At the start of the new year my parents had decided to take a vacation to Europe before life events would interfere with future vacations. Originally the plan would be to go to Rome but it was changed to Amsterdam as that is where our cruise would leave from. My mother and I's tickets were purchased entirely from Skymiles, while my father paid for his ticket with money. Without further ado, enjoy!
Flight #: Delta 2326
Aircraft: 757-200 (752) With IFE
Date: 3 July 2012
, First class
After a rather uneventful morning, I arrived at FLL
with my parents. Using the Sky Priority Lane, we were quickly passed through and soon on our way to security.
Delta Sky Priority check-in at FLL
Security was the same as always: Take your shoes off, remove your laptop, and put your bag in the scanner. Nothing much new there. (Note: No pictures of the security lane, thanks to another a.netter for reminding me)
We had some time to kill, so we headed to the Sky Lounge/Crown Room. My dad produced his Platinum Medallion Amex at the front desk and we were let in.
Entrance to FLL
Delta Sky Club interior.
I have been to the (EX) Continental Club at FLL
, and it is nothing compared to the Delta one. This club had food (pastries and hot oatmeal) and a full bar, while the Continental Club (when I was there) had little more than munchies.
Pastries at the Sky Club.
Hot oatmeal at the Sky Club. Unlike my last trip report, the oatmeal was just right. With a little brown sugar, it tasted like heaven.
Bar at the Sky Club.
After we got some drinks and food, we relaxed for bit. The Sky Club has free internet service if you are using your own device, which is very nice. The oatmeal they had was delicious with some brown sugar, and I had a cup of it.
Our consumable selction. You can also see my father's laptop.
After about 30 minutes, the front desk came on the intercom and announced our flight was boarding. Just the right amount of time!
, my second home.
The gateway to Atlanta, a 752 with IFE.
The boarding of the flight went as usual. When I got on the plane, I was pleased to see that it was one of the 752s with IFE. As always, complimentary Dasani water, a small pillow, and a small blanket were provided in every First Class seat.
First Class cabin during boarding.
First Class seats during boarding.
It seemed that after boarding I had sat in the wrong seat, 7D instead of 7C
, and my mother sat in 7C
instead of 7B
. Thankfully 7D didn't mind about the unintentional seat poaching, and happily took 7B
Complimentary mini Dasani water bottles and headphones.
Rear of First Class Seat.
My view out of the window.
Soon after the boarding stopped, we were granted clearance to take off. Today's takeoff would be to the east with a turn to the north to align with our destination, ATL
Smoking is not allowed on any Delta flight.......
and Federal law prohibits tampering with or destroying a restroom smoke detector.
Taxi for takeoff
Takeoff to the east.
As this was just a short regional hop to Atlanta, no meal service was provided. Snack basket service was offered instead.
Coke, Biscoff, and mini pretzels.Besides the usual Biscoff, Pretzels, and lightly salted peanuts, they also had apples, bananas, chips, and chocolate.
Delta branded Biscoff macro shot-have been wanting to do this for a while.
After a short while, the captain came onto the PA and announced that our approach was beginning. Tray tables up, seats fully unreclined, and we were ready to land.
Approach into ATL
Final. I have always wondered why ATL
is built on a mound, perhaps to decrease the risk of flood damage?
Taxi to the terminal was relatively quick. In my experience Delta has the best taxiing times at ATL
. Deplaning was mediocre: Despite the flight attendant politely asking the Y+ and Y pax let the F class passengers to depart first, the entire Y cabin was trying to elbow their way out the whole time. Oh well.
My family had some time to spare in ATL
, so we decided to take the tram to the Skyclub (forgot which concourse, sorry). One thing that is heavenly about this Skyclub is that it is right next to Chili's2Go, meaning food is only a short walk from the club.
Escalator to the Skyclub and Chilis2Go--note the elevator is out of order. I don't mind, as waiting for the elevator on a peak day would take longer than using the escalator.
Once granted admission at the front desk, I quickly started spotting. Of course, I saw more 752s than I could shake a stick at.
Munchies at the Skyclub.
Main Sky Club room.
Big windows for spotting--excellent for any aviation enthusiast.
Two Airbuses and a MD
. Of note, I have never been on any of Delta's domestic Airbuses.
A relatively empty terminal.
More of Delta's workhorses-Mainly the 752 and MD
Korean 744 most likely from Seoul.
After slugging down some beverages and munching on Deltas' snacks, the boarding call for our flight to BOS
was very crowded on such a day, it always seemed like I was running into someone even if I was walking in the right place.
Flight #: Delta 2288
Aircraft: 757-200 (752) With IFE
Date: 3 July 2012
, First class
After the initial trudge to the gate, I was surprised to see that I couldn't see the ship today's flight would be on. Earlier I had tracked this flight and the schedule was an MD90 with the occasional 752 substitute. The boarding process went as usual, with passengers in zone one (First Class) called first.
Walking down the jetway, I stopped at the gangway and my heart skipped a beat.
This was no MD90, but a 752 with IFE! Instantly thanking my lucky stars for not being on a MD90, I sat down in my seat, 4D
. (If anyone was wondering why I am lucky to not be on a MD90, it is due to the fact that I have heard that they are horribly cramped, even in F class.)
On this flight, water bottles, headphones, and a small pillow and blanket were waiting at each First class passenger's seat.
My mother and I's seat row, 4C
. Note the pillow, blanket, headphones, and water bottles.
My mother's seatback pocket had some trash it in from the previous user-yuck!
My mother and I's PDBs--Served in plastic on the ground to cut back on glass usage.
Captain during the boarding process.
Taxiing was done after the last Y passengers boarded. Like I said, Delta has their best taxiing times at ATL
, and we were onto the active runway, 26R (Heading 260) in a flash.
The active runway of the day, 26R (heading (260).
Not long after we passed the 10,000 feet marker (electronics eagerly in hand), one of the flight attendants came around to all the F class passngers taking lunch orders. In domestic F, menus are not used, but you are told your choices. Strangely enough, the meal choice was identical to the first leg of my last Delta trip report (FLL
): A marinara sandwich or cold chicken salad.
As standard fare, hot towels were served.
Orders taken and hot towels being served.
Table cloth laid.
Drink orders fulfilled.
Only after downloading the pictures to my computer did I realize I forgot to take a picture of the entree! No worries, it was identical to the meal served on my FLL
flight so I will substitute that one.
Chicken Marinara sandwich on pretzel roll, fresh fruit, Ruffles potato chips, and peanut butter brownie. Not bad!
After the meal service, water was served.
Mini water bottles being served after the lunch service.
F Class cabin about 30 minutes before final.
After a rather uneventful flight, we soon made our turn to final. The descent was rather smooth despite a breezy day in BOS
Final, showing the suburbs around BOS
The taxi to the gate was rather smooth sailing, a little longer but I didn't mind, seeing as I hadn't been to BOS
in a long time.
A trio of international 744s: LH
, and BA
After arriving at the gate, I pointed out to my mother the A333 that would be taking us to AMS
, but she didn't believe me. So we deplaned and she saw the word "Amsterdam" on the gate screen., instant $5 for me.
After that, we decided to go to the Skyclub (as always).
Entrance to the Skyclub from the terminal. Taking the stairs actually was faster than the elevator, as my family found out.
Entrance to the club (Sorry for the bad image, I was rushing along)
Main Sky Club room.
Soon after we enjoyed the club, the front desk came onto the PA and announced that the Amsterdam flight was boarding immediately. We grabbed our bags and headed to the gate. This would be my first BusinessElite flight.
Flight #: Delta 230
Aircraft: A330-300 (A333)
Date: 3 July 2012
The boarding of the flight began as we arrived, and the gate agent asked if we were seated in zone one (Business class). Our boarding passes scanned, we walked down the jetway to the ship.
A333, my ride to AMS
Jetway to the ship.
"Gangway" of sorts into the ship. The flight attendant in the back was somewhat rude, to say the least. Perhaps I just looked young, but when I asked where my seat was (first time on A333) he glared at me and pointed to the back of the Y cabin saying "You're back there" as if I didn't belong in BusinessElite. Only after telling that I was in seat 3G
he muttered "You're up there," pointing to the J cabin.
BusinessElite cabin during boarding.
Full size pillow, quilted duvet, noise canceling headset, and amenity kit. These seats are former Northwest Airlines World Business Class slanted lie-flat seats. The backrests used to be cloth with a checker pattern and the "sitting area" and legrest used to be gray leather. When the merger occurred, the seats were kept as-is for a while and then covered in full Delta blue leather.
Sitting in the seat, I quickly was amazed at two features of the seat: How small the seat controls were and how large the IFE screen is. The seat controls looked much larger in pictures that I viewed, but the IFE screen was just magnificent.
Large 8-inch IFE screen.
The purser came around with orange juice, mimorosa, and champagne (really sparkling wine). I chose the orange juice. Not long after that, the purser came around again with a newspaper cart. The choices were USA Today, The New York Times, or the Financial Times. As I wanted to catch up on some world events to make the time fly by, I took an USA Today. Following that was the delivering of the dinner menus.
Dinner and Pre-arrival menu.
The next page had a biography of Michelle Bernstein and a wine menu.
Taxi and takeoff went by pretty quickly. Shortly the meal service began, with a starter hors d'oeuvres of warm nuts and a beverage. They were good, but the nuts dried me throat a bit. Not a problem if you have a chilled glass of coca-cola nearby!
Coca-cola and warm nuts.
Once the warm nuts were gone, the appetizer came out. It was good, but a little on the cold side.
Duck breast, Rice Salad, Pumpkin Bisque, and Pretzel roll (not pictured).
The service of the flight attendant was outstanding throughout the meal. She came around with a bread basket and always asked if we would like another roll once we were finished. Sweet simplicity.
Mixed Green salad with your choice of dressing, and your choice of bread roll (pictured here is a Pretzel Roll). I took the Balsamic Vinaigrette after reading a similar trip report, and I was not disappointed.
Entree-Vegetable Pasta with your choice of roll. It came out lukewarm, I am unsure of whether it was supposed to be hot or not. Either way, it tasted delicious.
Desert was a choice of an ice cream sundae, Belgian chocolate cheesecake, or a selection of fine fruits and cheeses. I went with the cheesecake, while my parents went with the ice cream. Both sounded very good.
Ice cream on the dessert cart. I notice not many people mention the "cookie" in the sundae in their meal descriptions. It is more of a straw than a cookie, as it is hollow with no filling.
Belgian chocolate cheesecake with whipped cream and strawberry garnish. I enjoyed every single bite.
After the meal service had ended, I decided to hit the sack. These seats are angled lie flat seats, so they are not completely flat when slept on. A small fold-out footrest is attached the the bottom of the legrest of the seat to prevent you from slipping down the seat.
Seat in bed mode, with full size pillow and quilted duvet in use.
Seat in bed mode with IFE folded out. The IFE is a little to high to be viewed comfortably while the seat is fully reclined. A fix to this is two bring the back rest up a bit which allows you to watch the IFE while you're "in bed"
I awoke a few hours later, just a tad too late to receive a pre-arrival breakfast/snack service. We were vectored in to our approach, and soon we were taxiing to the gate. We quickly went through customs and arrived at AMS
's train station. It cost 23 euros to get us to the Amsterdam City center in F class (train). We walked down to the platform and got on the train.
Train's F Class. There is really no difference between the classes save for the number of passengers and upholstery on the seats.
We spent the whole week touring Amsterdam and Cologne, Germany. While in Cologne we were notified by Holland America Line that our cruise cabin had been upgraded from a verandah to a Deluxe Verandah suite. As this is not a cruise forum I will only provide a few pictures of the cruise.
Boarding one of Hollanda America's smallest ships, the MS
Deluxe Verandah Suite Living Room.
Deluxe Verandah Suite "office"--If you ever get to watch a cruise ship safety video, they are about three times longer than an Airline safety video. You can also see my father filling out forms.
Deluxe Verandah Suite Verandah balcony
Deluxe Verandah Suite Bedroom, Bathroom, and desk.
Two weeks later, as the cruise drew to a close, it was time to go back home to America. Home sweet home.
Flight #: Delta 231
Aircraft: A330-300 (A333)
Date: 24 July 2012
Entrance to AMS
Departures level of AMS
After waiting in the Skyteam Check-In line, we went to customs. After customs was cleared, boarding passes in hand, we went to the KLM lounge. The food and beverage selection was much better than the selection at ATL
, and it was very clean.
KLM Crown Lounge Entrance
KLM Crown lounge food selection.
KLM Crown Lounge juice and wine selection.
KLM Crown Lounge hot beverage selection (1.
KLM Crown Lounge Hot Beverage machines (2.
KLM Crown lounge full alcohol bar.
After enjoying every bit of the KLM Crown Lounge and starting to grow accustomed to it, boarding for our flight back to BOS
was called. Walking briskly to the gate, I was surprised to discover that security is done at each individual gangway.
Our gate to the flight back to BOS
, with security checkpoint.
It turns out that we got there a little early, and had to wait for about twenty minutes. Since all of the benches were taken up, we had to stand, which I didn't mind. Later, BusinessElite passengers were called to board.
Business Elite Seats during boarding.
My seat, BusinessElite 3G
, during boarding.
BusinessElite cabin while boarding.
As usual, a PDB of orange juice, mimorosa, or champagne (Sparkling wine) were offered, as were dinner menus and newspapers. I didn't take one this time around, as I just wanted to sleep after waking up early to catch the flight.
Complimentary full size pillow and quilted duvet, noise canceling headset, and Amenity kit. Not picture: Mini bottle of water.
Since there was no passenger sitting in 4G
, I was able to get a picture of the mechanics of the seat.
Guts of the seat.
Security seal, so you don't try to steal the life vest as an airline souvenir.
BusinessElite Cabin during final boarding.
Taxi to takeoff was a little longer than expected due to the high traffic factor at AMS
that day. We took off to the north and made a turn to line up with our course to BOS
About a minute after we passed 10,00 feet, a CBP
video came on, describing how to sucessfully clear customs in America. It was very confusing, as one a.netter mentioned in his trip report, even for a native English speaker.
After the CBP
video ended, the meal service began with a hot towel delivered to each BusinessElite passenger. Once everyone was done with the hot towels, warm nuts and drinks were served.
A hors d'oeuvres of warm nuts and beverage service (1. They were crunchy and good.
A hors d'oeuvres of warm nuts and beverage service (2.
Once the nuts were all gone, the lunch service began, first with a draping of tabecloths.
Appetizer: Shrimp and rice salad, your choice of roll, and Ginger/carrot soup. The shrimp could've used a little more seasoning, but the soup was downright perfect. I wish I could had more of it, infact.
Mixed greens salad with your choice of dressing and roll of your choice. The salad was good, I just wish I could've had a tad more dressing with it.
Entree: Boneless Chicken Breast with sweet glazed Barbequed Onions and your choice of roll. The onions ontop of the chicken were extremely delicious, and the pretzel roll I had was the icing on the cake.
Just then, I snapped a photo of the cabin.
BusinessElite cabin during Lunch service.
Closeup of the chicken.
After the lunch service had concluded, dessert was offered. The choice this time was between an ice cream sundae, a pear almond tart, or a selection of fine cheeses and crackers. I choose the sundae with chocolate sauce (no chopped nuts or strawberry sauce).
Top of the dessert cart, showing the fine cheeses, crackers, and ice cream toppings.
Middle of the dessert cart showing the scooped ice cream sundaes and pear almond tarts.
Bottom of the dessert cart showing the scooped ice cream sundaes.
Dessert: Ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce and hollow wafer cookie.
After the dessert service was offered, I went up to the bathroom but stopped by the galley.
Looks like not all of the traces of NWA have been removed.....
After my bathroom visit, the duty free shopping cart came around. They had a neat little model plane set, so I bought it. Wasn't even that much, what a steal!
Die-cast model plane seat on my seat's mini table.
Everyone was closing their windows at that point, so i decided to hit the hay. I reclined my seat fully and slept until the pre-arrival snack.
BusinessElite cabin during "lights out"
Seat fully reclined-Now you can see why it is called a "slanted" lie flat seat.
I woke up a few hours later to the pre-arrival snack being served. The turkey and cheese sandwich wasn't in stock so they changed to a marinara enclosed sandwich, which had the same sauce as the domestic marina chicken sandwich.
Entree: Enclosed marinara sandwich, "Shaved salad", and chocolate truffle.
Just as I was finishing up the meal, the flight attendant took the small plate in the upper left corner of my tray, and returned with a molten chocolatechip cookie. It practically melted in my mouth, it was so good!
Molten hot chocolate chip cookie close up.
An hour later, we landed. Unlike the mad rush on my first flight, the flight attendants made sure that the BusinessElite passengers were the first to leave. I applaud their initiative!
[Edited 2012-07-31 15:53:26]
[Edited 2012-07-31 16:01:57]