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).
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.
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!
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!