Our boarding passes and my flight notebook.
I woke up at 3:30 AM, 5 hours before departure. Crazy, I know, but I love spending time at any airport, plus I’ve seen and experienced the morning rush at ATL. Believe me, it’s not something I really care to go through again. My brother and I left at 4:25 AM, and ended up parking in the South Terminal’s economy lot at 5:15
Delta’s massive list of departures and arrivals.
We saw our flight would be leaving from gate B21. That must have changed on a whim, because I called Delta’s automated flight information before I left home and that freaky computer voice said our flight was to leave from gate A19.
Part of Delta’s huge check-in area
Since we already had our boarding passes and were only traveling with carry-on luggage, we went straight to security. The wait was nonexistent. Now it becomes clear why I wanted to leave home so early.
We went down to the train, my favorite part of the airport, so I just had to take some pictures:
Escalator down to the train
Virtually empty station at Concourse T
And more of Concourse T
Waiting on the train to come
A train came and whisked us away to Concourse B.
Concourse B Station
Going up in to Concourse B
When we got to the top I saw out the window behind a CRJ-900, a 757 (N685DA to be exact) with a nice looking satellite on its back
I sort of began to think it was ours just based on the face that gate B21 is relatively close to the center of the concourse. As it turned out, I was correct, but didn’t find out until I got to San Francisco.
At this point we had a bunch of time to kill, so we decided we would get some breakfast at the Popeyes right there at the center of the concourse
After killing even more time eating and talking, we finally went to gate B21 at 6:45, still almost 2 hours before departure, but you could really see the number of people roaming around going up every minute.
Delta Air Lines Flight 1065
Depart ATL: 8:30 AM
Arrive SFO: 10:55 AM
Photo © Jonathan Derden - Jetwash Images
Our departure gate.
Our aircraft. Sorry about the reflections. There wasn’t really any way to avoid it.
I really didn’t bring much in the way of entertainment. I was really banking on PTVs. All I brought were two books and my MP3 player. I was nowhere near focused enough to read, and didn’t want to listen to music at the time, so I mostly just sat there watching the action out on the tarmac, and idly listening to the CNN Airport Network repeat itself every half hour.
Finally at 7:59 we began boarding. Finally zone 6 was called. I boarded and took my seat in 36F. I set my bag under the seat and set up shop in my home for the next 6 hours
My sanity keeper for the morning
A look out the window. I would actually see this same plane in SFO on my way to lunch out there.
And the jetway as seen out my window. I honestly don’t know why I took this picture.
The cabin during boarding. The flight ended up being 100% full.
We pushed back at 8:40, about ten minutes behind schedule, mostly because people suck at boarding. Apparently no one learned how to use an overhead bin, but I digress. They put on the lame, borderline cartoony safety video, and for some reason about rows 24-37 D, E, and F didn’t have their PTVs working. The flight attendant came on and said they would reset the system and that sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. If it didn’t I probably would have gone nuts right then and there. I was banking on this thing working. All I could do was wait and hope through taxi takeoff.
What better to do during taxi than take pictures?
We had a pretty spectacular takeoff from runway 8R. The 757 is my very favorite aircraft, and all my takeoffs have been nothing short of amazing. This one was no different, extremely powerful, slow, and steep. In addition it was quite a long takeoff roll as well. Capping it all off was taking off nearly simultaneously with an MD-88 on runway 9L. I only wish I had my camera accessible at that point. It was very close to raining pretty heavily, so climb was nice and bumpy
While I waited for the PTVs to be rebooted I listened to some music. I only made it through Chicago’s Feeling Stronger Every Day before they began the reboot, and very lucky for me, they began working. While I waited for it all to get in order I took some pictures of climb:
Cabin during climb
I set my watch back to Pacific Time as we settled down at 34,000 feet, and turned on my TV for some time-passing/entertainment. All my times from here out are in Pacific Time
The first officer was quite informative through all this, giving pretty precise weather in San Francisco, our routing, and even expecting to land on runway 28R. Not bad for being over Alabama!
At 6:40 AM the first round of drinks and snacks began
One of the flight attendants working her way down the aisle
My Biscoffs and water. What’s not to love about that?
Just after they were all done serving everyone we climbed to 36,000 feet over eastern Arkansas, and then again up to 38,000 over western Arkansas. I took one more picture before settling in for the long flight:
Sports Center finished up and started back again, so I went and played some trivia:
A game which I later won
And I eventually took over the lead from the entire airplane. It’s quite the fun little game.
Over the course of the flight I watched random things on TV like Cash Cab and Everyday Italian. I looked out the window and saw we were over the Rockies. Consider yourself happy I’m not posting all my pictures. I took a bunch of regular pictures, and then messed around with my wide-angle lens.
Wide-angle view out my window
Wide-angle view of the cabin at 38,000 feet
Some airport I saw in Colorado. I turned my TV really quickly at the inflight map, but there weren’t any towns named on the map.
For a while my eyes were divided between my TV and window. I was quite enjoying the mountains, and I managed to see a few planes come whizzing by some thousand feet below us. I managed to make out two US Airways A320’s and an American MD-82. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any picture chances. It’s probably for the best though; my camera isn’t too good at zooming.
Round two of drinks and snacks came at 9:05. I didn’t bother with a picture, since it was the exact same thing I had in the first go-round, Biscoffs and water. Once again I settled in and watched some more TV. Home Improvement had come on TBS so I was quite consumed with that, flipping over to Mad TV during commercials for really no reason at all.
We began our descent at 10:20 somewhere over western Nevada.
A couple of pictures of descent
An airport somewhere east of San Francisco. Sorry for it not being very good. It was quite turbulent as we were descending, and I couldn’t keep my hand steady.
We followed a path down south to San Jose and over the bay. The first officer turned out to be exactly right as to where we landed. We touched town very smoothly on runway 28R right on time at 10:55, and taxied our way to gate 40.
US Airways A321
My brother and I waited a bit for everyone to get off and then we got off ourselves. I couldn’t confirm the tail number back in ATL, so I double checked with the pilot to be sure. He confirmed it was N685DA that carried us to SFO.
My brother and I bypassed baggage claim and went to the waiting area for hotel shuttles. We caught our shuttle to the Airport Marriott.
I wish I could have taken this shot without the wide-angle lens, but I couldn’t get it all in.
Our room. I didn’t feel like moving the stuff off the beds.
The view out our window. This picture really doesn’t do the perspective any justice at all. The view is spectacular.
The view out the window at night
I took a few more shots from the room and outside by the shore. I now they’re not great, but it was plenty entertaining to me.
Northwest A320 on runway 28L
A couple of United A320s
A KLM MD-11
Once we threw our stuff down the first thing we did was walk to the nearest In-N-Out, the greatest fast food on the planet. It had been a year and a half since I last visited one. It’s something I’m unfortunately deprived of on the east coast.
We did a bunch of things while we were there including a Warriors game and Fisherman’s Wharf among others. Everything was really easy because our hotel had a shuttle to the airport, and the BART station is right there. Traveling around the city was a breeze.
Overall it was a great flight, and a great stay in San Francisco. I’ll try and get my return up by Thursday night.