Welcome to my new trip report series documenting my short 3 day weekend getaway to Portland, Oregon. In this part, I will be flying the outward leg from Los Angeles (LAX) to Portland (PDX). I bought the ticket on Delta a good 4 months ahead for about $170 USD as it was the cheapest flight available. My first choice would be to fly with Alaska but Delta was offering much lower prices. This would be the first time I fly on Delta or any of the US3. Let's get right to the trip filled with many first time experiences!
Getting to the LAX, I opted to park my car nearby and took a lyft over to the Delta terminal. Delta is in Terminal 2 and 3 of LAX and it is located just before Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). The traffic heading into LAX is terrible as usual at any time of the day. My flight departs at 7:20PM and I arrived at terminal 3 a good 2 hours beforehand.
Check-In and Security
I walked into the terminal and got to the kiosk to print out my boarding pass. I checked in to my flight the night before and was assigned a middle seat. There weren't any available seats left for me to change to a window seat which was a shame. Delta charges $30 USD each for the first and second checked bags so I opted to only travel with a carry on for this short 3 day trip. My flight to Portland has shown up on the flight display screen at this time as I entered the terminal and we are on schedule for 7:20PM departure.
I took a quick tour of terminal 2 and 3 as this is my first time flying with Delta even though I have lived in LA for more than 15 years. Even though it is mainly operated by Delta, Virgin Atlantic, Aer Lingus, Avianca, and a few other airlines have counters in terminal 2 and 3.
DL1997 to Portland at Gate 28
There were quite an amount of people flying out on a thursday evening for domestic although an Aer Lingus flight back to Dublin did contribute to the high amount of travellers. I got through security as quick as TSA wanted to and I headed over to airside to see the inside of terminal 2.
My flight was assigned gate 28, which is at the end of Terminal 2. This allowed me to walk through the newly remodeled interior of the terminal (I think it is new). To my surprise, it looks similar to the airside of TBIT in terms of being modern and lively looking.
This terminal was very hard to spot in as there are not that many windows and most of the times the jetways or the gate table was in the way of taking some nice pictures. Unfortunately, the nice decorations and shops does not make up for the lack of spotting opportunities. Either way, I made my way to gate 28 and there were already many people sitting down waiting for boarding. At the gate next to us, the Aer Lingus flight back to Dublin was also getting prepared for its boarding. The gate area quickly became very crowded and the gate agents constantly had to give updates on both flights and where to line up. I tried to catch a picture of our plane but it didn't turn out so well.
Flight: DL1997 from LAX-PDX
Airline: Delta Airlines (DL)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-832(WL)
Delivered: August 1999 (19.8 Yrs)
Route: Los Angeles (LAX) - Portland (PDX)
Departure Gate: 28
Departing Runway: 24L
Scheduled Departure Time: 07:20PM
Actual Departure Time: 07:28PM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 09:41PM
Actual Arrival Time: 09:36PM
Landing Runway: 10R
Arrival Gate: D15
Scheduled Flight Time: 2 hours 21 mins
Actual Flight Time: 2 hours 08 mins
Boarding began a little later than Delta would have wanted as the cleaning crew was taking a little longer than usual getting ready for our flight.
Another first for me was boarding in different groups. Flying international most of the time, you have the usual loyalty clubs, first, business, etc. then the back of economy class and work your way up. This is completely different for me when flying with Delta or I should say any US domestic carriers, maybe except Alaska. My ticket was basic economy so I had to wait for all the groups to board before. It started with First, Comfort +, Delta Sky Priority, Main Cabin 1, Main Cabin 2, Main Cabin 3, then finally Basic Econ. I was a little worried about not being ble to finding overhead bin space for my carry on, but there was actually still plenty of space when I got on the plane. This flight was filled 100% and no volunteers were needed to reschedule (thankfully).
The aircraft taking me to Portland: N378DA
Boarding the aircraft
Delta offers a pretty generous seat pitch in my opinion and each seat has its own 9-inch personal touchscreen TV on a domestic flight. *Another first for me
I am a fairly short person so I luckily don't have to think or worry about the legroom as there are always plenty, but there's a lot on this flight.
Wing view from my row that I had to ask the lady sitting in the window seat if I could take a picture. We were parked next to a very beautiful VS 787. Maybe someday I can fly on one (foreshadow?).
The safety video started shortly after pushback and the captain came on to announce our flight time of 1 hour 59 minutes to Portland. The weather on the way was very good and smooth and there won't be any delays. We quickly taxiied out to runway 24L and took off towards the Pacific Ocean before turning right and heading north. The in-flight entertainment turned on shortly after that. The touchscreen was responsive for a plane this old. There were plenty of movie selections and live TV channels. The NBA playoffs were happening at this time and the team from Portland was playing game 6 against Denver that night. Many passengers, including me, were watching the game and cheering on the Trail Blazers to win.
The flight attendants came by for the drink service shortly after takeoff and I got myself a cup of coke. They offered some snacks but I did not want any.
The sun was setting as we were flying above northern California and into Oregon. I was able to take some nice pictures of the sunset and the view was amazing.
The captain came on with about 40 mins left into the flight and gave us the arrival weather/temperatures at Portland. Cabin Crew quickly prepared the cabin for arrival. We soon started our descent into Portland International ahead of schedule. We made a couple of right turns to lineup the plane west of PDX and landed on runway 10R a good 10 mins before 9:41PM.
I did not take any pictures of the outside after landing as it was too dark and the lady next to me didn't seem to enjoy me taking pictures, oh well. I was able to get a window seat on the return flight. There won't be a shortage of pictures on that flight.
The plane parked at gate D15 and I grabbed my backpack from the overhead bin. Deboarding was very quick and arriving at 9:40PM, there were not that many people left at the terminal and I proceeded to head out to get picked up by some friends who arrived earlier in the afternoon.
The walk from the gate to the streets was very quick especially when there were not that many people at this time. Signs were very clear and easy to follow. The airport terminal itself is not very big compared to what it is at LAX but it was more beautiful looking, with the exception of TBIT. After the flight, I went to enjoy my 3 days of Portland eating good food and seeing the nature and skyline of the city.
It was a very interesting experience flying domestic on Delta as I often fly international. Even when I do fly domestic within the US, it has only been on Alaska. From what people say about US3 being terrible, Delta wasn't all that bad. Comparing to Alaska, I think I would fly with AS over DL just based on the service. Don't get me wrong as I would still fly Delta if the tickets are much cheaper. There is not much to judge when the flight is only 2 hours long. One surprising thing to me was the IFE and I am happy that DL offers that on such a short flight. LAX continues to be a nightmare to go through with so much traffic and construction going on, but you really don't have much choices as LAX offers the cheapest flight options most of the time. Overall, I enjoyed this short little flight up to the north. Please look out for the report of the return flight.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it!