Purpose of this trip was to visit the UND campus and see their aviation program. But the best part was, of course, getting to fly there
Our first leg of the somewhat long (for me) journey began with finding out our original plane, which had been a 753 was going to be late coming in from Hawaii and so they'd substituted a -200. Of course, being smaller, many passengers were going to be bumped, and we were offered free tickets to give up our seats. Unfortunately, we would've missed our connection to GFK, and no other flights were available that day, so we declined.
The service onboard was the usual; I've begun to notice how some flight attendants really stand out from the rest by just being cheerful and more willing to make sure everyone has a good experience (I realize of course that even the best FAs have their off days ). I don't know who her name was, but she was one person I felt really belonged in a customer service type job. Anywho, I luckily was able to change my seat when checking in online (it had previously been a middle seat, no thanks!) and got a window. Unfortunately, as the flight was full there was little room with both aisle and middle seats filled by somewhat big gentlemen. Though the legroom of course left something to be desired, and I was fairly squeezed in, the window made it much more bearable.
I've only been through MSP once before, about 4 years ago, and I honestly couldn't remember a thing about it. Arriving at concourse G, my dad and I were just delighted to find we'd get to run to concourse C to catch our connection to GFK, which left about 20 minutes after we landed. After dashing through MSP, we made it with about 10 minutes to spare, so I'm glad there wasn't any weather!
MSP-GFK - NWA - DC-9-50
First time on a -9, and lucky me, I got 25-A. For those not familiar with the D95 layout that's right next to the port engine, so I pretty much couldn't hear a thing the entire flight , a short one, fortunately.
GFK, which dubs itself "international" has a somewhat misleading name sizewise, seeing as it has just Gate 1 and Gate 2. The entire terminal fills completely up when there's a departing/just arriving flight, but for first-timers at least it's small...
GFK-MSP - Mesaba/NW Airlink - Saab 340 - N441XJ
Somewhat longer than the previous flight, the 340 had a much more bearable sound level, and though there was some turbulence getting into MSP, it was fairly uneventful. The only FA, however, seemed to be somewhat confused on the concept of transmitting devices, as when I asked her if she could find out what gates that flight and our next flight would be using, she suggested I use my computer to look it up online... (She herself admitted she didn't know very much about computers, but her QoS was similar to the previous attendant mentioned, really attentive and on the ball (though she did somewhat neglect to mention to watch my head as I walked in until after I'd whacked it against the ceiling...)). Oddly it took about 15 minutes once we'd pulled up to the gate until we actually started deplaning, so much for a quicker turnaround, I suppose. After another wonderful dash across the terminal, we got to our final plane.
MSP-PDX - NWA - 757-200 - N516US
MSP must have a thing about keeping people on planes for long periods of time before and after they depart/arrive. After the boarding doors had been closed, it took about 20 minutes to actual departure, though I think it was due to lots of baggage being loaded.
Apologies for the poor quality, got a bad window ><...
Once again, I was able to get a window seat, and conversed with a dead-heading pilot about going into commercial av. Also, joy of joys, the middle seat was unoccupied, which makes for much easier laptop-usage and spreading out.
Got many pictures, though I regret missing an op for a better shot of a 744. The campus visit went pretty well, and aside from being in the middle of NOWHERE, the aviation department at UND is really world class from what I can tell, and I know I'll be happy with that. Their fleet is also great looking, and aside from their (repurchased) Cessna 150 (their first AC, which they're restoring) are all practically brand new. According to our guide, they're getting some new Adam Jets soon! Hope my scheduling all works out, since I don't really think we can afford another $1500 to fly/stay here again in June...
P.S. Can't wait for the PDX meetup! (Still 6/23 right?)