a) D+? b) Disgusting? c) Delayed? d) Dumpy? e) ALL OF THE ABOVE?
How about F- All of the above and more?
This past weekend I was practically forced to fly Delta Airlines. It’s a city that only offers Delta service. I won’t complain, I was able to book the ticket just 8 hours prior to the actual flight. Throughout my travel “career”, I have never bought a ticket this close to departure, so the experience was interesting, a little chaotic, but I was very enthusiastic. At the end of the day, flying is flying and techinally, I should tell myself that I am excited regardless of the airline, right? Wrong! I will keep reminding you readers, the airline is key to flying experince. Flying is more with a certain airline!
Friday morning started out with the usual. Go to the airport, print boarding passes at the kiosk and clear security. The Grand Forks airport is tiny, so it’s foolish to arrive more then 15 minutes prior to boarding if you are flying without bags. Interestingly enough, Delta offers Breezeway boarding, which is the equivalent of a United red boarding carpet for elite members. Not that many elites on the 5:10AM Pinnacle CRJ-200. A few minutes later, mechanical! Off the plane, rebook myself on Delta.com website since the Delta reservation number is temporarily disconnected. Next attempt at flying: a DC-9 to Minneapolis. Flight full, very full. Sold out full. Last row on the DC-9. I’ve never been on a DC-9, but I know Northwest has 3 versions- this was the 2 flight attedant version of the DC-9. Missed my connection to O’Hare. Minneapolis airport? Nice, very nice. Except- not a single Delta Red Coat all the way from C to G. For those who ask what is Delta Red Coat? It’s one of Delta’s iniatives at better customer service. It’s a portable gate agent. He or she can rebook you, print boarding passes and vouchers. Still, as nice as it sounds, it’s absolutely irritating to walk throughout the aiport and not be able to find a single one.
The only thing in red was a Delta Amex credit card hawker who told me Delta does not offer special services counters. I think to myself- “and people actually complain about US Airways in Philly”?! What I do like about Delta is their computer rebook system. You scan your boarding pass at this kiosk type device and it lists the flights you have been rebooked on. Of course, I managed to learn about one of these machines, because the gate agent would not assist me until he saw me play around with the machine for a “decent’ amount of time. Made it to Chicago about 5 hours late.
Return was interesting. Chicago to Minny was an A319. I got exit row and ”flew into” FlyerTalker td_in_training. He was one of the nicest FlyerTalkers I’ve met so far. Delta actually did good on this flight. Aside from it being over an hour late, coach cabin was provided a full beverage service and even tiny bags of peanuts. I do miss peanuts on US Airways flights. I had enought time to make the connection back to Grand Forks, ND, although G to C is a bit of a schlepp, but the people movers are a nice touch. The Grand Forks flight didn’t even beging boarding, so I was thrilled about the prospect of not missing class the next morning. Had myself an exit row on this CRJ-200. Only about 60% full. Quick taxi to de-icing pad and then something unexpected, yet something probably expected from Delta. While rolling down the runway, at about 40-50 knots, the plane comes halting to a complete stop and exists the runway utilizing the closest taxiway. Apparently, a warning light lit up in the cockpit indicated a problem with the apu/engine generator. Taxi back to gate, but not let off the plane, the mechanics end up fixing the problem. A few more minutes of paperwork and we’re on our way. The flight attendant, Athena was excellent. While in the air, she provided a full service on this rather short flight and even comped alcoholic beverages. I just had water. No ice, no lime.
Overall, I found Delta very poor, and I’m excited to say I’m only stuck with them for a few more months. I’m in the process of matching my US status to Delta, which should make me Delta Gold Medallion, so we’ll see if my experiences improve for the few remaining months. Flight attendants are much, much better at US Airways. I cannot wait to fly with US Airways again next month. Only have to deal with Delta on Grand Forks to Denver via Minneapolis!
Three positives about the trip: 1) FlyerTalker 2) F/A Athena on Minny to Grand Forks 3) Delta’s rebooking machines are pretty cool
Proudly flying with US,