Well, my short stay in New Orleans had come to a conclusion. I had fun down there. It's sad to see all the devistation. I'll leave out pictures of that when I get them developed and scanned, since the NOLA meet last year did a good job of capturing it all. But, the city doesn't look horrible...Just in need of some help. On the news, it was sad to see how much power is costing you guys down there! Anyway, I called for an airport shuttle, and they told me they had to pick me up at 4:30 AM
for my 7:15 AM
flight. I thought this was ridiculous. And it was. I was over 2 hours early for my flight, so I ended up sitting around. However, I met a real nice guy on the shuttle, and we talked all the way to MSY
, and then for a little over an hour at MSY
after we both checked in. He was actually flying to ATL
, as well...Only on the next flight out after mine left. He was going to CVG
that day. He's a very frequent traveler, so we had a great conversation. He flew on the Concorde several times, so we talked about how much we loved the plane, and how I wished I'd gotten a chance to fly on her before she was retired.
Delta Airlines Flight 597
Scheduled Departure: 7:15 AM
Actual Departure: 7:21 AM
Scheduled Arival: 9:15 AM
Actual Arival: 9:23 AM
Anyway, upon check in, I found a flaw in DL
's system. First, they have no check in counters at MSY
, just Kiosks, with agents there to put the bag tags on luggage, and help with problems. Well, when I checked in, I only got my boarding pass to ATL
. I thought that was odd...So when the agent came over to put the bag tags on my luggage, I noticed my bags would only be checked through to ATL
...Not to PDX
. I said "Whoah...I'm going to PDX
today." He looked confused, so I said "I have a very long layover in Atlanta..." He looked at my reservation, and said "Well, you can only issue boarding passes at the airport if your flight is within six hours. Do you want your bags checked through to Portland?" I kind of looked at him odd, and said "Well... Yeah...I'd like my bags when I get to PDX
...Check them through, please. I'm confused why I can check in through to PDX
online, but not at the airport..." He couldn't answer that, so off I went. After my long talk with the guy I met on the shuttle, I went through security, and got some breakfast. I waited at the gate, and at 6:45, we started boarding. I boarded with the rest of our full first class cabin. I noticed in the gate area, there was a pack of kids on our flight. That wasn't exciting. It ended up not being so bad. As the kids were boarding in the main cabin, some of them started commenting on the first class cabin as we enjoyed our pre-flight drinks. Then a few of the girls started singing "Glamorous" as they passed through. That got a smile from some of the younger people. Then the flight crew demonstrated why I'm beginning to take a real liking to Delta. The captain came on the PA to welcome us all aboard. He talked about the flight time, weather at ATL
, etc...Then said: "And I understand we have _____________ Middle School on board today, heading to Washington DC. We'd like to extend a special welcome to them this morning. I also understand we have a few first time flyers in their group. We'd like to give them a very special welcome aboard. It's my first time, too...So we'll work through it together!" I got a nice laugh from it, as did the rest of the plane.
We pushed a little late, and had about a 5 minute taxi for departure. After we took off, we were offered another drink, and the snack basket. We were soon decending into ATL
, and landed just a bit late.
From here, I went into downtown ATL
for some sight seeing, but mostly to take the CNN Studio Tour. The tour was nice, somewhat short. But it gave a nice view into how a live 24 news network operates. It was cool to peer into the studio while a live broadcast was going on. There were a few small kids on the tour, and as one of the anchors was walking back to check something somewhere, he took time to wave at them, and give them a smile. I thought that was pretty neat. After the tour, I grabbed some Chic-Fa-La (Did I even come close on this??)...It was my first experience with them, since out here in Oregon, we don't have them. Pretty good food. I just took in the sights of the CNN Center, and eventually caught the MARTA back out to ATL
. Since I forgot above, let me just say this: You guys told me how easy MARTA was to use...But I was really amazed. I'm used to BART down in the bay area, and getting a ticket there can be a pain...But MARTA's cards that are issued to get in are FAR
easier to use. I saved it just in case I go back to ATL
any time. They truely are a "breeze", as they say on the card. Great experience.
Anyway, back at ATL
, I checked in for my PDX
flight, and got a shoe shine. I went back through security, and spotted. I went to all the terminals, and took pictures. For this trip, I was limited to using the old Pentax, since I don't have a digital I could use. One of ours crapped out and broke last year, and the other my dad needed for work. We'll see how they came out soon! I'll have KPDX scan them for me, and get them posted here as soon as possible.
This is about where my trip went to hell. I was supposed to be on DL
545 on the 10th. Recently, I've been having nose bleeds. I was sure I was over the problem, and none of them were bad. Well, boarding was called for a half hour before departure. I got on board, stowed my carry-ons, and was of course offered a pre-flight beverage. I ordered a gin and tonic...And enjoyed it throughout boarding. Right before the door was to close, I had an itch in my nose. I rubbed it, and...BOOM. It's like someone turned on the kitchen sink. I caught the initial flow, and rushed passed the guy next to me in the aisle seat to the lav...Where my palm all ready had a pool of blood. It wasn't a drip, but a full on stream out my nose. Of course, I was getting nervous, which didn't help. It also didn't help that I'd just had alcohol. Then I heard the main cabin door shut. "Shit...Maybe they know I'm in here, and think I'll be right out..." Then the F/A started the welcome abaord speach, and that they'd be starting the video soon. "Crap...They don't know what's going on..." So I poke my head out quick, and call for the F/A working in the galley, the one doing the PA pokes her head around the corner, and nods, as if to say "We know....Don't worry." So I went back in...But I think she realized the captain had no clue what was going on, so she starts pounding on the flight deck door, and sort of shouts "You can't push yet! We have a medical back here!"
Now I'm thinking "Great. All of first class, and the first few rows of coach know what's going on..." Next she knocks on the L1 door, and I assume waves for the jetway to re-dock, because a few moments later, I felt a nudge as it docked with the plane. They keep asking if I'm ok, to which I keep saying "I can't get it to stop....So I dunno. Give me a few moments here..." Now this would be a good time to add that I don't give blood for one very specific reason. No, I don't have AIDS...
But every time I've ever had to give any substantial ammound of blood for lab work, I hyperventilate, puke, and almost pass out. So the thoughts running through my mind now, are "Sit down...And bend over, cuz here it comes..." Now the flight crew is alerting the entire plane by asking if there are any paramedics, doctors, or nurses on board.... Now I'm embarassed, because everyone is wondering what the heck is going on, I'm sure...and they think something serious is going on. Right after that, I feel myself starinting to hyper ventilate. I ask the F/A next to me for a paper bag. She goes "What? Why?" I respond with "Because I'm about to hyperventilate, and throw up..." She starts looking, but I feel it starting, so I say "Never mind..." Right as I vomit, and hyperventilate. Right after this a RN
comes up and introduces herself, and is asking what's going on. Then, about 10 seconds later, up comes a guy "Hi, I'm _____. I'm a paramedic. And starts asking me questions, right about the same time a US Army field medic comes up, and starts to assist him. I've now got a dedicated medical team treating my nose bleed. I'm of course in a cold sweat, and really dizzy. The F/A has called for the ATL
EMT's to come to the plane. About the time the US Army medic was taking my pulse, and they were asking me questions, one of them says "Oh, I hear a girney...The EMT's must be here. Sure enough, they were. We now have six people treating my nose bleed....And we had managed to get it under control. It was a very light drip by now, and by the time the EMT's had figured out I was stable, we took a walk up the jetway so they could take my vitals on their machines. Of course my face has blood all over it, as well as my hands, and arms.
Up in the terminal we took care of my vitals, and they figured I was doing fine. They of course asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I said it wasn't a big deal...I'd be fine as soon as I got some sugar back in my blood. They wrapped up, I signed a release, and the Delta supervisor started to talk with me, along with the gate agent. He asked if I felt I could fly. I knew I was screwed, no matter what I told them. My answer was "Well, more important, is that yes, I do feel like I can fly. However, I know it isn't my choice, or yours, either..." He smiled and said "Yeah, we need to talk to the captain..." I said "I know it's his choice, and I respect that. I know what he's probably going to say...But I can hope he's ok. I need to get to work tomorow, and have appointments in the afternoon..."
He went to talk to the captain, and of course came back to let me know that the captain was not comfortable with me flying tonight. I smiled and said, "Yeah, I figured as much. I'm not going to make a scene...No point in doing it. I'm disapointed, but I respect his decision." The only problem with understanding how travel works, is that you pretty much know the answers to most questions before they're asked. As soon as I hyperventilated and threw up, I know I was done. I had resigned to that fact while I was in the lav, seemingly bleeding out.
The supervisor got right on re-booking me for the next morning. I asked what was going to happen with the hotel, and if I'd be responsible for the cost. He arranged for Delta to pick up my hotel bill for the night, which I appreciated very much. After he got all of it arranged, I made calls back home to update my family. I'd called my dad after I was done with the EMT's to let him know what had happened. I called him to let him know I wouldn't be home that night, and called work, etc., Then I went to check in at the hotel. I got settled into my room, then went and got dinner at a little Mexican place across the street. The food wasn't all that good, and was a little over priced for the proportions.
I didn't have any luggage because, of course, DL
didn't pull my bags off the plane. I now also had to wear the same clothes for two straight days. I was a little anoyed about that. I had no toiletries, etc. I was put up at the Holiday Inn North. They gave me a kit with toothbrush, paste, etc. At least I could shave in the morning. When my head hit the pillow, I was out
The next morning, my cell phone alarm jerked me back to reality at 6:00 AM
. I showered fast, and headed to the airport. I again made use of the first class check-in line, and fast track security line. I got a quick bite once I was through security, and in the B terminal for my departure. Not 15 minutes after my boarding pass was issued at the counter, my gate had changed. The snow storms in the north were causing headaches at ATL
all ready. We were moved from B23, to B1.
Delta Airlines Flight 543
Scheduled Departure: 8:31 AM
Actual Departure: 8:51 AM
Scheduled Arival: 10:57 AM
Actual Arival: 10:26 AM
Boarding started at 8:00 AM
, and again first class was going out full. Our pre-flight drinks were a bit late this time, since the caterers were a little late this morning. Boarding was quick and easy. We pushed on time, but had to wait in line to go. This was also the first time I'd noticed a flight I was on did single engine taxi ops. The pilot started the left engine, and left the right one off until we assumed our place in line for departure. We were number four this morning, behind two DL
738's, and a DL757. Behind us was a NW
DC-9. The climb out was a bit bumpy, as the weather was cloudy and damp in ATL
. After it smoothed out, drinks were brought around again, and not long after, breakfast was offered. I was impressed. We were served an omlette with melted cheese, and assorted veggies inside. It was very good. I've had worse at restaraunts. We also had a fruit bowl with grapes, grape fruit, pineapple, and honeydew. We also had bacon, and a begal. A very filling meal. Everything tasted fresh. After breakfast, I sat back and continued enjoying my movie. I can't get enough of A League Of Their Own. I was being offered in the "Favorites" menue. This is easily one of the best baseball movies ever made. The writing and acting is great. I love watching it every time I get a chance to see it. Our cups were never empty on this flight. The F/A's passed through the cabin very frequently. After my movie, I took a stroll with the guy next to me to the back of the plane to stretch my legs. I talked with one of the F/A's When I sat back down, my satelite TV
wasn't working very well at all. Almost every single channel was searching for a signal. I gave up on it, and listened to music, and played games. The flight passed quickly, and before we knew it, it was time to decent. We got in very early to PDX
, and I went down to claim my bags that had arrived the night before. I got my ride home, and relaxed a little before my bussy afternoon started.
All in all I was really impressed with Delta. Their staff was friendly, attentive, and seemed happy, both on the ground and in the air. I'd fly them again any time. They all made sure I was taken care of, wether it was a medical emergancy, or just general questions. When I was trying to figure out where my flight was moved to, a DL
agent came over and helped me. I can't say how nice it is to experience that level of service when you travel. I've heard some bad stories on here of DL
service, etc. But I didn't see it on this trip. To all you DL
employees here on airliners...Tell everyone to keep up the great work! I havn't flown DL
since 2003, but I know now that if I have to fly from west to east, I'll look at DL
hard and long before I settle on someone else!!