Well first I will apologize I didn't get more photos. Some of you are amazing at taking photos, but I always feel so stupid so I just took a few. Anyway, here is the trip:
TUE 08 MAY DELTA 118
SALT LAKE CITY 9:42 AM
NYC-KENNEDY 4:22 PM
Seats 5C & 5D BUSINESS, Boeing 757-200 TV
So my friend Jon and I decided to go to germany for his sisters wedding, and since we were going anyway, we thought we'd see some of the other cities while we were there. Luckily I found some skysaver business elite seats and off we went to Germany.
We arrived at the airport at 8:30 or so and checked in at the medallion line. DL
has finished their new check in areas for about half of their check in area... It looks a lot like the new area in Atlanta. Much improved. Also, they had all the new branding up at check in. This look is growing on me more and more.
The First Class/Medallion security line was very short, and within a few minutes we were in the Crown Room. This New York flight leaves a little earlier than most of the 10 am departures, and it was a Tuesday, so the Crown Room wasn't too crowded. We headed to our gate at about 9:15 and they were already on zone 5. We went ahead and boarded and took our seats in the "business" class cabin (Delta's regular frist class cabin, marketed as business since our flight "continuted" to CDG
, false advertising in my opinion)
Sadly I noticed that our monitors were not working and I asked the FA
's about it. They reset the monitors, and they all came on besides ours. We had already pushed back and they showed the safety video and they tried one more reset in the air, but still it didn't work. I'm hearing this is quite common for the panasonic system. The FAs felt terrible and asked around to see if anyone wanted to switch us. I told them not to worry about it; it wasn't fair to the other passengers. Just then the couple in front of us said they would change us because they didn't want to watch the TV
. Thanks to them, the flight went by quickly. They served lunch, which was DL
's typical domestic F class chicken with some kind of potato, green beans and a salad.
About an hour before landing they did a snack service. The FA
's in the first class cabin were very attentive, as always, and really helped the time to pass quickly. We had a beautiful approach right over mid town, past Kennedy, then south over the ocean over Sandy Hook, then Rumson, NJ
and then over Jamaica bay with a hard right turn to land on 13L. We had a short taxi and then arrived at our gate, right on time.
We did a little shopping in Terminal 3, then we headed over to the Business Elite lounge in T2
next to our gate. We went to check in and one lady was helping someone, and the other was on the phone. Nobody acknowldeged we were there, so after about a minute we made ourselves at home. When "phone lady" got off the phone finally, she came to find us and to scold us in a proper "New Yorker" fashion for bypassing her athourity. I reminded her she was on the phone and that we didn't need to wait for her to finish. Oh if looks could kill. I had to remind myself that this is normal new york style customer service and kept her anger from affecting me. If she would have even acknowledged we were there then I could have been more patient. She seemed to be talking about a company issue with another employee, something that could have been on hold while she checked us in.
So we went to the bar and I ordered a Bombay Gin and Tonic, and the lady started making it with the house Gin, I think the Tanqueray. I said, "can you make that with the Bombay gin?" She said I didn't say I wanted that, and that's why she was making it with the Tanqueray. Once again, a perfect example of poor customer service. You'd think in a premium business class lounge the bartender would say, "oh I'm sorry, I didn't hear you say Bombay. I'll make that right now. Sorry about that..." For hell sakes, I at least get that courtesy at the local trashy gay club here in Salt Lake City, but not in New York at the Bus Elite lounge... To make matters worse, the food selection was very limited, only because the lady bringing it out refused to refresh the items when they ran out, so we basically had some crackers and every now and then something yummy like the Chicken Satay skewers. Anyway, the lounge was horrible, I give DL
a D+ for overall lounge experience.
Jon and me at the bar at T2
's Business Elite Lounge
TUE 08 MAY DELTA 78
NYC-KENNEDY 720 PM
BERLIN-TEGEL 1000 AM
Seats 4F & 4G
, BUSINESS ELITE B767-300ER
We boarded our flight about 30 minutes before departure. I had mixed feelings that we didn't get one of the refurbished 767s, sad because no AVOD and revised seats, but happy that I knew the IFE would work without a hitch. There have been several reports about how crappy the Panasonic system is on the 763, with lots of problems. Anyway, we took our seats and they poured champagne and passed out menus.
Jon on board the 763 after discovering that the cargo door that was open was not a "Jet" but the cargo door. Silly boy!
Jon and me shortly before pushback
They passed out newspapers and magazines and then we pushed back. The on board leader took our orders for dinner as we taxied the short distance to 13R. Within 15 minutes we were rocketing off the runway and we started making turns to head north east. Hot towels were passed around and then warm nuts with our choice of drink. They had two reds, and two white wines to choose from. I tried the Finca Eugenio Bustos Amancay Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina and Jon had the Segu Carmenere from the Maule Valley in Chile. Both were excellent.
We were served an Ancho chili spiced breast of chicken with poached shrip crostini topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and peppers. Excellet. I chose the roased vegtable soup for my starter, and jon had the garden salas. For the main course I had the grilled flat iron steak, and Jon had Celebrity Chef Michelle Bernstein's entree, the breased breast of duck with thai coconut-ginger sauce. I loved my steak, and the duck was excellent too. Jon contined with the fruit plate, and I had the cheese platter with an ice cream sundae and a glass of port wine. We both had no trouble sleeping after such a large meal and so much wine. We had excellent service from our FAs, especially the gentlement that was dedicated to the few of us in 4, 5 &6 F&G. He even gave us great club recommendations in Berlin. Very friendly, warm DL
service that helped to overshadow the poor service at the lounge.
Our breakfast was served as soon as we woke up, about 1 hr before landing. I had the parmesan omlette with warm breads, cream cheese and preserves. Jon had the fruit plate with kellogs cereal (boring right? Skinny boy!) We had a beautiful approach over Berlin and landed to the west with a short taxi into gate 1.
Our 767, resting after her trans-atlantic crossing
Customs in Germany was breeze! What a nice welcome. The only bad part? Jon's bag came out 3rd off the plane, and mine came out in the last 20% of the bags coming off. Either JFK
loaders suck, and completely ignore priorty tags, or the bar tender from the Bus Elite lounge called the gate and asked them to hide my bag deep in one of the containers in the back. Probably the former though, I've noticed they tend to ignore priority tags at JFK
Wed 16 MAY DELTA 107
FRANKFURT 12:05 PM
NYC-KENNEDY 2:50 PM
Seats 5F & 5G
BUSINESS ELITE, B767-300ER
We arrived at Frankfurt Main about 2hrs before departure and took the bus from the train station to T2
. Check in at Business Elite was courteous and friendly. We were on our way to passport control in minutes. After a little duty free shopping and some relation at the Crown Room, we headed to gate 8 for departure. They began boarding zone 1 just as we arrived, and so we headed on board. This too was the old interior, but again, I don't mind the old IFE, and the cloth seat insert is a bit more comfy in my opinion. Interesting that the plane had the revised bathrooms with the new wood floors...
Everone getting settled in for the 9hr flight to Kennedy
The not too shabby leg room, 60" pitch in Business Elite
Menus were passed out along with newspapers and magazines. My favorite is watching the coach passengers board, and they look longingly at those big seats hoping that 40F was somehow up front. But they look at every seat number on their way back. Several people hesitate, and I think the FA
's are good at recognizing who may be lost. "Can I help you find your seat? Oh, 37B? Yes, keep going all the way to the back..." It gets funny after a while. Coach was about 90% full from what I could tell, Business was only 50% full or so. I noticed at least one employee upgrade, because he was dressed nicer than the rest of us, despite DL
's relaxed dress code for Non-Revs. He probably worked for another airline, but still, looked nice and well groomed.
"Ladies And Gentlmen, the boarding door is now closed and we are ready for immediate departure"
Jon and me right before pushback
Service was great again on this flight. Our onboard leader took our meal choices shortly after take off, and I ordered for Jon since he was deeply asleep from the previous night's activities. She said she'd watch him close and make sure his food was ready when he woke up. I decided on the Warbun Premium Reserve Chardonnay from South East Australia and ordered the Kaltern Alto Adige Chardonnay for Jon. I really liked the australian Chardonnay.
They started us with a grilled zucchini and yellow squash with oven dried tomatos, grilled asparagus tips, marinated olives and goat cheese complemented by basil olive oil. EXCELLENT! I continued with the salad instead of the beef barley soup, and Jon did the same. Jon had the Breast of Chicken filled with fontina cheese with tomato olive sauce, and I had Michelle Bernstein's Linguine Pasta in Brandy and Goat Cheese Sauce. We both finished with the fruit, and I skipped the ice cream.
Service was very attentive with the FA
's anticipating our needs. They just don't let you finish a wine glass before it's refilled. This allowed me to sleep quite well after lunch was served, and I woke up about 30 minutes from Canada's shoreline. Our flight was somewhat bumpy as we approached land again, but soon smoothed out.
One of our plane's GE
CF-6s on idle over Islip, NY
We crossed over Cape Cod then straight towards Point Montauk at the end of Long Island. We then turned right and followed the coast in to JFK
, landing on 13L. We had to wait a bit for our gate, but we still arrived early, just before the approaching storm that would soon cause havock!
's inflight Map showing our direct/delay free approach to 13R
Upon arrival to JFK
, we were directed to US Customs and Passport contol. I noted that DL
had several employees helping to direct people and they kept things running smoothly. We were through passport control in less than 3 minutes, and had rechecked our bags and cleared security within 20 minutes! Not bad for JFK
! Clearly the boys in FRA
know how to organize and load the prioity bags, as ours were off the carousel within the first 10 bags.
We headed for the Business Elite lounge, but went to the smaller of the two lounges in T3
, as it was closer to our gate anway. We had a MUCH better experience this time around. Our outbound experience was hopefully a fluke.
Jon drinking cocktails at the lounge and catching up on the phone
The nicely decorated lounge at T3
, the smaller of the two at T3
Wed 16 MAY DELTA 491
NYC-KENNEDY 7:00 PM
SALT LAKE CITY 10:25 PM
Seat 2C & 2D
FIRST CLASS, B737-800
Well while we were sipping our Big Apple Martinis at the lounge, mother nature decided to Fcuk Kenndy up for the afternoon. Announcements were made that flights were being diverted to SYR
because of the storm and heavy traffing around the NYC area, and this didn't bode well for our flight. We were unable to stand by for the earlier flight to SLC
at 4:55 because it was oversold and so we had to wait for the 7PM. Our inbound aircraft was coming from Santo Domingo and DL
's computers showed it on the ground well before arrival time; however, JFK
ground control couldn't get it to Gate 1 in T3
so we waited and waited. It finally arrived at our departure time, but we couldn't even take off at the delayed time because of JFK
ATC. We finally boarded at 8:15, and then of course, waited some more.
Squeezing into the much tighter 39" pitch on the 738
The tug drivers sheared the pin on push back, leaving us stranded out in the middle, blocking other planes, and causing us more delays as they looked for another tug. By this time I had passed out and had awaken when the pilot announced we were something like #27 for departure. 45 minutes later, we were blasting down 22R, taking off about 2hrs late. Our flight to SLC
was uneventful, with the exception of the excellent service in F class and the terrible Jennifer Garner movie they made us watch. I was dying after 20 minutes and decided to read my Details magazine and sleep some more. It seemed we took quite the northerly route over Toronto and the Twin Cities, then to North Dakota and northern WY
. I woke up as we flew over Bear Lake, UT on our decent to 16R at SLC
. We landed about 1hr 45 minutes late.
Bags took the usual 30 minutes in SLC
, despite the fact that we were the only flight arriving, and you'd think they could get them in quicker. Also, they came in on the wrong carousel, which already had about 30 bags on it, so it was quite the clusterfcuk as people realized they were at the wrong carousel, and the bags were now coming up to a loaded belt that was jamming up. It was quite comical for a bit there. Of course, our bags were in the last 30 percent. I don't know why it's so hard for DL
to offer priority baggage service when they say they do. They could do so much better here.
Overall, not to bad, considering I was able to find SkySaver seats about a month before departure and I was able to switch our flight to fly home from FRA
instead of TXL
while we were in Germany. I've always had pretty good success finding skysavers, as long as I'm a little flexible. The new calendar option on DL
.com is fantastic for helping with this. I'll give Delta a B+ for these flights, with baggage handling and poor New York/JFK
customer service being the only thing that brought down their grade.
I believe if they can really develop and improve JFK
, they will really be the Whole New Delta they are claiming to be. I saw many improvments and great service for the most part. Our flights were right on time, with the exception of the last flight which was out of DL
's control. That's why DL
is always my only choice when it's time to hit the skies!
Thanks for any comments you'd like to leave!