Sorry for the delay in writing this, but I wanted to add a post about my holiday traveling on Delta.
I flew from IND-SLC-PHX on 23 Dec. with Delta. Then came back PHX-CVG-IND on 27 Dec.
First, I want to say...You know, a lot of us on a.net have our favorite airlines. Like for me, Delta is at the top of present day carriers. In general, we all love the industry and have fun following it as our hobby. For some here, it is their job also. Some of these people who work for Delta, US Airways or Northwest or United have had a hard time for quite awhile. In fact, as we all know, being an airline employee since 9/11 has offered so many new challenges, no matter the financial state of the company they work for. So, I made sure I went out of my way to tell a few Delta folks that there were people out there thinking of them. One CSA I was giving words of support to at PHX said, "Thank you! This time of year (the holidays) all we hear is yelling and being sworn at."
My first leg from IND to SLC was a Delta Connection (Shuttle America) flight. It was an E170. My first flight on one. The flight had two other firsts for me. It was the first flight I had been on with a plane with no livery at all! Well, sans a blue tail. Here's my plane in the database.
Photo © Kent Scott
There was one very young and green flight attendant. He looked right out of high school! He and I chatted at the galley. I told him of the other first I had. First flight where the inflight magazine was of a different airline! A United magazine on a Delta flight. He slapped his head. "Oh the company(Shuttle America/Republic Airways)! I just don't know what they are doing sometimes. Ok. I will tell them." He went on to tell me that the reason the aircraft had no livery was that it was the "spare." It flew for the company as either a United Express flight or a Delta Connection whenever an equipment change was needed. I suppose the blue tail can cover it both ways. The E170 is a nice plane. I don't like how the windows are staggered by the rows, but hey, at least they aren't too low like the CRJs. Of special note was the 21st century light caution next to "fasten seat belt." It was something like, "Turn Off Electronic Devices." I had never seen that before!
Then at SLC I got what I had waited a long time for. A ride on an MD-90. As you can tell by my sig, I am an 90 fan. I know, much maligned in many circles. I love those big V2500 engines and the overall design of the famed McDonnell Douglas lineage from the DC-9 to the Boeing 717 (MD-95.) To me the MD-90 was really the last hurrah to their story. The MD-95 was the epilogue. Anyway, give me that T-tailplane and rear mounted engines! In fact, when I got to SLC I saw a whole line up of 90s in a row! Wow! Dream come true, Delta MD-90 heaven! Too bad it was night and my pictures weren't the greatest. I was even stopped by airport security who quizzed me as to what I was up to. When I gave them a geeky account of the aircraft, they figured I was no threat. I announced to the cabin crew upon boarding that this was my first MD-90 flight and I loved the plane. The captain said, "Oh yeah, this is the best plane flying!" One of the F/As wanted to give me an MD-90 pin. They pilot said they only had 88s. Naturally. Little did they know I have a McD MD-90 pin from it's first roll-out. Overall the crew liked working the 90. My second and I was glad longer 90 flight was from PHX to CVG. I got a good chance to chat with two of the F/As. They weren't as big a fans of the MD-90 as I was. Even for shorter people, the galley area ceiling height slopes down quite a bit. And negotiating the service trolley in and out of a hold in the galley involves tight maneuvering. I had a Delta pin on and told them that I was sympathetic to their situation, and that I was a loyal Delta customer and was pulling for them. They really liked the pin with the widget and the classic "DELTA" script. They agreed with me that the widget livery was the best. They thanked me for my support as we parted.
All in all, I found the 90 to be what I expected. A fine plane from a passenger point of view. Good seats outfitted, nice video monitors, good quiet hum from the engines. Not the deafening roar of older rear engined planes when you are aft. I especially liked the handrails built in below the overhead bins. McD. was thinking when they did that. How often have you blundered to go to the lavatory grabbing seat backs of fellow passengers? The pilots really flew these planes. We made a number of course corrections with high banking turns on both flights. Those and the powerful takeoffs were a lot of fun. The PHX-CVG run had quite a bit of turbulence which the 90 handled well. I will ding the 90s for their flimsy window shades. Way too thin! My SLC-PHX flight had many dinged up or like one of my cracked up and jammed a quarter way lowered. McD was not thinking when they used that cheap plastic for those. I am so glad I can admire the MD-90 from more than just it's asthetic beauty now. While many want to bury this plane with Delta and every other operator, I hope I get the chance again someday to fly on one.
Here were my two MD-90s lovely ladies from the database:
Photo © AirNikon
Photo © Justin Idle
Thanks to the Delta Connection and Delta Air Lines crews for their good service. Keep 'em flying!