This is a tale of two very different experiences on one Delta flight, taking place on two sides of the same Delta One cabin.
I had one primary objective on my redeye flight from Los Angeles to New York on Delta: sleep before a busy day of meetings. So did my business partner. But we ended up experiencing a very different flight thanks to the service onboard.
Delta One LAX Check-In
We arrived at Terminal 2 about 90 minutes before our flight took off. Evening traffic is unpredictable at LAX so we gave ourselves plenty of time. There’s also ongoing terminal construction at LAX.
Delta offers a special Delta One (business class) check-in cubicle, which is separate from domestic first class / elite check-in. We had checked in online, though, and proceeded straight to security.
Delta One passengers on transcontinental flights to New York are offered lounge access at LAX, though we could have entered with our American Express Platinum cards even if flying in economy class.
Boarding was delayed by five minutes, but began by 11:15PM.
Los Angeles (LAX) – New York (JFK)
Monday, November 11, 2019
Depart: 11:55 PM
Arrive: 8:19 AM+1
Duration: 5hr, 24min
Seat: 1K (Business Class, aka Delta One)
We boarded through Door 1L. Onboard, I was welcomed by a flight attendant and directed through the galley to my seat in 1K.
Delta 767-300 Business Class Seat
Delta’s 767-300 business class cabin features 26 lie-flat seats in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration. I chose a bulkhead seat on this flight with no one in front of me, though all seats are “hard shell” in the sense that no one can recline on you. Cutouts for your feet are rather narrow, but did not prohibit me from sleeping.
Seats are controlled by push buttons located next to your tray table and a power port and plug for headphones is easily reachable.
Delta has partnered with Westin to offer “heavenly bedding” onboard. I would not use heavenly to describe it, but it was comfortable and certainly aided in my slumber. It was, however, a bit thin: I woke up cold in the middle of the flight, though rolled over and went back to sleep.
Delta 767-300 Business Class IFE
On-demand IFE is offered at each seat, with a range of movies, TV shows, audio, and games.
I started to watch a documentary on Mikhail Gorbachev during dinner, but decided just to go to sleep.
Although Delta’s fancy noise-cancelling headphones from LSTN look very nice, they do not work great.
Delta 767-300 Business Class Lavatory
I changed into my (Thai Airways) pajamas before sleeping and noted the small but clean lavatory. Delta uses Malin & Goetz soap.
Delta 767-300 Business Class Food + Drink
Menus were offered before takeoff. A full pre-departure beverage service was also offered, though I just stuck with the bottle of water placed in everyone’s seat.
While Alaska, American, and United only offer a snack on late-night transcon flights, Delta offers a heartier meal. I would not call it a full meal because there was no bread, soup, or dessert (all staples of Delta One), but the menu included a salad, appetizer, and three entree choices.
I had pre-ordered fish, but was informed by a flight attendant that it was not loaded.
Looking over the menu, I chose meatballs…always a favorite and a very safe beef dish.
Meal service began with a Delta Sunrise cocktail and candied mixed nuts.
I skipped the salami and cheese appetizer: it was too heavy (not that the meatballs weren’t) after midnight but it still hit the spot.
Before landing, there was no scone or coffee (like United offers), though I was just trying to maximize my rest.
Delta 767-300 Business Class Amenity Kit
Delta offers a very practical TUMI-branded amenity kit.
The kit included:
- Crest whitening toothpaste
- Bombas socks (two pairs)
- Le Labo skin creme and lip balm
- Hand sanitizer
More details on the amenity kit here.
> Read More: Delta’s Outstanding TUMI Amenity Kit
Delta 767-300 Business Class Service
So far, so good right? What’s the problem? Let’s talk about service.
I wasn’t the only one who thought the blanket was a bit too thin and a bit too small. In fact, my business partner woke up cold in the middle of the flight, got up, walked to the forward galley, and asked a flight attendant if he could have another blanket.
She responded, “You don’t need another one.”
Really? My partner asked why not and she said, “If you are cold, I can get your your jacket.”
What a condescending and rude answer. I get that only one blanket may be provisioned for each passenger. But just say that instead of dismissing the request. He would not have gotten up if he wasn’t cold…
Meanwhile, the service on my side of the aisle was lovely. Flight attendants were gregarious and also prompt to serve a light snack very quickly after takeoff.
Talk about two different service experiences…
I personally had a perfectly nice flight…it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. I accomplished my primary objective of sleeping and enjoyed the meatballs and friendly service. My business partner, on the other hand, experienced objectively bad service that was simply unnecessarily combative.
I’ll absolutely give Delta another try in the future, but even on my side of the plane I didn’t see what makes Delta supposedly so much better than American and United.