Livery: Delta Air Lines
Departure City: Atlanta, Georgia
Arrival City: Kingston, Jamaica
Flight Time: 2 hours, 41 minutes
Good morning from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport! I woke up around 6:30 AM at my hotel, grabbed some breakfast, then hopped in the crew shuttle for the quick ride to the world’s busiest airport.
Atlanta is my airline’s largest hub, so I used the extremly decked out crew center hidden within the terminal to meet up with my crew and go over the flight plan.
We then made our way to the gate via the AirTrain, an experience that’s cool no matter how many times I do it. After a bit of chatting with the gate agent, my first officer and I boarded the B752 to get it set up for the trip down to Jamaica’s capital, Kingston.
I was the PF, so completed the aircraft’s walk around. Everything went smoothly, and passenger boarding was just beginning as I headed back to my seat.
“Good morning and welcome aboard Delta Air Lines flight 203, with service down to Kingston. Flight time today, 2 hours, 40 minutes. Should be a pretty smooth ride, some turbulence off the Florida coast, and again on the approach, but we’ll do our best to find you the smoothest ride as possible. If there is anything we can do to make your flight more comfortable, please let one of our crew know. Otherwise, sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.”
Passengers boarded, catering complete, and the baggage door shut back up, we were able to push back, get our engines rolling, and head to runway 9L.
After watching one of our A350s head off to Cape Town, we got clearance to take off. The relatively light 757 leapt into the air quickly, climbing southeast.
Smoothed out up at FL330, we headed down through Georgia and into the Florida Panhandle, near Tallahassee. The head flight attendant, Linda, a woman who I’ve had the please of working with many times, came up and offered us coffee, which we both took gladly.
As expected, we ran into some rough air west of Fort Myers, out over the Gulf of Mexico. The bumps appeared to be reaching as high as FL430, so we decided to reduce speed and ride it out where we were.
I got my GoPro set up north of Havana, and it captured this stunning picture of Cuba’s capital, as we approached the edge of the turbulence.
Seatbelt sign back on, we began making the preparations for our decent as Jamaica came into view. The weather in Kingston seemed pretty good, save for a brisk crosswind of 15 knots.
I ran out into the cabin as we just began our arrival to use the bathroom, and got this shot of a 757 cockpit in action as I came back.
The mountains of Central Jamaica whizzed by beneath us as Kingston unfolded right in front of our eyes. There wasn’t much traffic to deal with, save for a Carribean Airlines 738 leaving for Antigua.
Locked onto the localizer, in manual control of the aircraft. Keeping everything level given the crosswind was a challenge.
Final adjustment over the runway as an unexpected gust hit us from the northwest.
Nonetheless, the back wheels settled onto the concrete just seconds later, relatively smoothly given the circumstances. The spoilers and reverse thrust whirred to life as we slowed to a crawl before exiting into the apron.
One parked at the gate, I got out to talk to the maintenance crew and soak up some of that Caribbean sun, before working the leg up to New York, then a red eye back home to Minneapolis.
Which was your favorite picture?