Delta A320 Short Haul - Perfectly Satisfactory

Delta A320 MSP-MKE

Flight Details

Departure Airport: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport (MSP/KMSP)
Arrival Airport: Milwaukee/Mitchell International Airport (MKE/KMKE)
Airline: Delta Air Lines
Date: April 12th, 2024
Departure Time: 12:52 PM (CST)
Arrival Time: 1:43 PM (CST)
Flight Number: 2955
Aircraft: Airbus A320-211 (N342NW)
Seat: 21A


Traveling through MSP is a very streamlined experience. We got to the airport around 11:15 in an Uber, and were dropped off right in front of the Delta check in area at Terminal 1, which is absolutely massive (around 130 gates). It was extremly busy, but the Airport Police did a great job at efficiently directing traffic around some blocked off areas for construction to minimize the buildup of traffic jams. We were only staying in Milwaukee for a couple of nights, so we just had a rolling back we planned to bring on the plane and store in the overhead bin.

TSA was also quite busy, but the TSA PreCheck line moved fast, and we got through in less than 5 minutes. I got randomly flagged me for additional screening, so they had to do this swab thing on all my electronics, which was no big deal. When they got to the last thing in my bag, my Kindle, the machine that they put the swab in to test stopped working. I’m not sure about the details, just that it was a weird error code and that he had to get a supervisor. The supervisor came over and tried to clear the error with his passkey, but that didn’t work. The supervisor had to get his supervisor, who I guess what the manager of that shift. She was nice, and also couldn’t figure it out. She got the K-9 officer (with the dog, who’s vest identified him as “Hank” @United403 summon), who I guess was able to asses the Kindle for any illicit substances/explosives.

Not a big deal, just kind of annoying. But Hank was a cute doggo, so it all worked out.


Once we were finished with TSA, we went to Firehouse Subs and got sandwiches (very good, would definitely recommend). We had some time to kill, so we took the tram over to the D gates, to access the little - known spotting deck within the terminal (Spotting topic coming soon). From there, I was able to see our aircraft for the day, parked at C3, having just arrived from Calgary. Eagle eyed readers will spot WestJet’s Frozen livery, which was prepping to return to Saskatoon. This aircraft will return to WestJet’s regular livery soon, so this was a special catch.


At the gate, it was announced that this was a completely full flight, and they were asking for volunteers to gate check their bags. We decided to do it, since we weren’t in a huge rush once we landed, and it was free anyways. Boarding started 2 minutes late, and I took my seat in 21A, with a very dirty window. The aircraft next to us, over at C4, was a 717 loading up for Kansas City.


The seat was comfortable, with a supple amount of legroom. Despite ample time between flights, it seems that the cleaning crew was not able to make it on the plane to spruce it up. The seat was grimy and the headrest was sticky. There was some kind of yogurt - like substance on the tray table, and fingerprints all over the screen. The flight attendant noticed the mess on the tray table and gave me a few Clorox wipes, which I put to good use.

We pushed back a couple minutes ahead of schedule and made the short taxi to 31L. The captain had told us to expect some light bumps throughout the flight, which matched what I has seen on the PIREPs before boarding. According to him, he didn’t think it would affect movement around the cabin.

We rocketed off the runway and quickly turned east, fighting some rough air on the initial climb.


It was a beautiful, nearly cloudless day in Minneapolis, affording great views of Downtown and the Lakes. The waterfall in the foreground of the photo is Saint Anthony Falls, the most productive hydropower plant on the Mighty Mississippi. Other notable landmarks are the US Bank Stadium (big flat roof by the highway) and the headquarters of General Mills, the largest grain company in the world.


Comfortably up at cruise, the flight attendants started the so called “Express Service,” which offers a drink and snack, free of charge. I checked out the IFE screen, which was fairly modern and responsive, with a wide array of movies and TV shows. They were really touting the free WiFi for SkyMiles members (which we are), but that seemed not to work on our flight, as I was unable to connect. That was a bit disappointing, but didn’t really matter on this short flight. The flight map was basic, and quite buggy. While sitting at the gate, it showed that we had somehow travelled 10,000 miles with 8,500 left to go, despite our lack of movement from the stand. During the flight, the aircraft icon was jumping around the United States, at one point showing us over Florida, when in fact below us was Wisconsin. Not sure what the issue was there.

The Express Service had to end before I they got to us. The captain said that we were only 80 miles from our descent point and that it would be a rather rough ride down through some scattered storms, and that he’d like the flight attendants to prepare for landing now. That was a bit of a bummer, but again, not a big deal, and it’s a safety issue.


There were scattered storms cells that we passed through on the arrival into Milwaukee. The air was for the most part smooth around them, but we did get into some heavier light/moderate bumps inside of them, much to the chagrin of the man sitting in front of me, who began hyperventilating into his airsickness bag. I felt bad for him, but there wasn’t really anything anyone could do.


It was a gusty day on the ground, with a nearly 30 knot sustained crosswind with gusts around 40, according to the captain. I’m not sure why we didn’t land on one of the other runways that would presumably be more favorable to the winds, but we didn’t. Below about 5,000 feet, we were getting rocked by the winds, the wings dipping back and forth. On our base leg things smoothed out a bit, since we were directly facing into the wind off the lake, but when turning final, we had a large drop as a particularly large gust hit the plane.


This was quite interesting to me, and I’d like to know if there’d be a reason for this from any pilots here. The flaps stayed fully retracted until the gear was extended, and it was only then that they deployed flaps, going straight to full. Is this something to counteract the crosswinds somehow?

We had one heck of a landing however. On short final, right over the touchdown zone in our flare, the wing dipped quite close to the runway. We landed on our left main, and came down super hard on the other two gear simultaneously. I’ve been in crabbed landings before, and this didn’t fell like one at all. Once all wheels were firmly planted on the ground, they were doing some fancy footwork with those rudder petals to keep us straight down the center of the runway.

In any case, a landing that you can walk away from was a good one, and it’s not an easy task to land in a crosswind like that.

Our taxi into the gate was extremely short, maybe 45 seconds at most until we had reached the stand. We didn’t get a “welcome to Milwaukee” announcement, which I figured was a legal requirement to make sure people didn’t unbuckle their seatbelts right on touchdown.


MKE is a nice enough airport, albeit a little dated. It was pretty quiet in there, with only a few flights around the time we were there. Thanks to a tip from @EastTexasAviationYT on Discord, I was able to rush over and spot American Eagle’s retro CJ2 rocketing off for Chicago/O’hare, a short 22 minute flight from Milwaukee. Baggage claim is just a short walk down a flight of stairs, and our bag came out shortly after.


The Final Review

Seat: 8/10
Crew: 9/10
Food/Beverage: N/A (Not counting this against them - they can’t control turbulence)
In Flight Entertainment/Wi-Fi: 6/10
Cabin Cleanliness: 2/10
Landing Softness: 2/10
Total: 27/50 (54%)

16 Likes

It was only a matter of time till I saw this
Was the TSA Hank a pug?

2 Likes

Unfortunately not… I think Hank was a Lab, maybe with a little Golden Retriever in him? Not sure if TSA has mixed breed dogs.

1 Like

Happens to me all the time. TSA or not TSA but I guess it’s their job but I find it funny how it always lands on me for “random searching”

Happened to me when I flew Delta from Indianapolis - Atlanta. First time I heard about it never had to do it before

Nice trip report, Delta is my favourite US airline. The colours use for their logo is so relaxing to me I don’t know why. I like how they include IFE screens for most of their aircraft. Hope you enjoy Milwaukee.

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