I just got back from a great trip to Grand Cayman Island. My route of flight was AUS-ATL-GCM. The dates for the trip were July 21st--31st. Here is Part 1 of the report of a very great trip.
I was up packing late the night prior to departure (guys tend to do that! ) I guess I got around five hours of sleep... My dad, brother, and a friend of the family were all heading down there. My dad roused me at a little before 4:00am, but he didn't have to force me to get out of bed! I was going to be on my first commercial flight in over two years. We went and picked up the friend, and we headed to the airport. Check-in was smooth, and the security checkpoint went quickly. I didn't make the detector go off... Our flight, DL 354, was scheduled to leave at 6:20. We found our gate, then went to Schlotsky's (Spelling Error?) for breakfast. We then waited at our gate. After a while, boarding began. I settled into my seat on the MD-88, seat 13E.(Compliments of my cheap airfare from Garri767!) We taxied for takeoff, then blasted off. The aircraft was almost instantly enveloped in clouds. After punching through the ceiling, I snapped some pictures off the morning clouds.
The morning was really hazy in the south, so ground visibility was limited. I snapped a few more pics of some airports in the south, and of the Mississippi River.
I saw a CO 737 inbound to IAH fly past around 1 1/2 miles off the right wing. The flight was slightly un-eventful, but nevertheless, my face was plastered to the window 95% of the time! I chose water as my beverage, and cheese crackers as my snack. After a while, we started our initial descent into ATL. I saw a NW DC9 fly under us during our way down. The pilot lined up for finals on 27L, and I noticed a DL MD88 off the right wing lining up for 26R.
I snapped a few pics, and then enjoyed the landing. The touchdown was somewhat rough, but it wasn’t that bad.
We then waited for a while in-between runways as the ever-busy ATL traffic zoomed past.
Finally we made it to our gate at Concourse B.
We were informed that the connecting flight was at a different gate than expected, and our layover time was limited. The new gate was in Concourse E, and the layover was around 50 minutes. The train actually worked out really well, and the gate transfer time only took around 20-25 minutes. I had enough time to snap some shots of Air Jamaica, and look at an SAA A340.
Boarding began for DL 361. I got into my seat, 26A, and admired the SAA A346 a few gates over.
Pushback was on time(11:20am). The line for the runway wasn’t too bad, and I got a few pictures of a Hooters Air 732.(I had never seen one before.)
Soon we lifted off in a fairly nice DL 738.
Once again, I got water as my beverage. I forgot what I got as my snack….. The view was nice because the course took us down the Florida coast then over Marathon, in the Keys.
Marathon in the Keys:
There was some decent turbulence in the Gulf of Mexico area, so the seatbelt sign was turned on for a while. Shortly after leaving the Keys behind, Cuba appeared. I took a few pictures of Cuba. Most of inland Cuba was covered in clouds, but the coastline was fairly clear.
Leaving Cuba behind:
The captain gave the passengers a weather update from Cayman, and according to him, “white puffy clouds” where in the area. We began our descent into Cayman, and then I noticed a dark wall of clouds in front of us.(I later watched and learned that this same system re-formed into Tropical Storm Gert) The turbulence was only light and occasional...I was so disappointed.
After getting below the clouds, the island became visible.
In this picture, the airport is visible. Also note the cruise ships in Georgetown Harbour.
The aircraft then turned for finals for Runway 8.
The touchdown was nothing spectacular, because you can’t float it out a whole bunch on that strip if you want to make your brakes last longer!(the strip is 7000ft. long)
We back-taxiied down the runway, and then went down the stairs. Customs went smoothly, and soon we were waiting outside the airport for our ride. All in all, it was a great morning!
Hope you enjoyed reading my report...it is my first trip report!