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ATL-EWR-IAD-ATL On United And Delta (pics, Long)

Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:23 pm

I’ve procrastinated this for over a week, but I finally put it all together.

Visiting family in Virginia. It’s only a 9 hour drive but my disdain for being in the car knows no bounds, so flying it was, and maybe a little out of the way for my own amusement  
For whatever reason on my last few trips I’ve had good success mixing airlines for a better price. This trip was another flying north with United and south with Delta. Actually this would be my first time ever flying United. This was the first time I’ve ever seen their prices be competitive for me. I did fly Continental back in the day, but that was all the way back in 1998 on a couple of MD-80s if that tells you how long ago that was   

My flight wasn’t until 11:00, but Atlanta traffic being what it is I knew better than to wait until 7:30 or 8:00 to get up. I stuck with my usual weekday wakeup time of 5:25 in an effort to avoid that. Plus I had a couple phone calls to make so finding a spot would be easier. More on that later.
Almost as soon as I parked I was reminded of my activities for the day
I didn’t need to check in but hey there’s some sweet new signage that’s been put up in the last year or so.
So to TSA I went. It was super lax. I didn’t even have to take my shoes off. I’m not complaining.
United is all out of T, but I had a couple phone calls I needed to make in my extra time so I went to concourse F and found a quiet spot away from the crowds. Much easier to do there than anywhere else at least at that time of day.
Cramming in
I found a spot kind of near F12 upstairs. Great views which would have been a pinch distracting if I didn’t have the discipline to stare at the floor when I was on the phone. Even after I was done I just leaned on the rail and took everything in. Also this is N832MH. I think it was going to MUC later in the day. Not long after I hung up it was towed off.
And in came an A320. I don’t remember where it was coming from or going to but I did look.
At about 8:00 or so I went back to concourse B to get some breakfast. I kind of have a spot I like to sit there dating back quite a few years.
Nice look out despite the construction
I spent probably an hour or so just staring out the window before I started to work my way to T13 for my own flight.

United Airlines Flight 421
Depart ATL: 11:01 (was actually 11:06)
Arrive EWR: 1:16 (was actually 1:15)
Boeing 737-700

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Photo © Juan C. Aponte
N39728 was my ride. Actually I watched it land on 8L while I was eating. I noticed there are no database pictures of the new split scimitar winglets.
We started boarding at 10:20. I was in group 3. United’s groupings seem to help everyone clogging up the lines when the first group boards except that group 3 was significantly larger than the rest.
Heading down
Taking my seat in 8A in Economy Plus
The A319 next door
And a PTV. No way I was going to pay for a short flight. If I was going transcon I would.
This is trite, but I was hoping to take off from runway 8R. Of all the runways at ATL I have used 8R for takeoff by far the least. I figured being on the north side of T almost guaranteed it. Instead when we pushed back we pointed the nose to go toward 9L.
And some more of Deltaland
Looking toward the south and a 747 landing in the background.
Video of takeoff from runway 9L. Not too great. We didn’t really throttle up until we got a few thousand feet above the ground. I can only assume it’s for spacing and we used less power since 9L is loooooooooooong. I for the life of me can’t figure out why my phone videos will only upload in 720p when they’re shot in 1080p.
Stonecrest Mall
This photo is terrible I know, but for the first time I could see my house from the air. That was really cool to me.
We headed way the hell up to 41,000 feet. I never had gotten up that high until 2009 and now it’s happened several times. Games of chance I guess.
We had drinks at 11:47 and descended starting at 12:29. Unfortunately there wasn’t much to see because there were clouds over the entire east coast. Shame.
Cutting through the clouds toward EWR.
New York City heading to runway 22L. I was having flashbacks to 1998 when I did the exact same approach.
MetLife Stadium
And closer still
Video of landing on runway 22L.
Lots of stuff I don’t see at home.
I’m definitely not in Atlanta anymore.
Globes for days
Pulling in to gate C72
And still more globes
Newark knows what’s up. I had a couple hours to kill so I did some exploring and got lunch. Also I took in from a distance the procedures of boarding a flight to Tel Aviv. That was quite an interesting spectacle.
Lunch. The marketplace on the high end of terminal C is pretty cool. My next flight was at gate C131 so very close to there.
N483UA was my A320 to IAD

United Airlines Flight 1992
Depart EWR: 3:07 PM (was actually 3:05)
Arrive IAD: 4:16 PM (was actually 4:20
Airbus A320

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Photo © César Badilla

I had a cold and was quite congested. As a result my ears never came down from altitude and I couldn’t hear a damn thing. I was sitting across the way and looked down at my watch at 2:30 with the realization boarding wasn’t too far away. Sure enough everyone at the gate was standing up and in line.
Nothing to me but look a sticker!
Just like my last flight I was in seat 8A also in Economy Plus. As soon as I sit down I notice the A320 is WAY more comfortable than the 737. Take any of that for whatever it’s worth to you.
Looking out at N69816 from my seat.
Dash 8 as we were pulling out. Gross.
Do I dare ask why the tail of this Air India 777 is off?
Heading for 22R as a JetBlue A320 lands.
Video of takeoff from runway 22R
This flight was very short and unfortunately like my first very cloudy, so I didn’t see the ground until we were almost there.
Heading out
We only took it up to 26,000 feet and began descending almost as soon as we got up there. I’m sure there’s a way for my high school algebra to haunt me if we talk about it being a parabola.
Snow. Haven’t seen much of that in Georgia lately.
Getting close. We came in on runway 19L, though spatially I wasn’t oriented a bit. Then again it’s an area I haven’t visited in nearly a decade.
Video of landing on 19L. The only thing I can think is “damn it, stupid keep the camera on the window and don’t hit the edge.”
Not a fantastic photo but the Broncos’ 767-400 caught my eye.
N17122 parked next to us. We parked ourselves at gate C27.
Empty row next to me after everyone else had gotten off.

I explored Concourse C for a bit before heading off. Side note: did Valuet operate out of C or D back in the day? I remember quite well I had a snap-together model I bought right before a flight with them and the low ceilings were what triggered that memory. I wish I still had that model. Oh well. It was getting dark and I still had to get my car and drive an hour.
I wasn’t aware the old blue livery still existed anywhere in service. I actually liked it.
Down the long tunnel to the train
Concourse C station

It was a great weekend with some family. I was sorry to see it end and have to go back to reality. I was flying Delta home so it was direct. When I booked the flight it was scheduled on a 717 but then at some point it changed to an MD-88. I was less than thrilled with that             Aside from having never flown the 717s in their new life with Delta they’re little rockets and I could consider them on of my favorite rides. MD-88s are just so blah. Either way still better than driving down 81 and 85 for all those hours fighting traffic and trucks and all that junk.
I left for Dulles relatively early figuring I’d have some traffic on the way and at the airport as well. Everything went significantly faster than I was planning on, so I was through security before 10:00.
My flight was out of B76, but I had loads of time to kill. Thankfully there was some action on the international side of things with flights to Dubai, Addis Abba, Tokyo and Seoul leaving in pretty quick succession. Oh the things I would do to be able to travel far and wide.
My first impression off the train is amazing. I left from B51 in 2005 but it was dark and I don’t remember much of it except a long walk to get there. Also I really miss AirTran. Anyway rant over.
Whale jet heading to Dubai. Actually it was the first time I have seen an A380 up close. I’ve seen the Korean Air flights in ATL from afar but that’s it.
787 about to fly 12 hours to ADD
I looked up this tail number and I want to say it was going to MUC later in the day. At this point it’s been long enough I don’t remember.
ET-ASI taxiing out

After the heavies all left I headed to United’s end at C and D to see what I could see. Other than regional jet heaven there were quite a few flights going to Asia at this point.
I don’t know if paying homage is the correct term to use here, but this gate does hold some significance now in the history of the world. Interesting to say I’ve been there.
Down the line I parked and had lunch. Pizza place right near the transition of C and D. Decent view. I had no complaints. Besides how can you not love pizza?
777 to ICN.
After lunch I took the train back over to concourse B and walked to my gate.
N910DE was my ride.

Delta Air Lines Flight 1125
Depart IAD: 1:22 PM (was actually 1:17)
Arrive ATL: 3:24 PM (was actually 3:10)
McDonnell-Douglas MD-88

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Photo © Rainer Bexten
I enjoy the boarding notifications even though I’m never one to push for time.
Seat 12E was my choice today. I’m all about the extra legroom as someone who is 6’3”.
A couple ERJs out my window, one to DTW and the other I assume to JFK.
We were taxiing to runway 30 but when we were almost there we were held for traffic spacing in Atlanta in what I assume is a deicing area. We didn’t move again until 1:41 at which point we were up and out of there.
Video of takeoff. Pretty normal for an MD-80 nothing special.
Climbing out
Cabin service at 1:57. I wish Biscoffs were an option here.
Again clouds everywhere and pretty much for the entire flight
Landing on runway 27L. I always hope I’ll land again on 10/28 but so far it’s only happened once and I didn’t have a window seat. One day.
One of many Delta MD-88s on a gloomy day in ATL
N910DE parked at gate B18 after disembarking.

Quite a trip. I know United has a reputation for being “that airline” but they were decent. Then again I was on mainline jets both legs. It’s staggering how much more comfortable their A320s are compared to the 737. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced that on other airlines. Actually for taking so long to fly them the first time I have a ticket with them to ORD in April. We’ll see how that goes.

Thanks for reading   

[Edited 2016-03-03 11:44:06]

[Edited 2016-03-03 11:45:26]
Careful, doors are closing, and will not reopen. Please wait for the next train.
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RE: ATL-EWR-IAD-ATL On United And Delta (pics, Long)

Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:38 am

Nice trip report and pictures. A couple years ago I was flying IAH-TGU on UA and they put me in Economy Plus since I didn't have an assigned seat. The previous night I gotten stranded overnight at DEN due to a cancelled flight, so having that extra legroom to stretch out and rest up was a nice bonus. Otherwise, I tend to avoid paying extra for premium seating and instead just suck it up in coach (I'm 6'1 and kind of stout so its usually comfortable enough).
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RE: ATL-EWR-IAD-ATL On United And Delta (pics, Long)

Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:41 am

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
I wasn’t aware the old blue livery still existed anywhere in service. I actually liked it.

You got lucky...there are 5 shades of blue aircraft left in the system. All of the rest have been painted in the merger liver.

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
It’s staggering how much more comfortable their A320s are compared to the 737.

The 73Gs (most of them anyway) have the old Koito seats aka park benches. They are being replaced with a B/E Pinnacle derivative to match most of the 738/739 fleet. The airbus aircraft have Recaro slimline installed that are alright for a few hour flight...I prefer the B/E seats on the retrofitted 737s for longer flights.

Glad you had a good flight...and a good time with your family.
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RE: ATL-EWR-IAD-ATL On United And Delta (pics, Long)

Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:47 pm

Nice report! Thanks for the comment about the UA A320 vs. 737 comfort. I was just on a 738 from DEN-IAD...BRUTAL! 3 hours cramped so tight I couldn't open my laptop in any usable way. I said never again to UA 737s. Maybe will try an A320 though, UA was pretty good otherwise.
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RE: ATL-EWR-IAD-ATL On United And Delta (pics, Long)

Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:07 pm

Thanks for posting. Nice report.

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
I wasn’t aware the old blue livery still existed anywhere in service. I actually liked it.

Agree. The blue was nice.

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