For some travel I have coming up, I noticed that my usual plane from JFK to San Diego was replaced with an internationally configured Boeing 757-200. Though this means there are substantially fewer seats in First Class (down to 16 from 20 to 26 depending on configuration), there is an opportunity to fly Delta One domestically without any upgrade certificates!
To be safe I didn’t miss out on this opportunity, I went ahead and called Delta to apply a Regional Upgrade Certificate to my reservation. As soon as I was off the phone, I noticed that my reservation now had a note indicating I was wait-listed for my upgrade (since no upgrade space had cleared yet). I wasn’t worried, though, as using a Regional Upgrade Certificate moves you to the top of the list so you are only competing with others that are using them, or those who are willing to pay to upgrade.
Delta first introduced the lie-flat seat configuration for the Boeing 757-200 four years ago. Interestingly enough, my plane had the same BusinessElite branding as from all those years ago. Some things never change, eh? 😉
B757 Delta One Cabin
As you can see from the seat-map above, the DeltaOne/BusinessElite cabin is arranged into four rows of four seats. While that means no aisle-access for everyone, it is still a huge improvement over the standard first class product. Even with the older seats, being able to be completely flat goes a long way to being functional when you land.
My only complaint with this configuration is that it is impossible to rest your left arm without hitting controls!
Domestic Delta One Meal Service
When it came time for dinner, we were given an option of fish (poached salmon) or beef. I opted for the fish as I had a delicious steak for lunch. 😉 Though this was the same meal as offered on other domestic flights, the flavor of the dish was much nicer. The acidity worked quite well for it and it maintained its flavor at 35,000 feet.
From what I can see, there are quite a few more opportunities for domestic lie-flat in my future, so I am quite excited. Since I have to be up early the next morning, being able to stay well rested makes a big difference. Having Ku-based GoGo is icing on the cake!
There has beena lotof talk recently about Delta bringing back free meals to the economy cabin for transcontinental (JFK-LAX & JFK-SFO, for now) flights, and it has raised questions about customer loyalty, profitability, and if other airlines (United and American) will take note of this and do the same.
I can’t speak to profitability or making customers (more) loyal, but as someone who flies across the country regularly, it is comforting to know that even if I don’t get my upgrade, I will get a meal… …Not to say that I would turn down an upgrade, by any means! 😉 This is even nicer for tight connections when I can’t swing by the SkyClub to grab a bite before the flight.
Admittedly, I’ll be sad to see the Fruit & Cheese plate go, which leaves me wondering if this means we will be able to make dietary requests in economy the same way we can when booking First/Business class tickets. Overall, I am excited for other transcontinental routes potentially adopting this.
As I got off my flight to JFK this week, I was surprised by Delta with something that I have never had the chance to experience… the Porsche! I was taken off the jetbridge and dropped off at the SkyClub at my next terminal – talk about service! 😀
Thank you, Delta, for the experience of a lifetime!
I have no idea how I missed thisnews, but Delta is going to be connecting Austin and Raleigh with a year-round, daily flight starting March 9th of this year. It’ll be on a CRJ-900, which will be a tight fit for the 1,162 miles between the two airports, but it’s hard to beat that convenience.
The CRJ-900 has a range of 1,553 nautical miles (just over 1780 statute miles), so it isn’t surprising that it would be used to test the interest of the route.
From the Austin-Bergstrom website:
Delta’s new year round, daily nonstop flights between Austin, Texas and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina are scheduled as follows: Flights depart – Austin daily at 11:15 a.m. and arrive in Raleigh-Durham at 3:10 p.m. Flights depart Raleigh-Durham daily at 8:30 a.m. and arrive in Austin at 10:40 a.m. The flight will be operated by GoJet on a CRJ-900 aircraft with 76 seats.
As René over at BoardingArea mentioned, there are some huge changes coming with the 2018 Medallion year (I haven’t qualified yet, but I am on track to maintain my Diamond!). Through the 2017 Medallion year, Delta has been the only one of the “Big Three” (American, United, and Delta) to offer club access to their top-tier members. Starting with the 2018 Medallion year this will be going away, instead offering a third choice benefit for qualifying Diamonds.
As many of us carry either an American Express Platinum card or American Express Delta Reserve card, this offers a great deal of flexibility as you now have a third perk to pick. As icing on the cake, if you carry the Reserve card, you have a full Individual membership already, so you can upgrade to the Executive membership using only one selection (instead of two: one for the Individual membership, one for executive)!
Other changes coming include the ability to select your benefits independently – which has a huge nuisance up until now, and the ability to select benefits multiple times (other than upgrade certificates and Sky Club Memberships). You can see all the changes below.
There aren’t a lot of changes to the benefits themselves, but I’m really looking forward to the coming years as a Diamond – I love the ability to make choices!