The avgeek special (and advertised here in a thread in May), Delta’s one-off domestic A350 run. Much like the domestic 747 flights, I had to jump on this opportunity. I sweetened the pot a little bit getting to Detroit on a 757. It was a few extra dollars, but well worth it. It also meant leaving ATL before 5 am, but I didn’t care.
Operating my early flight out of gate E5 this morning was N543US. I’ve used concourse E in some capacity for 3 trips in a row. I would have never expected that to happen, especially with the inbound flight being from Orlando the previous night.
Delta Air Lines Flight 629
Depart ATL – 8:31am (was actually 8:31)
Arrive DTW – 10:29am (was actually 10:06)
I was in 29A today. Someone asked me if I wanted to trade a window for an aisle, and I kind of felt like a jerk telling him no, but I did tell him I preferred a window. Eventually he worked out a puzzle where I ended up in 28A. Works for me.
We pushed and headed for runway 8R. Ever since I started complaining about never taking off from 8R I’ve done it about 5 times. Maybe I should complain about never having $1,000,000 in my bank account.https://youtu.be/hFIGEH-VVx4
Takeoff was everything you expect from a 757, steep, slow, just fantastic.
It was a beautiful day in Atlanta, and would be in Detroit too.
Hey look I mixed my snacking choice up!
There was a little bit to watch on TV too.
Other than that I was just enjoying the ride.
We passed by DTW for runway 21L
Turning with all the spoiler love.https://youtu.be/DtMc9Obld18
After we landed on 21L we had a not-very-long taxi to gate A6.
An A350 off in the distance among other things.
And sliding in. Since my layover was 9.5 hours, I was in no hurry to get off.
N543US was about to turn to (of all places) Los Angeles.
So I walked down the beautiful terminal. I’ve only landed in Detroit 3 times. The first two times I was too young, and the last time (last year) I didn’t have any time, so I’ve never gotten a chance to properly explore Delta’s terminal. I wasn’t lacking in age or time today, so explore I did.
I don’t remember where this A350 was going other than Asia. Also the windows here are awful.
Out the window I could N543US leaving with a full load.
And in came another A350 (stupid dots)
I did take a seat a couple times to watch the Nascar race or other internet things.
I never have gotten a chance to cross the tunnel or see the lights show. Pretty cool. I got a lot of steps in today. The time was getting close for my flight. Originally we were at gate A34, and there was quite the collection of enthusiasts there based on my observation. At some point Delta pushed out a notification that our flight had changed to gate A46, and even without an announcement in the terminal you could see the wave of everyone getting up and walking that direction.
I didn’t bother with a picture, but when we got to A46 there was an Airbus A330-200 sitting at the gate. As delayed as our inbound flight was I was afraid for a minute we were downgauged or something. Thankfully it was just going to London and clearing for us. I would grant the A330-200 would be a new type for me, but that wasn’t the aim of my trip.
I didn’t note the time in my notebook, but our aircraft, N504DN finally arrived a bit late after the long taxi in Beijing. What a beauty.
So then we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. I knew we would be delayed given the arrival time. Eventually they told us at the gate we were delayed because a security sweep, though I’m told in another thread here on Airliners.net our delay was entered in to their system as mechanical. Interesting. The one thing Delta did not a good job of was estimating our departure time. Finally we did board starting at 8:37, 1 hour and 37 minutes after our scheduled departure time.
Delta Air Lines Flight 8803
Depart DTW – 7:30pm (was actually 9:20)
Arrive LAX – 9:15pm (was actually 10:41)
I probably should have gone down the route for the L2 door since I was in coach, but I went through L1. Very nice up here.
I was seated in 34A. Man that’s a beautiful view right there.
So when they finally close the door there is exactly one seat available on the entire aircraft, a no-show in seat 34C, the aisle seat on my row. I even made a remark to the lady next to me in the B seat that we were very lucky that we would have the seat between us open on such a full flight. Y’all, she kept her middle seat and slept the whole flight
Who in their right mind opts to keep a middle seat when a better one is available? She was beginning to encroach in to my space too. I’m not one for confrontation or making a stink, though. I just shutup and looked out the window.
Finally we pushed back and got going.
Another A350 idling away the night. We went way back to runway 22L.https://youtu.be/44CsC5B1-tY
Watch the video of takeoff if nothing else just for sound. I wish I didn’t have to test my phone’s low-light performance (although not bad, really). Our takeoff definitely wasn’t one to throw you back against your seat, but I can only imagine on the outside it was majestic as hell. First thing I notice, damn is this thing quiet. There was a thread on here not long ago about 787 vs A350 noise. It’s been a few years since I flew the 787, but I’m thinking the A350 was probably quieter. My seat location was roughly the same on both. You could have a conversation with your seat partner barely raising your voice, if at all.
On the opposite end of the noise spectrum the landing gear is loud as hell. That may be a bit magnified with the lack of sound from the engines, but I noticed it on takeoff, and noticed it enough to write a note about it when landing in Los Angeles. Airbuses (Airbii?) and their funny noises. I love it.
I took as many photos as I could since darkness was coming so quickly.
I don’t remember what town in Ohio this was.
We went a good ways down south to avoid a line of thunderstorms. That was my last photo until we got near Los Angeles. We had some rounds of cabin service. Playing with the wifi was fun. It was fast enough to let me stream Twitch.tv, among other things. That was cool. I wish I could have walked around the aircraft during the flight, but again the sleeping seat mate in the B seat.
We brought in in for runway 24R in Los Angeleshttps://youtu.be/HsoPYlCfCkI
I attempted the nighttime landing video. I don’t think it turned out too bad.
Some metal I don’t get at home.
777 Taxiing to SYD.
We pulled in at gate 26.
Little shot of premium select. If I was flying to Asia, I think I would opt for this.
I thankfully had no connections to make (or miss in some people’s cases). I grabbed a shuttle to my hotel, ordered some food, and went to bed. I was rather tired having been up since 4:30am Eastern.
I stayed at the airport Hilton. The views were nice. My flight wasn’t until 4:30, but my hotel checkout time was at noon. I had a few Lyft credits, so it only seemed right to find my way to In-N-Out for lunch and a quality plane spotting session.
Most importantly, the goods. I live too far away to no hit it up any time I’m on the west coast.
JA821J coming in from KIX. So on Monday the high was about 74 degrees and just a beautiful day. I couldn’t ask for any better.
HL7635 from ICN
G-XLEG from London.
F-HPJE from Paris
N440QX from Hailey, Idaho. Didn’t even realize they had an airport.
9V-SWW from NRT
ZK-OKP from Aukland.
Just before 2:00 when I booked my trip to the airport I had time to watch one more aircraft take off.
N504DN was loaded up for the long flight to Shanghai. It was a fitting end to the fun.
After all that I was dropped at terminal 1 just after 2 and waited on my flight home.
N8707P was sadly not my aircraft today. He was going to Chicago.
My aircraft arrived from Omaha just after 3pm. Today was a 737-800, N8647A.
Southwest Airlines Flight 1364
Depart LAX – 4:25pm (was actually 4:25)
Arrive ATL – 11:50pm (was actually 11:25)
Old paint, but with split scimitar winglets. This aircraft is still pretty young, just 4 years old.
We pushed right on time and taxied about 15 feet to runway 24L. Ok, slight exaggeration on the distance to the runway.https://youtu.be/vZPOtSvtVI8
Last video of the trip, takeoff from 24L. Pretty standard for LAX, I suppose. I picked the correct side to sit on for good views. I sat in seat 6A.
I have no idea what airport this is.
A champion’s dinner.
I watched a little baseball as we were in and out of clouds until we hit darkness.
ABQ as seen from 35,000 feet.
And clouds way up high. Several times the seatbelt sign was turned on and we were promised turbulence, but we got none.
The sun set as I continued watching baseball and the flight map. From that point there wasn’t much to see.
We landed on runway 8L, and it seemed very fast. It may have been the darkness messing with me. I kind of wish I had a video in retrospect. After buttering the bread on said landing, though we were ushered to gate C5.
N8647A was resting overnight, and heading to Houston in the morning. There was only a little bit of activity on the concourse with the late hour, and even at that it was mostly delayed flights. I didn’t have any bags, so I took the train to the terminal for my car and headed home.
What a fun experience. I’ve now managed to take flights on the 747, 787, and A350, all domestically in the last few years. I’m so glad the thread mentioning the special flight caught my eye on here. It was worth the money I spent on it. Thanks for reading
Careful, doors are closing, will not reopen. Please wait for the next train.