My time over at Minneapolis was a short one - one that was overshadowed by protests. That morning before the concert I was informed by my BnB host of protests surrounding the Philando Castile case. With caution, I headed to the XCEL Energy center for what was yet another amazing performance by Iron Maiden. They were supported by Ghost - a less punk more heavy version of Slipknot - I loved it! Some pictures from the XCEL:
Minneapolis to Grand Forks is just one airline: Delta Connection (two if you count SkyWest and/or Endeavor). I chose an afternoon departure for this one, there was the one at 1325 hours. Of course, no CRJ-700 on this one unsurprisingly. I had some miles laying around for which I had to pay the $5.60 security fee for the ticket, and the baggage would be another $25: the total would be quicker and much cheaper than AMTRAK. A decent option. Now I did not need any delays whatsoever, just an uneventful flight back to Grand Forks….
THE FINAL FLIGHT - CHECK IN
I reached the airport at 1112 hours to the kiosk check in, nice and easy. Baggage drop was pretty quick - but the check in agent was adamant in letting me know that there was no away they were going to keep my stickers on the suitcase. As I mentioned before I quite like keeping the stickers on there. No where else, but in the USA, do they remove the stickers. The agent here gave up after a lot of tries simply because of the many baggage stickers. Hmm….
Security was nice and quick as well, this took me a grand total of 6 minutes. I was out in the airside, time for spotting! As always in Minneapolis, I had to make a stop at the concourse D observation deck. This wasn’t before I took the long way - unfortunately concourse G had nothing, like absolutely no planes parked. Zero. Not even an A320!
KILLING TIME @ MSP
Nice to see Jet Airways around :)
Concourse G had no activity around…time to head back.
Concourse C: way too much time had been spent here on the way out…
ON the way to D: DL CRJs are in abundance at MSP.
The spotter’s deck at concourse D seemed more promising - there were few planes lining up for departure at Runway 30R, while Concourse C and E had some planes as well. Not as full as when on my way out however, but I’d take this!
Once I figured there was nothing much going on, and no noteworthy wide bodies in bound I decided to head to concourse A and see the action up close with the CRJs. It was 1203 hours, 1hr22min till departure. A long time to kill!
As the little CRJs came and went, there was Botique's Pilatus PC-12 among the small tugs and baggage trolleys. It is always fun seeing the regional operations: every thing is scaled down for the smaller airplanes but at the end of the day it is a revenue flight with passengers operating. Some suitcases would literally be thrown away from the trolleys at the respective gates which was…. assuring. I took the time to check out Delta's baggage tracker - it looked like my suitcase had cut right across under the terminal like it was an imaginary path from check in to the gate. Nice to know that DL had this feature though.
N438SW came in right on time from Appleton, Wisconsin. It was 1225 hours - exactly an hour prior to departure for Grand Forks flight. They had plenty of time to make for an on-time departure, nice and easy.
After some more spotting of small CRJs it was on to boarding - which started well on time with 33 minutes before departure.
View, or something
Took my seat 10A as more passengers boarded, it was a full flight. A nice quick routine 45 minute flight to GFK at an altitude of 26000 feet. If anything, it was the turbulence that was going to be non-routine.
UNCLUKY #21: DEPARTURE - SOFTWARE GLITCH DELAYS?
Pushed back at 1310 hours, 5 minutes late. Engines started and we taxied to just past concourse C when it started to go a little awry.
The captain kept us well in the loop - there was some snag that would be fix easily because it ‘wasn’t terribly uncommon’. A computer glitch. This included checks on the spoilers while engines were on, I did not see any technicians around so they were probably on the starboard side of things. Was nice to see some of the other planes taxi by, probably all on schedule. All I wanted was a nice and easy flight back home - but 30 minutes wasn’t too bad, thankfully.
Coming to a stop by concourse C
DL CRJ land
With a total delay of 40 minutes we lined up with Runway 30R and took off at 1345 hours.
Once up there, pretty straightforward business as usual. I did find an article Delta brainwashing their passengers as to how the middle eastern airlines are taking over US jobs. Hmmm, sure Delta, sure.
Gotta love some network maps!
29 minutes in to the flight I got my usual fare of ginger ale and biscoff cookies. Pretty alright for this 45 minute flight, however that’s pretty much what one would get on a 3hr flight anyway. I kept to my music and looking out at the amazing flatness the midwest offers as we started descending in towards Grand Forks. The clouds came in, but normal for a IFR flight.
DECENT & ARRIVAL
The flight lasted for a little longer than planned as we touched down at 1444 hours - exactly 59 minutes in flight. Smooth landing on Runway 35L as I finally made it back to Grand Forks after what was a roller coaster few weeks in India.
Docked at gate 1 as all CRJ-200s do in Grand Forks - 27 minutes late. Little did I know one of the marshals getting the airplane in to the gate was my friend BvL - he would play an influential role in the up coming trip report….
A piece of history - the Las Vegas - Grand Forks Allegiant flight is now an A319.
UNLCUKY #22: THE ELECTRONICS BAN IS LIFTED!
….did I say up coming trip report?! Well, stay tuned for more! For this trip, it had all come to an end. And I for one, was glad. It was quite easily the most stressful trip back to India that I have had with so much being influenced by global politics. It is quite saddening and unfortunate. With that being said, it wasn’t just 2 weeks after this trip did the USA decide that the middle east’s security system was on par with their high standards and that they were no longer a threat. What happened over the course of the summer was quite interesting as I geared up for my first ever flight course in college! Till then, ciao!
Minneapolis - MSP
Grand Forks - GFK
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