Waking up at 6am in the morning wasn’t ideal after 19hrs15mins of flying the previous day, but I guess that’s how things turned out to be. My original plan was to leave Chicago on an evening flight to Minneapolis/St. Paul MN on a Boeing 717, followed by an Airbus A320 flight to Fargo ND. As luck had it, I found a very cheap change fare to change from that planned itinerary to one heading straight to Grand Forks ND. However, this changed to a Boeing 737-800 and a CRJ200, planes that I’ve been on. There would also be a very short transit of 37 minutes. Knowing the regional flights depart from Concourse A&B, and mainlines arrive at Concourse F&G, I had a challenge ahead. The Boeing 717 would’ve been better, but at least I’d be assured to reach Grand Forks (earlier than scheduled, that too), rather than being stuck at Fargo for very long. Oh well. Before going to bed the previous night, I checked that N37700, a 13.8 year old Boeing 737-800W would take me to the twin cities.
Delta’s very helpful app informed me of my gate at Chicago. Boarded the Blue Line one last time to head to O’Hare airport just before 7am.
Reached the airport 45 minutes later, checked in (didn’t look awfully busy), but security took quite some time. No TSA pre-check luck once again, I had to wait for regular security. My bag pack was pulled aside because of my cough syrup in it. The nice security agent tested it for any substance violations, but I was cleared.
Headed over to gate E14, where boarding was about to commence anyway. Got ripped off by buying some super-expensive airport food, but I was hungry, I had no choice!
Boarding commenced pretty much on time. The gate agent gave us advice to put on some warm clothes for the jet bridge because it would be super cold in there, despite the aircraft and terminal being warm. I still find it rather strange that Delta uses the boarding procedure of filling up the Main Cabin from the front because it clogs up the jet bridge and makes passengers wait a lot… But hey it works for them, why not!
I waited to board, just to make sure I don't get it in the cold. However, thanks to Delta's boarding process, I had to wait in jet bridge anyway. Waiting in the cold…..
Heading for my seat 24A, it looked like a fairly full flight, but some seats were empty. Some seats had a blanket placed, some didn't, which I felt was quite inconsistent.
There was a seatback IFE. It was the same hardware as that on Jet Airways' 737s, while also having the exact same content as the Delta's B737-900ER and B767-300ER. Most of the content requiring payment and being a hammerscreen in itself, I decided to stick to the flight tracker and flight information channels. A flying time of 56 minutes was announced by the captain. He also announced what would be a very interesting half an hour ahead - we would be de-iced, a first for me!
We pushed back at 0907 hours, and parked once again. Flaps were extended so all the snow could be washed away before we departed. This took an anxiously long 25 minutes, it was fun to see all the de-icing fluids do their job! Deiced and delayed!
0930 hours, we pushed back further out into the taxi way, before finally firing up the CFM56-7B27 engines. Lots of smoke was created due to cold fluids being burned off :D
Captain came over the PA once again, informing us of a long line of departures ahead, and thanking us for our patience. I was getting more and more anxious.
We finally took off at around 0947 hours and flew pretty steep actually!
We soon leveled off at our cruising altitude of 28000 feet. Snow clad land all the way, it was pretty to see, but not so nice to know it'd be very cold out. Service began. Morning flights usually have a variety of 'food', peanuts and cookies with pretzels. However, there only were pretzels. Kinda sad. I went for a coke and water, with the pretzels.
Nose dipped at 1020 hours, we started our descent into the Twin Cities. Was a pretty quick descent followed by a smooth touchdown on to runway 30L at 1044 hours.
Taxiing took some time, precious minutes just ticking away. The Atlanta based crew announced that connecting flight information would be on the screens at the terminal.
Headed out as soon as I could, rushing to one of the screens around. The phone application said Gate A6, but screens around showed gate A13. A last minute gate change, and a longer walk. It was 1057, I only had about twenty minutes to really run across the pretty big airport in the Twin Cities…..
Delta Air Lines
Chicago - ORD
Minneapolis - MSP
A last minute change of flights - there was nothing much that could've been done. Add to that, some things that really could not have been prevented. A snowstorm, that is. While Delta cannot (and should not be) blamed, its all just very unfortunate. Oh well. I was pleased that I made it to MSP to begin. But making it to the gate was another story.....
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