#2252 – 2018 Year End Trip (Part VI: AUS-ATL-LGA on Delta A321’s Main Cabin)


Posts in the 2018 Year End Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Miami
3. Part II: Miami
4. Part III: Miami Beach
5. Part IV: Getting to Austin
6. Part V: Austin
7. Part VI: Getting to New York
8. Part VII: New York
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe

As I would like to fly to LaGuardia Airport (LGA) on this trip, I had to dismiss the direct flight options between Austin and New York which were only available to John F. Kennedy (JFK) or Newark (EWR), if the latter counted as New York, haha 😛 . I then decided to book an itinerary with Delta with a transit in Atlanta, which wasn’t that bad of a detour actually, as shown in the following map:

The routing this time around. From gcmap.com

I took an Uber to get to the airport after having my breakfast at the hotel. It was a Sunday morning so the traffic was clear, amazing! It was then the usual stuffs, I checked-in, checked-in my luggage all the way to LGA, cleared the security, and arrived at the boarding gate. As I was only flying domestic this time around, I wasn’t entitled for access to the Delta Sky Club unfortunately.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Anyway, I was excited for today’s itinerary because it would be my first time with Delta’s “proper” domestic service. I had had three domestic flights with Delta’s mainline before, but all of those were with their older airplanes which weren’t equipped with IFE screens (an MD88, a Boeing 717, and an MD90), haha. This time, both of my flights would be operated with their new Airbus A321-200! And Delta equipped their A321s with IFE screens (and sharklets 😛 ), so I was excited! Haha 😛 .

A Delta’s Airbus A321-200 reg N320DN at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

My first flight today would be operated with N320DN. Boarding went smoothly, and I settled onto my 15F seat. I didn’t clear the upgrade this time around, and I knew I wouldn’t clear any upgrades on either flights today. Anyway after boarding completed, the door was closed and we departed. Unlike JetBlue, the safety demo was played via the IFE screens.

Delta’s A321 safety demo

We took off from runway 17L, so see you Texas! Anyway, it was a nice, smooth flight with Delta. A snack and drink service was provided on the flight, in which I learned that apparently they also offerred the healthier dark chocolate bar option as snack, so I got myself that, haha. Oh, and of course the “regular” wifi connection was available too, which was free for text messaging and for streaming the IFE content.

The complimentary snack and drink on board a Delta’s domestic flight

Speaking of the IFE, the screen was actually the same (or at least similar) to the one they had on their Airbus A330s! Including the content! So it was actually great (and, thus, the IFE was better than JetBlue’s). This IFE actually also introduced me to the show The Orville, a science-fiction comedy drama with a lot, lot, lot of resemblance to … Star Trek! Think of it as Star Trek with heavy injection of comedy and drama. Haha 😆 . Too bad though I can’t find it in my Netflix, hmmm…

Anyway, about two hours later we landed at runway 26R of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Yep, I was back to this busiest airport in the world in terms of passengers traffic! I could see why, though, there were just a lot of people! Haha 😛

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

N320DN parked at Concourse B and I saw on the screen that my connection to LaGuardia would depart from Concourse T. I thought Concourse T was adjacent to Concourse A so I decided to stretch my legs and walk, through the corridor in the photo above. But it turned out not, so in the end I took the people-mover from Concourse A to T, haha.

A steak at TGI Fridays

As I had quite a long transit time (about 3 hours), I decided to have lunch at TGI Fridays. Upon asking for a table, the waitress made sure that my boarding time would be in more than 30 minutes, haha. I ordered myself a steak and a cider.

A Delta’s Airbus A321-200 reg N340DN at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

I then waited at the gate for my second flight to LaGuardia. Long story short, it was announced that the flight would be a little bit delayed today because the mechanic had to do a minor repair on the plane, N340DN, at the time. The departure delay wasn’t that bad, at just less than 30 minutes.

Seat 27A on board a Delta’s Airbus A321-200

Boarding was smooth, again, and I settled onto my seat, seat 27A, which perhaps was the best Main Cabin (economy) seat on Delta’s A321s! Why, because it was an emergency exit row window seat just after the L3 door with amazing legroom, and there was actually a window too! Haha 😛 .

Seat 27A’s legroom

Though, the drawback of this seat was that the IFE screen was mounted at the side of the seat and had to be stowed upon taxi, take-off, and landing, haha.

We took off from runway 27R and then made a turn towards New York. Service was pretty much the same as in the previous flight, and I continued watching The Orville. It was overall another pleasant domestic flight with Delta!

On board Delta’s Airbus A321-200 reg N340DN

Anyway, the reason I really wanted to fly to LaGuardia on this trip was because of the amazing approach and landing view. How amazing? Well, here is the view just a few minutes before landing:

Yeppp, on approach to the airport, we were flying above New York and I got this super amazing ultimate cool view of Downtown Manhattan!! 😍😍😍😍😍 Upon researching the flight path, I knew I would get a good chance of this view if I would sit on the left side of the plane, which also partially was the reason why I chose seat 27A. I even forewent my upgrade request (not that I would have cleared it in the first place, though) because I didn’t want to risk getting move to a non left-side window seat! Haha 😛 .

Landing on LaGuardia was surreal. Just moments before touchdown at runway 31, we were actually flying just above a lot of high-rise apartment buildings!! I was so in awe that I literally forgot to take pictures nor videos for InstaStory! 🙈 It was truly amazing!

Long story short, N340DN then parked at a gate in the terminal. I then realized another downside of seat 27A. Being located at the rear part of the cabin, I had to wait for quite some time before I finally could get off the plane, haha.

New York LaGuardia Airport’s bus stop

Anyway to get to Manhattan, I would like to go with the public transport option. I took the Q70 Select Bus service to Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street from where I could transfer (on the same ticket) to a New York’s subway to Downtown Manhattan. I would have to say that LGA and JFK were pretty much equal overall, convenience-wise, in terms of getting to Downtown Manhattan with public transportation.



Posting-posting dalam seri perjalanan akhir tahun 2018:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Miami
3. Part II: Miami
4. Part III: Miami Beach
5. Part IV: Getting to Austin
6. Part V: Austin
7. Part VI: Getting to New York
8. Part VII: New York
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe

Karena aku maunya terbang ke Bandara LaGuardia (LGA) di perjalanan ini, aku harus mengesampingkan pilihan penerbangan langsung antara Austin dan New York. Ini karena penerbangan langsungnya mendarat di Bandara John F. Kennedy (JFK) atau Newark (EWR), kalau yang kedua masih dihitung New York sih, haha 😛 . Aku kemudian memutuskan untuk membeli tiketnya Delta dengan transit di Atlanta, yang mana ternyata bukanlah lokasi transit yang jelek-jelek amat kalau berdasarkan peta di bawah ini ya:

Rute kali ini. Dari gcmap.com

Aku naik Uber untuk berangkat ke bandara setelah sarapan di hotel. Karena Minggu pagi, jalanannya lancar banget, asyik banget dah! Lalu seperti biasa, aku check-in, memasukkan bagasi, melalui pemeriksaan sekuriti, dan tiba di gerbang keberangkatan. Karena aku hanya terbang domestik kali ini, sayangnya aku tidak mendapatkan akses ke Delta Sky Club.

Bandara Internasional Austin-Bergstrom

Anyway, aku merasa excited dengan itinerary hari ini karena ini akan menjadi kali pertama aku terbang dengan Delta dengan layanan domestik “yang benar”. Sebelum ini aku sudah terbang domestik tiga kali dengan Delta mainline, tetapi ketiganya adalah dengan pesawat-pesawatnya yang tua yang tidak dilengkapi dengan layar IFE (MD88, Boeing 717, dan MD90), haha. Kali ini, kedua penerbanganku akan dioperasikan dengan Airbus A321-200nya mereka yang baru! Dan Delta melengkapi A321nya dengan layar IFE loh (dan sharklets juga 😛 ), jadilah aku excited! Haha 😛 .

Airbus A321-200 rego N320D milik Delta di Bandara Internasional Austin-Bergstrom

Penerbangan pertama hari ini akan dioperasikan dengan N320DN. Boarding berlangsung mulus, dan aku duduk di kursi 15F. Aku tidak dapat upgrade kali ini, tapi toh aku sudah tahu aku tidak akan mendapat upgrade sih di kedua penerbangan hari ini. Anyway setelah boarding selesai, pintu ditutup dan kami berangkat. Tidak seperti JetBlue, peragaan keselamatan dimainkan di layar IFEnya.

Peragaan keselamatan A321nya Delta

Kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 17L, sampai jumpa Texas! Anyway, ini adalah penerbangan yang mulus dan nyaman dengan Delta. Layanan snack dan minuman diberikan di penerbangan ini, yang mana aku baru tahu bahwa ternyata mereka juga menyajikan pilihan dark chocolate bar yang lebih sehat, jadilah aku memilihnya. Oh, dan koneksi wifi “reguler” juga ada di penerbangan ini, yang mana bisa digunakan gratis untuk apps pesan (WA, Facebook Messenger) dan untuk streaming konten IFEnya.

Layanan snack dan minuman komplimen di penerbangan domestiknya Delta

Ngomongin IFEnya, layarnya ternyata sama (atau setidaknya mirip lah) dengan yang mereka miliki di pesawat Airbus A330 loh! Termasuk isinya! Jadilah IFEnya bisa dibilang bagus (sehingga, menurutku lebih oke daripada miliknya JetBlue). IFE ini juga mengenalkanku dengan acara The Orville, sebuah fiksi ilmiah drama komedi yang sangat amat mirip banget dengan … Star Trek! Bisa dibilang acaranya adalah Star Trek dengan banyak suntikan komedi dan drama lah, huahaha 😆 . Sayang banget nih acaranya tidak bisa kutemukan di Netflix-ku, hmmm…

Anyway, sekitar dua jam kemudian kami mendarat di landasan pacu 26R Bandara Internasional Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson. Yep, aku kembali di bandara tersibuk di dunia dalam hal jumlah penumpang ini! Aku bisa lihat mengapa sih, bandaranya memang ramai banget! Haha 😛

Bandara Internasional Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson

N320DN parkir di Concourse B dan kulihat penerbangan lanjutanku ke LaGuardia akan diberangkatkan dari Concourse T. Aku kira Concourse T berdekatan dengan Concourse A, jadilah aku memutuskan untuk sekalian meluruskan kaki dan berjalan-kaki kesana, melewati koridor di foto di atas. Ternyata aku salah, jadilah akhirnya aku menaiki people-mover-nya juga dari Concourse A ke T.

Steak di TGI Fridays

Karena waktu transitku cukup lama (sekitar 3 jam), aku memutuskan untuk makan siang di TGI Fridays. Ketika meminta meja, pelayannya memastikan bahwa waktu boarding-ku masih lebih dari 30 menit kemudian, haha. Aku memesan steak dan cider.

Airbus A321-200 rego N340DN milik Delta di Bandara Internasional Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson

Aku kemudian menunggu di gerbang untuk penerbangan keduaku ke LaGuardia. Singkat cerita, diumumkan bahwa keberangkatan akan sedikit terlambat karena mekaniknya harus melakukan suatu perbaikan minor dulu di dalam pesawatnya N340DN. Keterlambatannya nggak parah sih, nggak sampai 30 menit.

Kursi 27A di pesawat Airbus A321-200nya Delta

Boarding berlangsung mulus, lagi, dan aku duduk di kursiku, kursi 27A, yang mungkin merupakan kursi Main Cabin (ekonomi) terbaik di A321nya Delta! Mengapa? Karena kursinya adalah kursi jendela di baris emergency tepat setelah pintu L3 sehingga legroom-nya oke bangett, dan juga memiliki jendela! Haha 😛 .

Legroom di kursi 27A

Walaupun kekurangan dari kursi ini adalah layar IFEnya berada di samping kursi dan harus disimpan ketika taxi, take-off, dan landing sih, haha.

Kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 27R dan kemudian berbelok menuju New York. Layanannya kurang lebih sama seperti di penerbangan sebelumnya, dan aku melanjutkan menonton The Orville. Keseluruhan ini adalah penerbangan domestik yang nyaman dengan Delta!

Di dalam Airbus A321-200 rego N340DN milik Delta

Anyway, satu alasan aku maunya terbang ke LaGuardia di penerbangan kali ini adalah karena pemandangan approach dan landing yang keren banget dari bandara satu ini. Memangnya kayak gimana sih? Nah, berikut ini pemandangan beberapa menit sebelum mendarat:

Yeppp, ketika approach, kami terbang tepat di atas New York dan aku mendapatkan pemandangan super keren banget dari Downtown Manhattan!! 😍😍😍😍😍 Nah ketika meriset-riset flight path-nya, aku tahu peluang untuk mendapatkan pemandangan ini baik jika aku duduk di kursi jendela di sisi kiri pesawat, yang mana juga menjadi salah satu alasan aku memilih 27A. Bahkan aku merelakan rikues upgrade-ku di penerbangan ini (yang mana sebenarnya toh nggak akan aku dapat juga sih, haha) karena aku tidak mau ada risiko dipindah ke kursi yang bukan kursi jendela di sisi kiri pesawat! Haha 😛 .

Pendaratan di Bandara LaGuardia itu benar-benar keren banget dah. Sebelum touchdown di landasan pacu 31, pesawat terbang rendah dan (nampak) dekat banget dengan banyak gedung-gedung apartemen yang bertingkat lumayan tinggi!! Wuih beneran aku terpesona banget sampai-sampai aku kelupaan mengambil foto atau video untuk InstaStory! 🙈 Benar-benar keren banget!

Singkat cerita, N340DN parkir di gedung terminal. Lalu aku menyadari satu lagi kekurangan kursi 27A. Karena berlokasi di bagian belakang pesawat, aku harus menunggu lumayan lama sebelum akhirnya bisa keluar pesawat, haha.

Halte bus di Bandara New York LaGuardia

Anyway untuk pergi ke Manhattan, aku ingin naik transportasi umum kali ini. Jadilah aku naik Select Bus nomor Q70 ke Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street darimana aku bisa berlanjut (dengan tiket yang sama) dengan subway-nya New York ke Downtown Manhattan. Harus kubilang ternyata LGA dan JFK kurang lebih setara sih secara kenyamanan dalam hal transportasi ke Downtown Manhattan dengan transportasi umum.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. niee says:

    wow, legroomnya keren banget ya. Tapi aku takut kalau bawa si K ntar dia ngangguin orang di depannya, hahahaha

    1. zilko says:

      Iya, legroom-nya oke Niee 😀 .

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