To my fourth trip report on Airliners.net!
As always, I will begin by linking the previous flight reports from what was an insane winter 2015! DL4695 FAR-MSP 19DEC15 1319hrs 1427hrs CRJ200 N426SWDL1717 MSP-ORD 19DEC15 1510hrs 1637hrs MD90 N912DNKL612 ORD-AMS 20DEC15 1630hrs 0715+1hrs B74E PH-BFEKL871 AMS-DEL 21DEC15 1245hrs 0100hrs+1 B744 PH-BFLAI401 DEL-CCU 22DEC15 0700hrs 0905hrs B788 (VT-ANQ)MJ332 CCCU-CMB 25DEC15 1040hrs 1340hrs A320MJ331 CMB-CCU 28DEC15 0635hrs 0930hrs A320 AI676 CCU-BOM 07JAN16 0600hrs 0850hrs A319 (VT-SCF)9W495 08JAN16 2140hrs 2315hrs B73H (VT-JFL)AF191 BLR-CDG 09JAN16 0245hrs 0845hrs B77E (F-GSPS)
AF3602 (DL123) CDG-ORD 09JAN16 1230hrs 1518hrs B76W (this one!)
DL2223 ORD-MSP 10JAN16 1505hrs 1638hrs B752
DL1956 MSP-FAR 10JAN16 2027hrs 2133hrs A320
Find the trip report here: >>>>>>CLICK HERE! <<<<<<INTRODUCTION
Delta Air Lines. My first USA domestic airline. And now, I was to see what they had to offer on a good long 9-hour transatlantic flight. On a Boeing 767-300ER, again, my first time on the Boeing 767 itself. Being a SkyTeam member, I could reserve my seat (28G) on all websites (AF, KL and DL), barring Jet Airways' site. JAN 9th 2016 - LAYOVER AT PARIS CDG
And now, the situation itself. Leaving Mumbai was itself quite a nightmare as a country-wide delay owing to weather in New Delhi meant that my originally scheduled flight from Mumbai to Bengaluru was delayed by around 2.5 hours. I was put on to an earlier flight, which too was delayed by 2 hours. Things were rushed in Bengaluru, however a calm flight with Air France to Paris was just what I needed, and that's exactly what I got
However, I faced a very unpleasant experience at Paris Airport, similar to the one I had on my Amsterdam layover on the way to India. LAYOVER AT PARIS CDG
I had to take a tram from concourse L to concourse M. This was as crowded as what followed next, a security check point. Rude officers alongside a big crowd made for a very confusing scene, leading to more yelling. Wow, they needed to calm down a lot! Chatted with another person who landed on the same flight as me. He was on his way to Detroit, MI. THE LOVELY TERMINAL 2E
After security, thankfully, things improved. A lot. I was surprised to see what a lovely part of the concourse this was! Well lit, positive ambience, airy… it's one part of Paris Airport I never thought I'd see! A pleasant surprise, for sure. Duty free shops and eating areas were aplenty, windows were very clean which were ideal for spotting. I knew the Airbus A350 was around, but I went around spotting other planes first. This included quite a few 777s, A330s, A380s and just one Airbus A340…..
Scenes inside Terminal 2E
Up close with the first Airbus A350 I spotted, in striking colors!
I saw F-GSPS pushback and head out for its next mission, which was in fact Bengaluru once again! Heading back towards the boarding gate, only to get distracted by the PS3s on offer…..which included the F1 2012 game!
So, I Maldonado'd it for the time I played the game...crashed around in one of the most easiest tracks there is LOL!
Now, on to the aircraft itself. N182DN, a veteran 23.3 year old Boeing 767-300ER would take me across the pond. It was interesting to note that some Delta planes are based outside of the USA. For example, N182DN came in from Seattle, then operating my flight to Chicago O’Hare, returning to CDG before heading to Cincinnati and so on.BOARDING
A pre-recorded boarding announcement was made at 1113 hours, being very detailed. Enough of waiting, I felt. I for once, would board the aircraft at the earliest and find a place to keep my backpack rather than letting it sit around in front of me, eating into my legroom. Long queues formed - this would be a full flight. A comprehensive visa check was completed prior to boarding, including I20 forms (for those with F1 visas).ON BOARD
I was onboard at 1143 hours with a mildly warm welcome. DeltaOne seats looked like a lot of fun to travel on, in their herringbone configuration.
The 767 only has galleys right at the front and rear of the fuselage, so there only were big bulkhead walls dividing the cabin, nothing else. Seats had blankets and pillows placed on them, along with a pretty nice amenity kit that included eye shades and a pair of earplugs.
The inside was very very very dirty!!
The IFE screen was the same Android based version has I had seen on Air France a few hours ago, and probably the same as the DL B73J flight from a few months ago. Passengers filled the aircraft. Another Indian student was right next to me, which was a nice coincidence!
We spoke for a bit, and that is it, I guess. A family of four sat in the row in front, two of them being infants. Flight attendants came around distributing headsets…not that they were any special, just branded by BillBoard. The flight attendant serving us asked the mother of the infants if she wanted a seatbelt…and came to us to ask if we wanted seatbelts, before quickly correcting herself - headsets, she meant DEPARTURE
A flying time of 9 hours was announced by the purser as departure time drew closer and closer. Absolutely on time, 1230 hours, pushback commenced.
Start up video: DL B76W start up @ CDG
Both PW4060 engines were fired up as Delta safety video (modified for the 767-300ER, of course) played. The safety video is a bit of a confusion for me…is it trying to be funny or serious? With that question looming, we taxied slowly towards runway 26R.
Not long for take off, had to wait for an Air France A319, followed by us. Blasted down the runway and climbed up to our cruising altitude. A flying time of 8hr53min began as we climbed through some reasonably thick clouds. Most passengers settled down to watch some movie or the other.
Take off, and some footage of the A350 again: DL B76W take off from CDGIN FLIGHT
An announcement was made regarding services in flight. Lunch would be served, followed by a snack prior to landing. Wine and beer would be complimentary, accompanied by Starbucks coffee and Coca Cola products. Delta sure do pride themselves when it comes to these.
Hot towels were distributed.1- DRINKS & SNACKS SERVICE
1320 hours, a trolley was pulled to the front with drinks and snacks. I opted for a glass of regular coke, didn’t bother with alcohol this time. Like a standard domestic flight, the entire can was not offered, however, unlike a domestic flight, pretzels and/or peanuts were not offered as a choice, but instead both are handed out.IN FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
I settled down to watch the final episodes of Top Gear with its epic line up of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. A fitting end, although it was a bit sad. Half the flight would go into watching Top Gear. 2 - LUNCH
Lunch started at 1407 as we slowly flew over the Atlantic leaving the coast of Ireland behind. Unlike the usual trans-atlantic food options, there were three food choices! A usual hot chicken entrée, a usual vegetarian lasagna and surprisingly, a cold chicken salad option, too.
The chicken was surprisingly good, along with the mashed potatoes and the other vegetables. Salad was pretty nice, with the extra garnishing (like olive oil and well) were nice too. Dessert, however, was kinda sad. Two cookies was not what I expected.
Had a coffee to go with it, a lot of creamer and sugar were distributed.
Trays collected, the flight attendants asked us to lower window shades for the rest of the flight. Oh no!
Last few pics:
Pretty big water bottles were handed out which I felt was a nice touch! THE OLD LAV...
Went to the lavatory. Just like the plane itself, this too was showing its age. Light wouldn’t turn on despite being locked, and the washroom itself was not as clean.3 - FINGER SNACKS
Headed back, settled down in my seat and caught up with some sleep. Half way through the flight, I woke up and I was surprised to see a small snack service that included olives, crackers and a bar of chocolate. Watched the hours tick by, the flight felt like it was getting longer and longer. I wanted this to end soon! The crew weren’t anything too special to be honest. Just went about their job, I feel.
Newfoundland, Canada, North America, the other side of the Atlantic! 4 - PRE-ARRIVAL SNACK
One hour prior to landing, the snack service started. Salami or cheese calzone, juice and ice cream was the snack. Warmed way too hot and not really very tasty, it did its job of keeping the passenger’s hunger pangs away.A SHABBY AND RUSHED ARRIVAL...
Descent started, much earlier than expected. And passengers were still having their snacks. Things got very messy for the crew here. They had to rush through clearing up trash, and securing the cabin for arrival. They kept making announcements in French and English pleading to passengers to keep their seats up right, putting away the tray table, etc.
Approach was very bumpy because of a snow-rain storm in the vicinity of Chicago. The steep descent also meant that all infants and children onboard started crying. A proper CAT IIIC ILS approach followed as I could not see land until seven or eight seconds before touchdown.SNOWY AND COLD ARRIVAL
Landing video, trust me its something worth watching! Fogged up and stormy landing!
A rather hard landing was made at 1440 hours, about forty minutes before time, but it sure did not look like a late afternoon! Dark and gloomy, raining all the way. We taxied to the international terminal, while the crew apologized profusely for the rushed service at the end.
We taxied towards gate M7 and parked right beside a certain big blue 747 from Amsterdam. What a fitting end to the trip! It started snowing pretty hard in Chicago. Not the weather I wanted to see on arrival, after a lovely three weeks back home in India! I guess, all good things come to an end….
Through the refurbished cabin, the purser welcomed everyone to Chicago and asked us to keep warm. A nice touch from him! N182DN would head back to Paris CDG, Delta’s only international flight out of Chicago…that too during the winter only!
Walking towards Chicago’s immigration area is quite claustrophobic with the stairs and going a level or two lower. The lines were LONG! Took me two hours to clear immigration alone! The only fun bit was when a couple of really cute beagles went around sniffing for food that is not allowed in to the USA. Baggage too was a mess, because there were other flights coming in, and not enough conveyer belts. So, most of DL123’s luggage was thrown around. Not a pretty sight in Chicago!
Took the Skytram to terminal 2, and then the Blue Line to Jackson, back to the Hostel International, checked in and basically crashed. A new day was in front of me…a day of mixed emotions….back in Grand Forks…CONCLUSION..
I can say that I wasn't too disappointed with this flight. Being my second TATL flight (the first being the lovely KLM B747 flight that set a high standard), I knew what to expect after having read other reports on forums. The biggest surprise was the food: decent lunch entree in addition to mini snack service half way through and a whole 1 liter bottle of water was a nice gesture. The inflight entertainment was pretty decent too. The lack of cleanliness of the aircraft was evident (and has been pictured) while also the crew were nothing special.
Paris' T2E was an absolutely joy! Clean, modern with great amenities and options to shop, with some nice spotting views as well.
Chicago on the other hand, the less said the better. Claustrophobic entry, long lines, and a messy baggage hall.
If anything, I loved the cute beagle dogs at Chicago doing their duty
And once again, find the full video report! >>>>>>CLICK HERE! <<<<<<
With that, I have only two short flights to report from this trip, but hey this is far from over!