3 Northwest hub's for the price of 2.........

Member for

15 years 3 months

Posts: 36

Returned home yesterday after a week's stay in the Florida flying Northwest out of Gatwick. I travelled with 2 friend's who i go away with each year,this year we decided to visit Florida via Detroit & back via Minneapolis,having booked our seat's earlier in the year for the very reasonable price of £266 we set of for Gatwick on 1st November. Having pre-booked our seat's we deciced to arrive early at Gatwick so we could view the aircraft from the terminal as there is very little viewing to be had anywhere else on the airfield,we sat upstair's in the south terminal,interesting sighting's being an Ariana A300 in on maintenance & a Helvetic Fk100. Our flight to Detroit was due to leave at 13:45 & as it was leaving from the satellite we set of from the main terminal,as there is work on the link to the satellite at the moment there is a bus link which take's you across the ramp to reach it. Arriving at the satellite we had the first view of our aircraft, this being N803NW an A333(on a first visit to Gatwick),as the time was approaching 13:15 i commented that boarding should commence soon if we were to have an on time departure,which we needed as we had our connection to make for our Miami flight(we had allowed 3 hour's). Then came the announcment that our flight was going to be delayed until at least 17:00 due to a problem with the toilet's on board & they were going to have to ship a part in from Amsterdam which was due to arrive at 16:00 & then had to be fitted. We were going to be provided with a phone card & a meal voucher which where going to be distributed in the main terminal,so now we had to wait for coach's back. Having joined the queue to make enquire's about our connection & our hotel booking in Miami we were told that we could cancel our hotel booking as late as 16:00(est),when i pointed out that if our flight took of at 17:00 we would be in the air & unable to cancel our booking we were met with blank look's from the agent(Aviance),we also enquired what time the next flight was to Miami & were informed it was 10:30 the next morning,thing's were not looking good!!!!. We were transfered back to the main terminal where we were give a £5 international phone voucher & £6 meal voucher,we returned to view the aircraft & have something to eat. By 16:00 there was still no information regarding our departure so thing's were not looking good for a 17:00 departure,at 16:15 they called the flight which entailed another coach journey to the satellite. Boarding eventually started at 16:55. Once boarding was complete at about 17:30 & the door's were closed Captain speaking came on to apologise stating that as the flight was full he could not leave with half of the toilet's out of action. The cabin service director made an announcment regarding people with connection's out of Detroit stateing that all queries wuold be dealt with by the ground staff in Detriot. We eventually pushed back at 17:40 & as they were using runway 08 it was going to be a long taxi before departure. We took of at 18:00 & thing's were not looking good for our connection. This was my first flight in an A330 & i was very impressed by how quiet it was as we were seated toward's the rear of the plane. Once airbourne & in the cruise at FL360 we were served with our main meal & then i settled down to watch a film in the seat back PTV. We worked out that arrival in Detroit would be about 21:00(est),so thing's were not looking good for our connection. We arrived in a very wet Detroit at 01:55(gmt),20:55(est),we had a very long taxi to the stand & an announcment was made regarding about 6 connecting flight's that people were going to make & unfortunatley Miami was not one of them,everyone else with connection's would have to go to the desk where hotel & new ticket's would be distributed. Having been processed through immigration which was no trouble we joined the queue, which was quite long it seemed that about 80% of the flight had connection's. Arriving at the desk we were informed that we were booked on a flight to Miami via Memphis which departed at 06:43 the next morning to arrive in Miami at 12:30. We were given our hotel voucher along with another phone card & a couple of meal voucher's for $20. We were given bording card's for both flight's also,we set of for our hotel which we arrived at at about 22:30,so some sleep was needed as we would have to be up at 04:30 to catch our flight!!!. Settling down in bed i suddenly heard this roar approaching the hotel & a plane came over the hotel very low!!!. Mentioning this in the morning my mate said it was a Royal Jordanian A340 about 200ft above the hotel,obviously very heavy as Amman is a long flight!!!. Left the hotel at 04:45 for the airport were we used the e-check in facility as we already had our seat's assigned. Once through the TSA check's we had a quick look along the terminal which has a mono-rail within it which we used to get to one end then walked the length viewing the night stopping aircraft. Arriving at our gate boarding had commence for our departure to Memphis,our aircraft was N344NW an A320 we had seat's in row 5 which were very good as they had lot's of legroom being the first row behind buisness class. Push-back was bang on time at 06:43 then we taxied out in appalling condition's for a take off at 06:55. Once in the cruise at FL350 the service started which consisted of an apple bar & soft drink. We arrived in Memphis at 08:35 & it seemed we had the same weather here as we had in Detriot,we landed with the huge Fedex facility on our right. We had 2 hour's before our next flight so we set about viewing the aircraft & i was quite suprised by how many Fedex aircraft came in during our stay. Departue from Memphis was at 10:35 again on an A320 this time N362NW, where again we had row 5 seat's all to our selve's as the flight was not full, service was much the same as the previous leg. The weather improved as the flight went on affording good view's of Florida as the flight progressed. Arrival in Miami was at 12:29 only 12 1/2 hour's late!!!. We collected our hire car & during the week visited Fort Lauderdale,West Palm Beach,Orlando,Tampa,Clearwater,Fort Myers,before returning to Miami for our flight home which we hoped would run a bit more smouthly!!!. We had planned to have just under 3 hour's at Minneapolis,so we hoped for an on time departure. After check in & the TSA check(which is another story all together!!!) departure was at 14:04 on board N333NW another A320 & yet again we managed to secure row 5 which was great as the flight was full & 3 1/2 long,this time it was packet's of pretzel's as a snack. We arrived in Minneapoilis at 17:31 to a very cold 36f,i was glad we were staying inside!!. We walked around the entire airport which is very large & very modern viewing all the Northwest mainline & commuter aircraft. All too soon departure time came this time we were flying in a DC10,my last Northwest DC10 a -40 flight was in 1979 from Detroit to Newark so i was looking forward to this as it would probobaly be my last DC10 flight. Arriving at the gate bording had started & it was looking very good for an on time departure, our aircraft was N226NW which was in new colour's,settling into my seat this time row 17 on the right window seat,captain speaking came on saying we would arrive early in Gatwick with a flight time of 7:13 minute's. Departure from Minneapolis was at 01:14(gmt) & once in the cruise at FL330 we were served our meal before settling down to try to get some shut eye. All to soon the sun was rising as we approached the north of Scotland & breakfast was served before dessending to FL270 to get out of a bit of the bumpy stuff. We arrived onto runway 08 at Gatwick at 08:24 half an hour early!!!!. Taxied to the gate again on the satellite to be informed that they had a fire alarm going off so would not be putting the jetway on the plane until it was sorted out!!!. 10 minute's later & we were allowed of & we found out if was a false alarm!!!. Well if you have read this far well done!!!!!!!, i hope next year's trip start's a bit better!!!.
Original post
Profile picture for user EAL_KING

Member for

16 years 4 months

Posts: 2,114

Good Report the saint you sure it was a dc10-40 i didnt know they made that version. ive been on both the dc10-10 and dc10-30 one on the way to palma from luton and the other on the way back to luton :D glad u havd a gud holiday. :D

Member for

15 years 3 months

Posts: 36

Thank's for that EAL KING, yup i'm sure it was a -40 that i flew in, they built about 25 of them, if i remember Northwest were the only customer. I flew in N159US. Most have now been withdrawn from use but i think there are 1 or 2 still flying as freighter's. thesaint.

Member for

15 years 3 months

Posts: 36

I've just remembered that JAL also operated the DC-10-40 as well so that would make a total build of about 36. thesaint.