Thinking of switching to Delta

Old Dec 22, 19, 12:44 pm
  #1  
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Thinking of switching to Delta

So.. I've been a loyal JetBlue fan since the inception of the airline -- it always provided exceptional customer service and comfort, even if not always the best on-time performance. But after a few years away from New York I've started a new job involving a lot of New York travel, and that has drastically increased the number of times I fly JetBlue. I've only flown four round trips so far since starting this new job, and have already encountered the following:

1) On one return flight at T5, kiosk bag tag printing was broken, requiring everyone in the airport to stand in a very long line to manually get bag tags

2) JetBlue IT had some sort of glitch where they claimed to have ticketed my flight, sent me an email to that effect, but the ticket didn't actually go through. I only happened to discover this because I was reviewing my flights online and saw it was in this weird "ticket not issued" state. JetBlue never sent me an email warning me this had happened. Three hours on the phone in the middle of the night and JetBlue refused to take responsibility for the error, claiming that my bank (Chase in this case) had declined the charge. Of course, when I called Chase they said they'd never seen the charge, they had never declined any charge from JetBlue. JetBlue finally agreed to rebook me but insisted I pay a higher fare, even though the entire thing was their fault. I'm planning to file a complaint with customer service.

3) Food quality at T5 has declined. Lucy's Asian Kitchen used to be a decent fast casual Asian food vendor at T5; I actually looked forward to eating there. For some reason the vendor replaced the cooks that used to work there, and you can see from the Yelp reviews that they are understaffed. What's more, the food tastes awful now, and it takes forever. Yelp reviews have plummeted. When I contacted JetBlue customer service they said vendors are independently owned. So? They can't fire the vendor? They don't care about food quality in T5? Given that JetBlue doesn't offer that much in the way of on board food, quality of take out in the terminal is pretty important if you want to eat on the plane.

4) Food quality on board Mint-class planes has plummeted. When JetBlue first introduced the Mint planes, on board food options were excellent. The food boxes were extremely high quality. I just tried their sandwich --- sub-mediocre at best.

5) The one bright spot, on-board free high speed wifi, remains a plus; it's possible even to stream video on it. But -- it's flaky. Cuts out many times during a flight. It's still way better than most airlines -- but other airlines aren't standing still.

Delta has issues, too, such as their dynamic award pricing and the lack of consistently good wifi on all flights. But, they're deploying very high speed wifi across their fleet, and their CEO has announced they, too, will provide free wifi in the near future. SkyClubs are extremely nice and I have free access to them via my Amex Plat. Customer service is quite good. Once my current JetBlue bookings are up I may end up switching most of my business to Delta.
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Last edited by synzero; Dec 22, 19 at 1:09 pm
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Old Dec 22, 19, 6:04 pm
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I like Delta, but I love Jetblue. Jetblue is sking over Delta in my eyes. I live in NYC. I'm a longtime Jetblue customer myself, but I still fly on Delta at times. It sucks that you had those glitches, but I still feel that Jetblue's customer service is unmatched against Delta.

But of course, do what makes you happy.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 6:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Cat88L3 View Post
I like Delta, but I love Jetblue. Jetblue is sking over Delta in my eyes. I live in NYC. I'm a longtime Jetblue customer myself, but I still fly on Delta at times. It sucks that you had those glitches, but I still feel that Jetblue's customer service is unmatched against Delta.

But of course, do what makes you happy.
Do you have specific examples where Deltaís customer service fell down relative to JetBlue?

I flew JetBlue for many years when I lived in New York and was very happy with it all around. But honestly my experience in the last several months has fallen well short of my prior experience. Iím beginning to think current JetBlue management is letting things drift a bit, resting on their laurels. However Iíve not flown Delta that often, so I donít have a lot to compare it with.

I just flew a short haul SFO -> SEA on Delta and was rather pleased with the flight. It was Economy Plus though, or whatever Delta calls that, and one thing Iíve always liked about JetBlue is their lowest economy class seats are quite comfortable. Have yet to try Deltaís basic class of service recently. I have to say I found the seats very comfortable, the IFE superior to JetBlue, the lavatories were very clean and comfortable, and the WiFi was solid albeit not free.

But also: the SkyClub was very nice. Spacious, quiet, comfortable. That may be one of the chief reasons Iím considering this.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 5:05 am
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I spent a whole year over on the Delta side this year, and I have to say, the grass is certainly greener on Delta if you're flying up front, but in Economy, JetBlue ever so slightly still edges them out. I had a decent time, but that's only because Delta recognized me as an Gold Medallion. I'd imagine that if you had no status at Delta, JetBlue would win hands down.

As far as the IFE being superior to JetBlue, that is changing. 28 A320s and all of the A321neos (3 in service right now) have the same system that Delta has.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 7:43 am
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I will always go for Delta and JetBlue over other US carriers and between the two I just pick the cheaper fare. They both treat me very well with no status. Delta has a fine transatlantic product as well. Once the economy refresh rolls out there will really be no difference between the two (mainline Delta and B6) for me.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 7:49 am
  #6  
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Not sure how anyone answers this without knowing which carrier better suits your routing, pricing, class of service, hard product, and soft product needs. What are those?

Mint may or may not be great, but it doesn't exist on most routes, while DL's F/D1 exists on pretty much all routes. Thus, maybe there is a comparison if you are a JFK-LAX flyer, but not on most routes. Same thing with lounge access, frequency, and price.

Without knowing your needs and preferences, all you get here is people telling you what they like about their particular circumstances which likely have none to do with yours, e.g., international.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
So.. I've been a loyal JetBlue fan since the inception of the airline -- it always provided exceptional customer service and comfort, even if not always the best on-time performance. But after a few years away from New York I've started a new job involving a lot of New York travel, and that has drastically increased the number of times I fly JetBlue. I've only flown four round trips so far since starting this new job, and have already encountered the following:

1) On one return flight at T5, kiosk bag tag printing was broken, requiring everyone in the airport to stand in a very long line to manually get bag tags

2) JetBlue IT had some sort of glitch where they claimed to have ticketed my flight, sent me an email to that effect, but the ticket didn't actually go through. I only happened to discover this because I was reviewing my flights online and saw it was in this weird "ticket not issued" state. JetBlue never sent me an email warning me this had happened. Three hours on the phone in the middle of the night and JetBlue refused to take responsibility for the error, claiming that my bank (Chase in this case) had declined the charge. Of course, when I called Chase they said they'd never seen the charge, they had never declined any charge from JetBlue. JetBlue finally agreed to rebook me but insisted I pay a higher fare, even though the entire thing was their fault. I'm planning to file a complaint with customer service.

3) Food quality at T5 has declined. Lucy's Asian Kitchen used to be a decent fast casual Asian food vendor at T5; I actually looked forward to eating there. For some reason the vendor replaced the cooks that used to work there, and you can see from the Yelp reviews that they are understaffed. What's more, the food tastes awful now, and it takes forever. Yelp reviews have plummeted. When I contacted JetBlue customer service they said vendors are independently owned. So? They can't fire the vendor? They don't care about food quality in T5? Given that JetBlue doesn't offer that much in the way of on board food, quality of take out in the terminal is pretty important if you want to eat on the plane.

4) Food quality on board Mint-class planes has plummeted. When JetBlue first introduced the Mint planes, on board food options were excellent. The food boxes were extremely high quality. I just tried their sandwich --- sub-mediocre at best.

5) The one bright spot, on-board free high speed wifi, remains a plus; it's possible even to stream video on it. But -- it's flaky. Cuts out many times during a flight. It's still way better than most airlines -- but other airlines aren't standing still.

Delta has issues, too, such as their dynamic award pricing and the lack of consistently good wifi on all flights. But, they're deploying very high speed wifi across their fleet, and their CEO has announced they, too, will provide free wifi in the near future. SkyClubs are extremely nice and I have free access to them via my Amex Plat. Customer service is quite good. Once my current JetBlue bookings are up I may end up switching most of my business to Delta.
I feel like Delta getting free high speed WiFi is one of those things where I will believe when it's actually available. they made that claim a couple of years ago and still no progress. With JetBlue, you know it's the fastest out there.

As for Ife, it's getting a huge upgrade with a320 phase 2 reconfig. All the newly delivered a220 and a321neo will have the new Ife also. And if you fly to NYC a lot, you are likely not to get the old e90 Ife. You can look up some of reports on a321neo. It's pretty impressive.

For me, the main reason to not fly JetBlue is their small network not working for most of my needs. In that sense, delta network is pretty sad to where I need to fly to also. hard for me to see how delta wins in economy class with less leg room, seat width and lack of free WiFi and satellite TV.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Not sure how anyone answers this without knowing which carrier better suits your routing, pricing, class of service, hard product, and soft product needs. What are those?

Mint may or may not be great, but it doesn't exist on most routes, while DL's F/D1 exists on pretty much all routes. Thus, maybe there is a comparison if you are a JFK-LAX flyer, but not on most routes. Same thing with lounge access, frequency, and price.

Without knowing your needs and preferences, all you get here is people telling you what they like about their particular circumstances which likely have none to do with yours, e.g., international.
Sorry I should clarify; Iím not saying Mint food sucks, Iím saying the economy food on Mint-equipped planes sucks, when it used to be really good. Iím a mostly business traveler who flies economy to save money (currently working for a startup with solid funding but as with most early stage startups weíre trying to be efficient with our funding.) lf my company could afford to put me on Mint every flight I wouldnít be even thinking of changing airlines

As for me, Iím traveling most between west and east coast round trip, usually LAX to JFK but occasionally between LA and SF though I usually go Southwest for that given their no fee changes.

My main consideration is I need enough legroom in coach to work on my laptop (32Ē absolute minimum), WiFi needs to work, and food quality (either onboard or in the terminal to go) and IFE are also factors. Lounge access is also important; Iíve been doing Centurion in SFO then walking across to JetBlue, which to me is worth the 10 minute walk, but Delta SkyClub is appealing.

Originally Posted by tphuang View Post
I feel like Delta getting free high speed WiFi is one of those things where I will believe when it's actually available. they made that claim a couple of years ago and still no progress. With JetBlue, you know it's the fastest out there.

As for Ife, it's getting a huge upgrade with a320 phase 2 reconfig. All the newly delivered a220 and a321neo will have the new Ife also. And if you fly to NYC a lot, you are likely not to get the old e90 Ife. You can look up some of reports on a321neo. It's pretty impressive.

For me, the main reason to not fly JetBlue is their small network not working for most of my needs. In that sense, delta network is pretty sad to where I need to fly to also. hard for me to see how delta wins in economy class with less leg room, seat width and lack of free WiFi and satellite TV.
Glad to hear JetBlue is doing an IFE upgrade. If Delta is upgrading their economy seats though that might tip it back to Delta for me. The WiFi not being free is a price issue but if the overall flight is within budget it could still be worth it. It sucks that weíve lost the Gogo benefit on the Amex Plat though.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
As for me, Iím traveling most between west and east coast round trip, usually LAX to JFK but occasionally between LA and SF though I usually go Southwest for that given their no fee changes.

My main consideration is I need enough legroom in coach to work on my laptop (32Ē absolute minimum), WiFi needs to work, and food quality (either onboard or in the terminal to go) and IFE are also factors. Lounge access is also important; Iíve been doing Centurion in SFO then walking across to JetBlue, which to me is worth the 10 minute walk, but Delta SkyClub is appealing.
I think the biggest question I'd ask you is "how much will you fly in 2020?"

It sounds like your comparison is based on having no status with either airline.

If you fly enough to reach Mosaic with JetBlue, the benefits may be appealing -- no change fees on (non-basic) flights, and steeply discounted EMS seat purchases with points being the two that jump out at me.

At least for me, Mosaic offers more than Delta Gold Medallion, especially now that Comfort+ isn't at time of ticketing.

If you fly enough to hit $75k (and the requisite MQD), I suspect the Delta Platinum experience would edge out Mosaic.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
I think the biggest question I'd ask you is "how much will you fly in 2020?"

It sounds like your comparison is based on having no status with either airline.

If you fly enough to reach Mosaic with JetBlue, the benefits may be appealing -- no change fees on (non-basic) flights, and steeply discounted EMS seat purchases with points being the two that jump out at me.

At least for me, Mosaic offers more than Delta Gold Medallion, especially now that Comfort+ isn't at time of ticketing.

If you fly enough to hit $75k (and the requisite MQD), I suspect the Delta Platinum experience would edge out Mosaic.
I fly at least once a month round trip cross country for work, and a handful of times for family trips and so on. I do fly to Korea usually at least once a year but Delta wouldn't be my choice -- they are partnered with KAL which I really dislike (no wifi at all, which to me is ridiculous in this day and age). According to my calculations if I switched to Delta I'd easily make Silver but even Gold would be iffy because of the MQD requirement.

But this is the reason I (used to) love JetBlue -- I didn't need status for a good experience. JetBlue economy seats are perfectly good enough for me -- never felt cramped at least on A321's in economy. Mosaic would be nice but doesn't really change the game as far as that is concerned, and unless I spend all my money on the JetBlue Plus card I'm not going to make it anyway (and I have much better places to put my credit card spend).

The real question for me is whether or not Delta economy is decent at least for transcon. It looks like they're at least 32" typically, which is tolerable if not luxurious.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
I fly at least once a month round trip cross country for work, and a handful of times for family trips and so on. I do fly to Korea usually at least once a year but Delta wouldn't be my choice -- they are partnered with KAL which I really dislike (no wifi at all, which to me is ridiculous in this day and age). According to my calculations if I switched to Delta I'd easily make Silver but even Gold would be iffy because of the MQD requirement.

But this is the reason I (used to) love JetBlue -- I didn't need status for a good experience. JetBlue economy seats are perfectly good enough for me -- never felt cramped at least on A321's in economy. Mosaic would be nice but doesn't really change the game as far as that is concerned, and unless I spend all my money on the JetBlue Plus card I'm not going to make it anyway (and I have much better places to put my credit card spend).

The real question for me is whether or not Delta economy is decent at least for transcon. It looks like they're at least 32" typically, which is tolerable if not luxurious.
There is no domestically configured dl flights with 32 inch seat. You are going to be very disappointed if you expect that. Even their domestic first only has 36 inch in pitch.

At the same time, the entire fleet of b6 will have 18 inch+ wide seats. You are not getting that with delta.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 2:59 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
My main consideration is I need enough legroom in coach to work on my laptop (32Ē absolute minimum), WiFi needs to work, and food quality (either onboard or in the terminal to go) and IFE are also factors. Lounge access is also important; Iíve been doing Centurion in SFO then walking across to JetBlue, which to me is worth the 10 minute walk, but Delta SkyClub is appealing.
If you want a guaranteed 32" pitch with a "regular" Coach seat, I'm pretty sure that you need to keep flying JetBlue.

How do you feel about flying AA? Assuming that you purchase non-discounted Coach, four LAX-JFK AA round-trips credited to Iberia would get you oneworld Ruby status, which would entitle you to free Main Cabin Extra (34" seat pitch) seats on AA at T-24 -- if any such seats are still available. It would also entitle you to free, same-day standby, a free checked bag, and priority boarding.

After eight such round-trips credited to IB, you would have oneworld Sapphire status, which would entitle you to select MCE seats for free at time of booking, along with Admirals Club access -- even when flying AA domestically.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
Sorry I should clarify; Iím not saying Mint food sucks, Iím saying the economy food on Mint-equipped planes sucks, when it used to be really good.
...
Glad to hear JetBlue is doing an IFE upgrade. If Delta is upgrading their economy seats though that might tip it back to Delta for me. The WiFi not being free is a price issue but if the overall flight is within budget it could still be worth it. It sucks that weíve lost the Gogo benefit on the Amex Plat though.
So you mean the EatUp Cafe food, which is available on most flights over 4 hours at this point. I was confused at first when you were talking about "food on [Mint] planes." I like some of it, but all of that food is so extremely unhealthy I do my best to avoid it. Look at the nutrition facts at your own risk.

The Mint planes are not getting an IFE upgrade. All planes with LTV4 (the 321, 32S, and 32M Phase 1) will keep what they have for the foreseeable future.

I wouldn't blame you if you switched to Delta. Their bigger network is their biggest advantage, as well as for the most part being very reliable and on-time (compared to JetBlue, where on-time performance is more of a running gag).

guv1976 has a really great point about flying AA and crediting to Iberia. AA flies the A321 in their Transcon config on LAX-JFK with only 102 seats on the plane and six (!) flight attendants. I flew them once in MCE and it was fantastic. They have limited food options, but their food is free onboard! (Delta is also free from my understanding, but the fast track to getting at least MCE would be nice if you fly a lot.)

-J.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 5:45 pm
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Originally Posted by GW McLintock View Post
So you mean the EatUp Cafe food, which is available on most flights over 4 hours at this point. I was confused at first when you were talking about "food on [Mint] planes." I like some of it, but all of that food is so extremely unhealthy I do my best to avoid it. Look at the nutrition facts at your own risk.

The Mint planes are not getting an IFE upgrade. All planes with LTV4 (the 321, 32S, and 32M Phase 1) will keep what they have for the foreseeable future.

I wouldn't blame you if you switched to Delta. Their bigger network is their biggest advantage, as well as for the most part being very reliable and on-time (compared to JetBlue, where on-time performance is more of a running gag).

guv1976 has a really great point about flying AA and crediting to Iberia. AA flies the A321 in their Transcon config on LAX-JFK with only 102 seats on the plane and six (!) flight attendants. I flew them once in MCE and it was fantastic. They have limited food options, but their food is free onboard! (Delta is also free from my understanding, but the fast track to getting at least MCE would be nice if you fly a lot.)

-J.
When Mint was first introduced they had a different (and very good) food menu in economy than other domestic B6 planes. I guess thatís no longer the case and itís just ďEat Up CafeĒ.

According to Seat Guru domestic Delta is 31-32Ē in economy. That is worrisome.

As for AA that is an amazing trick. I am very loathe to fly them for many reasons but if itís that easy to get status maybe itís worth it. I have to look into that.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 7:32 pm
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
When Mint was first introduced they had a different (and very good) food menu in economy than other domestic B6 planes. I guess thatís no longer the case and itís just ďEat Up CafeĒ.

According to Seat Guru domestic Delta is 31-32Ē in economy. That is worrisome.

As for AA that is an amazing trick. I am very loathe to fly them for many reasons but if itís that easy to get status maybe itís worth it. I have to look into that.
EatUp Cafe has been in Core for several years. It used to only be on Mint flights, but now it has expanded to the majority of flights over 4 hours. The menu changed significantly a year or two ago. I miss the soba noodles.

-J.
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