Who has two thumbs and just figured out how to embed my own images?
<- This guy!
In the fall of my sophomore year (2017-2018), I made the decision to spend a mini-mester abroad the following May. As a Spanish student, I wanted to go somewhere Spanish-speaking. I'd be lying if I said my motivation for choosing Buenos Aires over, say, Cancun, was almost entirely being able to fly long-haul. Plus my advisor was going on this trip. It seemed like the perfect choice.BOOKING:
The professors booked the trip. I had actually emailed them ahead of time asking for a window seat. Maybe one day I'll grow out of it. But not today.
Their preferred airport to fly out of would have either been ROA or IAD, considering we go to school in southwest Virginia. However, we had to wait until about two months in advance to book the trip (some students had passport issues) and the only available flights in their price range were out of BWI (my home airport!). Stroke of luck number one. Our itinerary was BWI-ATL-EZE on Delta Air Lines, utilizing the MD-88 and A330-300. This would be my first MD8X flight (although I had flown the DC-9 and 717 when I was much younger) and my first A330, only my third flight on a widebody that I could remember.
I received the confirmation email and saw that I had gotten a window seat on both A330 segments but was stuck in the middle for the MD-88 flights. That wasn't going to work. It turns out that it was very easy to manage my reservation with the email they gave me. I moved my seats to exactly where I like them and I was all set.
*Apologies in advance, some of these images are screenshots from the video*TRAVEL DAY:
I got to BWI about three hours before the flight, per the professors' requests. As I had told our group I was very familiar with BWI, many of the students had asked me logistical questions regarding the airport and our itinerary. We cleared security in Concourse D/E around 4:30pm and many students went to the Greene Turtle in Concourse D for some dinner.
At the time of this trip, the D/E connector had just been finished and I was impressed:
Spirit and Southwest international arrivals and WOW Air's daily flight (RIP):
Daily flight from LHR, G-ZGJG:
First flight - BWI-ATL:
Aircraft: N999DN MD-88
Scheduled departure: 7:49pm (8:15 actual)
Scheduled arrival: 9:45pm (9:44 actual)
Our connection in ATL was 47 minutes according to our itinerary. This made us very nervous when we were delayed almost half an hour, and we were going to have to go from B to E at ATL.
Boarded before the rest of my group and took seat 15E, which cost me $15 to upgrade. Part of my motivation was getting off the plane quicker for our tight connection:
Rocketing out of 15R. This is a powerful aircraft:
Delta's service on this flight was just drinks and Biscoff cookies from what I can remember.
Sunset over the Carolinas. I won't see this sun again until I'm somewhere over Brasil:
Descent and landing in ATL:
It was announced upon our arrival that we would be arriving at the E Gates, specifically the gate right next to our EZE ship (E8). I would have to think our group of 25 was part of the reasoning. Stroke of luck number two!
Second flight - ATL-EZE:
Scheduled departure: 10:27pm (actual 11:03)
Scheduled arrival: 8:57am (actual 9:56) One-hour time difference
Boarding had already begun when we deplaned, but it sure wasn't going very quickly. ATL was using face recognition instead of standard boarding passes.
Our trusty steed at gate E10:
Seat 23J. Cost about $60 for the upgrade. However, the aisle seat was vacant, so this felt like Economy+. Stroke of luck number three!
We pushed back about half an hour late, but we were on the plane and had no connections to make, so we were much more relaxed.
PH-BQO, headed to AMS as KL622 ahead of us:
A slow, graceful climb out of 27R:
IFE. I absolutely love Delta Studio:
Dinner. Options were chicken salad, rosemary chicken or pasta. I went with the pasta, which was four huge cheese ravioli in two different sauces. It was quite good.
Soaring through the night. The flight attendants had asked me to keep my shade closed since the sun would rise about 3 hours before landing.
Stunning rainbow sunrise:
Cabin beginning to awaken for breakfast:
Breakfast was a bagel with cream cheese and some yogurt. Nothing to write home about.
Very bumpy descent through northern Argentina before our late arrival on runway 11. They had to pause breakfast for the flight attendants' safety.
We had to take an adventurous route to avoid the worst of the weather. Added quite a bit of flight time.
EZE is a widebody lover's paradiseSUMMARY:
I absolutely love flying Delta long-haul. The service and accommodations are consistent and satisfactory. The food is good and the IFE selection is plentiful. They are always my first choice when flying long-haul. This particular itinerary is probably my favorite I've ever flown, with the excitement of beginning a trip, the vacant seat on the 10-hour flight, the great sunrise, and all the other things that went into this trip.VIDEO:
For a more detailed summary of the food, IFE, and more perspectives, check out my video trip report:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMMJ_zTgX5A
When I get the time, I have several more trips I'll upload.