Thursday, 14 July 2022

Flying The Longest Narrow-body Aircraft From ATL to SFO

 Welcome to my trip report on Delta Airlines's Boeing 757-300 Trip Report!


My ride: N584NW 


Introduction 

DL769 is one of the few flights in my itinerary (17 flights altogether) that remains unchanged since my booking and as this route is one of the popular ones at Altanta, aircraft change is a possibility. The few days before my flight, the Boeing 757-200 was operated and then the 757-300 took over. With the help of Flightradar24, I got to know the aircraft at least a few days before departure, but do know that aircraft can still change even on the day itself. 

When I saw the chance to fly this airline's Boeing 757-300, I had to take it. Delta's Boeing 757-300 fleet was inherited from Northwest and so far played a big role with Delta Airlines. This would be my 2nd time flying on this model. My previous time I flew on was with United Airlines 3 years ago, you can check out the trip report on that flight over here

The Boeing 757-300 is the longest narrow-body in today's aviation. Delta and United Airlines are happy with this aircraft and looks like this aircraft would still be flying for at least another 5 years. Currently, there is not an aircraft from Airbus and Boeing that can directly replace this aircraft type. Both airlines are hoping for either one of the aircraft manufacturers to work on this aircraft's replacement so for now, the Boeing 757-300 continues to grace the skies! 

With the first leg done, it was time for the 2nd leg.




As you can see, I was on the window seat.


I clearly booked the window seat and did my check-in early. 


Later on, when it was my turn to get my boarding pass processed, the machine gave a loud beep and the agent issued a receipt to me, notifying me of my seat change. I had to look twice to ensure my eyes were not playing a trick on me! I was relocated to seat 36B! More on this in the later part of the trip report.

Transiting in ATL Airport 

My original plan on that day was to visit the Delta Museum nearby the airport but somehow I had some urgent issues to settle online, so I went to find a place instead to get it done so that means my visit to Atlanta would have to take place later on. Here are some photos of the ATL airport. 

Checking the information board, my flight was on schedule. 


It was a busy period with many flights out of ATL.

Landside 

Check-in counters for Delta Airlines 




Spirit and Frontier's check-in counters were spotted at this part of the terminal








For lunch, I dropped by at IHOP for some nice branch. I ordered extra pancakes, just had a strong craving for it, at that time. After lunch, I made up for it by doing a lot of walking. 


Airside 



There is a train system at this airport which connects the concourses. 


By evening time, it was very crowded. 


Covid 19 testing are for those travelling to other countries which still require the pre-departure test. 


Meanwhile while exploring the airport, N584NW was on its way from Las Vegas. 



History of the Boeing 757-300 

The Boeing 757-300 is the stretched version of the Boeing 757-200, launched in September 1996 as there was a good amount of interest for this type from the European charter carriers especially, it was a better alternative for these airlines when compared to the Boeing 767-200, as this aircraft can match the passenger's capacity load while costing lower. Condor was the launch customer for this aircraft. This aircraft was introduced to the world in 1998 and made its first flight later that year. However, despite the launch of the 757-300, sales of the 757 family continued to decline and Boeing had no choice to but to reduce the production rates and eventually shut down. The -300 was not the last 757 produced, that honour goes to Shanghai Airlines Boeing 757-200. The production of the Boeing 757 ends in October 2004. 

The last Boeing 757 and (-200) built: B-2876 Shanghai Airlines (now with Delta Airlines as N823DX. (1050th Boeing 757) 
The last Boeing 757-300 built: N56859 Continental and (Continental merged with United Airlines and now under the current United Airlines) currently stored. (1043th Boeing 757)

Further enhancement was made to the 757 series such as a retrofit of the blended winglets on the 757-200 and -300. This helped both types to improve fuel efficiency and range. Operators of the 757 had also an option to enhance the cockpit by installing newer instruments to help reduce the work load for the pilots and for now, if you have the chance to fly on the 757, please do so while they last. The 757-200 is being replaced by the A321NEO while the -300 version, there is no true replacement for it yet but airlines may accelerate the retirement and possibly replaced it by other types. 


Brief History of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

It all began when Mayor Walter Sims signed the 5-year rent free leased on an abandoned auto racetrack which was developed into an airfield. This airfield was named Candler Field, after its former owner and former Atlanta mayor Asa Candler. The first flight took place in September 1926 and commercial service started from May 1928 onwards. Delta Airlines and Eastern Airlines would use this airport as their hubs and Delta Airlines which is still in existence today has been in this airport for more than 80 years! 

This airport continues to grow with more flights being added from both sides of the countries. In 1957, the first jet airliner, a prototype Caravelle stopped at this airport from Washington D.C. 

The original jet terminal was opened in 1961 with 6 concourses radiating from a central building. This terminal was the largest in the country and later on more runways were built. By 1971, this airport was renamed to William B. Hartsfield Atlanta Airport. With an increase of air travel, construction of another terminal took place to expand the foothold of U.S Aviation and addition of runways were added. 

In October 2003, the airport was renamed to the present name, Hartsfield-Hackson Atlanta Internation airport. Initially, the Hartsfield's name was to be dropped but the public outcry force the idea to be scrapped. 

Currently it is a hub for Delta Airlines and airlines like Frontier, Southwest and Spirit Airlines have added more flights from to Atlanta expanding their presence, grabbing as much market share as possible. This airport also has international flights to Asia, Europe, Africa and South America continent. 
                                                                 


My ride: N584NW 

Boeing 757-351 (Owned) - Ex Northwest Airlines aircraft
Delivered in October 2008
Configuration: C24 Y210
Engines: 2X PW2043
1020th Boeing 757 built
Built in Renton (RNT)


Better quality photo by Vivek Manev (Viman Photography)


This is how N584NW looks like when it was operating with Northwest. 
(Photo: Chris Weyer)


Flight route: ATL-SFO 


Miles: 2,139 

Date of departure: 7 June 2022
Airline: Delta Airlines 
Flight: DL769 
Route: ATL-SFO
Aircraft: Boeing 757-300
Registration: N584NW
Seat: 36B (Nooooooo!!)
ATL Terminal: S 
Scheduled departure: 1659 
Boarding: 1626
Push back: 1708
Take off: 1719
Flight duration: 4 hours 30 mins 
Actual flight time: 4 hours 48 mins
Load: 100%
Scheduled arrival: 1910
Actual arrival: 1853
SFO Terminal: 2 
Arrival gate: C3 
ATL runway: 26L Departure
SFO runway: 28R Arrival




Boarding took place about half an hour before the flight departure time. Boarding the 757-300 requires a bit of time due to the single aisle access with 178 Economy seats which consists around 30 rows of seats and if the flight is full, that would take some time for everyone to settle down. This is the disadvantage of this aircraft as it takes longer time to board and disembarked and the length of the aircraft may not be suitable for the smaller airports and the pilots are given additional training (compared to the 757-200) to make sure they are well equipped to flying this aircraft especially take off and landing. 

Like mentioned earlier, I was given 36B, middle seat of all the seats! I won't mind the aisle so much but middle on a fully packed Boeing 757-300. I don't have a choice right? I had thoughts about requesting a change of seat, but that be wasting both the agent and my time. So I got onto the aircraft and and luckily for me, I was one of the first of the Economy Class to board so the row I was at, was empty which allows me to take some quick photos before my seat mates appear. 

Fortunately for me, I was seating besides 2 nice ladies so legroom space and seat width was not an issue for me. It turns out my window seat was a teacher as well so we had a good chat for the last 15 minutes of the flight. 

Once everyone was seated, it was quite obvious that the air condition was not working as I was already sweating quite a bit. However, the cabin was cooler after take off. Take-off was nothing compared to the 757-200, not a surprise as this aircraft was fully loaded with a lot of fuel on board, it was a still a nice experience flying on this flying pencil. The cabin crew had a challenging job working on this aircraft, kudos to them for making this flight a comfortable one for all of us. Unlike my previous flight (DL A321NEO), the flight was smooth for most parts with occasional bumps in between. However, the IFE system hang a few times and stop functioning for about 30 minutes before the crew managed to get it back working. We given a small snack and choice of a drink for this 5 hours flight, of course you can make purchases for snacks or drinks if you are still famished.

The approach to San Francisco was spoilt by a noisy kid, it doesn't matter since I rarely take video of landing/take off but still please behave! Without the window, I felt weird but like they say, you can't have everything! However, I felt that the agent at ATL airport should have notify me about the change, I guess he/she did that is to put a family together. 

As this flight was full, I wasn't able to get a clean shot of the cabin, so here are some photos of mine and Yu Cai's. I won't go into details of the products as they are similar to my previous flight experience with this airline. 

Delta First Class 
(Photo: Yu Cai)

(24 seats - 20.9 seat width/ 37-38 inch legroom space)


Delta Comfort +

(Photo: Yu Cai)

(32 seats - 17.3 inch seat width/ 34 inch legroom space)





Main Cabin 

(Photo: Yu Cai)

(178 seats - 17.3 seat width/ 30-31 inch legroom space)






The emergency row and Comfort + offers more legroom space than main cabin seats, but at a price. However if you have a status with any of the skyteam members or Delta Airlines, you might receive a complimentary upgrade if you are lucky. Operation upgrade/downgrade might happen especially if the flight is full or aircraft is changed, so don't be surprised to receive updates from the airline prior to departure. 









Delta Airlines has updated the Boeing 757 cabin to keep passengers as comfortable as possible.




The window seat (below) is probably the best in terms of legroom space.


The classic Boeing cabin interior. Can you imagine Boeing Sky Interior on the 757? I would love to see that somehow but I know its not economical for the airline to upgrade. 




The overhead compartment 



More photos of the Economy Class Seat 


The In-flight entertainment system 



2 charging sockets in each row 


Despite being in the middle seat, I was delighted to fly on the Boeing 757-300. This 5-hour flight didn't turn out that bad after all. 


Aircraft's lavatory 





In-Flight Entertainment 




I didn't use the wifi but this is very useful for passengers needing to work during the flight.

I always like details of the aircraft. (below)



Live TV was available on my flight



In-Flight Snack 


Window Shot Photos

Before departure (ATL airport)


After arrival (SFO Airport)


Flight summary 



Arrival at SFO Airport





I had about 3 and a half hours before my next flight, more on that in my next trip report. 

Thanks for the ride N582NW! 


After completing flying on both United and Delta's Boeing 757-300, I am pleased to say that I have flown on both Pratt and Whitney and Roll Royce powered Boeing 757-300 aircraft. N57870 and N584NW, both of you will always be in my heart. 

My rating 

Airline's website/mobile app: 4/5
Airport staff at ATL: 1/5 (For changing my seat without informing me) 
In-Flight Service: 4/5
Cleanliness of aircraft: 5/5
Condition of aircraft: 3.5/5
In-Flight Entertainment: 4/5
In-Flight snack/meal: 2/5
Punctuality: 5/5
Seat comfort: 3/5
Cabin interior: 4/5 
Overall rating: 35.5/50
Percentage: 71%
Verdict: Above Average 

Conclusion 

Despite the disappointment of getting the middle seat, I enjoyed my 757-300 ride on this almost 5 hours flight. I remembered in the past, I was skeptical about flying more than 3 hours on a narrow-body but now, no issue at all especially when there is enough legroom space and lavatory in the aircraft. With no mischevious passengers, everything went smoothly, the flight was better than expected. However, I still have to deduct points for this flight, end up with a 71% scoreline which is respectable. The long tube of the Boeing 757-300 amazed me with majority of it consists of Economy Class seats and that makes the bean counters at the airline management very happy especially if they can fill up every seats. 

Will I like to choose the 757-300 over the other aircraft types? Yes, definitely. I will try to fly the Boeing 757 family if given a choice. I remember once when I flew with Xiamen Airlines and selected one of the flights for the 757,  the aircraft scheduled was changed to 787. At that time, I didn't know when will I get to fly on this model. Thank goodness, the 757 aircraft are still flying in the U.S. 

So for those who has the Boeing 757 scheduled for their upcoming flights, enjoy the ride! Delta's 757 especially in Y class isn't bad at all. 

For my previous trip (Delta's Airbus A321NEO BOS-ATL) report, click here
For my next trip (Alaska Airbus A320CEO SFO-LAX) report, click here

Hope you enjoy this trip report! 
Thanks for reading!
Charles 


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