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From my Archives Summer '15 Shuttle America: Do they actually meet Delta's Standards?

Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:27 pm

From my Archives Project
Working as an EMT this summer I have a lot of down time in between calls. Because of that, I have decided to turn some of my old notes on past trips into trip reports. These reports will mainly focus around trips where things went wrong, or airlines where there are not a lot of reports on them. Because of how long ago these trips were, I would like to apologize if these are slightly less detailed than my other trip reports. I would also like to apologize if the photos are not of a high quality/the normal orientation for, mainly because they were not originally meant to be posted.

One of my cousins lives in Columbus Ohio. For her bat mitzvah, my mother and grand parents flew in a few days before the bat mitzvah, while my dad and I flew in the night before the bat mitzvah, because we had school and work commitments. We all flew back home together.

Delta Connect runs a nonstop service between BOS and CMH. Despite my strong dislike of DL, this was the most efficient route so we had to book it. My dad and I booked DL 3402 (operated by S5) at 19:38 on June 12th. For the return, my mother wanted to seperate us onto 2 different flights for "continuity" purposes. This idea of hers was overridden because all the alternate flights required either weirdly timed flights or connections, something that we did not want. In the end, all of us were booked onto DL 3289 (operated by S5), departing at 11:29 on June 14th.

DL/S5 3402

At the Airport
June 12th ended up being a bad day to fly due to a series of bad T-storms that were affecting the Midwest and East coasts. Despite this we still showed up to the airport early because we had to fight rush hour traffic and wanted to be there in case the flight was running on time. Because we had checked in online and were only traveling with carry ons, we skipped check in and went directly to the security check point. After a bit of a wait, we were through and we went to the satellite concourse for dinner, and so that I could do some plane spotting.

Image NK A319

Image LH A340

Image US E190

Image WN B738 with US E190

Image QK CRJ2

Image AC DH8D with AC, US, and AA in the background.

Image WN B737 in the new livery

Image AC E190

Image DL B737

Image DL B712

Image DL A333

Image DL B763

Due to the delay on our flight, DL put out some of their inflight snacks, which while simple was an good gesture.

Image The DL snack

Soon it became too dark to plane spot, but I did try to take a photo of our plane, which did not come out that well.

Image My attempt at a photo of my S5 E145 to CMH.

After just under a 2 hour delay, we began to board the plane. After a very quick boarding we were onboard.

My first impression of the seat was that it was more comfortable than the seats on DL's mainline fleet, but still not very comfortable. The legroom was also much better. Unfortunately, my photo of the seat did not come out that well.

Once everyone was aboard the flight attendant began to do a quick manual safety demonstration while we taxied. At 21:40 we took off and made our way towards CMH. Due to the thunderstorms the flight was very turbulent, so for a while all the flight attendant was able to do was sit in her jumpseat and call out anyone who tried to get up despite the turbulence.

After it had calmed down, the flight attendant came through the aisle offering a basic drinks service with no snacks (something tells me during the delay they served all the snacks for our flight).

After a short flight, we began the descent into CMH. At 23:25 we landed into CMH. After a quick taxi we pulled into our gate 93 minutes late. Once we had disembarked, we proceeded to hail a taxi to our hotel.

Overall Score

DL/S5 3289

At the Airport
The day after the bar mitzvah we all (my parents and grandparents) piled into the hotel shuttle. After a quick ride, we arrived at the terminal for the flight. Despite the fact that my dad and I were travelling with just carry on bags, we had to go to the check in desks so that my mother and grand parents could check their bags. After a long wait (there weren't a lot of agents on duty, and there was a large group of Saudis who were travelling back home with a ton of checked baggage including multiple TVs and other large electrical devices) they were checked in, and my grandparents had their wheelchairs. As one of their escorts, I was able to skip the line and get expedited security so I was through in no time, and I began to walk around and planespot.

Image Assorted DL aircraft

Image DL E170/E175

Image AA ERJ145

Boarding was called roughly ontime, and despite a dispute about who would be able to preboard, I was able to cut the line and get onboard early to help my grandmother get settled.


The seat was a slightly more comfortable (better padded? less worn?) version of the seat on my previous flight, but unlike the previous flight I was able to get a good photo of the seat.

Image The seat.

Once I was settled in and I had made sure my grandmother was settled in, I began to planespot. During this time I noticed how poorly maintained our flap was. While some peeled paint/dirt marks is normal, this had the most that I had ever seen, to the point where I was actually concerned about safety.

Image The worn flap. It appears as if a significant amount of it has peeling paint

At 11:45 we took off without the seat belt sign on and began the short hop to BOS.Almost immediately after takeoff, the First Officer came on the intercom and announced "Tower, Mercury 3289 there is a hedge hog just left of the center line on the runway", leading to many puzzled looks from the passengers. As we climbed above 10,000 feet, the pilots deactivated the no smoking sign- leaving me real impressed with their piloting abilities.

Image Climbing out over Columbus.

As we finished up our climb the flight attendant robotically came through the cabin offering snacks and beverages. I selected a bottle of water to drink and had pretzels and the famous Delta biscoff cookies as my snack.

Image Biscoff cookie.

Image Lake and airport (Bonus points if you know where it is)

All too soon we began our descent into the Boston area.

Image Aerial view of BOS during descent.

Shortly before 13:29 we executed a smoother than expected landing into BOS. Once down we began to taxi to the gate.

Image Assorted B6

Image B6 E190

Image Old and new AA

Image US E190

Image KS

At 13:29, exactly 1 minute early we pulled into the gate at BOS terminal A. Disembarkation and baggage claim was quick, and soon I was on the curb waiting for the Preflight shuttle.

Overall Score

The answer to the question above is quite difficult. Service wise, S5 exceeded my long haul DL flight (which is the subject of my next report), and had a similar service as my other mainline DL flights. Safety wise, they were not up to DL standards. The plots were clearly not following their checklists, and the aircraft itself was not in the greatest shape. This flight cemented my opinion that the only time I fly DL is when I absolutely have to- they are my last choice airline.
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Re: From my Archives Summer '15 Shuttle America: Do they actually meet Delta's Standards?

Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:58 am

It seems alright at least

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