Itinerary: Oct 16 (Saturday) Flight Number: Delta 1099 757-200 Departs: Boston (BOS) 16 Oct 99 at 05:50 pm Arrives: Salt Lake City (SLC) 16 Oct 99 at 09:15 pm Oct 18 (Monday) Flight Number: Delta 1776 757-200 Departs: Salt Lake City (SLC) 18 Oct 99 at 09:55 am Arrives: Boston (BOS) 18 Oct 99 at 04:22 pm
We saw a web fare on Tuesday October 12 for BOS-SLC, but it wasn't actually until Thursday October 14 that we got around to buying the tickets. We chose SLC mainly because my husband's grandmother and step-grandfather live there. Grandpa had been rather ill of late and in a nursing home, and Grandma wasn't getting any younger. For $200 round trip it was worth it.
The last time we were in SLC we stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn at Trolley Square. Well, Marriott sold the property and the property is now Chase Suites Hotel by Woodfin. However, to "invite us back", they had sent us a $50 off a two (or more) night stay. That would bring the hotel cost down quite a bit. When Grandma and Grandpa lived in Provo they had a monstrous house with plenty of room, but their apartment in SLC is quite small, so we were bound for a hotel.
I purchased the tickets on Thursday and got back confirmation right away. However, the seats we had assigned were, quite frankly, crap. We were assigned 35D&E BOS-SLC, and had NO seats assigned SLC-BOS! I really hate not having seats, so I kicked off a note to my Delta Guardian Angel who got us 27D&F (blocking off the middle seat) for BOS-SLC. Row 27 is the second exit overwing exit row and has lots of legroom. He also reserved 30D&E for SLC-BOS (the flight was very full and it was the best he could do).
I was in class on Saturday, so once that was finished I went home and dumped off my stuff. Everything was already packed (where "everything" was two half-filled backpacks), so we picked up our backpacks and winter jackets (I'd seen the weather forecast for SLC and I KNEW it was going to be cold!) and headed out the door. Typically we take the T to the airport, going Red Line -> Green Line -> Blue Line -> Shuttle Bus (#33). However, for a change, we decided to take Red Line -> CT3 Bus (at Andrew Station), which dropped us directly at Terminal C. We left home at approximately 1530 and arrived at Andrew just before 1600. The bus was scheduled to leave at 1615, so we had some nice slack time.
The bus pulled up at 1615, and we were off. It went up I-93, then on the South Boston Haul Road, to the Ted Williams Tunnel and thence to Logan. The CT3 stops at Terminal B first, then Terminal C, Terminal E, and finally Terminal A. We'd always wondered why this was so, but once on the bus it was obvious. There is no departures-level connection from Terminal A to Terminal B. The CT3 stops at the departures (upper) level at every terminal (where there is one). We were off the CT3 at 1630.
We went inside and checked in, no problems. The Medallion line was nice and short. Interestingly enough, there are now four Delta lines: Medallion/First Class, Purchase Tickets, Check Bags Paper Tickets and Check Bags Electronic Tickets. The ET line seemed to be moving much quicker. We stopped and picked up a couple of magazines and went down to the gate (30). The 757 was already there and waiting.
Boarding was called on time at 1720. DL has a new electronic ticket reader. It can read both magnetic (traditional) as well as bar coded (new style) boarding passes. When we checked in at the front counter we were given boarding passes with bar codes on them. Interestingly enough, with both types of passes, the machine reads the pass, identifies you (your name appears on a small LCD display on the reader) and then kicks the whole thing out. No more tearing passes and giving you just the stubs. For the VFFs who have been pre-perforating passes for years, the gate agent just threw away the larger part of the boarding pass. Gate 30 only had one reader. I imagine when boarding at busier gates they have two readers going.
We boarded (door 1L) and settled down into row 27. The only minus of the seats was that the armrests didn't lift up due to the trays being in the armrests instead of seatback mounted. There was a boarding video playing while people were stowing their bags. It was quite neat. Also of note, this 757 still had a bulkhead in front of row 20, rather than a row 19 (with an empty space). Shortly after, the Captain came on the PA to tell us that the flight from BOS-SLC was going to be a full five hours. Ugh. As a result, we'd be arriving into SLC a few minutes late. We pushed back on time, however, and lined up for takeoff on 4L.
We took off and climbed quite quickly. The flight was pretty full, certainly over 80%. There were a few scattered open seats, but not many. Most people looked at the empty between us and were jealous. There was a mother and son in the seat immediately behind me. The son was banging about on the seat, so I swapped over and sat immediately adjacent to my husband. The mother quickly stop the little boy's behaviour anyways. He was very well behaved the entire flight (the mother paced with him for most of the flight).
After takeoff the FAs did a drinks service, followed by dinner. The two choices were chicken with rice and veggies or steak and potatoes and veggies. The salad was served with a cracked pepper dressing, the roll was wheat, and the dessert was an orange-flavoured cake. This 757 did not have meal carts so the FA carried out the food on trays (it was quite a lengthy process). While the FA was passing out meals, another FA was doing drinks service. There were a total of six flight attendants on this flight, two in First Class, and four in economy.
I soon settled down for the flight. The movie sucked ("Wild Wild West"), but we'd brought along plenty of puzzles plus lots of books, so we read and puzzled our way across the country. After the movie ended, the FAs passed out free headsets for those who wanted to watch the silly video. I accepted, just to see if I could listen to music. Well the music program was seriously screwed up. Music on Channel 6 was also playing on Channel 9; as a result, the music on Channel 9 was not playing at all. Well I didn't want to listen to N'Sync, I wanted to listen to the Moody Blues! The FA's also did another drinks service (that's three for the flight).
We landed a few minutes late and were shortly off the plane (door 1L). We arrived at gate D6 (our favourite gate at SLC. The views out of the window from the gate area are spectacular). The Salt Lake City airport has been undergoing a facelift in preperation for the 2002 games. All of the gates had the Olympic logo and colours on them. They were quite festive. We went down to the rental car counter and picked up our matchbox (er, Chevy Metro) for the amazing rate of $25/day.
We left for the airport at 0830. Our hotel was at 760 East 400 South, so we had to cross through the Temple Square area during rush hour. There was actually not that much traffic. Either SLC doesn't have a rush hour or it doesn't happen at ~0830. We had a nice leisurely drive down North Temple (because most of I-80 through SLC is closed due to reconstruction). We managed to find a cheap gas station and topped off the car (we used a whole 2.2 gallons!). The signposts for car rental return were very nice, and soon we pulled into the Avis return lane.
Receipt in hand, we were off to the Terminal. We could have chose to check in at the ticket counter, but the lines looked obnoxious. We chose to clear through security and head down to the gate (D13) instead. There were two agents (they later added a third) checking in for Boston. The flight had originated in Portland, Oregon, and there were quite a few through passengers on the flight. The agent who checked us in was quite amusing. He asked us the traditional questions ("are you carrying anything given to you by an unknown person?") and then threw in a curve ball at the end "Have you ever seen Bob Dole smile?". I answered "no" out of habit, because I *always* answer "no" to those questions!
On our drive to the airport, my husband had been paged, so he wanted to find a phone and return the call. Once we checked in, he did so. SLC has modernized its seating areas and there are quite a few seats marked "reserved". I'm not sure who/what they're reserved for! Just before boarding, many people were sitting in those seats. I should note that when we showed up at the counter (0850), the concourse was quiet. Come 0930, it was teeming!
They called first class boarding and waited quite a while before calling coach boarding. Someone from the plane had called to the gate and asked them not to call coach yet (still cleaning the plane, I suspect). Once that was done, they called, and on we went. Door 2L board. We sat down in row 30, stowing our jackets overhead. Ouch, the pitch in row 30 isn't nearly as nice as row 27!
It was 0948 before our rowmate in row 30 came along. I was hoping she wouldn't show at all! From the smell on her clothes, she'd been smoking in one of the smokers' pens. Just as suspected, the flight was almost completely full, certainly over 95%. We ended up with another baby near us. This one was a little younger (~10 mos), and one row forward and across the aisle. She was quite good. Her mother did her best to keep her entertained, too, and it worked. I complimented both this mother and the mother on our first flight on the behaviour of their babies.
The FA's didn't do an initial drinks service, they just started serving lunch. This 757 did have a row 19, so there was a cart available for meal service. The two choices were chicken and steak/beef. Funnily enough, one FA called it "beef" and didn't get many takers, but another FA called it "steak" and had almost 100% hit rate! The chicken was with stuffing, gravy, carrots, and green beans. There was a rye roll, balsalmic vinegar & olive oil dressing, and lemon cake. The steak had potatoes and looked like it had a BBQ-type sauce. Neither my husband nor myself had the steak .. beef .. cow!
There was a drinks service while they were serving meals. One minus of the 757 is that it took a LONG time to get the meals out. As a consequence, most people were done eating by the time the FAs got up to rows 22 or so. The FAs started serving from row 32 and worked forward. Another pair started from row 33 and worked backward. One FA served meals while the other poured drinks.
The movie was shown, "Lake Placid". Once again, bleah. I chose to pass instead. More books and puzzles, but there wasn't nearly as much need. This flight was a full hour shorter than BOS-SLC. However, the FAs did do another drinks service after the movie. It was quite a nice touch. It's been so long since I've been in coach on a long haul like this that I forgot how reasonable the service can be.
We landed early, 1605, and were at the gate for 1611. At the next Terminal over was the American 757 painted in "classic" colours. It was quite nice (but not quite nice enough to go over and have a closer look!). We reversed our Saturday route and went CT3 -> Red Line -> home (avoiding LOTS of nasty traffic on the Red Line because we had a seat!).
All in all, a good pair of flights. We left on time, arrived a few minutes late on DL1099 and a few minutes early on DL1776. The meals were decent both in quality and size. The FAs were gracious and helpful. All I can complain about is that the movies sucked, and I wished the music had worked. :-)
Next trip report: BOS-SLC-SEA-SLC-BOS in November
Back to my homepage