01. Introduction: Chasing the Thanksgiving 747 (and other rare birds)
02. American Airlines 737-800 premium economy (Main Cabin Extra) San Diego to Chicago
03. American Airlines MD-83 economy class Chicago to Detroit
04. Westin DTW (standard room)
05. Delta Airlines 747-400 business class (Delta One) Detroit to Atlanta
06. Delta Airlines 747-400 business class (Delta One) Atlanta to…nowhere
07. Delta Airlines A330-300 business class (Delta One) Atlanta to Seattle
08. Delta Connection ERJ-170 first class Seattle to San Diego
I’m normally pretty excited about flying business class, but this had been an incredibly long and frustrating day so far and my mood was nowhere near enthusiastic as I was standing in line to board the plane. I wasn’t upset with Delta or anything like that – as a matter of fact, I thought they handled the situation very well and I appreciated the fact that they protected my Delta One seat on this flight to Seattle when so many others had been involuntarily downgraded.
The problem was that the little sleep I got the night before (due to the excitement of today’s 747 adventure) combined with the delays and downgrade to an A330 had caught up to me and it was almost to the point of not even being fun anymore. Most of the day had already passed, I was still in Atlanta, and I had a heck of a lot of flying left to do to get me home to San Diego that night. But at least I had a seat in Delta One, and I knew that I’d be able to get some decent sleep on this flight – so that was enough to keep me going as I presented my boarding pass to the gate agent. Let’s do this.
As always, I’ll start the trip report with the video I shot. The pics and words will follow.
Atlanta, GA (ATL) – Seattle, WA (SEA)
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Duration: 4 hours 52 minutes
Seat: 6A (Delta One / business class)
Once onboard, I immediately noticed how consistent this Delta One configuration matched that of the 747 I just flew in on from Detroit. Everything was nearly identical, and for some reason or another I guess I was expecting something just a little bit different. After all, the Delta One product on the 767-300 is a completely different layout with different seats and I would have thought that differences in aircraft type would necessitate some differences in the seat style and configuration. I guess that just goes to show how little I know about the Delta business class product. I’m not complaining though – Delta One is very nice.
Noise cancelling headphones were distributed while we were still parked at the gate, and lunch orders soon followed. The choices today were a chicken salad or a chicken enchilada, and based on how many other passengers opted for the salad, I started to wonder if my preference for the enchilada was a bad one. I guess I’ll find out soon!
It felt so good to push back from the gate and roll on out to runway 26R. After all the delays and problems of the day so far, all I wanted to do was get the heck out of Atlanta and make my way west. I may have even mumbled a prayer or two as we were taxiing, pleading to the aviation gods to let this aircraft be trouble-free all the way to Seattle…
Interestingly enough, it turns out that my fellow Instagram friend @bizarrebananablast got a really nice pic of our aircraft departing. Check this out:
Hot towels were distributed immediately after departure, and it may have been the worst presentation of a hot towel I have ever experienced in my flying life. Not only was it as hot as molten lava, it was dripping wet and I ended up with burned hands and a wet lap to start this flight. Not a good way to kick things off, and I wasted no time in scribbling that little nugget of data down in my notes so that I could include it in this trip report. I feel like such an elitist snob when I do that, but hey – that’s what writing trip reports is all about. Just the facts!
Surprisingly there were no snacks that came with the pre-meal beverage service (more good stuff to jot down in my notes), but they were quick with serving lunch so it didn’t really matter all that much. I was a bit nervous about my decision to go with the enchilada still, but thankfully those worries went away as soon as they presented me with the tray. I’ll go down on record as saying it was one of the most delicious airline meals I’ve had in a while – perhaps because my expectations were so low, but man that was good.
2 episodes of Vice Principals on the video screen kept me busy while I ate.
I wasted no time in putting the seat into the flat position and getting several hours of much-needed deep sleep after my meal tray was removed. I can’t say that the sleep was the best I’ve ever had on an airplane, but it was good and I felt a lot better by the time I woke up. We had just over an hour of flying time remaining at that point, and the flight attendants came by with bottled water and the snack basket shortly thereafter.
I was a bit surprised that the flight attendants were still offering coffee well into the approach to SEA, as normally they are quick to get the cabin cleared and prepped for landing as soon as possible. Props to this crew for keeping things a bit more casual and relaxed.
It was a rainy night in Seattle that evening, and while it felt good to have the longest leg of the day complete, I wasn’t looking forward to the fact that I still had a two-hour layover and a 2.5 hour flight home to San Diego to contend with. I just wanted to be at home!