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jb1087xna
Topic Author
Posts: 520
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:11 am

Delta: XNA-ATL-SEA And Return

Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:03 am

Quite a bit of scheduling changes occurred prior to this trip actually happening. Original flights to SEA were on a CRJ and 763 domestic respectively. Original return routing was through MSP and flights were on a 753 and CRJ respectively. Ended up being on a CR7 and 752 to SEA and a 763 domestic and MD88 on the return legs. All changes were because of flight cancellations 2-3 months prior to trip. Pictures are posted in the related flight section.

DL 4936 XNA-ATL on Aug 30
Seated in 7D. Unfortunately didn't catch the tail number. Equipment was from a DTW terminated leg from the night before, so I figured this would be right on schedule, and it was. I've read that row 6 has additional leg room because row 5 is Econ Comfort. Although I was seated in row 7, visually I couldn't tell any difference in rows 6 and 7. There may be some additional leg room, but I'm doubtful as to how much. Flight was fairly routine, service in both cabins about 30 minutes into the flight. Pretty uneventful.

DL 129 ATL-SEA on Aug 30
Seated in 2D. Tail was N696DL. Row 2 is the bulkhead on the right side in this version of the 57. No legroom issues for me, I'm 5'7, and the lav is far enough away that there wasn't any noise from the door opening or closing. Boarding was on time and through 2L. That's a pretty nice setup if you're in the front cabin as there's essentially no traffic. FAs took drink orders as people boarded and delivered them very quickly. Once everyone was aboard, thunderstorms closed the ramp for nearly an hour. Once reopened, our trip to the runway was pretty quick and we were a speedy second in line for take off. It's probably been 10 years since I've been on a 757 and I'd forgotten the power on the take off, very nice.
Hot towels and drink refills came after about 20 minutes. Dinner options were given shortly after: Cheese Ravioli and Chicken with Vegetables. I opted for the ravioli. It was served with a small salad, roll, and gelato. The roll was pretty hard, but everything else was fine. I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel on the IFE after dinner. Flight was routine after that. FAs came around for drink refills generally every 30 minutes or if they noticed you were empty. Awesome service and pretty good hard product, imho.
Storm approaching:
Storm here:
Some shots at Paine Field:



DL 1808 SEA-ATL on Sep 3
Seated in 2F. Tail number was N130DL. I've read the questionable reviews of the F product in the domestic 763 birds, but I was still looking forward to the flight as I've never been in the variant before. (Been in Y on the old DL 762's and US 762's.) 1F was reclined fully for the entire flight. It was very difficult to stand up and get out of the row even when my seat mate got up as well. I'm fairly average sized as well (5'7, 155 lbs), so my stature shouldn't have been an issue. Nevertheless, extremely tight space when the seat in front of you is reclined fully. I had to feel around on the panel below the seat divider to find the power port for my laptop. There was no way I could see anything down there. Legroom was still okay, it was just the upper portion of the seat back that was intrusive. I could also noticeably saw and felt the difference in seat width from the 752 to the 763. Although the smaller seat wasn’t necessarily a problem, the larger one was nicer.
Boarding and takeoff were on time. Both F and Y were completely full. This bird seemed to take the entire runway to get in the air. As with before, towels and drink refills were provided about 20 minutes into the flight. Breakfast options were either cereal with yogurt and fruit, or an omelet with sausage. I opted for the latter. Definitely impressed by the omelet and trimmings. (It was even better than one cafe I visited in Seattle.) Potato quality was iffy, some brown spots, but the taste was fine. Opted for some TV on my laptop versus DL's offerings on this flight. Flight was fairly uneventful after breakfast. We did encounter some continual "rough air" (as DL likes to call it so much) throughout eastern Missouri and most of Tennessee. We descended and ascended several times trying to avoid it to no avail. Got somewhat better as we approached ATL.

Left side was my 763. Smaller sibling 738 heading to LAS on the right side.
Looks like a mistaken shot, but trying to show how close the seat was to me when reclined.


DL 1120 ATL-XNA on Sep 3.
Seated in 12F. Tail number was N951DL. Not sure how this flight ended up being on an MD88. XNA routinely gets either a 717 or MD88 as the last ATL-XNA flight of the day, but this one was second to last and there was still a 717 scheduled later on. My flight was maybe 55% full and the larger bird was definitely overkill for the load. F was packed as essentially anyone with status was upgraded. I can see the space being needed for the last flight in, but not this one. Not sure if DL was expecting heavier traffic out of XNA today (both the 717 and MD88 were RONs) or what.
As with the ATL-SEA leg, thunderstorms once again closed the ramp just prior to pushback. We ended up being delayed roughly 45 minutes. It opened for just enough time for us to get pushed back before being closed within another 10-15 minutes because of more storms.
Service in the air was fairly lackluster, despite the FAs having a fairly easy job with a half empty plane and plenty of time to get to everyone. I definitely had more space in the MD88 in Econ Comfort over the 763 with a fully reclined forward passenger. (Granted, the seat in front of me in the MD88 wasn't reclined at all).
Don't know if anyone in the XNA area can shed any light, but the ATL landings from the north seem puzzling to me. XNA is approached from the SE and it seemed we could've easily landed from the south. Instead we spent another (just an estimate) 5-10 minutes in the air going around to the north and then having enough room to descend to the field. Is there a reason that the ATL flights are routed that way? I live out towards XNA and routinely notice DL's ATL birds taking that path. I can understand MSP/CVG/DTW flights landing that way, but ATL seems odd.
Also noticed that AA is now sending US's mainline equipment instead of the usual MD80s. Wasn't sure what the below bird was...a 320? Seemed too big to be a 319. Didn't think to catch the tail number.



To sum it up, really enjoyed DL's service. The hard product was good in most cases. I'll probably avoid the domestic 763 birds if I'm flying F again, but the 752's seemed appropriate. I wish DL would bolster the MSP service from XNA in the future though, or try SLC again. Though I much prefer DL to AA, this was a perfect example as to why it's difficult to chose DL solely based on scheduling. DFW in this situation is much more convenient than ATL. I love that DL is up-gauging the ATL equipment to 717/MD88/CR9's, but hope this isn't just at the expense of the other hubs. Taking a look at LIT's scheduling, I would say that is the case. DL really has to impress with service at XNA or hope that someone moves here with previous DL flight experience such as myself.

This was my first a.net report. Hope it wasn't too hard to get through!  
 
eastern747
Posts: 579
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:34 am

RE: Delta: XNA-ATL-SEA And Return

Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:55 pm

I'm sorry but that meal presentation is pretty poor. The brown serving tray looks like a cheap cafeteria. I suspect the "brown spots" on the potatoes was seasoning, like parsley or something.
 
Cactus739
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2004 6:41 am

RE: Delta: XNA-ATL-SEA And Return

Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:02 pm

That's the new American A319 it looks like. It does a daily turn from Dallas....I believe it replaced one MD82 flight.

Never flown into XNA from ATL yet (too out of the way) but I've done it from Denver, Charlotte, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix/Mesa (boy i miss that allegiant flight) and Detroit and every one lands from the north. Always gives me a good view of my neighborhood on the way in. Maybe something about the winds constantly making it better?
You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
jb1087xna
Topic Author
Posts: 520
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:11 am

RE: Delta: XNA-ATL-SEA And Return

Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:44 pm

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 1):

I'm sorry but that meal presentation is pretty poor. The brown serving tray looks like a cheap cafeteria. I suspect the "brown spots" on the potatoes was seasoning, like parsley or something.

I agree that the tray wasn't amazing but I'm not sure the picture totally represents it. It looked like they were going for a wood/bamboo looking wood finish, and the left and right edges were curved upward so the tray wasn't completely flat. Even if the brown spots were caused by seasoning, I wouldn't really call that a good thing. Brown spots on potatoes can be indicative of lower quality, so it wouldn't be a positive for something else to be causing them get dark spots on them.

Quoting cactus739 (Reply 2):

That's the new American A319 it looks like. It does a daily turn from Dallas....I believe it replaced one MD82 flight.

Never flown into XNA from ATL yet (too out of the way) but I've done it from Denver, Charlotte, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix/Mesa (boy i miss that allegiant flight) and Detroit and every one lands from the north. Always gives me a good view of my neighborhood on the way in. Maybe something about the winds constantly making it better?

I didn't realize the Dallas flights land from that direction. I live to the east of XNA and only ever see DL birds. I guess the AA/UA ones approach and loop around from the west. I did a DFW-XNA leg on AA a few months ago and would've sworn we landed from the south. Maybe not though.
 
upsmd11
Posts: 650
Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 10:56 am

RE: Delta: XNA-ATL-SEA And Return

Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:16 pm

Quoting jb1087xna (Reply 3):
I didn't realize the Dallas flights land from that direction. I live to the east of XNA and only ever see DL birds. I guess the AA/UA ones approach and loop around from the west. I did a DFW-XNA leg on AA a few months ago and would've sworn we landed from the south. Maybe not though.
Quoting cactus739 (Reply 2):
Never flown into XNA from ATL yet (too out of the way) but I've done it from Denver, Charlotte, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix/Mesa (boy i miss that allegiant flight) and Detroit and every one lands from the north. Always gives me a good view of my neighborhood on the way in. Maybe something about the winds constantly making it better?

Most airfields have runways that can be used from either direction. You're right in that this all depends on the winds. Though I have had several tail wind takeoffs recently the most common thing is to land and takeoff with the wind on the nose of the aircraft. Aviation 101 here.
 
fjnovak1
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2000 2:23 am

RE: Delta: XNA-ATL-SEA And Return

Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:32 pm

During the five years I lived in NW Arkansas I can remember landing from the south at XNA on flights from MEM and ATL before, but most approaches did seem from the north, and I flew into there from DTW, CVG, MSP, CLT, LGA, DFW, ORD, and LAS in addition to MEM and ATL.
Go Blue!!
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Delta: XNA-ATL-SEA And Return

Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:58 am

Landing direction is primarily due to wind conditions, not direction of arrival.
Chicks dig winglets.

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