Ok, so after ATL-EVN and back I'm going to give another go at this TR thing.
This is about a week-long trip I took with some friends to Moscow last month. Living near Atlanta the most convenient option was Delta. I was excited to try out their 767-400ER having flown the 763ER several times.
4 July 2008
I arrived at ATL around 130 for my 330 flight. I checked in and was through security in approximately five minutes. The airport wasn't very busy which surprised me considering it was Friday afternoon, maybe it had something to do with it being July 4th? As usual I walked to my gate. Is it just me or do people need to learn to GET OUT OF THE WAY of other people who are trying to move?? My flight left out of gate E33 so I headed there initially and nabbed an exit row (30A I believe). Since there was nothing going on down at that end of the concourse (and no windows to view the other concourses to boot) I walked the length of the concourse. The KL 332 to AMS was there waiting at its usual gate E22, LH A340 was sitting pretty a few doors down, though I was thrilled NOT to be on it after my trek from CLT to MUC. I saw all the various DL flights, though I think the only one other than mine that was actually boarding was DL to Dakar and then on to one of the South African Destinations. Eventually it came time to board. I looked around and noticed there were A LOT of children on this flight, all under the age of ten. Oh goody.
Once on board I was lucky to have the seat next to me empty. Don't take row 30 on the 764, the armrests don't move due to the PTVs. We sat at the gate for at least another half hour due to a malfunction with the AVOD system. It never got fixed so we left the gate with no distraction for the next 11 hours! A FA sat in the jumpseat across from me and we struck up a brief conversation as we lifted into the hot skies over a rain-deprived Georgia.
A meal service followed about two hours after takeoff. As usual I took the pasta over the chicken offering with the granite bread substitute and the complimentary wine. I definitely don't consider myself a wine connosieur (sp?) but I'm not a huge fan of DL's wine offering. After dinner I tried to settle down and catch a little bit of sleep but I could not get comfortable. I have difficulty sleeping upright. Being on the exit row I curled up in the floor and was about to fall asleep when the FA told me that I couldn't do that...........
After I got settled back into my seat all of the kids on the plane decided they'd had enough sitting, and seemingly all at once started sprinting up and down the aisles, which would have been fine except for the thumpting those little feet made on the floor! I managed to get two hours or so before the plane woke up.
The FAs on this leg were mostly good. There were three or four Russians, and they all wore the red dress uniform. The one who had my aisle was dutiful, but a little to brusque, though compared to some of the people we encountered later she was downright friendly. I had the usual DL breakfast of a banana, granola bar, and tea. We landed smoothly in Moscow a few mintues behind schedule. I had been talking with the FA for a few minutes again before landing and she gave me a few tips. The JFK flight had beat us as we were late.
I had heard immigration at SVO could be rough, however I had no problems. While we were in line a Russian and an American who had apparently exchanged words and bad feelings let everyone else in line see their little display. It was rather humorous, as the Russian carried on for at least five minutes before the immigration officials escorted him to the front of the line just to shut him up. I was through in less than ten minutes, where I waited on a ride.
12 July 2008.
After a week in Moscow it was time to head home. I had arrived alone but we were travelling back together so that made the cab fare much cheaper, though it was still approximately RUB4000. We arrived for our 1040 flight at 800, just as the checkin counters were opening. I believed we used counter 1-3. We were lucky to arrive when we did because we were among the first ten people in line and soon after the line got very long. I was sent to the BizElite counter to check in. Both of my bags had been well under weight when I left ATL, however 10L of Russian souvenirs had weighed one of them down a little The check-in agent must have been in a good mood since it was still early (or confused me with a BizE passenger because I do happen to have quite a few SkyMiles) because she let me through. Incidentally the baggage searcher winked at me as she came across my souvenirs! After clearing immigration we mosied through SVO airside which is an unimpressive string of duty free. I found a spot upstairs to watch the array of Aeroflot jets come and go, and watch the KL 744F land. We weren't initially permitted into the waiting area, but once we were we were all exhausted after the week so we just relaxed. Again there were going to be a large number of young children on this flight. Both the ATL and JFK flights were waiting in this lounge.
Boarding was finally called and I made my way to 27F. I noticed that no headphones had been placed on the seats contrary to custom. I asked the FA if they were going to pass them out because if they weren't I still had mine from the last flight. She said they were running short and that if I could use my own that would really help them out. The only reason I asked at this point is because they were burried in the bottom of my carry-on and I didn't want to disturb my seat-mate once I was situated. This particular FA would serve my section most of the flight, she was fun. Most of the FAs on this flight were very jovial and carried on conversation with all the passengers. We settled in and pushed back only a minute or two late and proceeded straight to the runway and lifted off into the sky. At this point the Captain came on and gave a rather long winded talk. As most of us had already booted up the PTVs this was rather annoying as they not only went on standby when he spoke, then the FAs came on translated what he said, then came on AGAIN. It was a very chatty first hour!
The food service came around and I chose the pasta, I remember this time it had spinach in it! The PTV system on DL is very user friendly and had enough choices to satisfy me, though my seatmate brought his own. He watched what appeared to be old Soviet movies that seemed to take place during the time of Ivan the Terrible? Just a guess. Looked like rather cheesy acting to me but I wasn't following it that closely. I watched on my trendy PTV Charlie Wilson's War, Stop Lossed (good movie!), a few episodes of Bill Ingvall and I started Fool's Gold. I didn't finish that one as it was predictable after the first thirty minutes. It reminded me of Sahara and National Treasures 1 and 2 all over again, and I didn't care too much for those movies to begin with. After that much TV I couldn't focus on the TV nemore (I don't watch that much TV at home) and listened to music and read for the rest of the way. The FAs were very attentive and per usual came by with a veggie-cheese pita and ice cream (vanilla Yuck!). Plenty of drinks also followed. Two hours in the kids got tired of sitting. I tried to be less irritated at this point but there were plenty of parents who were keeping their kids from running and screaming down the aisles. I understand its difficult for a child to sit still that long but my grief!
Once over South Carolina and Georgia I had fun picking out some local landmarks. For the local folks I flew over Lakes Hartwell and Lanier, the Mall of Georgia, Stone Mountain, and around the southeast end of Downtown. We landed on the North Side of the airport. I was one of the first ones off and hauled ass down to immigration to avoid the line. I got stuck behind some Lufty FAs who were oblivious to the fact that I was behind them and wanted to go around (in case you haven't noticed that's a big pet peeve of mine, get out of the way of someone behind you!)
The line for American citizens was very short and I was through in no time. The line for non-American citizens was a little longer than the last time I had flown though this may have been because I arrived earlier this time and the LH, KL, and an AF flight had all arrived along with DL flights from AMS. BRU, and MAN, as well as our own SVO. Baggage claim was interesting because a customs beagle named Button was standing at the end of the belt. This was the first time I had seen that so it was interesting to watch. I claimed my bag, then proceeded through customs blah blah blah. Put the bag back through and proceeded back through security. This time I was too tired to walk back and wanted to get home so we took the train back down to baggage check. For the first time ever the bags took FOREVER to arrive on the claim. I had two so I had to wait even longer. Eventually they both came and didn't reek of distilled bevarage so all was good!
Hope you enjoyed!
[Edited 2008-08-21 17:54:12]