The airline with the best average rating is American Eagle with 6.5/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 58 minutes.More information
The final flight! It had all boiled down to this. Just the one CRJ-700 flight for me, a new subtype! For those of you who may remember I have had bad luck with logging the CRJ-700 aircraft. Some of my past attempts:
A SkyWest flight from Fargo to Minneapolis, my first time back to India in the fall of 2015, CRJ-700 switched to a CRJ-200.
Another SkyWest flight, this time from Grand Forks to Minneapolis, another switch to a CRJ-200, summer 2017.
That same summer, a Mesa Airlines flight from Washington DC to Minneapolis, a CRJ-700 swapped to a E175. For the bigger I guess, summer 2017.
How likely would it be that my first CRJ-700 would be swapped? I stupidly thought that the CRJ-200 would not have the legs to fly between Chicago & Fargo… that was until I remembered literally 30 seconds later that I was on an Air Wisconsin CRJ-200 on the exact same route. For what it was worth, it was a fine flight.
The more rational me looked up SkyWest Airlines’ fleet composition: CRJ-200s only operated for United Express & Delta Connection. However, 58 of the 100 CRJ-700s were flying for American Eagle. Perfect, as long as SkyWest were slated to operate the flight, I was on course to log in my first CRJ-700 flight.
AUGUST 17TH 2018
Fast forward to T-24 hours as I showed in the last part, the online check in confirmed a CRJ-700. N744SK, fleet number 744, unfortunately not quite a 747-400, but a CRJ-700, would take me over back to Fargo, the end of a crazy trip.
CRUCIAL CONNECTION 6: O'HARE
1hr04min may seem like a reasonable layover in Chicago, but you just never know! In addition, I wasn’t overly confident of American’s 767 taking me from Miami in to O’Hare getting in on time. I was wrong, however. AA2796 docked at the gate at 1225 hours, one minute behind schedule and I was off the airplane just 5 or 6 minutes later. AA3146 would depart from Gate G1B: I didn’t have too long for planespotting, but whatever it was were mostly RJs. In addition, this was a last minute gate change too as AA3146 was originally supposed to depart from G13 anyway, so it wouldn’t be as bad a walk.
Promptly a boarding announcement was made 28 minutes before departure, it was generally fairly orderly, and not much of a line clogging the jet bridge.
Empty jet bridge!
I was onboard at 1307 hours, 21 minutes to departure, and the flight attendant was quite cheerful & welcoming which is always nice to see. I believe it was just her, Susan. All six seats in First Class were taken, and the rest of the cabin filled up too. I walked all the way back to seat 20D, to a rather sickly seat mate. Just like the CRJ-200, and unlike the CRJ-900, the cabin felt cramped. I wanted to get this flight over with quick and was looking forward to getting back to ND.
A quick announcement from the flight deck: it would be a 1hr18min flight across (LOL, and I thought a CRJ-200 wouldn’t make it. Ha, ha ha ha…..) at 36000 feet, and decent weather at Fargo.
A DELAY BREWING?
Pretty soon I noticed that there wasn’t a whole lot of activity on the ground - as in the people. 10 minutes after the usual announcements happened, 3 minutes past departure time another announcement came around, this time for a delay! What had gone wrong?
The Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) did call for a thrunderstom in the vicinity, however not all forecasts are as (in)accurate as the ones that GFK: the storm did come in, rather lightning was seen not too far off from the field, to the southeast. We’d be delayed for the next 20 or 30 minutes because all ground personnel were required to get off of the ramp: our plane was fueled up and loaded with bags, we just needed to get going.
Finally, a delay! And a pretty minor one at that. I looked at what AA’s policy was with regards to lightening: 5 mile radius of the field and use of headsets was barred, 3 mile radius and every one had to be off the ramp. This reminded me of a delayed boarding Dad had to face a month and a half prior due to thunderstorm & lightening at Winnipeg: he was on a WestJet B737 MAX 8 to Toronto!
I looked at the radar and the cell was in fact just 2 miles away, so this was a much required precaution. Everyone was delayed, for what it was worth, including AA2796 back to Miami. Except that it was delayed by an hour instead of the majority 25-30min delays.
Not much happened of course. As the storm tracked further east/southeast and away from ORD we pushed back at 1336 hours a delay of 28 minutes.
Fired up both engines and we were on our way to runway 9R. Several other airplanes were in the sequence unsurprisingly, mostly regional jets in line for departure. It was quite the sight seeing T tail after T tail launching in to the sky!
United Express end of things
On to Delta….
Lined up and took off at 1412 hours for the quick hop across. Turned west fairly soon and climbed up to 36000 feet. Unlike most of the American and American Eagle flights so far, this flight did not have the usual pre-recorded announcements.
Feeling tired and well in to jet lag season I started to go in and out of several naps. The sickly seat mate headed to the restroom on several occasions, too. Service started just fine with the usual pretzels or cookies, I had the pretzels with a sprite, we were 33 minutes in to the flight.
WiFi options -
Cruising along, 36000 feet
Checking out the free parts of WiFi
Scrolled through to see what the entertainment options were since the longer CRJ-200 does offer wIFE. I must have fallen asleep during the descent preparations, the bumps during our negative climb ensured that I woke right up, however.
Fairly soon the smoky skies over Fargo welcomed us - the wildfires from Canada not doing us any favors. Lined up with Runway 36 just fine and touched down at 1536 hours after a flying time of 1hr24min. Would you believe it, this trip actually finally came to an end! Announcements happened, we docked at Gate 3 at 1539 hours, a delay of 16 minutes.
Air Wisconsin CRJ-200
I thanked Susan for the flight, she wished me a good flight: the pilots were getting ATIS as they’d be waiting to receive clearence back to Chicago O’Hare soon. My suitcase got to Fargo too and while waiting for my ride I saw N744SK, the 747-400 that isn’t, depart back to Chicago. Here I was a month ago on a chilly morning waiting for AA3418 to Dallas Fort Worth. What a trip, what a trip!
Had to wait a little, hmmm, why not see the not-747-400 take off?
Found a crop duster on the way back!
This flight itself was fine: sure, we departed 30 minutes late, sure we got there 15 minutes late - but the flight back got to it’s gate just 10 minutes late at O’Hare. For the sake of passengers they probably made their connections just fine.
January 2016, fog delays in India jeopardizing my flight back to the USA
August 2016, an unknown 2.5 hr delay from Munich to Chicago threatening my connection to MSP.
December 2016, the trip hadn’t even gotten started and the flight from FAR to ORD was delayed by 5.5 hours, I made it home 2.5 days late.
May 2017, weather in New York delayed me 4.5 hours
December 2017 snow Grand Forks prevented me from leaving on the scheduled day, but I made the international flights just fine.
On the way back, January 2018 and a delay due to frozen fuel trucks meant that my last couple of flight’s home were no fun.
As you can tell, my run of bad luck has been something else but I have been able to learn so much more from it: one thing being booking on as few itineraries as possible, at least that guarantees the airline will put you on track. Short connections on different tickets are almost certainly a recipe for disaster. That’s why I needed to get to Miami on time, that’s why I needed TK716 to hurry up. I was glad to have seen it largely work out in my favor. I was excited to see what the future held for me, flights wise!
I logged several new airlines, airports and a few new sub types this trip…
New airlines in Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways, Thai Smile, Cambodia Bayon Air, Bassaka Air
New airports in Dallas/Ft Worth, Miami, Istanbul, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Atlanta
And new sub types with finally logging the A320neo and finally getting the evasive CRJ-700.
19 new registrations from 19 flights bringing my new registration streak up to 27.
A new country in Cambodia, new experiences, new lessons. This was an awesome trip, and I am so happy to have made it all work.
Until the next series,