I was flying out to COS on Easter Sunday, in the afternoon. After attending morning church services, I ran home, grabbed my bags and hopped on the uptown 6 to the 4 to 125th and transfered to the M60 bus. Everything came within about 10 minutes, and I was at LGA exactly 45 minutes after I had departed. The terminal was quite crowded, especially for Easter Sunday afternoon, mainly with a band flying on NWA, in NYC for some band competition. I had already checked-in using DL.com so I had my boarding pass, but I still needed a bag tag. I used the Delta self service kiosk for this, but the big drawback to this is that you have to stand in line behind everyone else who used the kiosk to actually get the tag.
Delta Flight 1273
Scheduled Departure: 3:00PM
Actual Departure: 3:15PM
Departure Gate: 2
Scheduled Arrival: 5:34PM
Actually Arrival: 5:35PM
Arrival Gate: B25
Photo © Joe Statz
Got to gate 2 to find the 767-300 in the new Delta Colors. Originally I had seat 43F, but luckily because of someone I know at Delta got this changed to 10A, a bulkhead window. The flight was probably 85% full, as there were some scattered middle seats empty. We were scheduled for a push at 3:00PM, but because we were carrying cargo to ATL, we didn't push until 3:15PM. The push out of Gate 2 was really weird in that anyone who knows the DL terminal at LGA knows that there is not much room between the DL and US terminal, and there is practically no room behind the DL terminal, as that is where the taxi parking is. So they pushed up back, then with the nose facing the taxi terminal, they pushed us all the way back out to the taxiway. The engines spooled up quietly near the end of our push, and within minutes we were on our way out to RWY13. After waiting about 15 minutes behind a few AA M80's, US A319 shuttles (one to BOS the other to DCA) and some US Express DC-8's, we were number one for takeoff. The takeoff was pretty long, as LGA's runways are pretty short, and directly after takeoff, we proceeded to climb via the Whitestone Climb (Right to HDG 180 until DME 2.5 and then left to 040). This takeoff pattern allowed me to get a great view of the infamous "dock" as well as LGA from about 8,000'. We then flew directly over Midtown Manhattan, where I actually saw my building from about 12,000' and all of lower Manhattan as well as Midtown. We then flew just north of EWR and turned left to head down to Atlanta.
And interesting flight note, about 20 minutes after takeoff, I saw a contrail off of the left side of the aircraft also climbing to cruise. It was a SWA 737 in the "blue" paint scheme, the same type of aircraft my friend was flying from ISP to BNA, which departed ISP at 3:00PM leading me to believe that we actually crossed paths in the air. The aircraft eventually "crossed" our jetway probably about 4,000' above us.
Approach into ATL was routing, and shortly before 5:30 we touched down on RWY 8L. After a quick taxi into Gate B25, past an ATA L1011 on the opposite end of the D gates, I was in ATL with an hour and a half to kill before my flight to COS.
I took the "people" mover over to the C gates, which are really grim, IMHO. Then I took the train back to the B-gates where I ate and waited for my flight to COS.
Delta Flight 653
Scheduled Departure: 7:00PM
Actual Departure: 7:02PM
Depature Gate: B26
Scheduled Arrival: 8:30PM
Actual Arrival: 8:48PM
Arrival Gate: 4
Photo © Kevin E. Cook
Boarding was quick an easy on this DL 738, which was about 70% full. On this flight the bulkheads were not available, so I was "stuck" with 11A, but I knew with an empty seat next to me. Anyway, by 6:55PM the 6 bulkhead seats had no one sitting in them, so I quickly moved up to grab 10A. Some guy asked if he could sit in 10C, and of course I didn't mind at all. The airshow map came on, and showed our routing and all. Then, we pushed back, behind a DL 732 in the mainline colors, and out to RWY 8R. We were fourth for takeoff behind a UA 737, DL 732 and DL 733. Weather conditions at ATL weren't too ideal, broken clouds, with a base of like 3,000' and a ceiling of like 22,000' feet. It was pretty bumpy all the way up to 26,000' our initial cruise. Even at 26,000', it was still a bit choppy. The Airshow map showed our departure route, pretty much a series of left turns to join our jetway. Shortly after, Delta Horizons came on, which I didn't care to see at all, so I just read a copy of VIBE that I bought in the airport. The sunset outside of the plane was a spectacular sight to see, but the flight seemed eternally long. For a 3 hour and 30 minute flight, you would figure they would give you some kind of meal, but all we got was Delta Trail Mix, and at the end of the flight a complementary "eclipse" fresh strips thing. The Airshow came back on about 10 minutes out of COS. Kind of weird seeing your altitude of 10,000' and seeing how close to the ground you are, knowing that you are about 5 minutes from touchdown at about an altitude of 7,000'. Touchdown was smooth, and taxi to the gate went pretty quickly.
COS compared to LGA, JFK, EWR and ATL is a really crummy airport. They don't have the plasma screens, nor do they have the nice DL departure boards. We were about 20 minutes late landing, and when we arrived the airport was virtually shut down. One nice thing about COS is that it is small, so everything went pretty quickly.
Anyway, that was the LGA-COS part.... Stay tuned for COS-DFW-ATL-LGA...