AMS-DTW Premium Select Experience

Old Apr 17, 18, 4:41 pm
  #1  
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AMS-DTW Premium Select Experience

I had a chance to test PS a week ago on my flight from AMS to DTW and would like to share thoughts on experience.

I had a ticket in economy (as KL60XX actually). While picking up a flight I had a feeling I would get a great chance to score operational upgrade to PS. A couple of days out there were 5-6 seats available in D1, quite a few seats in economy (even low T and U classes showed 9) and PS almost empty. On the morning of departure D1 was sold out, economy still had a lot of seats on sale (Y9 B9 M7 - something like that) and only about 10 seats taken in PS. So I said bye-bye to my 'expected' upgrade and was good to go.

At boarding my boarding pass beeped red. In a typical KL staffs manner I was told something was wrong and was requested to join a line at the desk. The lady couldn't be more disinterested and limited in interactions. She told my seat had changed, were lazy enough to print out a new boarding pass and just wrote a new seat number on my home printed BP. That was 24A. I had 30A and I knew it was the first row of economy. I asked if I was upgraded and she responded: 'If you like to call this an upgrade. No, actually no' - began laughing. Well... that was one the weird side.

The PS cabin ended up being full, every single seat was taken. So I believe my initial assumption that massive PS cabin wasn't selling good was correct. It looks like instead flying empty seats DL oversells economy by high numbers. There were dozens of non revs on the flight also. So it's also good to note DL prioritised operational upgrade of Diamond member to non revs (they could've accepted non revs on stand by into PS and keep me in my 30A).Summing up, I believe any status pax taking that flight have a good chance to get upgraded to PS.

Cabin/Comfort 9 of 10
I liked the cabin. It looks sleek and modern. Overhead bins were massive.
When Delta first showed 2-4-2 abreast seats in PS I though they might be narrow. In fact I didn't feel the seat being tight or narrow. It was perfectly comfortable all the flight long. The legroom was plentiful (again, better than I expected) and a very generous recline helped. Legrest also worked very well for me (though I noticed not many other passengers used it, don't now why). Overall seat comfort was a way above what I expected and a way better than AF premium economy. The only downside was lack of storage. The seat pocket was tiny. I barely managed to squeeze my MacBook Pro in (and that required taking magazines away). Remote control had also very inconvenient location - I kept touching it with my knees all the time (and it could get stuck, so flight attendants had to use knives to get it out in a quite barbarian way ).

Meal 5 of 10
There were menus (D1 lookalikes, but smaller), all drinks served in glasses, no plastic. There were 2 choices for a main course and 2 for a pre-arrival snack.
For meals they used tablecloth and cutlery similar to D1. Pretty nice and impressive for premium economy (just as a point of comparison AF serves standard economy class meal, all plastic with J class appetiser thrown in).
Meal was on par with Domestic First, so it wasn't quite good. Maybe my impression worsened because by the time they reached 24A there was no choice. For both meals. It's not good they leave 1/3 of the cabin with no choice available (and what was offered quite questionable - pork sausages and pork sandwich with no choice). For the main meal I had crepes (awful) and Cuban sandwich for a pre-arrival snack (was good, but too fat). A Cuban sandwich was 100% similar to the one they serve in D1 on flights from AMS.

Amenities 6 of 10
A very nice amenity kit was at each seat at boarding. It had pretty standard content (+ some lotion). I found the 'bag' nicer than those in D1. Bedding was kinda disappointing - a standard paper thin pillow (you can find in international economy and domestic first) and a thin Westin blanket. There was not much Westin about that blanket, but a bit better than economy. The IFE screen was quite large, responsive and had a great quality of picture (even when a seat in front reclined). Headphones were LSTN similar to those in D1.

Service
I don't want to give a score for service, coz it was an isolated case - must be the worst service I have ever had onboard with DL. You can have good FAs with DL (and over the years I had truly fantastic FAs that took such a great care of passengers), you can have okay FAs, but I had the worst. The guy serving my aisle seemed to be so pissed off with something and stressed. It was clear he didn't want to be there and hated everyone around. He shouted at me when I asked him for a menu (there was no one at my seat). He simply dumped a meal on a tray table in silence. When I said I would want a chicken instead of crepes he responded: 'No choice. You don't wanna eat then?'. Each drink request was met with rolling eyes (and I had 2 G&T for the entire flight, it's not like I was overusing). When my mate asked for his drink refill a FA was like: Again?! You want one more?!
The other aisle was served by an elderly female FA who was fantastic, charming and seemed very enthusiastic. Why am I always in a wrong place ?

Overall
Very good experience all around. Delta did a great job with Premium Select. The seat is very comfortable (what I value the most) and soft product is well above standards offered by competitors in international premium economy.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 5:34 pm
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Congrats on the OPUP!

I flew on DL133 on the new A350 a little earlier this month. The flight was full in D1, pretty full in Economy, but the PS cabin was half empty. Interestingly, as I was boarding, I overheard some pax asking if they could upgrade to J, but the agent said that she only has upgrades to "Economy Comfort". I'd be interested to know if Schiphol ground staff treat it as such, as that could make for a cheap upgrade on the ground (for the time being).

I toured the cabin seeing that this was my first flight on the Raccoon and tried out the PS seats to get a feel for the hard product. They reminded me of domestic F, i.e. nothing to write home about. Better leg room and wider seat than Y, and a footrest that I thought was pretty much useless. On my way back up front, I commented to the FA that I would miss the days that you could just pick a free Y+ seat for the times that I am in coach, and that I don't think that this is such a huge improvement, and she commented that she thought the PS cabin was a pretty big upgrade, and some of the folks seated there actually think they're flying in J. I think she was right—it makes for a decent compromise, especially if you care about the improved soft product.

Personally, I'd rather go with exit row seating.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 6:11 pm
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I hope you reported the flight attendant. That behavior is totally unacceptable.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 6:13 pm
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Delta PS looks so much better than AAs PE....I would totally pay for this especially with getting FC on the connecting domestic segment.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by AANYC1981 View Post
Delta PS looks so much better than AAs PE....I would totally pay for this especially with getting FC on the connecting domestic segment.
If PS sales really step up I'd expect the inclusion of FC on the domestic leg to go away.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 7:25 pm
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Thanks for the detailed review.

I think it is a bit early to say everyone should expect Op-ups to be easy to PE on this route (or any route). It's a new product, most likely sales will ramp up once it gets better known.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 7:35 pm
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Many moons ago when Delta had First, Business, and economy on international flights; did Delta put business class passengers in F for the domestic connecting flights?
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Old Apr 17, 18, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by WWads View Post
If PS sales really step up I'd expect the inclusion of FC on the domestic leg to go away.
Quite possibly. I just finished booking flights to Seoul. The PS cabins ranged about $80 to $500 above the main cabin. I even found one set of flights where the PS was cheaper on the return because only M fares were available. For the flights I picked, the difference was a bit over $100. For two domestic first class legs and two 14-hour international flights, I think that's a phenomenal value. The FCM offer on my flight to ATL is often more than $100 even though it's only a 1 hour flight.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by WWads View Post
If PS sales really step up I'd expect the inclusion of FC on the domestic leg to go away.
Party pooper
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Old Apr 17, 18, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
I hope you reported the flight attendant. That behavior is totally unacceptable.
Definitely this. DL should be made aware they have a poor FA.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
I hope you reported the flight attendant. That behavior is totally unacceptable.

Yes, please. If you happen to remember the FA's name (don't share it here) please let DL know.
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Old Apr 18, 18, 3:35 am
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Trip last week flew DL A350 DTW-AMS PS outbound & AF 787-9 PE on return. Thought they were both quite similar, though I might give the footrest nod to the A350; I'm shorter, so that footrest was slightly more comfortable than the 789's "combo" footrests. That one, the seat footrest did very little for me when stretched out full recline, and the front footrest of course was in the way in that recline position.

Not sure, but it seemed the 789 PE seat had just a bit more recline than the A350?

Mostly trivial - both of these are my new favs for TATL. (Assuming the client won't cough up for F!)

OT - love "Racoon", of course it is! Also, man, those engines look huge right outside your window. Finally, dig watching the 350's leading edge slats in action!
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Old Apr 18, 18, 6:54 am
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I did DTW-NRT and ICN-DTW in PS last December when both products were new ( even had A350 ready team members on board helping with the service ). Having flown AZ, AF, and CZ PE products, I did like the seat and soft product better but the storage was lacking IMO. Footrests on all of these are what they are, I think they add nice value compared to having no footrest. Trying the AF 787 PE product tomorrow - curious if it's the upgrade over the previous generation.

I look at it this way, will I buy PS/PE whenever I can for the improved economy seat, in a less dense configuration versus standard Y. I work for a non-profit it's hard to justify J unless it's super cheap ( ala the $3k J fares you see on MU ). It will take a bit of time, but this product will take off as it come on more of the fleet - it hits a sweet spot for the traveling professional that needs to stay in a reasonable budget ;-)
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Old Apr 19, 18, 9:46 am
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Probably a stupid question, but I am looking at changing some of my FRA-DTW flights to FRA-AMS-DTW, and wondering if a DL Platinum with a coach ticket can choose a Prem Sel seat on DL133.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by MarkCron View Post
Probably a stupid question, but I am looking at changing some of my FRA-DTW flights to FRA-AMS-DTW, and wondering if a DL Platinum with a coach ticket can choose a Prem Sel seat on DL133.
Sure, if you pay to upgrade for it. PS is NOT the same as Comfort+. PS is an actual PE cabin.
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