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DL BizElite (sort-of): SAN-JFK-LAX

DL BizElite (sort-of): SAN-JFK-LAX

Old Dec 8, 99, 8:32 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: New York City
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DL BizElite (sort-of): SAN-JFK-LAX

DL50 SAN-JFK 05DEC

This was the third day of flight 50's new SAN-PHX-JFK service aboard a 767-300 with BizElite seating. The SAN gate agent was still not totally familiar with the a/c because he announced first class boarding, and refused to let a pax board who claimed to be seated in "Business" class. The flight took off on time for the 50 min run to PHX. This particular aircraft was a 767-300G (as opposed to -ER), and was not outfitted with the newest BizElite seats. The seats were comfortable, with manual adjustments and no lumbar support. In seat video was installed, but no short subject on the way to PHX. There were only 6-7 people in J on this portion of the trip. DL offered no muffins or food of any kind, which I did not suprise me.

We had a one hour stop in PHX, then were off to JFK at 9:35AM with 40+ seats occupied in J. I sat next to a guy who took the old flight 490 almost weekly, but not really a junkie about a/c type, configuration, etc. (i.e. he said "this plane is more comfortable than the old one." and that was it.)

Anyway to his and my suprise the new flight number also meant that the flight served lunch rather than breakfast (same departure time as old flight!). Food was the regular, old DL first service. No menus, no appetizers (did DL cut out appetizers on lunch flights?), but good pesto shrimp pizza! Service was exemplary, with many international FAs on board. Only dissapointment was the inseat video. DL showed ONLY the main cabin feature on the inseat screens. No choices. Arrival was on time. I rushed to the CRC to use their laser printer (great amenity!). And headed to my cousins for a couple of days.

Summary: Nice flight, but DL continues to overlook some details. For transcontinental service, catering could be enhanced, not the same as say CVG-SAN. DL's FAs by and large love providing great service, so why not spend more on catering to let them? It would come back to DL in the form of loyalty...oops! I forgot that FF programs, not service is the current loyalty scheme for US carriers. Also, DL should make an effort to ensure full availabilty of the video selection on these a/c for all flights.

DL107 JFK-LAX 07DEC

I finally tried that new mix in the CRC, and was suprised how addictive it can be. The CRC was nice and uncrowded today (unlike Sunday), with many different stacks of complimentary newspapers (that didn't say: "Property of Delta Crown Room. Do Not Remove").

The flight boarded 30 min prior to take-off, with the gate agents strictly enforcing boarding priorities (J, then elite, then coach, etc.) He deflected anxious Y pax by saying that the main cabin wasn't "prepared" for boarding yet.

Just before I stepped into the Jetway, I noticed that the paint scheme of this 767-300ER was the old DL colors...I realized how much classier and appealing they are compared to the new "cartoon" style, but also feared an older a/c, perhaps even regular domestic "F" seats?

What I found were the dark blue leather BizElite seats with full electric control. They were very comfortable, I'd say no recognizable difference from AA's (old) international first class (even with 6 vs. 5 accross seating). Of course, I prefer bigger planes for international, but this was great for JFK-LAX.

Drinks were served prior to take-off, and the cabin was half empty. To my suprise, the FA passed out menus in J (though they were still labeled "First Class" and were one page heavy stock with no color or welcome message). The dinner was the same I had on CVG-SAN a week earlier, but again service was exemplary, with wine and water refills never ending. When I ordered a Johnnie Walker scotch, the FA brought a glass of scotch AND a miniature bottle (which I took home) for seconds. This time, all videos were showing, though Cycle 2 was not a great selection, I must say.

Small touches were nice on this a/c: moisturizer and toothpicks, and a rose in the lavatory. A rose on the service trolley, etc.

Summary: A great flight. But again, as DL continues to operate the BizElite "configuration" domestically, the catering should reflect the enhanced a/c. Dessert was the standard (but tasty) ice-cream sundae, and there was NO additional food service after dinner was completed (UA usually offers a snack prior to arrival). Also, the menu could be more polished. The taste of the entrees is outstanding (I had the Omaha Steaks Filet...mmmmm!).

Also, just an aside...DL should permit full fare BizElite domestic pax into the BizElite lounges at JFK. Just an idea.
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Old Dec 8, 99, 11:02 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Mililani, Hawaii
Posts: 1,236
Good trip report. This is the first I've heard of the -300G and its "non-intl" F cabin. DL has chosen to save some money on seats instead of vaulting to the top of domestic F.

Why can't the "galley FAs" downstairs do a more uniform job on the Omaha steak fillets? Is training needed? You had a great steak JFK-LAX. I've had great Omaha steaks in F .... and inedible ones, on the same flight segments on different days. I have to think the Omaha steak vendor has QC, so I suspect the galley FAs as the source of variation.

Makes me wonder whether the galley technology is still back in the 70s. Oven with a timer.



[This message has been edited by Eidetic (edited 12-08-1999).]
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Old Dec 9, 99, 7:31 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: May 1998
Location: Washington, DC
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Thanks for the report. I will be flying DL first class for the first time in less than two weeks time. Actually, it will be my first time on DL in many years.

I decided impulsively at the last minute to go home for Xmas and found the only thing available using mileage was F class. IEven though I don't fly DL, I have earned a ton of miles with them thanks to my website. Not the greatest itinerary but the comfort of first should help.

SEA-DFW-ATL-PHL Yes, two changes of planes. Yikes. Breakfast on a 757, snack on a 767-300 and dinner on an MD-80.

Return is just as bad...

PHL-ATL-DFW-SEA Snack on MD-80, snack on 757, snack on a 767-200. Oh well, hopefully, I won't get the same snack three times!

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[This message has been edited by MileageAddict (edited 12-09-1999).]
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Old Dec 10, 99, 12:21 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEA
Posts: 3,178
Say hello to all my old friends & neighbors back in Mt. Laurel/Moorestown/Cherry Hill...
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