Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-300ER.

Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-300ER – Photo: Thomas Becker

For my birthday this year, I planned a trip to Ireland, Scotland, and England, and since Delta had no award availability in coach, I decided to splurge and spend 62,500 Alaska miles to fly business class (since re-branded Delta One) for the first time ever.

My leg was from Atlanta (ATL) to Dublin (DUB) on flight DL176, which was operated by a Boeing 767-300ER. I have been watching, for years, others flying in a premium product and I was jealous. When I was a poor graduate student, I couldn’t really justify the expense in miles or money, but now it seemed like it would be worthwhile.

I was so excited that I planned my trip far in advance and I was looking forward to this flight for nine months. But when the time came, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed, as it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

 

I didn't get the new seat cover, but plenty of leg room! - Photo: Lauren Darnielle

I didn’t get the new seat cover, but plenty of leg room! – Photo: Lauren Darnielle

Delta advertises on TV extensively in the Seattle area (where I live), which only served to raise my expectations even further. When the Delta One re-branding was announced, I was excited that I would get a chance to try the cushy quilted seat covers. Unfortunately, my aircraft didn’t have them yet.

The whole cabin looked like it had seen better days. I still had high hopes — after all, you can’t judge a book by its cover. But when my first impression was total disappointment, that didn’t get the flight off to a good start.

Westin Heavenly comforter - Photo: Lauren Darnielle

Westin Heavenly comforter – Photo: Lauren Darnielle

Since I was in the first group to board, there was plenty of time to get settled, which was nice. I didn’t realize that I would have to store both of my bags in the overhead bin, so there was some reorganizing that occurred before I buckled in (or maybe I didn’t have to, but I didn’t know where I was allowed to store bags in the pod-style seat, and I didn’t want to look like a novice by asking. I already had to ask how to operate the lie-flat seat, which was embarrassing enough as it was).

Having a window seat with direct aisle access was a good feature, even though I only got up once. I wish I had consulted the internet earlier, so I would have known to choose an odd-numbered window seat. As it was, I was in a window seat where the table is actually next to the window and the seat is on the aisle. Another rookie mistake — but I was learning!

The Tumi bag is plain, but practical. - Photo: Lauren Darnielle

The Tumi bag is plain, but practical – Photo: Lauren Darnielle

After I sat down, I looked at all of the goodies at my seat. I did have their much-touted Westin Heavenly bedding, but I had envisioned something more than just a pillow and comforter. They were very nice quality, but the pillow was awkwardly large for a plane seat and the comforter was way too warm to be able to sleep. I should have just asked for a normal blanket from coach.

Also at my seat were the amenity kit in a small Tumi bag, Bose headphones, a bottle of water, and the Delta One menu.

The flight attendants came around to offer a drink and nuts before take off, but as I had just eaten so much good food at the SkyClub, I declined.

Menu - Entrée, Dessert, and Breakfast - Photo: Lauren Darnielle

Menu – Entrée, Dessert, and Breakfast – Photo: Lauren Darnielle

I had ordered a vegetarian meal ahead of time, which was too bad, because the food on the standard menu sounded delicious! It’s always a gamble for me whether to order a special meal or not.

If I flew in Delta One again, I’d probably go with the standard meal, since it seemed to have multiple good options. The food served was tasty, but unfortunately I can’t say exactly what it was. When the flight attendant brought me the appetizer I asked “what is it?” in the interest of accurately describing it in my review, and the response was “your special meal.” (I got the exact same response later, any time I asked what something was).

Vegetarian appetizer, which I think was grilled zucchini and lentils. - Photo: Lauren Darnielle

Vegetarian appetizer, which I think was grilled zucchini and lentils – Photo: Lauren Darnielle

So I clarified my question, but it turned out that he really had no idea. I realize that the flight attendant wasn’t personally cooking my dinner from scratch in the forward galley, but it seems like Delta would be able to put a label on the special meals with a five-word description of what it is. I am going to say that they were lentils.

After the appetizer, the next course was a “starter” of soup, salad, a roll, and fruit, followed by the entrée. My special entrée was a pasta in cream sauce that I didn’t really care for. After seeing me pick at it and eat a little bit, the flight attendant offered to bring me the lasagna from the menu instead. I really appreciated the offer, and I would have liked to try the lasagna, but at that point I was so stuffed that I couldn’t think of eating anything else.

For a "starter", I wasn't expecting this much food! - Photo: Lauren Darnielle

For a “starter”, I wasn’t expecting this much food! – Photo: Lauren Darnielle

The most bizarre thing about the meal service is that it was completely dark. The lights weren’t dimmed — they were off. In business, the reading light isn’t overhead, it’s at your side, so I did my best to adjust it towards my tray, but it was very hard to see what I was doing. Even though the food itself was good, the lack of light ruined the meal experience for me.

The dinner service was slow, but it was because the flight attendants gave so much personal attention to each passenger. I totally appreciated the level of service, but it was also a bit frustrating to have to wait so long to go to sleep. The flight was only seven hours long and I know I could have stopped the meal service at any time, but I wanted to enjoy the whole experience.

During my meal, I noticed that the menu said that there’s an option to have your entire meal served at once. If I flew this product again, I would definitely choose the expedited option, knowing that I probably don’t need all of that food anyway. Yes, I wanted to have my cake and eat it too, but in this case dessert was ice cream and fruit.

Dessert was a custom-made ice cream sundae and fresh fruit. None of the other passengers seemed to want the fruit, so plenty for me! - Photo: Lauren Darnielle

Dessert was a custom-made ice cream sundae and fresh fruit. None of the other passengers seemed to want the fruit, so plenty for me. – Photo: Lauren Darnielle

Without question, the best part of the meal was the dessert cart. Fruit, cheese, ice cream, and “a tasting of sweet treats” actually would have been a pretty great birthday dinner. You’re probably supposed to choose one dessert, but in practice, you could have anything you wanted from the cart.

When I was done, I was surely ready to go to sleep, but no one came to get my plates. Eventually I got tired of waiting for a flight attendant to come by, so I awkwardly got up and took them to the galley myself (without dropping or spilling anything – me for the win!).

Yes, I am very aware of the call button, but I didn’t want to annoy the crew (or my fellow passengers trying to sleep), so I just decided to stretch my legs and take care of business.

Flying somewhere over the Atlantic - Photo Lauren Darinielle

Flying somewhere over the Atlantic – Photo Lauren Darnielle

One of the things that struck me about business class was how many bottles of wine were consumed. It made it seem like the only real reason to fly business class is to try to drink the entire price differential in free booze. I can only take credit for half a glass of wine, so I utterly failed at that mission.

With my tray folded away, it was now time to change the seat into the flat position and try to get some sleep. Despite numerous adjustments, I never quite got the seat into a comfortable position. This was my first time in a lie-flat seat, and it was nice to be able to stretch out, but I couldn’t help but wonder how someone would fare if they were taller than my 5’2” frame.

Unfortunately, there was turbulence on the flight almost continuously, which certainly wasn’t Delta’s fault. But once I was finally able to fall asleep, I was woken up by the movement of a flight attendant reaching over me to close the window shade. If it’s a requirement to have the window shades lowered before sunrise, they can’t take care of that during the extremely long dinner service, or just ask passengers to do it? I should have known to close it myself — another business class rookie mistake!

Granola, yogurt and fruit made a delicious breakfast! - Photo: Lauren Darnielle

Granola, yogurt, and fruit made a delicious breakfast! – Photo: Lauren Darnielle

Only about four hours after eating my very large dinner, it was time for breakfast! The flight attendants served drinks before the meal service, so I started off with a glass of orange juice. My special meal was some sort of omelette, which was swimming in oil and did not look appetizing. The flight attendant took one look at my face, and asked if I’d rather have one of the choices from the menu instead. This time I didn’t hesitate to ask for the granola and yogurt, but I also took the potatoes and fruit from my original tray, so I ended up with the best of both worlds.

I wasn’t really hungry, but when traveling, I never know when I’m going to have access to food I can eat, so I knew I’d be crazy to pass up a delicious breakfast. After the breakfast trays were cleared, it was almost time to land, so I spent the rest of the flight admiring the green Irish countryside out the window.

Flying over green Ireland - Photo: Lauren Darnielle

Flying over green Ireland – Photo: Lauren Darnielle

I am glad I tried business class, but in the end, I do not think it was a good use of 62,500 miles. I am not one that has tons of miles to burn, and I’m much too frugal to regularly spend money on business class tickets. It was nice, but it wasn’t three times as nice as flying American in coach on the way home.

I also know that this was not the full Delta One product. However, I will say that Delta One might have been worth it on a much longer (10+ hour) flight. That would have afforded me the time to enjoy the full meal service, while still leaving enough time for a full night’s sleep. I don’t want this to ruin me forever on trying business class again (after all, I am an AvGeek!). It is not that this was a horrid experience or their product was bad, I just think that I had built it up to be more in my imagination

Either way, I will never again feel as envious of the people on the other side of the curtain!

Lauren took her first flight when she was less than a year old and has been an AvGeek for as long as she can remember. She lives in the Seattle area and loves flying all over the world visiting new cities and collecting (or redeeming) frequent flier miles.

http://www.airlinereporter.com/author/lauren
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56 Comments
Doug Wilson

Wow, your “review” was just about as disappointing as you made you flight seem. All I read is that you are justifying not being jealous anymore. It isn’t about being 3X as nice. I would fly business or first on any airline, anyday vs. coach. Seem to me the problem wasn’t with the product, it was with your silly expectations.

Well, “3 times as nice” was meant as a joke. It was fancier than coach, to be sure, but it really wasn’t a good value for the miles. If they have some crazy business class fare sale from SEA to CDG, or something like that, I would be all over it.

I love to travel, especially to Europe. I would prefer to use my miles for a greater quantity of travel, rather than higher quality. Quantity vs. quality is a matter of personal taste, so there’s no one right answer. DeltaOne was nice, but in my opinion, not as nice as paying 40,000 miles for an off-peak round trip on American to somewhere else in Europe.

That being said, sometimes when the grass looks greener on the other side, you have to just hop over to the other side of the fence and check it out for yourself. Like you said, my expectations were totally unrealistic for what business class is actually like. That was the point of this story, so I’m glad you caught that.

Since I’m only 5’2″, I can be completely happy in coach on an American 777, and that’s my advantage when it comes to flying. Or, perhaps I should say, AAdvantage.

Lauren | AirlineReporter

Doug,

It is about being real and honest. MANY people have had this same experience.

I know my first time flying in business was very similar. Not sure how things worked, how the food would come out, where the overhead light button was and I know that many others feel that same.

I also know that when I was a “newbie” to the experience and I was honest about not knowing things, I too also had people, try to bring me down. You should be proud!

David | AirlineReporter

There is a light overhead in addition to the one on the side, the control is on the retractable remote control in armrest.

Hmm. Well then I guess it would have been helpful for one of the flight attendants to point that out! I had to ask about the seat. I’m sure they assume that everyone in business class flies business all the time.

Lauren | AirlineReporter

Hey. Sad to read this story..   i’ve tried all sorts of business class in my life and the difference with carriers like delta/american with swiss/LH or the gulf carriers is enormous. My girlfriend tried the AA angle lie seat in an international 777 a couple of years ago and said it wasn’t worth the money… It all depends on service 80% and hard product 20%… Hope you can try a better carrier like cathay with those 62.500 alaska miles 😀

Yeah, Cathay would be nice, but I’m not really planning any more trips to Asia. Maybe someday!

Lauren | AirlineReporter

Sounds like an average US3 Biz class review. The write probably thought they’d be getting an Asian or European First class experience like personal suites or something. I’ve flown tons of coach, biz and international first and it really depends on the carrier if you want that “premium” experience. Try Biz on Emirates or Swiss (throne seat) next time.

As someone else mentioned, I still rather fly biz in any carrier than in the back of the bus with the rest of the cattle.

No, I definitely wasn’t expecting an Asian or European experience.

I was expecting that a fully lie-flat seat (which I did have) would automatically mean better sleep. What I learned is that in business class, the meal service takes up so much time that it negatively impacted my sleep and the seat didn’t make up for it.

There was nothing terribly wrong with DeltaOne, it was just not helpful to me personally on a 7-hour flight. (And as I noted in a comment above, spending my miles on this means that I’ll have one fewer visit to Europe next year.) From now on, I would only consider business class on much longer flights, so that I can enjoy the whole experience, both food and sleep.

I have been given Delta “buddy passes” in the past as I have a family member that is a Delta retiree. I agree with Nick, a lot of times the equipment is an issue. I was fortunate to fly from SLC to NRT in Business Class on one of the NWA A330s they acquired in the merger. The seat was so slick and it only went to maybe 80-85% flat. Every time I fell asleep I would slide to the end of the chair. It was my first time beyond the steerage curtain so I too was self conscious about it. But I noticed everyone else had the same problem so I didn’t feel so stupid.

On another trip I got Delta’s newest 777 with 100% lie flat cocoon from NRT to SIN. I can’t sleep on airplanes all that well but that time I got 5 hours of pure sleep and I was right next to the toilet. Delta’s old 767 seat was better than the new one I feel, even though it does not go as far down. As buddy passes have turned into enemy passes (impossible to use and you always end up stranded in some dump of an airport waiting for an empty seat or in baggage) I probably will never see First or Business Class again. Especially as SkyMiles has become for the 100,000 mile per year flyer.

Nice! The 777 is my favorite plane, so I’d love to fly business class on a 777 some day. Better keep saving up my American miles!

Hey Lauren,

Don’t feel bad we all made rookie mistakes our first time and I’ve been riding up front since the mid-90’s and still sometimes I use the wrong fork.

While I am not sure if Delta One offers the option, it has been my experience on AA, AF, AZ, BA, CO/UA, and LH all offer some sort of a single course meal presentation where they will serve you the entrée within the first hour or two of the flight – allowing you to eat and go to sleep especially if you are on an eastbound US to Europe flight that is overnight.

C

Haha, good thing I only had one fork! (Actually I ended up with about 4 forks, because every part of the service came with new utensils, but I digress…)

Yes, DeltaOne did offer that option, but I didn’t know how to request it.

I realized later that the time to request it would be when they come around to ask what you want for a dinner entrée. In my case, that didn’t happen because I had pre-ordered a vegetarian meal. (Obviously I could have just gotten up and asked for it, but by the time I thought of it, the meal service had already started.) So in the future, I would not order a special meal and get the expedited service, for sure. Live and learn!

Hello Lauren, one objection I have is that you missed the whole point of premium flights. Flying Business class is oftentimes required to maintain Elite / Elite Plus status and therefore ensure the right to have full access to VIP lounges, expedited security, dedicates custom care services and other privileges. It also results in extra miles being earned, and the right to extend certain privileges to a companion.

I absolutely wouldn’t find Business so attractive without these “features”, if you pardon the term.

Well, fortunately I’ve been able to earn/maintain my elite status purely through domestic flying. I think everyone has their own strategy for frequent flier miles, and mine happens to be paying for domestic tickets & getting bonus miles from credit cards and then cashing them in for free international travel.

If I had paid money for the ticket and was earning miles, the class of service bonus and the 50% MVP bonus certainly would have been nice, though!

Tall Guy

If you were 6’4″ tall you would not be running back to coach so fast.

Very true! My dad is 6′, and when we travel together, I use my access to preferred seating to put us in the exit row, at least.

Robert Steinberg

Lauren,

O, MG, Do you always set yourself up for disappointment? You’re writing for this blog, but seem to be so very uninformed. May I offer a suggestion? Next time, check with your friends who fly, long flights, for more information. You don’t eat, most things, and you missed the opportunities to try some new wines. Maybe look at flying BC or 1st, as a time to splurge.

Dr. Steinberg,

One reason that I really love AirlineReporter is I let myself and my writers be honest. Many writers and media out there like to act like they know everything about everything. Not here.

Do not get me wrong — we know a lot, but I am always happy to admit when I do not know something. During the almost seven years of running this site, I have found that there are more people than you would expect that don’t know — just like me.

And I have also talked to people who have all these expectations on what business class might be (with lots and lots of research), but it turns out not to be what they were expecting. However, many people will build up their experience to impress others… but that was not the case here.

Hopefully next time you are honest and open about something, you do not have someone, like yourself, trying to bring you down.

David | AirlineReporter

I’m a frequent reader of this site who almost always flies coach, but I’m flying a lot more now and racking up the miles, so I found this post to be interesting. I once flew first class domestic on US Airways for a business trip, and found it to be somewhat below my expectations. The FA didn’t even offer to hang up my coat. The main advantage was a nice big seat. As it was US Airways (one of the flights was Express) there wasn’t even in-flight audio programming! I was upgraded as the companion to my frequent-flying boss, so it was a “freebie” at least. I think this types of reviews are helpful. Sometimes more space is worth the price, but the main value of many of these “premium” offerings seems to be perks for frequent fliers. (Which I will gladly make use of when offered to me!)

Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

I’ve never said a bad word about a free upgrade, so if it had been free, then of course I would have gotten my money/miles’ worth. LOL

Fred Christiansen

Hey Lauren, re veg-o meals… If Asian-vegetarian is available, I choose that. It is usually more flavorful. Just a thought… 🙂

I’ve gone the Asian-vegetarian route before, but I can’t recall if that was an option this time. I bought these tickets and requested my special meal almost a year ago now, so I can’t remember all the choices, but they did have multiple vegetarian/vegan options.

Anthrojason

Welcome to Business Class! As a fellow Seattleite I don’t support your choice of Delta but I suppose since Alaska doesn’t offer any European flights I’ll over look it this time. 😉 In all seriousness, I too was a little underwhelmed the first time I flew business on what turned out to be one of NW’s very final flights before merging with Delta. You see all of these people who fly first constantly posting on blogs about how amazing the experience was and it’s hard not to have high expectations which Delta just can’t live up to. However, one of the great things about this hobby is that now you know how to improve the experience next time. Every time you fly you’re a little more savvy and the flights get a little better.

As one last note– I was so excited on that first BC flight to Japan that during the meal service I spilled my water all over the bank executive sitting next to me. At least it was just water and he thought it was funny I was snapping pictures of everything so just shrugged it off. Now I don’t fly business unless it’s in single seats because I’m more savvy, but still a bit of a klutz when taking pictures of everything. HAHA ^_-

I’m a loyal Alaska flier myself, so believe me, I’d be right there with you on the first Alaska flight to Europe. LOL

(Given the changes for Mileage Plan earning when flying Delta, American is my new international airline when I’m actually buying tickets with money. Like my trip to Japan! Which wasn’t even AA metal, but I digress…)

Oh no, haha! Fortunately, I had a window seat with direct aisle access, so no danger of that for me. I was very careful when I was taking the photos of the food, though. 🙂

I’ve been mulling a reply to this for about a day now- since of the AR team I am the one who spends the most time up the front. So here goes. Seven hours is too short for an overnight J flight. It really, really, is. When the flight is a short red-eye to Europe, the product is the bed and nothing more. The catering, the service, those are just distractions. It’s a shame, but that’s just how it is. If I am on an eastbound overnight flight to Europe (or a super late night departure to Asia) I really do consider the product to be the seat, not the service. For me, even though I black out 10 or so minutes after take off- it’s still worth it. I’d rather arrive having at least five hours of sleep than a wretched mess. This is, in fact, why some airlines have such a large amount of food in their business or higher lounges. Admittedly, such is not the case with the lounges in North America or their home airlines.

Because of the last fact, I entirely agree about the sort of “service anxiety” you get. You’re hungry and want to eat (or at least try) all the higher quality catering- but at the same time, it’s all about speed. When I did the MD-11 flight (Which I ended up not sleeping on anyway)- that was a 5:45 airtime. Service took an hour and a half. I was legitimately concerned before I said “no sleep ’til Brooklyn!” That was a special flight, though. Any other time I’d have been quite miffed. My solution would be to start focusing on having the option of meals being served in the lounge on pax request. Not sure how the logistics would work, but it would save catering waste as well. Only passengers that wanted to eat in the air would eat. It’d also save the angst of an overstuffed express tray, and yes- they are hilariously crowded. Then again, no one listens to me- because my ideas are not a loop of “make the cabins denser and reduce capacity!”

Now, on the westbound daylight segments out of Europe (barring a confusing arrival time before noon) – that is when Business or higher comes into its own. Some of the best flights I have ever had have been of that sort. Be it CX838 from YVR-HKG (only a three class aircraft) or whatever BA flight I reviewed from LHR-ORD. A surprise early morning QF12 departure is up there too. You can really appreciate the catering and service. That’s when you really start to understand the value part of it.

So is J or higher worth it? To me, yes. It’s F when you have to start questioning the value. F is great on majority daylight flights, but if all you are after is a flat seat- fly J.

Now in Europe… Unless you are on Air Serbia- J is probably never worth it on the short haul flights. If you are on Air Serbia though, FLY J- it destroys what you think can be done on short intra-European flights.

So there you go, I get you. J is better than Y- but not as much as the advertising in this country would have you think.

Thanks, Bernie!

I agree with you, as far as it all being about the seat on such a short flight.

I see the new DeltaOne seats on the TV commercials all the time and think “argh, my seat didn’t look like that!” I was definitely looking forward to trying those new seats, so that was my main source of disappointment. But when all the planes aren’t retrofitted yet, it’s going to be a crapshoot.

(To be fair to Delta, it was mostly the turbulence keeping me awake, not the seat, and that’s not their fault. But after the FA woke me up closing the window shade, I was never able to get back to sleep, so I also feel like if they hadn’t woken me up, I might have been OK.)

My original plan was to fly business class SEA > AMS, but then that trip didn’t work out with the dates and mileage redemption and whatnot.

SEA-AMS is an unpleasant flight in terms of departure times and arrival times, but you do get the nicer A330 seat!

I love flying, but am not afraid to ask questions, especially when I am putting out the bucks or the miles! As you state you are an avid flyer, you actually set yourself up for disappointment. There tons of locations online that offer up advice and answers to almost every thing you didn’t know and then found out the answers or other choices you would have preferred after the fact.

An informed flyer is generally a happier and more successful flier (not accounting for IRROPS or ATC or Weather). And you could have called Delta or asked the Check in Agent or the Gate Agent or the one of many Flight Attendants and 99% of the time they are more than happy to help, even with a multitude of questions. Communication is a two way street and in my opinion, you failed in this respect and therefore your review is not as good as it could have been and neither was your experience…

Jay,

Yes, many travelers will spend hours getting to know every aspect of their flight and product details. I know that I probably spend more than I should. But I think it is unfair to assume and almost expect people to spend that amount of time before flying.

I think Lauren’s point in this is through her experiences, seeing reviews on premium products, and through the marketing that Delta put out on Delta One, she was disappinted with her expectations.

She admits that she was a newbie and I think she was a bit shy to have employees do things and help her since she has been used to the economy experience.

David | AirlineReporter

I’ve flown Delta on long-haul international flights (in coach) before, so I didn’t expect that business class was going to require a huge amount of research. That being said, I did research my options before dropping 62,500 miles on a ticket. I think sometimes you just have to jump in and learn by doing. All the online research in the world is not a substitute for actual experience. Now I know for next time!

Thank for the amusing guest post. Sorry to hear that your first BC trip was not up to expectations. It happens, frequently. If you fly BC, all too often the best available these days, a few more times, you will learn…
The quality of everything varies considerably, both between airlines and between routes. Like you, I too often get stuck on the oldest plane in the fleet and one not yet up to advertised standards. (Often filthy dirty and multiple functions that don’t work.)
As for meals, I’ve tried the advance, special meal order roulette several times. Unless the meal ordering page provides a DETAILED description of the offering, skip it. The one exception is a kosher meal. (I do not require kosher, but they usually come from outside sources and often provide far higher quality food. That may pertain more to coach and front end, but it is worth considering.)
As a general thing, once your bones are on the airplane, you are captive and subject to whatever catering has been loaded. Some cabin crews will try to make it attractive and properly warmed – while others simply do not care. Similar to most other jobs…
The best suggestions are to shop with a lot more care and to talk to flyers with a lot more experience. IF you ‘drill down’ on most airline’s websites, you can find the details that you need. Happy landings! -C.

Hi Cook

I think you are a little confused. Lauren is actually on staff, so this is not a “Guest Post”. Please welcome her to the AirlineReporter community, like you would any of our other staff writers.

Mal
Managing Correspondent

Wow ~ the photos of the food, look like something I could get at my local Grocery store, that’d look even better really !

I’ve only had 2 experiences Flying Long Haul across the Ponds, and neither time did I get to eat any food on the going flight or the return flight.

The Flight out from Houston to Ireland to Dubai’, they forgot to put any food on board, as there wasn’t time, as it was a Chartered Flight 777.

on the way back across the pond / Atlantic to the US, I was so exhausted after everything I’d been thru being in the War Zone, I just slept the entire way back.

I’ve seen photos and video’s of how Airlines used to serve it passengers back in the good ol’ days,(1950’s -1960’s – 1970’s ) and looks way better back then – than now !

Even the Plates & Dishes look Boring, compared to the Original set of Pan Am Plates & Dishes I have here at the house, that were my Grandmas, from the 1950’s & 1960’s, that have Fancy Pan Am & Pan American World Airways embedded all over them.

I guess Airlines aren’t into the Pizzazz anymore, as everything is kinda boring and plain ,compared to yesteryear.

Even the majority of the seats seem stale and boring, unlike my Set of Boeing 707 Passenger Seats I have here at the house in my living room, which are bright orange & Red with darker colored inserts on them and made of Fabric that all soft & cushy, definetly from the mid 1960’s , real early 1970’s ??

They even have the little chrome flip up Ciggarette Ashtrays in each arm rest and the chrome button that allows the seat to recline in the side of the arm rest and a folding table behind each seat.

So, in some ways I guess you could say, I Fly High every nite in Boeing 707 1960’s Lavish Style, complete with T-Bone Steaks and Broiled Shrimp and Grilled Smoked Salmon and Scrumptious Vegetables and Chardonnay, to wash it all down, on my Luxurious 707 Flight that’s Free and goes absolutely , No Where !

I’ve got some DC-8 Jetliner Stuff too, but, that’s another story, click on my user name for more about that tho,,,,,

Your Captain – Jetranger

I think were lost ~ !!!

Oh, that’s too bad you didn’t get any food at all!

The 707 was an amazing plane for its time, but even just for safety reasons, I’ll stick with the planes of today. 🙂

(Wouldn’t mind seeing another barrel roll over Lake Washington, though!)

JL Johnson

I’m an undercover DL fan so this was hard to read. To be clear, it was a good read, I’m just disappointed they didn’t give you the awesome experience that a points splurge like that commands. As a fellow vegetarian I have to say I would have been super disappointed in the cuisine. That’s a real shame, honestly, because the vegetarian fare they provided at #InsideDelta this time last year was absol-freaking-incredible. Best luck next time!

JL | AirlineReporter

Haha, I’m a bit of an undercover DL fan myself. (Even though this might not sound like it…) Before they changed their mileage program, they were by far and away my second-favorite airline. As far as paid tickets, I’m not going to fly them for 50% of the miles, though.

I feel like ordering a special meal is always a gamble. My special meal coming back in coach on American (also pasta) was great, so you never know! I don’t like a heavy cream sauce even when I’m on the ground, so I know I can avoid that by ordering vegan, but I can only game the food choices so much before it’s just a roll of the dice.

I would have tried the lasagna when the FA offered it, because it sounded really good on the menu, but I was so full by that point that I could not have eaten another entrée.

I will say that the food in the SkyClub was delicious. I’ve been to other SkyClubs at ATL before, and I don’t know if this one was newly-renovated or what, but it was nice. I would have written a glowing review of the SkyClub, but I didn’t take any photos! I definitely will if I’m ever in that same SkyClub again, though.

hi lauren,
i liked your story!

i have been playing the credit card/millage for two years now and had flown approx 4-5 times in either a shoert business elite on delta or a few from ny-fll,ny-las and a few in first on AA jfk-lax. once business first lax-jfk.

my biggest complaint is the food.

i eat kosher and also i see the advertisements for the food and i get excited and i am greatly disappointed once i receive my meal. lets just say its a huge let down. im served on plastic (dishes on united) and the food is nowhere near the quality of non special meals. these meals are like the coach meals that used to be served for free back when coach domestic meals were commonly served. they get away with murder these airlines if you ask me! the mileage however just seems to go up industry wide loyalty programs get gutted with mergers. when this happens they always send out an email that tries to put a good spin on things.

its very frustrating!

and when i fly and send a complaint email i always get the same response- we will look into matter and froward to the appropriate department.

So sorry you had to endure an American carrier for your first flight. You should have called me, I would have warned you about them.

Their crappy old planes, their bad attitude, old and overweight flight attendants, their horrific service levels. It is only Americans who tolerate the garbage they call Business Class.

The rest of the world has woken up to their fraudulent activity, the ripping off of their customers, the complete devaluation and utter worthlessness of their loyalty programs.

Us non-Americans tend to fly the great airlines of the world like Emirates, Qatar, Etihad, Singapore, Cathay Pacific. Even Qantas is superior to these frauds that call themselves an airline.

Look at the fuss going they are all causing over the superior middle eastern carriers. All caused by inadequate airlines who have so far downgraded their product they are losing market-share and now they blame those that deliver new aircraft, great service and a fantastic premium product.

So my advice, don’t waste your points or your money with these utter X!**s. I can’t wait to see them go broke and out of business so I don’t have to listen to the Americans moaning about the competitors.

After what they have done, especially to their former loyalty customers they should collectively hang their heads in shame. They will never get a cent of my money ever again.

Just to be clear, I’ve always had great on-board service on Delta. One of the reasons that the dinner service took so long was that the FA was having a very warm, personable conversation with the passenger in front of me. And I think that’s great.

But, on a 7-hour flight, I was expecting to be able to eat relatively quickly and get to sleep. What I learned is that things don’t happen quickly in business class. Delta has some slick marketing, but they don’t tell you in advance how long it’s going to take.

In the future, I would definitely only fly business class on a much longer flight and ask for the expedited meal service as soon as I sit down. That way I can fully enjoy both the food and the lie-flat seat.

i read that on lax-jfk red eye in first/business class they try to go through meal as fast as possible in order that the passengers can got some shut eye before landing as its a relatively short flight. its approx 4hr 50 min. the meal is also an abbreviated menu for red eyes.

In all fairness, I think the American carriers only respond to what the market demands. Travelers in the home countries where the airlines you speak of, are based, are more willing to splurge on the premium product. Now I know people will say, Americans would pay more if there was a premium product. That may be true for a segment of the population, however most Americans truly care about the price and nothing else. The trend the airlines are moving here in America prove that, with the emphasis more on Premium Economy. Delta, along with any other carrier, has their mind on what it should be, profit. They are not a commodity, but rather a business. They will improve their product to what the market demands. There may be a small segment that’s not happy but overall they are responding to the demand.

In addition, as a side note, the ME3 may have superior service, but I ask to look at their labor relations and the finances of the airlines. If the American carriers had the same luxuries the ME3 receive from the US government, I imagine the hard and soft product would be light years better.

OK – 1 Barrell Roll over lake Washington coming up, fairly soon, just for you !

any particular airline livery ????

Gotta promise me tho ~ you won’t notify the FAA about any of this, as do a ” Quad Triple Barrell Roll”, over Lake Washington in a 707 ~ !!

I’ll get the Jetliner out of the Hanger this week-end and fuel it up, and make ya a video !

Did ya wanna go for a ride or just sit and watch ??

Your Pre-Fezzional Captain – Capt. Jetranger !

Woo hoo! Don’t worry, I won’t tell the FAA. I’ll think I’ll stay on the ground, though. LOL

Suraj S

Hey Lauren, Have you tried the business class on Emirates???? My dad recently went on the EK flight from DXB to JFK and he said it was worth every penny….

As this was my first time in business class, I have not. I know that I can redeem Alaska miles on Emirates, though, so maybe another time!

Alaska Miles can be redeemed on Emirates?! That’s super good to know.

Lauren,

It has been several days if not a week since you posted your article I had a few things to add. I used to live in Seattle and am now in SLC so I am so happy Alaska is giving DL some competition.

I try to fly foreign carriers whenever possible, not because I don’t like the US ones but they seem to have gone very vanilla in their offerings. DL used to serve food on china plates and made ice cream sundaes seat side for international business. I feel with the foreign carriers they offer cultural experiences you will not get on DL/AA/UA. Korean they all bow before starting the boarding process. Coach on Singapore feels a lot better than steerage on UA, the FAs actually smile! However if I wanted to fly to Singapore, First or Business class on Emirates is about the same price as a small house. ($38k for FC!!!) So save those miles!

My wife has learned if you order a halal/kosher-vegetarian meal it is always biryani rice (I order the halal/kosher and it becomes chicken biryani) for about every airline in the world. Biryani is Indian I believe and is very flavorful but you have to like curry as it has a little.

I agree with several posters, if it is an overnight flight the service really goes to crap but sometimes that is all I want…sleep.

One last secret, when in doubt walk up to the galley and say you are new at not sharing your personal space with fifty other people. They are always kind and will give you pointers. My cousin was a FA for First Class for United in the 60s and did SFO-HKG all of the time. She told me when in doubt, just ask them between services and they will take you under their wings. I have and learned a lot! (#1 don’t press the call button during service)

I never have ordered a kosher or halal meal, but I do like biryani rice! (and curry) Maybe I’ll have to try that next time.

On the ice cream sundae – you can’t tell from the photo, but it was made for me seat side. It was tasty but it doesn’t look that pretty in the photo because the hot fudge started melting the ice cream.

Welcome to the Airlinereporter.

I am about to do the same with my DL miles and I would suggest-

Fly a Different Route for a longer on-board experience.
Fly a Different Aircraft; a DL 767-300 would not be my first choice of a/c for the trip.
And you have to know all of the different cabin configurations that DL has up front for their fleet.
My choice 767-400 (bigger windows, better premium cabin)
Definitely know the even / odd seating issues and where they sit in relation to the window.
And no way (I’m sorry) would I order vegan on a flight, that’s almost a guaranteed disappointment, right?

I’ve not experienced it but I hear, read, etc the first class cabins in the DL 747 and A330 fleet are really nice; possibly the best of their fleet. Too bad the 744 are going away.

I personally would love to fly aboard a DL 777 (anywhere) but the front cabin seating is the least desirable IMO.
But I’m about the a/c

Thanks!

Yes, if I fly business class again, I would definitely fly a longer route. My original plan was to fly SEA > AMS, but then that trip ended up not working out for other reasons.

As far as the aircraft, this flight was originally going to be operated by an A330, but there was an equipment change several months after I bought the ticket, so I didn’t have any control over that. (But I prefer Boeing to Airbus, so that was fine with me.) Same thing with the seat – I didn’t pick my seat, it was assigned to me when the ticket was reissued. I saw it was a window, but didn’t check the exact cabin configuration on SeatGuru until later. I continued checking on the seat map right up until my flight to see if I could switch to an odd-numbered window seat, but nothing opened up. Oh well! I’m glad it was a window at least, and I didn’t get stuck in the middle section between the two aisles.

As far as the meal, it wasn’t vegan, it was vegetarian. (If it had been vegan, I wouldn’t have gotten pasta with cream sauce.) I’ve had special meals that were great (such as American in coach on the way home, which I believe was actually vegan) & I’ve had standard meals that were great. I think the food is always a gamble. I didn’t order a special meal on JAL and I absolutely should have, so you just never know. On this flight, the food I ate was tasty, though!

I fly business to Europe often, 8-10 times a year. Sometimes in First, but usually business class.

I have flown BA, AA, and LH doing it. I am leaving in a few weeks again this time AA to LHR on the 773, so hopefully that will be better because their hard product on the 772 is the worst across the Atlantic.

LHR is a 9.5 hour flight going, 10.5 hour flight coming back. I feel your pain about the meal service. I recently did the ORD -> FRA which left at 11p CDT, and then they did the meal service. The great thing about LH is that I can just tell them I will have my meal when I wake sometime later. They save it for me and it is fine to eat when I am ready.

Most carriers now let you do that in J or F. I don’t know about Delta, but like everyone else, I dont hold the US carriers in high regard. No one shows you how to use the seat. LH actually has an ondemand video about it which is a pretty good way to do it. It just takes some asking or explorations.

Your comment about the call button made me laugh. First, I have never been left with stuff on the tray. They always come get it no problem. But the US carriers are weird about the call button and the seatbeat light. They use one not at all, and the other way too much.

Like everyone else on here suggested, try burning the miles on one of the international carriers. It is a much improved experience.

Well it only cost you 65000 miles, so I wouldn’t sweat it too much. I fly to Europe, Central Asia, and Africa 8-10 times a year and a few cross country flights – so flight research is a must. I’m picky about equipment, code share, fare class etc to maximize my miles and enjoyment. I think its really important to do a bit of research, even if its for an economy class seat.
Also – I always get better service when I introduce myself to the crew serving the cabin I’m in. Take a moment to say hi and ask a few questions – this will make easier to ask questions later on. Plus, if you treat them like a real person, you are likely to get much better service later.
Having just flown United in economy on a long-haul flight after the last few flights being business – there is a difference and its worth it. The food is better, the wine is better, and the hard product is so much better. With that said some times I’m okay spending 15K miles to upgrade and sometimes I’m not. Overall, don’t be too disappointed. You aren’t 85 years old – so you’ve got lots of time to do it again and enjoy it.

guitar singapore travels

Dear Mdm,

Maybe you want to try the Business Class cabin of top Airlines, like Singapore Airlines. Hopefully, you will get a better experience.

On Singapore Airlines Business Class, you can even have Breakfast in Bed.
https://youtu.be/mlmsof09bDM

You can also Book the Cook and get some Lobster Thermidor.
https://youtu.be/UCSs8iQ3jOE

Well, considering that Singapore isn’t a partner of either Alaska or American, I think it’s unlikely, but maybe someday!

Juanito Damo

My first time to fly business class was with Korean Air from Seoul to Manila, my ticket was economy but when I got my boarding pass, I don’t know the reason why they gave me a business class seat, to where it was a Boeing 747 Jet, my seat was located upstairs, it was a very good meal service, food was great. Then few years after, me and my parents traveled again from Calgary, Vancouver, Incheon, Manila with the same airline Korean Air, in YYC they issued us economy seats since we are only flying economy every time, and issued boarding pass in all the flights that we are taking, but when we boarded the flight from Incheon to Manila, it was beeping when the attendant scanned our boarding pass, then the attendant issued us a new boarding pass to which they again assigned three of us to seat in a business class, this was second time for me, and first time for my parents to fly in business class with economy ticket. I was so amazed by the situation, because I never expect this things to happen in my life, again very good food, and services, truly I will not forget this experience, God is so Good for me and my family, Thanks so much to Korean Air, and most of all I Thank God for the privilege.

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