My trip wich included a short hop to Zurich, from there long haul to Atlanta... two days business there ... flight to BOS, MA and after three days there down to ATL again...
My trip started, as every of my journeys on the Vienna International Airport.
I'd normally fly Austrian Airlines, but after a few bad experiences on the VIE-ZRH route I decided to try SWISS AIR LINES. Here the important facts:
flight: Vienna Intl - Zurich Kloten Intl
airline and fl#: Swiss Air Lines as LX-1585
dep. time: 07:05am / Gate A 01
arr. time: 08:30am / Gate A 13
aircraft: Airbus A 319 / HB-IPS
fl. time: 1 hour 25 mins
seat: A 12 / economy
Well, my flight left VIE at 07:05am so I was at the airport 05:45am already, checked-in my bag on the Swiss economy counters. The agent from LX was very politely and friendly and gave me Seat A 12. I had to note that to get a window seat in the United States is more difficult than here in Europe... but later.
I checked in for flight LX-1585 and went off through the safety controls, wich were quick and effecient. Got a seat next to my gate A 01 and looked relaxed out of the terminal windows. Our Baby-bus was ready for boarding around 06:50am. I went through the gate, said a friendly hello to the f/a wich was standing on the main door and took place on seat A 12.
The flight was very good booked and i'd like the A 319's more than the small Fokker-70's from Austrian Airlines, wich are used on the VIE-ZRH rotation.
We were pushed back from our gate at 07:12am and taxiied to runway 11 wich is used for take off's in the morning hours. Our plane lined up at the taxiway behind an Austrian A 321 , a Tyrolean F-70 and a British Airways B 737-400.
Photo © Michal Buciak
The cabin personal told us the saftey rules while we lined up for 11. The morning fog was hanging over the fields in the distance and gave the countryside a mourning touch. The two powerful engines roared and with full power we glided down the runway and rotated off into a cloudy sky. I'd leaned back relaxed and waved goodbye to my hometown. I was away for two weeks. Quite long for a business journey. I was very intereste about the Delta flight to Atlanta (and in the US). I was only flying with Continental once from Central Europe to the US. So another US-Airline premier...
Many of my friends have told me about their good experiences with Delta so I'd decided to try them also.
We reached our flight level after a short climb and headed westwards. The cabin crew started to prepear the breakfasts and the drinks (for me coffee and two pieces of bread) Not too much, becouse I would get a Delta BusinessElite meal also hours later...
We flew without turbolences over the alps and started the approach on Zurich Kloten International. Whooops.... the outside is gettin' white... We went through the heavy looking clouds over Switzerland and touched down on ZRH after an uneventful flight of 1 hour and 25 mins. Local time: 08:30am.
The airport was very busy this time. I'd saw lots of Swiss heavies, a Delta Air Lines MD-11 .... N813DE ... the bird in the breathtaking new colours. This will be my baby to Atlanta. Very nice looking! An American triple seven and an American B 767-300 , El Al Airways B 767-200 and a Continental B 767-200 were the other heavies at this time.
I'd got out through the first door into terminal A ; went into the transfer area, checked-in at the Skyteam counters for my BusinessElite flight to ATL. Here the facts...
flight: Zurich Kloten Intl - Atlanta Heartsfield Intl
airline and fl#: Delta Air Lines / DL-0067
dep. time: 10:15am / Gate B 35
arr. time: 02:10pm local time / Gate E 09
aircraft: MD-11 / N813DE
fl. time: 9 hours 45 mins
seat: B 03 / BusinessElite
Photo © Art Brett
Photo © Andrew Hunt
Here I'd wasn't so lucky to get a window seat. The lady at the counter told me that the flight was absolutely full. I didn't belived this first. But after i passed the safety check and boarded the plane through the first door I'd see how fully a Business Class cabin can be. The seats looked very comfortable and next to me was a very nice lady, so what needed more?
The f/a's were very friendly, brought me a drink and the safety viedo runs...
The captain welcomed all passengers on board over the cabin speakers and told us that we had to wait for a pushback truck a little, so we were pushed back from terminal B at 10:28am. We taxiied to the main runway of the airport after a long line up queque of Swiss planes.
Our take off run began around 10:43am so good 25mins too late. The three engines runed fully and Delta heavy started to move... First very slow, than always getting faster and whoops... we were airborne. We climbed away, a quick look at Zurich's famous viewing deck and a sharp left turn followed. We climbed up into the sky, crossed the airport again and headed westwards. We were up in the sky after 15 mins and the cabin crew started to serve drinks for all passengers. In our part of the plane only two seats were empty. Not bad... After... mmh .... four hours, we were high over the Atlantic Ocean ... I think it was Flight Level 390... the cabin crew started to serve to lunch.
We got excellent wines and a good tasting italian meal with tomato salad... Excellent tasting. A very big compliment to Delta. Their service is very good.
Every seat had, of course, a PTV screen , wait... i can't write of course here. Lufthansa did not have TV screens in business...
The movie program on board was also very different. The newest cinema movies and interesting news from all over the world. A very nice choice.
Actual newspapers like New York Times , ... were also available for the passengers. The seats in Business can be done sown 160 degrees so nearly flat. Also very comfortable. After a flight time from about 5 and a half hours the lady next to me decided to change seats. She went off to an empty one in the middle row, maybe she don't like the high level of our plane... So, next to me the seat A 03 was empty and so i got a window seat for the rest of our flight. Me lucky one...
Now, high over the sea , i cannot see any clouds. Bright shining blue sky... Beautiful!
I ordered a soft drink and after another 2 hours ,4600 nautical miles away from Zurich we started to aporoach Atlanta International. We landed after a flight time of 9 hours and 38 mins in a sunny Atlanta. 14:02 local time.
We left the runway, and from the first moment i'd love this airport. Beautiful DL planes everywhere. I'd love the actual clour sheme of Delta. It looks great!
We taxiied to our Gate E 09 and I'd waved goodbye to the perfect cabin crew. I'd went out, passed the passport control and got my bag. Went out of the Terminal, got a taxi and left for Downtown Atlanta.
~~two days later~~
I'd arrived at the airport very early in the morning. At 04:30am exactly!
My flight to Boston Logan Intl was sheudled for 06:45am. I checked-in my bag at the Delta counters , wich are often here in ATL... got seat B 39 in our Boeing B 757-200 , N698DL. Passed the safety controls and got into the fully dep. area. As I told you before. It's hard to get a window seat on an US
domestic flight if you didn't reservate one. So i got seat B 39 in Y.
flight: Atlanta Heartsfield Intl - Boston Logan Intl
airline and fl#: Delta Air Lines / DL-852
dep. time: 06:45am local time
arr. time: 09:10am local time
aircraft: Boeing B 757-200 / N698DL
fl. time: 2 hours 25 mins
seat: B 39 / Economy
Photo © Miguel Snoep
Our plane was ready for boarding at 06:40am so pushback was at 06:55am. Ten mins too late is quite okay as i know for US domestic flights. (for example Norhtwest Airlines DTW-PHX two hours 50 mins) horrible!
We were pushed back and lined up in a typical departure queque, like its normally in the US.
Photo © Gregg Stansbery
We lined up at our runway, give power and moments later, we were airborne. We headed north for a east coast trip up to Boston, MA. We got a little breakfast up in the air. Tea, coffee, cornflakes. Thats it!
It was a very boring, and uneventful flight. The plane was completely full and so, 946 sea miles and many of loud passengers later i fell on my knees and thanked God that i was out of this full plane. BOS is a very nice airport. I've seen lots of American Airlines traffic. A British Airways triple 7 was the only european plane wich i'd see. I'd got a taxi and drove into the city.
I hope it was a nice read.