View Full Version : Trip Report: LGA-DCA-JFK on Delta

01-16-2007, 11:03 AM
I decided to visit my friend who lives in DC and is at Georgetown Med. We went to college together and were planning on catching up with some of our Raleigh friends who were driving up for the extended weekend. I booked the trip on Orbitz out of sheer laziness.

Here was the itinerary going down to DC:
Friday, January 12, 2007
Delta Shuttle Flt. 1967 Departs LGA at 7:29PM, Arrives DCA at 8:45PM
Gate: SH4
Aircraft: MD88 Shuttle

I left the office around 4PM and hopped on the 4 at Fulton Street to Grand Central where I got the 7. The local was packed, and it was hard to stand with my duffel bag with the continuous stream of commuters entering and leaving the train. I got off at 74th Street-Broadway which was an absolute zoo. I finally made my way around the slow people and the sign-less station to the Q47 bus, which I caught just before it left. Our bus driver loved to use his brake at the last possible second making the ride quite uncomfortable. We passed all the jewelry stores of 74th Street and eventually made our way past the LaGuardia Landing Lights and to the Marine Air Terminal.

I arrived at the Marine Air Terminal by 5:10 or so. The rotunda was nice and empty, and there was no line at the kiosks, but the touch screens were difficult to use. You really needed to try multiple times to enter the required information. TSA security was slow due to a woman who kept setting off the metal detector. I was hoping to clear security to hop on the 5:30 Shuttle. I made it through by 5:23 or so, and ran to Shuttle Gate 4. The 5:30 had about 60 people aboard according to the screen. I asked if I could hop aboard since I was on the 7:30. They looked at the ticket, and since was T class, they said I'd have to pay $258. Same with the 6:30 shuttle. Grrrrrrrrr. The aircraft was half empty, and the 7:30 was overbooked, so why couldn't they put me on the 5:30??? US Airways let me on the earlier one last month at the same peak travel time (late PM on a Friday). So I had to wait around for awhile. Oh well.

I decided to check out the magazine rack in the corridor past security. I picked up a USA Today and read, then I called the girlfriend. Eventually, 6:45 rolled around, and I meandered my way towards the unofficial line forming. The Delta Rep said there was no line forming, but everyone lined up anyways. The flight was delayed, and we boarded at 7:25. I was in the second row aisle on the 2-seat side. The flight was completely full, and one passenger was turned away. By 8:00 we were airborne. Service consisted of drinks (I had a complimentary Miller Lite) and a snack bag. In the bag was a pack of crackers, Gouda Cheese, Oat Granola Bar, Peppermint, and Milky Way. Not much else to report from the flight. The service was quick and efficient, and it was so nice to be sitting in the front section of the aircraft. It's so much quieter up there, and you are the first off; you don't have to wait for slow people with their clumsy rollaboards. Flight time was 45 minutes even, and we had a great turning approach into DCA--one of my favorites. We were on the ground and in no time at the gate. My friends picked me up at the pick-up curbside and the weekend commenced.

Highlights included 4 good football games on TV, a trip to the National Zoo, The National Gallery, lots of walking and a great time.

It was time to head back home on Monday, so my friend dropped me off at DCA at 8:15 for my 10:30am flight.
Monday January 15th
Delta Flight 5610 (Comair) Departs at 10:30am, arrives at JFK 11:45am.
Aircraft: CRJ

I decided to fly back to JFK because it's closer to my house in Brooklyn, and I wanted to check out some Delta Hub action. I approached the kiosk and typed in the info, and requested to change seats. I had 6C, but 1B was available. I went to select, but the damn thing froze. An agent procesed me but said 1C needed to be assigned at the gate. So I went through security, grabbed a USA Today from the LGA shuttle area, and read for awhile. I got a croissant. There were limited eateries on the concourse where I was (rightmost terminal B, high-teens low twenties gates). The flight was inbound from Huntsville, I think. We boarded around 10:15. I was called and got seat 1B and proceeded to board. I checked my duffel planeside and boarded the old aircraft. The reg is at home--will get it tonight. There were 48 pax aboard, but we needed to take on extra fuel so 3 volunteers were requested for $200 Delta Dollars. I almost did it, but I remembered the last time I did that, and how it was very difficult to redeem them. 2 people volunteered, and a non-rev FA was pulled off by the gate agent. Apparently she had some words for the crew, as I heard our FA and the gate agent talking about how rude the non-rev was and that she should know the rules. Bu 10:45 we pulled away and sat in DCA's penalty box for awhile due to ATC hold in effect in NYC. By 11:05 we took off due south and were on our way. I love the whine of the CRJ's engines on takeoff--it's the only think I like about these aircraft.

Service consisted of a choice of cheese crackers, nuts, or biscoff crackers (I had the latter) and bottled water. Flight was smooth and quick.On approach to JFK the aircraft got darker and darker as we descended into the low cloud base. I don't remember which runway we landed on, but it was quite foggy. We taxied ang I got a great view of the T5 progress and the T9 progress. Nothing interesting parked at any of the terminals. We arrived at Gate 23, Terminal 2 (my first time there, thus completing the circle! I now have departed or arrived from all of JFK's present terminals!) Lots of CRJ and Dash 8 action. I was surprised how nice T2 is! Sure there's some construction but I got the feeling of being in a Delta hub. It was great! As I walked through I noticed departures to Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa. On the board, Syracuse and Hartford flights were cancelled. I made my way to a taxistand and headed home.

Overall it was a great trip and I enjoyed Delta's service. I love the snack packs given out on Delta, but I did not like the unassigned seats, as you must wait in line. I also did not enjoy not being accomodated on an earlier flight when there were plenty of empty seats and no one else requesting to be on this flight as well.
DC is a great city, and I hope to take a day trip there again soon. I also loved the JFK hub scene, and I want to fly to/from there again soon, maybe to RDU. Delta did a good job, and I might give them more business if the price is right.

Hope you enjoyed reading!