in April this year I traveled to the United States. The purpose was an exchange program covering a stay in Tulsa, OK
and a tour through New Mexico which took three and a half weeks in total. Beforehand Delta was chosen because they had the best fares and the best connections. Personally, I would have prefered flying on LH
, mainly because they have PTVs on most of their aircraft and I had flown on DL
before. I like Delta however
We left on Sunday, April 5 aboard DL
117. It departs at 11 o'clock in the morning which is very convenient because you only have to be at the terminal at about 8 am. SkyTeam members use terminal 3 in STR
. My itinerary didn't include any reservations, so I asked for a window seat while checking-in. Unfortunately the agent told me the flight was overbooked, so no more free seats to assign. I was given a seat right in the middle, not the best one, but I could cope with it.
On my way to gate 109 I could already see our aircraft which had arrived from ATL
just some minutes prior.
Boarding started about 40 minutes before scheduled departure time. As I entered the aircraft, the flight attendant offered me a cockpit visit- and of course I embraced it
Very nice cockpit crew as well, the F/O let me sit in his seat, definitely a great experience.
According to the paperwork our flight would take exactly 10h 01m. There were 111.000lbs of fuel in the tanks.
I took pictures of the flight deck, but I forgot to ask about permission to upload, so I don't really want to post them here... sorry.
A few minutes after we were pushed back and took off from runway 7.
The service on the flight was pretty much the same as in 2007 when I last flew on DL
peanuts and drinks after departure and lunch some time later. Chicken or pasta were on offer, I opted for the former and it was quite appetizing. Since I didn't have a window seat, I mainly used my iPod or read in the Sky Magazine. Among the movies shown in flight was James Bond Quantum of Solace. A while after reaching mainland the second meal/snack service began which consisted of the la Pizza 4 formaggi. I was hungry and the pizza was pretty filling.
I swapped seats with one of my teachers somewhere over the Southern States, thus was able to take pictures out of the window
Already on approach into ATL
We landed on runway 8L
and taxied to concourse E.
Immigration, customs and security were unproblematic though it took quite a while until we got through. Now we had about 4 hours layover time before flying to TUL
which I mainly spent with watching planes and spotting from concourse D. It offers nice and unobstacled views of the aprons, but weather was dull and as the sun was already beginning to set, reflections from the windows became stronger.
N680AW before flight to PHX
with continuing service to SNA
A340-300 back to FRA
It turned out that our flight to TUL
would be delayed due to bad weather in the vicinity of Atlanta which caused the inbound flight from BTR
to be late. After some more technical issues, we finally blocked off at 9.40pm (schedule was 8.30pm).
The flight was EV
5277 and operated by a CRJ-200, registered N872AS.
At least the FA
seemed to be in a good mood, and so was her safety presentation. It was hilarious when she said she would hit anyone trying to enter the cockpit in flight with the coffee machine
Even though night had already fallen in Atlanta, the line for take off was still considerable.
Complimentary beverage and snack service was made, since most passengers had already fallen asleep, the flight attendand gave a second round of drinks and snack for those awake. I appreciated it because I badly needed some caffeine in order not to fall asleep.
We landed 70 minutes late in Tulsa. A long journey had almost come to and end for me.
If you ever happen to be there, I recommend visiting Tulsa Air and Space Museum. A great place for aviation enthusiasts. In fact, it's more than just a museum, because there are lots of things to try out on your own.
Bison, photographed at Tallgrass Prairie
I had a great time in Tulsa and on April 20 it was time to continue to Albuquerque, NM
was the only viable option for us which also meant to be at the airport very early in the morning. Flight 5098 was due to leave at 5.40am.
The whole terminal was less than empty and check-in went fine and quick, I received boarding passes for both segments, but this time with a window seat on either flight
The flight passed without any special occurrences.
Up next was DL
1853 from ATL
which left from terminal B, Gate 8 at 10.55am.
Departure was spot on time and off we were with a full loadfactor in both cabins. The 757 we flew on had neither PTVs nor wifi system installed. As you can see, my window had a couple of annoying spots , still it was a nice and scenic flight overall
Colorful SkyWest CRJ-900. N821SK
Leaving Atlanta, shortly after departure from runway 26L
Some pictures from New Mexico:
Road near Taos
Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo
On April 28 it was time to fly back home. We were due to leave ABQ
at 9.35am on DL
The sun was rising whilst on the way to the airport, check-in and security were problem-free but the line was rather lengthy. I must say I really liked Albuquerque Sunport, nice interior, free wireless LAN and plenty of stations to recharge electronic devices. I originally wanted to take more pictures, but somehow forgot about it... oh well.
Our aircraft was already standing at the gate, MD
-88 N973DL. There was another Maddog on spare as pictured in the background (N990DL).
I actually wanted to ask for a cockpit visit, but upon seeing that the pilots were busy, I didn't want to disturb them. This was also the time when the panic about swineflu was in full swing, a couple of passengers were wearing breathing protections.
Flight was full once more, but we left on schedule. Safety presentation was done manually.
After a fairly long the take off roll the JT9Ds were flying us towards ATL
. I had an aisle seat and the person at the window was asleep... great... This particular MD
-88 featured Delta's gogo wifi inflight system, so I gave it a try. The access was 7,95$. Of course I visited a.net and flightaware to see where we were flying at.
Just after overflying the boarder of Texas
Tasty bagel, price 3$
What I found pretty cool was that the flight attendants came to my seat a couple of times to ask for our remaining flight time. It was quite amazing to see how accurate flightaware's data are, we made a couple of turns on approach to ATL
and about 10 seconds later it was visible on my display. Landing on runway 10 with strong breaking action.
Now we had about 4 hours of spare time, again a good possiblity for me to make a tour through the airport's concourses. At first I went to terminal T where DL
116 to STR
was scheduled to depart from, and our aircraft was already at the gate.
Another B767 was to fly to Lagos, Nigeria. N1612T
I thought terminal E would give me the most interesting views and biggest aircraft, and so it turned out to be. Since it was still early in the afternoon only a couple of widebodies were at the gates, among them DL
This aircraft flew to BCN
some hours later.
I returned to the gate well before scheduled departure time at 5.40pm to recharge my iPod/camera battery.
Soon after boarding was called. I hoped for another cockpit visit, and it worked out
Once again the flight crew was very generous and cordial, the Captain was a former MD
-11 pilot at Delta. Having reached for my seat, he came on over the PA saying the flightime would be about an hour shorter than scheduled due to high tailwinds.
We joined the line for take off as number 3 and soon after we were blasting towards the warm evening sky of Georgia. Not much to note about this flight, smooth landing on runway 25 at STR
. I once again was allowed to enter the cockpit where the Captain gave me the paperwork from the flight- awesome stuff
Thanks again, Capt!
I find Delta's product is acceptable. The crews I had were actually very nice, especially the aircrew, but also the flight attendants have a high amount of professionalism and experience. Their international B767-300ER fleet is comparatively outdated and will hopefully be improved in the next years. What I would like to see are PTVs and new seats in Economy, maybe also in Business though it really isn't my affair. The overhead screens are of low image quality unless you're seated very close to them.
However, I do like the content of the entertainment system, movies were well-chosen in my opinion and there was the right proportion between films, sitcoms, advertisements and airshow. On their domestic aircraft PTVs and wifi are continuously being installed. Especially having internet in flight was a cool feature to me. Sign-up was user-friendly and done in a few minutes, connectivity and speed were absolutely flawless. It's worth the money. Catering was satisfying, though their buy on board sandwiches seem a little pricy, but I can't really judge since I didn't purchase one. This was my impression after having flown Delta six times in a month.
I hope you enjoyed reading my trip report. It's actually the first one I've ever written. So I am of course open to criticism and suggestions
Feel free to comment.
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad