1 hr 17 min and 8 seconds
Photo © Stephen Tornblom/Flying Images Worldwide
On Thursday morning, I packed up and left the hotel for the airport. I dropped the rental car off at the rental lot, and then took a shuttle bus to the airport. I used my SkyMiles card to check in at the e-ticketing kiosk. Check in over and done with, I went to the gate to wait to board the plane. I saw my Boeing 767-432/ER coming into the gate soon after and I noticed a guy in the jumpseat behind the captain. He had on a plain shirt with stripes, definitely not a pilot. I waited while the crew walked out of the aircraft and into the airside. I couldn't tell if the guy was an off duty pilot or airline worker.
I waited to board the plane. I boarded and asked the F/A if I could get into the cockpit. I talked to the F/O about today's flight, and asked him if I could take the captain's seat for the view out of the cockpit. He gave consent and I took the seat. It was cool looking at the cockpit's instruments and panels. Then, I went out of the cockpit, back to my seat 37A, my favorite seat. We pushed back on time, taxied to Runway 9L. We had a smooth takeoff and climbed out, turning left towards Orlando.
Once the seat belts signs went off, I took my laptop and started the GPS program. I had difficulty picking up signals from the satellite for about 20 minutes until I got some reception. It really drove me crazy. It was partly cloudy all the way to ATL. Soon, we began descent to ATL, and lined up to runway 27L. We made a fast and smooth landing. I then looked around and found there were no planes landing behind us. Looking at the windsock, it was opposite my plane's landing direction. We landed on tailwind! Whoa!
A few minutes later, all of a sudden all planes took off and landed on eastbound. I think our plane was the last to make a landing on westbound. It's cool. We taxied into gate A8, and I walked out with plenty of time to spare for my connection to Midway. I went to Chili's yet again, and had a very delicious cheesecake.
1 hr 24 min and 7 seconds
Photo © Yevgeny Pashnin
I went to back gate B-31, and waited for my next plane. I could hardly see the aircraft's registration, as the windows gave a limited view. Oh well. I'll ask pilot later about our registration. A lady asked me the time, and I told her it was 2.45pm. She asked me which gate her flight to Austin was. I checked her ticket, which listed Gate B33. I looked at B33 ticket counter and noone was manning the gate. I told her the gate might have been changed and instructed her to check with the counter staff before she misses her flight. I thought, "my goodness, she didn't check the display screen gate information before going to her gate". Man! I don't know where her plane to Austin would be boarding from. When I got home I checked Delta's website, and I found her plane boarded from Gate B-6. I think she made it.
By now, it was time to board. I went to the cockpit. I asked the F/O who was standing in the galley and he gave consent. I talked a few minutes and suddenly, the F/O jumped into his seat.He asked me whether I was hard of hearing using sign language. I shook my head, saying I was indeed hard of hearing. I asked him how he knew sign language and he told me his mother was deaf. It is really a small world, as I have never met an airline pilot who knows sign language before. Wow. We had a nice short conversation, and I went to seat 20A, but I forgot to ask for the registration again!
I wrote a note and pressed the bell, asking the F/A to come my seat. I asked her to pass the note to the F/O, she read it and gave consent. A few minutes later, she returned and told me it was N398DA. Thank goodness. We pushed back on time, and went to line up on runway 8R. About ten minutes later, I took my laptop out, and again I am having difficulty capturing signals again with GPS for about 15 minutes, before it finally came through. We were turning northeast towards Louisville and straight to Chicago. It was partly cloudy and as such, I couldn't see much. As we descended, the clouds broke near Chicago.
I turned off the laptop and got ready for approach and the pilot announced we would be making a visual landing on Runway 22L . I saw Midway Airport when we lined up along 31C and made a right turn, then making a long left turn to the runway 22L. It was a pretty good landing on 22L without ILS landing. The captain did a good job, and taxied to gate C3. I thanked the F/O and shook hands with him as I deplaned, then went to board the long term parking shuttle bus. I got my car and drove home. It was a long day, and Delta gave excellent service. I have no further trips for this year or next year planned as yet.