise like a cricket promises to chirp under the magnolia tree on a souther summern night! (oh no... I was inbetween these two lovely ladies too long!!) Honestly, it was a delight to chat with these ladies and I think they enjoyed themselves too. Miss Hair wasn't nervous and Miss Orange didn't have to finish her book! Funny thing... whenever I'm in uniform and working, or traveling there is always an impromtu game of "guess my age" inspired by my looks. Miss Orange guessed 28, Miss Hair thought I didn't even look 18. Just imagine two southern women exclaiming about how young one looks and how dashingly handsome one looks in a uniform of such command! blah blah blah... haven't heard that one before! =)
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed the report and were at least as entertained as I was!