This is return portion of my trip on DL 153 TLV-ATL departing TLV on March 31st.
Our scheduled departure is 23:25 local. The crew van picked the crew up at our hotel at
19:30 arriving at Terminal 3 at 20:10. We reported to Crew Operations which is handled by El Al as flight 153 is the only Delta operation or others are code shares with El Al.
From the flight briefing we were told our flight plan would take us a northerly routing, over Greece, eastern Italy, Germany south England and Ireland over the Atlantic to a point west of Newfoundland then down on a south western heading past Albany NY into ATL with an on time arrival.
This being Saturday night our passenger bookings were heavy, only 7 open seats in Y but only 50% load in business. Although there was a long list of Special Meal requests, due to the late departure many passengers pass up on the main course and take only the salad and beverage and dessert.
Unlike the arrival, departure Crew handling is separate from Passenger Customs and Immigration. Verify the full crew that arrived on the 30th was now departing as scheduled on the 31st and proceeded to the gate. The inbound flight was on time and the aircraft was cleaned and stocked. Being assigned to the Business section I checked the beverage carts and duty free carts as well as the Crew Rest area. Every thing ready for boarding.
The agent cam on board as requested to start boarding at 22:50 due to number of passengers. We had a large number of groups and children so we agreed to the early start. Boarding went smoothly, for me, in Business, Coach was a bit hectic with many carry-ons having to be gate checked. In spite of the problems were able to close the doors and leave a minute early. Gate Agents happy at that. Long taxi to runway, but no delay and took off quickly. We were cleared to 34,000 ft and over the Atlantic were assigned to 38,000 ft.
Meal service began with in a half hour in Business, mainly beverages dessert cheese fruit, very few meals were taken or eaten. Went back to Coach to assist with the meal service there. One Tour Group were Argentines returning after visiting the Holy Land. Spent some time talking with them, they has a wonderful time and while glad to be heading home were sorry to see an end to their trip.
Went to the cockpit to offer any meals, refreshments to crew. As usual, coffee and fruit.
As I was assigned the first rest period the Captain offered the jump seat to me as he knew I usually do not lie down for a Crew Rest period. Accepted and we climbed to 38,000 ft. as we passed the southern coast of Ireland. It was a beautiful night with a full moon. We would be flying in darkness for the entire trip.
Started the breakfast galley set up as we passes Newfoundland, slight chop but no problem. Around 04:00 EDT we put the cabin lights on and started the breakfast service.
Everyone takes breakfast and coffee. Passed out U S Customs and Immigration forms, played the video and used the P.A. to give instructions in Hebrew Spanish and Arabic.
Landing was smooth and we parked at our gate, Gate E10 at 05:46, one minute late.
My deadhead flight back to New York was scheduled to leave at 07:45 but was hoping to make the 06:45 flight, but was not to be. After clearing Immigration and Customs headed
T7 to catch flight 504 a B757 to LGA.
Let me explain the dead head rules, as my parings are ATL-TLV I am required to dead head from NYC to ATL as a positive space crew member, but since the pairing is from ATL, first class is not required but given on a space available basis.
When I reported to the gate, in full uniform, the agent said First Class was available and gave me issued me the boarding pass. Being positive space we can’t be bumbed as we are required to operate/finish a flight.
We left ATL one minute early,0:7:44. After a few comments with the working crew up to LGA I fell asleep and we arrived in LGA at 09:37, 23 minutes ahead of schedule. Took the Crew Bus to crew parking lot, got car and headed home to sleep.