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SHV-ATL-DFW For Some ATL Spotting.

Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:17 am

In February one Sunday I was in SHV and needed to get back to DFW, but I was going to be dropped at the airport at about 11:00am. The night before, I had checked with a loyal a.netter who works for DL and he advised me that the 12:30pm SHV-ATL ASA CRJ had 8 seats left, so I decided to nonrev to ATL. The 5:30pm and 7:30PM AA MD80s ATL-DFW that night were easily doable on standby to get me home--maybe about 75% full at the most.

My first though had actually been to go to IAH, but CO now has Colgan air for most SHV flights, and Colgan is complicated for me to nonrev on, so I'd rather stick with AA and connect through DFW but then the last IAH DFW was full, so IAH just didn't work out.

The weather didn't look perfect, but it was a balmy February afternoon with temperatures in the 60s-70s and a chance of rain that didn't ever happen. Some overcast in ATL, so the pics wouldn't be beautiful, but hopefully the subject matter would compensate.

There is only one airplane that I don't really look forward to flying on, and that's the CRJ100/200. And that's what they fly SHV-ATL. Gone are the days of the 727 stopping in MLU or the MD80 stopping in MOB or JAN. Now I'm dating myself!

To travel on DL, since I'm an AA/AE employee, I have to purchase a ZED pass before I travel. I get it from the AA ticket counter. Not many agents are skilled at how to create these passes, and because of that, AA has a nonrev 800 number with a department that is trained to do it for the agents. I am trained in native Sabre RES and DECS, so I created my own ZED ticket before going to the airport. At the airport, when I went to the counter to buy it, I mentioned that I created it myself and hoped it was OK. The agents, whom I know pretty well, wanted me to show them how to build one. So I got behind the counter in street clothes and gave two agents a lesson on building ZED tickets. Then I bought mine. We exchanged frendly goodbyes and I went over to the DL counter.

At the DL counter they have about 4 self service machines and want everyone to use them. I walked up waving my paper ticket at one of the agents. It frustrated the first agent, but the second agent who saw me came over and took it from me. She was rather nice and checked me in. She didn't remove the SSSS that I always get when on a ZED ticket, but she was cordial and told me I had a good chance of getting on. That meant I had to face the thorough search from TSA, but it was a quiet afternoon and I wasn't pressed for time, so that was OK.

At the gate, just before boarding, I was allocated seat 7D, which is a window on the no-recline row just ahead of the overwing exit row.

Being on a CRJ, I couldn't very well see out the window, since the top of the window is 3/4 the way up my shoulders. I took this picture mainly so I could see what I could have otherwise seen had I been on a normal plane (meaning any plane other than a CRJ). To top it off, the window was scratch and messy too. OK my CRJ100/200 rant has ended. Carrying on...

I was seated next to a nice gentleman who was traveling with his wife and young toddler. The wife and child were across the aisle. After takeoff I got a good view of my parents' house. That's unusual for me, because I'm always flying westbound from SHV. I hardly ever go eastbound. In fact my last eastbound flight departing SHV might have been Allegiant Air to SFB, which was about 2 years ago (I did a trip report on it).

It was mostly overcast, though I did get a glimpse of the mighty Mississippi through some breaks in the clouds. Then it was overcast the rest of the way until we broke through on our descent. I read a book while we flew for about 1:15. There was a beverage service where I got a Diet Coke. I think they passed out snacks, but peanuts and I don't get along, so I didn't partake. Nice of them to offer though.

At ATL we landed on the new runway 28 that is down south of the airport on the way to Augusta. After some time, I was able to make out the terminal buildings! We parked in concourse D and used one of those old Commute-a-walk things that they used to have at DFW. It was fun getting out on the ramp a bit. I don't get to do that on Eagle, since Eagle uses jetbridges.

This is the landing video at ATL on runway 28

Here's the view while getting off the plane. It was painted in the new DL livery as you can see.

So I set off for Concourse E to see all the cool heavy jets. I could see it from Concourse D where I was, and I thought my eyes were failing me, but I saw a TUI tail parked at E! Next to KLM, so I got excited!

This picture looks rather odd, I'm sure, in a trip report. Here's a big escalator. I took this picture mainly for my own nostalgia, because ATL was the main airport that I connected through as a child. DFW also, but ATL was the most frequent one. I remember when Concourse E was built and put into service in 1995 and I used it while going on my first ever transatlantic trip where I went by myself. I was going to school in the UK for the Summer and it was a big moment! Then I did the same thing the next few summers and became, as I am now, addicted to transatlantic travel.

Going up these escalators into Concourse E brings back all sorts of memories. One of the best trips was my first time in international business class on a DL L1011 to SNN and first class on a DL MD11 LGW-ATL to and from this terminal using my folks' frequent flier miles. Then there was the year I made Medallion status after going transatlantic once with the family and once for school. It's funny how something like the escalator into a terminal can bring all this back.

Oh well, how about some airplane pics?

From the window halfway up the escalator by the US Customs exit.

Playing with winglet shots, using the better zoom on my new point and shoot camera.

This is definitely the rarest spot of the day! Arkefly 763. PH-AHY. It was doing a military charter.

I wish I remember where this one was going. It was something important like NRT or SVO.

I have flown this one before. Today it was going to one of the 4 German destinations from ATL (I forgot which one now). The unusual thing about the time I flew this plane was that when I flew it, it was on a trip where I was flying in F DFW-CVG and it was a three-class flight. I remember the passengers in J upset that they couldn't sit in first class, since they didn't realize they were upgrading from Y to J, and that there were only two of us up there in F.

I make it sound like I flew DL first class all the time back then. I actually only flew first class once, and business once or twice. Then never again until I worked for the airlines.

Look at all the 767s lined up in Concourse E getting ready to go to Europe! This is at about 4pm. None of them with the new paint, and this was Feb 9th, 2009.

That picture and the next Air France ones were taken from the Crown Room adjacent to gate E11. I actually meant to go to the Crown Room with no windows, which used to be the Business and First class lounge, once again for nostalgic reasons. Instead I went into this one by mistake, which I hadn't ever been to and loved the window. It was a huge Crown Room and very crowded due to the time of day. I didn't mind that. Look at the views I had!

Click this link to see the AF A340 come in and park. It turned out pretty well

Notice the KLM taking off in the background.

As you can tell, I enjoyed the view of the AF. For some reason I took no pictures of LH or BA. The BA flight was G-VIIE, which was going to LGW. I have flown G-VIIE as BA2192 DFW-LGW a couple years ago.

For the return home, I took no pictures because it was after sunset and not much point. I attempted a shot of the famous "Fly Delta Jets" that I remember even from my childhood (in keeping with my theme of nostalgia and visiting my favorite hub airport from childhood). The picture didn't turn out, unfortunately.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Danny Fritsche

I had a nice flight home onboard AA 555, which was an MD80. I managed to get a first class seat, as it was only booked 3/16 on that Sunday evening at 7:25pm. I was planning for that, because I hadn't had anything to eat, and enjoyed a nice pasta on the way to DFW. I had two seats to myself on this AA MD80. It was the good first class, compared with some of the former TWA models that have older first class seats. Registration was N7530.

When I went, I wasn't planning on doing a trip report, but the pictures came out well enough that I decided to do one anyway. I didn't mean for this to turn into a memoir about my memories flying through ATL, but sometimes after I begin writing, the screen takes a life of its own and sort of writes itself!

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading.

Comments are always welcome.
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
Posts: 1948
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:45 pm

RE: SHV-ATL-DFW For Some ATL Spotting.

Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:49 am

Nice report. Must have been a big surprise to see the ArkeFly 763ER, a very rare bird for you and just as common for me. I see her almost every day at AMS  Smile
Also nice pics of the KL 332 and the AF 343!

thanks for sharing!
Joost (D-ALCE)
flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,223,E75,E90,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,
Posts: 759
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:16 am

RE: SHV-ATL-DFW For Some ATL Spotting.

Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:33 pm

Nice report!

Love the picture of the KL winglet and the 767 tails.
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:31 pm

RE: SHV-ATL-DFW For Some ATL Spotting.

Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:53 am

That 763 Habitat for Humanity aircraft sure as heck was not going to NRT. Only the 777-200 flies that route.
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:24 am

RE: SHV-ATL-DFW For Some ATL Spotting.

Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:22 am

Nice report Matt, thanks for putting it together.
Posts: 7376
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 11:13 am

RE: SHV-ATL-DFW For Some ATL Spotting.

Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:02 am

Quoting DFW13L (Thread starter):
It's funny how something like the escalator into a terminal can bring all this back.

Dude, I have the same feelings about that same escalator going up to Concourse E! Spending my high school years in Atlanta, my first trans-Atlantic trips (well, aside from when I was 3 or 4... and I don't remember much of those trips) started by going up that same escalator starting in 1999 with a school trip on BA to CDG via LGW. The next summer, I went with friends to Rome and Paris on Air France in business thanks to my father's SkyMiles. In 2000, that late (9:00PM) AF flight was operated by a 747-400, my first time on a -400. In 2001, it was off to Madrid with my parents. Oddly enough, that was the only time I left out of Concourse E and didn't leave from the gate behind the food court... which provided an unbelievable view of the massive GE90 engines on my BA flight (I'm trying to remember the "World Tail" I flew on).

Thanks for jarring those memories loose! BTW, where did you go to high school?

[Edited 2009-03-10 21:03:30]
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!

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