Posts: 1295
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2001 4:57 pm


Wed May 21, 2003 8:06 am

I had to be back home in Seattle over the weekend and it was a short notice thing. Instead of paying $1000+ to the other carriers I took advantage of Last Minute Offers that Delta and Travelocity offers online. You can book your ticket with a combination of flight + hotel or flight + car. I though having a car on my own would be good idea once I get home, so I went for the flight + car option.

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Photo © Jason Whitebird

May 15th 2003
DL337 PHL-CVG 757-200 N660DL New "Wavy Gravy" Color Scheme
Seat 45E Gate E3 Departs 5:50 pm

While I was riding the bus from long term parking to the terminal I could help but notice the US 762 N656US which looked in very bad shape. All the paint was cracking and the white color showed on the areas that the paint was peeling off..

At any rate, I arrived to the terminal and hoped that using the kiosks would let me have an access to the seats that DL wouldn't let me online as the booking class was T , as in trash  Smile There was an Air France 767 parked next to us, but I couldn't get the reg. Once the boarding started I was among the first people to board because of the row number. Once everybody settled in, it was obvious that there were more empty seats than DL would let me see. I quickly switched to 43F. It was a major improvement despite the row number. I didn't have anyone in the middle and I got the window seat. Once we started to taxi the F/As passed free headsets for the TV shows. We pushed back at 5:54 pm local 2154Z. Captain said that the flight time would be 1 hr and 15 minutes.

By the time we took off on runway 9L my watch was showing 6:30 pm local or 22:30Z. According to captain we were going to cruise at FL390 but getting there took a while. He came on the PA and said that due to the traffic in the area we were going back and forth between Washington and NY center until they were able to give us a climb.

Once we were level in the altitude , F/As did a very quick beverage service. I went for the "usual" of sparkling water and turned down the regular DL snack mix. The F/As were still serving last customers when we started to descend towards CVG. There were a lot of cumulus clouds in and around CVG and the ride was a bit bumpy due to that..

We landed on runway 18L at 7:57pm local , 23:57 Z and did a quick taxi to gate B26. The flight was continuing to LAS. I walked from one end to the terminal to the other , to gate B8 to catch my flight to SEA.

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Photo © Gregg Stansbery

May 15th 2003
DL 1493 CVG-SEA 757-200 N625DL Wavy Gravy Color Scheme
Seat 27A Gate B8

I was able to get a better seat on this flight. They were also offering F class upgrades for $100. When I wanted to purchase it I was told the T class didn't qualify. When I requested to use 10,0000 miles out of my SkyMiles I was told that I needed to be Medallion level.. What a BS. I could have done that in UA with no problem.

We taxied to runway 27 and took off with runway heading at 9:15pm local time. Right after take off I moved to row 25 and used all 3 empty seats to catch some sleep.
In this flight the movie was "Catch me if you can". I thought that would be an ironic choice to show a movie where the protagonist is posing as an airline captain  Smile
I have seen the movie, I wanted to sleep and I almost never pay the airline $5 they charge for the movie. So, I decided to lie down, enjoy the comfort of 3 seats to myself after 10 hr work day.. I know that only beverage is served on this flight , another reason to sleep  Smile

We landed on runway 16R at 10:38pm local and 5:38Z.

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Photo © James Richard Covington, Jr

May 18th 2003
DL 2068 SEA-SLC 757-200 N651DL You guessed it right, wavy gravy  Smile
Seat 42F Gate B7 Departs 1:20 pm

Pushed back at 1:26 local, 20:26Z and took off runway 16L at 1:36pm local and 20:36Z.

It was a short flight by my standards. We took off runway heading and then headed southeast after a while. Regular snack service was provided, I went for the sparkling water. This time instead of Delta Snack mix, we got cookies. They were nice..

We flew parallel to the mountains on our downwind leg for runway 34L in SLC. It was pretty gusty and flying by the mountains with all that wind made the flight a bit more uncomfortable for some people in the flight. We flew north of an airfield with 18-36 runway layouts. I couldn't find it on AirNav, so I am guessing that could be a military field.

Landed on 34L at 4:00 pm local time and arrived at gate D10

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Photo © James Richard Covington, Jr

May 18th 2003
DL 1950 SLC-PHL 737-800 N3751B Only 2 year old 737 with the new c/s
Seat 12F Gate D11

While I was waiting to board this flight I noticed that they were doing some mx check on the aircraft that we arrived in with flaps, slats extended.
As we were boarding we picked up our Skydeli packs. I always like the idea of SkyDeli, picking up your food at the gate and eat it whenever you like. Once in the aircraft I noticed that there was an elderly couple next to me , but when they saw empty seats they moved back. So I was lucky again..

Our pushed back got delayed as our lav door on the left side of the aircraft was malfunctioning. We pushed back at 5:04 local 23:04Z. Taxied to 34R.

Two things draw my attention at this point:
1. SLC looked like a ghost town at this time of day.
2. We were taxing with the right engine off. I noticed this on our arrival to PHL. I guess the crew decided to save some gas and reduce wear and tear on the right engine..

We took of on runway 34R at 5:15 local, 23:15Z. It took us 5000 feet of asphalt to get us airborne.

After take off we turned to East with spectacular views of the mountains. Captain made an announcement that we would be cruising at FL290 for a while until the East of Rockies where we would climb to FL370 due to some thunderstorm activity. The movie was Recruiting. Once again, I saw it already (previous week on my United flight and for free) and I didn't want to pay $5.

So, I opened my SkyDeli and had lunch/dinner ala Delta Style. Nothing fancy but it did the trick for me : Turkey sub, Cheryl & Co spice cookie, Dasani water and Cape Cod potato chips. East of Denver we started to get some bumps due to CB accumulation in the area. Instead of sleeping I opted to do some work this time and until our landing in PHL I got ready for Monday's work..

We landed on runway 9R at 10:50 local, 2:50 Z with a bounce.  Smile Once again the starboard engine was shut down for taxi. We deplaned at gate E7.

Overall :
There isn't too much of a difference between the service , or lack of , in the US airlines these days. However, some nuances such as Econ Plus, free headsets, nice upgrade opportunities and more than anything else Ch.9 make the difference for me to fly United more than any other carrier. However, when the price difference is more than , say $50, I go for whoever provides the cheapest travel.

From the way I see the service, DL, US and NW are the same to me. I prefer United for the reasons mentioned. I could easily fly AA for their more room in the coach thing, but last time I flew them was in the summer of 1997. I just hope that UAL can make it though bankruptcy.
Earthbound misfit I
Posts: 10261
Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 12:22 pm


Wed May 21, 2003 10:25 am

The reg of the AF 763 is F-GHGI, and its the only 763 left in AF's fleet...used strictly to and from PHL...

Chief college football stadium self-pic guru
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am


Mon May 26, 2003 10:35 pm

Nice report I actually remember when DL was one of the best at inflight service. DL, NW and US are on par when it comes to any kind of customer service.
You can cut the irony with a knife

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