operated by Pinnacle Airlines
Photo © Erik Ingram
Less than a week after retuning from a business trip to Germnay, it's back to the airport to enjoy a quick family getaway for Thanksgiving. We are traveling on Thanksgiving morning due to the substantially lower price I was able to find compared to Wednesday night, which I believe is the busiest travel day of the year in the US.
Our outbound flight is operated by Pinnacle, and I'm greeted by a male FA I've certainly flown with before. The aircraft is in fantastic condition. The CRJ-900s are a HUGE improvement over the CR2's and CR7's, and the NG version, of which I'm flying is an improvement over the standard CR9.
New lighting, larger winglets, and larger windows make for a much more enjoyable flying experience.
I have seats in the exit row, which actually offer more legroom than the first class section, so we decided to decline an offered upgrade. Seats are soft and comfortable, just fine for a short flight, and certainly preferable to the tighter pitch and feel of the MD88s most scheduled on this route.
Approach into MCI from the South, over the city, which seems pretty normal for winter. Summer arrivals tend to flow from the North.
Upon landing, I'm surprised to see that the SA)">AA 762's that have been parked at the MCI mx base have finally all been disposed of. There is just a single silver MD82 sitting on the ramp, though there are a pair of SA)">AA 763s at gates(one Wingletted), presumably equip subs getting the planes back to ORD or DFW.
As usual for MCI, bags in hand within 5 minutes of deplaning.
SA)">DL(operated by Freedom)
Photo © JetStream Aviation
After a nice long weekend, I'm scheduled to return direct to ATL on a MD88, but can't turn down an offer of $600 plus a ride on a MESA ERJ to take a later flight.
Upon boarding, the interior of the ERJ is completely generic, with nothing at all to delinate Delta, Freedom, or anyone else for that matter. I think this might have been a former US bird, but I'm not sure...
Photo © Matthew Lee - Contrails Aviation Photography
1:20 long flight due to a front moving through the Cinci area. Lots of rain and bumps on arrival. Your standard domestic ERJ flight, nothing special, save for a full can of Diet Coke without request!
The slightly longer than expected flight gives me about 40 minutes to make my ATL connection, which should be more than enough at CVG. Unfortunately, we arrive at the end of the C pier, and I depart from B11. I have to hike it to the train, get on and off, back up the escalator just to see zone 3 boarding.
Photo © Paul Robbins - Nashville Aviation Photographers
I would have liked to grab some dinner, but due to the holiday, and not wanting to check my rollaboard, I get right on. Despite boaring in Zone 3, seems everyone waits till the last minute to board, and I have plenty of room.
A 100% packed MD88 is a long way from the BE equipped 763's that used to ply this route several times a day! Now its mostly CR9s and a scattered MD80 or 738.
Nothing particularly noteworthy of the flight. Domestic MD88 says pretty much everything. I did try out wifi for the first time thanks to the holiday free promotion that ebay offered. Wifi is great onboard, and makes even short domestic flights fly by(pun fully intended). I have to imagine it will be free, or very low cost, and available on almost all US flights within the next 2-3 years.
Hope you enjoyed the report. If you did, let me know and I can post my next domestic trip:
Delta (Shuttle Amer) ERJ-175 ATL-MDW
Delta (Northwest) DC9-50 ORD-MEM
Delta (Northwest) A320 MEM-FLL
Delta MD90 PBI-ATL