Continuation from the previous reports which you may like to read before drowning in this one:
Now, Just to forewarn you, I spent 9 hours in Atlanta Airport... therefore this report is mostly based on my time in Atlanta. And just a fraction on the actual flight!
22nd August 2006
Erm... Yeah! I was in Atlanta once again, anticipating my 7 hour stay. As reported in my FLL-ATL report I ended up eating at the same place, even ending up in the same seat as I did when going to FLL. I got myself a Cheesesteak meal (cheesesteak and curly fries). The last cheesesteak I had this year It was very tasty however, it was pretty pricey, about $5 for the meal!!!
Having just checked on the ATL website, I was in Concourse A. Therefore I was also in Concourse A for my flight to FLL from ATL.
So, after having had something to eat, I decided to go and roam Atlanta Airport. I started off by browsing some of the shops in A concourse. I ended up spending a fair amount of time in 'Brookstone', a kind of gadget shop. I love gadgets and technology so I enjoyed playing with all the useless crap they sell
Having plonked round the same shops about a week earlier I was rather curious about the other concourses. I didn't bother with the main terminal as I had visited that the previous week. Seeing as I had about another 6 hours to kill, I decided I could visit any concourse I wanted, for about an hour. I decided against... The fact that I enjoyed staying on the fast trains was a factor As I made my way to the train, I checked the Departures board. Seeing as most of the International flights were leaving from Concourse E, I decided to hop onto the train and make my way to 'E'. Getting off the train and making my way up to the main concourse area, I realised that 'E' was much larger than the others.
My first thought once I arrived in Concourse E was that the place was dead. There really was a lack of people here. Me being me, I was slow... and after a while remembered that most of the international flights don't arrive till around 3/4PM. I did however see a Korean Air 747 being readied for departure, so I sat and watched as they pushed it back, Again, I took a walk... returning to the same place, only to see a KLM 767 taxi in. I had read on here before my trip that the 767's were now becoming a rarity to see, due to them being phased out of the KLM fleet. It was nice to see one of these aircraft in KLM colours!
I checked the departures board again... "DL64... E29"
Having now scaled the terminal, I knew exactly where to go. Gate E29 had a great view of the planes taxiing towards to 26L. It was also a great place to watch the departures. This was kinda my home for the next 3 hours
Gate E29 was good, it had a hot dog stall about 10 metres away, the restrooms about 20 metres and a shop about 50 metres I sat for about an hour and a group of around 20 fully uniformed troops came to the gate area... of course I'm like "WTF?!" So I guessed they were just going somewhere as they pulled out their mobile phones and laptops. The number of troops increased within an hour from around 20 to more like 220.
By now I was feeling hungry again, and seeing as it would be more than likely I wouldn't be in the US for another year, I got myself a 'Cheese Dog' This was my first 'Cheese Dog' and to be fair it wasn't too bad however, it isn't something I would have on a regular basis! I then took a walk down to the food court which is at the centre of the concourse. Seeing as I had just eaten, I decided to get a smoothy/slushie... A drink! I got myself a Pina colada style non-alcoholic smoothie. It was rancid... I took about 3 big gulps to get my moneys worth and threw it in the bin, it was truly awful.
It was now about 2 hours before our scheduled departure time, and I expected people turning up at the gate... not so. I sat around a little longer. The troops all upped and got into a line, which can only be described as 'Long'. They were off to Iraq, on an Omni Air International DC-10.
By now, to be blatantly honest, I stunk!!! Yes, I had showered in the morning and yes I had put deodorant and clean clothes on... I popped down to duty free, seeing what I could buy with $13 (my last bit of money). Turned out there was some Calvin Klein Roll on deo for $10. Fair enough, it should be nice for $10. I was about ready to buy when the cashier asked if anybody was travelling on Delta 64... Errr "Yes, I am"... Cashier says "Sir, do you know your flight is now departing from Concourse T?" Me... "NO!?!?" So I just put the deo down and haul my ass to E29... to check... Indeed, they had changed the concourse. (this was about an hour and a half before scheduled departure time).
So I make my way, nervously to concourse T. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 7.55PM, now... it was about 6.35PM. As you can imagine I was pretty pi$$ed off at this point in time, not only had they just changed the concourse, and I seemed to be the last to know, I still stunk! and I had spent almost 7 hours in Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Oh, I almost forgot, the flight!!!
Photo © David Marshall
Seeing as I didn't want to be rude to the other passengers, I popped into one of the small shops in the concourse area and purchased a small roll on antiperspirant. Proceeded into a toilet cubicle to apply I do feel that personal hygiene is not simply about yourself, but keeping others happy too.
So, it was fast approaching about 7.30PM and we had not yet boarded... You guessed it! The Gate agent came over the tannoy and announced that our aircraft was not fit to fly and that another aircraft should be here within around 2 hours... A quick phone call home to inform my Mum of the delay was done, another £2 gone for about 30 seconds!!!
I went and found an empty gate, as ours was pretty hectic. The T concourse really does suck for viewing airplanes. I sat for about half an hour, before taking a walk around.
Eventually an aircraft arrived. Yippee!!! Did the usual yada yada... But at NO point was I questioned about liquids by security/gate agents/Flight attendants. Sure, they had the announcement in the terminal but come on!
I had boarded, onto another 767-300. I took my seat, hoping that I would have a nice, friendly and approachable seatmate. Well, I guess he was... but the guy was pretty big! I love being in the window seat, which I was... but I also like the freedom of being able to get up whenever I like. Oh well, I'd just have to deal with it. We pushed back about 2 hours late and taxied towards 26L.
We were in a pretty long queue and I watched numerous CRJ's and ERJ's take off before us. Once it was our turn, I felt a great deal of relief. As we roared down the runway, I gave ATL the middle finger salute... I really was glad to get away from that place!
The flight was mostly uneventful, Dinner was served, tasty...
I played with my MP3 player for a while...
Window Shades were closed...
I ended up sleeping for about an hour, I'm not usually one that can sleep on a plane. I awoke to find I was now one of the only ones... awake. We were now about 4/5 hours in... I was majorly bored I called the flight attendant for a glass of coke, she obliged, albeit in a very reluctant manner. Ok ok, enough of this. Breakfast was served about 2 hours short of MAN. It consisted of... A hot bagel... spreading cheese, Jam (no I didn't mix ) A banana and a cup of either water or orange juice (I don't recall). It was pretty damn good considering I was about 36000ft up!!! Tea and coffee were also served, I opted for the coffee... bad idea... It was horrible.
We started our descent, first going towards Liverpool and turning back towards MAN. Unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the aircraft to wave at the Airport Pub regulars, oh well! I do believe this was my first proper crosswind landing! I could feel the aircraft in a 'not right' angle as we were almost down. The landing was bumpy but great! I did not think highly of the cabin crew on this flight, they weren't what I'd experienced the previous week.
We taxied past the AVP and towards Terminal 2 where I made my way through Passport Control and down to the baggage belts. To be quite fair, the bags arrived very quickly! Mine was there within 5 minutes of me getting to the belt.
I made my way out into arrivals... Something about everybody staring at me makes me nervous. But yeah, I made my way across the road to where my mum was waiting by the car.
All In all a good trip to FLL, but damn, I'll get better connections next time!
Delta are a nice airline. I just hope the demand comes for them to put a different aircraft onto this route, such as a 777, or even a 764.
Thanks very much for reading this trip report and I hope you enjoyed it!