After reading trip reports on airliners.net for over a year I decided it was time to fork over the $25 so I could post. Hear is my first trip report, any feed back would be great.
When I was traveling on my March break from school in 2009 my flight from RIC-ATL was overbooked and I volunteered to take the next flight and received a $200 e credit and a first class seat on the next flight. This $200 would cover most of my 2010 trip. When I started looking at flights for my 2010 trip one of my goals was to get to ride on the CRJ 900, that I had missed in 2009 because of the re-booking, as well as flying through DTW. After looking on Delta site I was able to get a booking which fit into my budget, let me see DTW, as well as added 3 new aircraft types to my list (CRJ9, B737-800, A320), there were several 3 leg options offered from PBI to HPN which would add aircraft types and airports but they were all too expensive.
Online check in was easy and I did it at exactly the 24 hour mark so I could get myself a better seat. DL now gives you the option to have arrival information printed on your boarding pass which includes the weather and some advertisements. A cleaver way to rise revenue in an industry which is struggling.
March 5th 2010
Delta 855 (Operated by Pinnacle Airlines)
CRJ 900 Next Gen
On the day of my flight my Dad drove me to the airport and I gave my self plenty of time. I went up to the observation deck but there was not much that could be seen at that time in the morning. I then looked over at the check in line to see if it would be worth waiting to get a real boarding pass, the line was a mob seen because there was a 5:55 flight to ATL and a 6:00 flight to DTW. I decided to wait on getting the boarding pass and then decided to see if DL had been added to the airports generic self service check in kiosk, sure enough they had been so I was able to print my boarding pass myself.
After this I went through security with no wait which is one of the many things I love about HPN. Once airside I noticed there had been many improvements, the waiting area had been expanded and a little coffee shop had been added. This morning there was a US Airways flight departing to PHL, a Jet Blue flight to MCO, and a Delta flight to DTW. The Jet Blue flight was filled with people traveling to Disney, when boarding was called I saw one wife jump up grab her two kids and run to the gate leaving her husband with two strollers and three suite cases, I offered to help him carry them over to the gate but he declined. Shortly after this AirTran began announcing buy ups to first class for thre flight to ATL, this message gets rather annoying after hearing it for the 5th or 6th time. It was soon time for my flight to board and DL used there well organized zone system, the only issue was to get to the door the flight was boarding through you needed to cross the hectic mess of the AirTran boarding. There were baggage handlers there ready to hand out pink tags to gate check bags which seeded up the process quite a bit, because I was in an exit row (14B) I was called to board in Zone 1 (in contrast to what my boarding pass said) which was a nice surprise.
When I got on the flight the flight fight attendants welcomed me aboard. We were given the safety beefing and the female flight attendant went over the exit row information. We taxed and waited on the side of the runway for our takeoff slot, we ended up taking off at 7:38 two min. behind our scheduled time. When we took off the CRJ 900 gave the passengers an incredible feeling and became my new favorite aircraft right away. As soon as we reached 10,000 feet the FAs jumped into action getting the snack service ready, they went through the cabin as a team with the female giving out the snacks and cold drinks whale the male made distributed the hot drinks to people who ordered them. They used an effective system of using the passengers call buttons to know who ordered a hot drink. I had a cup of tea and a Biskoff cookie, when the flight attendant noticed I had fished she offered me a second one.
Leg room in the exit row of a CRJ900
We landed in ATL way ahead of our scheduled time. As incredible as its takeoff the CRJ 900s was able to slow down and taxi turds the E concourse barley using any of the runway. It was then announced that we would need to wait for a gate to open up, several passengers unbuckled and the flight attendant joked around about giving them a ticket , It took s until 10:07 before we pulled up to the gate and could deplane.
Some photos of the CJR 900:
On my way to the MARTA station I spotted this DL 747 which was boarding for a flight to HNL.
March 8th 2010
I spent the weekend visiting my family and got to go to the world of coke on Saturday. Sunday afternoon I tried the mobile check in using my iPod and was unimpressed with the lack of ability to change my seat so I instead checked in online once again securing an exit row (17D). On Monday I took MARTA back to to airport for the next leg of my trip. Once again I used a kiosk to get a boarding pass and went through the expert flier security line. Most of the people in this line were far from expert not knowing that laptops needed to be removed from there cases, or knowing to take shoos off. The TSA agents were friendly and joked with me about me being a Red Sox fan. After getting through security I garbed a hot dog at Nathans.
Aircraft at gate
Aircraft being catered
Wish it had been this 737 with AVID assigned to our flight
Boarding was called and I boarded in Zone 4. The cabin crew was all female and three of them greeted the passengers when boarding wale the fourth prepared the rear galley for the short flight. Load was about 75% and I had an empty seat next to me. There was one passenger who opened a full overhead bin to try and stuff his bag in when told not to by the FA, and then a lady had stuffed her carry above my seat, when the FA was unable to close the bin she asked me if it was mine and I said it was not and turned to the lady and nicely pointed it out to her, her husband got up kind of pushed the FA out of the way and then slammed the bin until it shut. It is amassing how rude people can be to other pasengers ad the flight crew. The Delta safety video was played on the overhead screens before we pushed back ahead of schedule and had a short wait for the runway. After we reached 10,000 feet I took advantage of the free code I had for the WiFi. Snack service was drinks (I chose water) and two peanuts and the FAs made plenty of water runs through the flight. Besides the WiFi entrainment was provided on the overhead screens which consisted of a Parks and Rec episode and half of a How I Met Your Mother episode.
Using WiFi on board to check for the latest news on the Red Sox
Snack, peanuts and choice of drink
We had an on time arrival into PBI, so far 2 out of 2 flights on time.
March 11th 2010
I spent the next two days with my grandmother and then it was time to head back home. When I got to the airport I printed my boarding passes and headed to security where I was selected for extra screening and my bag was hand searched. After getting through security I headed for the gate and got there just before they called my zone to board.
I took my seat 11D and ended up with the whole row to myself. A manual safety demo was performed by the crew because there are no overhead screens in DLs A320 fleet, and we took off ahead of schedule. Despite the fact the the flight was bumpy and the seat belt sign was on for most of the flight again the FAs still managed to perform the full snack service giving everyone two Biskoff and two things of Peanuts, with there choice of drink, I chose coffee. Through out the flight the FAs made sure everyone's cup was full and even handed out additional snacks.
Leg Room on A320 in Exit Row
We arrived into DTW ahead of schedule and had no wait for the gate, I can't believe my luck 3/3 flights on time so far. I soon found out how annoying all of those dots on the windows are. I road the tram back and forth 1 or 2 times plan spotting as I went along, although I ran out of memory right when I started. After this I went over to the C concourse to find my gate which had changed, after finding my new gate location (which would change again twice) I got a hamburger for lunch at Fuddruckers with all of the toppings. The hamburger was very good but still did not top the hamburger I had the The White Spot (a little restraint near UVA not related to the Canadian White Spot chain) signature hamburger, the year before which consisted of a hamburger with a fried egg on top. After lunch I went to the gate where the flight before mine had been canceled, there was an elderly lady there who hardly knew any English along with an older gentleman named Thatcher who was trying to help her but having a hard time. A father sent his kid who was in advanced Spanish to help but he had trouble too. In the end someone who could translate came by and the older gentleman ended up paying for a her hotel room for the night. I was surprised that the gate agent who announced the canceled flight did not do more to help this lady, and that everyone else who had been on that canceled flight just left.
Annoying Dots on Windows
March 11th 2010
Delta 3380 (Operated by Mesaba Aviation)
Boarding began on time and the flight ended up leaving a few minuets late. The in flight service was a snack and a drink, I had Biskoff and Warter. When we landed in HPN we needed to wait for a few minutes before we could deplane for the gate checked bags. Finley the Caption went out himself to speed up the process. One thing I liked about Mesaba is the fact the the cockpit crew interdicted themselves by there first names and stood by the cockpit door and said thank you to the passengers as they were deplaning.
Once again DL delivered a solid product and overall good service. It was also nice to be "on time" this trip after the 4 hour delay I had the last trip.