We arrived at Wichita Mid-Continent around 5 in the morning. The Delta Connection check-in counter had lots of people waiting, there was a flight to Dallas/Ft.Worth, Atlanta, and my flight to Cincinnati all leaving soon. My flight is the last of the three for the morning departing at 0620. I took my place in line. The line was moving slowly. There was an AirTran ticket counter next to us and it was full as well, the people were lined up to the other side of the (narrow) terminal. The wait took forever. Finally, I was called up and did the routine check-in. The wait must have been like 45 minutes since I remember only having less than 20 minutes before departure. Fortunately, there was an announcement that the flight would wait for passengers coming from the slow check in. I was the lucky person who would get the thorough search! I had to take my shoes off and have my carry-on opened and searched and had to have my shoes ran through the x-ray belt. The person looking through the bag was really slow opening and looking at every single thing inside it. After 10 minutes(At least there was no line at security), I made a dash for Gate 11. The flight was boarding and I went to the gate - no jetway. I made my way down a staircase and out a covered walkway to the ramp where a Canadair Regional Jet waited in the interim colors. It was cool outside as the sun was rising, a smell of jet fuel was in the air along with the sounds of the ramp with the APU running. I got up the CRJ's stairs in its door and took a seat.
Delta Connection/Comair Flight 5490
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport to Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Int'l
Scheduled departure: 0615, Arrival: 0909(On Time)
Photo © William Jenkins
All photos in this TR are NOT of the real aircraft since I didn’t get the registration numbers
Someone was in my seat but it was just a mistake, they were supposed to be a row ahead. No problem. I took my seat and put my bag in the overhead bin. The CRJ was in the interim/'97 colors and the interior seemed to be in fine shape. The CRJ's leather seats are nice. I did notice a few small rips in the back of the seats. I was among the last to get on and doors closed shortly. We pushed back and made our taxi to runway 19 right I think. We gained speed down the runway and rotated. We left the ground and made a turn soon. We were flying northeast from the airport which is in the southwest part of town. The runway took us south. We made a turn which gave me a good view of the DeBruce grain elevator where disaster struck a few years ago when it exploded. I believe it is the world's largest grain elevator. It was huge! Also, we passed over a large amount of smokestacks, I think Dynegy owns them. Not a pretty part of town at all. We were also taken past downtown where I saw a blue Century II and the tall buildings downtown. Also we flew over Col. James Jabara Airport where many private planes fly into. We passed over El Dorado Lake and then I took a break from looking out the window. Beverage service started after we were given a choice for a snack between cheese and cracker sandwiches, pretzels, or something else, I didn't really look at it. The first two, I knew, were name brand stuff you can get in the stores so that was good. I took the cheese and cracker stuff. It was good, not too bad for an airline snack. Much better than nuts. I listened to some music with my CD player and noise-canceling headphones. After a while, I started watching out of the window. The flight would be over soon. The flight was only and hour and twenty minutes. We started a descent soon, I noticed it was hilly around the area, we flew over the Ohio River and then made a landing at the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
We stopped at the C concourse and walked off the plane with the aircraft’s door with its steps on them. I looked at the plane and I noticed that Comair puts a “United We Stand” sticker next to the door. Many other RJs on the ramp had them as well. I also noticed Comair has a sharp new logo. We walked on the ramp into the covered walkway that lead into the building. I went inside and I noticed it was pretty nice in there. I heard a lot of complaints about this concourse. I think a lot of remodeling is being done to the terminal so maybe it’s now different. I walked down the long pier(I was at the end of it) until I walked past this area with construction going on and after passing that, I found the center of the concourse. The concourse is in an “X” shape, by the way. There were a lot of stores and some fast food places around. I liked it here, it was nice. There was a flight info display board in the middle of the concourse I checked, my flight to Dayton will leave the A concourse in about 2 ½ hours so I wasn’t really in a rush. I liked the terminal so I wasn’t going to rush out and take the shuttle to concourse A anytime soon. I spent my time walking around and looking at shops. I noticed that all the Concourse C passengers wait in the middle of the terminal until their flight is called. After that, they walk down the pier and out the gate to their plane. The terminal was one story and it was on the ground level. I still had plenty of time, but I decided to head to my concourse just to see if it’s better. Instead of taking the bus to concourse A, I took a bus to concourse B. I planned to look around there and then take the tram to Concourse A. After a quick bus ride through the ramp which gave us a good view of all the Comair aircraft, we went down a ramp which put us under the terminal where we got off. I found myself next to the Customs area. This is the international concourse. I went up an escalator which took me to the middle of the terminal. It was very nice here! I found a lot of restaurants here as well as a few shops. There were plenty of large windows that gave you a great view of the ramp. The terminal also had moving walkways which makes it easy to get around. This terminal was very clean, too. I decided to go back downstairs and take a tram to Concourse A. The tram ride was quick. It just left the station and a few seconds later, it stopped. I walked upstairs and got up to Concourse A. There was a statue of a flying pig(“The Spirit of Pigcinnati”) as I passed through. This terminal was very drab and boring. My flight wouldn’t leave for an hour and at its gate, another flight was getting ready to leave, another Do328. They looked like neat planes. The terminal is boring! There were only a few shops and places to eat. The floor tiles were chipped and worn. It’s so quiet here. I didn’t want to spend that long in there so I went back to B and later C where I just sat down and read a paper for a while. I then took the bus to concourse A about 30 minutes before the flight and I got to the gate. 5 minutes later, boarding began. Good timing.
Delta Connection/Atlantic Coast Airlines Flight 6217
Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Int’l to Dayton James M. Cox Int’l
Scheduled Departure-1140, Arrival-1222(On Time)
Photo © Kenneth Turley
I boarded by going down the jetway which took me to a covered flight of stairs which took me down to the ramp. The walkway was still covered until I got near the plane. The Do328 was a good looking plane. I got on via the door stairs and was welcomed by the lone FA. I noticed the door was open to the cockpit and I took a quick look at it. The flight deck looked very nice and modern. The layout, 2 by 1 was nice, but unfortunately I booked my flights too late and all the A seats were taken. I would’ve liked to sit myself since I was flying alone. Oh well, it’s only a 30 minute flight. The FA made an announcement, he talked with a strange accent and I couldn’t really understand a thing he said. He then pushed a button which played a recorded safety message as the FA followed along with demonstrations. A Delta hangar was across the runway from our gate and a 777 was parked there. What an amazing looking plane it was, I can’t wait to get on one of them. We began a taxi to the runway where we took off. We got a good view because of the plane’s low stance and big windows. We rotated and the plane took off like a rocket! We had a steep takeoff. The flying time for today was only 15 minutes. We already started to encounter a bit of turbulence as the service began. The service consisted of the FA walking through the cabin offering bottled water. I took one of the small bottles. It was warm but the water was pretty good. It was getting very rough now as we went through a bunch of clouds. The small jet was thrown around. Soon, we made a turn and made a descent. We got a good view of the farms and crops below. We made a good landing and went to the Comair gate at DAY where we got off and went to the terminal.
Dayton James M. Cox International Airport
We got off into the terminal at ground level. The layout is similar to Wichita with a terminal and two piers that connect and meet at the terminal in one area making it easy to find someone. The pier starts out at ground level and then you go up to the 2nd level where you fly out on mainline aircraft. I made a long walk down the pier to the terminal. It wasn’t too bad, it was very clean and there were many LCD Info boards throughout. I walked to the main terminal where my bag was quickly out onto the carousel. After that, I headed for the parking lot and left.
Dayton James M. Cox International Airport
After a nice trip to Ohio, I went to the terminal to check in. Anticipating a long and slow line like at Wichita, there was an agent waiting at the desk and only one person at the desk who was leaving. Check in was smooth. I had two hours here and there wouldn’t be much to do, so I decided to go back outside and I decided to drive around town. An hour later, I returned to see the Delta counter full of people checking in. Good thing I checked in early. I noticed the terminal, which was nice for a smaller airport. The ceiling in the middle let in a lot of natural light and was high. It was clean in there, too. It wasn’t bad at all for a smaller airport. I went through security and once again, I was the lucky one who got the search. This time it was very quick, only a minute to search my bag and shoes. A few restaurants were here next to the security in the piers including a Cinnabon and Sbarro. I also went to the gift shop and got a phone card. I made a walk to the Delta gate, walking past the Comair gate I arrived in. I went up an escalator and found the Delta gate. A Northwest gate was adjacent. I had my breakfast which consisted of a small bag of pretzels and a $1.50 can of orange juice from the vending machine. Maybe I should’ve tried the Cinnabon. Boarding began soon. First class was first, then Medallion members, then coach boarding began with the back rows first with a group of about 10 rows called at a time.
Delta Air Lines Flight 1229
Dayton James M. Cox Int’l to Hartsfield Atlanta Int’l
Scheduled Departure-1200, Arrival-1327(On time arrival)
Photo © Leigh Miller
I got on board through the jetway and onto the plane. I noticed this one is in the new scheme. The new scheme has really grown on me, I like it now. I took my seat at 17E, on the right side of the plane. There really is a lot of legroom on this plane. Very comfortable. The plane seemed like it was in fair shape, except the windows were dirty. Everything else was great. It seemed like we were on the ground for quiet a while. I think we had a slow departure. I checked my watch and we left at about 20 minutes late. We were no.1 for takeoff. We quickly taxied to the runway and we quickly left. I noticed an OAI DC-10 as we took off in the cargo ramp. This flight should be quick at 1hr, 20mins. We had snacks and beverages once again. We got the “real” stuff, Snyder’s of Hannover pretzels. The snacks on Delta tend to be consumer goods now you can get in the store. I had a coke to go with it. I just looked out the window the whole time pretty much. I saw CVG and I think Knoxville, TN out of the window. It was over pretty quickly. We made a descent and many houses started to appear below us. The flight deck announced that we will be using an auto-braking system that will make us stop quickly after landing so we can taxi to the gate on time. I got a great view of downtown Atlanta as we turned over it before landing. We did have a very abrupt landing as we stopped quickly. The FAs who were very nice during this trip, welcomed us to Atlanta as we deplaned.
Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport
I made a dash for the tram since I didn’t have much time for the layover. I also wanted to get something to eat. I got onto the tram and got off at Concourse C after getting on at Concourse A. Our flight would leave C28 today. I got off at Concourse C, which is AirTran’s and ASA’s councourse. ASA flights would board by taking stairs down to the ramp and boarding after going through the covered path. Fortunately, there was an adjacent Wendy’s, but it was full. There appeared to be some Korean tour group or something, there was a group of Korean children at the Wendy’s. It would probably take fovever, so I checked to see if there was anything better in the concourse. I didn’t find anything, so I went back to the Wendy’s which was packed. The line took forever and by the time I got my food, it was 10 minutes before departure. I quickly ate the chicken sandwich and fries in like 5 minutes. I had to eat fast! Right when I walked to the gate, boarding started. I took the stairs down and went onto the ramp.
Delta Connection/Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 4738
Scheduled Departure-1420, Arrival-1530(On Time)
Photo © John Davies
I went up the starts built into the door and I noticed this CRJ was in the new scheme as well. Looked really clean, too. The interior looked like it was in good shape as well. The seat looks different with headrests that were attached onto the seat with Velcro. I noticed that when I tried to fold them as I thought they were adjustable headrests. My only gripes with the CRJ is the low ceilings above the seats, I always hit my head on the overhead bins when I got in or out of my seat. Also, the windows are a little low which could bother taller people although it wasn’t much of a problem for me. I took my seat in 4D. It also did seem a bit long before we left on this flight too. I think we left like 10-20 minutes late, but we arrived again. It appears that Delta pads their schedules as well as Northwest. This trend honestly does not bother me at all since all that matters to me is if they get me to my destination on time or earlier. Anyway, we started a taxi and took off. As we took off, I noticed we were shadowed by a 757 from a parallel runway which we turned away from soon. Once again, another uneventful flight. For the beverage service, I chose ginger ale which came with the Goldfish crackers given to everyone. Once again, the snacks are really consumer goods which doesn’t really matter, but it’s interesting. I wonder what happened to the snack mix I got when I last flew on them in November. I thought that was delicious. I looked out the window as we passed over the Mississippi River and as we flew over Little Rock(I think). The land became hilly and beautiful as we flew over the Ozarks and after that, it became flat and barren. We’re getting close. We began a descent as trash was collected. Soon, I saw downtown Wichita and the factories and oil refineries next to downtown north of it. We flew over the Lowe’s and then landed. We taxied into Gate 11 and did the routine deplaning of the CRJ through the covered walkway into the pier and up the stairs.
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport
After getting up the flight of stairs, I found myself in Delta’s gate, Gate 11, at the end of the west concourse. Delta’s gate area was still in the old-old colors with “DELTA” in the big blue letters. The seats were kinda old looking. The lighting looked cool in the gate area, too. The United gate looked shabby with a few steel cabinets and funky seats. AirTran’s gate looked like it was in good condition but they opened up the gate when they started flying here in May. The ceiling was awfully low and the terminal was drab with the brick walls and the thin, tall windows in near the end of the concourses. It was clean, though. There were some adverts on the wall, but without them, it would pretty much be the blue carpet with the brick walls and the low ceiling. I went out of the concourses into the 1 exit from them into the terminal which is good for meeting people. I went through and waited for my bags to show up on the carousel. The carousel was moving with a few bags on it. It continued to move around with the same few bags for 15-20 minutes until the bags started to finally show up. I had to put up with spending the whole time with that irritating noise of that baggage claim which bothered me when I flew in from Japan, it makes a screeching noise, kinda like fingernails on the chalkboard. Also, without being told, an adjacent baggage claim was started with some people heading that way, I guess our bags were also sent there. I finally got my bag and headed out for the car.
Delta/Delta Connection: 10/10
+The 8 segments I’ve flown with them from all my trips with them arrived at the destination on time
+Horizons service and some IFE offered on newer aircraft on even some shorter flights(TPA-ATL, MCI-ATL are examples)
+The crews tend to be friendly
=In my opinion, I think they have the best fleet in the USA if not the world(but that’s just my opinion)
-Check-ins with them tend to be slow unless you arrive at the airport too early
Another enjoyable experience on Delta, they tend to be consistent, which is good
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport:4/10
+clean(except for the bathroom)
+easy to meet people waiting for you/your waiting for
-narrow terminal can be crammed full of people when a flight is checking in
-slow baggage claim
Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport: 9/10
+terminals are very nice, except for A
+plenty of stores and restaurants(except for A)
+easy to get between the terminals
-No CRJ jetways in concourse C
It was an all around great airport except for the A concourse. I notice MSP and DTW had CRJ jetways, I wonder why they haven’t done that in concourse C
Dayton James M. Cox International Airport:9/10
+easy to meet people
+nice terminal area
A nearly perfect small airport good for O&D passengers
Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport:9/10
+great layout for a large airport
+easy to connect
+plenty of places to eat and stores
+in good condition for an airport among the world’s largest and busiest
-kinda drab, no glass ceilings and just box-shaped concourses
Overall, it was a great trip and great flying experience. Delta is beginning to get a good reputation with me. I would definitely fly them again sometime, perhaps to Florida in spring break.
Any questions or comments are more than welcome!