I arrived to the airport much later than I like to (around 5:30pm), with the avgeek in me wanting LOTS of time to explore and spot around the airport. Because of that, we were rather crunched for time, with our flight scheduled for a 7:15pm departure. In general, ATL TSA is notoriously crowded, and the fact that spring breakers were traveling in droves did not help these notorious crowds. It got to be so bad, that we were moved from the south security checkpoint to the north, with all the other airlines that aren't Delta. Despite the daunting lines, it only took us about 15 minutes to get through.
Once on the secure side, we headed over to the Delta Sky Club up on top of concourse B. This is the newest lounge, being completed in September of 2016, and it definitely shows throughout. The Club features a full service bar, clean and modern bathrooms, luxury style seating, and ample views for spotting out of the huge floor-to-ceiling windows. After we had our fix in the Sky Club, we made our way to our A18 departure gate.
Upon boarding our 757-200, I asked the flight attendent greeting us if I could hop up to the cockpit, which they happily accommodated. The flight crew was very experienced in the industry with the Captain and First Officer having flown since 1973, and 1990, respectively. We pushed back, and joined the takeoff que as fourth in line. After about a 30 second takeoff roll, we blasted out of ATL, and climbed to our cruising altitude of ~38,000 feet. After liftoff, it became apparent that there was several technicals difficulties with the aircraft, with the in-seat power outlets being broken, and the aircraft’s mood lighting not being turned on. This particular 757 had the new cabin outfit, so mood lighting was definitely an option, but I'm not sure if it was inoperative at the time, or just the flight attendant’s personal preference to leave us in a stale white light that rendered me unable to fall asleep, and left me with quite a headache… yay me.
About an hour-ish into the flight, the flight attendants began the beverage and snack services. However as soon as the snack cart got finished with my row, some pretty rough turbulence hit, forcing the FAs back to their jump seats. The turbulence lasted about 15 minutes, and then they resumed the service for about another 15, and then the turbulence returned with a vengeance, tossing our 757 around the sky for a good 20 minutes more. Once again, the flight attendants resumed the services, and by this point we’re halfway through the flight, and I still don't have a dang drink. However, I opted for the Mesquite-Smoked Turkey Combo sandwich, which while simple, was one of the best tasting “airplane food” items I've had. After the second round of turbulence, the flight attendents finally turned off the light, although the moodlighting was still nonexistent… *sigh…* .
The rest of the cruise was rather mundane; the turbulence subsided, the FAs finished the refreshment service about an hour and a half after they stated, and I explored the In-Flight Entertainment for the rest of the cruise. As we descended, the dreadful bright lights came back on to haunt us, making any chances of downtown photos on approach impossible. Luckily, they cut them off in time for our landing, so at least I was able to snag a video of that. We arrived at gate D1 in SLC, and by this time it was almost midnight back on east coast time, so we were all pretty tired even before we started the post-flight shenanigans.
I know most of this community sings the praises of commercial aviation, but now that I’ve gotten deep into the BizAv world and have seen how the other half lives, I notice more and more how rough commercial aviation really is… long lines, the plane was broken, the service was not great, the cabin and lavs were dirty… call me boogie but I gotta say I don't really see the big appeal of it all. Cash me on a G5 how bout dah??
DEPARTURE AIRPORT: 7/10
AIRCRAFT CONDITION: 3.5/10
ARRIVAL AIRPORT: 7/10