Posts: 2171
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:43 pm

Short Trip Down Yonder With DL: CVG-ATL-GSO

Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:02 am

My girlfriend goes to college in North Carolina for opera and she was having her annual recital in February. After "subtly" implying that she wanted me to come down for this one, I started searching for flights. Unsure about what I would be able to find price-wise for such a short weekend trip (leaving Saturday and returning Monday morning), I was pleasantly surprised to find a $220 fare on Delta out of CVG. After looking at the available itineraries, unfortunately the non-stop from CVG wouldn't work with my schedule so I instead booked the connecting flight through ATL which I had not been through since I was very little. My final itinerary was CVG-ATL-GSO outbound and GSO-DTW-CVG inbound (and my first time in DTW!).

DL #330
LV12:13pm AR1:52pm

I woke up about 2 hours before my flight (God I love it when I can fly out of CVG), checked in online and hopped into the shower. After getting a ride to the airport I entered T3 around 11:15am. I printed my boarding pass at the kiosk (didn't check any bags) and breezed through security which was dead as usual this Saturday afternoon. The new security checkpoint is very nice and well-designed but, of course, under-utilized. After getting my things back in order post-security I went down and caught the train. We flew past the Concourse A stop   and went straight to B. Concourse B is still in excellent shape (clean, maintained, spacious) and even though it was Saturday, it was much more busy than I remember last going through before DL had shuttered Concourses C and A. The gate area was very crowded. It was at the end of the concourse and in addition to my ATL flight there was also a delayed U5 flight to CUN. Not feeling like battling for a seat, I walked around trying to get a good view of the aircraft but this is the best I could do:

Not too long after, they began pre-boarding the flight and then quickly started boarding by zones. Boarding did not take long surprisingly even though it was a full flight, but I was soon caught up in the usual jetway traffic jam. The smartly dressed flight attendant greeted me as I boarded and directed me all the way to the back. Walking through the first class cabin on the MD-88 I was really surprised how cramped it actually looked, being full probably didn't help but the seat pitch didn't look like it had much up on economy. I finally made it all the way back to my seat by the aft galley at 35D on the aisle.

The cabin looked clean and well-maintained. The leather seats felt comfortable and had surprisingly good pitch!

After a decently long taxi, we rocketed down the runway, engines roaring all around (nothing beats a take-off sitting in the back of an MD-80!). We climbed fairly quickly to our cruise altitude for the 1h 03m flight to ATL. The FA's seemed to take their time starting the snack and drink service (about 25 minutes before they were finally in the aisle serving). The flight attendant serving our end of the aircraft today didn't seem particularly friendly but she got me my ginger-ale and a ridiculously small pack of peanuts, so what more can I say.

After a short time we began our descent into into ATL and trash was hurriedly gathered. We touched down in ATL early and, as it always is if you're coming from a smaller airport, it was cool seeing all the large wide-body aircraft, a spotter's dream! The terminal is another story. After deplaning I looked to see what gate my flight to GSO would be departing from, which was two concourses away. The terminal was pretty crowded even though it was a Saturday, I'd hate to see what ATL is like Monday mornings! Bottom line concerning ATL is that other than seeing all the larger aircraft, I didn't find anything particularly endearing about it and I could definitely see why a lot of people try to by-pass ATL.

DL #5328
LV3:25pm AR4:30pm

When I got to my gate it was pretty crowded, no empty seats, and the gate agent announced that we'd be slightly delayed due to waiting on a crew member from an incoming flight. The crowd for our flight was spreading out to the concourse walk-way and the agent kept making announcements trying to herd people to stay in the gate area....but there was no space! It got slightly aggravating but not long after, we started boarding and after getting seated, my dislike for 50 seat RJ's came flooding backre. The flight was full and the cabin was getting a bit toasty which added up to me being very uncomfortable.
The venerable CRJ at ATL
The updated interior looked nice and the seats definitely felt comfortable, but this didin't help the cramped situation of a full CRJ.

After another long taxi the CRJ lumbered off the runway for the hop to GSO. The flight time was 45 minutes and I have to give props to ASA. The lone flight attendant did an entire drink and snack run with more time to spare than my incoming mainline DL flight.
She handed out pretzels AND peanuts, very nice!

I read for a little bit and we hit some choppy air, but other than that it was an uneventful flight. Soon after round one of collecting trash, we started descending into GSO and made a smooth landing on time, even with the delay, which was convenient (but then again I know DL is a HUGE culprit of padding their flight times). Having never been to GSO before, all I have to say is WOW...what was GSO building up for? This was huge airport considering the size of the area it serves!
And I thought CVG looked deserted.

We quickly taxied off the runway to the DL gates and I was off the plane with my pink-tagged bag in hand in 15 minutes. I called my girlfriend and she said she'd be there in about 15 minutes so I took my time exploring the terminal which was incredibly (not to mention eerily) deserted with many gates completely stripped of both seats and check-in desks, it's always sad to see things like that. Exiting the secured area into the check-in level, everything was very light and open but slightly shabby.
Skybus remnants?
They had this really cool model of the airport, but again, it all looks way overbuilt.

My girlfriend finally picked me up about ten minutes later. The whole Greensboro area (more specifically Winston for me) was very nice, lots of good restaurants and scenery and my girlfriend's recital went very well, I was very glad I came as was she. I wasn't able to do any picture taking for the trip back, but the thing I will say is that DTW was VERY nice, it lived up to it's expectations and more. Lot's of seating, very open architecture and easily navigable and there were none of those infamous dots on the windows of my concourse so, I had some great tarmac views. Overall DL did a good job providing fairly comfortable and timely service to my destinations with service that, in my opinion, was above par compared to it's competitors (UA, CO(RIP), US, and AA). ATL was somewhat of an uncomfortable transfer but DTW was a dream. DL really appears to be making an effort, as they're saying in their ads, to become a better airline and I hope this positive trend continues.

Hope you all enjoyed! Feel free to comment.
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:18 am

RE: Short Trip Down Yonder With DL: CVG-ATL-GSO

Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:40 pm

Nice read, glad you enjoyed W-S! I'm from Columbus but go to school at Wake Forest in Winston, so I do the Ohio-NC trip you did several times a year   I agree that Delta has a good product at least on this type of route - as bad as Atlanta can be, it's not nearly as risky as EWR on CO or even IAD in my experience. I've actually done UA through ORD the last couple of times just to get on the airbus from CMH, though I can't remember if they still send one through CVG.

As for GSO, the airport actually does serve a fairly large base of people. You visited what some call the "Research Triangle" - not sure if you did a lot of driving around the area, but much of it outside of W-S, and also between Charlotte and Raleigh is more developed than one might expect. There isn't much "open" land in the area, hence GSO actually serves a fairly large spread. As late as the late 1990s and early 2000's I think US flew 733 and 734's to CLT, and Delta 727's and M88's (still do sometimes) to at least ATL, and then there was CO Lite in the mid 90s, so the airport has been served well in the past. Glad you enjoyed the area, and hope the weather was cooperative (for once)!
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Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:52 pm

RE: Short Trip Down Yonder With DL: CVG-ATL-GSO

Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:17 pm


Just to say many thanks for the report and pics. Was cool to fly with you on Delta, at least in writing. I was in the US last year and took a few flights on American and United but not Delta. Were the peanuts and pretzels free on such short flights. If so that's more than American and United were doing on my flights because I think I remember I just got a drink (not that I really mind though). When I was young in the 90s I used to absolutely love flying in the US. Hot meals, snack boxes all included in the price. It was the land of dreams!

Many thanks,

Posts: 2171
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:43 pm

RE: Short Trip Down Yonder With DL: CVG-ATL-GSO

Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:21 am

Quoting tjm321 (Reply 1):
Nice read


Quoting tjm321 (Reply 1):
As late as the late 1990s and early 2000's I think US flew 733 and 734's to CLT, and Delta 727's and M88's (still do sometimes) to at least ATL, and then there was CO Lite in the mid 90s, so the airport has been served well in the past.

Awesome, thanks for the info, i was not aware.

Quoting tjm321 (Reply 1):
though I can't remember if they still send one through CVG.

I don't think DL does CVG-CMH anymore but they do fly 1-2x daily CVG-GSO still. The fare for it was actually pretty cheap but the times just didn't work out for me on my trip.

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 2):
Just to say many thanks for the report and pics.

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed.

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 2):
Were the peanuts and pretzels free on such short flights

Yes, DL still gives out complimentary peanuts, pretzels, and cookies on most of their flights in addition to their BOB menu. I agree that it's nothing hugely spectacular, but it's still a nice touch especially considering none of their legacy competitors do the same.
Posts: 1204
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:13 pm

RE: Short Trip Down Yonder With DL: CVG-ATL-GSO

Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:01 am

Hey, I see that you also enjoyed your flight with DL! I was also surprised by them, even on the MD88 where like you said, the seat pitch was a surprise and it was very well maintained. The FAs are also great! And it's nice to get two snacks and a drink for such a short flight.

I see you don't like ATL that much, I think it's one of the best airports to connect, great staff but like you said, it's very very overcrowded. And oh, we connected on a monday morning, it's what you'd imagine - full of passengers (which reminds me of a NYC Subway during a rush hour) It's usually crowded on the domestic concourse and I've never had any problems with Concourse E, the int'l terminal (which was deserted when we came)

However, I don't think it's much of a spotter's paradise when all you see is DL all over! LOL.  You should visit JFK more often or LAX, both airports have some very interesting widebodies all over the world  

Nice report and great pics!
It's a cultural thing.
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:39 am

RE: Short Trip Down Yonder With DL: CVG-ATL-GSO

Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:28 pm

Thanks for sharing your TR! My alma mater is in W-S and I always flew in/out of GSO until I moved after graduating. Sad to hear about the empty gate areas. My first flight on DL was a 737 GSO-ATL...sigh...
Posts: 1942
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:19 am

RE: Short Trip Down Yonder With DL: CVG-ATL-GSO

Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:48 pm

yep i think it was mentioned above but GSO was once a hub for Continental back in the early/ mid 90's, when they were operating the COLite flights. This was back in the day when everyone was trying to get a southeast hub (ie. AA at RDU and BNA for example)

here is some info:

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