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My Perfect Flight Experience

by on May 29, 2011 · 9 comments

in Delta

There are an abundance of horror stories about flying, but rarely do we hear when things go smoothly. It’s a slow news weekend (and I am trying to enjoy the – finally - nice weather), so here goes.

My sister got married last weekend in St. Augustine. The wedding was beautiful and a fun time was had by all. Originally, instead of flying on the 5:20pm nonstop JAX-LGA, I chose to choose the 7:45pm connecting through Atlanta for 2 reasons – it was $50 cheaper and I figured I’d want to spend as much time with family as possible.

However, on Sunday, I was exhausted and really wanted to get back to NYC early. The 2 hour difference with my family just didn’t make sense when I considered that I’d be getting home at nearly 1am vs 8:30pm. So at 3:20pm on the dot, I called Delta and asked to be Same Day Confirmed onto the 5:20 nonstop flight, which was showing 3 open seats in first class. I was immediately confirmed into an exit row and off to the airport I went.

Check-in was a breeze and I actually checked a bag since I knew I was flying on a regional jet and I didn’t want to bother with trying to jam my suit and other belongings into the overhead. There was only a handful of people in the security line. The TSA agent was in a jolly mood and actually joked with me about something – I can’t remember what, but it was a pleasant exchange.

I stopped by the SkyClub with my Platinum card to pick up a 300 American Express point voucher and had a free cocktail. I then met a couple family members at the bar in the airport where they were eating.

At the gate, I was called up to the podium to retrieve my first class boarding pass – there were no TV screens showing upgrade status, but the gate agent handled it properly and without any delays, I boarded, put my Bose QC15 headphones on, got a pre-departure beverage from the friendly flight attendant and slept for the 2 hour flight back to NYC. No turbulence, no annoying passengers – just a simple flight with great views – especially of Manhattan on approach at LGA.

Landing at LaGuardia was smooth – no delays or holding patterns. Since it was a regional jet, I feared we would be parking at a remote gate, yet we pulled into a regular gate and I was the third person off the plane.

I stopped by the SkyClub to pick up another 300 American Express point voucher and throw on a sweater and by the time I got to baggage claim, I only had to wait two minutes before the bags came out – and my priority tagged bags were one of the first off the belt.

I got home by 8:30pm – I wouldn’t have even boarded my ATL-LGA leg until 9:30pm – so I thoroughly enjoyed getting to relax before starting a crazy week.

Oh by the way, there was no traffic from LaGuardia to my apartment in Brooklyn – another feat, if anyone here has ever experienced the BQE on a Sunday night. Now that I think about it, I think I need to run out and get a couple lottery tickets!

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  • wagwag

    Can you briefly review how it’s done and how one qualifies for:
    “”I stopped by the SkyClub to pick up another 300 American Express point voucher”"

  • Dan

    The BQE is almost as bad as 95 in The Bronx, aka The Cross Bronx Expressway. Now that I think of it, I’d rather have a travel delay then get stuck on the highway!

  • The Points Guy

    @Wagwag http://thepointsguy.com/2011/05/300-american-express-membership-rewards-points-for-visiting-delta-skyclubs/

    @Dan- totally agree- at least when stuck in the airport you can have a cocktail :-)

  • Sergey

    Brian,

    Is it true that Delta has a rule of a maximum of 8 legs on award tickets? The reason is that I’m trying to book an award ticket for my family in J to visit my relatives in Russia this summer + a stopover in NYC, so it is hard to find 3 tickets in low mileage zone. Another question – sometimes there are only 2 J tickets available and some seats in the coach on the same flight. If I book 2 J tickets + 1 coach, and later another J seat appears, is there a way to change the coach seat to this J seat?

  • Omar S

    TPG — Thanks for sharing. Glad you actually have a pleasant experience on a regional jet. Every time I’ve flown the CRJ’s there has been a “mechanical problem” with the plane and the flight was delayed or cancelled. Either way, I managed to get 4 Amex MR certificates last time when I was in ATL. Since my flight was subsequently reschedule after cancellation, I had ample time to run from terminal to terminal and collect the certs. In fact, I even did this on the way home. In all, collected a total of 8 in one round trip.

  • B

    How did you go to the lounge upon arrival? I thought you could only get into the lounge when waiting for a flight, not upon arrival… am I mistaken?

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  • Omar S

    B — I used my Amex platinum to get in and showed them my boarding pass, and asked for a certificate if one was not handed to me. Before they asked me any questions, I told them I wanted to make a phone call in a more quiet area, and they didn’t seem to have any issue.

  • Brandon

    FYI — Could have called at 2:20pm for the SDC — 3 hours in advance is fine. I use SDC all the time… it’s a great perk.

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