Domestic #DeltaOne on a Boeing 777-200

Earlier this year I used one of my 2017 Upgrade Certificates to experience Delta One when flying from LAX to ATL, more recently, I was able to secure a similar upgrade from ATL to LAX. Unlike the Boeing 767 I experienced before, I had a chance to fly one of Delta’s longer-range Boeing 777s. In fact, with a little poking around, I was able to find out that the Boeing 777-200LR that took me from Atlanta to Los Angeles (DL546) was continuing on from Los Angeles to Sydney (DL41).

Via the Great Circle Mapper

The Plane

The Boeing 777-200LR (noted as “77B” on Delta’s website) has two Delta One cabins. The main Delta One cabin consists of 7 rows arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, with the second cabin consisting of 3 rows in the same configuration.

Delta’s B777-200LR Seatmap

As with the B764 I flew earlier this year from LAX to ATL, the B772 also had individual air-vents over the seats. Though they are not easily accessible due to the height of the cabin (such a first world problem!), they have impressive air flow and do a good job of maintaining comfort for the passengers.

The Seat

The seats on this flight were among the more comfortable that I have experienced of Delta’s lie-flat offerings. Not only was the massage function present and functional, there was much more privacy than what I had on the B764.

Overall Impression

I can’t speak highly enough of the Delta One experience on the triple-7. It offers a considerably more comfortable ride than the 767. As I was flying alone, the privacy of the herringbone configuration of the cabin was greatly appreciated. If you are flying with someone, I would suggest you fly the Airbus A330, instead, as the reverse-herringbone allows you to maintain a conversation if you sit in the middle section of the cabin.

Global Upgrade Certificate Success! Thanks, @Delta!

Sweet!

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.

Domestic #DeltaOne on a Boeing 767-400

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!

Insert happy-dance here

The Plane

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!

Delta One on a B764

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.

The Seat

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!

The Meal

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.

D-e-licious!

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. 😉

Coconut lemon-creme!

Overall Impression

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!

Domestic #DeltaOne on a Boeing 757-200

Lie-Flat! Score!

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.

History

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 seat: 4D
One of the new Westin blankets!
Outlets and headphones, as well as a drink holder.

My only complaint with this configuration is that it is impossible to rest your left arm without hitting controls!

Seat controls and remote
Huge screens!
Updated IFE, complete with pinch-to-zoom and usable controls for media

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.

Poached salmon on russet potatoes and mushrooms

Closing Thoughts

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!

Ku, baby!

Excited About @Delta Choice Benefits for 2017 and 2018! #KeepClimbing

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.

Changes!

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!