Family Vacation, Zion National Park: CLT-SCL-CDC Delta 737-800 First Class and CRJ200 Economy Review

My family isn’t usually one to take a family vacation. Growing up, I can count on one hand the times that we took just a regular vacation outside of the winter holidays so this is a bit of a rare situation. The back story behind this trip is that my mother loves to hike, for the last few years, apart from 2020, she and my dad have gone out west and done some sort of hike. They’ve been to the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Yosemite. This year was the blow out for them, 2 weeks of hiking in Arizona and Utah.

My whole family decided to make the trek out. Not all at the same time, but for the last weekend, Memorial Day, we’d all be in Utah and hike at Zion National Park. We had a Delta Companion Pass floating around so we decided to burn that on a perfectly timed, but expensive flight. We did have to drive to Charlotte, but that’s well worth the effort because we can fly to Cedar City Utah with a single stop. We’ll then be less than 90 minutes from Zion.

The flight from SLC-CDC is also a bit rare, it’s intrastate, outside of Hawaii I’ve not flown one. They exist, but aren’t super common. Cedar City is only served by one airline, Delta, and at most twice a day, usually it’s just once.

In This Trip

1 :Family Vacation, Zion National Park: CLT-SCL-CDC Delta 737-800 First Class and CRJ200 Economy Review

     1.1: Charlotte Airport and Centurion Lounge
     1.2: Charlotte to Salt Lake City: Delta 737-800 First Class
     1.3: SLC Airport Transfer and SkyClub
     1.4: Salt Lake City to Cedar City, Delta CRJ200 Review
     1.5: Final Thoughts

2: Family Vacation, Zion National Park: Cable Mountain Lodge(Springdale Utah) Review

3 :Family Vacation, Zion National Park: Angels Landing

4: Family Vacation, Zion National Park: CDC-SLC-CLT Delta CRJ200 and 737-800 Comfort Plus Review

Charlotte Airport and Centurion Lounge

After work, we left for the airport. CLT airport was busy, the economy parking was completely full so we had to park in the garage. When we flew out of here on our Bermuda trip, we also parked in the garage, but it was much cheaper as it was peak Covid and they had changed the parking rates.

Charlotte is still under construction so this probably looks really familiar. We did have to take a shuttle bus from the parking garage to the terminal. Not my favorite thing, it’s really not far, but with construction, there’s apparently no way to walk.

Past security and into the airside area, we started walking to the Centurion lounge. The CLT Centurion Lounge is between the D and E Concourses. It’s not the easiest thing to find.

I’ll be honest, it’s not well marked. This was the only signage that I saw, and even then we missed it the first time around. As I’ve said before, I don’t often arrive super early for flights, I also don’t fly from CLT that much, so this is our first visit to the lounge.

We took the elevator up and into the very large lounge. My first impression is that it’s very well positioned as a premium lounge.

There were lots of partitioned off areas, makes the large space seem more inviting. It was pretty crowded.

Lots of seating areas of various types.

We decided to set up in the bar area. Got a nice table and grabbed a beer and light dinner.

A quick visit to the buffet and I got some chicken and a salad. Val came back with the exact same thing.

As I’ve said before, I’m not early for flights. No exception here. Almost as soon as we started eating, we got a boarding notification on our phones. CLT is not a small airport, and we are all the way on the opposite side from the Delta gates. We scarfed down or food and legged it for the A concourse.

It started to pour down rain as we were walking. I hoped that it wouldn’t delay us and that all the outdoor ramp workers were staying dry.

After a 10 minute walk, we arrived at the gate. We could have boarded when we arrived, but decided to just hangout a bit. No sense in having the entire plane walk by us.

Charlotte to Salt Lake City: Delta 737-800 First Class Review

The rain was brief but torrential. Our 737 waiting to give us a ride to Utah.

My area for the next 4-5 hours. Plenty of leg room in these Delta 737-800 Frist Class seats. They are also the older seat with a new cover on it so very comfortable.

Power in each seat, 110v down here. and then USB on the monitor.

We boarded, the flight wasn’t full but first class was. Unlike the last Delta 737-800 I rode on, Delta 737-800 Comfort Plus Review, this one had the upgraded cabin. Not as polished as the Delta 320/319 refits, but good enough for this 4 hour flight. 

I was also grateful that Delta has updated the movie selection. For a while there was no change and I was really running out of things to watch.

Once we pushed back the pilot told us there was a bit of a traffic jam due to the hard rain. They had stopped all departures for a few minutes so there was a back log. This actually happened to us a few years ago on a transcon Delta 737-800 when we got upgraded and we’re headed to OAK from ATL. Funny the things you remember. A few hundred flights later I can still remember what aircraft I was on, but I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night. 

The runways were setup for taking off to the south. We were soon in the air and made our turn right to head west. 

This is the second longest flight I’ve taken from CLT. A few years ago we flew on Lufthansa to Munich on the way to Italy. 

Nice view of Lake Wylie and even a few boats running around after the rain storm.

This was a pretty empty flight. Once airborne, the flight attendants went through the standard announcements about the service. I’m excited to try the new cocktail selection onboard. Unfortunately that would have to wait for a few minutes and the flight attendants had to remain seated for a little bit as it was kinda rough from the weather in the area

Hidden secret, these older planes have an extra tiny tray table. Great for when two people are sitting here and both want a drink and snack.

The flight attendants were great though. The head flight attendant made an announcement “The pilot has informed me it’s just another 5 minutes and we’ll be able to serve you those drinks you’ve been longing for.” It was only a little rough, but I understand the caution. It’s a long enough flight anyway, no need to rush. 

Soon enough the seat belt sign was off. And the flight attendants passed out water, a snack box, and then a full drink menu. It’s not pre-covid levels yet, but comparing it to exactly one year ago, Flying in the time of COVID, it’s much improved. 

This head flight attendant was one of the best. I’ll be sure to give a nod to her via the online form. Just really great service and absolutely personable and friendly. I opted for the Bistro box. It’s not a hot meal, but it’s better than nothing.

I was excited to try the new beverage options. I opted for the new Sweetwater Hazy IPA. It’s an excellent beer, much like the 420 but a little more hoppy. Delta’s drink selection is as good as ever.

Val had the Old Fashioned, it was also great. I’m really digging these new options.

The contents of the Delta snack box. This head flight attendant was one of the best. I’ll be sure to give a nod to her via the online form. Just really great service and absolutely personable and friendly. 

After our snack I had another beer while I finished my movie. We were between St Louis and Kansas City when it started getting rough again. But I had half a beer left so I was perfectly content to just relax. 

It eventually smoothed out and we got some wonderful views of flyover county, literally.

This whole crew was really on their A game, seatbelt sign on and off without a long delay, quick announcements, just really, one of the best flights if had in a while. 

These are my favorite things. Yes, I’m boring.

It’s nice flying with the sun, makes for some great sunsets. Only down side is I’m usually an early to bed type person, so it doesn’t take long for me to get sleepy. The Delta 737-800 in seat entertainment is great on this flight.

While descending into Salt Lake we got some truly beautiful views.

Should have sat on the right side of the plane. Arriving from the south there are amazing eye level mountains.

And on the ground here in Salt Lake. This was a wonderful flight. Really, just one of the best of all time. Not just Covid good, actually good.

SLC Airport Transfer and SkyClub

Into the terminal, we walked all the way to the end to visit the Skyclub. This airport is brand new and absolutely gorgeous.

This airport isn’t complete yet, so the Skyclub isn’t really central. This airport has a DTW feel. Very similar layout. One main terminal for mainline jets, another smaller one for smaller planes.

Just like DTW terminal A there’s an elevator up into the skyclub.

Ok, this Skyclub is great. Easily the best in the system.

Tons of space, and even on this somewhat busy day, there’s plenty of space for everyone. I’m sure it will see more traffic in the future.

This Delta Skyclub had 2 separate bars and a very large buffet.

Just an beautiful space and tons of room.

The best part was easily the outdoor skydeck. Just a wonderful space to come and relax. The Delta Skyclub here at SLC is great.

Perfect space to come and watch the sunset. Even over the construction, who wouldn’t love that view. The SLC Skyclub is the best Skyclub.

Meatball slider and a chicken lettuce wrap. All with a nice amber beer. All again interrupted by a now boarding notification on our phones.

Ok, time to hustle. They are paging us to the gate, little later than I usually run, but nothing that hasn’t happened before.

Salt Lake City to Cedar City, Delta CRJ200 Review

Ok, let’s get to the boring part. It’s a CRJ 200. I’ve reviewed these hateful little things several times. Anyway, I’ll show you again.

This is a bus gate. So down the ramp and into an outdoor bus station we went.

All the way at the end they were again waiting for us.

Last ones onto the bus just means last to board, I’m ok with that. This was clearly the stragglers bus as there was already a line waiting for us at the plane.

These interiors are really starting to get beat.

I fit, but I’m not very tall.

Pushing back on our 30 minute flight.

Away we go into the night. The temperature drastically decreased as soon as the sun set, being from the East Coast I’m not accustomed to that.

Lovely night for flying even if it was a bit rough. No service on this flight, it’s so short anyway.

Not a super crowded flight either. Several empty seats makes the whole experience seem more civilized.

On the ground here in Cedar City.

All boarding should be done by stairs. It’s just better to really feel the scale of even a small plane.

Bad pictured, but what a cute little airport. It’s like a little mountain lodge.

Our ride down to CDC. Sadly we had to pickup our gate checked baggage at baggage claim and not planeside.

The lodge theme continued inside. Festival City USA, no clue as to how that name came about.

This was baggage claim. Yep, it’s just a door where they slide bags through. I love tiny airports.

Final Thoughts

This was a great trip. The first flight crew was some the best in the industry. I’ve flown “5 start airlines” this crew was better. It was a nice long flight and we got time to actually enjoy flying again. Salt Lake City airport is an excellent place for a connection. Wonderful new airport with a top of the line Skyclub. It’s easy to navigate and a perfect place for a connection.

Yes, this is a boring flight, but everything went perfectly. Nice flights, good upgrade, nice lounges, and landing at the smallest airport I’ve ever flown into to. I would do this all again.

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