For my last week of summer before going back to school I took a trip down to Disney to visit my sister who works there. I shopped around since I was going for a super-budget trip and somehow managed to catch DL cheaper than either WN or FL. Normally I would have taken a lot more pictures but for some reason I didn't this time. I'll post what I have but it really isn't as much as I would have liked.
Leg 1 ORD-ATL Flight 785 Monday August 11 MD-88 Seat 29E
Got to the airport early and after an almost-nice breakfast (the Concourse L McDonald's doesn't know how to flavor iced coffee apparently) parked a spot at L10 and got a few good views but only a couple real decent pictures of N804SK and N641AA
We boarded and left right on time off of 9L (or is it 9R now with the new runway going in?) and after turning south a few minutes later I happened to catch a view of the Joliet Speedway
little tough to see in the pic, but it was clear from the window. The rest of the flight was smooth and we touched down about 20 minutes early on 26R. Landing was smooth, but we came in a little fast and when captain hit the reversers, you definately felt it. Due to being early, the ramp agents weren't quite ready and we had to sit for a couple minutes to pull into E27.
Leg 2 ATL-MCO Flight 969 767-300 Seat 32A
I spent the next 3 or so hours exploring (never been to ATL before) and in there got lunch at Panda Express (the 2nd time today airport food had let me down, this time with undercooked broccoli beef and a lack of chopsticks) before making my way to A2. When boarding time came around it was proof DL really needs to refine the breezeway system a bit. I'd say a good quarter of the pax were Medallion it meant it took forever to load zones 1 and 2 (which they called at once) and by the time they got to zone 4 (I was in 6) they just had the rest of the flight go. Took off from 27R and after a bit of a bumpy climb it was like glass the whole flight. It was barely an hour flight, but it gave me enough time to catch the afternoon rerun of the Daily Show and the first 10 minutes of Colbert. Like the first leg, we landed about 20 minutes early on 17L. It looked like we were coming in too fast and I was expecting a huge THUD but then I didn't even feel the touchdown. We parked at gate 71 and I headed on my merry way. Either my suitcase somehow ended up on an earlier flight, or someone mistakingly picked it up. All I know is I spent a good 15 minutes waiting at the carrosel before seeing it sitting in the middle area with the ones that were taken off by the staff.
Leg 3 MCO-CVG Flight 1236 Thursday August 14 737-800W Seat 21A
Parked at gate 78 and no matter what angle I tried to look at it from I was completely unable to see the registration on this one. Again, we left the gate right on time, but that was about where the niceness of the flight ended. An annoyingly long taxi over to 18L and lined up behind a NW 752, CO 733, AC 320, and B6 320 we finally took off into what was the 2nd bumpiest flight in my entire life (2nd only to a UA 727 ORD-DTW some years back) Periodically switching between Comedy Central and the map, I saw us head northeast over Jacksonville and towards Savanah to dodge the meat of the weather system before heading towards CVG. The seatbelt light went off for a grand total of about 10 minutes, they had to stop cabin service and have the F/As sit down and buckle up There were a few times I ended up clutching the armrests after a particularly intense dip, and the headwind wasn't making the flight go any faster. Needless to say it wasn't all that pleasant. It didn't get any better as we were on final and I knew it was just retribution for me forgetting to take dramamine. We landed on 36R and it was surprisingly good (as the guy next to me figured, the pilot was paying extra attention considering the situation). As we pulled into B19 I felt my stomach rearrange itself back where it should be.
Leg 4 CVG-ORD DCI Freedom Flight 6211 CRJ-900 Seat 16D
Still with a bit of a headache from the last flight, and running down to A25 not knowing exactly how much time I had, I didn't think to snap a pic of the plane. This was the flight I was looking forward to. I had never been on an RJ before and I was kind of excited considering all the good things I've heard about the NextGen CR9s. I also heard less than good things about Freedom/Mesa however the F/As were just as firendly and efficient as DL's. I couldn't help but laugh when the gate agent called the Breezeway pax and then zone 1 and 2 considering they're the same thing. When no one was walking to the gate he realized what he did and kinda tried to keep from laughing at himself when he called the rest of the cabin. The first thing I noticed after taking off from 36L was man can this thing CLIMB. I thought the MD-80s had a steep climb, but this had me feeling we were going almost straight up. The seats were easily the most comforatable of any of the flights on the trip, and once we got up to cruise I was almost falling asleep listening to the Avenue Q soundtrack on my iPod. We only hit a few ripples going through some high level clouds but it seemed like nothing after the last flight. Even though we left a few minutes late (due to the JFK-CVG leg arriving about a minute before we were scheduled to depart) we got a tail wind and ended up arriving early. I don't know what the guys at ORD ATC were smoking when they routed our holding pattern. We went over the lake, over downtown and out towards the airport. After we passed the field which I expcted since we were still way up and figured we'd have to land from the east, we started making random turns and I completely lost track of where we were. The constant banking made for a bit of a wobbly final and we hit 9L (or whatever it is now) with the THUD I knew was overdue for the trip. We parked on L7 and I finally headed home.
It was definately a good trip, and I think I'll give Delta a big ole' A. The crews were friendly and the service was efficient (even though there isn't that much of a product....I can't complain considering what I paid for the ticket). I can't fault them for the weather between Florida and Kentucky, and the pilot handled it very well. Freedom suprisingly exceeded the expectations I had from all the negativity I had heard about Mesa. The CR9 might be my new favorite plane. The rough landing gets them an A-
[Edited 2008-08-14 20:15:31]
[Edited 2008-08-14 20:16:36]