Got an unbelieveable fare ($120) to Chicago for MLK weekend which is also known in frineds circles as my birthday weekend. Couple that with a great rate at the Hyatt Regency Chicago ($180 for 3 nights off hotwire), and you have a great holiday weekend vacation. But that backwards connection I will never try again no matter what the price. Here is the report...
Friday, January 13th, 2006
DL 389, BDL 600pm to ATL 843pm, MD88, Seat 18A
Pushback: 755pm Wheels-up: 801pm Touchdown: 1014pm At gate: 1025pm
Departure gate: A11 Arrival gate: B16??
Before I checked in, i was notified of a potential risk of missing my connecting flight in ATL....our plane was in BDL but we were under a ground hold....i chose to continue rather than go home and try sat morning because a) hotels around the ATL airport are cheap and i might be able to talk my way into a freebie- worked before, b) there was bad weather expected for BDL on Sat, and c) there was a chance i'd make it in the first place and it was my birthday!.... anyhow the delays just kept increasing and it was making me nervous, but i stuck to it....anyhow we had a rather bumpy ride down to ATL until the last 40 minutes when it cleared out. Ne winterior on the MD-88 and one of the only open seats was the middle seats in row 18 (always nice)..i frankly couldn't understand the 2 hour ground hold given that the weather was 45 minutes departed upon our arrival. Anyhow, I missed the connection (i was going to MDW, not ORD on the orignally scheduled flight- ASA 4109)....it departed about 30 minutes prior to our arrival...even the ORD flight left about 15 minutes before we got to our gate.... so i was stuck... and Delta did absolutely NOTHING! No voucher for free room (understandable for ATC delay), no discount voucher (i thought this was common), no assistance offered finding a room (they told us that all the rooms were sold out due to convention and they advised sleeping on the floor), and no professionalism at the rebooking counter. Orignally they put me on a 5:30 pm departure to MDW, but i got that changed to a 955am departure...i eventually found some rooms at a best western in stockbridge (actually a Portland, OR based businessman that was also stranded found it and we shared a cab to get there and other people from the BDL flight ended up there as well...cost me a pretty extra $50 some odd dollars for a night there while my friends partied in chicago, without me
The aircraft went to Knoxville after ATL...i should've stuck with the plane -- i got an ex living near TYS- i could've asked her to pick me up (there would have been a story!)
Saturday, January 14th, 2006
DL1463, ATL 955am to ORD 1059am, MD-88, Seat 29E
Pushback: 1035am Wheels-up: 1110am Touchdown: 1249pm At gate: 1255pm
Departure gate: B26 Arrival gate: L5
Late arriving aircraft from MLB....looongggg takeoff line and headwinds caused us to cruise at 340 mph ground speed, causing the lengthy (nearly 1 hour, 45 minute) cruise time. Flight crew was pleasant...served the typical DL snack basket snacks (sunchips are gone-- grrrrrr). new interior on this MD-88 i was just so overjoyed to finall have gotten to chicago-- it was still, despite the late start, a great birthday weekend!
Monday, January 16th, 2006
DL875, ORD 245pm to ATL 533pm, B737-200, Seat 19A
Pushback: 245 pm Wheels-up: 305pm Touchdown: 533pm At gate: 535pm
Departure gate: L9 Arrival gate: A11
Aircraft was originally scheduled to be a B738....and like my trip to SJU on NW in December, i had yet another repeat F/A....Miss Bliss (i think that is her name) was the on-board leader on DL 475 from BDL to ATL on December 16th ('05) and she'll always stick in my head because of her strict nature in boarding procedures...DL 475 was 100% full and she addressed the crowd before we boarded the plane about not putting smaller bags and coats into the overheads so we may accomodate everyones rollaboard bags, etc etc...if you ever have flown on DL with Miss Bliss you would know who she is...maybe someone here knows who I am talking about- she is friendly but almost has a miliatary style about her boarding procedures and seems to enjoy the challenge of never gate-checking bags. I was nervous, since i told her i recognized her, that she'd come after me about putting my pea coat into an overhead despite her telling us not to (relax, it was placed ergonomically around my rollaboard). Anyhow, the 3 f/a's on this flight were incredibly nice including Miss Bliss who only had to gate-check one bag despite the smaller bins found on the 732. Nothing else un-ordinary on this flight, no DL snack basket, just peanuts, and light chop on the way into a cloudy ATL. Flight was 90% full, and aircraft was PHL bound after ATL.
DL 371, ATL 640pm to BDL 903pm, Boeing 757-200, Seat 30F
Pushback: 720pm Wheels-up: 737pm Touchdown: 934pm At gate: 940pm
Departure gate: A9 Arrival gate: 12
Aircraft inbound from SFO.....arrived on-time adjacent to the inbound ORD flight, but we were delayed awaiting connecting passengers....which INFURIATES ME!!!! Why is it that when I'm a delayed connecting passenger the plane leaves without me...i missed a ATL-BDL flight one evening when they did not wait for 7 of us, and tonight we waited for 7 passengers to make it. At least be consistent. it was not even the last flight of the night-- there were two others to come still...why hold everyone up?? Anyhow, enough with my rant. This was a 100% full flight, and once we got underway it was smooth and serviced by a professional ATL-based flight crew, basica DL snack basket service, but done with a smile which always makes the slight delay better. Delta Horizons was played, and we made the typical route over Norfolk, Richmond, the Jersey shore, Manhattan and Long Island, over New Haven and outside downtown Hartford on up into BDL....
In short, it sucked BIG TIME getting stranded overnight on my b-day weekend and i was shocked DL didn't even provide a 'distressed traveler rate' - i find it hard to believe that every hotel was booked up (conference at econolodge- i dont think so!!) Anyhow, i wrote DL a letter and got a very canned respoinse that basically told me to go pound sand. A little surprised i was not offered a $50 or $100 voucher for my legitimate complaint about the surliness and unhelpfulness with which I was treated, but, oh well...the fare was so low that really i have no right to dcomplain i guess... although maybe DL jsut needs to stop routing bizarre ATL connections and undercutting their pricing.
Hope you enjoyed the report.