DL or KL for transatlantic?

Old Jun 8, 20, 5:10 pm
  #1  
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DL or KL for transatlantic?

After months of lock down, it is time. I need to see family and am prepared to take the reasonable associated Precautions and risks. I have both a DL and KL operated option AMS-ATL. As a DL million miler platinum elite, which is The better option? Why? Thanks friends.
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Old Jun 8, 20, 7:06 pm
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Originally Posted by nwncl View Post
After months of lock down, it is time. I need to see family and am prepared to take the reasonable associated Precautions and risks. I have both a DL and KL operated option AMS-ATL. As a DL million miler platinum elite, which is The better option? Why? Thanks friends.
Delta will probably be a better experience right now. They haven't slashed their catering budget like KLM, so you will get better food, particularly in J. Otherwise it just comes down to plane type, schedule, etc.
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Old Jun 8, 20, 7:16 pm
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Even before the COVID-19 cutbacks, Delta would have been your better bet - better seats across almost all the fleet except the 787, better cabin crew, better catering.

Now that KLM is serving... well, *this*: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32402805-post535.html - the choice is even clearer.
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Old Jun 8, 20, 8:50 pm
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If you're able to, in the pre-Covid days, in J I'd have gone for DL on USA- AMS and KLM on AMS-USA. Why? Because DL waits to serve breakfast on overnight flights till the last possible moment, about 60-75 min before landing; KLM is 2 hours before landing, allowing for almost no sleep.
Maybe if KLM isn't doing any service, this would help sleep?
I do like KLM's multilingual FAs and the Delft Houses in J....
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Old Jun 8, 20, 10:12 pm
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Yeah, I never understood the airlines that did breakfast 2 1/2 hours prior to landing in J. I do love the Delft Houses...
But I'd do DL for now.
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Old Jun 8, 20, 11:46 pm
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As a Dutchman, even I usually go for DL, as both the soft and hard product are better. Only time when this is not the case, is when KL is flying its 787 while DL is doing the same route with a 767.
All other plane types KL flies have a 2-2-2 config in J, which is only ok when you're flying together.

Now with Corona added to the equation, it's an even easier choice. KL's service on board is currently non-existent, so that would be a solid win for DL.

Yeah, the Delft house is nice, but that does not make up for the service difference at all.
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Old Jun 9, 20, 5:27 am
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DL, certainly this summer. Most of it has been already said in the above posts. In addition to that, DL will give you more space this summer:
  • We are extending our seating caps: Through Sept. 30, Delta will ensure more space for customers on all aircraft by capping seating at 50% in First Class; 60% in Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+, and Delta Premium Select; and 75% in Delta One to reduce the total number of customers on board.
  • We continue to block middle seats: Through Sept. 30, all middle seats will continue to be shown as unavailable or not assignable when selecting seats via the Fly Delta app or online. We’ll also continue to block the selection of some aisle seats in aircraft with 2x2 seating configurations.
  • We are restarting automatic Medallion upgrades: Starting June 10, we are resuming automatic, advance Medallion Complimentary Upgrades to Delta One (domestic U.S.), First Class and Delta Comfort+ – which were previously being managed at the gate – subject to availability and as permitted by the seat caps.
  • We are adding flying where we are full: On routes where increasing customer demand is driving flight loads closer to our caps, we will look for opportunities to upsize to a larger aircraft type or add more flying
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Old Jun 9, 20, 8:56 am
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Apart from the service differences I would go with Delta just in case the flight gets cancelled. You will get your money back from Delta without fuss, with KLM you may have to fight.
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Old Jun 9, 20, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by drminn View Post
Apart from the service differences I would go with Delta just in case the flight gets cancelled. You will get your money back from Delta without fuss, with KLM you may have to fight.
This is a good point, but don't forget you can book a KLM ticket through Delta also. I booked my KLM flights through Delta, and I only chose KLM because they offered a non-stop flight to AMS on the day I need to fly, whereas Delta only had 1-stop itineraries.
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Old Jun 9, 20, 2:10 pm
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Easily Delta. Last time I flew KLM I flew the 747 in Business. Average first class product
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Old Jun 9, 20, 2:30 pm
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It would be helpful to know what class you're looking to book. If flying Delta on a Comfort+ equipped aircraft, you're almost guaranteed to get Comfort+ if booking Main Cabin. Added bonus, as Grouchy pointed out, is that middle seats are blocked. If booking coach on a route where DL doesn't offer C+, I'd probably go for KLM and Economy Comfort for the legroom. However, if you can get an exit row on Delta that's probably just as good especially because you know there is no one next to you.

For J, I agree with the other poster on DL US-EU and KL return.
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Old Jun 11, 20, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by kyushuman View Post
If you're able to, in the pre-Covid days, in J I'd have gone for DL on USA- AMS and KLM on AMS-USA. Why? Because DL waits to serve breakfast on overnight flights till the last possible moment, about 60-75 min before landing; KLM is 2 hours before landing, allowing for almost no sleep.
Maybe if KLM isn't doing any service, this would help sleep?
I do like KLM's multilingual FAs and the Delft Houses in J....
I get your rationale for selecting Delta on the US-AMS route. (I also don’t get why breakfast would be served 2.5 hrs prior to landing.)

On the reverse route, what’s your reason for preferring KLM? The multilingual announcements or the KLM gift? I would go for elimination (or minimalist) announcements. In my opinion, adding the dual-language aspects to announcements just doubles their length.
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Old Jun 11, 20, 11:05 am
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I fly KL US-EU mostly since out of JFK they have a late evening departure on the 747 (hopefully for a bit longer), and I sleep through breakfast no matter which flight.
On the return EU-US I think DL is better on food and depending on the product on IFE.

With covid measures DL >KL both ways
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Old Jun 13, 20, 10:14 am
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DL all the way! It's a rare find on Flyertalk to have such a unanimous vote. But I guess the choice is very easy these days.

With travel rebounding slowly I really hope that Delta reintroduces service in domestic FC and starts putting the A350 or A330-900neo back into service. For the next weeks it looks like most DL TATL routes are flown with an A330. Some 767 and I haven't found any A350 or A330-900 before 3 August.
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Old Jun 13, 20, 10:49 am
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KL 787 vs. DL 767-300 and still you'll all pick Delta? :P
1) As for KLM's FAs-- I think as an American, when I'm going to fly on an international trip, it does feel more "international" on KLM....
meaning, multilingual FAs serving everyone in my aisle effortlessly in English, Dutch, German, and maybe even French.
2) Also love to Delft Huisjes.
3) And sometimes the food offerings are a little more interesting to me on KLM (not usually better than DL, but less of a "steak in red wine sauce with mashed potatoes" and more like a "pork in lingonberry reduction blah blah blah."
4) Finally, while I find DL's FAs to be uniformly friendly and efficient, sometimes it feels a bit more like I'm on an international trip with a "Sir, welcome aboard," and some chilly Dutch politeness on KLM vs. "What's up honey? Have I had a long day already OR WHAT?" on DL.

So while I'll take DL on a new plane, and usually on Eastbound because of the 3AM breakfast on KLM, I do like a bit of a change sometimes. If you can get a new KLM plane, I'd go for KLM.
But, as always on FT, YMMV.
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