I’ve gotten some concerned looks in the past about some of the routes and mileage runs I’ve done to maintain my status with Delta, but believe me when I say it pays off.
I posted earlier about some excitement regarding an extremely affordable trip to Paris later this year, and after having received my Global Upgrade Certificates I had one of the smoothest certificate-related calls to date. There was space available on the outbound flight, so I was immediately confirmed for Delta One! I’m still wait-listed for the return upgrades, but all things considered I’m not too worried.
One of the nice things about booking the flights separately is that my upgrade for the JFK-CDG flight is not dependent on any other space. This makes it much more straightforward to monitor with services like ExpertFlyer.
I was recently contacted by Elizabeth Reynolds from Reviews.com regarding their analysis of active noise-canceling headphones. For the upper ends of the price range, the headphones listed are definitely solid purchases. As someone partial to Bose, I certainly can’t argue with their placement!
There are a few more affordable headphone options for consideration, though, for those not able to spend $200+ for headphones. I’ve listed a couple of my personal favorites below. All the links below are for Amazon’s Smile, where a portion of your purchases will go to a charity of your choice at no cost to you.
Over The Ear
Audio-Technica ANC7B is my go-to pair when it comes to affordable over-the-ear active noise-canceling headphones. While they go for ~$200 new, you can get factory refurbished headphones for less than half that price. I picked my pair up for $67, and they’re going strong more than a year in! Reducing background noise by 90%, these are amazing for long flights. An added bonus is that you can use the headphones with a dead battery by leaving ANC off. The headphones come with a carrying case, and extra adapters to use them on old-fashioned airline outputs.
Audio-Technica also released an ANC9 version which has 95% reduction. These headphones also have three distinct settings for sound isolation, allowing for greater control over your experience.
TaoTronics also has an over-the-ear offering that is even more affordable coming in at $54. This can further be reduced, for a limited time (with use of coupon code KINJA22J), bringing the final price to $37. In addition to these headphones being wireless (Bluetooth), they have an integrated microphone so you can take phone calls while you use them.
Bose’s QuietComfort25 headphones are currently marked down from $300 to $170, which is an excellent price for a pair that my coworkers have been using since their introduction to the market in 2014. I can safely say you will not regret this purchase.
In The Ear
TaoTronics also has a pair of in-ear headphones. The nice thing about these headphones is that you can charge the embedded battery while using them. This is not common for most ANC headphones, so this is a very nice feature. As with their over-the-ear headphones, this pair has an integrated microphone. For those that want to go wireless, a Bluetooth version is available. Both pairs come in at under $60.
It should come as no surprise that I also mention Audio-Technica’s ANC23 in-ear headphones. Offering an in-ear 90% isolation solution with a comfortable fit, it’s hard to say no for $40!
With only a few days remaining on my Global Upgrade Certificates (from my 2017 Choice Benefits), I’ve been using them rather liberally for my recent flights to and from LAX. Since I was automatically confirmed in Comfort+, I wasn’t too disappointed when they weren’t clearing. However, on the last day of their availability, I was delighted to see that my upgrade from LAX to ATL was confirmed!
For this route, Delta reuses their B767-400 that arrives from NYC-JFK, so it is fully equipped with a Delta One configuration, as opposed to the super-cramped B767-300 or a Domestic First configuration. This meant lie-flat seats! Sure it was a short flight (just at 4 hours), but hey… anything that helps my back feel better is welcome!
With a range of over 6,000 miles, this plane was a little bit of overkill for a simple trans-continental route, but again – not complaining! It was one of the smoothest flights I’ve been on in a while, which is saying something. The GoGo was a little spotty, but I’ve noticed this to be a consistent issue of late when flying cross-country. I’m surprised if I have fewer than four outages on such a trip.
Four words: Lie. Flat. Lumbar. Massage.
While most of the features of the seat weren’t a surprise, seeing actual air vents was a relief. Many planes lack air vents in their business class cabin which leads to very frustrated (and overheated) passengers. Thankfully that was not the case here! Not pictured: additional controls (such as flight attendant call) under the silver portion of the right arm-rest.
The only complaint I had was that the LSTN headphones were terrible. They did nothing to reduce the sound of the engines. I wound up going to my Audio-Technica headphones and watching movies using them, instead. Bring your own headphones with an airline plug adapter if you find yourself on one of these planes!
It should come as no surprise to you that I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch, given the consistency at which Delta has been hitting their meals out of the park. Instead of going with the lasagna, I opted for the salmon salad. Though grilled, it was served chilled on a bed of baby spinach with feta cheese. There were also multi-colored cherry tomatoes, peppers with actual heat, and both yellow and purple potatoes. Overall a very well composed entree.
Dessert was a lemon creme cake with shredded coconut layered upon the frosting. As someone with a serious weakness for coconut, this didn’t last long. 😉
It’s not news that I love flying Delta. Between the actually happy flight attendants, excellent food, and ridiculously good operational record, it makes perfect sense for me to fly them. My only complaints are regarding the LSTN headphones (which are actually worse than the Billboard earbuds in Comfort+), and the spotty GoGo for trans-continental flights. Even still, these are small inconveniences in the scheme of things. (Though, let’s be serious… nobody likes their internet being cut while in the middle of a conversation…) I can’t wait to fly Delta One, again!