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Thread: Freedom Airlines ORF-JFK (Dash-8)

  1. #1
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Freedom Airlines ORF-JFK (Dash-8)

    Yesterday I had to fly home from Norfolk, VA and my company put me on a Delta Connection flight to JFK, operated by Freedom Airlines.

    This was my first time on a Dash-8, and I must say I was a little nervous. Iíve never flown a prop plane before and didnít know how uncomfortable or loud it might be.

    Myself and three coworkers showed up to the airport pretty early. We ate at some place they had there (not a huge selection) and I got the chili with a coke. My shirt was hungry, so I fed it a spoonful of chili under my left breast pocket.

    Then, we almost missed our flight even though we were two hours early. How?

    After food, we went to our gate, B21, with ample time. There were quite a few people waiting there, and we decided to sit in another part of the concourse without sitting among a big crowd.

    B21 was already taken up by one flight, and our flight would be two flights later at that gate. Being that all the flights were regional jets and prop jobs, itís not as long as youíd think.

    Every little bit, Iíd go up to the counter to check to see for updates. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 3:46pm, and at 3:30, I saw no plane, and there was still a CRJ-200 parked at B21. I asked the man at the counter, and he said that the next plane would be ours, and that our Dash-8 was landing as we speak.

    I felt satisfied, and walked back to my coworkers just in time to see a Dash-8 landing. But, then I saw it taxi to the other side of the concourse, not to the side that my gate was on. I figured it was either a different plane or we had a gate change. So I went back to the gate, and the man repeated that it was still B21 for my flight, and that it would be next after the current flight.

    So the CRJ pushed back and I sat there in the more-empty area waiting to see a pane pull in so that my coworkers and I could go to the gate and board. After a while, I still didnít see a new Dash-8 land, or any other plane pull up to the jetway.

    It was now 3:45 and we were all baffled. I was asked by a coworker to go check it out one more time and when I didÖall the seats that had people waiting for our flight was empty. I asked the man at the counter and he said ďYeah, weíre boarding and about to close up.Ē I said ďWell whereís the plane!?Ē He told me that the Dash-8 was parked remotely, and we were merely using a door at Gate B21 to get to the rampÖnot actually using the jetway.

    I told him to wait a few seconds while I got my coworkers, and we all ran, literally just making the flight by seconds. How embarrassing would that have been if we missed it?
    Coworkers told me that the Dash-8 was actually fairly roomy and it was quieter than a Saab 340. They were right for the most part.

    My luggage which is usually carry-on had to be checked there on the ramp, and I took my briefcase on the plane with me, which barely fit into the overhead, though when I sat down I saw that there was a lot of space under the seat in front of me for a bag.

    The seats were actually pretty roomy and comfy. Good leg room thanks to that underseat bag space and not to bad on the armrests either, although the seats didnít recline.

    The flight was MUCH smoother than I thought it would be, and super quiet. In fact, the props humming was almost relaxing.

    Though under two hours, we received beverage and snack service at no cost. I had peanut and a coke.

    Landing was interesting. Like Iíd watch with all Dash landings, it gets two feet off the ground, coasts for half of the runway, and the gear on one side touches down two full seconds before the other. Fun.

    We landed on rwy 4R and took a long taxi around the north side of the airport, not past IAT like usual. Then when we got to the Delta area the pilot told us that we were number 3 for our gate. Did he mean that our gate was occupied with one and there was another in front of us waiting for our same gate or that there were two other planes just waiting to get into the gate AREA? I had no idea, any my curiosity got me very angry as we sat there in almost pitch black for 40 minutes (planes are dark with the overwings blocking any light from coming in the windows).

    We finally pulled in, and I was given my bag back on the ramp and we proceeded through a series of cow-guiding gates back into the terminal.

    The terminal was not a very nice one. It looked like there were so many temporary walls and it was easy to get lost. I hope itís under renovation or something.

    Overall, the flight and service was good. Delta Ramp Control at JFK sucks. Iíd fly them again if I knew I didnít have to deal with sitting there forever again, although if thatís where my company puts me, thatís where they put me.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  2. #2
    Senior Member RDU-JFK's Avatar
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    I recently experienced the cow-guiding covered walkways after flying DCA-JFK. After what seemed like a long time we got to a lull where there was an open service door with a small exit sign. It was quite strange. Delta's JFK terminals are truly odd.
    "I can't wait until tomorrow, cause I get better looking everyday"
    --Joe Namath

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    Phil, thanks for the report and glad you go to experience a Turboprop and a Dash 8 in particular. Sorry it was not one of ours but I am sure flying into JFK was advantageous.

    Cheers

    LGA777

  4. #4
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LGA777
    Phil, thanks for the report and glad you go to experience a Turboprop and a Dash 8 in particular. Sorry it was not one of ours but I am sure flying into JFK was advantageous.

    Cheers

    LGA777
    I'm going away this weekend, and have two flights from BWI home (one if I miss the first). Sunday night on a US Dash-8 to LGA, and the other Monday morning to JFK on a Dash again.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  5. #5
    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    Nice to read about flying on the dash. I've never been on one of those.

    Too bad though they didnt make any announcements when it was time for boarding!
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=187

  6. #6
    Senior Member RDU-JFK's Avatar
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    The Dash is one of my favorite props to fly on. My least favorite is the Embraer Brasilia. Flew one from PDX to EUG in the fog/rain. Miserable.
    "I can't wait until tomorrow, cause I get better looking everyday"
    --Joe Namath

  7. #7
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    40 mins bro?? Oh man your a lite weight, talk to me when your sitting for three hours in the hot sun on a taxiway at DFW ;) lol. Good report, I'm happy your enjoying your job so much! :P

  8. #8
    Senior Member cancidas's Avatar
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    Re: Freedom Airlines ORF-JFK (Dash-8)

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil D.
    ...I had peanut and a coke.
    just one peanut? didn't know you were dieting...
    it is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. fortunately, neither are aware of this.

  9. #9
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    Re: Freedom Airlines ORF-JFK (Dash-8)

    Quote Originally Posted by cancidas
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil D.
    ...I had peanut and a coke.
    just one peanut? didn't know you were dieting...
    Nah not dieting its just the service cut backs over that last few years.[/img]

  10. #10
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    You know, that really sucks since DL used to fly the CRJ for ORF-JFK. I don't think that a DH8 qualifies for that route, but that is just me. Aleast you were able to make the best of it. DL's terminal three is not very nice, it is very dark and old (have you seen that baggage claim area?), but I hear they are trying to make it nicer. DL's terminal two is much nicer.
    In loving memory of Casey Edward Falconer
    May 16, 1992-May 9, 2012

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