Delta 354 CMH-ATL
Boeing 757-200 N678DL
December 23, 2001
Photo © Chris Coduto
We woke up at home at 4:30AM, which I hate, unless we're traveling. I watched VH1 to wake me up, and was pumped up by "Dig In" by Lenny Kravitz. At about 5:30, the chauffeur service, which we had heard was good from friends, picked us up, and we headed for CMH. I had my breakfast in the car- an unfinished Frosty from the day before.
We got to CMH at 6:45, checked in, ate at Mulligan's when it opened, and boarded at 8:30. It was a 757 flight, so as always, I was looking forward to it. Pushback was at 9:05, the safety video started, and we headed for 28R. I saw a NW DC-9, an AA Eagle ERJ, and several HP Express RJs (including the one with 500th Regional Jet" titles) parked at the terminal, among others. We then went into position, and the "whine" of the 757's engines started up, and a few seconds later, we took off into the clouds. A really bleak looking day, as we climbed to FL350.
We were shown some of "Delta Horizons", including CNN & an episode of Frasier- the entertainment running until we parked at the gate- another fun thing about Delta. Drink service was attempted, but stopped because of turbulence. I watched the Frasier episode, but got bored & turned to "The Mix" on the IFE. It was bumpy all the way, and after an hour, we landed on 26R at my favorite airport.
We parked at Concourse A, and headed for the main terminal. We hung out there for a while, and explored the airport, seeing the sights, walking through stores, etc. (Notice we're not in a rush for a connection?) Part because our connection (JM 58) would leave early the next day, part as a Christmas present, we would be fulfilling a dream of mine today-staying at the Renaissance at Hartsfield! We picked up our bags from baggage service (we took too long exploring), took the shuttle, and began our wonderful stay at the Renaissance.
Jumping forward in time to:
Air Jamaica 57/Delta 8857 MBJ-ATL
January 3, 2002
Photo © Mark Abbott
After our stay in Jamaica, which I enjoyed, it was time to head back to the states. We woke up at 7:00AM for our 10:45AM flight. When I woke up, the headache I had the previous night turned into a full-blown flu. We said goodbye to our friends from the UK & headed for the airport. It looked like it was going to be another beautiful day, making it that much harder to leave.
We checked in, and because we were originally slated to fly DL to Jamaica, and they pulled out, we could have gone home on a variety of days, but in the end, the 3rd was the only day open. Because of this, we were told we may not be able to take the flight. Although I was sick, this was OK with me- I wouldn't have minded taking another A310! Turns out we headed to the terminal & there was room on the MD-83.
Boarding started from Gate 4 & we were being told to take our shoes off for inspection, probably as a result of the AA 63/Richard Reid scare. We then boarded, my mom & I had seats further up and boarded through the main door, while my dad & brother had seats in the back, so they got to enter via the airstairs. We pushed back & the safety demonstration started. After a few minutes, the MD-83 roared to life, and we shot down the runway & took off, flying straight-out & turning north after a few minutes.
Climb was smooth, and breakfast service started. F/As were very friendly. Instead of the American-style breakfast from the other flight, this had fish, vegetables, and a roll. It looked nice, but me, being sick & not much of a fan of fish, picked my way through it the best I could. I listened to my CD player, gazed down at Cuba, and the waters and tried to relax. Luckily, this flight was smooth as glass, compared to the trip down.
We started in over Florida, and began our descent into ATL. This seemingly took forever. They told us to have our customs forms ready for arrival. After about 20 minutes of turns, going up & down, and preps for landing we touched down Rwy. 27L in ATL.
I then saw the array of 727s, 757s, and MD-88s on the other side of the runway, and mumbled to myself "What The Hell?" I then remembered the snowstorm that had hit the days before & "put 2 & 2 together." We taxied to Concourse E, where, at our gate (E28), there was a 727 and 2 CRJs. There were also at least 10 AirTran jets being deiced on that ramp. After about 15 minutes of sitting on the ramp, and seeing only 2 or 3 planes takeoff, we pulled into the gate & deplaned.
I was curious how they did customs at ATL, and now was able to find out. We took the escalator up, walked down the hallway, and fell into line... toward the end. We were cleared through, with a friendly "Welcome Home" from the Customs Agent, and headed for baggage claim. We got our stuff, re-checked it, and headed for the train to head for Concourse D. We made it to Gate D28, and met the throng of people headed for EWR, PWM, and CMH, on
Delta 1256 ATL-CMH
Photo © Bruce Leibowitz
As I mentioned, it was a mob scene at the gate. Flights were being delayed, so we decided to settle in. I was hungry, so we went to Burger King & took it back to the gate. We sat down, and then the man a couple seats down said "Grease!!", noticing the fries. He, my dad, and I talked for a while, and he said he was headed for PWM.
They then announced the interesting situation for our flight. We had an F/O and two F/As. The captain hadn't arrived yet, so they were going to delay the flight until he arrived. I walked around, and saw something unusual- an ATR-72 sitting at one of the gates had huge icicles on the wings! I couldn't believe it.
We waited for a long time, me doing USA Weekend "Frame Games" and sicker than before, everybody else trying to entertain themselves, until around 3:30 (we were supposed to leave at 2:15), a round of applause came about- they had called in a captain, who would be taking us to CMH.
Boarding began, and I headed for my seat. I had to put the windowshade down until we pushed back, because the sun was reflecting off of the silver part of the fuselage on the PWM MD-88, and it was literally blinding. I overheard someone behind me say "I was supposed to leave at 8:05 this morning." At least we didn't have it that bad.
Before pushback, the captain came on and said something along the lines of "This is usually the point where we welcome you aboard, but we'd also like to thank you for sticking with us- we really appreciate your patience. Thank You." We pushed back at 4:05, and headed out.
We taxied to 26R, and took off, only one plane ahead of us- ATL was a ghost town in terms of traffic! We headed for CMH on a clear day, and I flipped through SkyMall, interested in what kinds of stuff they had in there that time. After about 40 minutes, we slowed for our arrival, and as the sun set, we landed on 28R, rolled out, and headed for C2A. We deplaned into the cold of the Ohio winter, saw our gate agent friend who was working the departing flight to CVG, and headed to baggage claim. After a 10 minute wait, the chauffeur picked us up, and we headed home.
-Delta flights were, as always, enjoyable. Great service on both!
-JM flights were great- would recommend them to anyone who's headed for Jamaica.
-Absolutely loved the Renaissance!! Got over 40 minutes of plane video & spotted more than that, watched some football, hotel was wonderful- it couldn't have been better!
Thanks for reading- I know it was a bit long!