Ok, so this is my first trip report, and I've only been a member here for less than a month. SO BE
I go to school at IUP, about an hour east of Pittsburgh. Spring break was approaching and my friends that go to BU
extended an offer to go visit them. I accepted and immediately started looking for flights. The first two places I looked were Continental (EWR
is my home airport) and US. US was a bit expensive so I tried for CO
. still a little bit too expensive, so I called my dad and asked if he would spare me some of his onepass miles for the expedition. He said no so I continued my search. I stumbled onto delta.com after a late night of partying and saw a one way fare from Pit-Bos (connecting in JFK
) for $69.00. WHAT??!!??!! I booked it immediately. This was amazing. Now on to the actual flights.
Delta Airlines (operated by Freedom Airlines Inc.)
Gate-23 (terminal 2)
I was scheduled to leave on Feb. 28th so I spent that Friday night at my friend’s house. We left at 8 for the hour long drive to PIT
. They dropped me off and after a multitude of good-bye's and thank yous I made my way to the Delta ticket counter. I was the only one there save the three ticket agents at the counter. I made my way to the counter and they first asked me to check in on the machine. Not a problem, checked in, got my boarding passes and paid for my bag. With my bag safely on its way through the bowels of Pittsburgh International Airport, I made my way downstairs to security, where I was the second person in line. The agent checking ID
's and boarding passes asked me where I was going. This is the exchange between the two of us.
Agent- "You headed on spring break"
Agent- "Where you headed to?"
Agent- "You pack enough condoms?"
Me- stares awkwardly for a second, "Of course I did"
After that rather humorous interaction I made my way to the x-ray belt. Shoes off, watch off, laptop out, through the detector and.......TOUCHDOWN!!! First time I haven't set it off/forgot to remove my shoes in a while. I'm a winner. Anyways, after talking to a girl from a rival school that was behind me in line I jumped on the underground train to that trademark giant X shaped terminal. As soon As I made my way up to the concourse level I realized exactly why it had taken me less than fifteen minutes to get from curb to gate. THERE IS
NOTHING THERE. The airport is a dead zone. The cutbacks in service from US were extremely noticeable. The extensions they built on two of the concourses were closed, with a giant wall blocking the way.
Allow me to give you a synopsis of the aircraft I saw during my three hours at Pittsburgh. (Three hours? Yeah, I got there a little too early.) Anyways, this is what I saw. I'll have pictures up when I figure out how. Delta (Comair) CRJ-700 to Atlanta. Two Northwest Airlink CRJ-200's to Detroit and Memphis. Continental Dash-8-400Q to Newark, two Southwest 737-700's to Midway and Baltimore, a US EMB-190 to Jacksonville, a US 170 to I have no idea where, US Dash-8-200 to Philly, JetBlue EMB-190 to JFK
, Airtran 717 to Atlanta, United ERJ-145 to Dulles, and an Air Canada Jazz Dash-8-200 to Toronto. Oh and our ERJ-145 to JFK
. This is all that I saw in my three LONG hours at Pittsburgh. I walked the length of all four concourses and still had over an hour to kill so I got some Au Bon Pain from one of the 3 billion they have at PIT
. My orange juice fell on the ground while trying to put a straw through the lid so I looked around to make sure no one noticed then ran like a man on fire with my apple croissant. Sitting safely at the gate, with no pissed off Au Bon Pain employee's in sight I looked out the window to see our jet pulling up to the gate. I immediately understood how tiny these ERJs really are. Thank god the flight was only about an hour. Before boarding started, the extremely attractive gate agent made an announcement informing us of Delta's new PIT
service with the 757-200. I knew about this already and I still have trouble believing that they'll be able to fill seats. Oh well. I guess its all trial and error...extremely expensive trial and error. Anyways onto the flying part.
I board with group 3 and take my seat on the single side with my backpack safely in the overhead across the isle. The seat was comfy enough for a short flight and leg room was ok (I didn't take pictures of my feet, just in case you were wondering. I'm not that much of an airplane geek.) We waited for some last minute passengers on this completely full flight, I just took the time to look out the window watching the ramp guys bustle around getting us ready to go. I'm not certain, maybe a ramp agent on here can verify this for me, but the guys driving luggage carts and other such vehicles seem to drive like they're at the Indy 500. I didn't think those things could move that fast but MAN
they were bookin' it. I digress. Again.
We were all onboard and rarin' to go fifteen minutes early so they pulled the gate back and closed the door. (I thought they closed the door first then pulled the jetway back but whatevs. no biggie) I then sat and waited for pushback to commence. It didn't. Hmmm this is odd. Then I heard the engines starting, and we just taxied right out of the gate, no pushback required. I've never experienced that but I guess it saved some time, not that we needed it. Our lovely flight attendant Eileen did the manual safety briefing and as soon as she mentioned what to do if we ditched in say, the Hudson, all eyes went straight to her, like, faster than immediately. It was kinda funny. As soon as she finished our very young captain (he was only 23) announced a flight time of about an hour at 25,000ft with clear skies at JFK
. We were number one for takeoff so we go onto the runway and did a rolling takeoff. The engine thrust didn't sound all that impressive or even cool, compared to say, a CRJ-700 but I'm not that upset over it. We made a quick right turn heading northeast and settled into the flight. We reached 25,000 and our sole fight attendant started a quick drink/peanut/biscoff service, which impressed me. I ordered the coke, and she slipped me an extra pack of peanuts. It’s probably because I'm extremely good looking. Almost as soon as she finished the service the captain announced our approach and we jetted over northern Jersey, and crossed over the Hudson and Manhattan. No birds in sight so it looked like we'd be ok for landing. We crossed over Long Island, after we passed LGA
on our left side we passed JFK
looped around over the Atlantic for a crosswind landing on 31L. The captain didn't land the plane so much as slam it onto the runway, but there were some pretty heavy crosswinds (about 25-30 Knots) so I'll let it slide. We braked hard and pulled into gate 23, the Delta Connection area at JFK
's terminal two. Oh, I saw a JAL 777-300 taxi for takeoff as well as some AA
heavies (767-200 A300) taking off as well. I talked to the pilot for a second before heading down the steps for the long walk into terminal two. I finally reached the terminal and made my way to my connecting gate (22) just down the concourse. I had two hours to kill and we were listed as on time so I walked around Deltas hub at JFK
. There wasn't much going on at T2
sound I found the bridge to the T3
Pan Am World port and went to go see what all the fuss on A.net was about. I honestly didn't think it was that terrible. Granted I hadn't seen the check in areas, but it seemed clean, a little bit dark but I can totally deal with that. One thing that bothered me was a lack of windows at certain parts of T3
. I was hungry so I found the food court, grabbed a sandwich from Burger King and sat down at a window with a good view of landings/takeoffs on 31L. I saw a whole bunch of planes I hadn't ever seen before. A Saudi 747-400 taxiing and taking off, a small 4 seater single engine prop (it may have been a piper, but I'm not sure) an AA
A300, and an Air China 747-400. I was pretty happy. I finished my burger and found a spot to look at the goings on of T4
, not much was happening though. I saw a VS
A340-600 being pushed from the gate for a remote parking area at the end of T4
, a couple JetBlue and VX
airbuses but not much of anything else. Eventually it came time to start heading back to T2
for my final flight of the journey.
Aircraft- 737-800 (with winglets, not the new colors though)
Our flight came in from Phoenix about 45 minutes before our scheduled departure. The ground crews did their thing and eventually they began boarding by zones. I was in group 5 so I made my way onto the aircraft. At the end of the jetway, right before you enter the plane there was a short line, and the FO was on the phone, talking with the maintenance about some light that was on in the cockpit. 0.o -.^ I got a very bad feeling that we wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. But all was well. I sat down and noticed the aircraft was VERY VERY WARM. This may be because the flight had come in from Phoenix, but it was slightly uncomfortable for a few minutes. Eventually cold air came out of the vents and things cooled down. On a side note, half of the first class cabin was filled with Delta crews deadheading to Boston. One pair of CVG
based Comair flight attendants and several pairs of Delta captains were up there. Eventually they managed to stuff the airplane full of people and our fully booked flight left gate 22 five minutes late. We pushed back started the engines and made an extremely slow taxi to 31L. OH
. I forgot, before we left the gate I saw this:
Quite the beautiful bird, I must say. I don’t fly that often and last time I was in JFK
(July of ’08, that trip report is still in the works, they only had the A380 gate set up.) It was kinda funny, because my dad travels all over the world for his business and has yet to spot one. This past year he had to spend 10 days gallivanting around China and then a week after that he was off to Paris on L’Avion.
After waiting in line behind several JetBlue airbuses, a couple Delta and AA
ERJs and a Mexicana A318/19 (I wasn’t sure which variant it was) we pulled onto 31L for a very long and powerful takeoff roll. We made that awesome left hand turn on the departure and flew over the Atlantic parallel to Long Island before turning again to head up to Boston. Flight time was only 38 minutes cruising at 19,000 ft. It was mostly overcast and we flew under the clouds. IFE was turned on for this short flight and after failing miserably at the trivia quiz I turned on the map and looked out the window. About thirty minutes into the flight our nose dipped down and the speed brakes were extended. Time for descent…YAYYY!!! It was pretty bumpy, but the overcast turned into scattered clouds so it was a pretty nice approach into 4R at Boston. I have to say though; it was one of the bumpiest approaches I’ve ever experienced. On final as we passed low over some container ships in port, our wings rocked back and forth at least ten degrees each way. The guy next to me looked a little bit nervous. We made a final left turn and touched down firmly on 4R, full reverse and we were off the runway about 3/4 of the way down. We pulled off, taxied past some United and AA
jets and into gate A13, right at the end of the concourse. I knew I had some time before my friend came and collected me so I asked the Captain at the door if I could take a look at the cockpit. He said absolutely, so I checked it out, and it looked cramped up there, way less spacious then the CO
757 cockpit I got to sit in way back in 2002. I talked to the Captain for a bit and he said he and his crew had flown the inbound to JFK
. After exiting the aircraft I wandered around terminal A for a bit. It seemed to be an extremely nice and well maintained facility. Good job Delta!! I followed a couple of pilots to the baggage claim and waited around for my ride.
Overall impressions? PIT
was a bit of a letdown (at least at that time of day) but it was fast and efficient so I’ll get over it. JFK
was pretty good. Terminals looked old but for two hours I can deal with that. I loved all the foreign heavies I got to see though. BOS
is my new favorite airport. It was clean, staff was nice and baggage came out on time. Delta was also very good, the drink/snack service on PIT
was a nice touch and the crew was awesome. Delta ground staff in JFK
was a mix of good and bad. I was looking out a window at a flight leaving for LAX
and the gate agent walks up to me and yells in my face “IF
GOING TO LAX
YOU HAVE TO GET ON
THE AIRCRAFT IMMEDIATELY.” I said I wasn’t and she gives me one of those looks and walks off. Oh well. I give the entire trip an 8 out of 10.
This is a link to my videos and pictures from the trip. http://s610.photobucket.com/albums/tt186/themusicman199/
As I said before, this is my first report, and suggestions and comments are always welcome!