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Posts: 1622
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:47 pm

Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:23 am

My last trip report only contained 35% of the intended content. Sorry about that. The new complete can be found in full here: My Blog

I have asked the mods to delete the previous thread in the hopes that my burning shame for getting pwned by the internet may some day fade away.

For those of you that do not wish to visit my MS, I will attempt to provide the trip in parts, but it is quite long.

Part I


It was time to go home for the holidays. I was going to school at Embry-Riddle in Prescott, Arizona, and finally going home for the holidays.


Here are some pictures in my suite's lounge! Merry Christmas!


If you've ever seen the movie "Team America"...

I had originally booked to go home to Missoula, Montana, and then tried to change the flight because I had to go to Jacksonville, Florida. I had then planned to drive to Gainesville, Florida, and would stay there for a concert at which my most beautiful lady friend, Leah Swedberg, would be opening with Ms. Florida. The concert was a benefit for the military, I believe. My original booking was with Great Lakes Airlines from Prescott to Phoenix, with Ted from Phoenix to Denver, with Delta from Denver to Salt Lake City, and then with SkyWest (Delta SkyWest) from Salt Lake to Missoula. SkyWest kept changing my ticket (booking me on a later flight-6 hours later-even though my original booking still had open seats) and I had to keep calling them. They then started to simply drop my bookings, such that I would be listed flying (as it was a round trip) DEN-SLC-MSO SLC-DEN, with no return from Missoula. I got frustrated, as this kept happening, and finally called Delta and SkyWest. After being hung up on by some minions, I called the supervisors at both, who both blamed it on each other. Go figure. I did manage to get my bookings straight though.

It would be a long series of flights to get to JAX. I had to stop in MSO, where I decided to have my mother pick me up and drive me to Spokane in Washington state (GEG), where I would fly GEG-SEA-ATL-JAX. My flight from PRC was on the 14th, leaving at 6:48 AM and getting into MSO at 4:32PM. My flight out of GEG was at 5 AM. Ahh. Life. I was scheduled to get into JAX at 8:39 PM and was eagerly awaiting the time I got to see my girlfriend, as I had not seen her in months, and she wanted me to be there very badly to support her during her songs.

Lastly, I had packed all my clothes, presents, and whatnot in my two bags that I was going to check in, and was bringing one carry on. In it I had my camera, a pillow my lady made for me, note cards so I could get regs and whatnot, pens, knives for throwing, a brush, some candy bars, and that's all you get to know about.

As an overview, from Prescott to JAX, I would be traveling from roughly 3AM the 14Th until 9PM the 15th, get a small break, and be traveling from 6AM (EST) the 17th until 2:00 PM PST. Lots of traveling with minimal sleep. Not what I'd like, but doable.

The 14th. I slept for only a couple of hours the previous night, sadly, and got up at one. After making sure I had everything, I saw my friend Jeremy off to his shuttle (Shuttle-U from PRC-PHX, which I have tried only once and have decided it needs to stay that way) and played some of Sid Meier's Railroads.


Christmas Jeremy and my great roommate Jun.

I also checked on trip reports and double checked my itins. Lastly I made myself some food, put my fully charged camera battery into my 20D, and got ready. I left for the airport at 5. Parking is free at PRC, but there area only (about) 75 spaces, as it's a tiny place. I was wondering if there would be room for my Park Avenue, and lo!, there was. I parked fairly close and was the first passenger there.


Inside the terminal.

It was cold outside, so I was happy to be in the warmth. Shortly, a man came along (not with Great Lakes Airlines-who are the only people with air service to Prescott-it seemed) that gave me a remote to the one TV in the terminal. He also gave me advice on when the people usually get there, etc. He said I was free to roam about. Something I found very nice was that I did not have to carry my luggage with me everywhere, as no one cares if you leave it out. About 5:30 the TSA people showed up and began to ready the one aisle for the day. Only 2 TSA agents were there, one for checking checked in luggage, and the other for checking the metal detector and the carry on. The lady TSA agent started up the metal detector and walked back and forth through it with a strange metal object. She would put it under her armpit, in her pants, etc, and made sure that it was detected each time. I found that kind of neat. The male TSA agent started the X-ray machine and did various other things. About 1 hour before departure, the GLA agent showed up, along with a lady passenger, and checked her in. I noticed that he "weighed" her bag by picking it up and feeling it. Apparently he thought it was under 50lbs, and he then stepped over the scale (which he did not use) and placed the bag by the "line" for screening. The TSA agents lifted up the metal bars and let the lady stand to wait for screening while they hand checked her checked in luggage. I then moved to the counter and checked in. The man never bothered to even hand weigh my luggage, as I suppose it seemed to small. Fine by me. He noted I was flying all different airlines, but, though he could check my baggage all the way to MSO, he chose to make me go to the baggage claim at Phoenix. Since I had two hours between flights, this did not overly bother me. I then proceeded to screening. The TSA agents were quiet casual and very amusing. My friend Ihmran, also studying to become a pilot, was behind me and agreed that they were great.

After screening you walk up a flight of stairs that has a right angle turn, only to end in a room with 13 seats.


The waiting room after screening.

The room has no way out except how you got in, so it's quite strange. Our airplane landed and boarding was called about 5 minutes later. I walked back down the stairs and out to the ramp. The B1900 has fold out stairs, which were used to board. I sat in seat 7C.

Airline: Great Lakes Airlines (Great Lakes Aviation, LTD.)

Aircraft: Beechcraft 1900D [19 Seat Turbo Prop]

Facts: __

_• 25,000 ft.Maximum Altitude
___• 325 mph Maximum Cruising Speed
___• Spacious Stand-Up Cabin
___• Under-The-Seat Stowage Area
___• Preheated and/or Cooled Cabin
___• Contoured Airline Size Seats
___• Recline & Tray Tables
___• A Window & Aisle Seat In One

Registration: N210GL

Load Factor: 84%

Route: PRC-PHX

Cruising Altitude: 10,000 ft.

Flight time: 25 mins-10 minute cruise time.

Time to Altitude: 6 minutes

Departure time: 6:48 AM local. Arrival: 7:28 AM local.

Flight Number 5122

Date: 12-14-06

Seat: 7C (I would think that it is A and B, so perhaps I wrote it wrong?)

Upon boarding the aircraft, I found people sleeping. They were continuing a flight from Kingman, Arizona. Great Lakes charges very little (mine cost only $74 round trip) and operates to cities that are out of the way and underserved. They have main hubs in Denver and Phoenix. They fly to such cities as Show Low, Arizona, and Williston, North Dakota. As I said, odd and off the beaten track, but they get good loads and are a great service. For the price, I was happier with them than most of the other airlines on my trip.

Shortly the copilot came out of the cockpit (which has no closed door) and demonstrated some of the safety features. He was a very nice guy and made some funny jokes while the pilot started the engines and prepared to taxi. The start was smoky and quite nice. The 1900 makes a beautiful buzzing sound and the vibration of the engines is very relaxing. I especially loved the big windows, which are right at eye level (unlike those of my arch nemesis, the CRJ) and are oval instead of rectangular. We taxied a fast taxi via taxiway C C6, after which we then at Runway 21L while a few Riddle planes took off ahead of us. The pilot was kind enough to tell us the reason and explained that it would not make us late. After the planes were gone, which turned out to be less than five minutes, we taxied onto the runway and the pilots completed some last minute checks. As it was dark, the lights were on in the cockpit and they were a nice light blue instead of red. 60 seconds later power was applied and we were airborne before C4 (or D 4 for those of us on the Riddle side). Shortly we made a left turn over Riddle's campus and flew alongside Willow Lake. I could tell this was WillowLake, as we flew right beside that nifty little roundabout. The pilot flew the same routing that I had flown on an A320 for US coming back from BUR-PHX. This consists of a turn to the right over Prescott Valley and then a rough tracking alongside the interstate, which I believe is a fairly southerly.

Seven minutes after takeoff we'd reached 10,000 ft. and I could see Phoenix. The flight was very short so I spent most of my time attempting to get a picture of the beautiful sunrise, which was unfortunately on the OTHER side of the airport. Here is the sunrise:


We began out short descent on the outskirts of Phoenix, right around the Lake Pleasant area. A series of left turns brought us onto final approach with runway 7R. This was the first time I'd been to 7R for landing so I was most pleased. I have to note something odd here, and perhaps peculiar to this flight only: the landing gear extension was almost violent. It actually knocked my camera out of my hands, so I was glad that I was using the strap on this flight. Unfortunately, I think that it did something to the lens, as it now makes a brushing sound, like felt against felt. It only happens near maximum zoom, and the quality is not affected, so I guess I can't complain. At first I thought we'd hit some wake turbulence, then I thought that it was just the gear, as I noticed it went down at that time, but it may have been a large coincidence and simply been both at the same time. Any insight into this would be appreciated.


Inside the airplane.

Landing was short, smooth, and on time. The reverse thrust was quite powerful for such a small aircraft, and we slowed rapidly and exited the runway at G4. There was almost an entire fleet of WN planes at 7L awaiting takeoff, so we held at F6 while a 737 took off. We then crossed very rapidly onto E6 and proceeded to the GLA apron. The stairs were let down and my friend and I were the last ones to get off.


My friend outside the Beech.

Wetook some pictures of each other by the aircraft, along with other airplanes on the tarmac, and the first officer came over and told us he would have to have us arrested if we continued. Just kidding. He actually invited us back onboard the airplane to take a seat inside the cockpit. We did and the captain showed us around. Their kindness was quite amazing, in my opinion. When we were leaving to go to the terminal, which is about 400 feet away across the tarmac, the captain informed me that the first officer does not mention it, but is a former Riddle person himself, from Daytona Beach, and he had pegged us for Prescott Riddle students, thus the invitation into the cockpit.http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/neces0c9/IMG_2716.jpg

The cockpit.


Inside the aircraft.

Flight ratings are given out of 100 points for easy calculation. Each section is worth 20 points.

Flight Rating

On Time: 20---On time departure, even with the short wait, and landed as scheduled also.

Crew: 20---Went that extra mile and let us in the cockpit. Were interested in everyone and very amusing,

Seats and Legroom: 18---The seats were leather and nice, but not as big as some. My main complaint is the lack of legroom, but this is only for tall persons, so it did not affect me.

Meal Service: N/A (20) ---There is none, but due to the flight time this is not a problem, and there are no FAs anyhow on an aircraft this size.

In Flight Entertainment: N/A (20) ---Nice windows make for great entertainment.

Overall: 98. (A) I have nothing to complain about and only compliments. I highly recommend this airline.

I recovered my bags from the carousel and proceeded to the United check in booth. I showed my tickets to the United person, who directed me to the kiosk. I thought this was the wrong way to go, as I had paper tickets, and I was right. I then talked to the nicest United lady who spent fifteen minutes and cleared my bags all the way through in all the airlines, so that I could pick them up in Missoula.

Next off was the security line. The wait was around 15 minutes, which is not long but was still annoying. My wait is almost always longer in anything due to my last name. Americans always think that they are the first ones to make a joke about it, which I normally find funny to watch, but when the TSA does it…bah. I regretted wearing so much metal as it took me five minutes to get all my stuff put away and then back on.

My flight was due to depart gate 1A at 9:47. When I arrived the Ted Airbus was already there, and I had 105 minutes until the flight, so I went to go get some food. The last time I was at PHX was with a user on this site, Monorail. A lot of you probably know Ed, or read his trip reports. As I was saying, however, on the last occasion after a flight from Burbank, we were going to do some spotting and I was most hungry, so I stayed in line for 20 minutes (it seemed) for a roast beef sandwich. Upon getting to the spotting area, I found it was a turkey and cranberry sandwich. This was right after Thanksgiving. I was most disgusted. This time I got a real roast beef sandwich, so it was strangely satisfactory. Anyway, as it happens, he was leaving on an America West 757 that day and we'd discussed the possibility that I might see him leave. You can find his trip report here. I kept an eye out for a while, but saw no site of him, so I thought I'd go ahead and finish eating my sandwich. I was sitting and eating when I saw an America West 75 lined up and going. I threw down my sandwich (spilling some vinaigrette, oops!), grabbed my backpack and took off to the window just in time to snap a few shots.
He rotated what seemed like very early, especially compared to some of the WN 73s that I watched depart, so it was a close thing. I hope you're doing well now Ed!

Airline: Ted

Aircraft: _Airbus Industrie A320

Registration: Unknown (Please contact me if you know.)

Load Factor: 100%

Route: PHX-DEN

Cruising Altitude: FL350

Flight time: 1 hour 26 minutes

Time to Altitude: unknown, roughly 80 nautical miles distance wise.

Departure time (scheduled): 9:47 AM local. Arrival: 11:33 AM local.

Flight Number 1428

Date: 12-14-06

Seat: 22A

I finished my meal and went to board. As I had a window seat, I was one of the first on the aircraft, which meant that there was room in the overhead bin for my backpack. I put it up and took my seat. The lead FA, Ronald, was making jokes all the time during the boarding, much the same as a WN FA might. I appreciated this, and loved how he referred to the boarding as "cramming people into the Airbus through that cold jetway."

We taxied for takeoff and there was not a huge line, with us in third spot. We departed 7L after a bit, and lifted off across from the ATA distance stand.


Three special schemes!

While retracting the flaps I noticed a piece from inside shear off and get bent up. It then stuck on the outside of the flaps. I got a picture of it. Don't know what it was. If this is a normal part or you have any guesses please let me know what it is.


What is that thingy?

Our course brought us into a left turn and up by Mingus Mountain, near Prescott and the interstate. We turned to the right so that we may have been heading east, but being unfamiliar with the area, I do not know. The air became choppy around thirty miles east of Flagstaff's mountain (do not know its name), which was also about the time that we passed the Barringer Meteor Crater.

Interesting formation...not the dust spots.


That rascally crater.

The captain announced that this chop was only temporary and would be over quite shortly. From listening to Channel nine, I gathered that it was a very localized disturbance. As we exited Arizona, the FAs came through the cabin with a free drink. I got tomato juice, as I felt that I might be getting sick and wanted the vitamin C.


Enjoy breakfast!

I can't speak now, so it did not do me too much good. I don't drink caffeine anymore, as it's terrible for you, and I wanted to be well hydrated, so you'll notice that I order mostly tomato juice and water. I believe that I did get one small cup of Coke on one of the flights because I had that "nasty sinus taste," and the tomato juice would not rid me of its foul presence.

We cruised along at FL350 until somewhere over Colorado, when the air became a continuous light to moderate chop.


Some mountains over Colorado.

All flights were reporting it. FL280 and above were reported to receive chop, as well as all levels below FL190. Our four FAs collected garbage quickly and took there seats before we were over "Powder." We began our descent and the air became smooth as we passed FL270, but at FL190 it turned moderately choppy as expected. Listening to Channel nine, I heard a strange communication between Center and a SkyWest flight:

Center: SkyWest 6948* reduce speed descend to FL190, reduce speed to 250 knots.

SkyWest: Roger Center, 250 knots and FL190.


(about ninety seconds later)

Center: SkyWest 6948, I said reduce speed to 250 knots,

SkyWest: Roger that, sorry it 'bout that.

(about 60 seconds later)

Center: SKYWEST 6948, speed readout please.

SkyWest: Ummm….270 knots isn't 250 is it?

Center: SKYWEST, I SAID TO REDUCE SPEED TO 250 KNOTS. You're GOING TO BE up the TAIL of the traffic ahead. REDUCE SPEED NOW.

SkwWest: Ummm….roger…readout says 250.

(no further communication from Center)

The captain turned us over the out rims of Denver and we lined up for final approach for 35L. The gear was dropped as soon as we were cleared for landing, and the landing was smooth.


Descending for landing.


More spoilers.

We were cleared for a high-speed taxi on M-6, and we taxied past a Champion 727 and the Great Lakes pad to gate B16. We were told that the double bridge was going to be used today as we had so many passengers, but we ended up not using it for unknown reasons.

DEN.jpg" target=_blank>DEN.jpg" width=650 height=451 alt="http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/neces0c9/DEN.jpg" border=0>

Landing and going by the unique terminal.

Worthless jetbridge.

Flight Rating

On Time: 20---Departure as scheduled, landed 20 minutes early.

Crew: 20---The FAs joked in a manner that rivaled Southwest. Great job.

Seats and Legroom: 19. I had no problems at all. Legroom might be a problem if you cannot get a bin for your carryon.

Meal Service: 15---A standard beverage. I had hoped for a cookie or something on a trip like this. Oh well.

In Flight Entertainment: 20---Channel 9. Need I say any more?

Overall: 94. (A-) A low cost flight with higher than average service. Excellent.

I grabbed the train and headed off to C44 for Delta flight 665 which was due to depart at 12:55. I arrived and went to check in. There were two lines to the agents, as there were two agents. I selected one, and after five minutes I was the second in line. The man then departed to go find a wheel chair, as one was not brought to a nearby flight, so I stood there talking to the lady in front of me. The other agent then looked over at us and said, "Get back to the end of the line. Can't you see there aren't two?" I was not happy with his tone. Upon finally reaching the front (and the pervious agent came back so I was stuck waiting longer), the man then could not find my record…uh oh…after much searching he printed me off a pass, although he never explained the problem. When I asked him if he knew if my bags would make it through to Missoula at the next stop with SkyWest, his response was, "How should I know?" I did not like this tard's attitude much.

After getting off the train.

Another Delta flight...I like the MDs in the new colors.

To soothe my ruffled whiskers, I went and bought a piece of pizza, which was too greasy and made me feel sick. I then threw it away and cursed the airport for raping me of my hard-earned monies.

Airline: Delta

Aircraft: _MD-90

Registration: N912DN

Load Factor: 84%

Route: DEN-SLC

Cruising Altitude: FL220

Flight time: 1 hour 1 minute

Departure time (scheduled): 12:55 PM local. Arrival: 2:24 PM local.

Flight Number 1428

Date: 12-14-06

Seat: 23E


My aircraft, soon to head to Salt Lake City.

Boarding commenced and I was Zone 4. The load was not as heavy as last time, but the seats seemed much more cramped. I don't know if this was an illusion or not (perhaps due to the weighted 2-3 seating?), but I disliked it in any case. EDIT: The seats ARE an inch narrower than on the Ted flight...surprising what a difference it makes. An older couple sat beside me who were heading to Missoula also, it turned out. She works in the same field as I do, so it was a pleasant surprise. I enjoy having nice seat partners, and I would qualify my two on this trip as just that. We taxied for takeoff via taxiway G and were third in line for departure on runway 25.


Preparing for departure straight out.

Takeoff was smooth and quite powerful at first, but we soon decreased our pitch to a more usual angle.

Entering a positive rate o

Topic Author
Posts: 1622
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:47 pm

RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This T

Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:17 am

Part II

Entering a positive rate of climb.

There was a good bit of snow on the ground for most of the flight, and clouds obscured much of the landscape. The captain came on with the dread announcement of turbulence plaguing flights at all altitudes, and a heads up that we were going to remain at FL220 to avoid the worst of it. I hate it when I don't get the beverage on time by golly! The flight was rather short and due to the chop there was little to write about.

A slight turn after departure.

14 minutes before the beginning of our descent we escaped the hold of the rougher winds, so the FAs decided to give us all water. Oh well, no tomato juice for me. Glad I bought that bottle at the airport. I asked for a bottle of water from the FA as she went up the cabin, and as she went down, so I had two drinks. That "getting-sick" feeling I had was starting to disappear, so I hoped it was simply a random misfiring of neurons in my brain.

Our approach brought us in over the Wasatch Range and over that one small lake. As I have never bothered to learn its name, I refer to it as "Mini Salt Lake." We flew over some interesting places:

Our shadow while descending into the lake area.

In this picture you can see both the Wasatch Range and a 2002 Olympic building.


I still think SLC is a freaky place for a major hub. Notice the odd "Y" shape of the SkyWest terminal.

One of my favorite pictures from the flights. I love the lake and the shine on the wing.

On short finals with Antelope Island in the background.

Our MD turned right over the lake and we landed on 16R. I noticed that the reverse thrust did not feel as great as some of the jets I had been on, but with a 12,000 foot runway it didn't matter. I think we parked at C10, but I lost my boarding pass and did not write it down in my notes, so I am unsure of this. By this time lack of sleep was setting in so I quit caring about things as much as I otherwise would have. You'll see that this affects some of my later flights, and I apologize for the inconvenience.

Flight Rating

On Time: 20---As scheduled; arrived a bit early.

Crew: 12---Crew was very standard, and I never felt shunned, yet never felt welcomed either. I never received a "Good day," or any other greeting.

Seats and Legroom: 13---A nice leather but I felt crammed in.

Meal Service: 20---Only water, but this was due to flight conditions, so I won't take off points. Kudos for giving us anything at all.

In Flight Entertainment: 10. There was no IFE of any sort. I am giving a 10, because, while many airlines offer no IFE on such routes, Ted outclasses if by miles with Channel 9, as does US with Cranium.

Overall: 75. (C) Legacy service with no high points. Due to innovative programs by other carriers, this Delta flight seemed meek in comparison.

My next flight was a SkyWest to MSO, so I headed off to the E concourse. I went to check in with them, and once again my bloody ticket would not show up. They fiddled with it and entered me manually. Whoop! My gate was E66 (methinks) so I got bookin. Upon arrival I showed them my printout, and then I did not show up as a passenger. Oops again. After another few minutes I was rebooked on the flight, so I went to the window and waited. My seat was 9D and all zones were called at the same time, which can be a hassle on larger planes, but on the CRJs it's not so much, unless it's a 900, which I dislike.

I don't like the structure of the concourse for SLC, as it is an annoying hike to the airplane. Basically it's a giant Y shape and you start out at the bottom, packed in with other people. Once you get your boarding pass, they tell you your door number. Mine was 28 or some such, and I followed the crowd on down.

Airline: SkyWest for Delta

Aircraft: _CRJ-200

Registration: I do not keep regs for CRJs.

Load Factor: 100%

Route: SLC-MSO

Cruising Altitude: FL290

Flight time: 1 hour 13 minutes

Departure time (scheduled): 3:02 PM local. Arrival: 4:32 PM local.

Flight Number 3848

Date: 12-14-06

Seat: 9D

The flight attendant was a young lady with an annoying voice. She seemed fake, but she got the job done very fast. The captain came on and announced that the ceiling in MSO sucked, and that we might get some bumps on the way up. The jetstream was going to be low and we would encounter it at FL290, which was our cruising altitude. I used to fly this route on DL 727s, and we flew at that same altitude all the time. I must say that I much prefer the 727 to the CRJ200, but I've a soft spot for the bird as she was my first real flight.

Pushback commenced and flaps were set for takeoff. We taxied to runway 16L and were soon rolling for takeoff, which began after a short wait on the runway. I was very tired by this time, but I wanted some pictures so I decided to remain awake until we at least got the in-flight refreshment. I shot some nice pics of the right hand turn after departure and then stowed my camera, as we were beginning to ascend through some blasted overcast. The Wasatch Range seems to catch the clouds and hold them, and there is usually cloud cover much of the way north to Montana.

Turning onto the runway and preparing for departure.

Right turn out after departure, with antelope island in the background again.

Passing the airport.

Our particular aircraft was in aquamarine.

The FA soon began her beverage service, and she started from the back of the plane, which is standard for CRJ-200 flights I've been off. If you have not been on them, this is done to make stowing the trolley easier. The FA takes it from the front and rolls it to the back, so that it ends in the position she wants it.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that we also got a cookie for the flight, though it was an odd combination: oatmeal, chocolate chip, and mint. I ate it, but it did not fit so well with my tomato juice. Stupid decision on my part.

The city is at the very end of the wing, on the left side.

As soon as the flight attendant was past me, I got up and took out my pillow from my backpack in the overhead bin. Besides being much smarter than I, singing, playing the accordion and piano, my girlfriend also loves to make everything, whether it is anything from model airplanes to special dresses and covers. The pillow she made me is a small one made for flying. It easily is stowed but is fluffy enough to take up the annoying space in the crack between the window and the seat. I take advantage of this feature when I am very tired and it's been a lifesaver many times. I placed my trash in the seat back and kept my tray table down. My seatmate was a typical Montanan and felt like talking about as much as he felt like having his nose peeled off, so I left him alone and placed my pillow on the tray table. I then did something that I love to do on airplanes: the face plant. This consists of putting my face on the pillow which is lying on the tray table and taking a snooze, just as any respectable student does from time to time in school. After falling asleep I only have to hope that the pillow absorbs the drool and that my face doesn't go flying off just to hit some disastrous object.
http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/neces0c9/IMG_2881.jpg A cookie AND juice. SCORE BABY!

I quickly fell asleep and awoke to turbulence and a solid mass of dark grey outside my window. We were just descending below 10,000 ft so I hurriedly put away my tray table and put my pillow on my lap. After about two minutes the gear dropped down and I though we were close to landing. Oddly, I felt us then apply more power and bank several more times. It was a strange feeling to fly through who knows what when you're expecting to be at very low altitude. We made one final bank, this one to the left, and then I felt the power reduced. Full flaps were extended and we continued to cruise through the nothingness. About 500 ft above the ground we cleared the overcast and were in rainy skies. We were on final to runway 11, which has an ILS approach. This explained a lot, but I don't know why the gear was dropped so early. I think we may have circled once, though I do not know why.

Crappy Montanan winter weather.

Landing under dismal skies.

The landing was gentle and the runway still had ice on the sides. We used up all of the available runway, which I had never experienced before. Taxi was off A2, and you can see on this PDF how long of a landing roll that is. For a 9501 foot runway in a CRJ, it seemed strange to just keep braking and braking and braking.

Flight Rating

On Time: 20---On time.

Crew: 14---The job was accomplished but the FA seemed insincere and her voice made my ears bleed.

Seats and Legroom: 14---I had a hard time sitting this time without hitting my shins on the chair in front of me.

Meal Service: 19---Nothing spectacular but better than some.

In Flight Entertainment: N/A (20) There is no IFE but on a trip this short it would be wasted.

For a regional carrier, this is all I expected on a flight that is only 400 miles.

Overall: 87 (B+)

We shortly reached the gate and walked into the terminal. I went past security and my mother greeted me. After getting my bags from baggage claim, we went out to the car and began our journey to Spokane. By Lookout pass the road was covered in snow and there were no plows. It was a slow and frightening (for my Brood Mother) journey, and it took five hours.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/neces0c9/IMG_2886.jpgThe weather on the drive there.

When we arrived, the weather was crappy and my mom ended up on some strange road. The only flights going out were on Southwest and the United counted was closed. The baggage area was cold and I decided that sleeping there was not a good idea. My mom agreed to let me stay in a hotel nearby if I loaned her my cell phone, as she had given hers to my brother, who had flown to Florida two days earlier. I agreed. (Ominous music here.)

A quick drop off in the hotel, including me snitching some oranges, and mother was off back across the states to Montana. She had left me with the oranges and a cheeseburger and fries, so I was set. I freshened up and made sure my alarm was set. It was about an hour later by then when I realized that she had kept my debit card when we had gotten gas. Too late now. Crap. Oh well, it was only one day down there, one day there, and one say back. Everything in Florida was going to be paid for that day so life would be fine. I had $40 in my wallet (never carry much) so I could survive.

After washing I reorganized my luggage and looked at the time. 11:00 PM. My wake up call was scheduled for 3:25 AM. Hmm. Not too much fun. Oh well, I had a set of early flights so I could sleep. I noticed it was very cold in my room so I turned up the heat. The wind was positively whipping outside and I hoped it did not affect my flight in the morning.

I snuggled in the covers and the phone rang. Time to wake up! The first thing I noticed was that it was even colder. The second thing I noticed was that the wind was even worse. The third thing I noticed was that I was exhausted. I'd sat my stuff out earlier, so I got ready and double checked that I had everything. Yep. Off to the lobby, breakfast, and the shuttle.

The wind made everyone worry that the flights were going to be late, but my flight showed that it was due for an on time departure. As this was the case, I decided that the turbulence might make staying awake worth the effort. Once we got to the terminal, the only other passenger in the shuttle got out first.

Topic Author
Posts: 1622
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:47 pm

RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This T

Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:22 am

Part III

The driver picked up her baggage for check in and put it on the sidewalk. When the roller bag blew twenty feet down the sidewalk I knew that my trip was going downhill fast. That bag had to way forty pounds, and it went away in a split second. When the driver went to get back in, the door was flung open and it broke it so that it would not close all the way. Blast, not looking good at all.

We made out way to the United Express check in and I got out. There was no wind at this area of the building, which was fortunate. I checked in and went up to the TSA line. Renovations are underway at GEG and they look as if they might be nice. Screening was fast and painless and I was soon at the gate. I took a restroom break and looked at our airplane. I'd never been on an Embraer prop before so I was looking forward to the flight despite the weather.

Airline: SkyWest for United (United Express)

Aircraft: _Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia

Registration: N579SW

Load Factor: 96%

Route: GEG-SEA

Cruising Altitude: FL240

Flight time: 1 hour 0 minutes

Departure time: 5:35 AM local. Arrival: 6:35 AM local.

Flight Number 5733

Date: 12-15-06

Seat: 1B

Boarding was done from A3. The boarding commenced fairly close to departure because of the small number of passengers. The outside of the gate door looks "normal" but it actually leads you into a stairwell and down into a sheltered walkway, which in turn leads you onto the unsheltered tarmac. The gusting winds made me cold and I was glad to get in the plane. My original seat was in the back, but the flight attendant told me I had to sit in seat 1B due to weight and balance issues. Gahh. A bulkhead seat. Seatguru warned against this seat. Oh well. Time to stow my backpack. One a lighter note, a drunken woman was across the aisle from me previously, so I at least did not have to listen to her babbling and smell her stinking.

The seat indeed did not have much legroom, and I'm short. I get the feeling that my lack of great height may be the reason I was selected for this great move. Alas, life goes on. I no longer had the view of the propeller that I had hoped to get, but it was serviceable.

The pilot came over the intercom and announced that the winds were fierce at 30 to 40 knots, gusting to sixty. Apparently we could still take off because of the direction, but it was going to be one "heck of a ride." Yay! I do enjoy things like this. He also informed us that the flight time would be one hour, and that the one flight attendant, Tina, was here only for our safety, not to give food or anything of that nature. During his talk, I noticed that the wings of a Delta 738 parked near us were shaking and that we were too. Great winds I tell you. During engine start up, I heard something that sounded like "aviator's controls." It was repeated numerous times until right before takeoff and I would love to know what the airplane was actually calling out.

We taxied to runway 21 and were first for departure. The captain informed us immediately prior to take off that we would have a brief respite from the winds near ten thousand feet, but that the seatbelt sign would probably be on for the duration of the flight. The flight attendant took the time to ask me if I got airsick, as she would take that time near 10,000 to move me to the back if I did, presumably so that I would be away from her. I told her that I did not, and she just nodded.

Rotation occurred early because of the high winds and we gained altitude fast. The airplane jumped all around and I was quite content. By the time we passed over the Air Force base, the aircraft on the ground were ant-sized. After we passed 10,000, the turbulence died down and the FA went to the back. This was the last I saw of her until immediately before landing. I don't understand that at all, and was not happy. I would rather have been where she was, unless it was sleeping on that drunk woman.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/neces0c9/IMG_2897.jpgEarly morning departure. The engines are bigger than they look.

We passed through the cloud layer and the captain announced that we were getting some strong headwinds, but due to the short flight distance the time impact would be less than noteworthy. I took some pictures and sat in my seat, looking at the beautiful clouds below me. The predawn light was making them a beautiful silvery color and it was very peaceful, especially when combined with the vibration from the engines. (Those things are a lot bigger up close I tell you!) I soon came to hate my seat because of the terrible cold. I've never been on an aircraft where the cold is unpleasant, but this time I was freezing. Tina was off molesting drunk ladies or taking a very long lav break, and I did not feel like pushing the call button, so I endured. I had on a hoodie so I would have expected more warmth. An interesting thing to note is that Tina informed me that we would not get heat on the flight, but I figured she meant personal vent heat. We had to have gotten some heat on the flight or we'd be passenger pops, so I can only conclude that she was also drunk.

We began our descent and Tina began making her way forward to The Cold Arctic Front Seat Range, where temperatures were killing off the local penguin populations, which were actually rather small to begin with. We passed over Boeing and I saw the LCF which was a happy surprise. It's a monster but a beautiful monster.

Landing today was scheduled for 16C with aircraft departing 16L. On approach we received some nice turbulence, with the airplane fishtailing and lurching to and fro. The lights were off and Tina sat in the middle jump seat as one would in a CRJ, not saying a thing and being rather ominous. Looking back over my shoulder I was able to see the lights of the main city. I noticed that some of the surrounding area was fairly dark, but I thought nothing of it.

Landing was incredibly soft with no hint of the flight's original turbulence. The roll-out was longer with minimal braking, which standard passengers may like but I tend to find sterile. Tina came over the system and made the standard announcements…don't get up, etc. etc. She also announced that our gate was N-13, the north satellite area. I'd not been to Seattle in quite some time, so I was unfamiliar with the N gates.

We parked and were allowed to deplane. Once again I was walking across a tarmac and up a flight of stairs. I was the last person off the airplane as my bags were still in the back where I was sitting in the beginning, and I had to wait for the others to deplane to get them.

Flight Rating

On Time: 20---On time despite headwinds.

Crew: 18---Tina did not have that great of a personality. Perhaps she forgot her deicer.

Seats and Legroom: 10---The bulkhead seats are terrible legroom wise, but not that bad in their other aspects, as long as flights are not long.

Meal Service: N/A (20) ---No service is available. This was also an early morning flight.

In Flight Entertainment: N/A (20) IFE not present. Use your window.

Overall: 88 (B+) My overall experience was a B+. If it had been a longer flight, it would have received much poorer scores.

When I arrived in the concourse I went straight to the restroom. I was going to get some food, but the food places were packed. Strange for a day like this for them to all be so full, but other people get hungry too. Checking my flight number on the board, I saw that I was due to depart gate A26 at 8:35 AM. Time to get rolling again. I went down to the train and took it to the A concourse. When I got off, I was one of four people and something struck me as odd. It was very quiet and the lighting sucked. Perhaps this was an old terminal? I was surprised that there were only four people down with the trains when that small concourse was so full. I followed "my" group over to the escalator. My luck is great, I thought…the bloody escalator was our of service. I began walking up and noted that the people I was with consisted of entirely construction workers. They were all talking about how few food places were open and how cold the concourses were without power. That explained a lot and foreshadowed some of the crap soon to happen.

SeaTac on emergency power. Not a fun place to be.


Without power, no one was using the people movers. Since they were uncrowded and offered better traction than the slick tile floors, I used them as my own private walkways.

Making my way down to the end of the A gates, there was only minimal backup power, and I could see all the emergency generators going. The moving sidewalks did not work, and I felt almost sorry to the ice cream shop owners. Speaking of ice, the temperature in the concourse really did not help after that cold flight. Without heat, the damp cold gets to you fairly fast.

Upon arriving at the A concourse, a ramp worker came up and explained none of Delta had any power, so flights would be delayed. For connecting passengers, boarding passes could not be printed out for quite some time. International passengers were told that they might miss their connections, which caused a great disturbance. A Delta agent joined the man and informed the people that they need not go and try to get boarding passes outside of security, because TSA was shut down as the machines needed power, and Deltas main server was…right under our feet, also without power. We were advised to stay calm and wait for our flights. The 6:00 AM flight to Atlanta would be the first one out, followed by Cincinnati and New York, then my Atlanta flight. They expected my flight out by 10:30 AM. Great fun this was not. It would be two hours, so I headed to find some food. (Wendy's it was!)

Getting back, I continued my talk with a nice Parisian girl I met, who was traveling from her school in Fairbanks back to Paris and was afraid she might miss her connection. She kept her cat on a leash and walked it around, and this was the main reason she was cool. Her fiancé was also a very nice young man who had no cat, sadly, but also enjoyed the Alaskan wilds. He loved flying as a hobby and I generally enjoyed talking to him.

The Delta people announced problems regularly and I began to worry. Here are some of the "small" problems Delta was having:

They had to move baggage by hand;

Baggage could not be X-rayed;

Most of the employees did not show up to work;

Employees could not be called;

Fueling was going at less than 50% of the normal rate;

The jet bridges would not move;

The airplanes could not be moved;

The majority of passengers were on the other side of security.

The list could go on, but every few minutes a new problem was brought up. I was originally scheduled to depart at 8:15 AM and arrive at 3:30 PM. My connecting flight to JAX was at 7:30 PM. I did not want to miss is, because then I would have to get on the 9:00PM flight, and I stupidly did not have my cell phone. My pick up would miss me or not be able to make it. Not good.

Around 9 we were told that power would be back on at 11 and that flights would begin departing then. Fine. I'd get on the later flight. It was cold so I curled up.

I awoke an hour later and snagged a water bottle from the Delta counter. Refreshing!

11 AM rolled around and the power was restored. However, it seems that the Delta computers were shot…no one could get them to work. For example, the LCD flight screen could not be used so they used paper signs.

Modern technology.

I loved this sight and still laugh at it. No flights had yet departed and we kept waiting. At noon everything was the same and passengers from the 6 AM flights were pissed. I went and bought lunch and remained very tired.

Captains and flight crews showed up and milled about. I got in line for the Atlanta flight with the one original gate agent, and then she left. Only three agents showed up for the entire sum of the Delta flights, so the captain and first officer of my flight tried to help me. They were unsuccessful and told me to wait for the lady to come back, but she never did. While they were there I asked them about their crew hours. They said that they were going to Atlanta one way or another because they had to be there, and Delta called them in around noon so that the hours would not be exceeded. The first officer was checking something this time and found out that, since they had checked out late waiting for that call, Delta had put the charges on their account, or something like that.

Topic Author
Posts: 1622
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:47 pm

RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:28 am

Part IV

He also said that they has changed his crew hours after he had changed them to the correct amount, and that it showed where it had been manually edited. I asked him why they would do that, and he said probably for the same reason we had three people working all the flights: the morale stinks and people are being apathetic. It seemed sad t me. I then asked when we'd leave, and the pilot said that the flight was scheduled to leave at 12:45 now. Yayers. Also, he mentioned that there was no way we'd make it at that time, so I should not get in too big of a hurry.

We finally got an agent around one, and people started showing up from outside of security about this time. Some other flights began loading too. The agent kept telling us to wait ten more minutes, then ten more minutes, and I grew tired of it. I asked about my JAX flight and he said that I'd have to ask in ATL.

Airline: Delta

Aircraft: _Boeing 767-300

Registration: N135DL

Load Factor: 90%

Route: SEA-ATL

Cruising Altitude: FL not given

="">Flight time: Roughly four and a half hours.

Boarding time: 3:00 PM local. Arrival: 1:30 AM local.

Flight Number 706

Date: 12-15-06

Seat: 16G

Boarding finally began at 3 PM, and I got seat 16 G. This was a nice seat and I settled in for the flight. For whatever reason, boarding was the longest I've ever experienced. The last person got on the plane at 4:25 PM, 85 minutes after boarding began! Gahh! It's just a 767.

The 8:25 flight to ATL has boarded.

The pilot announced that he was sorry about the weather delays and he hoped we'd enjoy the flight. The headphones would be free on this flight to make up for our delay, and he hoped we'd like the movie. We were seventh in line for departure from 16 L. We taxied until we were right by taxiway hotel…and then stopped. After a while, the captain came on and announced that he was sorry, but it seemed that TRACON had lost primary power, and then they lost generator power, and only had eight minutes of battery power left, so that time would be used for landing airplanes. The family occupying the seat beside me and the corresponding aisle seats was becoming distraught. The mom had two small daughters and was afraid that they would not make it home to Tampa. I felt really bad for them, and we'd been discussing the importance of their flight with a nice first class lady on the ground. (During the flight the nice lady from F came back and told them that they could use her guest house, and that she would make sure they got fed, if they wanted it. People from the South are so nice it seems to me.)

Anywho, the captain shut down the engines until we got further word. This was at 4:45, and he explained that we might attempt a VFR takeoff and just file and IFR FP enroute. At 5:10 we restarted our engines and two airplanes took off…we taxied forward, then…stopped again. Radar coverage had failed in a sector, so we waited once again. We finally were cleared to depart at 5:55 PM. It had been an incredibly long wait, and people clapped on takeoff.

The captain shut down the engines. Notice it is darker.

We are finally taking off. Now it's really dark.

Climbing through some snow.

The rotation was slow due to our heavier load, and the scenery was beautiful. I got some fairly crappy pictures, but I had no equipment to get good ones. :P We reached 10,000 quickly and the FAs came about with the headphones. The screen in front was screwy and kept jumping, and the movie was a terrible documentary about some teenage basketball freak. I decided to wait for the snack pack, so that I could have some nourishment. It thought that I had something caught in my throat that made it itch, but it ended up simply being the flu. Great to travel with. I can't speak right now, as I believe I mentioned earlier, and my sinuses and stomach are killing me. I just wanted to get to JAX and I caught the bloody Marburg virus. *sigh*

Snacks and a drink were given out, and the movie had to be changed due to a malfunction. This was a good thing in my opinion, although I ended up sleeping through the Illusionist with Edward Norton.

Dinner on Delta! Yummm yummm. (I do like the buttermilk cookies very much.)

About an hour from landing I awoke with a splitting headache. Any doctors or medical personnel were being asked to go to the back for a medical emergency. I felt sick and dead, and did not want to, but no one else seemed to be stepping up, and they called a second time. I went to the back, and besides getting blood on my hands (ahh! No BSI!!!) it was ok. The lady looked safe and I had no open cuts, so I did not mind that I'd not brought any BSI. In case anyone was on the flight, I'll not reveal much, but there are certain times when one should be up and about in an airplane and times when one should not...even when NOT on an airplane. The lady was fine and her injuries were minor. What I did not like was how I was ignored. The FAs never thanked me or even spoke to me again. After I was done it was as if I did not exist. There was a man in the seat in front of me who was sucking up and telling them that they "helped him deal emotionally" with the delay, and he just HAD to write a letter to the supervisors telling them how good they are, and it was simply necessary for him to buy them a drink after they were off duty. What bothered me was how well they treated him, asking him if he wanted more to drink or anything else at all, and yet they NEVER said thanks. Ever. Even when they saw me getting off the plane and saw me in the terminal. Maybe I'm being a pansy, but I expect some thanks.

I washed my hands and went back to sleep for a few minutes, and woke up before landing, which was on 26L. The approach included a lot of turns over the city, and the airport itself was in view for a while. What I love about the flying night trips from the West coast to the East coast are the lights…it goes from sporadic clusters of lights to sprawling lights everywhere. It's a beautiful sight if you've lived in Montana for as long as I have.

Some neat shots. (Not compared to what you normally find on A.net, I know, but it's my first TR.)


I'm surprised this time exposure was this good as it was handheld.

We touched down fairly firmly and the pilots applied reverse thrust and spoilers while the pax applied clapping. The roll was fairly long, but with little air traffic and our destination gate being A 26, this was more likely than not simply to get us off the airplane faster. After we reached the gate, the deplaning was fast, and on the way out we were informed that we needed to speak to the man outside the gate.

As it turned out, the agent was simply there to send us all to the terminal ticket counter, which meant a ride on the train! Hoorah! Monorail and I both like trains, though he obviously likes them better. I was disappointed that the new trains have a foxy female voice instead of the old computer voice that no one could make out.

After much walking we arrived at the ticket counter where a bunch of Delta employees had been brought in to help deal with the mess. I waited in line for about thirty minutes and then talked to the agent. She was very kind and said that there were no flights out tomorrow until after 6:00 PM, which would make me already too late. My girlfriend was paying for some segments of this trip JUST so I could see her sing, and Delta could not get me there…sigh…and we still had to pay. As it was 3 AM I decided that there was no reason to go to JAX just so that I could sleep in that airport and waste another day, especially as I felt ready to die. I wanted to go home, but I knew that my mother would not have time to get me from GEG if I went home early. My trip to MSO (the original trip), the trip to JAX, and the home were all booked on separate itineraries, so I knew that the airlines would not want t "cross-cooperate." I betted that I could push to just activate a return on my return plan from ATL, as it was with DL, but to change my itinerary to JAX would be a no go. To make matters worse, part of my JAX return was with Alaskan Airlines. Also, if I did any of these, my bags would still head to JAX so I'd be without Christmas presents, clothes, EMS documents that I needed, and basically everything else for a week. With my current level of disappointment and stress, however, requesting a return to Missoula was my favored course of action.

The agent was confused at first, but she thought for a while and said it might be possible. While changes of destination are not usually allowed, she said that my case was special, and that perhaps something could be done. First she went ahead and cancelled my leg to JAX. This was much to my delight, as she Delta would reimburse Leah for part of the flight due to the forced cancellation. After much looking around, she found out that all flights out of SLC to MSO were full, but after 20 minutes she performed some magic and gave me a confirmation number. She did not give me a ticket or boarding pass, but wrote a note on the file in the computer that she assured me would convince SkyWest to get me home ASAP. I never found out what that might have been. She also gave me a RON kit (amenity kit) which was sorely needed. It contained a razor with shaving cream, deodorant, a shirt, detergent, ear grooming items, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a folding comb, and a nice little note telling me how sorry Delta was that my baggage was lost.

Proof that my last name is Necessary.

She then told me that I could not get a boarding pass for another fifteen minutes, so she gave me a meal voucher and sent me to feed myself in the 24 hour food court. I went to the Atlanta Bread Company and got a sandwich, which ended up being the wrong type. (Once again, I have a problem ordering sandwiches and getting what I want. This time I asked for roast beef and French bread and got tuna fish and sourdough.) I ate it anyway, as my discovery came later. I was going to use the restroom, but the 2 in the terminal were under reconstruction. Once again I felt raped.

I returned and went to get my boarding pass, and the nice agent informed me that my bags would arrive at least a week late. She also told me that I had booked the return all on one ticket with two other people (my lady and my brother), but that she had split it and it was fine. Unfortunately, she said, I would have to pay for the ticket…pay $6.71 in taxes that was. This was done with my pitiful amount of remaining cash, but since the fees would have been enormous to make such a drastic change this late in game and Delta absorbed them for me, I was happy enough to comply. I thanked the lady profusely and she kept laughing about my name the entire time… "It was necessary Mr. Necessary…" Sometimes flirty young ladies are a good thing.

My new flight was Delta 343 to SLC, departing at 8:15 AM from gate A12. I was glad that the gate was close, because every footstep rattled my brain and made my teeth hurt. I did not realize at that time that I was developing a severe case of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Live and learn Lucas, live and learn. I took the train to A and went up the escalator. Guess what, there was a restroom by A12! Hooray. Guess what! It was closed! Boo! Guess what! There was a bathroom farther down! Guess what! It was also under construction. Mother of goats, I hated my formerly beloved home city. I went ahead and charged into the closed restroom by A12 anyway, construction or not. The people inside looked at me funny, but I was freaky looking enough by then that no one dared to question. After I used the toilet, I tried to brush my teeth. Ahh. The water was cut off. Guess what! There was also a water fountain by A12. Screw manners, I was brushing my teeth. Once finished, I put together a note so that the agent would wake me up, as it was now 4 AM. I then changed into my new free Skyteam shirt and went to bed with my little pillow and the blanket they had given me. I arose at 5 for no obvious reason. Guess what! The gate was changed to E36. Sweet Snufflebutt! That's the other side of the airport. Well, I began the journey, each step causing a boulder to slap my brain. Getting down to the train, I found out that I was doomed t die…the train was not running. Anywhere. Guess what! More construction. Those of you who have been to ATL can imagine my level of distress by now…48 hours of travel with 5 hours of sleep, total, a developing case of Strep throat, and a lack of food combined with massive jet lag and walking made me hurt so bad I thought I would throw up. I reached the gate 30 minutes later and took a nap.

I got up at 7:30 AM and found my note (brought with me from A 12) gone. Some agent had THROWN IT IN THE TRASH! This would not be bad, but I was the only one at E 36. Guess why! The gate had been changed to A 16. The moronic Delta employee who did that should be shot. I rushed as much as my body would allow me and got on a now working train.

Airline: Delta

Aircraft: _Boeing 767-400

Registration: N837MH

Load Factor: By this time I was seeing visions.

Route: ATL-SLC

Cruising Altitude: Asleep.

Flight time: Roughly four hours?

Departure time: 8:15 AM local. Arrival: You wonder too?

Flight Number 343

Date: 12-16-06

Seat: 41A

I boarded as Zone 4 and we took off from runway 26L. I waited on the beverage service and snack, then closed my shade and went to sleep, because I felt like Death itself. The man beside me was also asleep, so I did not feel bad.


I used to visit Delta tech-ops before the new security measures.


It truly is one massive taxiway.


Everyone loves the ski-jump-esque runway.


Ready for departure!


Blech! I walked all that way just hours ago.


Atlanta? Isn't that an airport?


Pretty sure that it's just a Delta hub...I terribly misquote one of my favorite shows.


Fog along the river, and a blended winglet.

I awoke to confusion, and thought I was in my seat at school…nope. Airplane. Where? Hmm. Open shades. Looking outside, I saw a lot of snow and clods, and assumed that we were inbound to one of the 16s. I recognized our location when I saw the smokestack. For the first time ever I was landing on 34R. I was still to zonked to care. Landing wasn't a crash, that much I remember.


It's one of the most graceful wings ever.


Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Big difference in temperature.


That smokestack I rely upon.


And almost there!

We had to wait for about 30 minutes to get a gate to park at, so I assumed we were early. In fact, we were actually just still getting screwed by messed up SEA flights, but it gave me a chance to snooze more. I got off the airplane last, and was glad someone woke me up, although Maui would have been nice.


Deicer being applied!


"Hey baby...wanna kill all humans?"


My plane I do suppose.

Flight Rating

On Time: 5---Had to wait half an hour for a gate.

Crew: N/A (20) ---I had no memorable interactions, besides saying "tomato juice."

Seats and Legroom: 20 ---The 400 has rather nice seats to sleep in.

Meal Service: 10---I hate "snack" boxes.

In Flight Entertainment: N/A (20) ---I slept.

Overall: 75 (C) I slept most of this flight. It was mediocre I suppose.

I ate at Wendy's then went down to the SkyWest customer service counter. I was in line for an hour, and talked to a nice girl from Pocatello. We had similar problems, and she was the first person my age that I had really talked to for a good time, so it was pleasant. There was some confusion, however, when the SkyWest man tried to book us both to Pocatello. We weren't a couple, and everyone had a laugh at the mistake.

The return flight from SLC will not get its own segment due to the fact that I slept through 95% of it and have no notes, plus I never got my BP back. I do remember that it was a nice time to sleep and that the FA made a bunch of mistakes due to lack of sleep, but was still a great woman.

Landing was from the south on runway 29, and we touched down later than ever before, at the intersection with 25-7. This is close to the halfway point, so quite a surprise.


An amusing SkyWest sign.


Approach into Missoula. I love the steep terrain.


More mountains.


The University of Montana.


St. Pat's Hospital.


Lifeflight on top!


Our shadow on approach.


My bags never made it to JAX and I never did either. In the end, my luggage was found in DEN on the 21st, which makes no sense at all. I did NOT fly to Denver. Lordy. My main complaint with Delta is lack of communication and courtesy. They kept me waiting and waiting in Seattle, and in the end had no clue where my bags were, and, indeed, told me that they were in JAX when they were really in DEN with United. EDIT: I was told on the 21st that they had arrived and were going to get here on the 22nd. As they did not make it, I began calling at noon the 23rd. I could not get anyone until 2:30. (United's lines were full, so I called the special number in MSO.) Then, after the person "went to look," someone hung up the phone. I began calling again, but no one answered until past 3:30. This time it was a manager, and she looked for ten minutes. She then informed me it had been sent out of Denver, but not to Denver, and it did not say where. She also said that there was no tracking for it on the computer, and that United would have to start a special search, and that it could be over 18 days, by which time I will be in Prescott again. So for now I have no clothes, electronics, Xmas presents, or anything else I need. I would like to have some sort of compensation, but I know that that is impossible. Anyhow, I am angry at this mess that is ruining my short Christmas break. These fools need to get it in gear..

Delta gets bonus points for rebooking me so well and for having good agents in Atlanta. Flight 706 was the worst flight of my life with FAs I'd like to b*$@$slap, but not all of this is Delta's fault.

Unfortunately, Delta's morale seemed to be in the gutter, and, flying mostly Delta in the past, I was shocked at just how bad this was. It's a sad thing that I hope gets fixed.

I acquired Strep somewhere along the way, and this worsened my experience tenfold. Everyone knows how bad this is. I'm inclined to be nicer to DL than they probably deserve, but I have to say that, given the option of Continental or United, I am afraid my business will be these airlines instead until I hear that DL is rehabilitated. Conty has great customer service and meal options, and the United people were great to me, as well as on time, so I simply can not justify flying Delta.

Well, I hoped you liked my first TR, and I'm sorry that it is so vague, but I got tired as time went on. Let me know what you think, answer my questions if you will, and bring up your own. I hope you've enjoyed reading this 11,500 word TR!

Take care,


PS-Here's me: http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/neces0c9/IMG_3011.jpg

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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:40 am

Ok, that's it. Sorry about my massive screw up, but that's my life for you! Feel free to comment or yell at me here or on Myspace!

As an additional note, I called once again about my bags...they still don't know what happened after they reached (and then left?) Denver. I still don't know why they WENT to Denver, as my ticket was to ATL and JAX. That's how life goes, sadly. I'll file a claim shortly...had a lot of stuff (both expensive and not) in those bags, and I need clothes very badly.

For those of you who read my previous incomplete report, thanks for your comments, and I'm sorry I'm retarded.

-Lucas  Smile
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:15 pm

That was a vey enjoyable read again! Great pictures, especially the lower altitude shots. I also liked the perspective you chose for the 763 cabin pic.  Wink At least you got a 764, those are nice. I thought they were planning on putting PTV's on those too? Anyway those 763 shots all looked so familar since I was on ship 131 at the same time of the day 2 weeks ago. I was a little peeved because I misread the magazine and thought The Illusionist was supposed to be our movie, turned out I was 2 days early and they showed a documentary I didn't bother watching.
Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs!
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:54 pm

Quoting Monorail (Reply 5):
That was a vey enjoyable read again!

Thanks, it only took me two times!  Wink

Quoting Monorail (Reply 5):
Great pictures, especially the lower altitude shots. I also liked the perspective you chose for the 763 cabin pic

It was a perfect chance to make the 767 seem like a "real" widebody. At that cramped angle you can't tell how big it really is.

Quoting Monorail (Reply 5):
At least you got a 764, those are nice. I thought they were planning on putting PTV's on those too?

I wondered about that. It had overhead ones...in the aisles...IIRC, but then again I was really tired. It also had PTV remotes, so maybe they popped out while I was asleep? I don't know. Certainly not in the seat back though!

Quoting Monorail (Reply 5):
Anyway those 763 shots all looked so familar since I was on ship 131 at the same time of the day 2 weeks ago.

While 63s have nothing on the 64s, they are a widebody, and it's nice to be able to walk around. (Especially when stuck on the ground for so long.)

Quoting Monorail (Reply 5):
showed a documentary I didn't bother watching.

That thing was so bad it made my ears bleed. Blech!

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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:54 pm

Excellent trip report about a not-so-excellent trip...that weather over Lookout Pass didn't look bad at all, though! Sorry you never made it to JAX and that as far as you know, your bags might be in Abu Dhabi or rattling around in the depths of DEN's "automatic" baggage handling system. This one makes my one and only visit to ATL (ATH-JFK-SLC-BZN turned into a 48+ hour ATH-JFK-ATL-SLC-BZN trip thanks to mechanical delays at JFK) seem like a pleasant experience by comparison.
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Thu Dec 28, 2006 4:29 pm

Quoting Teo747 (Reply 7):
that weather over Lookout Pass didn't look bad at all, though!

It was really fine by Montana standards. My mom is from Atlanta though, and by heavens it scares her. It was about 1.5-2 inches on the insides (where the wheels had not hit) so it was not as bad as it could have been. Going down on the Idaho side was actually easier than expected due to the warmth over there!

Quoting Teo747 (Reply 7):
Sorry you never made it to JAX and that as far as you know, your bags might be in Abu Dhabi or rattling around in the depths of DEN's "automatic" baggage handling system.

Thanks for the condolences. As for my bags...did you read that thread in Civ Av about the luggage found in a dumpster? That's probably what I should suspect by now.  Wink

Quoting Teo747 (Reply 7):
This one makes my one and only visit to ATL (ATH-JFK-SLC-BZN turned into a 48+ hour ATH-JFK-ATL-SLC-BZN trip thanks to mechanical delays at JFK) s

Well, yours could have been a real terror depending on where you got stuck! That does look like an otherwise fun routing to fly though, I have too admit. Speaking of Bozeman, do you like that airport? I have friends there and I've watched some NW Airbuses coming in, but I've never been to the airport. BZN is a beautiful place though. Glad to meet someone from MT!

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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:45 am

That has got to be the best TR I have ever read. I like your use of humor and sarcasm to get your point across!
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This T

Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:58 am

Quoting Halcyon:
Well, yours could have been a real terror depending on where you got stuck! That does look like an otherwise fun routing to fly though, I have too admit. Speaking of Bozeman, do you like that airport? I have friends there and I've watched some NW Airbuses coming in, but I've never been to the airport. BZN is a beautiful place though. Glad to meet someone from MT!

Glad to meet you as well! Looking back on it, it was rather fun , although by the time we got to SLC I was most definitely ready to get home and go to bed! We got stuck at JFK although we did get to have a few hours of sleep in a hotel before showing back up at the airport at 5 AM to go on standby for flights out.

BZN is a very nice airport with plenty of flight options considering the population of the area...unfortunately I don't get to fly out of there too often given the high fares.

[Edited 2006-12-28 19:03:55]
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:24 am

Wow, what an amazing trip report!!! You realy went through hell somtimes, but the way you writhe about it is very funny and made me laugh.

happy new year: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:49 am

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 9):
That has got to be the best TR I have ever read. I like your use of humor and sarcasm to get your point acros

Thanks for the kind words! I find that attempting to view it with humor as opposed to murderous rage helps quite a lot! Now I have to redirect that humor to put photobucket in a good light. Bahhh.

Quoting Teo747 (Reply 10):
Looking back on it, it was rather fun , although by the time we got to SLC I was most definitely ready to get home and go to bed!

That's how I felt...mostly just dead. In all fairness, being sick probably hurt my opinion of the trip in a huge way. Alas.

Quoting Teo747 (Reply 10):
JFK although we did get to have a few hours of sleep in a hotel before showing back up at the airport

 eek  Hotel! Why you lucky dog.

Quoting Teo747 (Reply 10):
to go on standby for flights out.

Oops...I take that back.  Wink

Quoting Teo747 (Reply 10):
BZN is a very nice airport

Bozeman is relatively rich for Montana, which may be part of it. With so few flights into the area, though, we have to pay a ton for anything really.

Quoting DALelite (Reply 11):
Wow, what an amazing trip report!!! You realy went through hell somtimes, but the way you writhe about it is very funny and made me laugh.

Thanks.  Smile It was less than fun, I admit, but now that I'm done with it I can look back and laugh.

Actually, no, I can't. Because I still don't have my bags! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Thanks for reading everyone, and glad those people that read it before I exceeded my bandwidth liked it so much!

Also, as DALelite said, everyone have a happy new year!

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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:04 am

BTW, the pictures will be up again in three days. Sorry for the inconvenience. You can also go here to see all of my pictures from the report. You can also search on Photobucket for "neces0c9" and will also find them.

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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:42 pm

Well, my bags got here last Friday. After reviewing the info, here is what happened: GEG-SEA...they missed the flight out. They then proceeded to ATL and on to JAX a day after I arrived into ATL, which was also the day I left. The bags were then sent to Denver, where the United Skywest team found them. Sadly, they sent them back to ATL for some reason.  Confused Oh well. However, Delta located the bags on the 29th and shipped them home via SLC to MSO. At 7 that night I received a call from the Skywest office in Missoula, and the man on the end there apologized profusely for how late they were. He then informed me that they would be in my hands (80 miles away) in under two hours. Sure enough, at 8:30 a man got out of a personal vehicle and carried them into my room for me. Kudos Skywest! While the booking process was hard, you made up for it with a great service getting my bags back.

Lastly, the bags were 100% fine with all contents intact. Upon counting, I found 9 TSA search notices in the two, with two more in my one book! (Well, one was on the cover and the other was IN the book.) Seems like kind of a pointless thing to check them so many times.

Thanks for reading all, and I hope to write more TRs for you when I get the chance.

Happy 2007,
Lucas  Smile
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:07 pm

Question: As I understand it, your mom drove 5 hours each way to GEG?
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:10 am

Amazing TR. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I'm amazed you stayed as pulled-together as you did given the apparent craziness of your travels.
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:40 am

Quoting Ambassador (Reply 15):
Question: As I understand it, your mom drove 5 hours each way to GEG?

No, actually it was only 5 hours there due to the bad weather, and the fact that she got lost near GEG. The other way she said that she got back much faster (only about three hours) because it started raining and there was no snow on the Idaho side. The distance is about 200 something miles from MSO, but less than 200 from my house, where she returned to.

It costs much more to fly out of MT, and there are limited flights, so it made more sense to fly out of GEG than MSO.

For further detail, I'd like to match up the flights for you.

PRC-PHX-DEN-SLC-MSO-SLC-DEN-PHX-PRC are on one ticket.
GEG-SEA-ATL-JAX were on one ticket.
JAX-CVG-SEA-GEG were on one ticket.

Hope that helps!

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 16):
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I'm amazed you stayed as pulled-together as you did given the apparent craziness of your travels.

Thanks for reading. I did stay together quite well, but when you realize that I had no choice it's not nearly so amazing.  Wink I also knew ahead of time that it was going to be crazy...just not that crazy!

Take care all,
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:27 am

Excellent report! Love those Seattle shots.

The SkyWest sign cracks me up - you sure whoever wrote that isn't posting on A-Net somewhere??

Great Job!!
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:09 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 18):
Excellent report! Love those Seattle shots.

Glad you liked it! Seattle is a fairly nice airport, although I got the feeling it would be much nicer with heat...and the people movers working.  Smile It probably gets tiring if you fly through it a lot, which I assume happens coming out of Alaska.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 18):
The SkyWest sign cracks me up - you sure whoever wrote that isn't posting on A-Net somewhere??

BROKDED was one of my favorite parts of the journey. I bet whoever did it would be great to talk to. You don't see humor like that in large companies anymore.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 18):
Great Job!!

Thanks again sir!

Have fun,
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:52 am

Wow... sounds miserable. That said, you have to admit that you set out with a pretty unorthodox plan, and unorthodox things have a way of becoming VERY unorthodox.

What was with all the tomato juice?
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RE: Failed Trip Across The US. Whole Report This Time.

Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:21 pm

Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 20):

You're right! I thought it would be fun, but I also thought that AND CURRENT: Denver - International (DEN / KDEN), USA - Colorado">DEN would be my only problem. Guess I was taught a lesson or two.  Wink

Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 20):

What was with all the tomato juice?

Well, I love it AND I felt a most wretched illness coming on, so I wanted the Vitamin C. I get that question a lot though.


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