Yesterday, 10/27, I took my first trip on Delta, as they flew me from IND to ATL for an interview, drug test, and tour. My friend and I were booked on their 10:05 am flight from IND, and we arrived at the airport around 8:55. After checking in at the ticket counter, we were given coach boarding passes, and told that we were on the standby list for an upgrade. We walked back to the gate and waited. About 35 minutes before departure, our names were called and we claimed our First Class boarding passes, seats 1 C & D. We boarded as soon as First was called, and took our seats. I had a Coke before departure, followed shortly by another Coke. We left right on time, and were in the air 10 minutes after pushback. Although the flight was only one hour and one minute, we were served a delicious lunch in First Class. We didn't have a choice - all 14 passengers were served a teriyaki chicken salad, which was teriyaki chicken, pasta, and some lettuce, served cold. It came with a hot roll and a packaged brownie. It was a really good meal, especially for such a short flight. Upon landing in ATL, we taxied in and were met at the gate by a friend of mine, who is currently an intern at Delta. When he me us, he broke the news to us that, contrary to our plans, he would not be our tour guide. Rather, he was off to Paris on a business trip, connecting through Kennedy. Instead, another Purdue intern drove us to headquarters for our interviews and gave us a tour of the facility.
In a previous post (IND-DFW...), there is a large discussion of my first interview with Delta. That interview was with the flight operations people, this interview was with human resources. Sara Tracy, the Leadership Recruitment representative who conducted my interview, was extremely friendly. The interview was very pleasant, more like a conversation than an interview. We mostly reviewed the answers that I had put on my application, but also discussed Purdue, my work history, how I got into aviation, and why I was coming to Delta. Finally she gave me some information about Atlanta and housing for the semester, and offered passes to fly back to Atlanta laer in the semester to secure housing. After the 20 minute interview, I was formally offered a position in flight operations, pending passage of a drug test and background check... I happily accepted!
After my friend's interview was complete, we headed to a medical center near Delta's HQ for our drug tests, then headed back to HQ for a tour. We visited all areas of the complex, including dispatch, meteorology, training, planning, and simulators. We spent about 30 minutes sitting in a 777 sim, as the intern who was our tour guide was working with the 777 fleet for the semester, and she had a wealth of information about the aircraft to pass on to us.
Following a great day in Atlanta, we checked availability for our flight back to IND and headed to the airport. On this flight, 1104, we were unable to upgrade as the first class cabin was full. I was originally assigned a middle seat, but the agent who checked me in reaccomodated me in a window. My friend was not so lucky - he was stuck with the middle. The first thing I noticed upon walking past the bulkhead was the odd seating configuration - after countless flights in American's 2-3 MD-80s, I could not get used to Delta's 3-2 configuration. I took my seat, 16E, and we were off. Upon sitting down, I realized what a nice main cabin product American now offers... In the short time since the upgrade began, I have become more used to the adjustable headrests, comfortable seats, and extra legroom than I realized! In any event, this flight was a short 1:03, and we were served beverages and "Delta Snack Mix," which is delicious (much better than American's new snack mix!) I noticed that Delta uses very large cups, which is nice if you're not going to get the whole can of soda. I, however, requested and was served the full can. After the quick flight, we landed at IND and were at the gate about 15 minutes early.
In all, this was a great trip. I see a lot fo room for improvement in Delta's cabin comfort, but the service was excellent - friendly and sincere without exception. The headquarters facility was great, and I am unbelievably excited about spending a semester there as an intern!