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Delta Air Lines First Class with the dead Cincinnati and Memphis Hubs PBI✈CVG✈MEM✈MIA

Delta Air Lines First Class with the dead Cincinnati and Memphis Hubs PBI✈CVG✈MEM✈MIA

Old Feb 18, 15, 11:14 am
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
Posts: 717
Delta Air Lines First Class with the dead Cincinnati and Memphis Hubs PBI✈CVG✈MEM✈MIA



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Routing for the first report of my new Dead Hubs series.
Map generated by the <a href="http://www.gcmap.com/">Great Circle Mapper</a>&nbsp;-
copyright © <a href="http://www.kls2.com/~karl/">Karl L. Swartz</a>

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Dead Hubs 1: Delta Air Lines First Class on the McDonell Douglas MD-88, McDonell Douglas MD-90, and Airbus A320, West Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach, Florida, Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia, Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport, Covington, Kentucky, Memphis International Airport, Memphis, Tennessee, Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida, and Delta Air Lines Sky Clubs: Delta First Class,Dead Hubs+MD-90s PBI✈CVG✈MEM✈MIA

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FOREWORD
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In September 2014, just around the beginning of my senior year,, I began talking to another high school senior 932 miles north of where I live--in CVG, or Covington, Kentucky. We talked for around a month before she asked me if I'd like to see her, and I thought "No way, she must be joking...." However, she was not joking--and, after "meeting" her parents through Skype Video Conference, as well as her subsequently talking to my parents through the same medium, I was booked on tickets to CVG. But, under my suspicions of past...infidelity from teenage girls, I bought fully refundable first class tickets.

And, for once, I was forced to make use of them.

Yes, she bailed. Decided she didn't want me in her life--no problem! Many other fish in the sea.

However, I still had refundable tickets to CVG and still wanted to visit the airport, but, thankfully, I didn't have to fly a dreadfully boring FLL-ATL-CVG-ATL-FLL--my tickets were refundable and therefore all fees waived for changes! With that in mind, I set my sights on FLL-ATL-CVG-MEM-ATL-FLL--but then I was like, wait, Colby, you haven't flown out of West Palm Beach since 2006! And what if you flew out all the way on the top of south Florida from PBI and return on the bottom at MIA? What about Memphis? With a boatload of questions in mind, I dialed Delta Air Lines reservations and got a nice lady on the line. I usually start out with some sort of corny joke like Way back in the 1980's A.D. and before I was born, Memphis was a hub for Northwest which instantly garners a hearty laugh from her. After considering my options, she changed FLL-ATL-CVG-ATL-FLL to PBI-ATL-CVG-ATL-MEM-ATL-MIA and wished me luck on my trip. Six flights in one day? Count me in!

What was NOT refundable, however, was the dayroom at the Cincinnati Airport DoubleTree by Hilton hotel that I booked for us--I was, and still am, inexperienced at booking lodging accommodations! I missed that somewhere it stated that my rate was NRF. However, looking at the about 2-hour-and-45-minute layover between ATL-CVG and CVG-ATL, I decided that I'd make an effort to get to the hotel room so my $300 wouldn't go to waste, even if I risked missing my connection.

Finally, a bit of a word on Palm Beach International Airport (IATA: PBI, ICAO: KPBI) -- I hadn't used the field since January 2006. On a much, much, much delayed LAX-ATL flight, my family missed our connection in ATL on the 11:00 PM redeye to FLL. However, it turns out that there is an (or was) an 11:45 PM redeye to PBI, 42 miles north of FLL. In PBI, all I remember from my drowsiness were some carpeted ramps leading to baggage claim (past TSA) and orange leather chair gate-side seating. Google maps told me a drive from FLL is only 52 minutes to PBI, but I'd soon later find out that I had vastly underestimated the distance.........


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Map generated by the <a href="http://www.gcmap.com/">Great Circle Mapper</a>&nbsp;-
copyright © <a href="http://www.kls2.com/~karl/">Karl L. Swartz</a>

Distance between the thrice of commercial airports in South Florida as shown by GCMAP. MIA is the largest, FLL is the second largest, and finally PBI is the smallest. Even though Google Maps said it was a 50 minute drive and GCMAP stated it was only 42 miles, I was still in for a shock. Read on...

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- Yes, I'm fully aware that Delta Air Lines still considers CVG to be a "hub", and that such a "hub" is still profitable as reported by "recent earning reports".

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Last edited by LPDAL; Feb 18, 15 at 11:42 am
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Old Feb 18, 15, 11:15 am
  #2  
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
Posts: 717
KPBI (Palm Beach International Airport) ✈ KATL (Atlanta - Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (The William B Hartsfield / Municipal / Candler Field)

    FLIGHT DATA SOURCE (S):

    1. PlaneSpotters.Net Airframe Data

    2. PlaneSpotters.Net Airline Data

    3. FlightAware Live Flight Tracking Data

    4. The First & Business Class Experience | Delta Air Lines

    5. Palm Beach International Airport - Palm Beach County Florida - Palm Beach County Government


    FlightAware for this flight. Copyright © FlightAware 2014
    Arriving (sleepily) into PBI, the ticketing hall seemed to be just as drowsy as I was (hence sideways pictures in some instances) and almost no airline staff were present. Seizing the opportunity, I was the first (and only) person to use the "Carry-on Only" check-in lane and then began photographing the various areas of the ticketing area and pre-security mall.

    As I said in the foreword of this report, PBI is the smallest of the three South Floridian commercially-serviced airports, and thus has suffered a ton of cuts as a result of industry-wide consolidation and downturn of the economy following the September 11 Attacks. It doesn't help that FLL is only a mere 42 miles to the south and offers not only many more destinations, but also low, low fares. Recently, however, due to a surge of northeastern folks moving down to South Florida, low cost carriers Southwest and JetBlue have significantly expanded their presence at the field--B6 with seven scheduled and WN with eight (4 SKED, 4 SEAS), making them the two largest carriers at PBI when factoring both scheduled and seasonal destinations into the equation.

    Unfortunately, fares still remain high to this day at PBI, and most non-hub service is only seasonal. Plus, F9's service to DEN is being cut on April 28th, 2015, disappointingly...Nonetheless, PBI is still a great deal nicer than FLL, and you'll see why in the following pictures.


    PBI's single-room ticketing hall. Pueblo tiling and wood accents create a bit of a homey and comfortable feel.




    Interesting Delta ticket counter layout here. Note the list of SkyTeam carriers by the Delta banner, I hadn't noticed that before. Also, the kiosk asked me to give up my first class seat on all six flights, despite seats remaining in all the premium cabins on every flight (one remained on this PBI-ATL flight)....I had to decline unfortunetely, on account of all my tight connections in order to fit six flights in 24 hours.


    Huge wicker chairs with floral / palm print cushions and pueblo tile, doesn't get much more Floridian than this!


    Plaques near the parking garage elevators detailing the history of the airstrip.


    All the usual players for a small, seasonal Florida airport...except...



    PeoplExpress was a very much maligned startup based out of Patrick Henry Field, Newport News, Virginia that commenced operations on June 30th, 2014. Notice how at no point did I refer to PeoplExpress as an airline, because they are not an airline. All of their flights were operated by Vision Airlines (V2), using one 737-400 (N745VA) and one 737-300 (N732VA). After burning through most of their startup capital, one airplane was hit by a servicing truck, and the next had to have an engine changed (but there was no money left to pay for it), all flights were "suspended" on September 26th, 2014, stranding thousands around the eastern seaboard of the US. The service coordinator, PeoplExpress, promised service would return on October 16th, 2014, but later rescinded the announcement with no set date of service resumption. On November 12, 2014, PEOPLExpress was evicted from the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport due to non-payment of Passenger Facilities Charges of US$100,000, and it was evicted completely from the complimentary office space that the PHF airport authorities provided them on January 23rd, 2015. At the time of writing (mid-February-2015), there has been no official announcement regarding resumption of service, and the company's telephone support line at 844.4FLYPEX (844.435.9739) has been disconnected.
    The first image was taken during their 90-day run, the second was taken on the day of this flight (October 19th, 2014), three days after service was supposedly "resuming". The signage and other such PeoplExpress items have removed from PBI as of late January 2015.


    PeoplExpress still listed on the Concourse signage, which has since been removed as well.



    Getting some updates posted to http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...n/6190165/#206 (the reply I posted about PBI here) on my Lenovo Y50.
    The splash page for the airport Wi-Fi advertised Frontier's new nonstop service to Denver, which didn't work as well as they planned, I suppose, because F9 is cutting DEN-PBI-DEN effective April 28th, 2015. Still, Beginning of November 2014 - Beginning of May 2015 was a pretty good run, don't you think? They're also keeping IAD-PBI-IAD and TTN-PBI-TTN.


    Like FLL, PBI was an all CO station before the merger. UA has done a pretty good job removing all the Continental logos and stickers, but feint traces such as this bag-tag reminder still remain.


    Enough airline trivia and onto the niceties of PBI. The massive pre-security atrium boasts several restuarants, a very large putting green, a shopping mall, and an art gallery along with massive ceilings to complete the welcoming "Florida Beach Village" ambience. Better than FLL, do you think?




    I've seen putting greens in various Delta Sky Clubs before, but never as large as Sam Snead's in PBI, with its little faux water hazards and bunkers! Have a round of putting before your long flight! I need to bring along my Scotty Cameron and some Pro V1s but I would need some sort of fold-up putter as such a long club would never fit in my bag (and, then again, the TSA would probably not let me through with a golf club in my backpack)...Maybe another day...



    The massive retail / dining center at the opposite of Sam Sneads and the pre-departure seating area. Unfortunately, it is 4 AM EST and everything is closed, but it reaffirms my opinion that despite the smaller size, PBI is much nicer than FLL. Read, DXB: Size =/= Luxury. Also, in the second picture, notice the pleasantly flowing fountain under the two lit yellow pavilions--the dripdripdripdripdripdrip was very calming for a nervous LPDAL trying to stuff as many flights into a day as possible!

    Even after my extensive photography of the pre-TSA area, security was still not open (one of the main disadvantages of arriving this early in the morning) so I bought a coffee from the nearby Starbucks stall and listened to some music while I waited. After TSA finally opened up, I discovered my previous dim-awareness of the carpet ramps in PBI was indeed correct! I had previously read that there was no Sky Club in PBI, so I wandered throughout the straight concourse looking for a place to sit. Until, however, I stumbled upon a Sky Club! Strangely, the official PBI website at the time listed no airline lounges at the airport. After the agent swiped my Sky Club membership card, we had a brief conversation about Airliners.Net and FlyerTalk, before I got a table and sat down to have a small breakfast before boarding my flight.


    Carpet ramps! What a throwback.


    An unexpected Sky Club here in PBI.


    VERY similar looking to the FLL Sky Club, right down to the "Service from the Heart" Mosaic.



    A very warm and welcoming seating area, with very soft chairs.


    The Palm Beach Sky Club seems to have its own book club! If only I had a book to give...next time, I'll bring some aviation-related titles to leave for others to enjoy.




    Delta recently upgraded the Sky Club food selections in 2014, adding a bit of "real food" to all Sky Clubs nationwide and abroad. For breakfast, this includes three types of cereal, yogurt, pastries, English Muffins, hard-boiled eggs (protein ), and fruit salad. For lunch...Well, that's later!


    Usually, taking the case off my phone and pressing it up against the glass allows me to take a glare-free shot of the ramp from the airline clubs hither and yon during early morning departures, but it does not seem to work here. From what I can tell, I think this is a 717 being refueled by the truck near the left wing.


    Walking over to my gate to board the usual South Florida to Atlanta hop.


    Unfortunately, my gate, C2, is the only gate without windows... :{ So that meant that the only view of my ride, Delta MD-90-30 N953DN, would be from this tiny emergency exit door window. N953DN was originally delivered to China Northern in mid-1996, passed on to China Southern in late 2004, and finally found a loving home with Delta in April 2012, entering into service after an extensive series of modifications to the interior in July of the same year.

    Boarding was slowed a small bit by a stunning seven (!) wheelchair passengers with only two Eulen America ground agents to assist them, so by the time first class was called to board, I was more than ready to sit down.

    Inside 4A, which I had chosen as it is the best first class seat for views of the inboard slats and wing profile, my seatmate seemed to be in a kerfuffle. She was very annoyed at someone she was speaking to on her phone, which she explained to me was AT&T trying to get her on an international data plan as she was flying PBI-ATL-MAN. I gave her a little impromptu IT support, and she ended up purchasing a good plan at a decent rate just as boarding for economy began.

    I'm always amazed how Delta mainline flight attendants manage to get a full round of 16 first class pre-departure beverages out even in airplanes such as the MD-90 where, even if the gate agents hold coach class passengers at the gate for a couple of minutes to give the first class cabin crew a breather, it is, or appears to be, at least, very difficult for them to get these drinks out with a parade of passengers seeking their seats in the rear end of the aircraft. I'm quite impressed by their ability to not only pour cocktails, but subsequently manage to hand them out without spilling them (most of the time, F/As, just as much as other people, should NOT be expected to be perfect) in a timely manner. Thumbs up, DL.

    The chief purser on this flight is a total southern sweetheart, genuinely caring for her passengers up front and taking our beverage orders in advance on the ground. Just after she finished writing the last of our orders down, she grabbed the P/A and begun the safety announcement as the rampers pushed us out from the gate. Taking off from PBI was a bit surreal, as PBI is pretty much a near 80% GA airfield, so there were a lot of hangars lit up and little puddlejumpers scuttling about near our MD-90 as we lined up with Runway 28 Right and blasted off towards the Everglades Conservation Area, making a steep right bank to the north for our short early-morning hop to Atlanta.


    Boarding the MD-90.


    The MD-90's first class cabin is pretty much the same as the MD-88.


    My seat, 4A. Delta has removed all bulkheads from the Maddogs and replaced them with these faux cloth bulkheads which kind of defeats the purpose of dividing the cabins--as you can see, there is a gaping hole between the two first class seats. While this gives the three Economy Comfort seats an insane amount of legroom (think near 45"), it also reduces the noise-shielding that a solid wall provided. First world problems, I suppose...


    Typical first class legroom up here.


    I just love these little waters that Delta places at each first class seat, very handy when you're thirsty after dashing from gate to gate......


    And the sweetheart purser is more than ready to supply me with my daily (or hundred times daily) dose of caffeine.


    Taxiing past an United Parcel Service A310. Unfortunately, my phone did not want to cooperate and kept focusing on the raindrops.



    Blasting out of West Palm Beach International Airport past the rather short runway 10L.


    Climbing to our average-for-this-flight cruise altitude.


    Cruise.

    Service on this flight was the normal Delta short-hop standard, with a few passes of the snack basket filled with Biscoff cookies, pretzels, peanuts, pound cake slabs, bananas, and chocolate interspersed with the occasional drink run. When I ordered a mug of hot coffee, it was delivered to me in a styrofoam cup, which seems to be a trend with Delta. While I don't find the taste to be anything different than java served in a porcelain mug, Delta may want to watch out for the Korean Nut Lady V2....Maybe the Korean Styrofoam Coffee Businessman? I kid, I kid.

    After a short coversation with my seatmate about her business in Manchester, I politely excused myself, reclined all the way back, and bent the winged-headrest into place before finally lulling into dreamland to the feint sound of the barely-audible distant engines. I wouldn't have much time during most of my connections in ATL for the day to visit the Sky Club or nod off in rest, so every little bit counted. I only woke up to the sing-song voice of the purser saying something like "I'm so sorry sweetie pea, may you please bring your seatback upright for landing?" I looked out the window, and I think she had let me sleep as long as I could based on our altitude when I woke up, before I had to un-recline my seat. Touchdown was pleasantly gentle, and we taxied into Concourse B for an one-minute-early early arrival time.


    Snack basket, round one.



    Some "double-double" coffee to wake me up for a morning of traveling, and a continental breakfast from the snack basket.


    Turning to start out approach into ATL.


    Turning onto short final to line up with the proverbial ATL approach.


    Short final, almost there...


    Touchdown, spoilers deploying under the blanket of a beautiful Georgian sunrise.


    Taxiing in ATL, no day is ever without action at this place. Nonstop takeoffs, pushbacks, servicing aircraft, you name it. Also note the hump in the middle of the runway.



    Delta, Delta, and more Delta.


    Taxiing in beside a younger sib MD-88 N905DE on our way into our assigned gate in Concourse B.



    Pulling into our gate, B24, next to a very sharp-looking 757-200 N683DA.
    LPDAL is offline  
    Old Feb 18, 15, 11:16 am
      #3  
    Original Poster
     
    Join Date: May 2012
    Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
    Posts: 717
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    Atlanta - Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (The William B Hartsfield / Municipal / Candler Field) ( IATA: ATL , ICAO: KATL) *1*
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    I've written before how, in traveling to and connecting through Atlanta so many times, it has become a bit of a challenge to find new and amusing things to do in ATL (I'd much rather go to other hubs such as....CVG, DTW, JFK, LGA, MSP), so I was glad the kind Delta agent booked me a nice, comfortable connection of about an hour so I wouldn't have to wander throughout the airport to find something new to do during my connection. The last time I was in ATL for my Sarasota-Bradenton report: Delta First Class+BusinesElite FLL✈ATL✈SRQ✈ATL✈FLL, I compared all four of the airline lounges in ATL. This time however, I was a bit exhausted and really wanted to get to CVG ASAP, so I decided to head to my departure gate to see if I could find anything interesting happening in the vicinity during my short layover.

    However, after glancing at the nearest huge FIDs, I discovered that my gate was on the complete other side of ATL in Concourse T, and I was currently standing in B! Given the time, I always elect to walk rather than take the plane train to stay fit and healthy, so I huffed it all the way to CCT and up the maze of stairs and escalators to the jetway level. Upon reaching the top of the concourse, I discovered that the concourse was still under renovation and is particularly....basic in the American Airlines section (very, very little windows--no fun for spotting planes at all) but a little cleaner over at my gate of T4. I bided the few minutes of time I had left by spotting and gazing at the intense avian activity going on in and around the airfield.


    This FIDS monitor didn't switch, so at the time that I took this picture there were more flights to Cleveland (which I visited in this report, also on DL+FL through ATL back on March 8th, 2014: AirTran Business Class Delta F FLL-ATL-CLE-ATL-FLL) than Cincinnati, which begs the question, how many daily roundtrips are on ATL-CVG-ATL and ATL-CLE-ATL each?


    Trying not to get run over, pickpocketed, or stampeded as I make my way to the Plane Train walking tunnel to stretch my 19-year-old legs.


    Spotted this halfway through my walk, looks like someone is going to have some sleeping troubles. I had a blue one a few years back but could never make it work for me--it always felt like the pillow was constricting my neck rather than helping me sleep.


    A ramper chills for a bit in the not-too-freezing Hotlanta weather while I snap pictures of nice Delta adverts.


    Heading to the gate to board my first flight up to CVG.

    Last edited by LPDAL; Feb 18, 15 at 11:33 am Reason: CANCEL DELETION REQUEST - THIS IS NOT A DOUBLE POST
    LPDAL is offline  
    Old Feb 18, 15, 11:17 am
      #4  
    Original Poster
     
    Join Date: May 2012
    Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
    Posts: 717
    KATL (Atlanta - Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (The William B Hartsfield / Municipal / Candler Field) ✈ KCVG (Covington / Cincinnati - Northern Kentucky International Airport / Greater Cincinnati International Airport)

      FLIGHT DATA SOURCE (S):

      1. PlaneSpotters.Net Airframe Data

      2. PlaneSpotters.Net Airline Data

      3. FlightAware Live Flight Tracking Data

      4. The First & Business Class Experience | Delta Air Lines

      5. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) - Kenton County Airport Board

      6. Questions About Cincinnati And Memphis For Writeup - Travel, Polls, and Preferences Forum - Airliners.Net

      7. CVG Isn't A Hub Anymore, If You Believe DL - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

      8. Big Announcement At CVG Today (1/28) - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

      9. DL Significantly Downsizing CVG - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

      10. Rumor - DL CVG Mainline F/A Base To Close In 2015? - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

      11. The Future of CVG - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

      12. Frontier to Add Flights at CVG - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

      13. I need information on the former Delta Hubs at Cincinnati and Memphis for a report - Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles | FlyerTalk Forums

      14. MTM Cincinnati: Why Is Cincinnati Airport In Kentucky? - Edged in Blue - EvilJWinter - Wordpress

      15. DETAILED HISTORY
      From Humble Beginnings...to an International Hub - Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport - Kenton County Airport board - Web Archive


      16. Delta Air Lines Strengthens Domestic Hubs, Offers Customers More International Choices with Winter Schedule - Delta Air Lines News Archive - Delta Air Lines Newsroom - Delta Air Lines - Web Archive

      17. Cincinnati hub is shrinking - AJC Business - Atlanta News

      18. Why CVG lost half of all flights - Cincinnati.com

      19. Delta further reduces operations at Cincinnati hub; 840 face layoffs - Cleveland.com - Associated Press Business Staff

      20. Comair to Cease Operations- Delta Air Lines News Archive - Delta Air Lines Newsroom - Delta Air Lines

      21. Low-cost and major airlines see growth at CVG - News - Cincinnati.com

      22. Allegiant Air adding more Florida flights at CVG - News - Cincinnati.com


      FlightAware for this flight. Copyright © FlightAware 2014

      Walking up to the gate area, I was a bit confused but glad to see the sweetheart purser standing behind the desk--would she be working my next flight as well, I wondered? After I overheard some conversation between the G/A and her while standing at the nearby window taking pictures on N932DN, it turned out that yes, she would be working my ATL-CVG flight as well! Whoopee!

      I was expecting, given the usual nature of ATL gate lice, that boarding would be a bit of a harrowing, unorganized mess, however, my prediction turned out to be wrong; the gate agent did a very good job of enforcing the boarding groups. As soon as I walked down the jetway and saw the glasses-brunette-southern-sweetheart standing in the L1 doorway, she said "Oh, hi again sweetie! Welcome aboard!" You could really tell her smile was genuine, and not being forced upon her by an overzealous human resources department, which is what I like to call good service. She was genuinely happy and excited to be a flight attendant, unlike some others who are locked into their seniority and just treat it as a paycheck, oh well...



      My ride up for the mid-con hop today to CVG would be an MD-90, but thankfully it was N932DN, a MD-90 almost as old as me (18.6 years, I'm 19) that wore no less than six liveries with four European carriers in Scandinavia before being delivered to Delta on March 17th, 2011 after an extensive interior modification and refurbishment program. Note in the first image, another Maddog is taking off right behind mine.

      Walking up to the gate area, I was a bit confused but glad to see the sweetheart purser standing behind the desk--would she be working my next flight as well, I wondered? After I overheard some conversation between the G/A and her while standing at the nearby window taking pictures on N932DN, it turned out that yes, she would be working my ATL-CVG flight as well! Whoopee!

      I was expecting, given the usual nature of ATL gate lice, that boarding would be a bit of a challenge, however, my prediction turned out to be wrong; the gate agent did a very good job of enforcing the boarding groups. As soon as I walked down the jetway and saw the glasses-brunette-southern-sweetheart standing in the L1 doorway, she said "Oh, hi again sweetie! Welcome aboard!" You could really tell her smile was genuine, and not being forced upon her by an overzealous human resources department, which is what I like to call good service. She was genuinely happy and excited to be a flight attendant, unlike some others who are locked into their seniority and just treat it as a paycheck, oh well...

      Luckily, this purser is the exact opposite of that concept (one of the sweetest I've met, to be honest), and after she finished handing out the initial round of pre-departure drinks, actually came back to converse with me! She asked why I was going to Cincinnati, I told her I had always seen CVG on the route map but never visited it and showed her my six boarding passes. She laughed with a "Honey, that is oftentimes more flights than I work in a single day! You must really love flying!" But of course! I wish I could somehow fit eight flights in a day! Gotta live while you're still young, I say.

      Boarding soon concludes and the aforementioned purser does the non-electronic safety briefing with the oxygen mask, seatbelt, safety card, and the usual host of airplane safety equipment as we push back and taxi to the active runway. ATL's control tower was seemingly using a couple of the runways for landings, and the other two strips for takeoffs, near the wide-open gargantuan hangars of Delta's TechOps MRO facility. Our runway for takeoff today would be 26L, one of the north runways that has a bit of a severe dip, so I as hoping we'd have a fast, thrilling throttle-up roll down the pavement. And that we did!


      Same exact first class cabin, except for this one appears more worn.


      Same legroom as well, about 6"-7" free space right in front of my growing knees.


      I forgot to mention these nice-looking diamond bulkheads and refurbished overhead passenger service units. Just goes to show that Delta can pretty much take any old airplane and make something new and exciting out of it.


      Luckily, the weather looks nice and cool in Cincy, but not so cool that I can't feel my ears.


      Of course, the benefit of having a repeat flight-crew is them knowing your personal preferences--the sweet purser keeps me well caffeinated from the beginning.


      High up in the sky, an aircraft creates some thick contrails, perhaps using ATL as a NAV waypoint?


      A rattling A330 takes off right over us as we push back from the gate.


      My dad got to use the Maddog's rear boarding stairs / emergency exit when a jetway broke down, but I still haven't. Lucky man...I wish to be successful as him one day, just haven't told him yet.


      Taxiing out of Ramp 1 at ATL to join the congaline of aircraft departing and landing on runway 26 left. While not as close to the ground as the post-merger Delta DC-9-50s (which I'm still unsure of whether I caught one post-merger due to my heavy Delta flying before I got really into aviation), as you can see here it is still close enough to touch from a standing position. Also, the brand-new looking AA Airbus A319 went tech due to hydraulic problems with the spoilers, unfortunately.


      A wingletless 752 unsheathes her reverse thrust translating sleeves right in front of the Renaissance hotel, which I'll probably end up staying in sometime.


      And her twin sister departs just as she is arriving. :-D


      "Two reds, two whites, and you'll be alright!" Just one of ATL's ten VASIs, or Visual Approach Slope Indicator, which helps pilots determine if they're on the right spot on the glideslope for landing, ensuring they don't land too short or too far down the runway.




      Here you can clearly see how steep the grade of runway 26 left is while we wait for our turn to thunder down the ramp into the blue Georgian skies.


      Blasting past where I had been just mere minutes before, Ramp 1.


      Whoa, that's a ton of cars. Is that the rental car lot or the public parking lot?


      We turned north to trek to Covington as soon as we had left the far outskirts of Hartsfield.


      At first, I was a bit bummed that we didn't get a parallel SODROPS takeoff (or whatchamacallit) but this MD-90 soon appeared, flying parallel to us before banking away and presumably flying south.


      Feeling a bit "MD-90-Artsy" while we make a series of turns.


      This is honestly the cutest and awesomest little house I've ever seen--a nice farm house, a little runway (is it closed or just private? Why the X's) and an adorable little barn to park a C172 and C208 together...Unfortunately I'm pretty sure it is owned already. :'[ Does this airport have a GA small-field code?


      The rather sleepy first class cabin in this McDonell Douglas during our short climb to cruise.

      As I said before, having a flight attendant on a successive flight right after the previous one on your itinerary is more of a treat than you might imagine: first, the flight attendant already knows your preferences, so they'll know how to pour that perfect mug of Joe just the way you always take it, or the perfectly-balanced cocktail to get you ready for a bit of rest. Second, they are more personal in their service, which makes it all the more better. Third, if you're lucky and have a really, really good flight attendant, like this one, she may even take some time out during the flight to come back to you and/or your seatmate and regale you with a story. I never thought I'd say this, but I was kind of distraught when I heard that she would be going right back to Hartsfield after N932DN turned around in CVG.

      ATL-CVG is actually shorter than I imagined, normally clocking in at just under or over one hour on a good day. Thus, I was rather surprised when I felt the airplane pitching down just after a couple passes of the snack basket and a few drink services, with my new flight attendant friend announcing our initial descent into Cincinnati. Given Cincinnati is in Ohio, and Covington is in Kentucky, I was a bit confused on the airport's actual location. I paid for a few hours of Go-Go Inflight Wi-Fi and surfed to Google Maps to find out.


      As I suspected, CVG is entirely in Kentucky in the northeastern tip of the state, with the Ohio River between the nearby borders of Indiana (left) and Ohio (right), with the state limits represented by a gray dashed line dividing the river in half.


      This time I surprise the kind purser by ordering only a simple glass of water to start out the service with.


      The woman across the aisle asked the purser if my seatmate was okay. Yeah, he was just snoozing the entire flight, not caring a bit about the snack or drink service.


      Oh my, those new apple muffins were to die for, (just like the Brownie Brittle introduced a month later), and the nut, fruit, and seed granola bars were decent as well. Kind brand, right?


      A huge cloud blanket covering up a large chunk of land in the Midwestern United States.


      Noooooo!!! It is too early to descend!!! :[


      I spot civilization poking between the layers of the cloud cover!


      There's CVG! There's CVG! There's CVG! Look, you can even see the tiny yellow airplanes of the DHL hub across from the 90-degree intercepting the runway, ma!


      Slats down, let's do this!


      The unique "Pilot's Halo" combined rainbow and shadow formation clearly makes out the distinct profile of the McDonell Douglas MD-80 series aircraft.



      We flew right past the airport and into Ohio before making a sweeping left bank to line up with the active at CVG.


      Sorry for the terrible picture, but this was the best (and only) shot I got of the Cincy skyline.


      Long final, showing the beauty of the Midwestern United States during the October Fall season.



      Wow, this place is insanely beautiful during the fall! I never expected such a dynamic vista of color-changing fall trees on short final like you see above!


      Almost to CVG, and you can see the Cincinnati skyline jutting out in the distance at the right center of this image.


      Touchdown, spoilers deployed and reverse thrust pulling us back to a safe taxi speed.



      Turning off the taxiway, I get my first view of yet another new airport for me: CVG!!! Here is the view from our MD-90 when we passed by the hustling and bustling DHL hub. I have to say, I really appreciate that DHL steps out of the norm and paints their aircraft all sorts of whacky and fun colors such as taxicab yellow and firetruck red.



      The first side I see of the passenger terminal it looks a bit empty at 11AM...But at least the architectural style is unique.


      I have to say, besides DTW (and the lineup of Comair CR2s in the desert after their bankruptcy, though I only saw that on A.Net pictures), this is probably the largest lineup of regional jets I've seen at a Delta Air Lines hub airport.


      Taxiing into the B Concourse at Cincinnati - Northern Kentucky International Airport.



      Pulling up into Gate B6.


      One of the many Canadair Regional Jets that are omnipresent throughout the Delta CVG hub. This one, Delta Connection Operated by Endeavor Air CRJ-900 NEXTGEN N298PQ, ironically enough, just arrived from FLL. She's a young girl too, just about 6 months old when this photo was taken, an infant airplane.


      Concourse A (?) at CVG, with a lonely MQ ERJ-145.


      A bored Delta gate agent attaches the jetway while I watch in fascination. Can't wait to be a ramper or G/A or any job in the industry for that matter...Only 3 months of high school left!!
      LPDAL is offline  
      Old Feb 18, 15, 11:19 am
        #5  
      Original Poster
       
      Join Date: May 2012
      Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
      Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
      Posts: 717
      ---
      Covington / Cincinnati - Northern Kentucky International Airport (Greater Cincinnati International Airport) (IATA: CVG , ICAO: KCVG)
      ---

      Thanks to the help of some older adult senior members of both Airliners.Net and FlyerTalk.Com (look for your shoutout in the end of this report ), I managed to scour several nuggets of interesting information on not only CVG's heyday, but also many facts, opinions and view points I would have never seen from my limited (and often clouded) scope, and literal "icing" I could place on my "trip report cake". However, I'm going to discuss the history of the airport and share some interesting facts in the CVG-ATL portion of this trip report, so keep on reading.

      Anyway, as a 19-year-old teenager (who, in November will be 20, so barely a teen I suppose), every new experience is exciting for me, even dull repetitive things that would literally bore others to tears. Every new aircraft, every new airport, every new pre-departure beverage, every new....everything is a gigantic thrill to me, and, I can attribute that somewhat to my autistic spectrum disorder (formerly known as Asperger's, they keep changing the names up on me) which drives me to have an insanely deep obsession with the airline industry, and that I thank my lucky stars for. Because, if you ever see me even near an airport, I'm all smiles, grinning ear to ear to just be there.

      So imagine when I step into CVG, an airport I saw marked in big bold font on Delta route maps in Sky Magazine for years ('Cincinnati"), and am greeted with a large, quiet airport to explore--perfect for me, I might as well have died and gone to heaven. A lot of the time I'll show up to FLL 6-8 hours before my flight, pass TSA, and before I know it, that 6-8 hours passes like 6-8 milliseconds and I'm even hungrier for more aviation related-time. Thus, flights, flights, flights, and more flights, as many flights as I can fit in a weekend, daytime, or night, as much time as I can spend spotting at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), and going airline-flying after school for the heck of it....I enjoy my life very dearly. Unsurprisingly, many of my relatives, my parents included, cannot figure my obsession with aircraft, airlines, and aviation as a whole, but are very supporting and nurturing of it.

      As I said in the beginning of this report, due to my relative inexperience of booking hotel rooms back in October 2014, I was knackered into buying a $300-a-night hotel room, which, just like the airport itself, appears to be exorbitantly yet artificially priced way too high for no readily apparent reason.

      But, I still had a near four hour layover near the hotel, I figured I would be exhausted (which I was), and I didn't want my $300 to go to waste. The hotel was on airport property, so there was no excuse to let my hard-earned $300 sum go to waste. So, wandering through this new CVG airport, I tried not to get too distracted as I walked to the dropoff curb while simultaneously dialing the hotel and requesting the shuttle, I'd have plenty of time to explore CVG on my return CVG-ATL flight if I played all my cards right.


      Don't get locked in!


      On the bright side, even if the terminal is mostly empty, at least it is large and quiet--two huge "like" factors for me.


      Lots of retail and dining options as well, here in CVG--almost feels like a mini-hub of its own kind.


      The first thing I thought when I saw "Blue Grass", given that this was a Comair hub before their bankruptcy and subsequent defunct-ness, is "James Polehinke"--a bit chilling...


      Now here's another very homey thing--the exposed beam architecture of the half-circle food court reminds me very much of Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport's (FLL's) Terminal 1 Ticketing hall (picture by me ).


      A listing of the airport's executive management team under the FIDs board in the terminal shuttle walking tunnel.


      Waiting outside for the hotel shuttle, it turns out that Covington, Kentucky was not as freezing as I thought it would be--I only needed my navy blue hoodie--and yes, I did have a ton of fun seeing my breath in the somewhat frigid air.


      Riding the hotel shuttle for a grand total of a few minutes to the on-site airport hotel.

      When I arrived and politely tipped the shuttle driver, I assumed looking at the general outside look of the building, that it would be just another DoubleTree property with a modern yet professional look inside, perhaps even chic-looking in a way. However, as a ton of people say, never assume anything--what I walked into was totally the opposite of what I thought I was entering...




      Out front, you could assume it's just another DoubleTree Hotel...




      NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER! It turns out that this DT is actually an Aviation Saloon / Parlor themed hotel! Awesome!

      After taking the pictures you see above, I wandered over to the check-in where the friendly manager produced some room cards for me and a......hot cookie! Yes, the hot cookie is the mascot of the DoubleTree hotel chain, and they even sell them in tins as well (I bought three big tins before I left). Their cookies are THE BOMB! Warm, melty, and sweet!

      After I unlocked my room, I don't remember much else, just drowsily getting under the covers and dozing off for about two hours (which, after getting almost no sleep the night before, felt so good) before waking up, freshening up, and setting out to explore the hotel and the beautiful fall scenery just outside of it. I was hoping some of the colorful fall trees I saw on final to CVG would at least be near or around the hotel, as I couldn't actually go into Covington nor Cincinnati due to the short length of my layover.



      Framed barnstormer pictures in the hallway leading to the elevator. Step back to a simpler time in aviation and hear the roar of a Curtiss Jenny!



      Scrumptious, that's all I have to say.





      Now, for an ordinary adult, this would be just another boring hotel room to "straighten up in" in preparation to "meet a client". However, I am not ordinary, so something like this is very fun and exciting.



      After my couple-of-hour-long snooze (dang, those beds are like having a nap on a puffy cloud), I set out to explore the hotel. The first place I run into is the fitness center, and I really want to run on one of the treadmills, but I'm in dress shoes, a button down, and slacks, so that wouldn't work...Next time.


      An indoor pool, which I was sad that I could not swim in. I really need to slide a bathing suit in my carry-on before my next daytrip. Also, no hottub unfortunately...That would really hit the spot on a snow day.


      By this time, the tempature had risen to almost 65. I asked the shuttle driver, who was sweeping up the parking lot, when it snows here. He said it usually starts in November, and that I'd picked a perfect day to visit as the weather was perfect. As it was! Not too hot, not too cold, and no nasty Floridian humidity making your skin all sticky.


      So for a young man from Fort Lauderdale, I get very excited when I see things like this as well--this might occur near Pensacola, Tallahassee, or Jacksonville but nowhere near where I hail from.


      A beautiful day in Hebron / Covington, KY.



      Awesomely enough, there is a huge grassy and hilly area right near the parking lot with a few multicolored trees--if this isn't Americana fall beauty, I don't know what is!


      The DoubleTree from the hill.


      Walking back into the hotel to pack up and get ready to go back to Atlanta, I notice this nice little cookie-adorned bus.


      Checking out the free papers in the lobby. Looks like they have a tabloid and the Wall Street Journal.


      The hotel shuttle driver insisted I take a picture of the library, so this is for him.


      Riding the entirely-electric-powered shuttle back to the dropoff curb at CVG.
      LPDAL is offline  
      Old Feb 18, 15, 11:20 am
        #6  
      Original Poster
       
      Join Date: May 2012
      Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
      Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
      Posts: 717
      KCVG (Covington / Cincinnati - Northern Kentucky International Airport / Greater Cincinnati International Airport) ✈ KATL (Atlanta - Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (The William B Hartsfield / Municipal / Candler Field)

        FLIGHT DATA SOURCE (S):

        1. PlaneSpotters.Net Airframe Data

        2. PlaneSpotters.Net Airline Data

        3. FlightAware Live Flight Tracking Data

        4. The First & Business Class Experience | Delta Air Lines

        5. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) - Kenton County Airport Board

        6. Questions About Cincinnati And Memphis For Writeup - Travel, Polls, and Preferences Forum - Airliners.Net

        7. CVG Isn't A Hub Anymore, If You Believe DL - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

        8. Big Announcement At CVG Today (1/28) - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

        9. DL Significantly Downsizing CVG - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

        10. Rumor - DL CVG Mainline F/A Base To Close In 2015? - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

        11. The Future of CVG - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

        12. Frontier to Add Flights at CVG - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

        13. I need information on the former Delta Hubs at Cincinnati and Memphis for a report - Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles | FlyerTalk Forums

        14. MTM Cincinnati: Why Is Cincinnati Airport In Kentucky? - Edged in Blue - EvilJWinter - Wordpress

        15. DETAILED HISTORY
        From Humble Beginnings...to an International Hub - Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport - Kenton County Airport board - Web Archive


        16. Delta Air Lines Strengthens Domestic Hubs, Offers Customers More International Choices with Winter Schedule - Delta Air Lines News Archive - Delta Air Lines Newsroom - Delta Air Lines - Web Archive

        17. Cincinnati hub is shrinking - AJC Business - Atlanta News

        18. Why CVG lost half of all flights - Cincinnati.com

        19. Delta further reduces operations at Cincinnati hub; 840 face layoffs - Cleveland.com - Associated Press Business Staff

        20. Comair to Cease Operations- Delta Air Lines News Archive - Delta Air Lines Newsroom - Delta Air Lines

        21. Low-cost and major airlines see growth at CVG - News - Cincinnati.com

        22. Allegiant Air adding more Florida flights at CVG - News - Cincinnati.com


        FlightAware for this flight. Copyright © FlightAware 2014


        The Delta dropoff curb at CVG.

        As I said previously, I thank the following commentators on these threads from FlyerTalk and Airliners.Net for providing the knowledge, wisdom, and insight (aslo listed in the source list in the flight template at the beginning of this message) :

        I need information on the former Delta Hubs at Cincinnati and Memphis for a report - Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles - FlyerTalk Forums

        Questions About Cincinnati And Memphis For Writeup - Travels, Polls, and Preferences Forum - Airliners.Net

        CVG Isn't A Hub Anymore, If You Believe DL - Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.Net

        CVG was originally designed for the nearby municipality of Covington, Kentucky (hence the IATA and ICAO codes) (1) but also at the behest of Cincinnati government officials upriver at their own city. Shortly after President Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act into federal law on October 24th, 1978, Delta chose CVG to serve as their primary Midwestern Hub (2), building up a large operation there while also in part funding the construction of CVG's new Terminal 3. (3) Through the years, Delta's operation, along with the now-nonexistent contracted regional subsidiary Comair, eventually became larger and larger until the hub peaked in 2005 at a combined daily roster of 600 flights a day.

        After the events of the September 11th, 2001 attacks, the subsequent airline industry downturn and flurry of consolidation, Delta Air Lines filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in 2005 and attempted to reduce costs by cutting approximately 26% of their flights from the giant hub (4) attributing the rapidly skyrocketing price of fuel caused the heavy 50-seater (CRJ-100/200) fleet at the hub to be incredibly expensive to operate. (2)

        In 2008, Delta Air Lines begun its merger with Minneapolis - Saint Paul based airline Northwest Airlines, cutting flights at Cincinnati by 22% that year, closing the airport's BusinessElite lounge (all BusinessElite lounges are now closed, replaced by Sky Clubs or just closed altogether), and further slashed the already cut-up operation by another 17% the following year in 2009 (5). Five further cities were cut by Delta in February 2010 (6), leaving the number of combined regional and mainline destinations at 63 scheduled flights. Delta then further closed down the operation by completely closing CVG's Concourse A, cutting nearly 840 jobs from the area, (7) and consolidating all of their flights into Concourse B. On the contrary, Delta reported at the time that the Cincinnati would maintain the same amount of departures, but later rescinded the statement in June 2011 when another 10% of flights were removed from the hub.

        Delta Air Line's now-defunct regional subsidy Comair operated a bulk of the 50-seater Canadair Regional Jet 100 and 200 series aircraft at CVG, and represented over half of the regional departures from CVG. In the late 2000s, Comair faced significant financial difficulties (8), and in summer 2012, Delta and Comair announced that Comair would cease all operations and become defunct in October of the same year (9). Comair's entire fifty-seater fleet was retired, and larger aircraft such as their CRJ-700/900 series airplanes were transferred to other carriers, including Minneapolis based Endeavor Air, formerly Pinnacle Airlines. Despite this, Delta commented that, "The discontinuation of Comair's operations will not result in any significant changes to Delta's network, which has enough flexibility to accommodate these changes." (9)

        Due to the very large presence of Delta at CVG, despite the multiple hub cuts, fares remain high at CVG due to very little direct competition from low-cost airlines. This has caused many travelers to avoid CVG and instead elect to depart from other nearby airports including DAY (Dayton, Ohio), SDF (Louisville, Kentucky), and IND (Indianapolis, Indiana). In October 2012, Denver-base Ultra Low Cost Carrier Frontier Airlines began limited service to Denver, Colorado and Trenton - Mercer, New Jersey, beginning a slow expansion process at the airport. In 2013, Las Vegas, Nevada-based Ultra Low Cost Carrier Allegiant Airlines began service to Las Vegas and other vacation destinations from CVG. Eventually, both carriers both grew CVG's nonexistent low-cost-carrier presence from zero weekly flights to 70 by summer 2015. (10) Currently, Allegiant has made Cincinnati their largest non-hub O&D (Origin and Departure) destination. (11)



        Delta's check-in at CVG. Very small, at that....Well, at least there are high ceilings!

        Walking into CVG, a bit sad to have to leave this fun airport, even though I already had my CVG-ATL boarding pass from my phone's Passbook app, I still wanted some actual receipt paper boarding passes for my collection, so I found the Sky Priority Carry-On Only kiosk and printed some (avgeek alert! ) before walking over to security. At the TSA checkpoint, I looked around for a bit for the Sky Priority security queue (more time to spend post-security before I had to leave) but couldn't find anything. Confused, I ask what appeared to be an airport worker where the lane was, only to be told that "Sky Priority security isn't open on Sundays". Well, you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess, so I joined the massive line waiting to be scanned, groped, imaged, and other things Big Brother doesn't want you to know about...

        Once I cleared the security checkpoint, my teenage hunger sense dawned on me and I headed up to the food court to find some lunch. I settled on a good-looking Chili Dog joint, ordered three of them, and sat down while watching the minimal activity on the ramp. But damn, those Chili Dogs were heavenly! I wish I remembered the place where I bought them from!

        Even though there was a Sky Club near my gate that I could have used, I was perfectly content walking around the airport, photographing the superstructure and passing aircraft to bide time before my flight back to ATL began boarding.


        CVG's Delta Sky Priority Check-in desk.


        A relatively large ticketing hall serves CVG departing passengers.



        I was surprised to see that a good portion of the FIDs advertisements were focused on the new CVG-FLL-CVG flights from both F9 and G4 (not shown). I didn't know FLL was the prime vacation destination from Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana residents alike.


        The massive atrium between the two collections of check-in areas which lead down to baggage claim and the airport offices.


        Nothing much going on outside on the ramp over here.



        Same on the other side as well.



        Old style sharper Widgets on the gate-side seating.


        The gate agent announces first class boarding for our flight.


        Apple's Passbook App is really awesome--if you have good battery life, that is! I need to charge up...

        CVG gate agents are extremely senior (as in, they have high seniority, not their age) and managed to wrangle all the passengers into the airplane without too much trouble. I was slightly depressed that the awesome purser wouldn't be on this and likely any of the rest of the three flights I was taking that day, but didn't let it get me too down. The purser working this flight, though, was not very animated and only smiled a few times while she took pre-departure beverages and handed them out.

        Long after everyone in first class had finished sucking down the last of their pre-departure drinks and even after the entirety of the coach cabin had sat down, literally nothing happened. We just sat there, main boarding door wide open and jetway still attached, for twenty minutes. A few other first class passengers started to wonder what was happening, and one of them spoke up after another couple of minutes of non-activity asking why we hadn't left the gate in so long. The purser told us that some coach passengers had reported someone in row 14 was smoking a cigarette (how he managed to light it, who knows) and the passenger denied it, yet apparently the "CABIN SMOKE WARNING" light lit up on the warning panel in the cockpit (or something, that is what the purser claimed).

        The flight was delayed for an hour and two minutes (62 minutes) in total while the flight crew dealt with whoever the would-be inflight smoker was before we finally pushed back and departed from the same runway I had originally landed on four hours earlier, but this time taking off to the south, rather than landing in that direction. Our departure was relatively swift, despite the fully-loaded MD-90s takeoff performance. We ended up following the Ohio river south, trimming left and right to stay alongside it before making a crescent-shaped flight path right into ATL.



        The bright Northern Kentucky / Southern Ohio sun pokes between the gaps of the jetbridge and our MD-90. This particular airframe was N959DN, thankfully another unique registration, but unfortunately I couldn't take any pictures of it from the gate area because our gate was the only corner one without windows. N959DN, just like N953DN in the beginning of the day, was originally delivered to China Northern Airlines on February 25th, 1998, later transferred to China Southern Airlines on November 12th, 2004, and finally found a loving home in Atlanta, Georgia on August 25th, 2011 after an extensive series of interior and maintenance modifications.


        Same exact cabin, too.


        The purser (pink shirt) explains the reason for the over-an-hour-long delay to the first class passengers,


        While I energize myself for some more flights later in the day.







        And some other airlines show up, too! Looks like everyone flies 50-seaters to CVG in some sort of capacity. I almost feel like I'm at a small regional airport with the huge variety of fifty-seater aircraft around this airfield.


        Bye CVG, thanks for a fun experience! I do love the sheer amount of glass used in the end of Concourse B and the nice-looking control tower.



        Looks like N193DN, a 17.5-year-old 767-300 that has been with Delta all of its life and is configured in the higher density 76H configuration with only 26 Countour Sleeper Suites in the BusinessElite cabin and 200 combined Economy Comfort and Economy seats, will be serving today's daily turn across the pond to Paris. This flight is largely, in part, still here because General Electric Aviation, largely known for their home appliances and aviation engines, is headquartered in Cincinnati. This flight serves a great purpose in their logistics, ferrying 4,200,000 pounds (1,900,000 kilograms) between their factories in Cincinnati and France.


        The same flight (but not the same specific airframe) in over in CDG, taken by my good friend (and honorary Britizen) Ben123Planes, taken from an Air France A319. Read his awesome report here: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...d.main/261475/



        Blasting past some G/A cargo types (what are those?), the control tower, and some construction happening on a nearby taxiway.


        Liftoff.


        She came down from Cincinnati.
        It took her three days on a train.
        Lookin' for some peace and quiet;
        hoped to see the sun again.
        But now she lives down by the ocean.
        She's takin' care to look for sharks.
        They hang out in the local bars,
        And they feed right after dark.

        Can't you feel 'em circlin' honey?
        Can't you feel 'em swimmin' around?
        You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
        and you're the only bait in town.
        You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
        and you're the only girl in town.



        The gnarly, twisting, and turning Ohio river provides some interesting photo opportunities.



        Later, CVG, it was fun while it lasted. Notice you can see clearly see the large N193DN at the far west end of Concourse B, resting before she turns over to CDG, and a Delta MX hangar in the northeastern corner of the field, which looks like a little red plastic Monopoly house at this distance! :-D


        A race circuit near a highway. Now that looks like a ton of fun, doesn't it...


        Cruisaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn'''''''''' USAAAAA AYYY!

        Service on this leg was identical to the last, with a thrice of passes of the snack basket and a few rounds of drinks passed around. I really wish Delta would introduce some real grub (read: actual meals) on these routes instead of what is basically a selection of junk food that fills me up no longer than a box of Krispy Kreme sugar bomb doughnuts. AA and US at least have real finger sandwiches instead of just chips, bananas, candy, etc. Well, you give some, you take some I guess? Service on this flight was okay, but lacked the personal touch of the last flight, but I guess that is because the specific purser wasn't on this turn, oh well.

        Not long after the last round of drink refills, we were on approach to Atlanta (I can almost tell when we're descending now) through a series of ATC given vectors for one of the four parallel runways at ATL. I wasn't worried on our taxi-in about our 1:02 delay, because I thought the agent had given me a fairly reasonable two-hour-long layover in Atlanta. Or did she...?


        Cabin during cruise.


        I ordered a tonic with lime, my new virgin cocktail of choice. Coca Cola is okay, but I just wasn't feeling the Coke vibe at the moment.


        She'll be coming around the mountain with a snack basket when she comes! Oh wait...Wrong song...Sorry... :P


        Deluxe meal service on CVG-ATL:
        To Start: Sweet and Savory Biscoff Cookies and Gourmet Goldfish Crackers
        Main Course: Three Italian Bakery-baked Milano Cookies with a deluxe banana on the side and Luxurious Lightly Salted Peanuts©®™.
        Dessert: A selection of Scrumptious Milky Way and Kit Kat fun-size chocolate bars.
        The meal service on this flight can best be described as alright. The biscoff cookies were sweet and tasty, but were just a tad too crumbly, and the Gourmet Goldfish Crackers smiled back a little too much at me for my own taste. Pepperidge Farm must have a pretty good contract with Gate Gourmet, as these Milano Cookies were top of the line Italian cuisine, and meshed perfectly with the excellent balance of both the sweetness of the banana and the sophisticated plushness of the salty flavor stemming from the Luxurious Lightly Salted Peanuts©®™. The dessert however, was the epitome of sweet-tooth inspired culinary masterpieces, with each fun-sized bar having its own unique finish as you swallowed the Palm Oil goodness. All in all, the above paragraph was sarcasm.


        This airport came into view as we started our descent into Georgia. Which one is it


        Another McDonell Douglas already way ahead of us in the pattern.


        Downtown Atlanta looks cool, but is there anything to do in it?


        I can see some Graffiti but not any actual people...



        Leaving Atlanta (the skyscraper part, at least) behind.


        Stone Mountain, annoyingly my DSLR wanted to focus on the scratched window hence the black area on the right of the frame, my apologies for that.


        Performing the final traffic pattern turn just before short final.


        And we're going to be performing a dual landing with this Delta 757-200 winglet.


        Blast this infernal scratched window! Here we are touching down near a quite sexy Lufthansa A340-300. The 757-200 is still in the air, visible above Concourse F.


        Taxiing into Concourse T in ATL.


        And another flight parks, coming to a close. Now onto Memphis, Tennessee!
        LPDAL is offline  
        Old Feb 18, 15, 11:23 am
          #7  
        Original Poster
         
        Join Date: May 2012
        Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
        Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
        Posts: 717
        ---
        Atlanta - Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (The William B Hartsfield / Municipal / Candler Field) ( IATA: ATL , ICAO: KATL) *2*
        ---

        I sauntered casually out of my CVG-ATL flight, stopping to glance at one of the giant DL FIDs board displays to see when my ATL-MEM flight would be boarding.


        The FIDs board read 4:15 PM. Ah, I'll be okay then, I think to myself. It's only... *looks down at phone* 4:01 PM?!?!?!?!?? &$&*()$*$&)*($&*()$&*($*&&* AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! *takes off running*


        RUN COLBY RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


        Ah...kay....oh...kay...ah.....kay...ugh.....Got to my gate huffing and panting at 4:14 PM. *Breathes heavy sigh of relief*


        Ugh....uhuuuuuuuuuuuhuuuuuhhuuhu *heavy panting*....so happy to be here, walking down this thing...Need...fluids...
        LPDAL is offline  
        Old Feb 18, 15, 11:24 am
          #8  
        Original Poster
         
        Join Date: May 2012
        Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
        Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
        Posts: 717
        KATL (Atlanta - Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (The William B Hartsfield / Municipal / Candler Field) ✈ KMEM (Memphis - International Airport)

          FLIGHT DATA SOURCE (S):

          1. PlaneSpotters.Net Airframe Data

          2. PlaneSpotters.Net Airline Data

          3. FlightAware Live Flight Tracking Data

          4. The First & Business Class Experience | Delta Air Lines

          5. 1950's Map of Memphis International Airport

          6. Progressive Architecture, Volume 54 - Eugene Clute, Russell Fenimore Whitehead, Kenneth Reid, Elizabeth L. Cleaver - Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1973 - Architecture - Google Books

          7. Our History - Memphis International Airport

          8. Delta Air Lines scratches Amsterdam from Memphis - News - Memphis Business Journal

          9. Delta Air Lines plans additional cuts to service at Memphis International - The Commercial Appeal - Memphis

          10. MEM officials find silver lining despite Delta's plans to de-hub, cut jobs - wmcactionnews5


          FlightAware for this flight. Copyright © FlightAware 2014



          Well, this is the first time this has happened to me in awhile...

          Huffing, puffing, and all out of sorts, I boarded my MD-88 (at least it's not another MD-90! ) with sweat gushing down my entire face and my whole body just...aching....My seatmate senses my aloofness (was it the waterfall of seat pouring down my face or my sheer look of exhaustion? :-D ) and asks me what's up. Well, I just sprinted faster than Forrest Gump across Hartsfield Jackson so I wouldn't screw up my entire itinerary and I'm kind of literally exhausted because I also have about 3 hours sleep going for me sir. Or I just quipped "I ran here so I wouldn't miss my flight", to which he replies "Well, you're safe here!" That you're right, my good man, that you're right....

          Even though I arrived one minute early to Flight AttendantsCrossCheckStandbyForAllCall the darling purser, who is between the previous flight's purser and the sweetheart purser (three times using that word in a row d=), still manages to serve me a tonic with lime which I gulp down faster than gravity pulls water down Niagara Falls and stuff the empty cup in the seat pocket (don't worry, I later threw it away before landing) before we push back.

          The MD-88 didn't have any noticeable performance differences despite having smaller turbofans hanging off the back of the airplane. We taxied to the same runway I had started my Cincinnati saga on, throttled up, and flew westward to begin our jaunt to southwestern Tennessee.


          Now's a great time to thank The Lord for those little water bottles they put at every seat. Notice anything different this time around? Yep, I'm sitting on the opposite side of the plane, 4F instead of 4A.


          A tonic and lime a day keeps Colby's dehydration at bay.


          Pushing back, the ramper didn't seem to notice the paper-FOD he was about to step on.


          In case you wanted to know what the airplane I'm riding on looks like, here you go. This is 24.8 year-old sister ship MD-88 N962DL.


          Former Southwest aircraft, and current WN aircraft.


          Joining the huge line of aircraft to take off on Runway 26 Left.


          A Presidential 737-700 BBJ in TechOps?


          Looks like ATC is doing dual landings over on the other pair of parallel runways.


          Racing down the runway! V1....


          An UPS DC-10 in the distance, looking mighty purdy.


          The ATL Airport Renaissance Hotel, a lineup of Delta Air Lines airplanes, and Delta's corporate headquarters. Okay now I REALLY want to stay there!


          Count the FL (AirTran, RIP...) 717s! I see ten in this picture alone, and the Atlanta skyline yet again.


          The last thing I saw before I passed out in siesta.

          As I mentioned before, I was insanely exhausted, and, by virtue of instinct, I pulled my traytable out of my armrest, put my head down, and promptly missed the entire cruise portion of the flight, only waking up on the beginning of long final. (I should really come up with a plan to counter my exhaustion on these long daytrips). We touched down after flying over a spiderweb of highway interpasses and overpasses, coming to a stop right past a taxiing Fedex DC-10. Unsurprisingly, MEM was even more dead than ATL save for the Fedex aircraft buzzing around everywhere.


          I think this might be Tennessee, I don't know, I just got up from an hour-long flight nap...


          Definitely TN, there's Memphis! Unfortunately, covered in smog. And a weird pyramid structure on the right, what is that?


          A site definitely unique to Memphis...


          Who cares if it is FX, at least it is an airworthy civilian DC-10 flying around! Plenty of them and MD-11s running around this neck of the woods.


          And..........................TOUCHDOWN! Delta MD-88 scores 7 points! Wait a minute...



          Taxiing in and parking, that sure is one heck of a beautiful looking terminal building, you could even see the candle-stick candlelight chandeliers hanging from the inside of the inverted-pyramid architecture through the glass panes from this distance!


          Deplaning, four of six flights of the day completed, can't wait to explore another new airport!



          Saying my goodbyes to sweet girl MD-88 N956DL, my FOURTH McDonell Douglas aircraft of the day.
          LPDAL is offline  
          Old Feb 18, 15, 11:26 am
            #9  
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          Join Date: May 2012
          Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
          Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
          Posts: 717
          ---
          Memphis - International Airport (IATA: MEM , ICAO: KMEM)
          ---

          Memphis International Airport opened during the 1930s Interwar period on a 200-acre-large plot of farmland around seven miles from the city center of Memphis, Tennessee as Memphis Municipal Airport with three hangars and an unpaved grass / dirt runway. The airport added an actual and paved ramp, along with a modern terminal, in the 1950s. (1) In 1963, the current upside-down pyramid column terminal opened at MEM, designed by Roy P. Harrover & Associates (2), and, around the same time, Southern Airways, a now-defunct airline, was becoming prominent on the airfield.

          Southern Airways and North Central Airlines were later merged to create Republic Airlines (IATA: RC , ICAO: REP, not to be confused with regional airline Republic Airways / Airlines, which is still operating at the time of this writing) on July 1st, 1979, establishing a RC hub at Memphis International Airport in 1985. Republic Airlines itself was later merged into Northwest Airlines, who operated a hub at Memphis for 23 years between 1985 and 2008, when Northwest Airlines was merged into Delta Air Lines. (3)

          Following the merger, Delta Air Lines renounced Memphis' hub status, and began drastically cutting flights past 2010. In 2012, following massive non-hub cuts, Delta's service to their Amsterdam hub (also acquired through the merger with Northwest) was cut. (4) Furthermore, most recently, Delta announced cuts to most non-hub cities from Memphis leaving the rapidly dwindling amount of flights at 23 daily departures as of April 2015. (4) (5)

          Walking into Memphis, based on previous posts I had heard about the airport being a total trash pit, I didn't have high expectations. But, I was pleasantly surprised to walk out into an old-style brick-wall airport with modern trim (in some areas, look, I'm trying to give MEM some credit ) that was mostly serene and quiet aside--I think their terminal announcements system was broken because I didn't hear a single loop during my entire one-hour-and-thirty-two-minute stay there. Since I heard the Sky Club didn't have any windows (well, at least that you couldn't see through--the ones in the Sky Club were 90% frosted), I spent only enough time there to satisfy my hunger before exploring the terminal and spotting before my flight back to Atlanta began boarding at 6:00 PM Central Time.



          Despite the low ceilings, I really like how they managed to mesh modern airport design and old-style wood and brick materials so well without conflicting architectural styles.


          All of the afternoon and evening flights fit onto a forth of a single FIDs monitor, sad... :'[


          Entering into the unique-looking MEM Sky Club.



          The MEM Sky Club even has it's own little hand sculpted, finished, and painted mahogany 777-200 gate guardian. I asked the check-in agent to buy it, but they said that it needed to stay. On the bright side, you can buy this exact model on the Delta Air Lines DeltaShop here: DELTA 777-200LR GE 1/100 SCALE MODEL - DELTASHOP




          So, according to several members on Airliners.Net, Northwest management (now Delta) largely kept the former World Club the same into and past the merger with Delta. I like World Club decor!





          Delta has added real food to ALL Sky Club locations as of late 2014, including corn salad, olives, fresh veggie sticks, two kinds of soup, iceberg lettuce strips, popcorn, as well as the previous offerings of cheese, biscoff, carrot sticks, ranch dip, and olives. Thumbs up Delta 999,999,999x! At least you're making an effort to include REAL food unlike UA and don't even get me started on AA's surcharged Admirals Club food...


          Sampling the Italian Wedding Soup, which had ball noodles and meatballs, not to mention it was hot. The iceberg lettus was nice and moist but also crunchy, and finally the snack mix was excellent as well--yes, this teenage boy went back for plenty of heaping helpings of seconds.


          Now full of food (for thirty seconds, anyway... ), I set out to explore MEM. This one is for my railfans and history gurus, a train and some other art pieces made from precious metal right outside the Sky Club.


          Heading back past the Sky Club so I could see if I could find a quiet little nook or cranny to spot from.


          In the same vein as CVG, small regional jets are abound at MEM.


          MQ's old Vignelli Associates Scissor Eagle logo is still present in their MEM station.


          A rather utilitarian looking ticket desk with an ancient US Airways advertisement behind it. The black strip of tape is covering up a Star Alliance logo now that US Airways is in OneWorld in preparation for their complete absorption into American Airlines in late 2015.



          I love these ticketing hall buildings...So unique!


          An abandoned, empty gate area.


          At one end of Concourse C I found this bench storage area / another abandoned gate with plenty of open seats (actually, I'm the only one here, :P ) and plenty unobstructed windows with views of the active runway, so I snuggle in for a few tens of minutes to see if I could find anything fun flying about.


          Right under the window is American Airlines dba American Eagle dba Envoy Air (say that three times fast) ERJ-145 N631AE, a 16.5-year-old frame that has been with MQ her entire life.


          A Fedex DC-10 being loaded way across the airstrip at the Fedex Global Distribution Center. I think it's cool they placed a logo on the inside of the loading door that is right-side-up when it is open, good job FX.



          SeaPort Airlines, an Essential Air Service carrier (basically, the government pays airlines to fly small puddlejumpers into tiny towns that would not normally be able to sustain air service) that serves small towns in Arkansas via a fleet of Pilatus PC-12s and Cessna C208 Caravans.




          Where else other than Memphis can you see TriJets taking off every other moment? Yes, they're all FX (Fedex Express Airlines) CARGO jets, but at least they're still flying!


          50 seater versus DC-10. Nah, just kidding, this Delta CRJ-200 is taking off to who knows where. :P




          Heading into MEM's uber-modern Concourse B to explore it just before my flight to ATL boards. I love how the blue moodlighting combined with the hanging light fixtures in the center creates a sort of "Starry Night" feeling.


          Elvis Shop in MEM.
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          Old Feb 18, 15, 11:27 am
            #10  
          Original Poster
           
          Join Date: May 2012
          Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
          Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
          Posts: 717
          KMEM (Memphis - International Airport) ✈ KATL (Atlanta - Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (The William B Hartsfield / Municipal / Candler Field)

            FLIGHT DATA SOURCE (S):

            1. PlaneSpotters.Net Airframe Data

            2. PlaneSpotters.Net Airline Data

            3. FlightAware Live Flight Tracking Data

            4. The First & Business Class Experience | Delta Air Lines

            5. 1950's Map of Memphis International Airport - Flickr

            6. Progressive Architecture, Volume 54 - Eugene Clute, Russell Fenimore Whitehead, Kenneth Reid, Elizabeth L. Cleaver - Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1973 - Architecture - Google Books

            7. Our History - Memphis International Airport

            8. Delta Air Lines scratches Amsterdam from Memphis - News - Memphis Business Journal

            9. Delta Air Lines plans additional cuts to service at Memphis International - The Commercial Appeal - Memphis

            10. MEM officials find silver lining despite Delta's plans to de-hub, cut jobs - wmcactionnews5


            Arriving at my gate just in the nick of time.

            Just as I walked up to my gate, first class was called to board, so I unintentionally timed the end of my expedition of the various interior spaces of MEM's secure airside just perfectly, I suppose! To give a break from the constant MD-80 series flights, this MEM-ATL routing would be on an A320, so enjoy. This would actually be my first time on a Delta domestic Airbus, they don't fly them very much into FLL and when they do it's usually a one-off thing and not when I choose to fly with them.

            Boarding the A320, I was surprised to see that Delta's narrowbody Airbus aircraft have to have the most ancient interior of all of the domestic fleet--bolted ashtrays, manila and brown armrests, single-color headrest-less recliner armchair type of seats, it had almost felt like I'd stepped back into the early 2000s when this was a Northwest airplane and MEM was a NW hub! Boarding is finished soon enough, and the sun concludes setting one-fourth of the way through our taxi journey to the active. The A320 isn't a particularly performance oriented, fast mover plane (say, compared to a F-15) but I still enjoyed a break from the constant wing without engines hanging underneath takeoffs.


            My ride back down to Atlanta today, Delta Air Lines's N350NA, a Pre-Merger Northwest Airlines A320 inherited by Delta with the merger that was 21.9 years old by the time I rode on it.


            Some manufacturer-bretheren in the distance.




            Boarding was halted for a few moments for whatever reason, and I noticed that one of the cockpit glass frames was green? Why?


            A very retro first class cabin.



            Yes, these first class seats are decidedly old-school. At least the padding appears to be nice and thick, though...


            Legroom is awful here--only four inches at the max and I'm only around 5'11.5"!


            Our next door gate neighbor is Pinnacle Airlines dba Delta Connection's CRJ-400 (a very rare type, so I've heard at least) N8888D (probably the most fun aircraft registration I've come across in awhile), an 11-year-old Pre-Merger Pinnacle Airlines dba Northwest Airlink airframe.


            Pulling out of the ramp at MEM.


            MEM's brand new 7-story parking garage, a portion of which is lit up pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month.


            Turning onto the runway.




            Roaring out of Memphis, TN, and immediately turning east to begin our short 50-minute jaunt back to upstate Georgia.

            The chief flight attendant's service on this flight, towards me at least, is very motherly (that is a good thing, by the way). She took a genuine interest in my constant photography of the aircraft she was in charge of, and told me about what she faces daily on the job. I asked her if she wanted to work the 747, and she said she actually prefers the smaller narrowbodies as they are easier to manage.


            Delta's groundbreaking addition of Cape Cod Kettle Chips has FlyerTalkers everywhere going crazy.


            This time, the calamitous meal cuts included one less fun size chocolate bar. UGH! I'm never flying Delta again!!!!!!*
            *Sarcasm....


            Plain tonic water with lime garnish is quickly becoming my short haul beverage of choice.

            It seems I had overestimated the length of MEM-ATL, it is around 332 miles long and lasts only slightly longer than an hour each way (sometimes clocking to be as little as 50 minutes), around roughly the same length as FLL-TLH on a Silver Saab 340B+. This had not shocked me as much as ATL-CHA (Chattanooga, Tennessee), which is frequently ran on MD-88 aircraft which only takes a shocking 18 minutes on a good day--I had initially thought that Chattanooga was a bump-in-the-road small town, however it is anything but that--a a real, beautiful city! Add that to the list, right after PWM.

            After surfing the web for around 30 minutes, the captain came on the horn and announced our descent into Atlanta, my third (and final) one today, but this one would be at night! ATL's airport authorities love to light up the facility during nocturnal hours so I was excited to see that they had not only lit up the control tower pink but also lit up the FLY DELTA JETS sign in red!


            I can't imagine how stunning the view looks from the cockpit as well...


            During one of our vectors, you could see city lights out of the opposite rows' windows, which was insanely fascinating for me to watch for whatever reason.


            Almost there? I couldn't see anything! :P


            Ah, back in ATL once more.


            Pulling into the gate, one of the far-out ones on the end of the concourse.


            Parked.



            Exit? Not yet, I had to have a cockpit visit!




            The Airbus A32X series cockpits are extremely roomy and modern-feeling. I could literally do push-ups behind the cockpit seats, there was that much room...I also love the orange backlighting they give to all the signs and buttons.


            Yours truly: backpack, buttondown, slacks, wingtips, two cameras, and a cookie tin. I don't normally carry the two cameras around on my neck (usually put the smaller one in my bag) but I was rushing to get up to the cockpit and just slung the second one around my neck. The F/O insisted she take a picture of me in her seat, so why not.
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            Old Feb 18, 15, 11:28 am
              #11  
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            Join Date: May 2012
            Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
            Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
            Posts: 717
            ---
            Atlanta - Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (The William B Hartsfield / Municipal / Candler Field) ( IATA: ATL , ICAO: KATL) *3*
            ---

            My hunger for more airline flights by this point had only grown in sheer strength, so I was glad to be trying out a new route: ATL-MIA (I always fly into FLL on DL, but never MIA). In fact, I went over to the FIDs board listings starting with "F", only realizing after staring at the Fort Lauderdale listings for a few minutes that I was actually flying into Miami, and not into Fort Lauderdale. Nevertheless, I finally had enough of a layover to visit a Sky Club, and so I found the one nearest to my gate, which was the size of a repurposed broom closet (seriously, it was one of the tiniest I've ever seen) but still managed to fill me up with good food and fill up my battery-powered techno-gobbledygook with plenty of juice.


            Hi again ATL! We seem to be seeing eachother a lot today...


            One of the smallest Sky Clubs I've ever visitied.


            Heading over to Gate B16 to board my final flight to MIA. Sorry for the quality.
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            Old Feb 18, 15, 11:35 am
              #12  
            Original Poster
             
            Join Date: May 2012
            Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
            Programs: American Airlines Mainline Fleet Service Clerk / Expeditor (Baggage Delivery Assurance) / HAL 2 Star
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            KATL (Atlanta - Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (The William B Hartsfield / Municipal / Candler Field) ✈ KMIA (Miami - International Airport (Wilcox Field / 36th Street / Pan American Field)

              FLIGHT DATA SOURCE (S):

              1. PlaneSpotters.Net Airframe Data

              2. PlaneSpotters.Net Airline Data

              3. FlightAware Live Flight Tracking Data

              4. The First & Business Class Experience | Delta Air Lines

              5. Miami International Airport :: Miami-Dade County


              FlightAware for this flight. Copyright © FlightAware 2014


              The final ride of the day is Delta Air Line's MD-90 N927DN, a 1999-series MD-90 originally delivered to China Eastern Airlines in 1999 and later transferred to Delta in mid 2010.

              Boarding my sixth and final flight of the day, I was exhausted yet still excited to try ATL-MIA, a new route for me as well as a strange experience -- not flying AA or a OneWorld carrier into Miami! I don't know how to describe it, but it was a very strange experience flying DL into MIA.

              As soon as I had sat down, the purser took my drink order (quick service!), but this time it was a not quite middle aged male but not younger either. However, his young, energetic spirit seemed to be going over very well with the majority of the first class cabin, most of which were senior citizens.

              But what happened next was literally the treat of the day--the captain personally came out from the cockpit and gave us first class passengers a briefing of the flight--I would have never expected an airline pilot to go above and beyond his job duties like that but it was pretty awesome. After he disappeared back into the cockpit, we began to push back, and I felt the characteristic jolt as the rampers revved us back out of the gate.


              "Good evening folks, I'm sorry about the delay, I'm going to request an expedited departure from tower so we will attempt make some time up as we cruise down to Miami. After our initial climb, we'll be at around 30,000 feet for a bit over an hour before we descend into Miami, and have you folks on your way. Thanks for flying Delta!" The captain gave us a personal briefing up front, what a treat for an avgeek.


              Neighbor Delta Air Lines MD-90 N903DA heading to Charlotte. We would later cause some unintentional problems for this flight.

              Suddenly we stopped as soon as our MD-90 was diagonally pointed out of the gate. The head purser came upfront and told us that a person in the last row of Y was complaining about a noise in the back of the aircraft (likely referring to the IAEs hanging on the fuselage), demanding to be sat upfront in F (obviously, due to the 100% load factor, this was not possible) or to be let off the flight immediately. Since our flight was a bit late boarding, it was even more late when the effects of this goofy passenger's antics came into play. And since our plane was only barely out of the gate area, a nearby flight to CLT (also an MD-90) was being blocked by our aircraft. Had CVG-ATL's would-be inflight smoker's brother found his way onto our flight? :P

              All four of the flight attendants held a mini-meeting in the galley while the passengers waited. Finally, the passenger decided to subside their demands and we managed to taxi all the way to one of ATL's long runways without stopping (Thanks ATC!), quietly droning into the deep black skies of Georgia on our way down to the tip of Florida.


              Diagonally stuck, and not going anywhere.


              N903DA won't be going to CLT anytime soon, with us in the way...



              Scrub-a-dub-dub! Line MTC washing off a Delta 737.


              The crimson light of the FLY DELTA JETS sign is just "plane" awesome.


              Blasting off from Atlanta one last time. For today, anyhow...


              Just after we cleared the airfield we made a quite steep bank to the south to begin our shuffle down to MIA, hope that didn't scare any of the elderly folks aboard!


              Goodbye, Atlanta...Be back soon.

              Service on this final leg was identical to the first five, a few passes of the snack basket and a few rounds of drinks during the short hour of cruise that we had to play with. I think Delta should really introduce some real food on these hour long hops, but I'm not counting on it (and, to their own credit, they do switch up the snacks inside every once in awhile). After I finished my munchies and carbonated drinks, I set to work on the inflght Wi-Fi, uploading pictures from this trip to my Flickr account before stowing my laptop and just staring out the window at the passing lit-up cities.

              As I've grown older, I've noticed that time goes by faster and faster! A year used to seem like an eternity, now it seems like a few months. A month feels like a week, and a day feels like a few hours. Undeniably, as the Floridian peninsula below our aircraft became more slender, I knew my first ATL-MIA flight would be coming to a close. And while I heave a sigh that yet another daytrip is coming to a rapid close, the pilots announced that we made up eleven minutes enroute to South Florida, bringing us into MIA on a smooth landing from over the Everglades to the West then taxiing for a bit into Concourse H. After everyone deplaned, I requested a cockpit visit which was quickly granted and I thanked the flight crew for their excellent service, especially the preflight briefing. "Don't mention it, it's my job, son!" were his kind words.

              After exiting, I explored MIA for a bit, before finally walking all the way over to the American Airlines check-in area (devoid of all people) to check-in for my daytrip the next day to JAX then caught a cab back to the beach house in Fort Lauderdale. I would later change the JAX trip to November 4th, to enjoy it with my best friend, which will be my next report. Stay tuned!


              The flight attendant was amused by my extensive photography of the snack basket. :P


              Coffee to end the night. Thankfully, it did provide a minor boost of stamina for an exhausted LPDAL.


              Long final over the outskirts of the Everglades Conservation Area.


              Back in South Florida after a long series of flights.


              Almost there...


              Final touchdown of the day.


              Parked, not next to N350NA, unfortunately. Wouldn't that be fun?


              Colby is very sad that he has to leave his 6th flight of the day.



              Not without a cockpit visit, too!
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              Old Feb 18, 15, 11:36 am
                #13  
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              Join Date: May 2012
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              Posts: 717
              ---
              Miami - International Airport (Wilcox Field / 36th Street / Pan American Field) (IATA: MIA , ICAO: KMIA)
              ---



              MIA's Concourse H and J are very different from AA's D and E.



              No, your eyes are not deceiving you, this is an IntraEurope Air France A320-214(WL) F-HEPF, one of the rarest catches of the day (for being on this continent, anyway). Air France serves two Haitian cities, Port Au Prince, the capital of Haiti (PAP), and Pointe-ŕ-Pitre (PTP) from Miami, in addition to the "normal" widebody longhaul service to Charles de Gaulle.


              I tried to find the SwiftAir and Sun Country HAV flights, but they were in an entirely cordoned off section of the airport, so I didn't bother. Also, note the time. :P


              Concourse J is the main international flagship thoroughfare of MIA, serving all the European majors and a few other abroad carriers. The walkway in the center of this image is an immigration tunnel.



              Wow, what a throwback, my first 747 flight, MIA-FRA. My next would be five and a half years later in November 2014, albeit on Delta in BusinessElite in upper deck suite 79K and lower deck nose suite 1A. Look out for my 25th Report Special: 25. Delta First Class, 747-400/753 FLL✈ATL✈MSP✈ATL✈FLL


              TransAero (Russian airline) flies 744s to MIA as well. When did the "Tourist Class" moniker fall out of use? The only time I see economy referred to as "Tourist Class" is in vintage airline books.


              I've been to Grand Cayman on two of my many cruises, but I still really want to try out Cayman Airways--besides the awesome Sir Turtle mascot, I heard their service is great and they have some really interesting airplanes in their fleet (Twin Otters, for one).


              The Concourse D ticketing hall, dominated by AA, US (at the time of writing), and QR is completely devoid of any passenger life at this hour.


              Checking in for my Republic Airlines d/b/a American Eagle E175 flight up to JAX the following morning (wait, isn't it already morning? :P ) I later changed this reservation to November 4th, as a combined birthday present for my best friend and Is' birthdays, which are only a week apart.




              Taking a cab all the way back up to Lauderdale by the Sea (which is a town, not "Fort Lauderdale by the Sea", which doesn't exist. "By The Sea" is part of the town name, not describing the location...)


              Zooming by, ironically enough, FLL, while dreaming up my next daytrip. Goodnight.
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              Old Feb 18, 15, 11:38 am
                #14  
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              Join Date: May 2012
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              Posts: 717
              --- Upcoming Reports ---
              27. United First Class+BusinessFirst, 777-200, Dash-8-Q400, Silver Airways Saab 340B+, and a night in Portland, Maine + Portland Jetport FLL-IAH-EWR-PWM-EWR-TPA-FLL
              ---
              26. US Airways First Class, TPA Marriott MIA✈TPA✈MIA
              ---
              25. Delta First Class, 747-400/753 FLL✈ATL✈MSP✈ATL✈FLL
              ---
              24. American Eagle First Class, E175+RitzC MIA✈JAX✈MIA
              ---

              All finished trip pictures can be viewed here on my Flickr: LPDAL's Photostream on Flickr - Photo Sharing

              Add me on Flickr here: https://www.flickr.com/people/lpdal/relationship/

              Add me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/colby.mccormack
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              Old Feb 18, 15, 11:39 am
                #15  
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              Join Date: May 2012
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              Posts: 717
              ---
              Thanks for all responses!

              -LPDAL
              ---
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