Hello and welcome to another series of flight reports! This series will cover another trip I took to Minneapolis over Labor Day weekend, this time with Delta.
Washington, DC to Minneapolis, MN (DCA - MSP) | Delta | A320 [REPORT HERE] Minneapolis, MN to Detroit, MI (MSP - DTW) | Delta | 757-200 [THIS REPORT] Detroit, MI to Washington, DC (DTW - DCA) | Delta | A319 [REPORT HERE]
Like I usually do, I checked in for this flight 24 hours ahead of time via the Delta mobile app. Checking the standby list to see how many unassigned seats were left (I really like how Delta provides that information in their app), I was surprised to see 110 unassigned seats. I know Labor Day isn't exactly known for being a big business travel day, but was still surprised that only ~80 seats had been sold on this flight. I was expecting an empty flight, just like the last time I had flown on a Delta 757 (report here).
I was dropped at MSP just before 7:30 for the 8:50 departure. The main terminal at MSP was pretty empty this morning, and I was quickly through the northern security check point. I grabbed breakfast at a Caribou Coffee, then headed for gate F14, all the way at the end of the F concourse. The boarding area screens were displaying the stand-by list, which had 65 + people listed, all of whom had a check mark next to their name. I've never seen a stand-by list like that before, but I guess that's what you get on a hub-to-hub route on a holiday morning.
Boarding began on time at around 8:25. Luckily, Delta has not yet rolled out their awful new boarding procedure to the MSP hub, meaning that boarding was a relatively relaxing affair. I boarded with zone 2.
I quickly found my seat in row 40, then got a good look around the refreshed cabin.
Decent enough legroom, and an older, but adequate entertainment screen.
Also of note is the larger overhead bins that Delta has been rolling out across its Boeing and Airbus narrowbody fleets. The larger bins allow standard-sized carry on bags to fit in on edge, accommodating more bags per bin.
I was quite impressed by the refreshed cabin on the 21-year-old N540US.
The main cabin door was closed right on time at 8:50. I had three seats to myself, and there were only a handful of people in the rows around me as well. Even with all the stand-by passengers, this was still one of the emptier flights I've taken in recent memory.
Our departure runway that morning was 30L, meaning a relatively long taxi past half of Terminal 1.
The larger -300 flavor of the 757 taxiing out from Concourse F.
Passing Concourse E's extra-long jetbridges, and a classic MD-80 prepping for a flight to DFW.
Passing Concourses D and C.
Passing a few CRJs taxiing on Concourse C's inner taxiway. The building under construction in the background is an on-airport hotel.
Quite a few CRJs parked over on the de-icing pad near the end of runway 30L. Yeah, Labor Day definitely isn't a big travel day.
A right turn to the north after shortly after takeoff.
Turning to the east over the Minnesota State Fair.
MSP visible in the distance as we flew over downtown Saint Paul.
We then climbed through the thin cloud layer.
We climbed quite high for this one-hour flight, if I'm remembering correctly we cruised at 39,000 feet.
I watched an episode of Silicon Valley, where it became clear that the older screens really struggled with reflections. I had the brightness turned all the way up, but it was still a bit hard to see with my window shade opened. Even if the screen itself was less than ideal, the content selection was great.
The inflight service was completed quickly thanks to the low passenger load. I got a coffee and some Biscoff cookies. No fancier complementary snack like my flight up to MSP, however.
Before I knew it, we had started descending towards Detroit.
Yep, we're definitely approaching the Motor City.
Final approach for runway 22R.
Next up was a rather lengthy taxi to the McNamara Terminal via the end-around taxiway around the southern end of 04R/22L.
An MD-90 that landed after us had caught up on the taxiway.
Taxiing in to gate A36.
Delta Air Lines
Minneapolis - MSP
Detroit - DTW
This was a great flight with Delta. The seat and cabin were very comfortable, made even more so by the low passenger load. We even arrived a bit early.
Minneapolis and Detroit airports are some of my favorites in the US. Both for connections and arriving / departing.
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