TRI-ATL-LGA-ATL-TRI on Delta 11-13 Feb 2011

What a near-perfect trip!  All flights departed on time and arrived either early or on time.  The service can be summarized as follows:

1.  TRI-ATL and ATL-TRI:  In-flight service was by request only since the flights are only 40 minutes, so both directions were uneventful.  On the return, the flight attendant called out Delta elites by last name and thanked them for their business, then proceeded with the usual announcement about SkyMiles and how one can earn miles and status.

2.  ATL-LGA:  Since the flight was after 8:00 pm, service in the first class cabin consisted of a full pre-departure beverage service and a full in-flight beverage and snack basket service.  Pre-departure drinks were served in plastic, while in-flight beverages were served in glass.  Gogo Inflight Internet and television entertainment were available.  All seats in first class were “adorned” with a red Delta blanket, bottled Dasani, and earbuds for the in-flight entertainment.

3.  LGA-ATL:  Service in the first class cabin consisted of a full pre-departure beverage service and a full in-flight beverage and lunch service.  The meals on this flight were a sandwich with potato soup or a salad with potato soup.  The salad had grilled chicken, Romaine lettuce, carrot and celery sticks, tomato, radicchio, real bacon bits, and a choice of dressings: blue cheese or ranch.  No cheese, for my lactose intolerant friends! Both meals came with a pre-packaged brownie for dessert.  My only complaints about the meal were that the chicken was dry and the white wine was bad.  Again, pre-departure drinks were served in plastic, while in-flight beverages and the meal were served in glass and real dinnerware.  Gogo Inflight Internet and television entertainment were available.  All seats in first class had the same red Delta blanket, bottled Dasani, and earbuds for the in-flight entertainment.

While in ATL, I noticed that the gate areas has the new recharging stations that Delta is installing at all hub and major airport gate areas.  At LGA, the Sky Club renovations are nearing completion.  This time, the old Northwest club side was open, with new seating and a new bar.  The club should be quite large when the old Delta section reopens.

Grade = A

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Roundtrip to Daytona Beach on Delta 25-27 July 2010

This is going to be a brief trip report, but another good one.

On my way to DAB, I arrived early at TRI with my boyfriend to try to get on an earlier flight to ATL with him.  The agent at TRI put me on the earlier TRI-ATL flight and an earlier ATL-DAB flight.  I was also automatically added to the upgrade list for the second flight, an MD-88.

The first flight was quick and uneventful (always good)!  I cleared the upgrade at the gate for the second flight (yay!) and enjoyed the typical Delta snack basket, full beverage, and Gogo Inflight services.  Both flights arrived early.

On my way back, I also cleared my upgrade at the gate.  My plane was reconfigured ASA-operated CR7 with the new first class cabin.  I must say Delta did a great job.  The cabin was nicely refurbished and the service was exactly the same as mainline.  The flight attendants on this flight were both very friendly and funny.

On my CRJ connection to TRI, storms were starting to built up around ATL and all over the Southeast.  So the pilot came into the gate area and talked to the two specials in wheelchairs and told them that the agent was going to board everyone else first, then get them settled last, in order to get going quicker and perhaps avoid the storms.  He promised he would not leave them, which I thought was so sweet!  Then he proceeded to remain in the gate area helping the gate agent by tagging valet-checked bags!  Once everyone was aboard, he came through the cabin and asked us how we were doing and explained we were trying to push back quickly to avoid the weather.  We did push back a little early and got in a LONG line of planes doing the same as we were.  We were twenty-something in line for takeoff, which resulted in a taxi line wait of about 45 minutes.  The flight itself was uneventful and we only landed 10 minutes late.  The pilot deplaned and stood on our covered jetway that the crew at TRI had created for our flight’s arrival due to the impending storms (it’s not always covered all the way up to the plane!) and thanked everyone personally as we deplaned.  I was impressed.

Grade = A

LGA-CLT on US Airways 26 May 2010

US 1509 LGA-CLT 8:15-10:13 am Seat 22D Exit Aisle A321 secured at midnight Tempe time. (The exit rows were wide open!)

Pre-departure: Showed one lady how to use a kiosk and watched a couple try to get yogurt and water through the security checkpoint. Busted!

US Airways Clubs in LGA and CLT: Best perk of my CO Presidential Plus MasterCard so far, being able to use US clubs while flying US and the ATL CO club in D. Both clubs were nice, quiet, relaxing and the agents were friendly at both locations.

Boarding: First Class, specials, then by zone.

Departure and Arrival: Pushed back four minutes early and arrived 15 minutes early, but there was some ground traffic in CLT, the new ATL.

In-flight Service: Full beverage and snacks for sale and Gogo Inflight. The FA nearest me was very friendly. DCA-based crew.

Credit Card Spiel: One of the hardest and best! The 25,000 mile free flight + 500 mile bonus is only good for today, so please fill out your applications on this flight and return them to the crew! Don’t let this offer pass you by!

Seatmate: Roxy Perry (and her hubby) – New York Blues Queen Bio here: http://www.roxyperry.com/gigs/biography.htm. MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/roxyperrynybq. Headed to: May 29 2010 8:00P THE JOKER’S WILD FREEPORT BAHAMAS, BS

DFW-ATL-LGA on Delta 25 May 2010

This will be my shortest trip report on record.

DL 2510 – My boyfriend and I were upgraded at the gate. I had 1C and he had 4D. We departed on time and arrived 22 minutes early. In-flight services included a full beverage service, snack basket service, and Gogo Inflight. We both used Gogo Inflight and e-mailed each other during the flight.

DL 2086 – We were seated in coach in an exit row when the FA came back to upgrade my boyfriend, as he was right ahead of me on the list, probably because he has flown one more segment than me this year (we are both Gold Medallion and had the same fare basis and check-in time). Or maybe it was alphabetical? At any rate, he gave me the first class seat and I sat up front, which was super nice of him. Up front, in-flight services included a full beverage service, lunch, and Gogo Inflight. In the back, he had an exit row window with no one in the middle (that was where I was) and was able to get a complimentary snack box and adult beverage using the Sky Priority coupons that now come with one’s boarding passes when one isn’t upgraded early. We both used Gogo Inflight again. This flight also departed on time and arrived 22 minutes early.

Very predictable and consistent. Grade of A both flights.

LGA-ATL-DFW on Delta 22 May 2010

Another mostly good experience on Delta, which is why I don’t always post my trip reports.

John and I cleared our upgrades on both flights at our Gold Medallion window.

The first flight boarded and departed on time, with very little runway wait at LGA.  In fact we landed 20 minutes early in ATL, but had to wait for our gate and for some tarmac traffic to clear up before arriving our gate. However, we arrived at our gate only five minutes after our originally scheduled arrival.

The in-flight services included the usual continental breakfast: cereal, bagel, yogurt, and fresh fruit; full beverage service plus refills; and Delta short programming.

When we deplaned, we discovered that our flight to DFW was delayed, but I never did find out why.  During the interim, we spent some time in the A17 Sky Club, then at Chili’s in the A concourse for lunch. I had some travel business to take care of while eating lunch, so I was thankful to be able to tether my BlackBerry and use my Verizon Broadband Connect service to do that, since Internet is not free in ATL. Nothing like multitasking!

After lunch, we hurried to our gate where boarding had already started. The Sky Priority lane worked like a charm, so we avoided the regular boarding line.  We ended up departing an hour late, but arrived only 16 minutes late, so that flight is obviously very padded.

My flight to DFW was very interesting and productive.  I had travel work to continue, plus I had to be in contact with a client, so I used two Gogo Inflight accounts at the same time:  one for my computer and one for my iPod Touch, so I could search via my computer and send text messages via my TextNow iPod Touch app.  I have never been so thankful for Gogo Inflight and because I was working, the flight time went by very quickly.  In-flight service consisted of a full beverage service and the snack basket, plus refills.

If you fly often and use Gogo Inflight with any frequency, I recommend the new monthly subscription plan for $34.95, good on any Gogo-equipped airline. I could not have completed my work without it.

I had checked a bag and it was tagged Sky Priority.  It was the third bag out.  Since Sky Priority started, my bag has always come out within the first five bags each time I have checked a bag.

DL 5052 and DL 1199 TRI-ATL-RIC 31 March 2010

This was a near perfect day of flying, with sunny spring skies at all three airports.  My first flight took off at 11:26 am and landed at 12:01 pm, 32 minutes early.  It was such a quick flight there was no beverage service.

In between flights, I visited the B-10 Delta Sky Club in Atlanta for a snack, drink, and a quick bit of Internet.

My second flight to Richmond was also a very good flight for the most part.  We departed the gate and were airborne 22 minutes later.  We landed on time.  It was my first ride on an MD-90 and I thought it was very comfortable and spacious in seat 3B, more so than in some of the other Delta mainline planes.  Since the flight was short, just a little over an hour, service included the snack basket and a full beverage service.  I ordered white wine and it was served in a highball glass, which was odd, but at least it was a glass!  The flight attendant refilled my wine three times.

The only thing that bothered me is that the Gogo Inflight Internet was not working properly.  I would reach the page where you either select a pass or sign in, but when I clicked either option, nothing would happen.  I kept trying for the first 35-40 minutes of the flight.  I tried to do Gogo chat for technical assistance, but it was not functional, either.  I finally got to the log in page after numerous attempts, but I kept receiving an error message every time I tried to log in, and I tried multiple IDs and I tried to create a new account.

I was also surprised that such a short flight costs $9.95.  I had a coupon code to redeem for 50% off, but that is still steep for essentially 45 minutes of Internet time, when Gogo is actually functioning. Gogo should consider pricing their passes based on flight miles, not flight times, because the actual flight time of ATL-RIC today was just over an hour from takeoff to touchdown, not an hour and 37 minutes as published by Delta.  Flights shorter than 1000 miles should not be $9.95.