Depart ATL: 4:55pm
Arrive MSY: 5:31pm
Aircraft #733 (equipped with XM radio)
It was kind of a slow morning in ATL but things got a lot busier in the afternoon. Many flights went out full or nearly so, and this one was no exception. The load was 5 in Business and 105 in Coach...pretty full for a mid week departure. Boarding commenced at 4:22pm from gate C12. After a few Business class passengers boarded, general boarding was called, starting with rows 28 through 31. I had seat 28A so I went ahead and boarded. I noticed the small "this aircraft equipped with XM satellite radio" patch near the boading door. I made my way down the spotless cabin to 28A and had a seat. The seat was comfortable enough. I actually picked a really good seat since you get a nice view of the wing and of the intake to engine #1. Even with it being so close to the engine, it was not very loud. Those RR engines are quiet, even when you are walking next to them on the ramp.
Pushback was right on time at 4:55pm. It was starting to rain a little as we made a quick taxi to the taxi way, where I saw we would be number five for takeoff...not bad for ATL! We were only on the ground for maybe ten minutes at most before jumping off the runway at an impressive angle of attack. The climbout was pretty smooth as we made a big loop around downtown Atlanta before climbing to out flight level 340.
In flight service was quite good for a short 1h16m flight. A full can of soda was served (I tried Coke with Lime this time around) along with a bag of "cheese whale crackers", which were tasty. At the very least it's something different from the usual peanuts and pretzels that are so popular in this day in age. Why the whale shapes you ask? FL seems to be a sponsor of the new Georgia World Aquarium in ATL.
I had an alt rock channel playing for the entire flight on the XM. I was exhausted since I had gotten to the airport at 5:00am for some more ramp work, but I didn't really sleep on the flight. I was pretty relaxed just by sipping on the drink and listening to the music while watching the interesting cloud formations. The sky cleared up somewhat as we approached MSY from the North. We came in over Covington and Mandeville before flying directly over Lake Pontchartrain for a smooth landing smack dab in the middle of the touchdown zone on runway 19 at 5:22pm, about nine minutes early.
We turned off the runway at the 1,000ft. to go marker and made the brief taxi to gate C9, thus concluding an enjoyable flight on a great aircraft.
Nice job to the crew on this flight (and the ATL CSR's), they did an excellent job, very courteous and professional....and a HUGE thank you to the FL instructors, those guys and gals are the best that i've come across in my short five year career in this industry.