Part 2 of my trip: return to college. November 28, 2004
My return to college began at approximately 6:30 AM
when I packed my luggage for DL
1817 to Atlanta. I arrived at the airport at 8:45, and stood in the longest security line I have experienced at Columbia's airport. At approximately 9:15, I was finally cleared by the TSA
, and I went to the gate for my 10:00 flight. Everything went perfectly as scheduled, and no major delays were expected. The weather was decent...slightly chilly, overcast skies, but no rain. I boarded the aircraft around 9:45 and sat in seat 21F on a 737-200, with another great view of the wing, engine, and surroundings. The flight was completely full, and we departed on time. Like my flights on Tuesday, we started taxiing with one engine, and started the other about 1/2 way into the taxi. As soon as we took off, we had about 1 minute of visibility to the skies, 45 seconds of clouds, and then we were climbing above the clouds in a nearly perfect sky. After 10 minutes of flight, the visibility was nearly unlimited, with very few clouds below us. Our cruise was very smooth, and we arrived several minutes early into Atlanta. When we came close to concourse B, the pilot cut one of the engines, and we parked at gate B28. Luckily for me, my departing flight was scheduled at the same gate (2 hours later), but I choose to eat lunch at Chili's in concourse A.
After a great lunch, I went back to my gate for flight 1673 to Birmingham. I was seated in 31A on a MD
-88. I had a good view of the left wing and surroundings. We boarded ontime, again using Atlanta's automated system, at 1:15. At 1:30, 5 minutes from our scheduled departure, the pilot made an announcement that we would be 10 minutes delayed because of a technical problem with the aircraft...at 1:45 we were asked to wait another 10 minutes, and we were told that the problem was with a "strap" that holds up a panel on the exit at the rear of the aircraft. At approximatly 2:00, we finally left the gate. We taxiied to the runway (again using one engine for 1/2 of the taxi) and waited in the takeoff lineup. We were number 5. At 2:15 we finally took off, and experienced a very smooth flight to Birmingham. Since it was daytime, I was able to see the Talladega (sp) raceway and several landmarks near Birmingham. We landed at about 2:50. I was very pleased with this trip, and aside from the technical delay, I encountered very few problems. Flying time for the entire trip is less than 2 hours (approx. 4 hours total), so it takes approximately the same amount of time to drive as it does to fly (when you factor in driving to the airport (1 hr) and waiting at the airport for the first flight (1 hr). I prefer to fly when given the opportunity, because not only does it fascinate me, but I do not like driving long distances...especially by myself. I had a great Thanksgiving, and I look forward to future trips!