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May 27; OKC-CVG-CDG-BOM; DL/DL Conn (Photos)

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  • May 27; OKC-CVG-CDG-BOM; DL/DL Conn (Photos)

    **Note** All times are local.

    It was time to head back to India again for a visit. My dad dropped off my mom and me at OKC. We had to get into the terminal at ground level via the construction walkway and then up the elevator and into the departure/ticket lobby. It was pretty busy since there were a bunch of flights going out during the mid-afternoon time period. We stood in a very long line, but soon found out it was the wrong one. That one was only for Champion Air pax flying to LAS. Another line was for domestic DL pax, and int’l DL pax were given priority check-in, so we were summoned by a DL agent to the very front where a sign mentioning DL international check-in was posted. A short while later, a guy in a different uniform (but still a DL agent, probably the DL OKC station manager) led us to the check-in counter. We were told to unlock all three bags but keep the locks on them. They would re-lock them after they had been checked. The DL/Champion Air area had been re-arranged differently from when I saw it when we checked-in for our WN flights to AUS. The actual check-in counters had been moved up front and behind them were desks for manual inspections of checked bags. Interesting. During check-in, the guy at the counter said he wasn’t able to give us the boarding passes for our CDG-BOM flt b/c the system wouldn’t let him, so we would have to try at CVG. After that, it was off to the Concourse C security checkpoint, and the wait there wasn’t too long.

    Back in the skies…

    Date: 5/27/04
    Flight: Delta Connection Comair 5037
    STD: 1:55p.m.
    ATD: 1:53p.m.
    SAT: 4:55p.m.
    AAT: 4:50p.m.
    Seats: 10AB
    Dep. Weather: 81F, mostly cloudy and humid. Wind S at 15-20mph.
    Arr. Weather: 78F, partly cloudy. Wind S at 15-20mph.
    Equip: CRJ-200 (50 seats)
    Registration: N506CA

    C was pretty busy as usual, with the WN, Champion and DL gate areas packed. At C6 was the Champion Air 722Adv getting pax for a flt to LAS. A DL -88 was parked at C4 for a flt to ATL, while pax were waiting for the inbound from DFW in the C2 area. And across from all these were pax waiting in the C1, C3 and C7 areas for WN flts to DAL, HOU and STL. I went to the C rotunda, but saw an empty airfield. The activity was just beginning to pick up though, and soon enough, I saw a United 733 taking off from 17R for a DEN dep. After that, I decided to go back to the C4 gate area (where our CRJ would be arriving from SLC). I looked out onto the ramp and saw what must have been a couple hundred of cans of Sprite, Coke and other soft-drinks. The Chautauqua 135 came in from DFW and was pulled up to gate C2. Pax got out of the plane, onto the ramp and up the stairs into the jetway. After a very brief turnaround, it was boarded for a flt back to DFW, and pushed back for a 17R dep. The ATL flt was now being boarded and there were U.S. Servicemen on the flt as well. I said a silent prayer for them. The flt was being boarded w/ DL’s new zone boarding. I saw an AA M82 come in on 17L (which is the one just east of C), followed by our CRJ from SLC. The –88 hadn’t left the C4 ramp yet b/c the ground compressor engine start-up unit was being hooked up to the #1 engine. Once that was started, the plane was pushed back and the other engine was started. After that, the pilot took it out to 17L, and our CRJ came in at the gate. I heard more engines being started up, which were those of the Champion Air 722Adv. The DL –88 took off for ATL, and the 722 headed out to 17L also. Some pax from SLC got off our CRJ and it was refuelled. The 722 took off soon after and it got pretty quiet. Boarding time came for us and rows 7-13 were called first, followed by rows 1-6. I got settled in seat 10A. Ours was the last flt to depart Con C for a while. The FA did the safety demo, and the door was closed. Engine #1 was started up first. We used taxiway Echo and passed by a UPS 722 and an AirEx DC 9-30 on the way to 17L. We were # 1 for takeoff, and were cleared for it before reaching the end of the runway. After a quick, 20-second roll, we headed south for a while, then slowly turned to the SE, then E and finally NE. I had a nice view of OKC. We passed almost directly over downtown, then headed off on a course that would take us over Tulsa, then Springfield, then right over Southern Indiana and finally the Kentucky-Ohio region. Not much to say about the flight-it was the usual. We did pass through a layer of broken clouds, then were above all weather for another hour or so. The FA came by with drinks, juice and pretzels. I had some water (also had brought along a Gatorade berry punch bottle) and some pretzels (Snyder’s of Hannover). I also had the Biscoff cookies. At about 1:30p.m, descent was started for CVG. The FA came around to collect empty bags and glasses. The weather at CVG was pretty good, with partly cloudy skies and a pleasant temperature. I was pleasantly surprised, since the forecast for Cincinnati called for t-storms, but there were none around yet. There were a few storms about 30 miles to the N of the airport, but nothing was going on in the CVG area. Our approach took us right over the Ohio River west of the airport, then we hooked around and landed on 18R.

    [On final approach to RWY 18R. Aboard Comair 5037, OKC-CVG]

    CVG was pretty busy, with tons of RJ’s and quite a few DL mainliners. Every DL widebody at Concourse B was a 763ER though. I alos noticed that NW/NW Airlink and CO/COX had been moved from the Terminal 2 Concourse to Concourse A. We deplaned at C52 and headed right for the Con B shuttle. I stopped along the way to check where our connecting flight to CDG was at, and sure enough, it was at the same gate it’s at everyday-B5. The shuttle ride to B was pretty good. I like shuttle rides at airports, they’re the next best thing to being ‘out there’ yourself. We got off at the B shuttle station and went up into the departures level. The AF 330-200 was still at B7, and was late by abt an hr or so. It was pushed back for departure at 5:15. Other interesting jets I saw were the corporate shuttles of ACA. There were also some DL 762’s. I was pretty huibgry by this time, so we decided to camp out in the B5 holding area. I ate the sandiwch I had brought along and drank the rest of my Gatorade. My mom and I also got some snacks-Twix PBC (peanut-butter and chocolate, good stuff) and some Doritos chips. Two hours passed by pretty quickly. With all the activity going on outside, there was one thing I didn’t notice. Towers going up west of the airport.

    [My plane to CDG, operating as DL 44]

    Stormin’ Cincy…

    Flight: DL 44
    SDT: 6:55p.m.
    ADT: 7:10p.m.
    SAT: 9:20a.m.
    AAT: 10:10a.m.
    Seats: 33FG
    Equip: B767-300ER
    Reg: N1606D (cs # 2)
    Dep Weather: Mostly cloudy, sheet lightning observed. Temperature in the mid 70’s. Wind SSE at 20 mph. Visibility approximately 8 miles.
    Arr Weather: Fair skies. Temperature in the upper 50’s. Light easterly winds. Visbility: 10 miles
    Notes: Actual t/o time was 8:10p.m

    I had never been to the east side of B before, so I decided to head on out there and see what was going on there. Nothing much, just some DL M80’s and 732’s at Con A. So, I headed back. Took me only three minutes to go the length of two football fields-from the east side to the west side-courteousy of the moving sidewalks (and the fact that I always walk on the moving sidewalks). Anyway, by the time I came back, boarding had already started. Zone boarding was being carried out. We were in zone 6. I wasn’t aware of DL’s new automated boarding announcements, and while wondering why the agents weren’t saying anything over the PA system, I heard a peculiar voice. “Ahh, so that’s how these people know this flight’s being boarded.” I looked up at the info screen, and soon, “Zones 1-5” changed to “Zones 1-6.” We headed into the aircraft. Before they let us through, they checked our passports once again. It was nice to be in a widebody again. I got comfy in seat 33F. I scanned the cabin and figured the load factor to be almost 100%. Then, in a matter of 10 minutes, the sunlight went out. It was pretty neat, while boarding the plane, it was there, and in just minutes, it wasn’t. Once everyone was on, the pilot’s announcement came over the PA. He said that the Indianapolis Center had put a ground stop on all flights departing CVG. The reason is quite obvious to you by now I’m sure. Yep, there was a line of strong storms about 45 minutes west of the airport. This meant that controllers had to get all the planes out of the air that would need to be, and nothing could takeoff till then. A Fedex 722 did takeoff on RWY 27, but that was about it for the next 15 minutes or so. I looked across through the left side windows, and I could see dark grey clouds.

    [Onboard DL 44 to CDG. Planes holding for departure are a NW Jetlink CRJ, a Midwest Connect B1900D and a Comair jet]

    It had also started to rain at this time. At 7:10, the captain announced that we had been cleared for immediate departure, and we got pushed back. Engines were started up, and we started taxiing to RWY 18L. But we held on the taxiway for about 20 minutes, then started for the rwy again. Then we got on taxiway Johan, then just East of Con B and there we had to hold for about 35 minutes. Atleast 25-30 DL/DL Conn planes came in on 18L. And wow, I had never seen so many CG’s (cloud-to-ground lightning bolts) at one time! These cells were spitting them out by the second! At around 8:00p.m, the first officer said the international flights had been given clearance for departure, and we held behind a company 763ER. A few more DL mainliners came in, and the 76 ahead of us was cleared for takeoff. Then we had to fold for a few more. Ahh, the pleasures of a busy, three-runway airport. At 8:10p.m. the pilot gunned the engines and we sped off down 18L to CDG. Takeoff was a smooth one, and there was nothing down on the new DHL ramp. To avoid going through the line of storms and to get the smoothest possible flight, we headed S instead of going immediately east. The captain turned left as soon as we passed Lexington, and we started going east. Of course, the line had back-built quite a bit, and the plane was being tossed around pretty good. But the turbulence started subsiding as we started approaching NYC. The pilot kept the seatbelt sign on for a while though, b/c of the chance of some more turbulence. But once we headed out over the Atlantic, it was a smooth flight. The FA’s then began the meal service. I don’t know the full menu, but my mom and I had the Asian Vegetarian meal. It consisted of rice and two veggies, with bread and butter, salad w/ vinaigrette, cheese and crackers and a nice lemon mousse. Pretty good. I decided to get some classic rock going on my walkman. Time passed by pretty quickly and I dozed off for a good chunk of time. As we neared CDG, the first rays of light became visible.

    [Onboard DL 44, heading to Paris-CDG]

    [Got contrails? Photo taken from DL 44]

    About an hour and a half before landing, the FA’s served breakfast. We had the Asian Veg meal again. I don’t remember much about it, but it wasn’t that bad. There was a passenger onboard who fell ill before landing, and she was given some treatment by a doctor and the FA's. The pilot had also radioed the tower and requested for medics. We had begun the long descent to CDG by this time. Final approach took us over the northern suburbs of Paris, and we had been assigned RWY 9R. It was also a full-flaps approach. It was a pretty good rate of descent and the main gear met the asphalt with a thud. After little reverse thrust and a pretty quick roll-out, we headed past T1. Man, I started clicking away in delight. I won’t say much, since the following photos will tell everything.

    [Passing CDG T1 after landing. Seen here is a Thai 744, RAM 320, Malaysia 744 and a few others]

    [A Kuwait A300 and a Saudi Arabian 772ER at CDG T1. Onboard DL 44 from CVG]

    I took only two pics though and put the camera back in my carry-on. We went over one of the taxiway bridges east of CDG T1 and headed to the remote area. I saw some CDG emergency vehicles (a car and an ambulance). The patient was, I’m glad to say, doing much better now. We were taken to a remote stand (which wasn’t that remote, just S of T1) and a medical team came on board. After a few minutes, we left the aircraft, and were taken by the Terminal 2C bus to the C station. Then it was up the escalators and through security, and we headed straight to gate C81.

    The final stretch…

    Date: 5/28/04
    Flight: DL 118
    SDT: 11:10a.m.
    ADT: 11:40a.m.
    SAT: 11:55p.m.
    AAT: 12:30a.m.
    Seats: 32FG
    Equip: B767-300ER
    Reg: Sorry folks, didn’t get this one.
    Dep. Weather: Great. Temp in the low 70’s, fair skies. Light easterly winds.
    Arr. Weather: Warm and humid. Temperature in the low 80’s. Light west wind. Partly cloudy.

    It wasn’t too long before we got the green light to board the plane. There’s no zone boarding at CDG since AF handles that for DL. Once boarding was called, Business Elite pax and those either w/ a free ticket or those w/ Medallion Status were allowed to board first, followed by the economy pax by ways of row boarding. It’s always fun getting ready to walk through a jetway at CDG since everyone gets up at once and crowds the area in front of the sec.chkpnt. So if you’re claustrophobic (I’m not, thankfully), you might want to board last. Our row was called soon enough and we headed down the jetway and right onto the plane. I helped my mom get her carry-on up in the overhead and placed mine down under the seat in front. Looking out the window, I saw all the usual traffic.

    An AI 744 took off for Mumbai on 8L. Then we got pushed back, and after the engine startup and the you-know-what, we headed out for an 8L departure. On the way, I got a photo of an Aeroflot 320 in the latest cs, but unfortunately, it didn’t turn out too good. Then we passed by all the remote stands and I got my first photo of a China Eastern 340 and another CX 744.

    Traffic was light and we were #1 for dep. Once on the active, the engines were throttled up and we were headed east. Takeoff was smooth. Not much to say about this flight except it was pretty smooth. The load factor on this flight was 100%. On the way, we were greeted by some moderate turbulence and a nice light show from storms somewhere over the middle east. We were served lunch right after t/o. Here’s what the menu included:

    -Starters: Edam Cheese and Crackers. (I love European cheeses b/c they’re big on taste and low on sodium. The crackers were not bad either)
    -Entrée Selection (Oriental): Pan Roasted Breast of Chicken, served with Orange-Ginger sauce, served on a bed of Five-Spice Rice and Stir-fried Vegetables.
    -Entrée Selection (Indian Non-Veg): Chicken Rogani served alongside buttered Basmati Rice and Paneer Palak (The Paneer Palak is just steamed and pureed spinach with cubes of soft cottage cheese).
    -Entrée Selection (Indian Veg-we had this): Paneer Palak, Tomato Pulao and Aloo Dum-Tomato Pulao is simply tomatoes and rice cooked together with spices and Aloo Dum is a dish which is basically baby potatoes cooked in a spicy mixture of green chilies, onions and coriander, and some other spices. (This was served nice ‘n hot).
    -Salad: Garden greens with Cucumber Slices and Julienned Carrots, offered with Ranch Dressing. (This was ok, but airline salads are just not that pleasing.)
    -Sides: Mini Milk Roll and butter. (The milk roll was pretty good)
    -Dessert: Apple Slice Cake. (mmmm… good stuff)

    After lunch, I slept a little, and listened to my Walkman. There were a couple of in-flight movies, one e of which was “Along Came Polly” and the other one “Bardaasht”, a Hindi movie, which was ok. Well, time whiled away and soon came snack time. Here’s what the choices were:

    -Non-Veg: Chicken and Cheese on Herb Foccacia Bread
    -Veg: Croissant with Tomato and Cucumber, served with a Vegetable Samosa-Vegetable Samosa was a filling of potatoes and peas encased inside an eggwrap folded into a pyramidal shape, and then fried golden-brown. (God I love Indian food!)
    -For the sweet tooth: Scottish Biscuit and Cappucino Chocolate-Two buttery, golden danish-style biscuits and a piece of Cappucino Chocolate. (I sandwiched the chocolate between the two biscuit pieces. Man, that’s probably the best experimental combo I’ve done with something sweet!)

    Not too long after the snack was served and the FA’s had finished gathering everyone’s trays, the disembarkement cards were passed out (attached to those were the embarkment cards) and descent was commenced. Initial approach took us over the state of Gujarat and north Maharashtra. Slowly, the city lights came into view. It’s always a fascinating sight, especially when the cabin lights are switched off. As we made the turn to line up with the centerline, I saw the flashing lights of the beacon tower. The 5-mile final was a smooth one and vapor trails had formed where the outboard flap ends. It was a full-flaps landing and pretty much no reverse thrust was used, so we ended up using almost all of the runway. Aircraft that had already checked in at the gates/remote stands or were leaving: Singapore 773, AI 310’s and 744’s, BA 744, NW DC 10-30, Alitalia 763ER. We walked through the long arrivals corridor (it’s like the one in Terminal B of DFW) and headed down to the arrivals area for customs and immigration. A little feature that was added was a fountain at the foot of the escalator and stairway. Surprisingly enough, there wasn’t even a line there and we were through with passport control in less than 5 minutes. It took a while for the bags to arrive though and after about 25 minutes (which isn’t bad for BOM) we headed for the bag check. That didn’t take much long either, and we headed out the terminal to go home.

    As always, it was great flying DL. The food had improved, the FA’s did a good job. The only thing I found was that the Indian flight crew on the CDG-BOM segment was a bit too mechanical (for some reason, I always do), it wouldn’t hurt if they lightened up a tad. Overall though, great stuff by DL.

    Happy Flying!

  • #2
    Excellent report! Awesome pictures, i love them. Really add to the sense of flying. I was surprised to see a KUWAIT Plane there!! Good pics, hope it didnt make pete homesick lol
    Stop Searching. Start Traveling.


    • #3

      Thanks man! Yeah, I hope Pete gets to fly there soon, lol.

      Happy Flying!


      • #4
        Nice report
        Thanks for visiting
        *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *


        • #5

          Hey, thanks Alain! Glad you liked it.

          Happy Flying!


          • #6
            Great Report Ameya!!!

            Sorry I didn't get to meet you in humara desh!!

            Pete Ganabathi
            Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

            Fly Frontier Airlines - A Whole Different Animal


            • #7

              Hey man! Wassuuup?! Glad to see u back on the J! Thanks dude, yeah, wish we could've met. Oh well, we'll get to sometime soon, heh heh. Meet u sometime on AIM/YIM.

              Happy Flying!