Friday, April 18, 2008

Lee - Atlanta, GA (ATL) to Shanghai, People's Republic of China (PVG) 4/18

DL19 18APR08 Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Atlanta, GA (ATL) to Shanghai Pudong International, Shanghai People's Republic of China (PVG) 10:05a 1:45p +1 day 777

Flight Time: 15:40
Seat Map

We start boarding 45 minutes before departure and I am the first person to board the aircraft. I put away my bags and get comfortable for the 15 hour and 40 minute flight. I find the handicap restroom so that I can later change into my Singapore Airlines (SQ) PJs I packed for the trip.

When I left for my Cedar Rapids, IA (CID) business trip, I also packed for this weekend trip just in case I could not get home due to taking bump (I always plan to take a bump if it looks good). I then went to the flight deck and asked the relief captain how close to MTOW (max take off weight) we were. The 2nd. longest flight on the Delta Air Lines (DL) map clocked in at 649,000lbs with a MTOW of 656,000lb so we had a little more room for cargo or fuel.

The Captain after finding out I am plane buff got up to stretch before the flight and let me sit in the left seat. The First Officer showed me the Fight Management System (FMS) computer that had our planned course already programmed. Today we would take a northerly route to the 78th parallel and then back down over Russia and into China.

I returned to my seat at 4J and was immediately greeted by one of the 11 flight attendants (FA) on the flight today. The purser, Tim, came by and introduced himself to each person in Business when he handed out the menus. After looking over the selection, I chose the Lobster Bisque for an appetizer and the Filet of Beef prepared by Michelle Bernstein, DL’s current celebrity chef for their business class for my main course.

I indulged in both white wines; the Torrenes from Argentina with starter of seared Tuna and the Sauvignon Blanc with my soup. I then switched to an Italian Red for the main course. Each time, Catherine, the FA in charge of the group of seats I was in, completed proper wine presentation with a tasting pour first. I finished with fruit and cheese and then an ice cream sundae with a Baileys and coffee.

I am completely stuffed and finishing up these blogs while watching some HBO on the AVOD system. After completing the meal, I changed into my SQ PJs from First Class and got some strange looks from the other customers and I must say it is kind of strange changing into PJs to go to sleep at what is 1pm EDT. Oh well, I plan on arriving well rested as I, just like the crew, only have 26 hours in PVG. I am excited that I will have the same crew returning as that increases my chance of free booze in Economy class (Y) on that long of a flight. More to come after sleep. :-).

So I woke up after my nap with still 9 hours to go. I got some good sleep and now am up with the crew. I have taken extra time to meet as many of the FAs as I can since I will be returning with them on Sunday. The crew has been great and the lead FA for Economy, Bonnie, wanted to see the A380 flight pics although only none of them fully understand why I would travel to Shanghai for a day. I wanted to get to know Bonnie and the Economy crew since they will be taking care of me on my return flight. Smiles and small talk can go a long way towards perks during the flight home. Part mileage, all experience, and stories and pics for a lifetime.

With still 4 and a half hours left I have come to a sad conclusion: AVOD needs more storage. I have watched every movie I wanted to see and have listened to my play list too many times to count. Its going to be a long flight home…

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