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Delta One out of JFK on 763 -- I Prefer American

Delta One out of JFK on 763 -- I Prefer American

Old Jun 1, 23, 7:30 am
  #1  
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Delta One out of JFK on 763 -- I Prefer American

I am a slave to American Airlines, which has all sorts of problems, including limited international flights out of JFK. I recently took Delta business class out of JFK to Europe. I got a nonstop flight to Berlin, which was nice. Most of the rest was not. Terminal 4 is very crowded, there was a wait for the lounge, which was crowded, the food in the lounge was mediocre, boarding was fairly chaotic (no enforcement of boarding order), the seat is narrow (1A on a 767-300), there is no storage beyond the slim baskets and the cubby for shoes, the screen is tiny, you could not pre-order your main dish, the menu does not list the wines, the amenity kit does not include socks (which I always wear on a plane). The service was friendly and efficient, and the food was simple but good -- but neither food nor service was noticeably better than recent American business class experiences.

So I understand new lounges are coming to JFK, and the 767-300 is being phased out (when?). I am sure the new Delta will be great. But the current Delta business class product ex JFK to secondary cities is not great. Give me American out of Terminal 8 any time! Lots of space in the terminal, great lounge with good food, good seats, preordered dinner, interesting wines, dessert wine. Maybe worth a change in London?
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Old Jun 1, 23, 7:41 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by VillageFlyer
I am a slave to American Airlines, which has all sorts of problems, including limited international flights out of JFK. I recently took Delta business class out of JFK to Europe. I got a nonstop flight to Berlin, which was nice. Most of the rest was not. Terminal 4 is very crowded, there was a wait for the lounge, which was crowded, the food in the lounge was mediocre, boarding was fairly chaotic (no enforcement of boarding order), the seat is narrow (1A on a 767-300), there is no storage beyond the slim baskets and the cubby for shoes, the screen is tiny, you could not pre-order your main dish, the menu does not list the wines, the amenity kit does not include socks (which I always wear on a plane). The service was friendly and efficient, and the food was simple but good -- but neither food nor service was noticeably better than recent American business class experiences.

So I understand new lounges are coming to JFK, and the 767-300 is being phased out (when?). I am sure the new Delta will be great. But the current Delta business class product ex JFK to secondary cities is not great. Give me American out of Terminal 8 any time! Lots of space in the terminal, great lounge with good food, good seats, preordered dinner, interesting wines, dessert wine. Maybe worth a change in London?
Give it a try again after the Delta One lounge opens up sometime early next year. And on a route with something other than the 763.
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Old Jun 1, 23, 7:43 am
  #3  
 
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To Berlin, I would seriously consider DL or AF (now that 2-3-2 angle flat is a thing of the past: should be down to a single 77W with that product by mid-June) through CDG, especially if CDG-BER is an A220 (which is the best J you'll get on short haul out of the West/Central Europe hubs). The DL A330s and AF 777s are so much better than the 763s.
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Old Jun 1, 23, 8:22 am
  #4  
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I agree with your criticism. There are a lot of 767s on transatlantic routes out of JFK. It's a great experience in Y because there is only one middle seat per row, but less so in J, where they kept the old Thompson Vantage seats instead of doing something like UA did with their 767s and putting in a 3-across Polaris configuration.

AA runs an all-777 long haul operation out of JFK, though it's basically random whether you get the forward-backward Concept D seats or the better Super Diamond seats in business. I do think their business class meal service is a bit better (both long-haul and short-haul: on a midcon you get mixed nuts before your meal and ice cream after). Preorders are really nice too.

When comparing the lounges, I've found the JFK Sky Club to have decent food (though you have to poke around a bit to find it) and it does get crowded in the evening. I have not been to the AA lounges in JFK since they switched to the joint lounges with BA, but I would say the old Flagship Lounge had marginally better food than the Sky Club.
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Old Jun 1, 23, 11:20 am
  #5  
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The food at the SkyClub is definitely better and more plentiful than AA's Greenwich lounge IMHO. AA does have some made-to-order options in the beer area but it's a logistical pain. OTOH, I think Greenwich has better complimentary booze, including self-pour real Champagne (currently Piper-Heidsieck). DL will have higher end choices for $ but I think the prices are still reasonable for what you get (though I've always argued DeltaOne passengers should get drink vouchers for the high-end stuff).

I find DL crews to be okay-to-great while AA crews are awful-to-great. So of course on any given trip comparison, AA could have a better crew, but there are some real doozies on AA you could get stuck with which is unlikely on DL.

It's also well-known that the DL 763s stink in business class. But if you'd rather connect via LHR on AA/BA, please, have at it.

The only other nonstop option to BER is on UA from EWR, which has a better seat than DL (also currently a 763), similar crews (okay-to-great), better pre-flight dining (IF you have time for table service as there is often a wait; the buffet sucks), better complimentary booze, but much worse on-board catering (though it's getting better apparently).
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Old Jun 1, 23, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by VillageFlyer
I am a slave to American Airlines, which has all sorts of problems, including limited international flights out of JFK. I recently took Delta business class out of JFK to Europe. I got a nonstop flight to Berlin, which was nice. Most of the rest was not. Terminal 4 is very crowded, there was a wait for the lounge, which was crowded, the food in the lounge was mediocre, boarding was fairly chaotic (no enforcement of boarding order), the seat is narrow (1A on a 767-300), there is no storage beyond the slim baskets and the cubby for shoes, the screen is tiny, you could not pre-order your main dish, the menu does not list the wines, the amenity kit does not include socks (which I always wear on a plane). The service was friendly and efficient, and the food was simple but good -- but neither food nor service was noticeably better than recent American business class experiences.

So I understand new lounges are coming to JFK, and the 767-300 is being phased out (when?). I am sure the new Delta will be great. But the current Delta business class product ex JFK to secondary cities is not great. Give me American out of Terminal 8 any time! Lots of space in the terminal, great lounge with good food, good seats, preordered dinner, interesting wines, dessert wine. Maybe worth a change in London?
Although I prefer Delta over American in general, for this specific route and plane, can't really argue with you on most of the points you bring up. When flying international out of JFK on Delta, I try to get the 764 or A330. Or I just fly a Delta partner (Virgin, Air France, KLM).

The lounges will become less crowded once the new ones open. However in general I try to go schedule flights out of JFK in the early afternoon (before 2 or 3 PM), or if taking international flights, very late (8, 9, 10 PM). Do that and you won't face much lounge crowding.
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Old Jun 1, 23, 4:56 pm
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The OP was disappointed that he/she could not pre-order the main meal in advance. You absolutely can on DL, either through the reservation in the app or via the website (or to either of those from the email that is sent). The other points made by the OP are all valid, as are the responses.

Each carrier has their pluses and minuses. In general, the OP will get consistency from DL. There may be better experiences to be had with AA/BA, but there def may be worse.

I would also advise the OP to CAREFULLY look at any AA/BA connections at LHR. There are few things in travel worse than a T3 to T5 connection at LHR.
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Old Jun 1, 23, 6:06 pm
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Yes I am not a fan of the Delta terminal either at JFK… lounge/crowded and old etc.
I do think they are going to mirror what they are doing at LAX though for JFK.. LAX is about 70% complete (only the D1 lounge, some gate updates and the direct moving walkway to the International terminal left to do) Supposedly in next 6-9 months all those things will be done. I like what they have already done, including the new D1 check in area… So if JFK gets close to what LAX has gotten for the overall experience and you add in all the extra direct flight options then it would be quite clear between Delta and AA at JFK for International flights. I am not aware of everything happening at JFK but the new D1 lounge and D1 check in area is happening next year I believe..
Now the old plane you got is another story altogether but others have noted that should be hitting the boneyard soon.

NOTE: As for food, wine and amenity kits its simple for me.. AF, KLM or BA.. if they are all a connection for your destination, then its AF as hhdl noted.. I think the have the best menu and wine choices for any European carrier.

Last edited by FenwayTim; Jun 1, 23 at 6:22 pm Reason: Added note;
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Old Jun 1, 23, 9:23 pm
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I got socks in the last three amenity kitsI got from the Big D: D1 DTW-AMS and AMS-JFK; and PS JFK-LHR. I don't think Delta has different amenity kits for their "secondary" TATL routes such as BER.

I will agree with you that the on-board food is disappointing, to say the least. Delta used to have excellent desserts and good port wines. Delta recently parted company with its legendary "master sommelier" Andrea Robinson, so I think they have had to start serving wines that will make one yearn for Barefoot and Woodbridge.
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Old Jun 1, 23, 9:31 pm
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This is why many of us for biz class have become free agents.
I’m now flying JetBlue JFK to Amsterdam - A321LR.
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Old Jun 2, 23, 3:10 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by ND76
I got socks in the last three amenity kitsI got from the Big D: D1 DTW-AMS and AMS-JFK; and PS JFK-LHR. I don't think Delta has different amenity kits for their "secondary" TATL routes such as BER.

I will agree with you that the on-board food is disappointing, to say the least. Delta used to have excellent desserts and good port wines. Delta recently parted company with its legendary "master sommelier" Andrea Robinson, so I think they have had to start serving wines that will make one yearn for Barefoot and Woodbridge.
Socks went way of Dodo with new amenity kits. (The old Tumi kits periodically make an appearance when old stock is found)
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Old Jun 2, 23, 7:00 am
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Tired B767-300s aside, Delta One really needs to improve its wine program. The swill they serve tastes like it was bought at CVS. They are obviously embarrassed to list wine choices on their menus. The food is OK but not at pre- Covid standards. For example, appetizers other than soup have not returned. The amenity kit socks have been replaced by slippers. I prefer socks, since they "don't fall off" like the new slippers that were made for tiny feet. United has better bedding but worse food (which is improving). AA is still inconsistent. But, Delta needs to focus on its soft product. They are quickly losing the edge it had over its U.S. competitors.
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Old Jun 2, 23, 7:59 am
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Delta One, regardless of plane type, has declined so steeply I won't fly it anymore (and as recently as 2018 used to be my top choice). I choose AF for my TATL biz trips now if I need SkyMiles, and if not am enjoying being a free agent.
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Old Jun 2, 23, 1:30 pm
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From the DC area I'm now flying Aer Lingus to Dub instead of taking DL from DCA with a hop in JFK to avoid IAD. Mostly it's the Silver Line completion that made the non-stop a no-brainer, but I can't say I miss the DL experience, from the tiny IFE screens to the blaring boarding music. Agree on the food and bev quality going downhill drastically.
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Old Jun 3, 23, 10:21 am
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Flew JFK -> LHR and back earlier this week, and I totally agree. Delta needs to get its soft product sorted out. Meals were sufficiently bad that I would consider grabbing something at the airport next trip. The pre-arrival meal both ways was straight up terrible. The amenity kit is bare bones compared to the old days, and is devastatingly bad compared to competitors. Add the “coffin seat” to that, and it’s an overall subpar experience. It will be VA on that route next time.
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