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DL/NW PHX-ATL-DCA-MSP-PHX [pics+video]

Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:47 pm

Delta Airlines 1036
Boeing 757-200 N67171
19A Window

I started my trip to DC with a red-eye to Alanna on Delta. I flew out to DC earlier in the year to spend a weekend with my girlfriend and her dad. We ended up taking advantage of a super low fare on Deltawest to do some neighborhood shopping for our anticipated Spring 2010 move to DC. My girlfriend left a couple days before as I had to work.

I left the house pretty early so I would have time to grab some food and a beer before we departed. The cat was not so happy we were leaving.

I boarded the #40 bus down University Drive in Tempe bound for Terminal 3 at Sky Harbor Airport. Aside from tweeker or two on the bus the ride was okay and quick.

I arrived at to find a nearly empty terminal 3. At this time of night there are few flights to leave. I reprinted my boarding pass and proceeded up the escalator to the security checkpoint.

The line at security was short and my trip into jail was uneventful. I grabbed my stuff and headed over to Tequileria to grab a beer and to what I hoped was catch the end of a marathon Yankees vs. Red Sox game.

After downing a couple Sam Adams Summer Ale’s I proceeded to the end of Terminal 3 to plug the iPhone in and watch some traffic.

Soon the time came to board my 757 to Atlanta. I walked through the Breezeway (who came up with that?) and grabbed my seat, 19A, at the L2 door aboard N67171. Boarding took a bit given how full the flight was. But soon enough the jetway driver pulled back the jetway

Passed the airline I usually fly…

Over to 25R for takeoff…

Due to the darkness I didn’t take any inflight photos. The 757 I flew was equipped with Delta’s new IFE. Sadly I didn’t have the time or energy to play around with it. Here’s a shot while on approach to ATL.

Blocked at the gate…

Since I was sitting next to the door deplaning was brisk. I had to make my way to another terminal. I passed on the train and decided to walk. As I came up with escalator I saw the food court and a Dunkin Donuts. I had to have my morning large black iced coffee and a coffee cake muffin.

Delta 767 getting ready for a departure to SFO.

I was able to catch a great sunrise while I ate my muffin and drank my coffee.

Overall I like the ATL airport. It was my second or third time through there. It’s a little chaotic but they definitely have some interesting traffic. I took a quick look at the winds in DC to make sure I would have a view of the monuments from my left window seat. According to the METAR we would be landing to the south! Soon the time came to board my flight to DCA.

Delta Airlines 1036
McDonnell Douglas MD88 N621DL

I was in the last boarding call for this flight. Even so I grabbed a nice spot in the overhead for my rollaboard. I took my seat and got ready for push.

Taxiing to the runway…

Another MD landing…

No wait for takeoff. Pictures? Better! I have video!

The flight was pretty cloudy until we descended over Alexandria.

We made a right 180 to assume the Potomac Visual into DCA. Here’s the video:

My girlfriend met me just beyond security and we took the METRO over to the King Street Station. Below are some photos from our time in Alexandria and the District.

After arriving we grabbed some grub and took a quick nap. We woke up and helped her dad setup his next batch of homebrew.

I love the architecture in Old Town Alexandria.

After getting the brew ready for the fermentation process we hit King Street hard grabbing drinks at a couple of bars before ending up at Pat Troy’s for some irish food and Guiness. At around midnight we were dead and headed to bed.

Sunday morning we woke up at a decent hour and decided to make the trip to Eastern Market. If you’ve never been to Eastern Market you need to! It’s a great collection of local artists and sellers selling their wares. A few years ago a devastating fire ruined the food market. It has finally been rebuilt and now houses numerous bakers, butchers, cheese shops, seafood vendors, etc. A foodie paradise!

The Diamondbacks were intown playing the Nationals so we HAD to catch a baseball game! Beers in hand we jumped into our seats which were now in the baking sun. The temperatures were near Arizona levels with DC humidity. We lasted until the 5th inning before we decided to head back to Alexandria and catch the rest of the game at a bar.

We were pretty pooped from the heat so we cooked some shrimp then hitup Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Union Street Public House for a beer before headed to bed.

Today was the big day. Our plan was to get up at a decent hour and head into the district exploring all of the neighborhoods we thought we might want to live. After all the walking we took a rivertour down the Potomac from Georgetown to Alexandria. The ferry proved to be a great way to break from the heat AND catch traffic arriving and departing at DCA.

Back in Alexandria we were starving! It was on our To Do List to check out Five Guys as we would need a suitable replacement to In-N-Out should we move out of the west.

Tuesday came quickly and was my last day in town. We decided the night before that we would want to live in Alexandria when we move out there. There were certain neighborhoods we had not explored before so we rented bikes and included a trip to Gravelly Point.

After our bike ride, I packed up, grabbed a glass of wine at a local wine bar and jumped on the Metro bound for DCA.

I was flying Northwest home which is in a different section of DCA than Delta;. Frankly, it’s a haul from that area but you pass through some really historical parts of the airport and into the original terminal.

One of the downsides to such a historical airport is the limited amenities. After making my way through security I found very limited food options. I grabbed what ended up being the most disgusting Cuban Sandwich. Hard to even call it a Cuban sandwich but whatever.

Northwest 1273
Airbus A319 N314NB
6D Aisle

Due to the fact that I had an aisle I didn’t bother taking photos of my legs and feet. The drink service was slow to start. I sat there with my Cuban sandwich waiting for a drink. In fact, first class was having their dinner service cleared by the time the flight attendants started the main cabin drink service. On a positive note, I got a full can of Sprite and two bags of peanuts.

The flight was largely uneventful. We landed in MSP a few minutes behind schedule but did not impact my connection terribly. I walked around and grabbed an iced Americano from Caribou Coffee and made my way to G3.

My flight to Phoenix was delayed so I plugged my iPhone in for a charge. The inbound aircraft had been caught in a ground stop in Philadelphia which caused it to be delayed.

I really like connecting through MSP. It’s a large airport but fairly well laid out. There’s a ton of restaurants and coffee places too which makes it a desirable place to connect.

Northwest 1255
Airbus A320 N334NW
7C Aisle

Another aisle seat! Which I’m glad a grabbed considering how much coffee I drank waiting for my flight. Despite an older woman passing out on the aisle the flight was fairly uneventful. We touched down on runway 26 just after our scheduled arrival time. I deplaned shortly thereafter and went outside to meet the SuperShuttle to start my drive home.

I apologize for the lack of photos on the second half of the report but hope you enjoyed the report!

[Edited 2009-08-15 16:48:05]
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RE: DL/NW PHX-ATL-DCA-MSP-PHX [pics+video]

Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:06 am

Great report. Enjoyed the pictures and story. The guy snoring in the departure video from ATL was funny as well. Thanks for posting!
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RE: DL/NW PHX-ATL-DCA-MSP-PHX [pics+video]

Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:19 am

Great TR! I just passed through DCA recently and I wasn't able to go to the old terminal, but I'm glad you enjoyed your trip. I'm driving up to DC for a conference in Nov and I think it's too late to book though  Sad
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RE: DL/NW PHX-ATL-DCA-MSP-PHX [pics+video]

Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:22 am

Nice report, thanks for sharing. Always enjoy DCA reports because it's such a great airport.

So what's better in your opinion, In 'N Out or Five Guys? I've never had In 'N Out but would love to go to the famous one near LAX to watch the planes fly over.

Great landing video at that approach.

When you're back in DC, give me a shout and bring me over some of that homebrew!  Wink

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RE: DL/NW PHX-ATL-DCA-MSP-PHX [pics+video]

Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:41 am

Great report, Matt! So, you spotted Yukon (N201FR)! That is awesome!  Smile
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
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RE: DL/NW PHX-ATL-DCA-MSP-PHX [pics+video]

Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:18 am

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 3):
So what's better in your opinion, In 'N Out or Five Guys? I've never had In 'N Out but would love to go to the famous one near LAX to watch the planes fly over.

I liked the flavor of five guys a little better. My buddy lives next door to the one in DuPont and basically said if I saw the vats of grease they use I wouldn't like it any more. The In-N-Out at LAX is a great place! Whenever I am in LA I head over there for a double double and some spotting!

And next time I'm in DC I will definitely give you a shout.
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RE: DL/NW PHX-ATL-DCA-MSP-PHX [pics+video]

Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:14 pm

Awesome ... The marble floor in B concourse in ATL is new? (It used to be carpet floor) of the Future
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RE: DL/NW PHX-ATL-DCA-MSP-PHX [pics+video]

Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:01 pm

Great TR, and welcome to DC! Hey if you love Eastern Market, have you thought about looking for places around there? It's turned into a really nice area, but still a bit cheaper to live than the rest of DC (same with U Street and Columbia Heights area). BTW, I've had IN-N-OUT and maybe I'm a bit biased, but Five Guys to me is far better  Smile

I love flying into DCA, I just flew in there last night on US Airways from CUN and had a really awesome night approach with views of Georgetown, monuments, all that good stuff. Those pilots really slam on the brakes hard when landing at DCA so it's always an adventure.

Great to see you had a good time, and maybe we'll see you around DC!

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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:00 am

RE: DL/NW PHX-ATL-DCA-MSP-PHX [pics+video]

Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:52 pm

Five Guys can't touch In N Out as far as I'm concerned. I was not impressed with Five Guys when I went to DC - nothing comes close to INO!!  Smile

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