A pair of service omissions didn’t exactly ruin a recent Delta One experience. But for how much Delta talks up its premier product, one would think the airline would maybe be a little more on top of some small things that make a difference.
Thoughts and Prayers
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We’re well aware there are wars, gun violence problems, and baby formula shortages. But we don’t write about those subjects in general. They’re off-theme. We leave those to people who write about news in general or politics.
So, trigger warning: I’m going to criticize a major airline. In fact, it’s one I frequently enjoy. I understand it’s trivial and probably petty. I’m in on the joke.
But it’s also my job to fairly review products.
Some people don’t seem to realize that but it’s the truth.
Still, please feel free to leave the usual “thoughts and prayers” or other smart-aleck remarks. 😉
Delta One, Part One: JFK to LAX
I flew home last week after attending the big celebration and media preview of Delta Air Lines’ new Terminal C at New York-LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and the Delta Sky Club.
There are no nonstops from LGA to anywhere in Los Angeles, so I opted to fly Delta from Kennedy (JFK) to LAX. (My alternative airport was Newark on a different airline if I wanted nonstop.)
I used a combination of vouchers to pay about $770 to pay for a Main Cabin round trip fare. (I upgraded to Comfort+ on the way to JFK. Those were Delta’s Premium Select seats on a 767-400 — which I greatly enjoyed and will soon review.)
I’m burning through SkyMiles right now because most international business class redemptions on Delta and partner airlines are crazy expensive. So, I lit another 79,000 SkyMiles on fire — and treated myself to Delta One for the six-hour flight home. I scored a nice amount of MQM and MQD because Delta award tickets earn elite status credit. (This was a C fare, for those interested.)
In addition to a nice seat and a chance to try a new inflight meal, two aspects of flying Delta One particularly interested me:
- This flight took place on June 2 — the day pre-flight beverages were scheduled to return. Coincidentally, that’s the day Delta flight attendants (finally) started getting paid for boarding time.
- I’d finally get a chance to sample one of Delta’s new amenity kits.
You already know where this is going.
No Amenity Kits
A small bottle of water and a wonderful blanket awaited us lucky Delta One passengers.
What was missing? Delta’s brand-spankin’-new sustainable amenity kits.
When I asked a flight attendant if there were any available, he said, no. The JFK staff didn’t provide our flight with any. Even he seemed surprised by the SNAFU.
SPOILER ALERT: People survived the flight just fine without their amenity kits. Still, if Delta’s going to promote them, one would think they’d be offered.
No Pre-Departure Beverages
I wrote in another post that our flight was delayed because of thunderstorms. Our flight attendants were also delayed getting to our plane, presumably because of the weather. (“They’re here in New York,” the gate agent told us a couple of times. “We’re just waiting for them.”)
So, I understand they might’ve been a bit hurried once on board.
As I mentioned, small bottles of Delta-branded water awaited us as per usual in Delta’s First Class and Delta One service.
But no pre-departure beverages were served. Not even a tray of sparkling wine and orange juice refreshments was offered.
It’s not like there wasn’t time, either. The flight attendants enjoyed plenty of time in the galley sharing stories and laughing with each other. That was prior to our taxi to the runway — (which took longer than my LIRR ride from Penn Station to Jamaica. (Although, I’m not sure if the cabin crew was apprised of how long the taxi would take.)
Don’t worry: there no were casualties as a result of no pre-flight beverages.
I must say the lead flight attendant and every other cabin crew member were very warm, personable, and offered great service once we were in the air (and away from those pesky thunderstorms).
I was a little disappointed in some aspects of this particular Delta One experience.
I was surprised the sustainable amenity kits of which Delta seems so proud weren’t available. And pre-departure beverages not being offered when they were due to return didn’t scream “premium product.” (Especially on the day flight attendants started getting paid for boarding time; I hope they actually did.)
I know these gripes aren’t actual problems that affect the world. I still enjoyed the flight (and wished it could’ve been longer!). But if Delta wants to keep pushing Delta One as a premium, privileged experience, it needs to make sure service is consistent from boarding to deplaning.
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