DL/NW 3499 MCI-DTW-PVD 24 June 2009 by VPP

Delta Airlines Trip Details….on Northwest Metal
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009:
DL 3499 CRJ900 departing MCI at 10:45 a.m. arriving PVD at 5:09 p.m. 3D to MSP, 3C to PVD

With a stop in MSP
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Total Trip Cost: $183.20, Non Refundable
Actual Airfare: $157.21
Actual Miles Flown: 1,510
Yield: $0.104 per mile (Upgraded to First Class)
Taxes & Fees: $25.99, 14.2% of ticket price

So, I relayed a great story about Delta Customer Service…and now, a truly remarkable story about how VASTLY improved the product is!

I had to take a quick spin to Kansas City and needed to get home as efficiently as possible. And actually, DL made the most sense…with a good schedule and price. So our travel manager booked me on Delta….and then she told me, “CRJ900!” I, by my own admission, winced, “Satan’s Chariot?!? A CRJ900?” I thought….and yes, a CRJ900….in Coach.

So, the trip was booked in Coach as the numbers reference. Have to admit, and I don’t believe in “flying for status,” but the way I wrote this one off in my mind was, “well, I’d like to maintain some sort of status on a Sky Team carrier, so this will work.”

I was notified I was upgraded, about 12 hours prior to departure, certainly not within the window. And as a side note, I’m fine with that. I paid Coach and was prepared to ride in Coach. But I was upgraded.

Got to the airport where NW and DL operations are combined…and still a little confusing…but I checked my bag and got on with my day.

Once on the airplane, I settled into my seat, amazed at the pen marks all over the seats, and relaxed. “Comfortable” I thought. We took off shortly and in the air, the service was excellent…the Flight Attendant, Judy, made herself known and was extremely professional and accommodating. She came by a number of times with the Delta Snack Basket as well as drinks and more drinks.

For the record, the ONE thing US Airways did have on many airlines was “the best snack basket” in F….no longer, Delta now owns that position, by a long shot.

Delta (NW Metal) CRJ900s are nice in F…there is adequate, dare I say “plenty” of seat pitch and size…and the seats are comfortable.

We arrived in MSP early and I hopped off the airplane to go get an e-mail download at the NW Club.

Went back to get on…new crew…and this time, I was in seat 3C with no seat mate. We took off and out came the cart…drinks and the snack basket. I had my usual, Club Soda with a lime and got to work. 5 minutes later, the F/A came back, “sir, for lunch today, I have either a smoked turkey sandwich with chipotle mayonnaise or a chef’s salad, which would you prefer?”

OK, STOP THE TAPE!!! Let me get this straight….I’m on a freakin’ Regional Jet?!! A Canadair?!? I’m in row 3 of 4 rows….AND I GET A CHOICE?!?!?

NO FREAKIN’ WAY!!! I HAVE to be dreaming!!!

So, I pinch myself, nope, not dreaming….and ask for the turkey sandwich. Is served with chips, fruit and a chocolate brownie. I look at it and notice it’s (a.) not insignificant in terms of size and (b.) it actually looks tasty. And so it was, tasty, bordering on really good, significant, filling, very satisfying.

I again, in my mind, think, Let me get this straight….I’m on a freakin’ Regional Jet?!! A Canadair?!?

I finish lunch, quite satisfying…and shocking…and before I can barely put my napkin down, the F/A is picking my tray up and I get to work. The gentleman in front of me reclines…and I still have room to manage my laptop and to get out if I need to. Nice!

In any case, I was impressed. And I have taken a ride on a NW CRJ900 in Y and thought it was a decent ride…certainly not like a CRJ100 or 200. My only beef would be this for the CRJ900 in First Class. I’m 6’3” and 260…and I don’t fit in the bathroom….I have to REALLY be a sort of contortionist in order to get into that bathroom.

What a great flight though! I got plenty of work done, was comfortable with space and had a tasty, satisfying lunch. Not only that, but in the future, if my routing to the west coast takes me on one of these to MSP or somewhere again, I would pay the F fare to ride in the seat.

Nice experience…one I will do again!

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LGA-ATL-TRI on Delta 10 May 2009

DL 427 LGA-ATL 1255A-327P 757-200 4B First Class
DL 5086 ATL-TRI 415P-519P CRJ-200 Seat 8B exit changed to DL 5762 ATL-TRI 5:18P-6:45P Saab 340 Seat 6C Exit

This was another relatively uneventful trip on Delta.  I’ve been really impressed with Delta’s consistency and upgraded service in first class.

We departed the gate on time at LGA, but took an ATC delay departing LGA into ATL.  We took off around 1:30 pm. Service in first class consisted of a pre-departure beverage, hot towels before the meal, and a meal choice of a turkey sandwich or a chef’s salad.  I selected the salad and it was accompanied by a bowl of fresh fruit, breadsticks, and a brownie.  I skipped the brownie.  This was an older 752 with overhead IFE, so I did not watch any of the television-like programming.  Although we departed later than expected, we still arrived on time.

I deplaned and hurried to my connection.  We boarded, then the crew discovered a maintenance issue.  We sat on the plane at the gate about 45 minutes before they allowed us to deplane.  At that point, I figured I needed a backup plan just in case the flight canceled, so I proceeded to the nearest Delta Sky Club for assistance.  The club agent didn’t just back me up, but immediately put me on the next flight to TRI in seat 2A, which was listed as on time.  I hurried to that gate and discovered that the aircraft was a Northwest/Mesaba Saab 340 operating as a Delta Connection flight, my least favorite aircraft of any I have flown.  We boarded and when my boarding pass was scanned, I had been reassigned an exit row seat, which was a pleasant surprise.  Once we were aboard, I noticed that this Saab seemed to be in much better condition and more comfortable than the two previous Saabs I had flown, so I was slightly relieved.  We took off a few minutes past scheduled departure around 5:30 pm and the flight was one hour en route.  The flight attendant provided a full beverage service with Pepsi beverages as per Northwest’s contract, but Delta snacks, peanuts or Biscoffs.  The plastic drink cups were also Delta/Coca-Cola branded.  The flight turned out to be much better than I expected and we landed about 15 minutes early, around 6:30 pm and earlier than my original flight.