I'll make this all inclusive, and start with the day before when I checked in:
Delta's online check in, and as much as I love you guys, I'm not giving you my Sky Miles number.
So now I had a whole day to wait now, and some time to kill before work, so I played Forza 3 on my Xbox:
Yes, that it the Delta logo, and yes, that is the Hartsfield Airport logo. Most of my cars have aviation-related decals on them.
Because we're in the process of rearranging our attic, I found another gem from my childhood to help me enjoy the afternoon:
Please tell I'm not the only one who played this game. I absolutely loved it when I was younger.
Come 4:00 it was time for work here:
A small grocery store chain located only in the Southeast.
I pretty much did it all that night. I stocked, unloaded the truck, cashiered, and a small amount of bookkeeping after we closed.
This is what the store looks like after closing. Still not terribly exciting. And so around 11:00 I was home, working on a maximum of 4 hours sleep if I went to bed right then, but I still had to pack and get all my ducks in a row. No matter on the loss of sleep though. I've some to find my body really doesn't need much sleep.
And so I continue my own tradition of taking a picture of my flight notebook and boarding passes the night before I fly. Why change?
I still wanted to play around before I left, so I did some of this:
NCAA Football 11
I went online and matched up someone who wanted to play as Utah. Anything is better than all the squares who want to use Ohio State
And very quickly it becomes 7-0
And also very quickly, he quit.
Ahh well. I went off to bed around 12:45 and woke back up at 3:00.
This is my magical truck that would be taking me to the airport this early Friday morning.
According to the informational radio station the South Economy lot was full, so we pulled in to the airport Park and Ride lot, which is actually a bit cheaper anyway. So we pulled in to the lot and parked at 4:38 (Don't you enjoy these specific times?)
The front of the bus and the very cool driver. No matter what kind of a day you were having at this point, she would have definitely brightened it.
We were dropped off at Delta's South Terminal and we headed in
We were able to bypass the mostly empty check-in area since we had our boarding passes, but I like the setup Delta has.
We were on flight 2012 (I wish I didn't have such shaky hands)
After establishing we were leaving from gate B2 we headed towards security and the train
Just a sign we passed along the way.
The atrium window, still dark outside.
That's what we're after.
Security was about 20 minutes, and took even longer because my brother was selected to be groped. They didn't like his belt, or his toothpaste. Yet still my matches are no threat whatsoever...
While I was waiting I grabbed some pictures:
Plaque honoring Mayor Hartsfield (these damn shaky hands...)
A look backwards at the screening area.
The concourse directory. I had to take this one fast. The TSA didn't much care for me at this point.
And so we headed down to the magical spot called the transportation hall.
The train at it's finest...and my brother kicking me in the back of the knee.
When you step out of the train, that's what you see. It is an amazing long corridor.
I guess you could say this is my favorite concourse. It houses Delta and it's a decent train ride away from the terminal.
Heading to the escalator I grabbed one picture of the next train. Actually it was two maintenance workers running a one car train manually.
And so it was up with us in to Concourse B.
Going left was the direction, but we needed some food, and we needed to kill an hour anyway.
Somehow our excursions always lead us to the Popeye's at Concourse B, and sitting in the EXACT same spot. I couldn't get any pictures this time because it was dark all the way through.
Through all this it was about:
Shortly after 6:00 by my watch, so we killed a half hour and got to gate B2 at 6:30.
Looking down Concourse B.
The wall logo.
The sign letting us know we didn't wander off to the wrong place.
The gate area
And most importantly, N913DN, the MD-90 that will take us to ORD.
Boarding began at 6:52, and during that time I filled my time on my iPod Touch:
I don't know why this image is distorted, but it is.
I decided to pull up the coolest app I have:
A blank screen, right?
Wrong! You touch the screen. Your iPod dings, and the fasten seat belt sign turns on.
Enough of that. It's flying time!
Delta Air Lines Flight 2012
Depart ATL: 7:25 AM
Arrive ORD: 8:25 AM
Photo © Josh Lilja
We boarded in zone 4 and headed to our seats in row 17.
With the wifi.
Our row 17 from afar.
Looking forward towards the end of boarding.
Being 6'3" affords me much leg room.
The door was closed at 7:23, and due to a bit of congestion we pushed at 7:38.
The Delta tails line the landscape.
A 737-800 taxis by.
We were about number 3 or 4 for takeoff from runway 26L, behind nothing but RJs and MD-80s.
Takeoff from 26L. I gotta be honest, MD-90's takeoffs kinda suck. It looks from the outside like a powerful jet, but it's really not.
Looking out from takeoff, and seeing the huge Dick's distribution center.
I have no idea what airport this is. Does anyone else have any insight. It's somewhere close to ATL.
At 8:12 they began drink service. I never change. There was nothing to do now but sit back and enjoy the flight.
Looking back at the wing at our 30,000 foot cruising altitude.
My brother started screwing around on his laptop.
2005 UGA highlight video. Dawgs-14, Tech-7
And he played some Mario Kart
And some Starfox 64
And I managed to catch a glimpse of the Kentucky Speedway.
In the mean time I decided to get the in-flight internet to see what it was all about.
I listened to Neal Boortz on my WSB Radio app.
And I tracked our flight on the Flight Aware app.
And our map.
Looks like my app doesn't it?
And I listened to some music.
At 8:51 Central Time we started descending.
Crossing Lake Michigan
I had a good video of landing on runway 27L, but no hosting site wants to accept it. Can't quite figure out why.
So we landed 4 minutes ahead of schedule at 8:21, and we pulled in to gate E15
American 737-800 (Stupid Cessna getting in the way)
And so we hopped off and walked to the terminal. We didn't have to claim any bags, so we immediately headed downstairs to the maze
The CTA station was where we were headed.
Working our way down the halls.
This is what we were after.
We took the train to the Cumberland Station and headed to the Renaissance Suites where we stayed last time we were in ORD, but there was a problem. Apparently you have to be 21 to check in to this hotel
I'm only a month from being 21, but I definitely checked in to this hotel when I was 19.
Needless to say I was confused as hell. Eventually the lady at the front desk felt sorry for me, I think, and offered to cancel my reservation and rebook me at the Marriott on the other side of the train station (where the check in age was 18) without penalty. Which was good. If I had to be 21 to check in everywhere, I would have had nowhere to go, and could have only tried to fly standby on the next ATL flight.
Our room. Actually, it was an upgrade. At the Renaissance we had one king bed, but here we had two queens. Works for me.
That fiasco aside, we headed downtown, where we already had our train and Sears Tower (I refuse to call it Willis Tower) tickets in hand.
The Clark and Lake upper level station on our way to lunch and the Sears Tower.
We ate lunch at good old Giordano's. the choice of Airliners.net and me as well.
The place was hoppin' this afternoon.
Our little buzzer for our waiting was the coolest buzzer ever.
This is what we were greeted with.
After lunch it was on to the tower.
A couple of views
The Boeing headquarters
This was what we really came for, the "ledge." The only thing standing between you and the ground is a nice piece of glass.
Me walking out (despite being an acrophobic)
The look straight down.
After we went downstairs we headed to the Boeing Store.
A shot of about half the store.
Some of the models I so desperately want, but don't want to spend the $100+ on them.
What I actually did buy, a 757-300 model and a new pen for my flight notebook since the original was out of ink.
My notebook looking great with a new pen.
And so that was day 1. Day 2 was the Cardinals game at Wrigley Field.
We hopped on a train and headed to the stadium
Transferring at Jackson heading to the north.
Albert Pujols on first.
Cardinals in the field.
The scoreboard in the outfield.
And so very sadly day 3 was the end.
I woke up at 4:05 and we caught our hotel shuttle to the airport, unloading our bags at 5:15.
Self check in was our first stop since we didn't have access to a printer.
Some more check in.
And so we moved on to security, which had a moderately long line.
Our departure gate was E15 so we went this way.
Our 757 ready to go.
Destination sign, and it was time to fly.
Delta Air Lines Flight 1477
Depart ORD: 7:00 AM
Arrive ATL: 10:03 AM
Photo © Jonathan Miller
We were delayed boarding because the crew was late the night before, and had to get their hours in the hotel, and because of this boarding was kind of old-school, calling by row numbers. They started with 35 and up, and then 26 and up. Being in row 31, we left with 26+.
With my window view.
And a DC-9 pulled in next to us before departure.
The boarding process
And most importantly, the lovely PTV.
I've come to find that people suck at boarding. They turned this whole boarding thing in to rocket science. Maybe I'm just naive, but what I did was walk in, locate my seat, put my bag in the overhead, and sit. Seems easy right? Guess not, and as a result, we didn't push back until 7:20.
The United tails behind Concourse E.
Botox much? Delta's safety video isn't even really a video. It's a cartoon. I don't like it, and no, the flight attendant is not any kind of attractive.
The RJ lineup at runway 4R
A typical 757 takeoff, always a treat.
Some climb out action
And so I powered on my PTV to begin watching.
WTF? I don't know what the issue was, but everyone had problems until we hit about 20,000 feet
But at least trivia was working.
Everyone eventually left me alone in trivia, so I looked out the window for a bit.
Making a left somewhere over Central Illinois.
Finally the TV service was working, so I turned to Food Network first
And then I watched Nascar Now
Before finally settling on Sports Center.
And this row has nothing but Spongebob
I have no idea where this airport is. Indiana perhaps?
Drinks and snacks and whatnot started around 9:00 Eastern once we hit our cruising altitude of 35,000 feet.
There we go, something different.
Just a half hour later we started descending in to Atlanta.
Making a left for an arrival to the west.
A little bit of spoiler love.
Finally we turned right to line up with ATL, right over Stonecrest Mall. That I-20 entrance is right along the route I take to the airport.
Another shot of the mall.
And I saw Stone Mountain as well
Landing on runway 26L. The kid in front of me didn't shutup from takeoff to touchdown. It was an ok landing. Luckily our taxi wouldn't be too long, as we were only going to A18
The United gates were really busy...
American 737-800 probably going to MIA
And one of the disgusting regional jets that ruin the aviation world.
The line up of Delta tails at the T-Gates.
And stepping off as plane for the last time probably for a long time.
I had a fun trip, and a great ride with Delta. I only hope my tagging is correct and my typos don't interfere with the report.