Atlanta is Delta’s major hub and the airline is so huge here that there are several SkyClub in the airport itself. Once I got off my flight, I head to the nearest SkyClub in Concourse A. This allowed me to check with the reception on the departure gate for my next flight and she even recommended me to head to the SkyClub in Concourse E.
Delta transfer desk in Atlanta
The Sky Club in Concourse A is close to gates A17 and has the consistent branding on entrance. Ever since my first visit to a Delta Sky Club in Los Angeles, I became a fan of the airline. While there wasn’t an art gallery in this lounge, the entrance was as stylish with the cool blue backlighting. And the agents were as professional too while checking me into the lounge.
Reception for Councourse A17 Delta Sky Club
There is a small buffet counter on the side after entering the lounge with a large seating area. There is a disabled-friendly pathway to an upper tier that leads to the bar area with more seats. On the upper section, there is also views out towards the tarmac.
Buffet counter at the A17 Sky Club
Interior of the A17 Sky Club
Bar area at A17 Sky Club
I did not spend much time exploring this lounge and instead took the shuttle train to the E concourse, as it was nearest to my departure gate and has the shower rooms I needed.
Entrance to the Concourse E Sky Club
First impressions of the Sky Club on the E concourse was that it was definitely more modern in terms of decor. It feels more similar to the one in Los Angeles. Of course the first thing was to request for one of the shower rooms and I was directed to the other end of the lounge. I passed by a kind of relaxation corner with dim lighting and comfortable loungers with footrests.
Relaxation corner in Concourse E Sky Club
There is another receptionist by the desk and I had to pass to her my boarding pass, while she handed me a shower amenity that included some neat amenities like a comb, deodorant, mouthwash, toothbrush and shaving kit.
Shower amenity kit
Inside the individual shower room itself, there are additional bath gel, soap, shampoo and body lotion. The decor of the shower room is bright and it is one of the most spacious I have been to. The shower compartment is separated by a wall, allowing guests to bathe without causing too much of a mess and it is brightly lit. There is a wooden bench by the side which is large enough to place a backpack and a cabin size carry-on luggage. Amenities provided are 'Juara' branded and is quite nice to use. I also liked the fact it was paraben-free.
Sky Club shower room
Bath amenities inside the shower room
After a refreshing shower, I head back out to the bar to grab some mineral water and requested some soda from the bartender.
Bar area at the Concourse E Sky Club
Then I went back to get a seat and called for an attendant. Passengers travelling on Business Class to international destinations are provided the 'Delta ONE' treatment. That includes a menu from which passengers could order some food from. This menu was provided upon checking into the lounge.
Boarding pass and lounge menu
The selection for that day includes a tapas plate consisting of Southern style shrimp cocktail, fresh Heirloom tomato salad with a balsamic glaze, sweet corn and black bean salad and a dessert of chocolate chip brownie. There was also the vegetarian option of an antipasto skewer. A suggested wine pairing was included with the light bites and the wine that day was the Fonterra Sauvignon Blanc 2013 which happens to be a Chilean white wine.
Delta ONE appetizer plate
While the presentation of the snack was immaculate, the dishes were hit and miss. The shrimps is not likely to make people complain but the colour of the tomato was a bit off. The corn and bean salad was probably something that came out of a jar from Trader Joe's. The brownies were also probably off the shelves, but combined, they actually make a decent serving that I can't complain. At least Delta tried to make it work by supplying some differentiated catering for the premium passengers.
Concourse E Sky Club interior
The rest of the Sky Club cannot really be faulted. There was good wifi connection, a lot of seating space since the Sky Clubs seems to be quite empty in the evening. The ambience was also pretty quiet ensuring most passengers could get some work done if they so wish.
Buffet counter with soup and vegetable sticks
Finally, guests who are still not filled by the light bites provided could also help themselves to assorted cookies, and popcorn or soups, bread and cut vegetables from the buffet counter.
Snacks of popcorn and cookies
For the hub airport lounge, I was expecting some special lustre from Delta but it seems the lounge offering was standard like most of their other lounges. There does not seem to be anything special but the large network of Sky Clubs in Atlanta should ensure occupancy be spread out and thus the lounges does feel comfortable. I did also enjoy whatever little snacks they provided rather than nothing. There was a small disappointment since there does not seem to be a huge range of newspapers and magazines available in the Sky Club here compared to my previous short stop in Seattle. While it would not defeat the flagship lounges of other US airlines like the United Global First Lounge in SFO, it is decent for a Business Class lounge.
Staggered seats on the 767-300ER
With the boarding gate for the flight conveniently located beside the Sky Club in Concourse E, which is also the international terminal for Atlanta, I took my own time to head to the gates. I had arrived at what seems to be a relatively empty gate, and there was not much crowds for a wide body international flight! It seems the loads would be pretty low for this flight today.
Delta's Boeing 767-300ER at Atlanta
DL147 Atlanta Hartsfield–Jackson ATL – Santiago Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez SCL STD-STA: 2158-0830 Actual: 2225–0829 Boeing 767-300ER N194DN Gate E14 Seat 3A
It was already late and when I boarded, most of the Business class passengers have already boarded save for a couple of people.
Delta ONE Business Class
Delta's business class seats on the 767-300ER have a staggered layout in a 1-2-1 configuration, ensuring aisle access for every seat with a full flat-bed. This is a generally a good product though it can get cramped at the foot cubby holes and I generally find the best seats to be those located by the windows meaning seats 1,3 and 5 on the A and D side. The even numbered seats are situated closer to the aisle and lacks privacy for individual travellers. On the other hand, couples would probably want to choose the centre column to be seated side by side.
View from Seat 3A
On every seat there was a set of Westin-branded 'Heavenly bed' mattress pad and pillow. In addition, there was also headphones, a TUMI-branded amenity kit that was in a hard case format and a bottle of water located on the armrest console. Somehow the international flights have some premium mineral water that isn't Dasani.
TUMI amenity kit, headphones and bottled water
There was still about half of the cabin empty during this time after I settled down in my seat, thus I went to walk around the cabin to take some photos. I also noticed the curtain around seat 5A that would designate it as a crew rest seat. I believe it was used by the flight crew during the flight as it was closed.
Delta Airlines Business Class cabin
During this time, the Chilean steward serving my aisle came around with a tray of welcome beverages. There was champagne, water or orange juice. He was very professional about his job and made the effort to chat with the passengers while serving them. Hot towels were also provided to freshen up before the flight.
Seat 6A with the curtain on seat 5A
Boarding took some time and this allowed me to explore the various seat functions. For someone of my size (~1.75m), the seat was actually just nice and while it was a bit narrower, it still is adequate to get some rest especially considering it can become lie-flat.
Legroom on Seat 3A
While waiting, the cabin crew also came around to take meal orders from passengers. The menu for the flight was as follow:
When boarding was completed, the cabin crew came around to ensure the cabin is prepared for take-off and the safety video was played. For those interested, Delta actually created the video by combining spoofs from various YouTube personality. Below was the safety video, which I thought was a bit cheesy. I think Delta was just trying to be 'cool' but I do not think so.
Once we attained cruising altitude, the cabin crew started to work immediately and placed the table mats. The tray tables are stowed under the armrest console and it is easier to unlatch and setup than other business class seat tables, in my opinion. Then he asked me for my choice of beverage, which I got a cranberry apple cocktail served with ice.
Shortly after serving me my beverage, the steward returned with a small bowl of smoked pecans that was really tasty and he also asked if I wanted some wine to go with it. I got the Chardonnay to go with the pecans and switched on the inflight entertainment to watch a movie while waiting for the dinner service.
Dinner service began with the starters, salad and soup served on a wooden tray. The starter was a country pork pate with pepper crust, pretzel crostini and prosciutto, served with grain mustard and pepper jam. Salad was arugula salad with snow peas, snap peas and carrots topped with avocade creme fraiche. The steward also asked if we wanted soup which was poured onto a bowl from a flask. The soup that day was tortilla soup. In addition, the crew also came around with a bread basket and I got myself a pretzel breadstick. I actually enjoyed all the starters and it was a fine start to the meal. The meat plate was tasty and the pepper jam made it even more enjoyable while the warm soup filled me up while waiting for the main course.
For the main course, I chose the turkey meatball with pasta. While the presentation of the dish was terrible, both the meatball and pasta was actually better than it looks. The meatball was of a generous size and I could take multiple bites out of it. It was also juicy and not dry as what could sometimes be expected out of turkey meat. The pasta was cooked nicely and something that I could enjoy on a bistro. More work on the presentation would be welcome for this dish.
Even though I was getting quite full after the light snack at the lounge and finishing the starters, soup and the main course, I couldn't say no when the crew came around with the dessert tray. I got for myself the ice cream sundae and had it with chocolate syrup and nuts as the topping. In addition I asked for some grapes and strawberries on the side. This made for a sweet finish to the meal service.
High Road Vanilla ice cream sundae
With the conclusion of the meal service, there was some time before the trays were collected. My guess is that some of the passengers actually finished dinner early to sleep for the remainder of the flight since the cabin was dimmed throughout the meal service. Thus the crew did not really want to walk around the cabin too much.
Folded tray table
Once my tray was collected, I opened the amenity kit to get ready to freshen up before retiring for the night. The contents of the kit was actually pretty good as it includes a set of Malin + Goetz moisturizer and lip balm. There was also an eyeshade, pair of socks, a pen, a mouthwash, toothbrush, earplugs and a packet of tissue. I extracted the dental kit and asked for another bottle of water to brush my teeth in the lavatory. The lavator
Contents inside the TUMI amenity case
The lavatory up front was a good size with room to manoeuvre which was better than I expected since the 767 is a narrower aircraft in all account compared to the usual 777 used for long-haul routes. It was also nice to see the Malin + Goetz handwash and hand cream inside the lavatories.
Lavatory on the 767
Once I returned to my seat, I reclined my seat and prepared to get ready for bed. Unsurprisingly with the long flights starting from Vancouver, I was dozing off in no time. The low load in business class also meant I could get extra pillows and these are really huge fluffy ones that makes the sleep much more comfortable. In fact I actually got quite a nice sleep for the night as I awoke only upon hearing the clanking sounds of cutleries.
Flat bed with Westin Heavenly bedding
Apparently while I had asked to be woken up for breakfast, the crew might have forgotten. I did, however wake up with about 50 minutes to go before we arrived.
Inflight map prior to breakfast
The steward came around to hand me a hot towel as he came back with my breakfast set. It was a nice touch to start the service with another hot towel.
Hot towel before breakfast
For breakfast, I had the scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives. The eggs were served with chicken apple sausage, spinach with mushrooms and lyonnaise potatoes. I do think the portion was a bit on the small side and could do with a bit more. They did fortunately have a bread basket where I got a nice warm and fluffy croissant. A small fruit bowl was included in the breakfast tray. I also got a cup of coffee with the breakfast.
Scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives; served with chicken apple sausage, spinach with mushrooms and lyonnaise potatoes
Maybe because the portion is quite small, most passengers finished the breakfast quickly and I still had time to head to the lavatory to freshen up after breakfast.
Sunrise in the horizon
The remainder of the flight, I just spent relaxing in the seat and finishing up my cup of coffee. The large armrest console made it easy to place beverages without the tray table blocking your lap.
Convenient tray table for beverages
It was also nice to be able to the enjoy the sunrise as we descended into Chile, starting with the view of the northern coastline.
Sunrise descent off the coast of Chile
As we gradually got closer to Santiago, the Andes mountains came into view with the towns, farmlands and mining landmarks dotting the landscape. It was definitely a great end to the flight to be able to enjoy this view!
Flying past the town of San Felipe with the Andes mountain range in the background
Copper mine reservoir north of Santiago
Rural region north of Santiago
LAN Chile Airbus A320 at Santiago
Santiago might be the largest air hub in Chile and one of the predominant airports in South America but it did not feel that busy. It might be due to the early arrival of the plane. Disembarkation was conducted only through the door between Business and Premium Economy so that can result in passengers in premium economy getting off at the same time. There is a long walkway that looks quite old leading to the immigration.
Since I was in Business Class, the agent filing the claim handed me a 'SkyTeam' branded amenity kit. The amenity kit was quite good as it even included a T-shirt. Fortunately enough, I did prepare some change of clothes and daily necessities on my hand-carried luggage. The delay in the luggage meant I had to alter my itinerary a bit since I would not be going to snowboard the next day as the luggage could only be delivered the next day as Delta only has one flight per day to Santiago.
Skyteam amenity kit provided for the misplaced luggage
The experience of not getting the luggage in time was a stain in an otherwise pretty good experience. I was eventually reunited with my checked luggage so in the end everything's fine. For the price of the ticket, I think the flight was very good value in providing a comfortable long haul flight that I could rest and even have a nice meal. The little things like the large pillows, bottled water and TUMI amenity kit made the flight more memorable. It might not be first class but it sure beats some business class service by other carriers.
Delta Airlines 767-300ER
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines Sky Club (Gate E14)
Atlanta - ATL
Santiago - SCL
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