May 31-June 2: TRI-ATL-LGA Roundtrip on DL

Sat 31 MAY DELTA 4302 LV TRI-CITY TENN 600A AR ATLANTA 703A seat 8B

When I arrived, I went straight to the Medallion agent (yes, we have an elite line!), gave her my name and told her I had checked in online and I had requested to check one bag online (delta.com said my receipt would be waiting on me when I arrived!) Within seconds she handed me my luggage receipt! Sweet! Security had a small line, but I made it through in 5-10 minutes. Boarding was on time, all passengers, all rows. We departed the gate five minutes early at 5:55 am and took off one minute early at 5:59 am. There was no in-flight service due to the “short duration.” We arrived 27 minutes early, at 6:36 am!

Sat 31 MAY DELTA 912 ATLANTA 1040A AR NYC-LAGUARDIA 1259P seat 4B

Actual:

Boarded at 10:10 am
Backed away from the gate at 10:40 am
Departed ATL at 11:04 am
Arrived RIC at 1:04 pm
Departed RIC at 2:35 pm
Arrived LGA at 3:25 pm
Reached the gate at 3:40 pm

Total time on board = 5 hours 30 minutes

We boarded on time at 10:10 am with zone 1 first. When I arrived at my seat, I had a pillow, a blanket still in the plastic bag, a headset, and a small bottle of Dasani. This was another 757-200 transcon with the seatback IFE/satellite TV. First class (26 seats) was full. DL had another group of graduating FA trainees on board and they offered a full pre-departure beverage service. I ordered a Bloody Mary since I had been drinking the same in the CRC. We backed away from the gate on time at 10:40 am and took off at 11:04 am.

Once in the air, the FAs came by with a placemat and asked each passenger if he/she would like a turkey sandwich plate. I was completely shocked as this flight is typically one hour 45 minutes, the online description told me to expect the snack basket, and it was a 10:40 am Saturday flight (I know they have some small meals between ATL-LGA for the business crowd during the week, but at mealtimes.)

Next the FAs brought us hot towels and took our drink orders. I decided to try one of the Rande Gerber Midnight Sky Signature cocktails and I ordered the pomegranate martini, which has vodka and pomegranate. The FA really got excited and said, “This is my first time getting to make one since I have been training!” She almost ran back to the galley she was so happy! And she came back with the mixture in a glass-filled shaker and shook it and poured it into the glass at my seat! I asked her if it was good and she said that it was her favorite, but that she just turned 21 so all of the adult beverages were her favorites! I remember when I turned 21 and went to the ABC Store the first time. She reminded me of me at that age, being so excited about turning 21!

Next the FAs brought out our turkey sandwich plate, which consisted of a turkey, tomato, lettuce, brie, and dressing sandwich on flatbread; an Italian marinated side salad with tomato, green and red pepper, squash, and onion; and a really rich brownie. It was all served on china with real flatware. I must say that was a hell of a snack!

After the “snack” came the snack basket, which had the usual suspects (they are listed on delta.com.) The FA asked me if I wanted another pomegranate martini and I said yes. She went to the galley then came back and asked me if it was OK if the other trainee made it, because this was her first time making one, too! Of course, I said yes, and you should have seen the excitement! What a refreshing change, employees who are happy about their new jobs!

We were preparing to make our initial descent just southeast of DCA (around Annapolis, MD, according to the flight information on the IFE) at 12:15 pm when the pilot announced that due to the weather at LGA, we would be in a 30-minute holding pattern. We were in the pattern until around 12:45 pm when the pilot came on and said that the hold has become indefinite and that we were going to divert to RIC. He said he would keep us updated once we landed. We landed there at 1:04 pm.

I guess to prove to us that it really was weather, an FA announced that the IFE system had the Weather Channel. Then a few minutes later he announced that maybe it did not, because it was not in the menu. Then a few minutes later, he announced that yes, they did have the Weather Channel and it was under Comedy Central! How funny and ironic was that?

At RIC we stayed on the plane and the service and updates were excellent. The FAs brought out the snack basket again, passed out Dasani, took drink orders, etc. I got up to go to the lav when the crowd died down and I asked the young ladies if they had been diverted before in their training before today. They smiled at me and said no, and they did not have a concern in the world about it. Their positive attitudes really lit up the cabin and I did not hear anyone get angry. How could you? They did everything they could to keep us comfortable!

At 2:00 pm, the ground stop at LGA was lifted so we began our taxi shortly before. We were in line to take off when at 2:10 pm, the pilot came on again and said that the stop had been reinstated and that the next update would be in 35 minutes. And again, out came the FAs with the basket and the drinks! I ordered another martini and the FA asked me if they were out, would I want to try the Cosmo and I said yes. She went back up to the galley to tell the other FA that they might get to make their first Cosmo next! They were like kids in a candy store! However, it ended up they were not out of the pomegranate mixer, but they did not seem too disappointed!

At 2:30 pm, 20 minutes later, we were released again, and this time we actually took off at 2:35 pm. The FAs did another quick pass through the cabin, but shortly thereafter they were told to take their seats for the rest of the flight due to turbulence. And it was very turbulent off and on until we landed at 3:25 pm. It took us 15 minutes to get to our gate, because of the traffic backup.

I proceeded to baggage claim to wait for my bag. The bags came out, but mine had not yet appeared when I saw a group of bags from earlier flights. I walked over and there was my bag! It was marked priority and had beaten me to LGA!

The only complaint I have about this flight is that we did have some IFE issues. While I had video and music, I did not have the TV/movie audio. One FA tried to reboot the system for our row, but it did not work. However, my seatmate and I decided that one could watch the Weather Channel, tennis on NBC, and Tom and Jerry, and still understand what was going on without sound!

In spite of it being a “bad weather flight,” this has to be one of the best flights I have ever taken. The unexpected small meal, the upbeat FA trainees and other crew members, the service received, and the timeliness of the information given to us during our diversion and delay, were exceptional.

Mon 02 JUN DELTA 907 LV NYC-LAGUARDIA 755A 18D ATLANTA 1026A

We boarded about 10 minutes late starting with F. I was 18 on upgrade list for 6 available seats. My seat had great legroom, but immovable armrests.  We left the gate at 8:02 am (7 minutes late) and departed at 8:27 am (32 minutes late). The flight time was scheduled for 1:50. We had beverage and both complementary/BOB snack service, the same three free choices as usual. I had a drink chit so I had a Bloody with my free cheese crackers. I had to mix my own drink, but that was OK! The F cabin had the continental breakfast (cereal, yogurt, fruit bread) and snack basket. All of row 18 and 19F had no seatback or wall IFE, so I do not recommend these for long-haul if you want airline-provided IFE. So continues my IFE saga!  We landed at 10:12 am, 14 minutes early. Another great DL flight!

Mon 02 JUN DELTA 4209 LV ATLANTA 1215P AR TRI-CITY TENN 130P
We left early and arrived early! There were 30 people aboard and the FAs offered the standard DL bev/snacks. It was very uneventful and consistent with past trips!

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