bos-jfk, DL 1865 dep 1515 arr 1625 coach 757 jfk-sea DL 2137 dep 1755 arr 2105 coach 757
We managed to get out of the office by 1335 - later than we had hoped but not as late as we dreaded. We had hoped to get out by 1300 and take the T but it wasn't to be. At least we got a cab quickly and the driver didn't stiff us too badly.
Logan was QUIET!! I was expecting it to be teeming with people, but I've seen it busier on a wet October afternoon. Part of the new concessions were open in Terminal C (with a few more scheduled to be open the next day - travel day from hell). None of them were exciting. The Terminal C bookstore used to be pretty good, but now it's lame and tiny (we didn't bother going in). Other shops that were open were Lids, The Museum Store, and Wilson's Leather. There was also a chocolate shop called Truffles. It's obvious Logan doesn't have a competitive price agreement with its vendors (a la BAA). Truffles was selling Tobler Chocolate Oranges ("Terry's Chocolate Oranges" for you Brits :-) for $8 !! They're available in Boston at Trader Joe's for $2.80 and at Star Market (grocery chain) for $4. I've heard of "markup" but this was nuts.
The only decent concession was the magazine stands and they are narrow (and were very packed), so we gave them a miss. We went to check in. This was the first time we were travelling on ETKT and I was very pleased (more on that later). Funny story: the guy checking us in didn't seem completely familiar with ETKT (in fact the girl checking us in on the way back was familiar with ETKT but not with the electronic segment upgrades. Doesn't DL train the people it puts on its First/Medallion line?). The trainee he had working with him put a "heavy" tag on our suitcase (and this suitcase certainly was no more than 40lbs. We've checked it in at 60lbs without a "heavy" tag before). The trainee then put the tag on the belt ... WITHOUT the destination tag! "What about the other tag?" I asked. She grabbed the tag (it had already printed out) and sprinted down the checkin area after it. She managed to grab it JUST before it went off to the back beyond. (she later said that if the bag went off untagged she would have been called to come downstairs and tag it. How the people downstairs would know it was a bag that she was responsible for I don't know. The only tag on the bag was "heavy" plus our name & address. Perhaps they'd look to see if we were flying. Who knows). See what diligence gets me? My bag didn't get lost. :-)
We weren't hungry so we just cleared security. The bathroom (ladies - after security) was packed and filthy. No paper sheet on the wall (a la Salt Lake City) where you could verify it had been cleaned lately - it obviously hadn't. In addition, the water coming out of the faucet was FREEZING (and there's only one temp - they have auto-faucets).
We had not been able to pre-reserve upgrades on either of the legs. This is unusual - I typically have a good knack for getting upgrades. I suspect this was for two reasons: (1) large amount of people travelling two days before Turkey Day, and (2) the larger number of upgrades available due to the electronic segment upgrade program. We were waitlisted for the upgrade on both legs. As soon as the gate opened, I went up to ask. I found out that we were at the top of the standby list (yay!). However, it turned out only one seat was available so we didn't take it.
Boarding was a madhouse. We got on board 15 min before departure as we were waiting to see if we could upgrade. We were seated in row 23 - 4th row back in coach cabin. Lots of morons from the back of the plane had put their bags over the rows in the front (something to add for my Xmas "holiday travellers plea" post). Rollaboards abound. Alot of the rollaboard owners who were getting on after us seemed not to be very knowledgeable (infrequent travellers?). I first thought the VFFs weren't to blame but when unpacking the one bag I had been able to put overhead, I noticed one or two of the rollaboards overhead had DL Medallion tags.
No beverage service on the flight. Every hour DL operates the Delta Shuttle - same mileage as BOS-JFK yet they somehow manage to serve not just drinks but a snack too! Obviously the BOS-JFK flight attendants aren't as fleet footed?
Tons of children, including a screaming baby in the row behind us. Now I usually have a ton of sympathy for these babies and their parent(s) - but this mother seemed to be making no effort at all. She held the baby and his shirt practically came off (this was when they were standing up waiting to get into the row). I'd cry too if my shirt was bunched up by my shoulders!
Lots of pax were obviously connecting to International flights (being Kennedy I'm not surprised :-). I wondered if we were the only people who weren't either going Int'l or terminating in NY. I did hear one girl (who got on late and they couldn't accomodate her rollaboard) say she was going onto Chicago so maybe not.
We arrived from BOS at the Worldport, gate 2. Just about as close to the tunnel to Terminal 2 as you can get (Gates 17 and 18 are marginally closer). At least there was no major trek from gate 8 or 9. Our departing flight was scheduled out of gate 20 (closest "real" gate on the other side of the Terminal 2-3 tunnel). JFK-SEA had a scheduled (on the ticket) departure of 1755, but the monitor in the terminal and the info at the gate said 1745. Odd.
Last trip through Kennedy I really preferred Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 but that was mostly because of the business class lounge. It's hell if you're a peon. Example: the ladies rooms. There were 2 ladies rooms across the hall from each other. Each had 3 stalls (although of the one I ended up in, 1 of the stalls was out of order). These were the only two marked ladies rooms that I found in the whole terminal (although I know there is at least one more outside of the business class lounge upstairs). Unsurprisingly, the lines for these ladies room were VERY long. Also, there didn't seem to be any DL service desk in Terminal 2 (which I was hoping to find to ask about the upgrade). I did a whole lap around the terminal. It was pretty bare (although the shop selection seemed reasonable, I didn't go in to any of them). I managed to pick up a Finnair timetable (I love airline timetables), and had hoped to get a Saudia timetable but their gate area was so well guarded I had no hope at all.
I was second in line when the gate opened. I wanted to make sure we were on the standby list for F class. Once again we were first on the list. The gate agent said it looked "very good" for an upgrade (odd, as the day before when I called to ask about the upgrade the phone agent said that it looked "very bad" :-).
The plane (757) arrived from Orlando a little late, and was catered even later, so we boarded late. Perhaps they were catering the red eyes first - but don't they have to deal with this problem every day? Or was it more pronounced because of the extraordinary volume of passengers? (Although it didn't seem any busier at JFK than it did the last time we flew through BOS-JFK-MAN in September). Lucky for us, the upgrades cleared! We were given seats 4A and 6A but managed to get the guy in 6B to swap forward. Lucky for him - our seats didn't recline much (which I really don't care about, unless I'm going on a red eye) and we ended up with the dregs of the meal choice (our first choice, chicken, was all gone). The 757 was completely full and yet again they were gate checking luggage.
We left the gate late and then took the "grand tour" around JFK. We ended up taking off almost an hour after our 1755 scheduled departure time. Even more amusing, when my husband's brother telephoned to check our arrival time, he was told our plane was on time (even though we were being told on board that we would arrive 30 min late!).
Dinner was decent. It seemes that each cabin crew set has their own way of serving meals in F. Some serve the appetizer, then the salad, then the entree, then the dessert. Our cabin crew served the appetizer and salad together on the meal tray, then they served warm bread from baskets, took away the salad and appetizer plantes, and gave us our entree. Then the whole tray was taken away and they rolled a cart down the aisle with ice cream - vanilla, either one or two scoops. There were cherries, hot fudge, and whipped cream. You could have any or all (or even none). I had hot fudge and whipped cream. My husband had the works. The ice cream sure is better than those horrible cobblers (usually apple or peach) that DL used to serve.
The movie was scheduled to be a drama of some type, but obviously because of the large number of children on the flight they instead showed "Leave It To Beaver". I passed (as did hubby). Hubby and I did puzzles the whole way instead. We're pretty adept at whiling away the hours on planes.
Landing was 2140 or about 30 min late. Our single suitcase was one of the first 10 to come off the belt. Yay!
scheduled - 2 Dec (Monday)
sea-slc, DL 1680 dep 1215 arr 1303 coach L1011 slc-bos DL 1898 dep 1645 arr 2306 coach 767-200
SEA-SLC, L1011. It didn't quite seem a standard Tristar 1, but it definitely wasn't a -500 either. Once we arrived home and checked we found it was a -250 (converted from a -1). N741DL. There was a moving map display on board (we've never seen that domestically before). We had managed to secure an upgrade for SEA-SLC (but were waitlisted on 1898, our favourite flight from the west coast through SLC to BOS).
We departed SeaTac to the south (as usual) and flew between Mt Rainier and Mt St Helen's. Rainier was magnificent - snow capped in the early afternoon sun.
The flight had a snack in F only. Tex Mex salad. We had had half of a bagel sandwich each before boarding (smoked turkey with tomato - yummmm) and had eaten it in the gate area. We've gotten to the point where we almost always bring snackish food with us just in case the airline is late in serving meals (due to leaving the gate late). Quite a few people in coach had brought meals with them on board. Smart, since there was no food service in the back.
Tex Mex Salad was a bed of greens (iceberg & romaine) with kidney and black beans (I picked most of them off - too beany for me), with hot fajita-type chicken and tortilla strips on top (no cheese - shame. Monterey jack would have been very nice). There was dressing - "Albuquerque Ranch" which had a bit of a kick. Dessert was chocolate cake. We had brought our own Dr Pepper on board (much to the amusement of the FAs) since DL stopped serving it.
Arrival at SLC was a bit late (1507, scheduled 1503). We spent a nice hour chatting with hubby's (Salt Lake City-residing) grandparents and uncle. I went to the gate to see if we could upgrade SLC-BOS. There were 4 people for F who hadn't checked in yet, and 4 people ahead of us on the wait list. Obviously that upgrade wasn't meant to be. I wasn't too concerned. Since the 767 is 2-3-2 we'd at least have only each other to be smushed against (and not some stranger).
We boarded early (ahh, Medallion). We were in 12 F & G, the far pair of the 767-200. Oddly enough when we got onto the plane, we found there were "occupied" cards on our seats. I asked one of the FAs who said we should just sit there and bring it up with her if someone came to claim the seats. Oddly enough when we had checked in at SEA our seats on the SLC-BOS leg had somehow become unassigned. The ticket agent did manage to rescure our original seats (previously mentioned 12 f & g).
We pushed back on time but sat on the tarmac waiting for a 767-300 (which had been at the bottom of the C concourse) to pull out. I can't tell you what happened next as I fell asleep and the next thing I knew we were at 37,000 and they were showing the movie preview! I don't even know what movie was showing - I wasn't about to fork out $5 for air-forced headphones which hurt my ears.
Dinner was the exact same meal we had on this flight in November - beef sliced with tomato sauce, potatoes au gratin, and g reen beans. It was blah last time and blah this time. Dessert was an overly sweet chocolate cake (since DL started paring off their meal costs their desserts have gotten sweeter and sweeter).
We were put into a holding pattern over Logan due to "heavy traffic" which is Boston-speak for "weather". The approach was rough (although not nearly as rough as the approach to CVG I had Turkey Day 1994. Oddly enough, the SEA-SLC leg was one of the smoothest I had ever flown. Nary a bump. SLC-BOS was alright through most of the flight but was very bumpy at the end.
We landed a good 35 minutes late (2340) and didn't get our bags until 0005. Hubby had checked the cab line in Terminal C - absolutely nuts. So we did what we have done before: walked to Terminal E and got a cab there. Logan feeds from one cab pool. We got a cab at Terminal E with no waiting. We were home by 0025.
All in all, I really really liked travelling on ETKT. I would definitely do it again (lucky for me, as I'm booked on another one at Christmas :-). It was nice not having to have anything but my ID with me (and my flight number, which I always know :-). I suspect for somebody who wasn't checking bags it could be a minus but I was checking luggage and had to stop at the ticket counter anyways. Some of the agents (as mentioned before) were not very knowledgeable about ETKT but I suspect that will smooth out over time. DL did a very good job all in all. BOS was certainly over-staffed (outbound). My only complaint was the late arrival at BOS and that was hardly DL's fault. BOS always is a mess when there are weather conditions.
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