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Topic: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: mvecchi4
Posted 2012-10-24 12:59:53 and read 14043 times.

Hey everyone, welcome to my fourth report on A.net

Once a year every year in October (or in this case late September) I go to MCO for an “Escapade” which is about a week of Theme Parks, Disney’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival and Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights event. This is my fourth year in this route and the fist two years I flew VLN-CUR-MIA with Insel Air, last year with AA CCS-MIA-MCO and this year I made the mistake of taking DL for a CCS-ATL-MCO

So today’s route is as follows:



I have so many conflicting thoughts on DL, but the main detractor has to be the FlyingBlue-SkyMiles mileage accrual. That experience left me with no desire to fly DL ever again even though I had some good flights.

To make the story short, I booked a U Class ticket on DL and then changed to their Economy Comfort Product (as of this I’m not sure Economy Comfort is Y+). Turns out FlyingBlue got the reservation as U class and I got 50% of the flown miles. When I call and I tell them I was in Y+ (not as class but as “Economy Plus”) the agent informs me that I better stick with the 50% accrual since the Economy Comfort miles will only give me 25% of the flown miles. I couldn’t be more furious. I was supposed to get over 4.500 miles with this trip and finally get my elite status on FlyingBlue. Instead I got about 2.250.

AF’s mileage chart is not easily available (at least for me) but besides other minor reasons the mileage was the MAIN reason for choosing DL for this trip. I would’ve definitely flown VLN-PTY-MCO on CM instead.

Anyways, after that short rant I get to the actual report:

I will not bother you with any more details on CCS since my last couple of reports has many photos of the international terminal. I have some highlights I wanted to share with you though.

DL has an early flight, so this was my first time this early in CCS. Security and Passport Control was a breeze. This is a plus for DL.


The terminal in the early morning hours.


Some construction going on at CCS.


Not sure what this is for.


The Refurbished Admiral’s Club at CCS. At last!


New entrance.


CM 737


Is that an MD-11 behind that AA 757?

The boarding process began on time and Business Class, SkyPriority, Families with children, etc. were allowed in. Then there was zone 1’s (my zone) boarding called.

Boarding was swift a


Entering the aircraft.

The Flight

Date: September 27th 2012
Carrier: Delta Air Lines (DL)
Flight Number: DL802
Departure City: Caracas (Simón Bolívar Int’l) – Venezuela (CCS)
Arrival City: Atlanta (Hartsfield Jackson Int’l)– United States (ATL)
Aircraft Type: Boeing 757
Registration:
Scheduled Departure Time: 8.15am
Actual Departure Time: 8.48am
Scheduled Arrival Time: 13:10
Actual Arrival Time: 13:20pm
Flight Duration: 4hours
Seat Number: 20D (Y+ Class)
Configuration: 2-2 in J and 3-3 in Y and Y+



So here’s a view of the Economy Comfort seat. It’s the same Y seat with more legroom I suppose.


Legroom shot.


The sight from my seat.


Just out the window.


You can see AC’s bird back there.

We were delayed a couple of minutes. But I was surprised to see that the Y load was barely 30%. I thought Delta was doing fine on this route so this was a surprise,


Anyways, after the door was closed, some people from Y came into the Y+ seats.

There was the powerful takeoff and there we were on our way to ATL.


The view from my seat. Beautiful.


About 20 minutes into the flight the breakfast service started. Nice selection. Although the omelette was a very dry.


Dry omelette.


DL detail in the plastic cutlery.


After a couple of hours of an uneventful flight, attendants passed by for more drinks and a sanck.


View from the plane.

After that I arrive at ATL and within minutes I’m in the line for Passport Control. The terminal was packed.

I thought that going through Passport Control in ATL rather than MIA would be a breeze just like in SJU. This was not the case. Man travelling alone is bad news and I get questioned and asked for evidence of everything I say. Anyways, they see that I come to the US every October and let me through.



The SkyTrain that takes you to the other concourses. That’s Maynard Jackson right?


Short video inside the train.


Fully packed domestic terminal. The amount of people was astonishing, but then again this is the airport with the most passengers on the planet so I guess I had it coming.


DL’s domination of ATL.

I barely make it on time to the gate for the MCO flight. This one was really packed so having my Y+ seat was good for me.

So that’s all there is for the outbound trip. Didn’t take a lot of pics since I’m sure this segments and airports have been covered many times in this site.

I give you some highlights on the return trip.


Arriving at MCO.


View of MCO.


View of the checkin machine.

I have to say I didn’t like this at all. The system is slow, it was rather difficult to push the screen to get where you wanted (perhaps it was this terminal) and then there’s a lady screaming your name with your luggage tag.

I’ve done this with AA and find their system much more user friendly than DL’s (that statement might get me in trouble!!  )


Check in counters.


The trains after security taking you to the departure lounge.


View from the train.


Love this part of MCO.


The terminal was dead, there was almost no people around.


The only interesting bird in MCO, a TAM A330


People boarding the Brazil flight.


My ride to ATL.


It seems as if there was a change of equipment and they notified that large carry on bags would not fit in this aircraft, so they would start checking bags free of charge. A large line of people quickly formed in front of the counter.


Line.


Inside the jetway.

The flight was uneventful. We got to ATL on time and I had about 4 hours to spend there.

I decided to head to the Admirals club so I head to the B concourse.


Entrance to the Admiral’s Club.


View of the bar.


View of the lounge.

This Admiral’s Club is also undergoing refurbishment. AA is putting money in them!.


Ahhh…. Choices choices… I went with Maker’s Mark… I’m more of a Kentucky Bourbon type of guy.


Check!


The view.


Completely packed food court.


More food court.


Duty Free… time for more bourbon!,

Anyways I arrive at the last minute to the gate and they were already boarding.
This time I was in the front row. Didn’t take much pictures because the flight was packed and there was a lot of people coming in.

In addition, since this flight was headed to Caracas on October 5th there was a lot of tension in regards to the Oct 7th election, so everyone was tense. Apparently there was a large group of Venezuelans coming from a flight from LGA that was coming in late and we were probably going to leave them.

That made some people very angry. There was a heated discussion with the captain and the ultimate decision was to close the gate and head to Caracas. People were not happy.



This was the meal service. The meal tray in this seat was horrible (I’m a big guy) I would’ve traded a seat in the row behind me anyday.

Conclusion

All in all Delta was superb and delivered consistent service throughout the 4 flights. I was impressed to see how DL ground crew and flight attendants love what they were doing and actually cared for people’s needs. This is rather strange for me since I’m used to AA’s attendants who deliver, but there’s barely a smile or at least care for anything less than their paycheck.

One main weakness I found was the IFE. I Couldn’t hear what was in the tiny screen in any of the four flights (Not sure if it was an issue with the headphones or the armrest), but luckily there were short hops and I was reading “Cruising Attitude” by a flight attendant – Heather Poole -- with stories at 30.000 ft. (I hear she’s an AA flight attendant).

I like Delta, but after the SkyTeam mileage fiasco I don’t think I’ll be flying them in the future.

Pherhaps some of you have some comments on my mileage mess. I was really looking forward to those miles to get my elite status on SkyTeam.

So this is all there is for this report. Thanks for stopping by.

Feedback is always appreciated

Miguel.

Future Reports – Booked Flights

VLN-AUA-VLN on Laser Airlines – October
VLN-BOG-PTY on Avianca (AV) – October (Only a review of the new terminal)
CCS-PTY on SBA Airlines (S3) - December
VLN-PTY-PUJ on Copa Airlines (CM) - December

Past Reports

CCS-HKG On AF Premium Voyageur (by mvecchi4 May 26 2012 in Trip Reports)
Part I Peru Trip - CCS-LIM With LA Y Cabin (by mvecchi4 Sep 8 2012 in Trip Reports)
Part II Peru Trip - LIM-CUZ With StarPeru Y Cabin (by mvecchi4 Sep 8 2012 in Trip Reports)
VLN-BOG-PTY On Avianca J Class (by mvecchi4 Sep 15 2012 in Trip Reports)

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: thegoldenargosy
Posted 2012-10-24 13:37:10 and read 13930 times.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):

I have to say I didn’t like this at all. The system is slow, it was rather difficult to push the screen to get where you wanted (perhaps it was this terminal) and then there’s a lady screaming your name with your luggage tag.

I’ve done this with AA and find their system much more user friendly than DL’s (that statement might get me in trouble!!

The agent doesn't scream your name at Delta. You check in at the kiosk and then go to the baggage drop line. At AA there is an agent screaming names. At Delta the bag tag doesn't print out without the agent having verified your ID and boarding pass. You used the new kiosk which is much faster than the old one.

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: AirAfreak
Posted 2012-10-24 14:41:57 and read 13746 times.

Hello there!

Nice of you to take the time showing us the meals and such offers, so thank you!!!

I have flown Economy Comfort a few times and have found it a great relief when Businesselite and First Class is sold out on the long-haul network. It's nice for Delta to offer complimentary alcoholic beverages (not just beer and wine, but ALL) on the transoceanic flights in Economy Comfort. I am sure this applies to South America, also!

Your omelet might have been a frittata which would come across drier than an omelet. I was trying to look closely at your breakfast and it reminded me of a frittata which is cooked longer. In any case, I'm glad you had a nice meal to enjoy on your flights!

I have defected from Flying Blue to SkyMiles, so I am familiar with your displeasure. You are better redeeming any remaining miles on your Flying Blue account and then concentrate on SkyMiles so you can earn 100% actual miles (or more) for all of your flights irrespective of your fare basis code.

If you are short a few miles from redeeming any type of award on Flying Blue, I recommend going to flyingblue.com and search for the mileage accrual chart so you know what you are getting into. They will list the airline, fare type, mileage accrual, bonus, etc...

There is a website somewhere that calculates mileage between city pairs including the option to add mileage bonus percentages, etc. I cannot recall it at this time; my apologies.

Alternatively, there is a promotion going on right now where you can purchase award miles and they will give you a bonus of some sorts. It would be a shame to throw whatever miles are left in your account over this experience.

Also, does the Admirals Club still limit you on the complimentary beverage quantities? The blue chairs don't look as comfortable as what I have seen in the Sky Clubs but again, I haven't used an Admirals Club in over a decade or so!

Thank you again!

Air Afreak =]

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: Avianca
Posted 2012-10-24 16:02:43 and read 13562 times.

excelent report!

I took the very same flight out of CCS around 4 years ago, but than connected to SFO.

In generaly DL is offering a good service.

Well as you know I better stick to UA/CM and AV/TA as my milage program, much beteter no doubt!

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
Is that an MD-11 behind that AA 757?

no its a DC10, the first in Venezuela with own register since years after SBA had the DC10, the DC10 in your pic belongs to Solar Cargo - but in the meantime they still use the ABX capacity on flights from MIA to VLN and CCS.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
In addition, since this flight was headed to Caracas on October 5th there was a lot of tension in regards to the Oct 7th election, so everyone was tense. Apparently there was a large group of Venezuelans coming from a flight from LGA that was coming in late and we were probably going to leave them

well a shame, but understandable as the captain had most probably no idea why these people had to arrive yes or yes in time. Anyhow we lost the elections.... but hey have to look forward.

cheers and looking forward to more reports
saludos
Avianca

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: FlyASAGuy2005
Posted 2012-10-25 18:36:51 and read 12407 times.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
We were delayed a couple of minutes. But I was surprised to see that the Y load was barely 30%. I thought Delta was doing fine on this route so this was a surprise,



Can't really judge the flight based on one experience.

For example, tomorrow CCS-ATL is actually overbooked. Someone on that plane will say Delta must be making a killing and doing great.

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: xjramper
Posted 2012-10-25 19:55:58 and read 12315 times.

When you move into economy comfort, you are just being charged an add-on. It does not upgrade your fare basis. So if you bought one of the lovely L U or T fares, you will indeed get the 50% mileage from the AF/KLM group regardless of where you sat on the plane.

One of the things I wondered about Economy Comfort is how they would enforce/police the seating. Not once have I heard DL say something to the effect of "you are more than welcome to spread out. The EC section of the aircraft are reserved for those who have purchased the extra legroom or for our elite level fliers." Doesn't bother me as a GM I get the seating for free domestically, but I would definitely say something if I paid to sit there.

On the 757 fleet, the Central/Southern America/Caribbean birds (with the exception of a sub) usually take the form of the DL 24/159 seating config. Which means you get the overhead TV, no point to sending the PTV outfitted birds outside the contiguous states as the live programming will not work once beyond 50 miles (?) of the coast. To save the aggravation to the F/As and pax, it made more sense to keep those running inside the states.

From what has been mentioned in previous press releases from DL, eventually they will be outfitting interiors of the 757s with TVs at all seats and consolidating the 9 different versions of the 757-200 down to three: BE outfitted 16J will remain, 6 Door 752s (most domestic versions) and the 8 door 752s(NRT based/5600 series) to hold 28F/160-166Y.

Being mid-tier elite on all three alliances, to me DL has the best overall product (as I don't use mileage for tickets, I use for upgrades and the delta shop). But I understand the frustration when it comes to trying to use your miles for redemption for traveling. Hopefully DL switches to a revenue driven FF program and they can revamp everything to make it great again in the mileage department.

Great TR

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: luisde8cd
Posted 2012-10-26 06:39:13 and read 11933 times.

Miguel,

Thanks for your report, very nice indeed. I seldom fly Delta as I'm a Star Alliance Gold with UA/CM. However, when I do fly them, I really like the onboard wi-fi.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 4):
Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
We were delayed a couple of minutes. But I was surprised to see that the Y load was barely 30%. I thought Delta was doing fine on this route so this was a surprise,



Can't really judge the flight based on one experience.

For example, tomorrow CCS-ATL is actually overbooked. Someone on that plane will say Delta must be making a killing and doing great.

The reason why your CCS-ATL outbound flight was empty was due to the election. It was widely reported by airline representatives in Venezuela that all outbound flights from CCS in the two previous weeks to Oct 7th, were reporting low loads. This trend got worse as you got closer to election day. I heard from a friend, that the Oct 6th CCS-PTY flights were leaving CCS with 10-15% load.

This clearly shows a couple of things:
1) Most traffic to/from Venezuela are Venezuelans and not foreigners
2) People didn't want to lose their right to vote

Saludos,
Luis

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: mvecchi4
Posted 2012-10-26 08:00:05 and read 11845 times.

Hey all, thanks for commenting.

Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 1):
The agent doesn't scream your name at Delta. You check in at the kiosk and then go to the baggage drop line.

I'm not sure if you're suggesting that what I wrote in the report is untrue (at least in my own personal experience), but that's what happened to me at MCO. Pherhaps you're describing the airports you frequent.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
It's nice for Delta to offer complimentary alcoholic beverages (not just beer and wine, but ALL) on the transoceanic flights in Economy Comfort. I am sure this applies to South America, also!

It does apply. It was funny because I'm so used to AA charging for alcohol (I heard they're not doing it anymore on int'l flights) that after I ordered wine I took out my credit card and they just gave me the bottle and vanished. I was like "she forgot to charge me!" then I remembered it was one of the perks of EC.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
Your omelet might have been a frittata which would come across drier than an omelet.
Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
Flying Blue account and then concentrate on SkyMiles so you can earn 100% actual miles (or more) for all of your flights irrespective of your fare basis code

Good point. Does that apply to other airlines within their TATL JV with KL and AF? I'm going to look it up. I'm headed to China and Malaysia in April so I might just do that.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
If you are short a few miles from redeeming any type of award on Flying Blue

I just needed the miles for elite status, not for an actual award flight. But because of the previous comment (changing FB for SM) I might go that way.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
Also, does the Admirals Club still limit you on the complimentary beverage quantities? The blue chairs don't look as comfortable as what I have seen in the Sky Clubs but again, I haven't used an Admirals Club in over a decade or so!

I've only been a member of the Admiral's Club for a couple of years and I've never been put a limit (and believe me, I drink my wine good). I've had nothing but good experience in the ones I've visited (Note that I've never been to a SkyClub anywhere) so I'm guessing they're improving the lounge experience to match those of other airlines.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 3):
Well as you know I better stick to UA/CM and AV/TA as my milage program, much beteter no doubt!

I'm defecting from AAdvantage and FlyingBlue as of this moment since I have decided to make VLN my home airport. I hate travelling by land to CCS, it's getting more and more annoying everytime around with the accidents in the Highway.

Do you use LifeMiles or MileagePlus? I saw in your last report that you needed 22,000 miles for elite in Lifemiles but now the website says you only need 20,000 (which is great!). But I'm used to easily redeem Hotel nights on AAdvantage for miles and Hilton HHonors is not letting me but my Lifemiles # (I'm guessing Priority Club and Wyndham Rewards would be somewhat the same).

I have to admit I want those unlimited updgrades too...

I will still need a SkyTeam based program because I've looked around and the fares to China and the lowest layovers (don't get me wrong, I love several segments but the China flight is kind of stressful). So AirFreak's comment that I should change to SkyMiles is a possibility for me at this point.

Any feedback on that is highly appreciated.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 4):
Can't really judge the flight based on one experience.

For example, tomorrow CCS-ATL is actually overbooked. Someone on that plane will say Delta must be making a killing and doing great.
Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 6):
The reason why your CCS-ATL outbound flight was empty was due to the election. It was widely reported by airline representatives in Venezuela that all outbound flights from CCS in the two previous weeks to Oct 7th, were reporting low loads. This trend got worse as you got closer to election day. I heard from a friend, that the Oct 6th CCS-PTY flights were leaving CCS with 10-15% load.

I apologize, you're absolutely right. Then again Luisde8cd solved the puzzle!. Thanks!

Quoting xjramper (Reply 5):
When you move into economy comfort, you are just being charged an add-on. It does not upgrade your fare basis. So if you bought one of the lovely L U or T fares, you will indeed get the 50% mileage from the AF/KLM group regardless of where you sat on the plane.

I would've loved to know that before I bought the DL ticket. I would've flown CM or AV instead. Thanks for the info.

Quoting xjramper (Reply 5):
but I would definitely say something if I paid to sit there.

I thought of that but it was the start of my vacation and I didn't want any conflict at this point. Guess I would've gotten an upgrade or something in future flights right?.

Quoting xjramper (Reply 5):
Being mid-tier elite on all three alliances, to me DL has the best overall product (as I don't use mileage for tickets, I use for upgrades and the delta shop). But I understand the frustration when it comes to trying to use your miles for redemption for traveling. Hopefully DL switches to a revenue driven FF program and they can revamp everything to make it great again in the mileage department.

The actual product is very good. I've only flown AA ex-CCS (for US bound flight) so this was a great experience.

Frustration all around.  

May I ask what FF Program you use on each alliance? I'm completely overhauling my FF Programs  
Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 6):
This clearly shows a couple of things:
1) Most traffic to/from Venezuela are Venezuelans and not foreigners
2) People didn't want to lose their right to vote

I've always thought of that. It's good business for them. Thanks for clarifying.

I specifically chose my flights giving chance for delays, etc. I didn't want to lose my chance to vote either and I did vote, but I'm sure I would've reacted the same way DL (as a whole) did on that particular situation, a packed plane would not wait for 2-3 people and delay the flight a half hour to affect their metrics would it?.

Thanks all for commenting greatly appreciated.

Miguel.

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: Avianca
Posted 2012-10-26 09:46:28 and read 11708 times.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 7):
Do you use LifeMiles or MileagePlus? I saw in your last report that you needed 22,000 miles for elite in Lifemiles but now the website says you only need 20,000 (which is great!). But I'm used to easily redeem Hotel nights on AAdvantage for miles and Hilton HHonors is not letting me but my Lifemiles # (I'm guessing Priority Club and Wyndham Rewards would be somewhat the same).

in fact I use both, using more Mileage Plus for flying but LifeMiles to buy for cheap VEF miles, they have 2 to 3 times a year a special fare allowing you buying for 10900 VEF 75.000 miles and you get the double meaning 150.000, and you need only 130.000 for exampel for a CCS-Asia round trip in Business. so its a real bargain, also a nice way to get non Venezuelan flights for cheap money, as you can spend the miles for any star flights but still paying the miles in VEF.

cheers
Avianca

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: luisde8cd
Posted 2012-10-26 12:09:10 and read 11610 times.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 8):
in fact I use both, using more Mileage Plus for flying but LifeMiles to buy for cheap VEF miles, they have 2 to 3 times a year a special fare allowing you buying for 10900 VEF 75.000 miles and you get the double meaning 150.000, and you need only 130.000 for exampel for a CCS-Asia round trip in Business. so its a real bargain, also a nice way to get non Venezuelan flights for cheap money, as you can spend the miles for any star flights but still paying the miles in VEF.

Hey Bro how are you? Quick question, I'd love to buy those miles as I also have a LifeMiles account. What's the best way to find out about these VEF deals?

Saludos,
Luis

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: Avianca
Posted 2012-10-26 12:13:57 and read 11606 times.

Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 9):
Hey Bro how are you? Quick question, I'd love to buy those miles as I also have a LifeMiles account. What's the best way to find out about these VEF deals?

normally they are anouncent via e-mail, last was in September and I bought for my wife and myself 300.000 miles, and alrady planing a nice Asia trip for 2013 in Business... send me a pm with your e-mail and I will send you some more details

cheers
Avianca

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: mvecchi4
Posted 2012-10-26 12:47:29 and read 11574 times.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 10):
send me a pm with your e-mail and I will send you some more details

You have mine already and I'd definitely like to know more about that. Utilidades coming!!!

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: xjramper
Posted 2012-10-26 14:02:42 and read 11507 times.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 7):
The actual product is very good. I've only flown AA ex-CCS (for US bound flight) so this was a great experience.

Frustration all around.  

May I ask what FF Program you use on each alliance? I'm completely overhauling my FF Programs  

Sky Team: DL
Star Alliance: Miles and Smiles and UA (I only have the M&S Elite level for lounge access in the states)
One World: AA

One thing I love about M&S is that, to me, it is the most generous program for retaining status with an airline. If you decide to go with M&S, you have to qualify with only 40,000 status miles for the elite level, or the lowest level to maintain Star gold. But it is good for 2 years, not just one. If you decide to go this way, just be careful with mileage accrual. Turkish recognizes 100% mileage on most flown fares on most airlines. I am not versed in the CA region's airlines, so YMMV.

You may also may want to consider Alaska Airlines. http://www.alaskaair.com/content/mil...lan/partners/partner-overview.aspx

This covers a lot of OW/ST airlines that you could possibly fly departing CCS. I don't hear a lot of complaining from the AS folks when it comes to redeeming and you can redeem on some various airlines including EK/CX.

I am happy with DL and enjoy both their hard and soft product. But with you wanting to redeem miles, it may not be the best fit for you.

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: adamspotter
Posted 2012-10-27 16:09:04 and read 11023 times.

Nice report, thanks for sharing!
Although not flying Delta anymore because of a mileage mishap is going a bit too far IMHO.. Just change FFP to another SkyTeam member if you dislike Flying Blue. I am a FB member and am very pleased with them myself

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
Is that an MD-11 behind that AA 757?

Looks like a DC-10 to me

Thanks again!

cheers,

Brendan

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: AirAfreak
Posted 2012-10-27 22:05:11 and read 10880 times.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 7):
Good point. Does that apply to other airlines within their TATL JV with KL and AF? I'm going to look it up. I'm headed to China and Malaysia in April so I might just do that.

For the most part, yes with few exceptions on some of the Skyteam Partners. I don't have the info with me, but I am always cautious (opening multiple tabs on my laptop) before clicking on "purchase" - it's such a chore, but well worth it!

Alternatively, you may want to look at purchasing two separate roundtrip tickets. For example, CCS-LAX & v.v. + LAX-TPE/HKG/PEK/PVG & vv. for example. I find China Airlines (one of the newer members of Skyteam) offer great fares to Asia from Los Angeles. But remember to check delta.com/skymiles and write down a list of qualifying fares to help you during the booking process!

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 7):
I just needed the miles for elite status, not for an actual award flight. But because of the previous comment (changing FB for SM) I might go that way.

I find the Flying Blue Elite Program worthless on restricted fares - for example, LAX-CDG 5,655 actual miles minus 50% (since you buy a lower Economy fare) and then add 25%-50% bonus for Silver, Gold, etc... and you end up with actual miles. Go to SkyMiles - trust me!

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 7):
I've only been a member of the Admiral's Club for a couple of years and I've never been put a limit (and believe me, I drink my wine good). I've had nothing but good experience in the ones I've visited (Note that I've never been to a SkyClub anywhere) so I'm guessing they're improving the lounge experience to match those of other airlines.

I always purchase the annual SkyClub Membership and renew every year. I do not always fly International Businesselite, so the membership is nice to have because it awards you with complimentary alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages, a luxury bar (for purchase) which carries labels such as Johnny Walker Green Label, Grand Marnier, St. Germain,... to name a few, complimentary snacks (sushi and congee at the Narita SkyClubs, for example!) and access to KLM Crown Lounges in Amsterdam, Air France Salon in Tokyo/Narita, and other partner lounges worldwide!

I love the KLM Crown Lounge in Amsterdam, btw! Very nice - especially for a smoker like me!

Redeem any miles you can with Flying Blue and then file for divorce! SkyMiles is so much more in so many ways.

And another thing I love about Delta, is if you are lucky, you get ex-Pan Am flight attendants up in Businesselite and hands-down you will be taken back to the days of civilized travel! You can't beat the experience!

Saludos,

AirAfreak

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: stipica
Posted 2012-10-29 11:50:37 and read 10558 times.

Hi mvecchi4 !
again me

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
I go to MCO for an “Escapade”

from my perspective, I've never understood Latin love for MCO ...ok I understood but  
Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
I was supposed to get over 4.500 miles with this trip

we always expect but they create a game so

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
I will not bother you with any more details on CCS

buaaaaaa this is not acceptable ...hehehhe ... every time there is something new for the photograph ... and creates a better atmosphere for readers ...and CCS is so rare
thanks stipica  

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: mvecchi4
Posted 2012-11-03 11:59:29 and read 10116 times.

Hey all!,

Just got back from PTY so I thought I should respond to some of the comments in here. Always good to have feedback.

Quoting xjramper (Reply 12):
I am happy with DL and enjoy both their hard and soft product. But with you wanting to redeem miles, it may not be the best fit for you.

I think my feelings for DL were mainly frustration with the milage thing. I've been awarded less than the miles flown before (For example, my last CCS-LIM on LA got me 25% of the miles flown with AA as I booked on N class) but I wasnt counting on them to get elite, I guess that's the issue there.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 13):
Although not flying Delta anymore because of a mileage mishap is going a bit too far IMHO.

I know it is. I'm sure my perception of DL will change after my frustration with the mileage fades away.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 14):
Alternatively, you may want to look at purchasing two separate roundtrip tickets. For example, CCS-LAX & v.v. + LAX-TPE/HKG/PEK/PVG & vv. for example.

This is where it gets tricky for us Venezuelans. We have to book the roundtrip ticket otherwise we're unable to pay in VEF (we have exchange controls) so booking separate tickets will force me to use USD which costs 2-3 times the official VEF/USD rate. It's a complex thing...

Anyways, that opens up my interest on China Airlines  .

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 14):
Go to SkyMiles - trust me!
Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 14):
Redeem any miles you can with Flying Blue and then file for divorce!
Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 14):
And another thing I love about Delta, is if you are lucky, you get ex-Pan Am flight attendants up in Businesselite and hands-down you will be taken back to the days of civilized travel! You can't beat the experience!

I feel Hannibal Lecter is convincing me to swallow mi tongue jajajajajaja. I think I just might change to SkyMiles. After further analysis, since I see most economy fares they allow 100% accrual.

I have yet to find the accrual tables for FlyingBlue. Does anyone know where to find them? Their site seems limited.

Quoting stipica (Reply 15):
from my perspective, I've never understood Latin love for MCO

Oh, one you unleash your inner child and decide to enjoy the Theme Parks like one, you will love it.

Quoting stipica (Reply 15):
and CCS is so rare

Check out my VLN reports... raaaare!.

Best regards all, thanks for stopping by.

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: 797
Posted 2012-11-07 04:53:26 and read 9691 times.

Hola Miguel,

Once again, excellent report.

I've done this route plenty of times before, both on AA and DL, so I'm completely familiar with what you had to say.

I got to fly the CCS-ATL route on DL's 767-400, which was the best thing that ever happened to me flying outbound from CCS. You can imagine, the IFE, the spacious cabin... Then it got downgraded to 757 and that's when you start complaining about everything else.

Their product and effectiveness, however, is much better than AA's. I did a bizillion times the CCS-MIA-MCO route and I would have killed to be on DL instead.

Here are come comments that might be of help:

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
When I call and I tell them I was in Y+ (not as class but as “Economy Plus”) the agent informs me that I better stick with the 50% accrual since the Economy Comfort miles will only give me 25% of the flown miles. I couldn’t be more furious. I was supposed to get over 4.500 miles with this trip and finally get my elite status on FlyingBlue. Instead I got about 2.250.

I'm currently member of Delta SkyMiles and Alitalia Freccia Alata in SkyTeam; American AAdvantage; and Air Canada Aeroplan.

When I fly any SkyTeam carrier, before choosing my fare (I do this using AMADEUS), I go to DL's website and check whether it's a fully redeemable fare in the SkyMiles program. If it isn't and the price is incredibly good, then I use Alitalia's - which often accepts pretty much any fare around. This technique got me into the Platinum Elite in SkyMiles and Alitalia's Freccia Alata Plus, so it's worked quite well.

The fact that you traveled in Y+ doesn't mean that you're eligible to bonus miles. I flew TATL on DL's A330-300, and got my regular miles for an economy ticket. The experience was horrible, so I'm never flying Delta TATL again back in cattle class.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
AF’s mileage chart is not easily available (at least for me) but besides other minor reasons the mileage was the MAIN reason for choosing DL for this trip.

They do this on purpose. They hate having to give you miles for flights that were not flown on their metal. Switch to SkyMiles (where your miles DON'T expire), and keep FlyingBlue for what I just told you above.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
Is that an MD-11 behind that AA 757?

No, DC-10 from Solar Cargo - first Venezuelan cargo airline with a widebody aircraft.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
Legroom shot.

Ridiculous! That's part of my horrible experience with DL's TATL flight. I paid $180 both ways to get bumped into these seats and it was a scam. Tight and useless.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
I have defected from Flying Blue to SkyMiles, so I am familiar with your displeasure. You are better redeeming any remaining miles on your Flying Blue account and then concentrate on SkyMiles so you can earn 100% actual miles (or more) for all of your flights irrespective of your fare basis code.

Ditto.

Quoting xjramper (Reply 5):
Being mid-tier elite on all three alliances, to me DL has the best overall product

This is true.

Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 6):
The reason why your CCS-ATL outbound flight was empty was due to the election. It was widely reported by airline representatives in Venezuela that all outbound flights from CCS in the two previous weeks to Oct 7th, were reporting low loads. This trend got worse as you got closer to election day. I heard from a friend, that the Oct 6th CCS-PTY flights were leaving CCS with 10-15% load.

Correct. I heard AZ had a 8% load on the 5th of October, outbound. Go figure, an A330 with 5% load (no J class PAX)

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 7):
Good point. Does that apply to other airlines within their TATL JV with KL and AF? I'm going to look it up. I'm headed to China and Malaysia in April so I might just do that.
Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 7):
I will still need a SkyTeam based program because I've looked around and the fares to China and the lowest layovers (don't get me wrong, I love several segments but the China flight is kind of stressful). So AirFreak's comment that I should change to SkyMiles is a possibility for me at this point.

Switch to SkyMiles before you do that! They have the best fares to go to Asia. Or you might as well go with Air France and keep FlyingBlue.


Overall, my experience with DL's SkyMiles has been quite good. I feel their treatment over the phone is much better than AA's and the program works just better. AA's program is a nightmare when trying to redeem partner flights miles... Delta is MUCH more flexible.

I hope this helps. Keep the good work!

Enrique.

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: mvecchi4
Posted 2012-11-08 06:49:01 and read 9691 times.

Epale Enrique!,

Quoting 797 (Reply 17):
Once again, excellent report.

Thank you!.

Quoting 797 (Reply 17):
When I fly any SkyTeam carrier, before choosing my fare (I do this using AMADEUS), I go to DL's website and check whether it's a fully redeemable fare in the SkyMiles program. If it isn't and the price is incredibly good, then I use Alitalia's - which often accepts pretty much any fare around. This technique got me into the Platinum Elite in SkyMiles and Alitalia's Freccia Alata Plus, so it's worked quite well.

This is what I love about this forum, I get so many ideas that will ultimately make my travel easier in the future.

So, after further investigation, here's what I got:

- Even though the best fares I've found so far are in UA (Thanks Andreas), it's still better for me to use Premium Economy in AF since I get some extra perks I don't get in Y+ either on DL or in UA (Priority Boarding, Priority Checkin, Amenity Kit, etc etc.). And the difference between Y+ and Business is close to VEF 20.000 for HKG in April and my business in China is just starting so I'm trying to find the best deal. This means that I may go with AirFrance again.

- I've found Alitalia's MilleMiglia to be the best choice. You get first-tier elite with only 20.000 miles and you get 150% mileage accrual flying in AF's Y+ (Which is actually "A" Class) meaning that I will finally get my elite status (and around 33K miles on a trip that makes around 22k) on a 3rd attempt (AAdvantage on 2011, FlyingBlue in 2012) by getting Ulise class in MilleMiglia.

The only thing is that I'm not sure if you get elite if you don't fly their metal. I've read the terms and conditions thoroughly and I doesn't say, and since is part of Air France - KLM I'm guessing I will keep the status even when I'm not flying AZ metal.

Quoting 797 (Reply 17):
again back in cattle class

Jaja, haven't heard Cattle Class in a while.

Quoting 797 (Reply 17):
Ridiculous! That's part of my horrible experience with DL's TATL flight. I paid $180 both ways to get bumped into these seats and it was a scam. Tight and useless.

And the fact that they easily allow people to change into these seats if they're free once they close the door is a horible feeling.

Quoting 797 (Reply 17):
Switch to SkyMiles before you do that! They have the best fares to go to Asia. Or you might as well go with Air France and keep FlyingBlue.

See my analysis on MilleMiglia above    should I still go SkyMiles?

Thanks,

Miguel

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: 797
Posted 2012-11-08 12:02:30 and read 9691 times.

Miguel,

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 18):
- Even though the best fares I've found so far are in UA (Thanks Andreas), it's still better for me to use Premium Economy in AF since I get some extra perks I don't get in Y+ either on DL or in UA

Where are you exactly going in Asia?

If it is Tokyo, Osaka or Beijing, do Alitalia instead of Air France. I have done both Premium Economies, and AF's is absolutely NOT worth a penny. Alitalia's on the other hand, is quite fantastic. If you're a big guy like you said, then in AZ's new A330 the recline and leg space is what wins the bid. On their 777s, though, they chose the exact same seats as AF did, so it's not good.

This year only I've done AZ's Y+ over 9 times. PM me if you need more details  

Then again, Alitalia also beats AF on the time schedule. They leave earlier than any other TATL flight out of CCS and you pretty much avoid the rush hour at Maiquetia's Flea Market.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 18):
- I've found Alitalia's MilleMiglia to be the best choice. You get first-tier elite with only 20.000 miles and you get 150% mileage accrual flying in AF's Y+ (Which is actually "A" Class) meaning that I will finally get my elite status (and around 33K miles on a trip that makes around 22k) on a 3rd attempt (AAdvantage on 2011, FlyingBlue in 2012) by getting Ulise class in MilleMiglia.

Well, depends on how you see it. The reason I'm pushing you towards SkyMiles is because their miles don't expire and their customer service is the best there is. In Italy, however, customer service is a word that doesn't exist in their language... so if you ever have an issue like the one you just had with AF, you might as well forget about even considering arguing it with them... a total waste of time. Oh, and their miles DO expire - which can become a pain in the butt if you don't do the yearly QUALIFYING flight with them.

Now, if you guarantee that you'll do over 40,000 miles every year and Elite Status (with lounge access) is your must, then probably you could consider going with AZ.

I'm currently Platinum Medallion and Freccia Alata Plus. They both do their jobs... but SkyMiles has a better support and ease for using it.

OH, I almost forget. Upgrades are complimentary on DL with their SkyMiles program (domestic). In Alitalia, that's UNHEARD of.

Hope it helps bud!

Have fun.

797

[Edited 2012-11-08 12:06:01]

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: mvecchi4
Posted 2012-11-25 14:31:38 and read 9463 times.

Hey there!

Quoting 797 (Reply 19):
Where are you exactly going in Asia?

I'll be going to CAN (may be via HKG). I might be going to KUL but I'll be using AK on that one.

Quoting 797 (Reply 19):
Then again, Alitalia also beats AF on the time schedule. They leave earlier than any other TATL flight out of CCS and you pretty much avoid the rush hour at Maiquetia's Flea Market.

No rush hour? I'll take one of those to go please!. I'll PM you for that. I want to get a hold of that travel agent of yours that gets you those wonderful AZ fares.

Quoting 797 (Reply 19):
Now, if you guarantee that you'll do over 40,000 miles every year and Elite Status (with lounge access) is your must, then probably you could consider going with AZ.

No 40k most likely around 30K, then no lounge access.

I guess you and AirFreak convinced me to go with SkyMiles, lets hope for the best!

Thanks!,

Miguel.

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: Avianca
Posted 2012-11-25 15:58:21 and read 9428 times.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 20):
No rush hour? I'll take one of those to go please!. I'll PM you for that. I want to get a hold of that travel agent of yours that gets you those wonderful AZ fares.

well I know 797 is an AZ hardcore fan... but I like more the AF schedule - well in fact the are with UX the last one leaving CCS to Europe - at around 7:30pm giving me still a complete working day before the trip + AZ is leaving FCO to early to allow for most European citys a same day connection.

Cheers
Avianca

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: 797
Posted 2012-11-29 00:43:20 and read 8856 times.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 21):
well I know 797 is an AZ hardcore fan... but I like more the AF schedule - well in fact the are with UX the last one leaving CCS to Europe - at around 7:30pm giving me still a complete working day before the trip + AZ is leaving FCO to early to allow for most European citys a same day connection.

Ha! I am an AZ fan, but truly, the rush hour is completely avoided with the AZ flight. I took the AF one back in May, and it worked too. But I don't like Maiquetia at night, for obvious reasons.

Either way, if you're flying Premium Eco or Business, go with AZ (no brainer). If you're flying Y, maybe AF (although I hated it).

And yes, SkyMiles is the choice. AZ announced that its MilleMiglia program will officially end on December 31, 2012. They are now forcing me to spend my miles before June 2013, or they will all expire (I have over 200k!!!). So looks like I'll be traveling on my precious miles in 2013.

797

Topic: RE: CCS-ATL-MCO On Delta Y+ Class
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-12-16 00:06:19 and read 7906 times.

Hey there - sorry it has taken me a while to get back to all the backlog of things to read. As some know, I have been locked up in the Western Hemisphere (ugly city) on a key merger that will soon be announced ... (tty good for YCL. Pity about your ATL immigration experience. Still a LOT better than MIA.

Thanks for sharing.

Saludos,
A.


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