July 21, 2006
Route: Tampa, FL (KTPA/TPA) to New York City (KJFK/JFK)
Airline: Delta Airlines (ex-Song)
Flight Number: 1901
Flight Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 1010 miles
On Friday, we left at 6 am- a limo picked us up and took us to the airport- we got there at about 7. We did Curbside check-in and that took about 5 minutes, and then we printed our boarding passes inside the Delta check-in area. Then we took the escalator to the main terminal and took the airport shuttlebus to Airside E where all Delta flights take off. We walked into the Crown Room Club which was very nice and located on the second floor, we had to take an elevator up. Inside they had pretzel mix and some other snacks. The bar was open and we each had a drink. We stayed in the club until about 8:15 and then we went down to wait for boarding at our gate E67. We were Zone 5. The Delta airside at Tampa is very nice and clean as well as the whole airport and each gate was very modern and had big LCD TVs with flight times as well as Standby status. We sat down and waited till they called Zone 5 to board. My father was sitting in an exit row seat for the extra leg room while the rest of us sat near the rear of the 757.
This is a picture of our 757 to JFK. It is an all coach ex-Song plane with leather seats and extra seat pitch:
As we boarded from the center of the aircraft, we were greeted by a flight attendant and headed back. My father had seat 10F so we showed him his seat. This was an exit row seat with no seat in front of it and instead of having the IFE in the seatback, it was in the armrest- my father didn't know how to take it out so he had to ask a flight attendant, who also didn't know. Finally, the purser showed him how to do it. We went to 26 D, E, and F and stuck our luggage in the overhead. We were only checking one piece of luggage for all four of us. The IFE didn't work until after we took off- It just said Welcome to Delta!
This is a picture of the old Song IFE, but now it says Delta instead:
We departed right on time, it seemed like we were only at the gate for a couple of minutes and we were first in line for departure which is very common in Tampa. The older flight attendant was very funny and made a lot of jokes over the PA that we all enjoyed. We started the engines and took off. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of takeoff because I didn't have my camera at hand. When we reached cruising altitude, the captain turned off the seat belt sign and the FAs started beverage and snack service. The snack options were announced over the PA and I chose Sun Chips because they gave out very large bags. I also ordered a Coke which came in a rather large cup. They charged $2 for headphones which I bought. They were very weird and hard to put on, also they seemed uncomfortable. We lost TV signal in the middle of the flight so I paid for a movie- She's the Man. The IFE also had the map feature to see the location of the aircraft and had several games and mp3s to listen to. I was a little sick during this flight so I don't think I enjoyed it too much, but it seemed to go by pretty fast and pretty soon we landed at JFK airport in Jamaica, Queens. I saw a bunch of Emirates planes and some Singapore Airlines planes as well as Lufthansa. I also saw the old TWA terminal that was mentioned to me many times. Also as a joke, the older FA said "Welcome to Honolulu, Hawaii!" very smoothly and those not paying attention actually believed her for a few minutes. We got our luggage from the overhead and met my dad at the center of the plane to exit. Our first impression of JFK was nothing amazing. It was very crowded, but it actually looked pretty clean. We walked towards baggage claim in Terminal 2, and walked past the new BusinessElite international check-in counters which seemed rather vacant, perhaps because it was so early in the morning. There were doors that said "Baggage Claim Only, No Re-Entry" with a TSA guard nearby. He opened the doors for us and we walked down an escalator to Baggage Claim. I bought a soda, and we waited for about 15 minutes before the belt started to move. We finally got our one bag, and headed out the nearby doors that said Ground Transportation. We went to the first cab and told him where we were going: The Renaissance Hotel in Times Square. He was of Arab descent and had a high pitched voice. So we left the airport and got on Van Wyck Expressway where we passed all of the houses in the Jamaica area which were very small and all grouped together. I have heard that it is not a very great area to live. After that I fell asleep in the cab, and when I woke up I could see the Manhattan skyline. We drove through the Midtown Tunnel and west until we got to Times Square. The driver past by our hotel three times because he thought we said the Residence Inn instead of the Renaissance Hotel, haha.
So we pulled up and a bellhop took our bags out of the car for us, and we went inside. On the first floor, there is just a luggage area and bellhop desk. You have to take the elevator up a few floors to get to the lobby. The lobby wasn't very big but it was elegant and clean.
The check-in desk only had one person working and she wasn't very friendly. She said to get two double beds nonsmoking, we would have to wait until 4:00. So we left our luggage downstairs and walked down Broadway and stopped in several souvenir shops. Then we had lunch at Sbarros Pizzeria and walked back to see if we could check-in. Yes, we could. We got our room keys and headed up to the 6th floor. It was actually only one or two floors above the lobby since the lobby wasn't actually on the Ground floor. Our room was right by the elevator but it wasn't that noisy. The room was pretty nice and had marble bathroom and tile floor near the entryway.
We took a downtown Grayline doubledecker bus tour which was really fun and interesting. Here are some pics of Manhattan from the bus:
July 25, 2006
Route: New York City (KJFK/JFK) to Tampa, FL (KTPA/TPA)
Airline: Delta Airlines (ex-Song)
Flight Number: 1848
Flight Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 1010 miles
After our five day stay in Times Square it was time to return to Tampa. We took a cab to JFK from the hotel for a $45 flat rate and instead of going through the Midtown Tunnel we took the Queensboro Bridge. He was a fast driver and it took a relatively short time to get there. We pulled up to the Domestic Terminal and did curbside check-in and got our boarding passes. The check-in area wasn't too crowded and we went through security and walked to Terminal 2. There was a small area with some shops and restaurants and then a moving walkway towards the terminal.
Here is an Air Jamaica A320 at JFK:
This is the Delta Sign at the Entrance to the terminal:
Delta fleet at JFK:
Air France 777:
After looking at planes for awhile, we headed off to the Business Elite lounge. It was quite a walk to get there, and we took an elevator to the upper level. There was a small desk by the elevator and we handed our card to the attendant for access. The club was really nice and spacious. There was a concierge desk when we first walked in. First to the left, there was a small empty area with a lot of seating and a TV. We went to the right where there was a bar in the open and further down there was more seating and TVs as well as restrooms. We got a few drinks and some pretzel mix and sat down for awhile.
I used my laptop to check some things and we waited until 4:00 when the food was put out. At 4:00 we walked down by the bar area where the attendants were putting out trays of sandwiches (crab, egg and roast beef), crackers, dips, desserts (brownies and other pastries) as well as fruit and vegetable trays. The food was great, we ate and drank until it was time to go down and board. The flight was leaving at 4:50 so we had to board at about 4:30. We took the elevator back down and walked quickly towards the gate through a bunch of crowds. When we got to the gate, the plane was just arriving, apparently it arrived late so boarding hadn't even begun yet. So we went to the bathroom and then sat down until our row was called. There really isn't a lot of seating at the gate in Terminal 2 at JFK so a couple of us had to stand up. When our row was called we all boarded together and were greeted by a flight attendant. This time my father had seat 10 D instead of 10F, but apparently he thought he still had 10F so he got in a big quarrel with the person who really had 10F and she let him have it. (There was more legroom because there was no seat in front of him.) The flight was very enjoyable once again. I rented the movie 16 Blocks after listening to music for awhile and once again I ordered a Coke and Sun Chips as my snack. We landed in Tampa at about 8:00. Landing was really smooth and I hardly felt the plane touchdown. Even the flight attendant hadn't realized that we landed. One of the FAs soon announced that there was a Delta pilot in front that was coming home from Iraq and that he would be first to exit the plane tonight. Everyone clapped for him, even though we couldn't see him depart. We were finally home after an amazing trip and we exited the plane with my father. The flight attendants really looked great in their new uniforms, one had on the new shiny red dress and it really looked HOT!.The gate attendants and other Delta staff also look real sharp with their silver ties and white shirts on. Overall, I was very pleased with Delta- our experience was surprisingly delightful and I look forward to flying with Delta again. Also I love New York City and can't wait to go back! I hope everyone enjoyed this report, and once again I appreciate all feedback and suggestions.