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Last week TPG Director of Ops, Kate O’Brien, flew from Los Angeles to New York on Delta’s 767-300 in BusinessElite. Luckily for Kate, her original flight (in coach) was cancelled and she was rebooked automatically on an earlier flight thanks to her Silver Medallion status – and what’s even more surprising, it was with an upgrade that cleared instantly! That’s a bit surprising given Delta’s recent Medallion upgrade policy changes. Here’s her account of the experience.
Originally my ticket was booked as a round-trip economy fare from JFK-LAX for $318 total. Although I wasn’t cleared for an upgrade on the way to LA, I was able to choose an Economy Comfort seat at check-in for no extra cost.
Because of the impending storms on the East Coast when I was scheduled to fly back, Delta notified me by email two days prior that my flight had been cancelled. When I logged in online to get on a new flight nothing was showing up so I called a few minutes later and a Delta agent quickly switched me to an earlier flight and assigned me a seat in BusinessElite without my even asking – that was a nice silver (Medallion) lining.
Though Medallion upgrades can be hard to come by, when you finally get one it’s a great feeling – especially when you only paid $159 for the flight! What made it even better is this was my first time experiencing a fully lie-flat seat.
Part of Delta’s transcontinental refurbishment strategy includes installing its lie-flat BusinessElite seats on both the 767’s and 757’s it operates on these routes. Currently most of the 7 daily non-stops between LAX and JFK on 767’s have this product. You can tell if your 767 does because the configuration will be a 1 x 2 x 1. The 757’s are getting a different lie-flat seat in a 2 x 2 configuration, with refurbishment scheduled to begin this spring.
Previously, Delta’s 767’s were set up in a 2 x 2 x 2 configuration, but now it’s 6 rows of seats in a 1 x 2 x 1 formation with a 7th row of just two middle seats. This makes getting out of your seat much easier for everyone. The coach cabin on the 767-300 has 29 rows of seating in a 2 x 3 x 2 configuration.
The lie-flat seats were extremely spacious and comfortable coming with a nice Westin Heavenly pillow and quilted duvet. At 21 inches wide and 76.5 inches long when fully reclined. As someone who normally can’t stay awake on planes, I enjoyed stretching out and relaxing for the full 6-hour flight.
The standard amenities in the cabin included a noise-canceling headset and the new Tumi amenity kit filled with Malin + Goetz’s Neroli Hand & Body Lotion and Lip Moisturizer, a Tumi eye mask, socks, shoe horn, shoe polish, comb, dental kit, tissues, antibacterial wipes, earplugs and a pen.
Since this flight took off at 8:30am PST, the BusinessElite cabin was offered breakfast. Before departure, the flight attendants came around with glasses of champagne, mimosas, orange juice or coffee.
Everyone started out with a first course of seasonal fresh fruit and yogurt as well as a smoked salmon appetizer. Passengers were also offered a warm croissant or biscuit.
For the main course, there was a choice between three dishes – a breakfast quesadilla, lemon ricotta pancakes, or granola cereal with fresh strawberries and yogurt.
I decided to go with the breakfast quesadilla which was stuffed with egg, chicken chorizo sausage, and pepperjack cheese with a side of chicken sausage links and salsa. Fortunately, I had grabbed a quick bite to eat in the airport while waiting for the flight so I wasn’t that hungry and just picked at the quesadilla. The sausage links were rubbery and almost inedible and the quesadilla was just about as appetizing as it looks.
Aside from the main course, I thoroughly enjoyed the flight and thought the flight attendants were all very attentive and friendly coming around several times to see if I needed anything else.
I used the time in the air to keep in touch with my TPG duties back on the ground thanks to Delta’s domestic fleet-wide WiFi connectivity, though I did sneak in a quick nap in the flat-bed position and watched a TV show on my personal in-seat entertainment monitor while charging up my computer and phone with the USB charging ports in my seat.
All in all, the 6 hours seemed to fly by in such a relaxing environment – what a completely different way to fly than coach!
Have you experienced Delta’s transcontinental BusinessElite product? How did you think it stacked up against the competition? If you are a Delta flyer who is looking to bank some extra miles this card is a great addition for your wallet. While you'll earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on everything else, you'll also have access to other perks like priority boarding, a first bag checked free and 20% off in-flight purchases.
If you are a Delta flyer who is looking to bank some extra miles this card is a great addition for your wallet. While you'll earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on everything else, you'll also have access to other perks like priority boarding, a first bag checked free and 20% off in-flight purchases.