Topic Author
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 6:38 am

Travel On 11-23....MAJOR Delays...Delta

Thu Nov 25, 2004 12:36 am

I flew home from college yesterday (Nov. 23) on Delta Airlines...Birmingham [to Atlanta] to Columbia. My trip started at about 3:30 when I left my dorm in Tuscaloosa to take the "45 minute" trip to Birmingham...needless to say about 10 minutes before I left, there was a tornado warning and torrential rainfall which caused my 45 minute trip to last 2 hours. When I finally arrived in Birmingham, my flight had been delayed approximately 40 minutes, but other than that things appeared to be normal. Our flight was 1541, and an MD-88 aircraft painted in the newest color scheme. It appeared very clean and well-maintained from a "passenger" point of view. I sat in 36A on a completely full flight. Once we pushed back from the gate I heard the engine on my side start, but not the other side, so I simply assumed that the one near me was so loud I could not hear the other one. Much to my surprise, about 5 minutes into the taxi they started the other! I have never experienced that before, but it was very cool. We took off, and our flight was relatively smooth with only a few bumps along the way. I did not have a clear view of the ground because of all the clouds, but I did get to see the vapor trails come off the wings! (Especially once they lowered the flaps) and when we taxied, I could see "tornadoes" of rainfall being sucked into the engine. Anyways, we landed safely in Atlanta, and as soon as we pulled off the runway, the pilot turned off the engine on my side of the aircraft. I also saw other aircraft performing the same technique (taxi on one engine) [Does this save a lot of money? and How long have they adopted this technique?] We arrived at gate T8 at about 9:15. At this point in time, I was glad I had booked a long lay-over...supposedly my next flight would leave at 9:50......I looked at the departures screen.....11:10. Sigh... I made the best of my time by riding the train to concourse E and went to the food court. I came back to my gate at approximately 10:30, and was fortunate to hear/see the new automated aircraft boarding system.

My next flight was DL 830 to Columbia on a 737-200 aircraft. I intentionally booked this flight so I could fly on this aircraft, and was overall very pleased with my decision. At 11:10 we received a delay announcement from the captain that the baggage was still being loaded, and to allow them 5 more minutes. At 11:15, we were ready for pushback, and some lady became sick and requested to get off the plane. The crew had to bring the jetway back and find her baggage, which took another 10 minutes. We finally left the gate at abour 11:30. I sat in seat 19F, which had a great view of the wing and rear of the engine. We taxied to the runway and were number 3 for departure when we suddenly took a right turn and parked on the taxiway for 5-10 minutes. We were never informed of why that was. We finally got back in the departure line-up and took off at 11:55. This flight was far from smooth...we were tossed up, down, left, and right for nearly 85% of the flight, especially after leaving the ATL area. I was overall impressed with the aircraft's performance, but this particular plane was somehwat poorly maintained. The PA system from the cockpit did not function, and gave "feedback" every time it was "operated." We landed in ATL at 12:30, and I got to see the thrust reversers actuate, which I was very interested in. Anyways, I am now safely at home, and I look forward to a great Thanksgiving and my flights going back home.
Topic Author
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 6:38 am

Part 2:

Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:06 am

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 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!

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