Poor Experience D1 ATL-JNB

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Old Nov 24, 17, 1:16 pm
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Poor Experience D1 ATL-JNB

Bit of a rant...had a very poor experience the other day flying ATL-JNB in D1. Obviously a very long flight and a very expensive ticket in J (5000 + USD)

- Old, surly and rude flight attendants who had terrible attitudes, except for one. Not to be ageist but I think two flight attendants had to be at least 65 years old.

- Food was nearly inedible and during desert service, flight attendant serving simply asked "What do you want?" - very unprofessional

- About 9 hours into the 15 hour flight, when most of the cabin was dead asleep, a male flight attendant started talking SO loudly in the galley, waking me up wearing ear plugs and could still be heard over noise canceling headphones. Of course he was complaining about Delta and being unable to hold on to the ATL-JNB route that senior flight attendants only have to fly a few times a month to get their hours. Talk about passion and again, very unprofessional!

- No mid flight meal or anything offered other than small snacks one would find on a snack basket on a domestic service in F. Unacceptable for a 15 hour flight.

- No flight attendants offering any beverages besides at meal services which were about 12-13 hours apart

Super disappointed as this is my preferred route to SA (still better than SAA) but I will think twice before paying a premium on this route again.

Last edited by nw6338; Nov 24, 17 at 1:22 pm
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Old Nov 24, 17, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by nw6338 View Post
Bit of a rant...had a very poor experience the other day flying ATL-JNB in D1. Obviously a very long flight and a very expensive ticket in J (5000 + USD)

- Old, surly and rude flight attendants who had terrible attitudes, except for one. Not to be ageist but I think two flight attendants had to be at least 65 years old.
- Food was nearly inedible and during desert service, flight attendant serving simply asked "What do you want?" - very unprofessional
- About 9 hours into the 15 hour flight, when most of the cabin was dead asleep, a male flight attendant started talking SO loudly in the galley, waking me up wearing ear plugs and could still be heard over noise canceling headphones. Of course he was complaining about Delta and being unable to hold on to the ATL-JNB route that senior flight attendants only have to fly a few times a month to get their hours. Talk about passion!
- No mid flight meal or anything offered other than small snacks one would find on a snack basket on a domestic service in F. Unacceptable for a 15 hour flight.
- No flight attendants offering any beverages besides at meal services which were about 12-13 hours apart

Super disappointed as this is my preferred route to SA (still better than SAA) but I will think twice before paying a premium on this route again.
Your post is a perfect complaint to Delta, after removing "Not to be ageist but I think two flight attendants had to be at least 65 years old. ".
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Old Nov 24, 17, 2:11 pm
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Agreed, you should complain. This all sounds totally sub-par. DM intl J pax paying cash (you) are the most valuable customers DL has.

Other DM's should weigh in if using the web form or calling the DM line is best, or calling customer service.

One note considering the meal: I can understand on an overnight flight not turning on the lights and doing a full mid-flight meal service, but IMO there should have been substantial items available in the galley such as sandwiches, cheese & fruit, etc. With the crew you described, it's very possible that such items were loaded but never put out.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 2:42 pm
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Thanks for the responses. I did indeed complain online but am happy to call also. Was a super disappointing experience. A friend is on the ATL-JNB flight in J tonight so I will ask him about his experience to compare...

Agreed, the food was simply unacceptable in terms of quality and quantity. There were definitely no sandwiches or cheese- there were about 4 bananas that were taken within a few hours post-meal but that was it. Was literally identical to a snack basket on a short regional hop. Totally disappointed- probably a European carrier for me next time, but i'll see how the (much longer) return from JNB-ATL is next week...
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Old Nov 24, 17, 3:27 pm
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Dump Delta and fly QR!
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Old Nov 24, 17, 3:31 pm
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Please Complain! If they don't enjoy their job, they should just leave!
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Old Nov 24, 17, 3:31 pm
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Well, ever since the rebranding and service downgrade to "Delta One" it's been crystal clear "Delta One" stands for "one level of service regardless of what you paid", and that DL is treating its paid business class fares as other airlines treat premium economy pax (I mean, even DL itself can't bring itself to call it "business class" or anything even similar anymore...as they know very well that they are not providing a business class level of service and experience for their pax, and so it was rebranded downmarket accordingly). You get a better seat, but that's about it. That is why DL J only makes sense if it's significantly lower priced than any other feasible option, as what it really is, is W (premium economy) service in a better seat.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
Well, ever since the rebranding and service downgrade to "Delta One" it's been crystal clear "Delta One" stands for "one level of service regardless of what you paid", and that DL is treating its paid business class fares as other airlines treat premium economy pax (I mean, even DL itself can't bring itself to call it "business class" or anything even similar anymore...as they know very well that they are not providing a business class level of service and experience for their pax, and so it was rebranded downmarket accordingly). You get a better seat, but that's about it. That is why DL J only makes sense if it's significantly lower priced than any other feasible option, as what it really is, is W (premium economy) service in a better seat.
Man, you must have had some really bad DL service anecdotal experiences. Does that mean that AA and UA provide main cabin service in a nicer seat, in their J?

I'm not excusing the OP's experience here. This is crappy and they should complain and hold out for a lot of compensation - $500 voucher or 40K miles, I would say. I hope OP has the name of the loud FA - I hate that and would not tolerate such unprofessionalism.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
Man, you must have had some really bad DL service anecdotal experiences. Does that mean that AA and UA provide main cabin service in a nicer seat, in their J?

I'm not excusing the OP's experience here. This is crappy and they should complain and hold out for a lot of compensation - $500 voucher or 40K miles, I would say. I hope OP has the name of the loud FA - I hate that and would not tolerate such unprofessionalism.
Hmm....marginally, but depends. Have had both good and really not good experience on AA (e.g. bad one: downgrade from lie-flat 777 to horrid ancient 767 at the last moment on DFW-HNL, one the last in the fleet, with resulting widespread seating chaos for all pax...though AA did give much more generous proactive compensation for that without asking, much more than what DL gives for 48 hour long irrops delay, that they always make you have to ask for in the first place), for example.

I avoid flying any American airline (AA, DL, UA) in general. So other than domestic flights (which I try to mostly limit to lie-flat routes such as HNL-ATL, HNL-DFW, HNL-IAD), I rarely fly any American airline. My current favorite is CA for in-flight product quality, service, food, overall attentive FAs (e.g. will hold the lavatory for you while you can go back to your seat and sit...clean it between every passenger), though on-the-ground (PEK) experience and the lounge is horrible (most of the drinks and food are months behind their expiry date, pax can smoke anywhere, tiny and hot shower, etc.). There is no one perfect airline, unfortunately... QR, nah, it's OK (the food is really mediocre, though the DOH lounge is good), but I don't get what all the hype is about.

Other favorites are GA and VN, again both for excellent in flight food, attentive service, quality product on long-haul routes, but again both are weak when it comes to on the ground ops, such as the disappointing and crowded VN lounge at HAN and the unpleasant/slow airports in both countries. LO is another pretty good option for long-haul flights.

EDIT: and not to say that other airlines are that much better than DL when it comes to food quantity, though quality wise DL really is the leader in "keep descending". JL J food quality is good to excellent, but quantity has gotten to be very little. You need to eat right before and right after flight, and still you may go hungry during the flight. Wasn't like that before, just recently has gotten so, with less selection of real in-flight snacks (other than simple things like udon) also.

EDIT: if there are good FAs and one of the "Delta One" meals is inedible (it's frequent according to the FAs, that outright inedible food is served in "Delta One" for months), there may be one of the other choice meal available, that they can heat up and prepare for you. Had a purser do that once for me a few hours after a truly inedible meal. Gave him a few JWD certs in recognition and thanks.
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Last edited by RealHJ; Nov 24, 17 at 4:24 pm
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Old Nov 24, 17, 4:19 pm
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Originally Posted by nw6338 View Post
Bit of a rant...had a very poor experience the other day flying ATL-JNB in D1. Obviously a very long flight and a very expensive ticket in J (5000 + USD)

- Old, surly and rude flight attendants who had terrible attitudes, except for one. Not to be ageist but I think two flight attendants had to be at least 65 years old.

- Food was nearly inedible and during desert service, flight attendant serving simply asked "What do you want?" - very unprofessional

- About 9 hours into the 15 hour flight, when most of the cabin was dead asleep, a male flight attendant started talking SO loudly in the galley, waking me up wearing ear plugs and could still be heard over noise canceling headphones. Of course he was complaining about Delta and being unable to hold on to the ATL-JNB route that senior flight attendants only have to fly a few times a month to get their hours. Talk about passion and again, very unprofessional!

- No mid flight meal or anything offered other than small snacks one would find on a snack basket on a domestic service in F. Unacceptable for a 15 hour flight.

- No flight attendants offering any beverages besides at meal services which were about 12-13 hours apart

Super disappointed as this is my preferred route to SA (still better than SAA) but I will think twice before paying a premium on this route again.
Was a mid-flight snack service listed in the menu? It is on the TPAC flights and they really do serve it, although if it's a cold plate, I usually ask that they not wake me and rather save mine to be my breakfast, to be consumed just before arrival.I also indicate when orders are taken whether I want to be awakened for meals....otherwise I find it very easy to sleep through either the mid-flight snack or breakfast.

You should ask your friend to look for the mid-flight snack on the menu and ideally to save the menu for you. It's more effective to complain if you can definitely say that the FAs didn't serve one of the announced meals.

BTW, did you ask the FAs for a snack? There's usually a pretty good snack basket left out throughout the flight in D1, although it's not the same as a plated and served mid-flight snack service. Sometimes you can also beg for a leftover dessert or other stuff that's cold and still safe to eat.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 4:35 pm
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I simply refuse to fly D1 ex-ATL. I've been burned too many times by bad FAs, bad service, bad food. I route via MSP whenever I can, but that's obviously not an option in this case. I echo a previous comment: fly Qatar or Etihad.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 5:55 pm
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Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
Man, you must have had some really bad DL service anecdotal experiences. Does that mean that AA and UA provide main cabin service in a nicer seat, in their J?
For more background on RealHJ's complaints, read here starting at the linked post:

Atl- Hnl First Class ? "Delta One " ?

If you manage to make it to the end, you'll understand much better.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 7:17 pm
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wow, OP. I DEF understand your disappointment. I've taken DL on this route for 4 of my 5 trips to SA and have had great experiences - all in J btw. I DID notice last year tho when I took the r/t that I was awake for the mid flight meal service but I was still not served a meal. I had my seat in the (almost) upright position and was watching a movie but still was not served a meal. I was told after the fact that I had to REQUEST the meal. I did write to Delta that maybe some language in teh menu along the lines of "mid flight meal available upon request" might be helpful. I, obviously, don't know your circumstances but I too was disappointed. Just my two cents. Hope Delta's response is amenable to you.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 7:25 pm
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But there in nothing to complain about thats the modus operandi of US based airlines, duh ! Thank God for the ME3 , CX and SQ!
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Old Nov 24, 17, 8:56 pm
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Originally Posted by soxfanndc View Post
wow, OP. I DEF understand your disappointment. I've taken DL on this route for 4 of my 5 trips to SA and have had great experiences - all in J btw. I DID notice last year tho when I took the r/t that I was awake for the mid flight meal service but I was still not served a meal. I had my seat in the (almost) upright position and was watching a movie but still was not served a meal. I was told after the fact that I had to REQUEST the meal. I did write to Delta that maybe some language in teh menu along the lines of "mid flight meal available upon request" might be helpful. I, obviously, don't know your circumstances but I too was disappointed. Just my two cents. Hope Delta's response is amenable to you.

I have never heard of DL offering any meals by request only. Either that is specific to this route (unlikely) or the FA was not doing their job and quietly walking around the cabin to see who is awake and offering the meal service.
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