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A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (1): No CRJ-700 for you! (GFK-MSP, SkyWest Delta) [pics & video TR]

Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:07 pm

In light of recent forum rules coming that have been mentioned, I am glad to announce that there probably won't be any significant changes to my trip reports from here on, and I intend on continuing my dedication to full detailed-flight trip reports and video trip reports. With that being said, I am excited to announce that I have taken the plunge in to this brave new world of 4K videos! Without further ado, I present to you a curious summer 2017 series of trip reports....

SkyWest OO4453 (opby Delta Connection DL4453)
Grand Forks Intl (ND) [GFK/KGFK] to Minneapolis/St. Paul Intl (MN) [MSP/KMSP]
May 13th 2017
1305 CDT to 1416 CDT
Seat 12D, Economy
N675BR, 15.3 year old Canadair CL-600-2B19 Regional Jet CRJ-200ER
Sixth flight on a CRJ-200
Eighth flight on a Bombardier Aircraft plane
FlightAware History

Find the video trip report to this flight here!!

The summers are always an interesting time. Months of pretty much nothing going on (if you are a high schooler), or months of a lot of new experiences to be learnt. The latter was the name of the game in 2016 when I went back home to India for an internship with IndiGo. Things were planned differently in 2017.

Uh oh, here we ago again! An unlucky me heading for another trip back to India? What could possibly go wrong?! Well, a lot apparently. Everything from significant, to somethings fairly small. I would still like to point all of them out.
Well, a recap of the bad luck that marred me. While returning back to the USA in early 2016, Jet Airways had significant network wide delays, which meant my BOM-BLR flight was changed. Fast forward to the summer, there was the infamous SG488 episode, in addition to delays at MUC and ORD, both of which were on the same day, leading to a very long day.

And how can we forget my girlfriend’s eventful start to her trip to India in December 2016? The frozen plane in FAR, a horrible experience at ORD, finally reaching home 2.5 days late. My friend AV happened to point out my bad luck during the course of the summer, and hence the inspiration for the title. Just like the last few mentioned times, it all worked out just fine. But more on these over the course of this brand new series! Here’s what you can expect over the course of the next few months, WARNING! Contains spoilers :)
A new era of CollegeAviator!

I will talk about the internationals later on, but for now, let us jump right in to the domestics, the Delta domestics!

With the internationals set, it was on to search for domestic flights. Get to New York, and then get back from Washington DC. I selected the cheapest itinerary from GFK to JFK (heh). This happened to be a CRJ-700 to MSP, followed by an A319 to Boston and New York JFK. The Boston part might’ve been excessive, but hey anything for a cheaper itinerary, an extra flight and new airport, right?! This was what the one way itinerary looked like:
DL4453 GFK MSP 1305 1416 CRJ-700 13MAY17
DL1529 MSP BOS 1515 1859 A319 13MAY17
DL1683 BOS JFK 1925 2057 A319 13MAY17

I had figured that the MSP-BOS plane would then operate the BOS-JFK flight. FlightRadar24 confirmed this. A repeat registration was on the cards. Nooooo! However, lady luck smiled at me: the BOS-JFK flight had a time change which meant I was eligible to change my ticket for free. This meant a call to Delta was in order….

The nice lady was bent on putting me on a MSP-BOS-JFK itinerary, however I told her that since my final destination was in fact New York, why didn’t she put me on a MSP-JFK routing to begin with anyway? For whatever reason she didn't seem to be happy about making this change for me. WTH! It was a bit of a long hold, but then I was confirmed on DL411 from MSP to JFK. The revised itinerary looked like this:
DL4453 GFK MSP 1305 1416 CRJ-700 13MAY17
DL411 MSP JFK 1515 1908 MD88 13MAY17
As you can see, DL411 was onboard a McDonnell Douglas MD-88! For the record, DL411 was a MSP-JFK-PRG flight, with the second leg being operated by a B767-400ER.A new equipment type for me, and this worked out for me so well. I booked an AirBnB close to JFK, which meant more Delta SkyMiles!

And since this was a summer filled with some unfortunate luck, the second change bummed me out a little. The CRJ-700 got swapped for a CRJ-200ER, a plane I have been on way too much. This was not the first time I had a CRJ-700 swapped for a CRJ-200, this happened back in December 2015 as well. The larger sibling would’ve been nice, but I knew I had the CRJ-700ER guaranteed on IAD-MSP, but more on this later.

Finals week complete, dorm room cleaned and everything packed up, I headed for some quick grocery shopping for when I got back. N685BR would operate DL4453 to GFK. Not again! I had to take what I got.

After moving in, I checked in everywhere I could: Delta, Etihad, whatever. (oops, spoiler?!) :scratchchin: I managed to snag SEQ1 on some of the flights, which is a bit of novelty :) N685BR reduced by ten, and N675BR was assigned to my flight to Minneapolis/St. Paul. I shall see myself out for that terrible pun.

Or not? Onwards with this trip report :) N675BR had this rotation for the day:
DL4686 RAP MSP 0730 1010
DL4453 MSP GFK 1115 1231
DL4453 GFK MSP 1310 1424
DL4896 MSP DLH 1525 1617
DL4896 DLH MSP 1730 1830
DL3545 MSP RST 1955 2043

Following a nice & heavy brunch at the Flying J Cafe, I was off to the airport. My lovely girlfriend unfortunately was not able to make it to India with me this time. She dropped me off at around 1130am, a good 1hr40min before the flight. In fact, I was so early for this flight, there was no one at the Delta check in. No one at Allegiant either, they had no flights that day. I took this emptiness opportunity to take some pictures of the Grand Forks Airport terminal. The Byron G. Dorgan terminal was opened back in 2011.

Some more passengers showed up here and there, before the ground staff finally showed up at 1135 hours. In shorts! Being a warm day in Grand Forks, I couldn’t really blame them. There was just the one friendly agent at the time, no one else was around to handle the….rush :) ID checked, destination confirmed, boarding pass and baggage tags printed, it was off to security at 1140 hours….

….however, even the TSA weren’t ready either! :silly: They opened gates at noon and the few of us were screened. This barely took 4 or 5 minutes. It was a nice & smooth start to this trip.

The passenger terminal filled up with the 48 passengers heading to Minneapolis on the CRJ. Two of them happened to be my coworkers! Small cities do this to you, a lot. With absolutely nothing on the tarmac, expect for maybe the ground vehicles and whatnot.
Grand Forks Ground, empty as ever!

Right on cue, just about four or five minutes before its scheduled arrival time, N675BR landed in Grand Forks and taxied to Gate 2. The 15.3 year old birdie made in Montreal (Canada) was turned around within the next few minutes, and pre-boarding calls were made with half an hour to go for boarding.

A laid back turnaround

Zone wise boarding started at 1246, with 24 minutes to departure. The TSA shut shop - they didnt have anything going on till 4pm! I waited to be the last passenger to get onboard - I’d be spending plenty of time on planes anyway! ‘Am I the last to board?’ ‘Yeah, pretty much!’ said the ground staff. Boarding was completed in around 8 minutes.

I took my seat 12D with 13 minutes to departure. The Captain made his announcement - it would be a quick 45 minute hop to the twin cities. MSP was reporting variable winds at 4 knots, few clouds at 25000 feet, 10 miles visibility and temperature of 70F (21C in normal terms).

Our flight attendant for the flight - Tammy - was very nice and interactive. Very often does one find a hardly interested flight attendant on these flights, but Tammy from Fargo was legit happy to be around. She had done quite a few of these MSP-ND flights. The fact that she was from Fargo also made sure we were in Grand Forks, and not in Grand Rapids or Forks Grand or anything. :)

We pushed back nice and early at 1304 hours, 6 minutes before time. Anything to make up the minutes here and there, little by little, since the connection in MSP was all of 59 minutes. Fired up the engines and promptly taxied to Runway 17R for departure.
'Grand Forks Ground SkyWest Forty-Four Fifty-Tree is ready to taxi with information LIMA'
4K: Pushback & Start Up

AVflight Grand Forks

UND Aerospace - Bravo Ramp

And this is where things started to go a little downhill - a ten minute delay was announced as we waited for departure, thanks to UND’s many Skyhawks and Archers helping students learn how to fly. It was 1310 hours, departure time. This however was nothing compared to what I had just gotten in my email: DL411 to New York JFK was delayed by 2 hours. A departure of 1715 hours. A technical fault? Who knows.

Phone back in airplane mode, we lined up with Runway 17R and took off in to the windy skies at 1321 hours, 11 minutes late. A southwest course was set as we climbed to 23000 feet, before finally turning southeast.
4K: Take off from Grand Forks

Other than the bumps due to warm-ish winds, it was a pretty uneventful flight. This was my first time on any form of Delta plane in about 9 months, and I was curios to see what new offerings they had (if any). The magazine for sure stood out - two full pages about the MD88!
25 minutes in to the flight, 1345 hours - I was the last to receive a beverage and snack - cookies and ginger ale it was.

Over Minnesota

Seatback pocket contents -


Arrival preparations started just 30 minutes in to the flight, as the first officer came around on the PA system and briefed us on similar weather conditions as noted about an hour ago.

Lined up with Runway 12L as I saw a lone MD-88 parked in the distance: that would be the MD-88 that took me to JFK (or so I thought). Gate C5 was also empty, so I knew that was N916DE. Smooth landing at 1410 hours, a flying time of 49 minutes and 14 minutes before scheduled arrival time. Docked at B12 - the flight attendant requested us to keep window shades closed and air vents open on the very warm day.
4K: Landing & arrival/parking
A bit of a race to the gate (we got beat..)


I thanked the flight crew and headed out - I had some extra 2 hours to kill so it was off to Concourse G - the big planes! A Spirit yellow taxi passed by and N675BR was being prepared for its next hop to Duluth, Minnesota.

Goodbye N675BR!

Off to Golf! :D

FlightRadar24 history -

Pretty standard from SkyWest - other than the small traffic delay at UND they did everything that they had to - which is always to getting passengers over safely. I quite liked the Sky magazine on this one, and the crew member on this one actually seemed enthusiastic abut serving this flight.

Aaaand once again, find the video trip report to this flight here!!

My other trip reports:
Spring Break 2017 - To the Pacific Northwest! (AMTRAK, BC, Idaho, NO flights!)

Winter Break 2016/17 (9): The Final Hop Home (AA Eagle ERJ-145, ORD-FAR, Jan '17, Y)
(video trip report)
Winter Break 2016/17 (8): Ultra long haul with Etihad (AUH-ORD, Y, Jan '17) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016/17 (7): Enticing Etihad to Abu Dhabi! (CCU-AUH, Jan '17, Y) (video trip report)

Winter Break 2016 (6): My last flight on Jet Airways' ATR (GAU-CCU, Y, Dec '16) + Scintillating Sunderbans (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (6): My last flight on Jet Airways' ATR (GAU-CCU, Y, Dec '16) + Scintillating Sunderbans (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (5): Konnecting to Kaziranga (S24363 B73H CCU-GAU Y, Dec '16) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (4): Take us home, Qatar Airways! (QR540, DOH-CCU, Y, Dec'16) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (3): Long haul middle seat - our first flight on Qatar Airways! (QR28 MAN-DOH, Y, Dec'16) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (2): Pencil Jet across the Atlantic (AA54 MAN-ORD, Y+, Dec'16) (video trip report)
Winter Break 2016 (1): The Frozen Embraer Delay - missed connection! (FAR-ORD, Dec '16) (video trip report)
Thanksgiving '16 in the Sin City - My Allegiance with N891GA, to divert or not to divert (LAS-GFK Nov '16) (video trip report)
Thanksgiving '16 in the Sin City - My Allegiance with Allegiant! (Part 1, many pictures) (video trip report)
The day I flew the world's most popular plane (GFK-FAR-CKN-GFK, C172)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 14: Delta Connection, a quick hop in the Midwest! (MSP - GFK, Aug '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 13: Super old, Super 80, Mad Dog Across the Midwest! (AA ORD-MSP, Aug'16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 12: Flying the Friendly Skies... (United Munich to Chicago, Aug '16)) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 11: Epic Lufthansa, Epic A340! (Delhi to Munich, Aug '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 10: Konnect, Lite, Delight...(S2 B73H CCU-DEL, Aug '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 9: Take me home, Vistara! (DEL-CCU, Jul '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 8: Vistara's INAUGURAL flight out of Kolkata! (CCU-DEL, Jun '16)) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 7: Efficient IndiGo! (Mumbai to Kolkata, A320, May '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 6: Big delays, cracked windshield, angry passengers (SG CCU-BOM B73J) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 5: Air India's domestic Dream)liner (DEL-CCU May '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 4: Nearly First Class - stories of the empty A380! (LH FRA-DEL May '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 3: World's longest jet, Lufthansa's B748i! (ORD-FRA May '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 2: ChicaGO on United's A319! (MSP-ORD, May '16) (video trip report)
Summer '16 trek back home - Part 1: Sun rise onboard the long range CRJ (DL GFK-MSP CRJ-900, May '16) (video trip report)
The pencil jet(s) for spring break! (+ Iron Maiden bonus): Delta MSP-FLL-MSP, March '16 (DL1608 video trip report, DL2027 video trip report)
De-iced & Delayed, cold onboard a CRJ! (ORD-MSP-GFK on Delta, Jan '16) (ORD-MSP video report) (MSP-GFK video report)
Delta's aged B767-300ER across the Atlantic! (CDG-ORD in Y, Jan '16) (video report)
Air France's NEW Economy (B777-200ER, Bengaluru to Paris, Jan '16) (video report)
Delays and despair: stressed out in the middle seat! (Jet Airways B737 Mumbai - Bengaluru, Jan '16)
Air India's hybrid babybus from Kolkata to Mumbai (Jan '16, Y) (video report)

South Africa 3: 12 days in Scintillating South Africa (Kruger, Kulula and Rand Airport, Apr' 12, LONG!)
South Africa 2: Elegant Emirates Economy! (DXB-CPT, B77W, Apr '12)
South Africa 1: My first flight on Emirates, my first flight on the 777 (CMB-DXB, Apr '12)

International transit with Jet Airways (BOM-MAA-CMB, Oct. '11)
Konnecting to Bhubaneswar (9W BOM-BBI-BOM, Jul '11)
Three trips between India and Sri Lanka (9W BOM-CMB-BOM: Jun '11, Jul '11, Oct. 11)
To India's Orange City: Mumbai - Nagpur - Mumbai on Jetlite & Tadoba National Park (May 2011)
My last flight on Kingfisher Airlines (and 2 other Jet flights, May '11)
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Re: A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (1): No CRJ-700 for you! (GFK-MSP, SkyWest Delta) [pics & video TR]

Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:39 pm

But you just got back!!! LOL great report!
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Posts: 558
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:55 am

Re: A (slightly) unlucky summer '17 (1): No CRJ-700 for you! (GFK-MSP, SkyWest Delta) [pics & video TR]

Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:29 pm

evank516 wrote:
But you just got back!!! LOL great report!

Haha! Well, I guess my delayed reports don't help this cause....
Thanks for giving this a read!

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