Final major trip of the summer break for me, I'm afraid. Anyhow, I had a recent one where I flew SLC
and then NRT
on a NW
A332 and DL
772ER, respectively. I got meal pics off the flights but somehow lost them either on my camera or transferring everything to my computer. In any case, I'll do a report on my most recent trip on 2x NW
747-400's as I got pics of the Delta-style meal services this time around. It's a bit redundant to the last one, but at least I have a lot more to show this time.
As for a quick synopsis of the trip - I was just going a quick trip to Hawaii with a buddy of mine. Going to visit the beaches, get on a couple HA
717's - you know, all that stuff a.nut's do in the islands
Given how it's nearing the end of summer travel, load factors have been pretty high and have been difficult to nonrev domestically. So, I had to do the usual circus-stunt itinerary to get from point A to point B. Final itinerary for the trip:
27 July 2009
, Operated by Northwest Airlines
Block Time: 13 hours, 40 minutes
747-451, N662US, ship# 6302
Seat: 78J, upper deck World Business Class
Since my favorite widebody of all time is the 747-400, I was hellbent on taking one both ways across the Pacific. Given the flight loads, ATL
was about the only good TransPac flight on Monday the 27th. DTW
, and MSP
all were completely or very close to being full.
The loads on DEN
on the 27th were extremely oversold, so I ended up going out to ATL
the day before on Sunday the 26th. I got a room at the Days Inn right by the airport - *bad* mistake. The hotel sat near right under the departure end of the runways - I was up until a bit after midnight listening to the last of the MD88's depart as they shook the walls each time they went over.
Ship 6302 (N662US) operating ATL
. I was on this exact plane on this exact route back in May
For those of you that know the intricacies of the DL
nonrev system, my buddy and I ended up each using one of our S2
flight days on the flight as there were a ton of nonrevs listed for it. With S2
, we were #1 and 2 on the nonrev waitlist and were given first choice of seats, taking seats 78JK
together on the top deck.
Top deck, looking forward during pre-boarding. The top deck went nearly full, with only 1 or 2 seats open.
The one reason I don't like flying on the top deck - bad vantage point for taking pictures. Next door was one of the more rare 767-300ER(G) of DL
's, only 7 in the fleet.
One of the real cool things about riding top deck is the sensation of looking down on everything. That is, looking down on top of a 767, as well as most of the terminal building itself. It's quite the cool thing!!
Dual crew for the long flight - 2 CA
's and 2 FO's. All four busy with preflight checks.
Looking aft on the top deck from the cockpit. Cockpit crew rest bunkroom is on the immediate right.
's longest runway shorter than 12,000 feet, the takeoff for ATL
was pretty sporty, using close to the entire length. Though, given the temperatures and a relatively light pax load, we used quite the reduced thrust-setting for takeoff power.
On initial climb out from ATL
Nearly immediately after takeoff, the crew began the service for dinner, handing out the amenity kits, headsets, slippers, and taking meal choices. As usual for me, I ordered the chicken entree.
I don't have scans or pictures from the inside of the menu, so I'll just quote what it says under each picture.
Soy glazed shrimp with szechwan cucumbers - Thai chicken and coconut soup - fresh seasonal salad with water chestnuts, carrots, celery, and cashew nuts
Roasted chicken breast with creamy mushroom and mustard sauce, served with spaetzle, green beans and carrots
Dessert of seasonal fresh fruit and all natural vanilla ice cream sundae
After dinner was over, I was having quite the difficult time staying awake as I was properly exhausted from the day before, flying all over to get to ATL
Final picture I took before falling asleep for the next 8-9 hours
On a random note, ATL
is currently the longest US-NRT
transpac in current operation with respect to distance. IAD
, despite being shorter in distance than ATL
, tend to have significantly longer blocktimes due to both typical ATC delays and the 777's cruising a good deal slower than the 744's.
Exact routing of our plane. Surprising how little water the east coast to Asia flights actually fly over. A buddy of mine has a bit of an ETOPS-phobia and I'm trying to convince him to do an international flight with me. Maybe he finally will if it's from the east coast... you know who you are
Arrival meal: glazed beef tenderloin with sesame sauce, vegetable medley and basmati rice
The arrival meal began being served about 2 hours out from NRT
, so to kill the rest of the time I watched "I Love You, Man" which I found to be pretty funny. Unfortunately, I had flown NW
earlier in the month on the relatively new SLC
so I already knew all the movies on the AVOD lineup for July.
Descending into an overcast but extremely humid NRT
On a very long final for NRT
Another great Pacific crossing - my absolute favorite thing to do
Since I checked bags, I had to reclaim them in NRT
then clear immigration and customs before rechecking it on the flight to HNL
. Check-in, as usual in NRT
, went very fast and very efficiently. Gotta love Japan!!
28 July 2009
Block Time: 07 hours, 10 minutes
747-451, N666US, ship# 6306
main deck World Business Class
For having been to NRT
ten times now, I've actually never been upstairs to the terminal 1 observation deck. I've definitely been missing out - great views from up there!!
terminal 1 observation deck
757-200 ship# 5637 (N537US) operating NW1 NRT
. Luckily, this flight has proven to be quite the success for NW
Given the unusual light load on the flight to HNL
, the agents cleared all standbys quite early, about 20 minutes before boarding. Boarding began about 15-20 minutes late but finished early anyway, given the light pax load.
View of the aft business class cabin between doors 1LR and 2LR, as seen from seats 9JK
After takeoff, the FA
's began the dinner service but ended up having to secure all the galley carts and take their jumpseats due to continuous moderate turbulence for a good 10-15 minutes straight, followed by about another 45 minutes of continuous light turbulence.
Moving map view of NRT
. Overwater the entire way - gotta love it.
Again, as a follow-on to my above comments about the sporty turbulence, NRT
is the most dangerous route at NW
in terms of on-board injuries. Given how the flight path is typically right in the jetstream, dispatch tends to file the flights directly in it to get the most favorable tail-winds enroute. The only downside to this is totally unexpected and severe turbulence, often times resulting in many and sometimes major on-board injuries.
Because of that, the meal and drink services on NRT
are usually done as fast as possible so the FA
's can both take their crew rest in the bunkroom and remain seated for the remainder of cruise in case of any unexpected turbulence.
Dinner service, served all in the same course due to above mentioned reasons. Delicious chicken & spinach though!
After dinner, I tried to immediately go to sleep to at least get a few decent hours of shut-eye before we hit the ground running in Honolulu.
Daylight after waking up, cruising en route NRT
Approx 1.5 hours out from HNL
Given the shortness of the flight, only 7:10 blocktime, the arrival meal was only a cold fruit plate with bread and juice.
Arrival breakfast/snack service
I finished breakfast pretty fast so I spent the rest of the time listening to some of the audio-on-demand. The new Delta playlists I'm not so much a fan of, as opposed to the old NW
system of allowing you to create your own playlists.
Maneuvering around on approach into HNL
. As I was on the JK
window side I wasn't able to see much, unfortunately, as the AB
side is lot better for the HNL
approach when landing to the east
All went well on the NRT
, no complaints at all really. The customs officer was a bit perplexed when my answer to the question "how long were you out of the country" was "only a few hours". After the explanation she found it pretty funny though and I didn't have any further hold up, despite HNL
customs being notorious for interrogations and bag searches at the drop of a pin.
Beyond that, the rest of the HNL
trip was really fun. My trips to HNL
have always been really short - I'd love to be able to stay 4 or 5 nights some time.
My A330 for the flight HNL
, ship# 3306 (N806NW)
As per a new Delta policy, the HNL
flights now offer free hot meals in Y. I was skeptical of them having actually enacted this policy so I made sure to bring money for BOB anyway but... sure enough... there was a free hot dinner service on board. It wasn't really a half-assed dinner either, it was up to international Y dinner service standards. Quite good, I have to say!!
Menu from ATL
and brand new Delta 747-400 safety card
In a quick self-gloss moment, I was ecstatic to come across that 747-400 card. At present, only one of the sixteen 747-400's in the NW
/DL fleet carry the DL
cards, the other fifteen carry the NW
Anyhow, thanks for reading and any comments/feedback appreciated!!