Part 1: MAN-ATL Delta Flight 65
Firstly, I begin with an apology as I was unable to write the second part of my last trip report about my return from my visit to MSP on the newly re fitted 763(see Dl65 man - atl
). I had written it several times but it didn’t post ☹.
This year I am taking the same trip to visit my Grandparents in MSP, my Granddad (Diamond Medallion) tried to book me through AMS on an award ticket however this was not available due to no seats on the KLM flight from MAN-AMS, which is my preferred route primarily as the route is operated by the A330. However we could only book via ATL….My prior experience of ATL was horrible as they lost my case so initially I was more apprehensive of connecting there.
My itinerary stood as follows;
23/07/12 - DL65 MAN - ATL
Scheduled Departure Time: 1020
Actual Departure Time: 1043
Scheduled Arrival Time: 1430
Actual Arrival Time: 1427
Boarding Zone: 3
Reg: N153DL (ex Gulf Air I believe)
23/07/12 – DL954 ATL - MSP
Scheduled Departure Time: 1625
Actual Departure Time: 1745
Scheduled Arrival Time: 1812
Actual Arrival Time: 1843
Boarding Zone: 1
Seat: 23C (Window Exit)
I love flying and have done for most of my life there is just something that sets off a thrill and excitement about flight so naturally when the date ticked over to the 23rd of July 2012 I was like a 5 year old at Christmas. With lack of sleep I sprang out of bed knowing that in 5 hours I’d be on board and settled in for the long flight ahead. Ordered the taxi for 0550, I had worked out that this should get me to the airport for about 0630…. perfect I’ll be there before check in opens thus beating the queues. I had checked in the day before so I only had to drop my bag off and print my boarding pass.
At the airport
Once at the airport I headed over to the Delta Information desk and got talking to one of the agents she was saying how it was scheduled to be a full flight, which I already was aware due to the lack of empty seats online. I also asked if she would mind taking a picture of me at the side of the Delta desk, she laughed and said ‘of course!’.
As I proceeded to check in I was called over to the Business and Sky priority line to be checked in (still empty so all agents were trying to find something to do) the agent was really nice and we got talking about my previous trip with Delta she also asked was I nervous as this is my first flight on my own not as an UM, I said ‘me nervous? Nope’ and she laughed. When I asked her about Fast track security, I had forgotten to purchase online the day before, I asked if there was somewhere where I could purchase it at the airport she said she didn’t know of anywhere but she would put on my boarding card fast track security. I thought this was very nice of her and people like her are the reason why people continue to fly Delta.
Security was nothing special – if it was then I would be worried! And I was through within a few minutes. I didn’t really visit the duty free as I prefer to venture round and see how many pictures I can take! After passing through all the gates at T2 I decided to head over to the Escape Lounge and see if it was as good as the website had built it up to be, the overall design was very pleasant and how the seating had been arranged however there was not a great selection of food/snacks. However as I didn’t intend to eat yet anyway this didn’t really bother me, I only stayed in the lounge for about 40 minutes and then I progressed over to Gate 214 ready for the inbound flight from ATL.
In from SIN
Final Preparations for Departure
Getting closed up however it was re-opened about 2 minutes later and another 2 bags added
Inbound flight from ATL
Taxing into Gate 214
Ground Crew quickly move in
The forward catering truck at 1R had trouble opening the door from the outside..Quite amusing to watch as he knocked but received no response
As I approached the gate area a Monarch flight was in the stages of its final boarding and they did one last announcement before closing up, the gate area then began to be prepared for the arrival of DL64 and departure of DL65 . As the aircraft taxied in to the gate area, a youngish couple whom were sitting next to me by the window began the usual annoying questions i.e ‘is this plane really our flight?, Why don’t they pick another gate? Why do they use the same aircraft there and back?’ It was primarily the last question that got me thinking….What do people think airlines do just fly there and magically another a/c appears to do the return journey? However they then moved away but I could still hear her asking stupid questions and yet again she asked ‘Is this really our flight?’ Infact she asked that about 5 times.
Time quite quickly passed and soon they were asking Business Elite to board and then Sky Priority and then zone 1 etc. I didn’t quite hear what they were saying over the tannoy as everyone was talking and as I saw everyone standing around the gate area and pushing towards the lines I thought it was general boarding however as I got there it turned out to be still Sky Priority….I don’t believe that all the passengers whom were standing there were SP though, the agent smiled and said ‘Don’t worry just go on through’. I kind of felt bad because it must annoy some elites.
On Board the Aircraft
The general cabin felt quite small and worn out, the legroom was fairly spacious for me but I am pretty small. I do hope DL hurry up and sort these cabins out!
Shortly after take off flight attendants passed through the cabin offering drinks and peanuts or pretzels, I took the pretzels and a coke. Within 20 minutes they then passed round the cabin again and offered meals and a drink. The two meal choices were; A penne pasta or Thai Chicken, I had the pasta last time and felt sick from it so I went with the Thai Chicken and boy was it the right choice to make because it was delicious!
In fact I hope that it is an option on my return journey!
The flight sort of dragged due to the lack of IFE but I had my Ipod with me so it wasn’t as bad. The last hour though went through pretty fast which contradicts my prior statement. I spoke to some of the crew and just got talking about general crew life (an amazing # on twitter – If you have twitter search it! ☺). And pretty soon we had begun our descent into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport!
Descent into ATL
Quite a stormy approach, a lot of turbulence
I freshened up using my amenity kit from a previous trip (I keep several for occasions in which I am travelling in economy), and started talking with the man sitting next to me who I had not heard speak through out the whole flight…..as we were talking I noticed that we were about to cross the threshold and ….THUD …we were on the ground.
Immigration actually made my day a bit more fun, firstly I liked the way that ATL has split up connecting and terminating passengers, this really reduces the lines in fact I only qued for about 10 minutes which is relatively short for ATL. And then as I approached the desk I noticed the Immigration officer was smiling!! Yes smiling!! A big difference in comparison to last year’s officer who seemed to be physically not able to smile. The immigration officer now however changed my whole perspective of immigration in the US entirely. He even said ‘Welcome to the United States’ and ‘Have a great stay’.
Ratings: (All out of 10)
Check in: 10
Escape lounge: 6
Cleanliness of a/c: 5
So with that I will conclude Part 1. Part 2 will be the second part of my itinerary, ATL-MSP. Part 2 will also include my trip to Oshkosh!
Let me know what you think!