Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trip Report: From the Mitten to the Golden Coast-Part 1

So earlier this spring I got word that people I know would be out in Southern California for a few days at the end of August. I hadn't been since last September, and always will find any excuse to get out to the West Coast. I started searching fares on multiple airlines. Once again, Delta not only won on price, but they had the schedule and convenience I wanted/needed as well. So my ticket was booked on Delta a few months out, and the dates were set: Friday, Aug. 27-Sunday, Aug. 29.

Hotel reservations would have to be made as well. I settled on what I knew was a reliable place for the money, the Radisson LAX. I noticed an online room sale, and booked for nearly 40% off the normal rate. Quite pleased with the developments all I had to do was wait for the day to come.

Friday, August 27, 2010.
Delta 2479 - Grand Rapids, MI (GRR) to Atlanta Hartsfield, GA (ATL)
Depart 6:40am
Arrive 8:30am
Equipment: DC-9-50
Seat 10A - Window

I awoke quite early for this departure, 2:00am EST specifically. I showered and made sure I had a large breakfast/meal before hand and that I wasn't leaving anything behind. I left the house about 4am and was curbside at Gerald R. Ford Intl. Airport by 4:30am. The check-in halls were rather empty still, with a few people checking in for United and AirTran flights. I used the Delta self-check-in kiosk and had my boarding passes through to LAX in two minutes as I was not checking any luggage. To me checking luggage is a waste of time and money.

Empty GRR Check-in area at 5am.

Finally boarding was called 30 minutes prior to departure. I took my window seat on the left side of the aircraft and settled in for our almost two hour trip down.

A smooth flight passed my quickly as the sun rose outside my window. Before we knew it we were on final approach into the already warm and hazy Atlanta. I had a two and a half hour connection layover, which is plenty of time to get some coffee and walk around Hartsfield, ride the train and explore the terminals for a while. Sure enough boarding time grew near, so I wandered to the gate to get set. It was packed as expected, we were going out 100% full today.

Friday, August 27, 2010.
Delta 1755- Atlanta Hartsfield, GA (ATL) - Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX)
Depart 11;20am EST
Arrive: 12:55pm PST
Equipment: Boeing 757-200
Seat 35F - Window

My seatmate was a talkative chap from Dothan, Alabama, and he apparently fancied gin and tonics, as he orded four of them throughout the flight. I'm used to coming in over the Colorado Rockies and Utah, however our flight path would be greatly South of that, skimming Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, New Mexico and Northern Arizona. I did however manage to get some great in-flight shots, here are a few:

Sometimes all you need is some great views out the window to really appreciate what flying is again and still marvel at just what it is you're doing.
Approach into the LA metro was quick and smooth, coming in over the San Gabriel Mountains and down through the valley, downtown LA was cloaked by the usual summer smog. At 12:45pm PST we smacked the runway and proceeded to terminal five.

You can see my hotel from the plane upon landing. (above)

I proceeded right to the lower-roadway shuttle pick-up area. If you've never flown into LAX, hailing a shuttle in the crazy, clogged mess that is the arrivals roadway is an experience in itself. I hopped on my hotel shuttle and proceeded to check in at the Radisson (No interior hotel photos unfortunatly). I made my way up to my 11th foor room which had a great view of the whole Southern runway complex and terminals 8,7 and 6 at LAX. From here I changed, and prepped for the rest of my Friday.

Another great Delta experience. Two smooth and on-time flights. For what I paid I was satisfied with my out-bound trip to Los Angeles.

I will post more on my brief stay, as well as the home-bound leg later. Enjoy for now!

No comments:

Post a Comment