If you missed it, Bloomberg had a fascinating piece stating that pilots can literally in half a year go from co-pilot to pilot if they are willing to spend time flying MD88s. This can result in a huge jump in salary per year. But in the cockpit the now very old so called Mad Dogs are not the nicest place to work compared to other jets.
But in the back it is a very different experience. Well, unless you are in the very back-back where it is very noisy that is, or when it is taking off and your home is underneath the jet as I mentioned in Bloomberg and said:
“Delta has redone the interiors of even its older jets, so passengers probably can’t tell it’s so old, says René de Lambert, who pens a Delta frequent-flier blog called Renés Points. Also, the plane’s configuration, with two seats on one side of the aisle and three on the other, means the MD-88 has fewer dreaded middle seats than many planes, he says.
“Yeah, if you’re in the back it’s noisy, but most people are going to be sad to see it go,” de Lambert says. “It will be missed. Of course, it’s not flying over my house.” – bloomberg.com
Delta really has refreshed the insides so the old dogs don’t, from a passenger perspective, really show their age. Also, I try to spend as little time as I can in coach but when I fly with my wife first class upgrades that are more scarce than ever can become harder than ever (we went 1 for 3 on the way down to see the great eclipse in Charleston).
This means quality time in coach. The nice thing about the MDs is the 3-2 seat configuration in back. This means if alone there is greatly reduced risk of a horrid middle seat “upgrade” into Comfort Plus seating.
And, for my wife and I, we can simply choose the 2 seat side and that is a much better experience than what we normally do on say the other 3-3 configuration that is, aisle seats across from each other.
Sure there are some things I will not miss on these jets like: painfully slow Gogo speeds, the fact that they are VERY loud in the back 6 rows or so, the smaller bins on one side of the jet and clearly, as you can see above, the strange need for FAs to have announcements levels at the level of my alarm clock! Also things like lack of IFE do not bother me as I use Amazon Prime and download movies ahead of time and use my sweet Bluetooth noise canceling headphones to keep me entertained.
How about you? Will you miss these old dogs when, in a few years, they are all gone? Do you like the newer A321 or B739 better or worse with faster wifi, power, IFE and more? You tell me! – René