Trip Report: Delta First Class JFK-SLC-SEA and Business Class SEA-JFK

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I was a bad boy for both flights and showed up at the airport in time to hop into the boarding lane and sit down at my seat. The events leading up to both points were harried. Teeth were knashed, hands were wrung, but I made it. I didn’t have time to make a visit to the new SkyClub at T4, though I was very close it. I’ve been there before and wasn’t overly impressed. If anything, I would’ve liked to’ve seen if the recent Amex Platinum Card changes have thinned the ranks somewhat, because last time was a crowded, near-hellish experience. And at SEA, I didn’t want to miss any of FTU so left as late as possible.

I do have to give it to Delta. They’ve got things figured out. Their operations are great, they’re profitable, and the flights I were on were damn near full. Good for them.

I wish Delta’s SkyMiles program was different. I wish they treated their partners like partners and not bastard stepchildren (American, by contrast, treats their partners very well). I wish they’d step off of this revenue kick they’ve been on lately and keep things like how they were before. But that’s all “wishful” thinking.

The flights

Old cabin

Old cabin

Water at the seat, and the blanket

Water at the seat, and the blanket

Acceptable amount of legroom

Acceptable amount of legroom

Though the first flight (JFK-SLC) was completely full, the FAs were extremely professional. The segment experienced some turbulence, but the flight still arrived early, permitting me a visit to the SkyClub there. (I am always interested in airline’s hub lounges and operations.)

As soon as I sat down, I was offered a pre-departure drink. I asked for a mimosa, but there was no champagne on the Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The FA offered me a Screwdriver instead. I forgot to take a pic. There was also a mini bottle of Dasani already at the seat, as well as a thin pillow and blanket. It was the old First Class, old seats, old plane… but we take what we can get.

SLC-SEA was an Airbus A320, and SEA-JFK was a Boeing 757. Each flight had the same old seats. I thought surely I’d luck out for the SEA-JFK transcon and get the new product, but nope. The transcon was the only flight that featured the Westin Heavenly bedding. The other flights just had the thin red blankets and standard pillows.

Meal service

The choices on the JFK-SLC flight were chicken and goat cheese pizza or chilled beef salad (no veggie options today). I chose the chicken pizza and paired it with a rum and coke (some things never change).

The pizza was actually quite good. Really hot when they brought it out. I ate everything on the tray. I was hungry! 🙂

The FAs were super proactive about the meal service. They checked in on everyone, offering beverage refills and taking items as they were discarded. Very kind and warm.

JFK-SLC meal service

JFK-SLC meal service

On the SEA-JFK flight, they offered ravioli with a salad, and vanilla gelato for dessert.

Was actually pretty good

Was actually pretty good

Vanilla gelato

Vanilla gelato

A Bailey's on the rocks, naturally

A Bailey’s on the rocks, naturally

The seat

Old seat, no lie-flat, no encased “cubes” here – just the old First Class and Business Class seats. They’re holding up well, but dated in terms of what’s available on the market now. I would like to see Delta replace some of their aging aircraft.

There was no IFE on the way there. Instead, they played “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” on the screens above the seats. I tuned in about halfway through to get myself psyched again for “Mockingjay: Part 1.” I’m gonna watch that movie so hard when it comes out.

On the way back, there was IFE and I watched “American Hustle” and some of “Frozen.”

IFE

IFE

Resting on the Westin Heavenly pillow

Resting on the Westin Heavenly pillow

Overall

Our flightplan

Our flight plan

This bothers me so much. WHY do people do this?

This bothers me so much. WHY do people do this?

I heard some Diamond members bitching to the FAs about the new transcon upgrade policy. The FA was as warm as possible, but made it clear she had nothing to do with the new policy. She encouraged everyone to complain at delta.com – and said that furthermore, Delta doesn’t listen to the opinions of the FAs, just the customers. So if you’re a Delta loyalist who’s salty about the lack of upgrades on transcons, that’s the way to vent.

I was curious to see if the flight back would be less crowded, especially because Seattle is just a hot market right now and also since Delta and Alaska have been competing over SEA as a hub in the ultimate example of frenemies.

The JFK-SLC First Class cabin was completely full. The SEA-JFK Business Class cabin had a few empty seats…

If anything, this Delta experience has made me really hope American doesn’t get ruined in this upcoming merger. Please, American, no more eff-ups.

After hearing all about Delta at FTU, I’m glad I dumped them. Problem is, there’s no sure bets left.

Anyone been jipped out of a transcon upgrade lately? Would love to hear opinons from those who fly Delta regularly.

The flights were solid for a domestic product, but I can’t pledge my loyalty to this airline.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. The opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site.

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