zhiao
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Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:23 pm

Having just flown Delta on multiple segments and comparing it to its main partener KLM AF, I found the seats much more comfortable, way more IFE selection, wider seats, and even better food (which used to be never the case vs Euro airlines). Meanwhile, these new seats on KLM have horrific padding and don’t even have WiFi. Delta even gives hot towels and menus these days.

So why does Skythrax continue to have these airlines above Delta? Let’s not even get into the fact that most of Delta’s narrowbody fleet makes its Euro equivalent look 3rd world by comparison.
 
United1
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:30 pm

zhiao wrote:
Having just flown Delta on multiple segments and comparing it to its main partener KLM AF, I found the seats much more comfortable, way more IFE selection, wider seats, and even better food (which used to be never the case vs Euro airlines). Meanwhile, these new seats on KLM have horrific padding and don’t even have WiFi. Delta even gives hot towels and menus these days.

So why does Skythrax continue to have these airlines above Delta? Let’s not even get into the fact that most of Delta’s narrowbody fleet makes its Euro equivalent look 3rd world by comparison.


Skytrax is generally considered to be a joke in the industry....I wouldn't pay too much attention to any of their ratings. There are a lot of questions around if airlines paid for 5 star ratings ect.
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:38 pm

"Better" is almost always one person's opinion.
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FlyRow
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:38 pm

First: You can't even compare KLM and Air France.. so I don't know what you are getting at wit KLM-AF compared to Delta.

Secondly, what you have to take in mind is that Euro-Shorthaul is a very different game to US-shorthaul. You can't really compare them.

Third: how many experiences do you compare, what kind of flights, what kind of services and class.

Fourth: what one person considers better seating or better food doens't mean everyone does.

Fifth: No such thing as offically better or worse.

Last: Skytrax is a joke
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AvroLanc
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:55 pm

Agreed, Skytrax means very little, not sure it influences any paying customers. Bet if you asked at the office no one outside of aviation has even heard of them. Most people fly either based on price of convenience (i.e. direct vs connections). As for seat comfort you cant compare seats on European carriers to NA carriers, they are two different types of people both physiologically and with what they accept/expect. I also believe that the majority of paying customers are happy to arrive at their destination. I know many co-workers who complain about certain airlines here in Canada but continue to fly simply based on price.
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EChid
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:57 pm

FlyRow wrote:
First: You can't even compare KLM and Air France.. so I don't know what you are getting at wit KLM-AF compared to Delta.

Secondly, what you have to take in mind is that Euro-Shorthaul is a very different game to US-shorthaul. You can't really compare them.

Third: how many experiences do you compare, what kind of flights, what kind of services and class.

Fourth: what one person considers better seating or better food doens't mean everyone does.

Fifth: No such thing as offically better or worse.

Last: Skytrax is a joke

Actually no, you can easily compare airlines and many publications and bloggers make a living doing so. They all operate routes that can be easily compared with each other, and they're even in a JV with each other. You can easily compare the quality of food, services provided, quality of seats, quality of IFE, wifi presence and speed, on-time performance, etc. Planes and airlines, no matter what they're marketing says, are not *that* different - it's still a fundamentally similar service with often the same type of planes.

Now I agree that some of this is a matter of opinion, but 'they have newer, better screens and more content' is an example of one of the many comparable aspects that is not a matter of opinion.

And yes, Skytrax is a joke. They became a joke a while ago, but reinforced it when they declared LH a 5-Star Airline for a product they weren't planning to have in the market for 4 years.
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mutu
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:07 pm

[quote="EChid"]
Actually no, you can easily compare airlines and many publications and bloggers make a living doing so. They all operate routes that can be easily compared with each other, and they're even in a JV with each other. You can easily compare the quality of food, services provided, quality of seats, quality of IFE, wifi presence and speed, on-time performance, etc. Planes and airlines, no matter what they're marketing says, are not *that* different - it's still a fundamentally similar service with often the same type of planes.

Now I agree that some of this is a matter of opinion, but 'they have newer, better screens and more content' is an example of one of the many comparable aspects that is not a matter of opinion.

quote]

Whilst I have some sympathy with your point, the intra EU and intra US markets are fundamentally different. Average stage lengths are probably 90mins in EU to a fixed F cabin in shorthaul doesn't make economic sense. Fares are (I am guessing ) are much lower in EU starting at €19 for a 90 minute flight so everyone is having to adapt or die. Consumers have the power in the EU through (probably) a wider choice of carriers on the main trunks. The train is a serious competitor for airlines again on many trunk routes......different horses for different courses, with different economics. The lower the RASK the lower the CASK has to be or the grater the seat density
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:07 pm

Remember, Delta's domestic product is still lacking. On AF or KL, you will get served hot meals on short haul. When you have a substandard domestic product, your star ranking is hard to improve. Although, I do find it funny that Virgin America was listed as a 4 star carrier, better than Delta. But DL has way better service than VX.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:12 pm

AvroLanc wrote:
As for seat comfort you cant compare seats on European carriers to NA carriers, they are two different types of people both physiologically and with what they accept/expect.
What? Europeans and North Americans are very similar in height, with many European nations being taller, although Americans are heavier. That said, more space/comfort is almost always good no matter the body type. Plus, its not like people from North America don't fly European airlines and vice versa. You absolutely can compare seats.
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FlyRow
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:14 pm

EChid wrote:
FlyRow wrote:
First: You can't even compare KLM and Air France.. so I don't know what you are getting at wit KLM-AF compared to Delta.

Secondly, what you have to take in mind is that Euro-Shorthaul is a very different game to US-shorthaul. You can't really compare them.

Third: how many experiences do you compare, what kind of flights, what kind of services and class.

Fourth: what one person considers better seating or better food doens't mean everyone does.

Fifth: No such thing as offically better or worse.

Last: Skytrax is a joke

Actually no, you can easily compare airlines and many publications and bloggers make a living doing so. They all operate routes that can be easily compared with each other, and they're even in a JV with each other. You can easily compare the quality of food, services provided, quality of seats, quality of IFE, wifi presence and speed, on-time performance, etc. Planes and airlines, no matter what they're marketing says, are not *that* different - it's still a fundamentally similar service with often the same type of planes.



Read carefully, what I meant is that you can't compare a consortium of two airlines to a single airline. You can't compare KLM with Air France as they are very different airlines, so there isn't a single product to compare with Delta. You can ofcourse compare Delta with KLM, Delta with AF or AF with KLM but not Delta with Air France KLM.
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FlyRow
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:16 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Remember, Delta's domestic product is still lacking. On AF or KL, you will get served hot meals on short haul. When you have a substandard domestic product, your star ranking is hard to improve. Although, I do find it funny that Virgin America was listed as a 4 star carrier, better than Delta. But DL has way better service than VX.


EU-shorthaul is more compared to US-regionals in distance and hard product.
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WayexTDI
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:28 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Remember, Delta's domestic product is still lacking. On AF or KL, you will get served hot meals on short haul. When you have a substandard domestic product, your star ranking is hard to improve. Although, I do find it funny that Virgin America was listed as a 4 star carrier, better than Delta. But DL has way better service than VX.

Not true. Flew several short-hauls on AF and KL (like BOD-AMS, BOD-CDG & TLS-CDG), never had a hot meal; beverage (hot or cold) and maybe a croissant, never a full hot meal.

However, I think people need to stop with that "hot meal is needed on short haul flights" mentality. If you cannot survive 90 minutes without eating a hot meal, then you better go see a doctor: either you have a serious medical condition (such as hypoglycemia) or have an overeating habit (which is a serious medical condition).
And, if you REALLY need to eat on such short flights, then buy yourself a sandwich at the terminal.

Airlines are not restaurants. They fly you safely (despite your claims) from point A to point B, with a known-in-advance schedule; they provide beverage as this is more a life sustaining (it's hard to go without beverage for over an hour when in a dry environment such as an airplane at altitude and a lot of legislation prevent you from bringing beverage from home through security). That's the minimum humanely required, and most people will not pay for anything over the minimum.
Now, if the schedule gets out of wack, most times it happens with the passengers being out of the plane; leaving you an opportunity to get some food in the terminal.
Lastly, if passengers are blocked in a plane for hours due to delay, that's when, usually, airlines start bringing extra snack.
 
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Polot
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:32 pm

KLM and AF both serve hot meals on “short haul” flights but only on select flights. For AF it is only on a dozen or so routes. KLM does not easily list out which flights from what I can find but it will be the longer routes.
 
CaliguyNYC
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:36 pm

So I fly DL, KL and AF quite a bit between JFK and the EU (and also VS & Air Europa) - mostly always in J. I now go out of my way to fly DL but unfortunately on the way back home, DL tends not to have afternoon departures (other than LHR and some on the cusp like BCN & ZRH). But I prefer 2-5pm departures from he EU. That said, DL's seats, food, service etc all are usually better. I think VS is best in food/service, but I hate their seats (I mean you have to manually flip the seat to ta bed). DL's A330s are great (I really don't care if they put the suite in). Even the 767 is fine. I like AF's new J seat but come on the A380 is a joke. And AF's food can be weird (especially their light snack which usually is weird tapas like things). Air Europa's new J seat is good enough (not great by any means but nice to have a 3pm departure from MAD). KLM is fine and consistent. I just wish they would upgrade their food a tad. I also have flown their Indian partner Jet and like them a lot. I think in general, DL does a great job and has reasonable partners. Other than AF's A380 J class, there is nothing I really avoid when it comes to DL partners. My one gripe would be that DL's menu doesn't change often enough and, at least out of JFK, please offer some ethnic food as an option - Mexican, Thai, Indian, Chinese etc. I mean braised spare rib on mashed potatoes or polenta doesn't cut when you fly them a lot. Even their pastas change but yet are the same!
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:43 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
Remember, Delta's domestic product is still lacking. On AF or KL, you will get served hot meals on short haul. When you have a substandard domestic product, your star ranking is hard to improve. Although, I do find it funny that Virgin America was listed as a 4 star carrier, better than Delta. But DL has way better service than VX.

Not true. Flew several short-hauls on AF and KL (like BOD-AMS, BOD-CDG & TLS-CDG), never had a hot meal; beverage (hot or cold) and maybe a croissant, never a full hot meal.

However, I think people need to stop with that "hot meal is needed on short haul flights" mentality. If you cannot survive 90 minutes without eating a hot meal, then you better go see a doctor: either you have a serious medical condition (such as hypoglycemia) or have an overeating habit (which is a serious medical condition).
And, if you REALLY need to eat on such short flights, then buy yourself a sandwich at the terminal.

Airlines are not restaurants. They fly you safely (despite your claims) from point A to point B, with a known-in-advance schedule; they provide beverage as this is more a life sustaining (it's hard to go without beverage for over an hour when in a dry environment such as an airplane at altitude and a lot of legislation prevent you from bringing beverage from home through security). That's the minimum humanely required, and most people will not pay for anything over the minimum.
Now, if the schedule gets out of wack, most times it happens with the passengers being out of the plane; leaving you an opportunity to get some food in the terminal.
Lastly, if passengers are blocked in a plane for hours due to delay, that's when, usually, airlines start bringing extra snack.


Remember, not all have a chance to buy something in the terminal. Some have tight connections. It doesn't have to be a hot meal, but something decent. Also, on a recent United flight, I wanted to purchase a snack box, but by the time the cart came to my row, everything was sold out. And I was seated in the middle, so less than half the flight was able to purchase something. Also, look at the 5 star airlines. Can you imagine if any of them went to Buy On Board if they would continue their 5 star status?
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:59 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
Remember, Delta's domestic product is still lacking. On AF or KL, you will get served hot meals on short haul. When you have a substandard domestic product, your star ranking is hard to improve. Although, I do find it funny that Virgin America was listed as a 4 star carrier, better than Delta. But DL has way better service than VX.

Not true. Flew several short-hauls on AF and KL (like BOD-AMS, BOD-CDG & TLS-CDG), never had a hot meal; beverage (hot or cold) and maybe a croissant, never a full hot meal.

However, I think people need to stop with that "hot meal is needed on short haul flights" mentality. If you cannot survive 90 minutes without eating a hot meal, then you better go see a doctor: either you have a serious medical condition (such as hypoglycemia) or have an overeating habit (which is a serious medical condition).
And, if you REALLY need to eat on such short flights, then buy yourself a sandwich at the terminal.

Airlines are not restaurants. They fly you safely (despite your claims) from point A to point B, with a known-in-advance schedule; they provide beverage as this is more a life sustaining (it's hard to go without beverage for over an hour when in a dry environment such as an airplane at altitude and a lot of legislation prevent you from bringing beverage from home through security). That's the minimum humanely required, and most people will not pay for anything over the minimum.
Now, if the schedule gets out of wack, most times it happens with the passengers being out of the plane; leaving you an opportunity to get some food in the terminal.
Lastly, if passengers are blocked in a plane for hours due to delay, that's when, usually, airlines start bringing extra snack.


Remember, not all have a chance to buy something in the terminal. Some have tight connections.

If you have a tight connection, then plan in advance: bring some snack from home.


Ziyulu wrote:
It doesn't have to be a hot meal, but something decent.

Except, someone with the same screenname said:
Ziyulu wrote:
Remember, Delta's domestic product is still lacking. On AF or KL, you will get served hot meals on short haul

So, which is it? Hot meal or not hot meal?


Ziyulu wrote:
Also, on a recent United flight, I wanted to purchase a snack box, but by the time the cart came to my row, everything was sold out. And I was seated in the middle, so less than half the flight was able to purchase something. Also, look at the 5 star airlines. Can you imagine if any of them went to Buy On Board if they would continue their 5 star status?

You mean, the same 5-star rating given by Skytrax?
Seeing the general quality of the snack boxes, I'd rather get something from the terminal.

And then again, can't anyone goes 5-6 hours without eating? If you cannot, then pack some snacks.
 
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FlyRow
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:32 pm

Polot wrote:
KLM and AF both serve hot meals on “short haul” flights but only on select flights. For AF it is only on a dozen or so routes. KLM does not easily list out which flights from what I can find but it will be the longer routes.


KLM (& Cityhopper) in Y is roughly.

<60min : Cookie (Stroopwafel) + Water/Coffee/Thea
60-120min: Snack+Stroopwafel (usually dutch style sandwiches) + drinks
120min> : warm snack + drinks

Drinks is including wine and beer.
On some longer flights (TLV, Moscow come to mind), a warm meal is served. KLM doesn't have a lot of 3hr+ Narrowbody flights.

That's better then some US cariers, especially if you fly on a regional. In the US 5hr+ flights on narrowbodies is really normal, for KLM this is nearly always "longhaul" with widebody planes.
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RDUDDJI
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:40 pm

As someone who flies all three regularly, I don't think there's a huge difference. I've flown in Bus, Prem Econ, and Econ on all three. Short haul and long haul flights. For over the pond segments, I generally prefer DL, but I don't expect my reasons to be the same as anyone else's.

Reasons (descending order of preference):

1) AF/KL 777's are 10 wide (if flying main cabin). I did that once on EK, and never again. It seems like a lot of their TATL stuff is 777 so it's hard to avoid from the gateways I typically fly through. As far as other types, I find the seats comparable.
2) CDG...terrible airport, however I absolutely love AMS (might be my fav airport).
3) I like DL crews better. I think they're nicer and the service doesn't feel as robotic as it feels on KL. Maybe that's just the Americano in me. :)
4) I prefer to stay on DL metal because I have status with DL. It's just easier to stay in the DL ecosystem. (I suspect that AF/KL FFers probably feel the same about their airline)
5) I prefer the food on DL. AF's is a very close second, but I've never really been impressed with KL's food. A pimiento-esque cheese sandwich is not even worth serving IMO.

I rate food the lowest in importance, because anyone who flies commercial based on thinking they're going to get a 5 star meal is "doing it wrong". In reality, you're getting a reheated meal made hours ago. Sure, some may be better than others, but none are great. FWIW: I do think the AF/KL lounges are both better than DL's, although DL has stepped it up with their lounges in JFK/ATL (F term)

The only real reason I choose KL or AF is for price or for onward connections in Europe. AF/KL are almost always cheaper than DL metal over the pond. In many cases I can get prem econ on AF for less than reg econ on DL. I'd take that option every time (even though I'd have to suffer CDG).

The reality is, I don't have a real issue flying either of the three (minus the 10 wide seating).
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EChid
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:18 pm

FlyRow wrote:
EChid wrote:
FlyRow wrote:
First: You can't even compare KLM and Air France.. so I don't know what you are getting at wit KLM-AF compared to Delta.

Secondly, what you have to take in mind is that Euro-Shorthaul is a very different game to US-shorthaul. You can't really compare them.

Third: how many experiences do you compare, what kind of flights, what kind of services and class.

Fourth: what one person considers better seating or better food doens't mean everyone does.

Fifth: No such thing as offically better or worse.

Last: Skytrax is a joke

Actually no, you can easily compare airlines and many publications and bloggers make a living doing so. They all operate routes that can be easily compared with each other, and they're even in a JV with each other. You can easily compare the quality of food, services provided, quality of seats, quality of IFE, wifi presence and speed, on-time performance, etc. Planes and airlines, no matter what they're marketing says, are not *that* different - it's still a fundamentally similar service with often the same type of planes.



Read carefully, what I meant is that you can't compare a consortium of two airlines to a single airline. You can't compare KLM with Air France as they are very different airlines, so there isn't a single product to compare with Delta. You can ofcourse compare Delta with KLM, Delta with AF or AF with KLM but not Delta with Air France KLM.

I still don't see that as being implied by your original wording, but even then it still doesn't make sense. KLM an AF may be a consortium, but they still have separate fleets, different products and different hubs. They can be considered/reviewed/compared as separate airlines. They offer economy service, so does DL, they offer (in some cases) PY service, so does DL. They offer J service, so does DL. They have regional products for shorter 90 minute stage lengths, so does DL. Still plenty to compare there.
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AirAfreak
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:40 am

How am I supposed to answer that question with these personal experiences with AF/KL/DL within the past two years? You can determine for yourself.

KLM ATL-AMS J ~ food ok, seat A+, Crew A+++!
KLM AMS-IAD W ~ food A+, seat ok, Crew A+++!
DL NRT-BKK J ~ everything excellent!
DL LAX-NRT J ~ food B, seat A+!, Cabin Crew ok
DL NRT-SFO J ~ food ok, seat awful, crew ok
DL BKK-NRT J ~ everything excellent!
DL DTW-ICN J ~ food ok, seat ok, crew A+!
KL AMS-BRU W ~ basic, yet sufficient
KL BRU-AMS Y ~ basic, yet sufficient
AF LAX-PPT J ~ food A+, seat A+, Crew A+!
AF PPT-LAX J ~ food A+!, seat A+, Crew A++!
DL NRT-LAX W ~ food B, seat ok, crew A+
DL MSP-LAX F ~ food awful, seat ok, crew so-so
DL IAH-MSP F ~ food ok, seat ok, crew A++!
DL LAX-ATL J ~ food A+, seat ok, crew A+!
DL ATL-IAH F ~ basic, yet sufficient
DL SEA-ICN W ~ food ok, seat ok, crew A++!
DL ICN-SEA Y ~ food better, seat ok, crew ok
DL LAX-SEA W ~ food ok, seat ok, crew A++++!
DL SEA-LAX W ~ food ok, seat filthy, crew ok
DL LAX-NRT Y ~ food A, seat ok, crew A++!
DL SLC-LAX Y ~ food ok, seat ok, crew A+!

Pleasant travels,

AirAfreak
Korean Air | Excellence in Flight.
 
IPFreely
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:11 am

Ziyulu wrote:
Remember, Delta's domestic product is still lacking.


While this is true it is totally irrelevant since DL doesn’t compete with AF/KL on domestic flights.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:36 am

IPFreely wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
Remember, Delta's domestic product is still lacking.


While this is true it is totally irrelevant since DL doesn’t compete with AF/KL on domestic flights.


That's true, but SkyTrax looks at an airline overall.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:12 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
Remember, Delta's domestic product is still lacking. On AF or KL, you will get served hot meals on short haul. When you have a substandard domestic product, your star ranking is hard to improve. Although, I do find it funny that Virgin America was listed as a 4 star carrier, better than Delta. But DL has way better service than VX.

Not true. Flew several short-hauls on AF and KL (like BOD-AMS, BOD-CDG & TLS-CDG), never had a hot meal; beverage (hot or cold) and maybe a croissant, never a full hot meal.


Only on longer flights. AMS-OTP is the only route I tried it. A warm pasta dish of some sort. Most flights to the UK, Germany, southern Norway and Denmark are so short they can barely do a basic drinks service.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Is Delta now officially better than AF/KLM?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:22 pm

But on Delta, you can have cross country flights that do not contain meal service. I don't think any flight that long on AF/KL will have no meals.

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