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Nice Try, Delta (+ BDA Pt 2, Pics Coming Sometime)

Sat May 02, 2009 5:42 pm

Hi, everyone. I realize that I never got around to posting the rest of my TR for the trip to BDA last July/August. But here it is now. Until I find a way to post more than two at a time, i can't post any pics for your enjoyment, but the information is here. Let's see how much I remember:

August 1-4:
These were the days we spent on the island. We spent most of our time on the beach at the resort, swimming and just plain having a good time. And then of course, there was the rather nasty incident involving a broken snorkel and a lot of sea water (I might just leave that up to your imagination). The one rainy day, I went with my cousins' family to the main city of Hamilton where we did all sorts of exploring and just taking everything in. And of course there were the fantastic four-course dinners every night. I couldn't even begin to tell you how amazing the service and of course food was. You'll just have to trust me here. But, in spite of all the fun we had, it finally came time to head home.

DL 307:
We (my and my cousins' families) headed off to the airport about 1:30 that afternoon, even though our flight was supposed to only leave at 3:55 PM. After killing some time after check-in, customs, and security, we headed to the gate area to wait. Eventually, though, our 737, N3738B arrived, about 10 minutes late. Boarding was not really affected, and we ended up being on board right on time. We waited on the ramp for about 10 minutes before pushback, at around 4:05. Eventually we got moving and taxied down the runway before turning around and gunning it at the end. That took care of departure, and we were off on an uneventful flight to Atlanta. About 45 minutes into the flight, snack service began. This consisted of the exact same sandwich and chips as on the way over, yet the price had magically risen from free to $8.00. I had to wonder why this was. If anyone can tell me, I'd appreciate it. Anyway, about 3 hours and 15 minutes after departure, our plane touched down hard on runway 27L just after the STA of 6:15 PM.

Since our next flight to MCI didn't leave until 9:50 PM, we had several hours to kill. After leaving the plane from BDA, we first decided to see if it was possible to switch to the next flight to MCI becuase there was one leaving before ours. So we headed off to the customer service counter in the middle of the terminal. Almost before my mom had finished explaining, we were told that as long as we had luggage, we had to be on the same flight. With the time we had, we rode the train to terminal E, to see what interesting international planes might be there. As we expected, it was mostly DL 767s, but we did see a World MD-11 and an OAI DC-10. By the time we had stopped to have dinner, it was time to head to gate A12 to fly to Kansas City.

DL 1578:
The flight was nearly entirely full, as evidenced by the huge crowd of people in the gate area, and sometime before boarding it was announced over the loudspeaker in a gratingly cheerful voice that this flight did not offer meal service. I could just feel the passengers waiting for their 767-400 flight to LAX secretly probably saying 'Sucks for you' to themselves (Well maybe not, but it wouldn't surprise me if they did). But by 9:20, boarding was nearly complete, and we took our seats in 14A, B, and C. The MD-88, N989DL, pushed back right on time, and we settled in for a one hour, 46 minute flight to KC. I ended up falling asleep shortly after takeoff, so I don't remember a whole lot. But I woke up in time for our descent into MCI, and saw a thunderstorm in the area from the air. Very cool! At 10:58 PM, our plane finally touched down, and arrived at gate 58 within five minutes.

Overall, I was satisfied with the experience, although the free snack going up to eight dollars and the inability to rebook were kind of irksome. But still, I generally liked it.

Nice Try

So here's the TR for my annual trip to South Carolina at Thanksgiving. If you're getting bored by now, I'm not making you keep reading, but you can if you want.


For once, my family got booked on a much later flight to ATL, rather than our usual 6 AM gig. The aircraft, as usual, was an MD-88, N954DL. Pushback occured around 9:25 AM, so while we waited, I had the chance to do some spotting, and ended up seeing my first Midwest Connect ERJ-170, as well as some AA MD-80s and NW A320s. Being a relatively empty flight, boarding took only around 10 minutes, and we were soon on our way. Since we were first in line for departure, we taxied briskly to the runway and took off almost without stopping. Due to our departure to the south, those seated on the left side of the plane (like me) were given a nifty view of downtown Kansas City complete with the Airline History Museum's Lockheed Constellation visible at Kansas City Downtown Airport. The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful, so we just sort of sat there and waited till it ended. Which it did, nealy two hours later, with touchdown occuring at 12:13 PM local time in Atlanta. Another brisk taxi brought us to gate B25 and we deplaned more or less on time.

Following a 90-minute layover in Atlanta filled with lots of spotting and terminal-exploration, it was time to make our way to gate E7 (international terminal for some reason- ??) to board flight 1557 to SAV. Boarding time was 1:50 PM with departure scheduled for 2:25. The aircraft was a nicely appointed 737-800, N377DA. Unfortuantely this aircraft was not equipped with either winglets or the new PTV entertainment system, only the fold-down overhead screens. (It [/i]did[i] have the eyebrow windows blocked out, but you know, who cares?) Departure was on time, and we pushed off for runway 9L for takeoff to the east. We were followed out by sister ship N378DA to the runway. Flight time was a scant 37 minutes, and pretty much before you knew it, we were descending into Savannah and made an on-time arrival at gate 15 at 3:02 PM. That ended that day's flying adventures and led to those of the next Saturday.

Return Trip
So here's the plan:
DL 1097 SAV-ATL depart 11:00 AM
Arrive ATL
DL 1097 ATL-MCI depart 12:10 PM
This is all without changing planes, but with a scheduled stop in ATL.

Here's what happened:


So we get to the Savannah airport, and it looks like rain in the distance. Upon check-in, we are informed that flight 1097 will be a little late coming in from Atlanta. No big worries, just about 10 minutes.

30 minutes later and the MD-88 that will be 1097 hasn't come yet. Being the person that she is, my mom goes to ask about it multiple times with the same answer: We can't say when it'll be here.

Finally the arrival sign displays the new time for 1601 (the incoming flight) is 12:20 PM. Now that a time has been posted, we make our way through security and head down to the gate with some lunch to wait. At about 12:30, N981DL finally arrives at the gate, and within 15 minutes, is ready for boarding. With our zone, we get on and wait for the others. And then we pushback. And taxi. At the end of the runway, we are told that ATC wants us to wait seven minutes to take the runway and take off. Seven minutes come, and we finally leave for ATL, one hour and 40 minutes late.

48 minutes later we arrive in Atlanta, greeted with two mile visibilty, heavy rain, and low clouds. Since we arrive on the brand-new runway 10, taxiing takes about 15 minutes, but we do eventually arrive at gate D9 next to a shiny newly-repainted 757. before anyone is let off, the FA says that there has been an equipment change, and the the new flight will now leave at 3:35 PM at gate A16. Apparently while we were on our way, Delta, in an attempt to keep a fragment of their schedule on time, sent the second leg of flight 1097 on its way minus the passengers icoming from Savannah.

New schedule, DL752

At 3:35, flight 752 (unfortunately the flight # isn't representative of the a/c type- it's another MD-88, N994DL) is ready to go, all pax on board. As it turns out, my mom, who is a SkyMiles member, has reached Silver Medallion status. This earns us re-booked seats in first class (yay!)

For the first time that day, the flight was right on time, and I got some great pics from my vantage point in seat 1A of various planes taxiing and others (ever seen a CRJ make a vapor cloud?)

Following a long taxi back to runway 10, we take off behind a long line of other Delta -88s, 737s, 757s, and 767s, and quickly climb to our assigned altitude. The rest of the flight was uneventful as usual, (same snacks, etc. as always) and about 100 miles southeast of Kansas City we began our descent. For a while the setting sun shone though the windows and lit up the whole plane in a bath of glowing orange, but once we got below the clouds, it got boring. the approach and landing were also uneventful, but a little bumpy due to the winds in the area (not nearly as bad as in ATL). Less than five minutes from landing, we taxied through the snow to gate 57 and ended our trip at 6:40 PM, four and a half hours behind schedule (according to the initial plan).

Although the return was quite a bit more complicated than (I think) it should have been, I was pleased to get First Class seats, and it certainly seemed that the schedulers tried to fix things as best they could for passengers like us who had been delayed and left in ATL. I realize that under the circumstances there probably wasn't a lot they could do, but nevertheless, they got us on our way and on the same day at a reasonable time. Good recovery, Delta Guys and Gals.

[Edited 2009-05-02 10:43:33]

[Edited 2009-05-02 10:44:55]
Midwest Airlines- 1984-2010
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RE: Nice Try, Delta (+ BDA Pt 2, Pics Coming Sometime)

Sat May 02, 2009 6:10 pm

Nice TR, I want to shed a little light on what probably happened with DL1097. Even though it was a thru flight SAV-ATL-MCI with a MD88 it may or may not have been pre-scheduled to swap aircraft in ATL and it was probably pre-scheduled to change crews their. Because the ATL-MCI crew appears to already been their it probably made sense to run ATL-MCI on time with a different aircraft. While your family was inconvienced I can't imagine most days their being a lot of SAV-MCI thru paxs but the aircraft likely returns to ATL from MCI with easily 100 connections that where now safe because of the aircraft swap earlier in ATL, so it makes sense for DL. At least you got their only a few hours later, and got F to boot.

BTW I do not work for DL but a competitor and this is often done at our hubs when it makes operational sense.


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RE: Nice Try, Delta (+ BDA Pt 2, Pics Coming Sometime)

Sat May 02, 2009 7:52 pm

Hey nice TR, where were you visiting in South Carolina? Reason I ask is we live in the Hilton Head Area.
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RE: Nice Try, Delta (+ BDA Pt 2, Pics Coming Sometime)

Sat May 02, 2009 9:04 pm

Quoting UltimateDelta (Thread starter):
For the first time that day, the flight was right on time, and I got some great pics from my vantage point in seat 1A of various planes taxiing and others (ever seen a CRJ make a vapor cloud?)

Nice TR, but you do know DL's M88s do not have seat 1A.
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
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RE: Nice Try, Delta (+ BDA Pt 2, Pics Coming Sometime)

Mon May 04, 2009 1:49 am

Quoting Aviationnut12 (Reply 2):
Reason I ask is we live in the Hilton Head Area

Yeah, it was HH.

Quoting Alitalia744 (Reply 3):
Nice TR, but you do know DL's M88s do not have seat 1A

Okay, 2A, whatever. Thanks for correcting that.
Midwest Airlines- 1984-2010

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