Trip Report Series Part 4 - Delta Aviation Tour Welcome to my first "Trip Report Series." During the spring, I was notified by a close professor friend of mine that I had been accepted to work at the University of Florida in Gainesville as a High School summer intern. Understandably, I was extremely excited about the ability to be working in a college laboratory during the summer. As such, I booked my flights from my home in New York to my job location in Gainesville, Florida, and from Gainesville to Tucson, where my professor runs a major laboratory and where I will be working for part of my summer. My itinerary is as follows: Flight 1: [DL 1539, LGA-ATL, Boeing 737-900ER, N846DN, Economy] - Click Here Flight 2: [DL 5451, ATL-GNV, Bombardier CL600-2B19 (CRJ200ER operated by ExpressJet dba Delta Connection), N871AS, Economy] - no report, although it's worth mentioning that this flight was delayed for over two hours due to "paperwork done incorrectly" and having to clear the runway immediately after lining up due to an aircraft that was about to land in the opposite direction. Flight 3: [DL 3290, GNV-ATL, Bombardier CL600-2B19 (CRJ200LR operated by Endeavor Air dba Delta Connection), N8972E, Economy] - no report Flight 4: [DL 1172, ATL-LAX, Boeing 777-200LR, N703DN, Economy] - Click Here Flight 5: [DL 4836, LAX-TUS, Bombardier CL600-2C10 (CRJ701ER operated by SkyWest dba Delta Connection), N770SK, Economy] - YOU ARE HERE Flight 6: [DL 1240, TUS-ATL, McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30, N906DA, Economy] - Click Here Flight 7: [DL 5319, ATL-GNV, Bombardier CL600-2D24 (CRJ900 operated by Expressjet dba Delta Connection), N132EV, Economy] - Click Here Flight 8: [DL 5347, GNV-ATL, Bombardier CL600-2D24 (CRJ900 operated by ExpressJet dba Delta Connection), N153PQ, Premium Economy] - Click Here Flight 9: [DL 202, ATL-JFK, Boeing 737-900ER, N872DN, Premium Economy] - Click Here
Abstract After I arrived in Los Angeles, I took a quick bus transfer from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 to transfer to my flight to Tucson, Arizona. Delta does not currently have a walkway between these two terminals (they moved only 2 months ago), and the only form of transportation between these flights is to go to the tarmac level and take a shuttle bus to the next terminal. T2 is reserved for Delta's mainline flights, while T3 is mostly used for Delta Connection and Delta Shuttle flights (they do get the occasional 752 from Hawaii btw). Delta also operates one gate (133 I believe) from the Tom Bradley International Terminal. This flight would be operated by a SkyWest CRJ-701ER (BD-600-2C10) fitted with Delta's new signature RJ look; though it was a flight that I was not looking forward to due to the fact that it will be on a regional jet. Other this, I don't really have much to say in this report as it would be your average regional jet experience. This report will thus be a lot shorter than the previous report. Furthermore, I was not intending to do a report for this trip, but after looking through my phone I realized that I had enough pictures to write a basic report. Oh well.
Report After I arrived in LAX's terminal 2, it was time to take the inter-terminal shuttle across the ramp between T2 and T3. Terminal 2:
N320DN and N606CZ, a company A321-211 and an E175LR operated by Compass Airlines.
Terminal 3: This terminal is in bad need of a refresh. The central gate area was very crowded, with seats crammed into a large circular area and the gates spread out around the circle.
I waited for three hours in this dirty and old terminal (I originally intended to exit security and visit the In-N-Out on Sepulveda Blvd. for some hardcore spotting opportunities, but unfortunately, due to long security lines at both terminals, I ultimately decided to take a short nap in T3 before my next flight. Soon, it was time to board N770SK, a SkyWest BD-600-2C10 CRJ-701ER powered by twin GE CF34-8C5B1 turbofans. Delivered in 2006, it originally operated for United Express before being transferred to Delta Connection. Again, I was one of the first to board the aircraft due to my FF status with Delta. Do not let the shiny exterior of the aircraft fool you - the windows were very very dirty, as I will show you later.
First Class cabin and Delta Comfort. Note that the CRJ7s and CRJ9s have received the so-called "mainline treatment" with new seats and LED mood lighting (which will be turned on later in the flight)
Delta Comfort and the Main Cabin, which starts just forward of the leading edge of the wing.
Legroom was acceptable, but not great (for a 5'9" frame).
View across the row. Row 10 the first row on the CRJ7 to not be marked as a preferred seat. Furthermore, the seat next to me was supposed to be for one of my colleagues that I worked with at the University, but she missed her flight from San Diego and had to spend the night at LAX. Thus, I had two seats to myself, making it a fairly comfortable ride.
Overhead panel with personal air vents. Note the new LED seatbelt, wifi, and "no smoking" signs, which I believe were added as part of the "mainline treatment."
Seat pocket contents: This flight also included a barf bag.
Wing view, with a JAL 787-8 (JA822J) starting up its engines in preparation for departure to Osaka-Kansai International Airport (KIX/RJBB, 大阪-関西国際空港). Note that even though the jet had the refurbished interior, the window was very dirty. Apologies for the low quality window shots throughout the flight. Another note: The 787 might sound quiet from the inside, but the engine startup was very loud! I could clearly hear the twin GEnX-1B engines spooling up to idle speed even in the comfort of N770SK's cabin.
We pushed back at 14:56, roughly 26 minutes behind schedule.
Delta's signature mood lighting was turned on at this point.
Terminal 3 was very close to Runway 24L; we were 3rd in the queue behind a Delta 767-300ER and a LATAM Chile (LAN livery) 767-300ER. N394DL (B767-324/ER) departing to JFK as DL2262.
CC-CXH (B767-316/ER) departing to a South American destination (I don't know which one unfortunately).
We lined up on runway 24L and made a powerful takeoff toward the west at 15:01.
We followed the typical departure pattern for flights toward the east, making a left turn south, and another left turn west, putting us on course for Tucson. The view of the western United States was breathtaking, and I would have gotten some really good pictures if not for the ridiculously dirty window! Grrrr! Delta's regional affiliates should at least clean their jets as much as Delta does with its mainline fleet! Anyways, here are some pictures of our cruise at FL300 and FL380 across SoCal and western Arizona.
Drink service was the average Delta domestic service on this flight; I opted for an apple juice with almonds and pretzels. Only one drink service was offered for this short 50-minute flight. Also, wi-fi was available, but it was not working for me; I couldn't even load information about the flight. Delta's mainline fleet is currently being upgraded with GoGo 2ku wifi, which is much faster than the original GoGo wifi offered on the regional jets (except for the CRJ2). More pictures of our cruise west.
About 100 miles outside of Tucson, we started our initial descent. It was here that we encountered some large storm clouds (it was monsoon season here in Tucson), which made for a bumpy ride down. I of course did not mind this at all; a flight without turbulence would be just as plain as a piece of white bread.
The desert located in this part of the United States stands out in contrast to the lush, green landscape of the East Coast.
In this picture, you can see Tucson international airport and the city of Tucson in the background. We flew past it, then made a 180˚ turn left and landed on Runway 29R at 16:05 MST, two minutes behind schedule.
We pulled right up to our gate after leaving the runway, and I collected my bags within 10 minutes of arrival - we were the only arriving flight at TUS at this time. This report brings an end to my trip from Gainesville to Tucson, featuring a memorable flight on the 777-200LR, and two not-so-memorable flights on CRJs. Nevertheless, this flight was your typical regional jet service; it was quick and efficient, but not nearly as "glamorous" as the service you would find on a mainline Delta flight.
Los Angeles - LAX
Tucson - TUS
This flight was your typical regional jet service on Delta. The flight attendants were courteous, the service was efficient, and the lack of amenities compared to Delta's mainline service was expected. My first issue with this flight was the dirty windows, which prevented me from taking good pictures throughout the flight. Secondly, the wifi was not working for the entire duration of the flight. While this was not a problem at all for me on this short 50-minute flight, I can see it being an issue for other people who urgently need to work during flights. Nevertheless, I found the flight fairly comfortable, and the fact that the seat next to me was empty made for a very comfortable ride. I found this flight to be perfectly average, but I strongly encourage you to book Delta's mainline flights whenever possible, because Delta has invested a large amount of money into its customer service and amenities onboard their mainline aircraft (500+ of their 851-strong fleet are equipped with IFE and GoGo 2ku wifi, with more to be outfitted with the same technology as well), but not so much into the fleets of their regional affiliates. For a 50-minute flight, the service was perfectly acceptable, but Delta's CRJ700s and 900s also operate routes as long as 3 hours! Still, I have to commend Delta for investing a lot into customer service training, as "acceptable" service is better than "terrible" service (*cough cough* United and American).
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