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DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Mon Jul 12, 2004 10:41 am

Well it's been a while since I've posted a trip report. Most my trips are so boring and uneventful. I thought I'd post this report because I was upgraded to First.

11Jul04 08:45am Sunday
Air Delta Airlines Flight# 410 Class:V Seat: 2A
From: Salt Lake City UT, US 11Jul04 08:45am Sunday
To: Atlanta GA, USA 11Jul04 02:25pm Sunday
Meal: Breakfast Equip: Boeing 767-300 Jet Status: Confirmed

I arrived at the airport about 45 minutes before the flight and proceeded to the Medallion Check-in line. The friendly agent printed my upgraded boarding pass and said to ask in ATL for the upgrade from ATL-DL / KBDL), USA - Connecticut">BDL. I walked over to the first class security line and made it through in minutes. It was nice to finally get to walk past the throngs of people in line.

By the time I made it to D2, the automated system called for the boarding of Zone 1, "Which includes the First Class Cabin" as the robotic voice so nicely points out. On board, jackets were taken and drinks offered. I had OJ and spent the time waiting for everyone to board by reading my book. When everyone was on board and the forward boarding door was closed, the Captain stated that we'd be commence the engine start at the gate, as our aircraft's APU was inoperative.

Shortly thereafter, pushback began with the repetitive safety video, "[Captain] Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome aboard Delta Airlines. The most important service we can provide you is to ensure your safety...[Female FA] Please pay close attention to the following safety instructions..." or something like that. I think I have the Spanish video memorized better, "Las leyes federalas prohibidan forzar, desactivar o deystruir unos de los detectores de humo de los banos."

Taxi to 16R with the sun over the mountains

Climbing over I-80 right before our right turn to the west.

We taxied to 16R for blastoff. Climbout was to the west and north, and after gaining enough altitude, we turned east to cross the might Wasatch Mountains. Within a few minutes we were at the western end of the Uintah Mountains, and not long after that we crossed into Colorado as the breakfast service began.

Delta's First Class breakfast

Breakfast was half decent, if a bit small in the portions. The little omelet was actually pretty good. During breakfast, the movie began, "The Whole Ten Yards" After lots of sound problems, and restarting several times, the movie continued. I believe there were several people in Coach that weren't able to watch the movie, as their sound was not working. This seemed like a pretty old 763. It was quite rickety, and the seats, at least in First Class, were quite worn out. Most of DL's planes are long overdue for a new interior, but I guess profitability is more important right now.

A couple of hours into the flight we hit some pretty good bumps, and there was light chop all the way into ATL. We flew right over downtown ATL on the way in, with a 180 degree turn to line up with the far north runway (I think 26R?) Touchdown was the usual rough 767 thud, with a short taxi into A18. It was time to head to B03 to see if they could get me another seat in First.

Downtown Atlanta, GA

11Jul04 03:33pm Sunday
Air Delta Airlines Flight# 869 Class:Q Seat:25C
From: Atlanta GA, USA 11Jul04 03:33pm Sunday
To: Bradley Intl/Hartford 11Jul04 05:57pm Sunday
Meal: None Equip: McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Status: Confirmed

Well I was fourth on the upgrade list, with only one seat unassigned in First. Oh well, at least I had an exit row with nobody in 25B. We boarded 25 min prior to departure. I boarded when they called the Medallion Members in Zone 3. It sure is nice to be able to be on the plane first and not have to fight for room to put your luggage! The only annoying thing is sitting on a parked airplane while all the slow, dumb people try to find their

We headed to the south side of ATL this time for takeoff. Amazingly I fell asleep before the takeoff roll, and roused briefly while turning after rotating off the runway. The flight up the east coast was fairly typical, with pockets of bumps intertwined with mostly smooth air.

I sure like MD aircraft. The 2-3 layout is quite nice, with the wide isles and big windows. The only think that would make the -88 better is some inflight entertainment! It's nice to have the engines at the rear, making most of the cabin fairly quiet. I feel bad for those suckers in row 28+. So NOISY!

Inside the MD-88, somewhere over NC

We flew northeast towards DL / KBDL), USA - Connecticut">BDL, passing NYC just after the top of descent. Manhattan looked so compact from FL250. We made what seemed like too many turns as ATC sequenced us into DL / KBDL), USA - Connecticut">BDL. Again I fell asleep as we neared Bradley and I couldn't tell you where we landed to save my As those of you familiar with Bradley know, it's a breeze to get in and out of, and within 15 minutes of walking off the plane, I was in my Avis rental on my way to the Holiday Inn.

Delta did a pretty good job on these segments. If they ever become profitable again, I'd love to see them put some $$$ into their plane interiors. Other than that, the service was great, with both flights right on time.

I'll post the rest of the trip report when I fly home from PHL on Friday. I'm taking the Amtrak from Hartford to Philly. I thought it'd be fun to try out Business Class on Amtrak. If anyone's interested, I'll post a few comments on the train experience.

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RE: DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:16 am

Very nicely done. Please post some details on the Amtrak trip to Philly. It definatly sounds intersting. Great report!
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RE: DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Mon Jul 12, 2004 2:52 pm

Awesome report and pics.
Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
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RE: DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Tue Jul 13, 2004 1:32 am

Nice done with you and good trip report on their way to BDL.
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RE: DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Tue Jul 13, 2004 2:38 am

Very good report, thanks for sharing. Yeah, the interiors on the DL birds I've flown do look a little dated. So, the MD-88's don't even have flip down monitor screens? Reminds me of their 737-300's which I've had to fly a couple of times.

I've gotten to fly the MD-90's a few times (they have flip down monitors) and I do like them, especially if I'm in the front and in the A or B seats, though I did have to sit next to the engine once on a SLC-SAN flight.

Lucky you...I've never flown on first or business class on any airline.

Bubbinski, an economy veteran
"Simplify" - Thoreau
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RE: DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:54 am

Ahh, my first post Smile If you were at about FL250 around Manhattan you probably landed on 24 at BDL, that would give adequate time to descend and work your away around to come in to Hartford from the northeast, hence all the turning.
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RE: DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:50 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies. Uswyjer: congrats on joining the worlds best aviation site! I made the train trip from Hartford to Philadelphia and I thought I'd post it now.

RAIL Amtrak Train: 471
Class: U
From: Hartford CT Date: 14Jul Wednesday 09:17am
To: New Haven CT Date: 14Jul Wednesday 10:00am
Info: TRAIN Status:Confirmed

It's nice not to have to worry about the check in line, as the conductor will check your ticket after you've left the station, and it's especially nice not to have to wait in a line to go through security. Ten minutes before my train left I walked across the street from my hotel to the train station.

The train pulled up about three minutes late and we were on our way. The train slowly made it's way to New Haven, stopping in Meriden and Wallingford along the way. This train was only two cars long with a single engine pushing the two cars. We arrived in New Haven about 10 minutes late, with my next train departing 5 minutes later. Have you ever made a 5 minute connection at the airport? That would be rare for sure!!!

RAIL Amtrak Train: 171
Class: JU
From: New Haven CT Date: 14Jul Wednesday 10:15am
To: Philadelphia 30th St PA Date: 14Jul Wednesday 01:27pm
Info: TRAIN Status:Confirmed

I've never taken business class on the train before, so I was eager to see what it was like. The seats were pretty much the same as on the last train, exept there were foot rests. These business class seats are the exact seats they have on their long distance fleet out west. They're quite comfortable, about the same as a crappy domestic first class seats on an airplane. The only other benefit to Business class on the train is free non-alcoholic drinks. Other than that, coach is about the same.

View of the bridge just before going underground into NYC Penn Station.

This train was electric, getting its power from power lines above. It was quite fast too. We were passing cars on the interstate like they were going the other way! lol. The conductor said these trains could get up to 120 MPH. I was amazed seeing as how it wasn't an Acella train.

View of Manhattan nearing Penn Station

I had lunch in the cafe car. $7.50 for a sanwich and chips. Much like the buy onboard program on DL, but the food wasn't quite as good as you get on the plane. We kept mostly on schedule all the way to Philly. It went much more quickly than I thought. We arrived at Philadelphia 30th street station about 5 minutes late. Not too bad.

30th Street Station, Philadelphia, PA

Well said today I'm confirmed for my upgrade on Friday's PHL-SLC flight. I'll post a report after.
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RE: DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:13 pm

I'm guessing you used Union Station in Hartford? How is it for a train station now? Its been years since I was there last. Thanks for the congrats Smile
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RE: DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:31 pm

Union Station, while I haven't been to it, I've seen it dozens of times on doesn't look like anything special, a low-level platform and one track.

As for Amtrak business class, I've thought about taking it. It costs an extra $5 on the Downeaster ($7 for coach, $12 for business), which isn't that bad...the coach fare is worth it since it's more comfortable and faster than commuter rail, but I do want to take that I know it's not much, I feel a little better about not having shelled out the money yet...

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RE: DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Mon Jul 26, 2004 6:01 am

Thanks for the report!!!

This is starting to become one of my favorite forums!!!!
Failure is not an option.....
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RE: DL SLC-ATL-BDL First Class With Photos

Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:24 am

Thank you everyone for your replies! Here is the rest of the trip that I'm just getting around to posting:

16Jul04 04:50pm Friday
Air Delta Airlines Flight# 685 Class:V Seats:SEAT/03D
From: Philadelphia PA, USA 16Jul04 04:50pm Friday
To: Salt Lake City UT, US 16Jul04 07:41pm Friday
Meal: Dinner Equip: Boeing 737-800 Jet Status: Confirmed

I was happy to once again be upgraded to first for the 4hr flight to SLC. I printed my boarding pass at the store I was visiting, and headed for PHL. Philadelphia is a beautiful city, but the traffic there is a mess! I left the store at 3:00 and it took me over an hour to drive the 25 miles to the Airport. ARGGGH! I dropped off the rental at Avis and headed for Terminal E. I'll have to admit that USAir's new international terminal is beautiful!

Terminal E was a little less nice, but it gets the job I headed for security and got in the First Class security line. Thank goodness I was able to go in that line, because I only had 30 min left until our scheduled departure! upon arriving at the gate, they called for Zone 1 to board. Upon sitting down I noticed that this airplane was fitted with a new interior and green seats! Yuck, this didn't look like a DL plane at all. I looked out the window to see if this was a DL 738, and it was painted as one. I asked the FA what was with the green interior and she said it was one of the failed attempts at creating the "new Delta".

Color of interior on this 738. DL and green??? Hard to put together!

Also, it just so happened that the Director of Marketing for my company was seated next to me in 03C, what are the chances I thought?! Well this would be a fun flight, getting to talk to someone I know.

Pushback time came and went, and the Captain announced that we had a problem with the communication system on the plane. The wire on the Co-Pilots oxygen mask was broken. They estimated we'd have a mechanic there to look at it in about 30 minutes, and if they had the part at PHL, another 30 min for the fix. After an hour the FAA paperwork was signed and we were ready. I couldn't believe it was exact timing!

Well wouldn't you know it, but we were still not ready for pushback... The captain announced there had been a breach of security in the terminal and TSA was holding all flights. The captain said he was going to ask for permission to push back anyway, as we had all been on board before the so called breach. No luck for us! After 30 minutes DL flight ops called the plane and said the breach had been contained and to expect push back right away, but apparently the Airport authority was not notified and continued to make us wait for at least 20 minutes more. The captain apologized for the lack of communication between TSA and the Airport authority.

Well when we finally pushed back, all the other flights that had been holding did as well. When we made it to the south runway, we were about #27 for departure. It took over an hour just to get on the runway! Boy was I glad I was in first class sipping a drink with my seat back and reading a good book!

It was a beautiful, clear afternoon in PA, and we climbed smoothly to FL310. I couldn't tell if he said we'd be at FL310 or FL410. We passed many planes below us heading to the south, so maybe it was FL410. Here are a few photos:

The CFM working hard to push us up to our cruise altitude.

Following the sunset to Utah

Dinner was pretty good onboard. It was grilled chicken and rice with a dinner salad and a brownie/cookie that was almost good enough to ask for seconds. They showed "Jersey Girl" on board, which I quickly opted not to watch! Instead I caught up on the office gossip with my co-worker, and read "Car and Driver" and "Road and Track".

Our flight into SLC was the usual bumpy descent over the southern Wasatch mountains, just above Hobble Creek Canyon. We flew west over the Oquirrh Mountains and then north over the Great Salt Lake for the sweeping 180 degree turn to line up with 16R. Touchdown was at 10:25, almost three hours behind schedule.

Other than the delay, service was great on this flight. DL was very honest with us on the status of the delays and expected times. It's funny to see one FA in first class taking care of 16 people, when on the 733 there is one FA for 8 people and two FA's for 24 people on a 752 or a 763. She had to work hard and fast, and she did a great job. I'm really getting used to this first class thing! It's hard to fly in coach now!

Anyway, thanks for reading. I'd post my current trip, which includes an 8 hour delay in ORD, but I don't think I can convey my frustration with out making my keyboard smoke! I will say this, I hope the FAA is watching ORD like a hawk, because they seem to be completely disorganized when it comes to ATC.

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