In my previous topic, I covered the outbound events of my recent week-long trip to Alpena, MI. This one will cover the experiences of the return flights back home to CLT. (Link, in case anyone hasn’t seen it yet and wants to check it out: Post-Alpena trip review with Delta.)
It should be noted that because family was calling, I changed my ticket to an earlier departure. My original itinerary had me leaving APN at 6:15pm, arriving into DTW at 7:30, 90min layover in DTW, then the 60min+ plane back to CLT, which would’ve had me in at 11:00pm.
My day started out much like the outbound did, get to the airport, yada yada yada. I had checked in the morning prior on the Fly Delta mobile app and paid for my checked luggage, like any sane traveler would. I get to Alpena Regional around 8:45am EST, and head on in to the new terminal (which I personally like)
I immediately head for the check-in kiosk, and go through the normal check-in process, only to find out that the kiosk cannot verify my checked bag. I look at the Delta check-in counter, and no one is there, except for 3 or 4 TSA agents.
I head to the public seating area with my checked luggage and carry-on, and sit there for a solid 45-50min until a TSA agent alerts the now 6-7 passengers in the terminal (me included) that a Delta employee is here. I hand him my bag, and he takes it off to a room.
Then comes the marathon of TSA security, which is no sweat.
After security, I take my seat in the empty boarding area with the lone jetbridge. Around 10-15 minutes later, the CRJ-200 taking us back to Detroit arrives in all her glory.
Because of such few passengers on this flight back to DTW (7 total, me included), the gate agent (also the check-in agent), allowed us all to board at the same time.
The agent scans my boarding pass, and I make my way down the bridge and on to the plane, sad that my time in Alpena has come to an end, but not trying to draw any unwarranted attention.
I get to my window seat and stow my carry-on under the seat in front of me (would not fit in the overhead bin). The flight attendant does his duties (safety demonstration, etc.) and we get on our way, departing Runway 19 from Alpena. We departed APN 10 minutes ahead of schedule, and arrive in Detroit 21 minutes ahead of schedule, cruising at 23,000ft.
Upon deplaning at DTW, I immediately hustle to my next gate, due to the nature of my connection (40 minutes), eventually breaking out into a brief full-on sprint through the Light Tunnel at DTW. I made it to my gate with plenty of time to spare.
We board the Boeing 717-200 that would carry us on the 1hr 11min flight back to CLT, and I was next to a couple with a very young child in tow, seated in Seat 13E in Comfort+. Off to my right was an Airbus A220-100 soon bound for Reagan Intl. (DCA)
We left Detroit’s A19 3 minutes early, and got to gate A11 at CLT (same gate my outbound was through), 17 minutes early and cruising at 33,000ft.
Once off the plane, I made my way to baggage claim and did what I needed to there.
And that wraps up my trip review to Alpena, MI. :D
Delta was a superb airline. Will definitely be flying with them again and perhaps sooner than later 👀.