Day 11: Dear Delta

Dear Delta,

I am a frequent flyer of 14 years and I love to travel, but travel days like August 15 are exhausting, stressful, and exasperating. May I say that I am glad to have a month off from air travel?

On a positive note, I would like to offer my praise to the pilots and flight attendants of the flight from LaGuardia to Atlanta. They performed above and beyond under conditions beyond their control. I especially appreciated the lead flight attendant who came to each first class row and thanked us for our loyalty, business, and patience. Sincere appreciation can do a world of good.

However, that being said, my travel day with you was very frustrating.  Our inbound plane at LaGuardia arrived late, so we boarded and pushed back late. The weather in the area was not good, so we spent an hour or so on the tarmac waiting to depart. Just as we had been given clearance to depart, the pilots discovered an electrical problem with the navigation system, so we lost our place in line and had to return the gate. We spent almost two hours on the plane waiting for maintenance to determine the problem, locate the part, and replace the part. We pushed back again and spent another hour waiting to depart due to weather and air traffic control. In total, we spent almost four hours aboard the plane and never got anywhere. That was followed by a two-hour flight with the usual inflight service: beverages, lunch (well, it was almost dinnertime!), on-demand inflight entertainment, and optional Gogo Inflight Internet.

During the mechanical delay, we were told that agents were working on rebooking us. I must advise that your personnel should only say that if it is true. I always proceed with caution and check for myself. I discovered that my itinerary hadn’t been touched, so I contacted my boyfriend prior to departure and asked him to have Delta back me up on my connecting flight. By the time we reached Atlanta, I had missed two possible connections, was on standby for another, and was confirmed on the last flight of the day. I must request from you to never subject me to a six-hour LGA-ATL flight again, OK?

Our plane arrived at concourse E and it was a sign to spend time at One Flew South, where I enjoyed their amazing chicken noodle soup and a glass of 2010 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc.

I headed to the gate of the standby flight and luckily, I was cleared to board. Amazingly, this flight went off without a hitch, nor a wait on the runway, and we arrived at Tri-Cities (TRI) early. Even my bag made it.

In closing, I’d like to say thank you for the crew on the first flight and the good connecting flight. I am still exhausted, but perhaps a bit less exasperated today.

Sincerely,
Beth

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There’s something in the water at Delta, and I like it!

There’s something in the water at Delta and I like it.

I flew four segments this weekend on Delta and Delta Connection and not only were the flights early, but the customer service was impressive.  And by service, I just don’t mean what the employees did, but how they did it and what they said. Every employee I encountered was genuinely friendly and customer-centered.  I was addressed by name on board and in the Delta Sky Clubs.  In fact, on my last flight, the flight attendant came to my seat, asked me if I was Ms. Smith, and personally thanked me for being Delta Gold Medallion.

On my flight from LaGuardia to Atlanta, the lead flight attendant was dressed in the pink uniform, to honor mothers on Mother’s Day.  She received applause from the passengers, and she continued to tell us that she had four grown children and had opted to work so that mothers with young children could enjoy the holiday.  Then she proceeded to tell us that if we had ever mentored a child, then we, too, were like mothers.  Wow.

At the end of the flight, she, too, thanked all Delta Medallion passengers for their loyalty.

On both flights today, the flight attendant introduced the crew by first and last name, and told us where they were based.

On Friday’s flight from Atlanta, the flight attendant recognized the military passengers and thanked them for their service.

On all flights, the pilots and flight attendants thanked passengers one by one for flying Delta as they were deplaning.

I am not sure if it’s the bottled Dasani or what, but I am loving the kindness that Delta employees are offering to passengers.  Kindness and respect are infectious, so I hope it continues.

US Airways Club at LaGuardia: A Review

I realized today that I haven’t been to this club, or to the US Airways LaGuardia Terminal, since 2008. So I thought a brief review was in order.

The club is still very relaxing and the free Internet rocks, although as a “guest,” I had to ask for a T-Mobile access code. How pre-merger Delta!

Most of the clientele was businesspeople. It wasn’t crowded.

For breakfast hours, there were muffins, yogurt, coffee, and choice of juices. They do still have US Airways-logo silverware and glassware.

The snacks at “lunchtime” include Fiesta Snack Mix and Kettle Classics® Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt chips.

I also decided to check out the bar. The free beer choices are Bud/Bud Light and the free wine choices are Berenger’s. Other adult beverages are “premium” selections and cost additionally. Boo. So, this Bud Light’s for you!

Score = B

TRI-CVG-LGA on Delta 24 April 2009

DL 6027 TRI-CVG 615P-720P seat 12A EMB-145
DL 1218 CVG-LGA 800P-1005P seat 3B First Class 737-800

This trip was flawless.  I arrived at TRI about an hour before my flight, reprinted my boarding pass at the kiosk, and passed quickly through security.  I spent about 15 minutes in the TRI Business Center, aka our lounge, except without food.  Apparently most of the power outlets in there are not operational anymore, as I tried three cubicles, no go.

We boarded quickly, pushed back about 10 minutes early, and were airborne about five minutes early.  In-flight service was by request only.  We landed at 7:01 pm, 19 minutes earlier than scheduled, which gave me a quick 15 minutes in the Delta Sky Club in Concourse B at CVG.  My snacks included a glass of Chardonnay, chicken salad, chickpea salad with yogurt drizzle, and mixed nuts.

When I arrived at my gate, the plane was already boarding.  When I arrived at my seat, there was a pillow, blanket, and mini bottle of Dasani.  The flight attendant took my pre-departure drink order and I had an Amstel Light.

We pushed back early and departed about 10 minutes past scheduled departure.  In-flight services consisted of a full beverage and snack basket service and Delta television, which included “How I Met Your Mother,” “Big Bang Theory,” and “Delta Destinations.”  The snack basket contained Twix® bars, Biscoff cookies, Pretzel Crisps®, and peanuts. I had two of Delta’s signature margaritas made with tequila and Rande Gerber Midnight Bar Collection MixWe landed at 9:37 pm, 28 minutes early, which might be a record into LaGuardia!