It was a busy but fun 10 days in Indiana, and I was exhausted. What better way to end a sleepless trip than with a pre-7a flight home, right? It was a rough wake up call, but the trip itself went well.
The price was great at $180.10 per person. Sure it was early, but the early arrival meant we’d have more time to recover in LA after we landed. As you can imagine, I was having a hard time deciding when to get to the airport. Remember, this was not just Memorial Day, but it was also the day after the Indy 500 which had about 350,000 attendees, half wearing American flag outfits. I was tempted to just sleep in the airport. (Ok, not really, but the thought did cross my mind.)
We checked in the night before and paid $25 per bag for 3 bags. Delta.com suggested arriving 75 minutes before departure and that seemed like we’d be cutting it too close. So we decided to get up early and arrive 2 hours before departure. That meant a 455a arrival. Ouch.
Of course, once we showed up, the lines to drop bags were short. The counter agent said they were really busy, but then in the same breath she said they were 85 percent full out of Indy that day. That didn’t seem that high. After dropping the bags, we headed over to the Pre Check line where it took maybe 5 minutes to get through. Go figure.
With plenty of time to kill, we went to the gate and watched the sun rise. The kids were far too awake, eagerly awaiting the inbound to come in from LA on the redeye. Once it did, the agents turned it around, and boarding began. We boarded early since we had the kids.
May 30, 2016
Delta 2844 Lv Indianapolis 655a Arr Los Angeles 825a
Indianapolis (IND): Gate A11, Runway 23R, Depart 1m Early
Los Angeles (LAX): Gate 53B, Runway 24R, Arrive 20m Early
N802DN, Boeing 737-932ER, Standard Delta Colors, 95% Full
Seat 23B, Coach
Flight Time 3h51m
This was my first time on a fancy new Delta 737-900ER and it looked really good. The seats were attractive with the Boeing Sky Interior’s giant bins and mood-lighting adding to the experience.
I sat down in my middle seat, buckled my daughter in next to me, and got ready for departure. The big screens in the seatback were a nice addition, and I started playing around the system once it activated.
The pilots came on, said we’d have a smooth flight, and then got us on our way. Once in the air, we ended up bouncing around, and the pilots came on to update us and say it would be rough for the first hour or so. The seatbelt sign stayed on but fortunately my daughter wasn’t fidgety. With Frozen on the iPad and Alvin and the Chipmunks on the seatback screen, she was blissfully zombie-fied.
I’m not sure if it was just the position of our seats on the wing or if it was the 737-900, but the turbulence created a low level vibration that sounded like a change in pitch in engine noise. It’s hard to describe it, but it was annoying.
The flight attendants came through and offered drinks and snacks. I may not know anything about fashion, but the Delta uniforms still look good. (One of the flight attendants had that famous red dress on.) My son had been waiting for this moment for weeks. When we told him we were flying Delta, he had only a one-word response: “cookies!” Despite the early hour, he downed those Biscoffs like there was no tomorrow.
In the meantime, I watched some movies while my daughter alternated between sleep and the iPad.
Once the seatbelt sign came off, I jumped up to use the lav. This airplane has those new space-saving lavs on them, and holy crap are they tight, as you can see at right. The sink is tiny, and the basin can barely hold any water.
A big group of us from Long Beach who were at the wedding were all flying home together on this flight. And one of us was celebrating her birthday. After hearing about what I did to Leslie on the way out, her husband asked if I could talk to the crew to mess with his wife a little too. I told him I’d try.
They were sitting in First Class, so I asked our flight attendant in the back if she could have some champagne brought to her as her husband’s way of saying happy birthday. She said they didn’t have champagne. I told her that didn’t really matter – it could be wine, whatever. The flight attendant said that since she was in First, she would already get all the alcohol she wanted. Right, but… *sigh*. I gave up. Then she said she’d say something on the PA when we landed. That was better than nothing.
I went back to my seat and enjoyed the view out the window while watching more movies on the screen. Delta’s map setup is awesome. It’s really easy to toggle back and forth from a movie to the map, and yes, you can do picture-in-picture.
The flight attendants came through about an hour out of LA to do one more service. Then we started descending soon after. There was a nice and thick marine layer topping out around 4,000 feet. I love cutting through that marine layer and ending up in a seemingly completely different world on the other side. We landed on the north runways, surprisingly, but we had a relatively quick taxi to our gate.
We were 20 minutes early but our gate was open. I was shocked and happy to get off, but I was bummed when the flight attendants failed to say anything about our friend’s birthday. I told her that I tried at her husband’s request, so he’d still get points for trying.
On the way off the airplane, both pilots were greeting passengers. I asked if they had any wings, and sure enough they did. My son was ecstatic to get one, and he made us instantly pin it to his shirt.
Down in baggage claim, the scene was strange. First Class bags had come off pretty quickly on carousel 2 but then we just sat and waited for awhile for the next round. At one point, an agent announced we were going to be moved to carousel 3. Then a few minutes later, she came back on and said we were actually back on carousel 2. The bags did eventually show up, but not within the 20 minute guarantee window.
Later that day, I submitted the request for 2,500 miles under the Delta guarantee, and sure enough, they were awarded within 24 hours. Kudos to Delta for following through on that so quickly.
Overall, Delta did a really nice job. It wasn’t nearly as fun as my flight out to Indy, but then again, nobody wants a “fun” flight that departs before 7a.