Delta Boeing 767 - taken after landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Delta Boeing 767 - taken after landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

This new segment looks at the airline industry head-on, reporting first-hand experiences of air travel.

Date: June 21, 2009
Airline: Delta Air Lines
Flight: 1059 Atlanta to Seattle
Plane: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 17A/17B (flying with girlfriend)
Extras: $2 for ear phones, $5 for beer, $8 for salad

I was a little excited since I haven’t been able to fly in a Boeing 767  for sometime. I was flying with my girlfriend and it was nice knowing we would have two seats together (this plane was configured in 2-3-2 layout).

Folks loading up on the Delta Air Lines Boeing 767

Folks loading up on the Delta Air Lines Boeing 767

Had a little issue with checking in. I love using the e-podiums for speed and efficiency, but took about five minutes to have someone come to get the bag and to tell me it weighed 53lbs (3 lbs over the 50lb limit). She said they would have to charge me $90 for the 3lbs. Sigh. I got to play the “Let’s Re-Pack in Line” game. After getting the weight down to 47lbs took another 5 minutes for the lady to come back.

After that, it was easy getting to the gate. The flight was on time and boarded very quickly (I was impressed since it was almost a full flight).

I was hoping the flight would have WiFi (it didn’t), but it did have the Delta on Demand in-seat entertainment system.

I am dpb. And I am not doing well.

I am dpb. And I am not doing well.

It has movies, satellite tv, real-time airplane location, and games…yes games. The movies and games cost money ($6 for a movie and $5 to play all the games), but on a long trip, this can be worth the money. There is a free trivia game, where one can play against others on the plane. Argh. I did not do well and since it shows my score and seat #, people walking by could see who the idiot was who got 0/11 questions right. I stopped playing at that point. I swear I am not that dumb, but there were questions I just didn’t get. Found it interesting that people in first class kept winning. Still, this is quite a cool feature and I hope airlines expand on this concept (like Virgin America) where passengers can interact with one another.

Then I was excited to catch up on some Mythbusters on Discovery Channel, but my sound didn’t work. Turned on my call light and no one came to assist for 10min (it happens, I know), but I finally caught someone while the drinks were being served and they had to reset my seat. Ah, they run linux — neat. And sound worked fine after reset. I am going to say I was able to crash Delta’s on board system!

That is Bellevue, WA (right out side of Seattle) seen before landing. My window was oddly dirty.

That is Bellevue, WA (right out side of Seattle) seen before landing. My window was oddly dirty.

It was a long flight and I wanted a (grown-up) drink and my girlfriend was hungry. I got a nice cold  beer and she got a pretty good salad. Delta is still accepting cash, but prefers credit cards, so it is nice to have a choice still (although, had to watch the flight attendants try to make change which is always a pain).

About 2 hours into the flight the TV started to go out. After about 15 minutes about 8 channels started working again (there are only 18 channels to begin with — 4 of which are sports). Luckily the channel I was watching was one of the ten that worked. I have to say being able to watch TV while in flight sure makes the flight seem VERY short.

The rest of the flight went smoothly. I was able to do some work (no wi-fi, but offline work is better than nothing).

Was able to check out Bellevue, WA while landing and some sun was popping out of the sky. Yes, it was cloudy and a bit rainy, but that was ok. We had just spent 10 days in sunny, humid Tampa, FL and we were looking forward to the clouds.

My two favorite moments of the flight come at the end. #1 having to sit there, waiting for the plane to unload and #2 waiting for bags. Had a close friend come to pick us up and back home to blog!

Overall very good flight. The only downsides were some customer service difficulties. Mostly dealing with having to wait for someone to take our checked bags and no one coming when I called the flight attendant. The lure of technology let me forget the service issues, but this might have been a different story if my seat reset wouldn’t have worked!

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: [email protected]

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10 Comments

I want to complain about the consolidating of flights by airlines. I was suppose to fly out on Delta from Lagaurdia on July 2nd to Jacksonville, fl. Instead my flight was canceled due to “weather”. I took a look outside and it is partly cloudy with very light drizzle. I call my Mother in Jacksonville to see what the weather was and she said it was sunny. The next flight was the next day. That means I would have only one day with my family before I had to leave to come back. Delta messed up my whole holiday weekend just so they could make a few more bucks off me. I know the airlines are in tough spot, but to do this on a holiday weekend and ruin patrons holidays is beyond reproach. I don’t think I am ever going to fly Delta again. I don’t think I can count on them.

Jason – all airlines are affected by weather. If you think United, American, JetBlue, etc. are immune to weather delays, you’ve got another thing coming. Just because it’s sunny in LGA and JAX doesn’t mean there isn’t a weather system downstream in the network causing the delay.

I know for a fact JetBlue did not have delay much less cancellations. I had a friend who used them to get down there with no problem unlike Delta. It was not just my flight that was canceled; it was all flights people going to Birmingham, AL Cincinnati, OH Fort Lauderdale, Fl. All flights on the east coast were canceled due to weather. While other airlines were flying Delta was not. Is Delta the only airline experiencing bad weather?

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