Hey all! This is it..the last leg(s) of my USA Summer 2015 trip! Three flights including this one, as I was headed to Grand Forks, North Dakota for further education. We selected Delta because there is not much of a choice out of Grand Forks, really Just the many Delta CRJs to and from Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Allegiant Air..however, there is no direct flight between LAX and GFK.
So, the reason we flew back to Los Angeles the same day we flew to San Francisco from Los Angeles: A) going from San Francisco to Grand Forks (via Minneapolis) was far more expensive than the itinerary we booked - San Francisco to Grand Forks via Los Angeles AND Minneapolis B) The Los Angeles/Southwest Airlines part of the trip was a very late addition to our (..my parents'..) three week itinerary.
DISCLAIMER: most pictures were taken on my mobile cellular telephone, and so the quality might not be good :(
Onwards with the flight report! First, the video part on YouTube (would recommend for the sights and sounds, mostly the sounds!)
Checked in for the next three flights pretty much there and then. Boarding passes showed that the lady amongst us, aka my mother, was the lucky one with the TSA Precheck. She was cleared through, while Dad and I would have to remove shoes and get laptop out, etc etc etc. A pain, basically. :(
I was informed that DL2764, the SFO-LAX flight, was one of Delta’s ‘Shuttle’ routes, which is basically frequent flights operating on a trunk route with a dedicated check in line and…wait for it…American fare that is NOT peanuts, pretzels and cookies!
Another hole created in our pockets thanks to the baggage fees, we dropped off our luggage at the check in counter and the person confirmed our final destination as being Grand Forks. Well, I wouldn’t blame him if he was surprised, seriously, half the people wouldn’t even know where Grand Forks is! :P
Security was pretty quick, and SFO’s security hold (for DL at least), wasn’t as bad LAX’s Southwest security. Mum was waiting for the two of us at the end. We found seats close to our gate, 44. It was going to be a pretty long 2.5 hours+ wait. I kept spotting minimal, but then again, it was getting dark anyway. I sat around and rested. 3 flights lay between me and living a life all alone without my parents. I was starting to feel it quite badly. And to add to that, all the flying around got very tedious for me, and I wondered: maybe the direct late night red eye B767 out of San Francisco would've been nicer! But this B717 experience would've never happened.
This one's an interesting one - delivered to TWA, merged to AA, and then sold to DL!
Parents went for a proper dinner at the restaurant nearby, while I settled for some thing I don't even remember what… It wasn't very good anyway. Announcements were made that our flight to Los Angeles would be delayed by 17 or 18 minutes, meaning a revised departure time of 2117 or 2118 hours. Closer to the departure time, I noticed that some activity was taking place. I headed for the window to see my plane arrive. N891AT, a 11.3 years old Boeing 717-2BD pulled in to the gate.
All passengers deplaned and headed back, this began a quick turnaround for the Delta ground staff. The awkward front-to back boarding process began. The first half of Economy will board the plane first, followed by the second half, creating a nice crowded and congested line in the jet bridge. While messy, it does ensure flights depart more or less on time, so something must be working out rather well here….
We soon boarded, finally got greeted at the door, something that didn’t happen on the trip so far..so yay!
Took my seat 24A and looked at the engine, the BMW Rolls Royce engine. The plane filled up rather well, it was a full load on this Delta Shuttle to Los Angeles.
For the reasons of lovely sounds..listen to this!
Pushback was at 2126 hours, both engines were fired up into life, one at a time. Yes, a single engine taxi, a first for me, and it was bound to happen sooner or later. It was quite a slow taxi to the active runway, took quite a while. 2147 hours, a whole 47 minutes after departure time, we took off into the starry skies of San Francisco. The BMW RR engines made some fantastic sounds as we climbed towards our cruising altitude.
Epic spool up sound, right here:
Lights were turned off for most of the flight. Two rounds of service began. First was the free snack, believe it or not, NOT the standard American pretzels, cookies, peanuts, etc etc etc fare. It was a pretty reasonable snack - some tortilla type cracker, dip, and cold veggies. Accompanied by a fresher towel. Nice! This was followed by the standard stuff, so I requested for my standard stuff, ginger ale.
I found out that the wifi onboard was actually free, perhaps a glitch in the system! Either way, I used it to talk to quite a few people. One pranked me that they'd charge me AFTER the flight. Yep, I got back at him straight after landing LOL.
I was drifting in and out of sleep when descent began. We were on course to make a scheduled on time landing, but I wasn’t too worried because we’d have at least an hour and a half between the two flights.
We landed at 2240 hours, three minutes late. A long taxi to Terminal 5 followed.
We docked at Gate 55A. Parked at gate 53A was this rather nice looking Delta Boeing 737-900ER with split scimitar winglets. N842DN she was. ‘If only she'd take me to Minneapolis…’ I thought. Engines off, the Boeing 717-200 beside us departed for its flight back to SFO.
The crew greeted us as we thanked them for the flight, and walked into a very congested T5 at LAX. The first thing I did was catch hold of the person who pranked me…ughh :P DL1435, with service to Minneapolis - gate 53A!! The scimitar equipped B73J N842DN - this was to going to be a special one!!
Delta Air Lines
San Francisco - SFO
Los Angeles - LAX
I must say, I was quite pleased with Delta Air Lines (or Delta Shuttle?) on this flight. The crew bothered to acknowledge us, hence the high points. The meal was actually pretty decent and perfectly fine for a flight of this length. The delayed departure was not ideal, but we landed more or less on time. The free wifi glitch was lovely, too :P The Boeing 717 was an AWESOME aircraft to fly on, with the loud RR BMW engines powering along. The cabin was well maintained on this loud beast.
San Francisco Airport was decent, but yet again Los Angeles felt very cramped and crowded...
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