I took these flights heading to Baltimore, MD to visit family. I live in Seattle, and visit relatives in the southern Delaware area every summer, normally flying on Southwest or Alaska. This time, to shake things up a bit, I decided to take Delta eastbound, and Alaska home, on a Seattle-Salt Lake City-Baltimore-Seattle routing. My itinerary was as follows:
7/9/19 DL 1985 dep. SEA 6:00 am arr. SLC 9:00 am 737-900ER
7/9/19 DL 1189 dep. SLC 9:55 am arr. BWI 4:11 pm 737-800
7/23/19 AS 765 dep. BWI 5:20 pm arr. SEA 8:10 pm 737-900ER
Given the 6:00 departure time, an early rise was necessary. I woke up at 2:15, left the house at 2:40, and arrived at the airport at 3:50 am, walking into the terminal shortly before 4 am.
I checked in at one of the many kiosks located near the Delta counters, checking a bag for $30 USD and printing my boarding passes. I was offered the opportunity to bid for compensation for taking another flight due to my flights being overbooked, but I reluctantly declined as I had family waiting for me in BWI and a 3-hour drive to southern Delaware after that, so I figured it was best to arrive early and not risk it.
I then proceeded to a bag drop counter, where there was almost no line.
Then, I headed to the security checkpoint, said goodbye to my dad who had driven me to the airport, and got in the security line. There was only about a 20-minute wait, which is really good for Seattle in the summer, and I was airside by 4:25. While talking to the TSA officer who stamped my boarding pass, he wished me a good flight and I almost said "You too", which was a stark reminder that I was operating on 3 hours of sleep.
First, I checked the FIDS to make sure my SEA-SLC flight was on time still. Only one flight delayed (AC departure to YVR), so I'd say things were running pretty smoothly so far!
Concourse B, where I was flying out of, is my least favorite terminal at Sea-Tac due to how crowded it is and the low ceilings, but it really wasn't too bad at this time of day.
Also walked to my gate, just to see what was going on. Sea-Tac was pretty sleepy this time of day; there was adequate seating and no lines at the few restaurants that were open.
My plane to SLC, N929DZ, a 0.1 year-old Boeing 737-900ER. The second-to-last 739ER delivered to Delta (as well as the penultimate 737-900ER built), and the newest of the type currently in service at the time. It was delivered on May 31, 2019, and arrived in Seattle shortly after midnight that day after a late-night flight from Atlanta.
Having about 45 minutes until boarding, I decided to stroll around a bit to see if I could find something I wanted for breakfast. I went to Concourse C and D, in the hopes that either Camden Food Co. or Beecher's would be open, since I hadn't dined at either chain yet and wanted to try one, but neither was open. I saw a Chinese place of some sort in the C Gates, but that seemed too heavy given how early it was, so I just had a frappe and bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit from McDonald's.
Starting to get brighter out there. Love those cotton candy skies.
Boarding started 5 minutes or so behind schedule, at 5:25 am, with the usual pre-boarding groups, US military, first class, etc. I got on with the Main Cabin 2 group.
Outside view from my seat at row 26.
I then turned my attention to the IFE screen, choosing to put it on the moving map for a little bit.
Legroom was average (I'm 6'4''), and the seat was comfortable.
Pushback occurred on-time, and the safety video played as we taxied out to the runway. There was a little bit of a line for takeoff, but it was steadily moving.
At 6:18 am we lined up for takeoff on runway 16L/34R, and took to the skies, initially heading south, then southeast on a course to Utah. A link to a takeoff video is included below as well (Didn't know how to embed it, if that's even possible in the first place).https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H7N0q-ur7c
Climbing out over south Seattle, then Tacoma.
Mt. Rainier coming into view, with plenty of snow still on it despite being July.
Once we got to our low-ish cruising altitude of 29,000 feet, the friendly SEA-based cabin crew did a full drink/snack service. Soft drinks and snacks (almonds, KIND bars, Cheez-Its, and Biscoff cookies) were free, and alcoholic beverages were available for purchase. When the cart came to my row, I got ice water and the classic Delta Biscoff cookies. I checked on the moving map again, then chose to watch some Adam Ruins Everything.
Descent began over northern Utah, with excellent views of the Great Salt Lake. Anyone know why it has that red/green pattern in the second photo?
At 8:43 am MDT, with a 1-hr time change, we touched down on runway 16L/34R. Like before, a landing video is attached below.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-qKQxppzVE
Clearing the runway.
Our taxi was rather long, during which we passed by both the Delta and SkyWest maintenance hangars. We parked at gate D2 just before 9 am, right next to Concourse E and the new terminal, which appears to be coming along quite nicely.
A good chunk of people seemed to be connecting onto other flights at SLC, since I heard other passengers conversing about it, so there was a light sense of urgency about deplaning quickly. Some connections I heard other pax talk about were to Cancun, Palm Springs, and San Antonio. Curious, I asked my seatmate if she was connecting here. She said no, she actually lived in SLC and was coming home from vacation on a KOA-SEA-SLC routing. I had visited KOA last year, so she and I chatted briefly about the Big Island until it was our turn to get up.
I asked the pilots if I could visit the cockpit, and my request was granted. They were friendly, and the FO gave me some Delta 737 trading cards to add to my collection. I didn't get a chance to take a photo of N929DZ at the gate in SLC, but it was going to Raleigh-Durham, NC next.
I made sure to check out the connections board, so I'd know where to go. If you can't see it, my BWI flight was departing out of gate C6.
Looking down Concourse D. I made sure to get lots of photos of the terminal, knowing it'd be gone in just a few years.
The view in between concourses D and C, where the majority of Delta's mainline flights at SLC are. The 767 was heading to BOS, the A220 in the middle to DFW, and the A319 and 737 side-by-side to AUS and BWI (my flight).
Looking at the departure/arrival board.
I got to the gate at about 9:10, about 5 minutes before boarding. The gate agent was kind of funny for this flight, doing a "Bueller? Bueller?" impression when paging a passenger. I later boarded at about 9:35 with the Main Cabin 2 group.
A closer view of the plane taking me to BWI, N3754A, a 17.9 year old Boeing 737-800. It arrived in SLC from DEN earlier that morning.
The SLC-based cabin crew on this flight was a bit on the senior side and all-male (the first time that had happened to me). During boarding, one of them complimented me on a Delta plane pin I was wearing.
Outside view from seat 21A.
Unfortunately, the cabin had seen better days, with older (though comfy) seats, and an older IFE system that was usable, but didn't have as much content or as good touch sensitivity as on my SEA-SLC flight. Though old IFE is better than no IFE, I suggest that Delta consider redoing the cabins of these old 738s, if they plan to keep them into the 2020s.
Legroom is okay.
Boarding wrapped up a bit early, so we pushed back before schedule, while the safety video played, as before.
Taxiing past the Delta hangar again.
There was a bit of a takeoff line, after which we took to the skies at 10:16 am heading southbound, then east. SLC's altitude was evident here, as we had a bit of a sluggish takeoff roll.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA9L9tnBgnU
For this leg, I chose to watch The Internship on the IFE. I'm not a movie nerd, but it was just okay. Good enough to pass the time on a flight, but I probably wouldn't want to watch it at home.
Cabin service started over Colorado, first with the BOB menu, then the snack/drink cart. I purchased a Luvo chicken wrap for about $8, and it was good.
After I ate, I continued watching The Internship on the IFE, intermittently checking the moving map, listening to music, or just relaxing and trying to nap. The crew came through the cabin once or twice offering water, a nice touch so that people could stay hydrated. It was a bit rough over the Rockies and western Maryland, but the flight was mostly smooth and unremarkable.
Near the West Virginia-Maryland border, we started descending into the hot, hazy Baltimore area.
We touched down at 4:02 pm EDT, with a 2-hour time change.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cILTLM-PmrQ
Pulling into gate D23, next to a Delta MD-88.
Cabin shot while deplaning.
Looking back at N3754A before its next flight back to SLC.
After that, I went to baggage claim to pick up my checked bag, and met up with my relatives shortly thereafter, getting out of the airport by 4:35. If you're interested, the FR24 stats for my flights are attached below.Conclusion:
Overall, I enjoyed Delta on these flights. The cabin crew was friendly, service was appropriate for the flight lengths, and both flights left and arrived on time. This was my first time visiting Salt Lake City, and although the terminals were a bit crowded and dated, amenities were fine and it wasn't absolutely terrible, but I can understand why they're building new facilities. The Delta 737-900ER gets a bad reputation here on A.net, but I found it completely fine; the seats and legroom were good and IFE was great. If I flew it on a longer flight my opinion might differ, but it was more than adequate for the 90-minute hop from SEA to SLC. The 737-800 was a bit worse for wear though, with an outdated IFE system and legroom that was just passable. Apparently Delta has refurbished about half of their 738s with new IFE, and like I said before, I hope that they refurbish the other half soon to bring them in line with the product offered on most of their domestic fleet. All in all though, I was satisfied with these flights, and I wouldn't hesitate to take Delta on this route again. I hope you enjoyed my trip report, and feel free to reply with any comments and/or concerns.