Flight-Report

Review of Delta (ExpressJet) flight Detroit Houston in Premium Eco

Airline Delta (ExpressJet)
Flight DL 5109
Class Premium Eco
Seat 5A
Flight time 03:29
Take-off 29 Feb 16, 20:13
Arrival at 29 Feb 16, 22:42
EV 17 reviews
NGO85
By 1120
Published on 3rd March 2016
Background:

This series covers a trip from Nagoya to Houston aboard Delta. Please refer to Part 1 for the background of this series. As a reminder, the routing is:

Part 1 – NGO-DTW [DL 630, Airbus A330-200, Comfort+] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13416.html
Part 2 – DTW-IAH [DL 5109, Bombardier CRJ-900, Comfort+] – You are here

This report will cover the domestic flight from Detroit to Houston-Intercontinental on Delta in their Comfort+ aboard a CRJ-900 operated by ExpressJet Airlines. There will be a bonus of Matsumoto (松本) at the end of the report for those interested in this city that is easily accessible from Nagoya. It's a little treat for those of you that took the time to wander into a boring US domestic flight.



Pre-flight:

After collecting my bags and clearing customs, I dropped my bags off and went through security. Up the escalators I go in order to re-enter the departures level.

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Conveniently, the entrance to the main DL SkyClub is located at the top of the escalators. Entering, the friendly agents welcome me. They scan my boarding pass, which gets rejected again. I show my AZ card and am granted access. The agent explains the layout of the lounge and then sends me on my way.

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I immediately request a shower. There are two shower rooms, both were empty when I asked. The agent asked me what amenities I needed, she gathered them, and then walked me to the shower room. The shower rooms are decent. A nice large shower, some nice Malin+Goetz products, and linens from Westin. What I find a little disgusting is that the trash is not emptied between showers. This time, it was just paper waste, but you never know what you may find in a trashcan in the US…



After my refreshing shower, I wandered through the crowded lounge until I found a quiet corner to take refuge. The view of the lounge from my seat.

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Not fantastic food offerings, but there are some hot food items in addition to salads. I grabbed some macaroni and cheese as well as Thai chicken soup. The soup was really good.

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My documents.

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A second offering of more soup and a pint of Layover IPA by Latitude 42 Brewing Company, which is a local brewery in Michigan. It’s nice to see them offer some local microbrews on draft in the lounge.

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Since I had a 4-hour layover, I stayed for 2.5-hours before wandering down the terminal to get some exercise. Mogoy’s shop is here.

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FIDS.

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Concourse A.

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AF A343.

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DL B772.

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DL B767.

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DL A320.

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DL B738.

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The entrance to the DL SkyClub near Gates 60-70. As before, a very friendly welcome. The agent entered my AZ info and then explained the layout of the lounge.

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This lounge is small and is based along a long hall with small seating areas off the main hall. At the end of the hall was a dark room that was filled with people and contained the same food items that were present in the first lounge I visited.

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I found a nook near the coffee that was shared with a lady headed to AMS (based on her obnoxiously loud phone conversation).



The bathrooms in the lounge are okay and also contain Malin+Goetz products.

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At 15 minutes to boarding, I packed up and walked to the gate. Aerial views of Concourse A from the lounge entrance.

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——————————-

Delta Airlines, DL 5109
Equipment: Bombardier CRJ-900 [N200PQ, delivered December 2008]
Departure: 20:13 (ATD: 20:36)
Arrival: 22:42 (ATA: 22:02)
Flight time: 2:26


Our gate tonight.

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The plane down below.

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On-time, boarding started with DL elites and then SkyPriority and I head down the jetbridge where I am forced to gate check my bag since all the bins had been claimed by the F passengers. A disadvantage of small CRJs.

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Entering the plane. I could see the pilots going over their route, but chose not to photograph them working.

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My seat was the first row of Y+ behind the F cabin. This seat was picked since it has a soft bulkhead.

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The soft bulkhead means it gets the best seat pitch on the plane, even better than F.

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The seat pitch. Also note the trash on the ground in plain sight. Really sad to see on a plane at its hub.

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Seatback contents are the same as the previous flight. The safety card for this CRJ-900.



As boarding completed, we started pushed back and the crew did the safety demonstration.

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As we taxi out to the runway. DL B717.

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DL CRJ-200.

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DL CRJ-700.

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More DL CRJs.

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We takeoff a little bit behind schedule.

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The cabin as service starts up.

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I ask for a cup of coffee and the FA asks me what snacks I want. I ask for biscuits and she hands me two with a smile.

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No IFE on this flight, but you can access DeltaStudio using the WiFi. The content looks the same as the previous flight. I just tracked the flight.



I passed out and slept until we got close to the final descent. I quick tried to use the restroom before the seatbelt sign turned on. I signaled to my seatmate I want out, he didn’t budge since he was furiously typing e-mails. I pointed to the aisle again. He looks at me and just tucks his toes in 2 inches and gestures for me to leave. Seriously? I’m supposed to try and crawl out in a little CRJ with no headroom? So annoying. The lavatory was tiny, but clean. Getting back to my seat, my seatmate refused to get up again. I was really tempted to “accidentally” knock his laptop off his lap as I crawled by, but took the moral high ground to get into my seat without hitting him, banging my head on the overhead bins in the process. Some people are just clueless.

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Final descent over Lake Houston.

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Downtown is barely visible. This is when something amusing happened. Someone in F pressed the call button. We were less than 5 minutes from touching down. The FA came on the PA and said “Hun, we are about to land, I can’t get up right now. Whatever you need is going to have to wait.” So sassy.

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Crossing over US-59 / I-69.

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The UA hangars as we touch down very early.

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It was a short taxi as we arrive at our gate next to our twin.



Since my seatmate again blocked me in, I got flanked from the rear during deplaning. I just waited for everyone to deplane to take a cabin shot since I figured I was going to have to wait for bags anyways.

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I made a joke with the FA about the call button incident. She just shakes her head and says “Some people just got no common sense” with a laugh. She wished me a good night as I exited. Entering the empty Terminal A.

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There were some displays out since the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is currently going on.



The bags were starting to circulate by the time I met my dad in the baggage claim. I collected my bags and was quickly on my way to their house. And this concludes this series.




——————————–

BONUS: I went to Matsumoto (松本) the day before I flew this series, so I’ll consider it a relevant bonus since Matsumoto is best accessed from Nagoya on the Shinano (しなの). It is a 2-hour train ride from Nagoya (the Shinano continues all the way to Nagano (長野) so it can be done as a daytrip along the way). Matsumoto is a pretty boring city other than its castle so not really worth more than a half day for tourists.

A couple of pictures from the train ride.

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Matsumoto Station.

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The Yohashira Shrine (四柱神社).

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Old merchant shops along the riverfront.

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The main sight in town is Matsumoto Castle (松本城). The castle opens at 8:30 and this is the best time to visit since the tour buses don’t arrive until closer to 9:30. Matsumoto Castle is one of the few castles in Japan that retains its original structure. It is a black castle like Kumamoto Castle (熊本城).



As you ascend the castle, there are a couple of exhibits, but it is mainly empty inside. You get nice views of the structure as you go up the narrow stairs.



Being one of the first in the castle allows you the chance to get the top floor all to yourself so you can take as many pictures from the windows as you want. The views of the city and surrounding mountains are beautiful.



As you descend down you get to pass through the moon-viewing room.

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Also in Matsumoto is the famous Kaichi Primary School (旧開智学校), which is one of the first schools in Japan.



Some food from Matsumoto: ramen for lunch and curry for dinner at a real mom and pop type place where you can watch grandpa cooking while enjoying an Yebisu for Numero_2.



Finally, some nighttime shots of the city and castle.

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Verdict

Delta (ExpressJet)

6.0/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Delta Air Lines Sky Club (Gate A38)

8.1/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering6.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Services10.0

Detroit - DTW

8.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access6.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness8.0

Houston - IAH

7.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access6.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

The DL SkyClubs are nicer than the UA Clubs I remember. The soups I had were good and local beers on draft are a nice touch. The flight itself was fine, I slept for almost the entire time and had decent service with a good crew. Excellent on time performance, so DL did it's job.

Cabin comfort: The CRJ-900 is slightly more spacious than the smaller CRJs but still cramped. The seats are narrow and the lavatory is minuscule. Great legroom due to the soft bulkhead, so I would rate this an 8 for comfort, but deducting points for the trash on the floor.

Crew: A sassy and smiling DL crew. They were perhaps the best part of the flight for their comments.

Meal and catering: I like the large cup sizes and the choice of a snack. It's about all you can expect on a domestic flight. I was asleep so not sure if a second drink service was done or not, but my guess is no.

Entertainment: No newspapers or IFE on offer. You can access DeltaStudio from your device for free, but there is no power on these planes so it's a useless feature unless you have a fully charged battery. Standard seatback literature.

On-time performance: We left the gate a little bit late, but landed 40 minutes early.

Related

13 Comments

  • Comment 159204 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    What I find a little disgusting is that the trash is not emptied between showers.
    - With only 2 showers you would think that they would do a better job.

    The view of the lounge from my seat.
    - The old NW's WorldClub. Ah memories....

    I grabbed some macaroni and cheese as well as Thai chicken soup. The soup was really good.
    - You should have poured the Thai soup over the macaroni for a heartier meal. That would have qualified as fusion food too. :P

    The soft bulkhead means it gets the best seat pitch on the plane, even better than F.
    - Looks pretty roomy indeed.

    I ask for biscuits and she hands me two with a smile.
    - Easy on those. They are packed with hydrogenated oil. ;)

    I was really tempted to “accidentally” knock his laptop off his lap as I crawled by, but took the moral high ground to get into my seat without hitting him, banging my head on the overhead bins in the process. Some people are just clueless.
    - You could have fainted and fallen on top of him after you hit your head. That would teach him. :P

    There were some displays out since the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is currently going on.
    - So you traded your colorful sneakers for some leather boots? ;)

    Some food from Matsumoto
    - The Pavlov effect is coming back. Your meal looked great.

    Thank you Michael for this FR and terrific bonus.

    • Comment 336081 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1624 Comments

      With only 2 showers you would think that they would do a better job.
      - Everything else looked clean (no residual water in the shower) so I don't know why changing out the trash bag would be that much work.

      The old NW's WorldClub. Ah memories....
      - I bet the furniture is still the same^^ The want to keep it retro

      You should have poured the Thai soup over the macaroni for a heartier meal.
      - This mixture would probably look the same as the resulting throw-up^^ The macaroni and cheese wasn't actually that bad, it had some spice to it. The soups are a nice addition from the standard crackers, vegetables, and cereal. Not as nice as the DL Lounge at SFO that you showed, but okay.

      Easy on those. They are packed with hydrogenated oil. ;)
      - I could do with the fat ;)

      You could have fainted and fallen on top of him after you hit your head.
      - Unfortunately, I haven't started my acting career in LA yet ;)

      So you traded your colorful sneakers for some leather boots? ;)
      - These boots are better than the polka-dot shoes at SFO^^

      Your meal looked great.
      - There is always something special about small places where you can actually watch them cook. I saw him peel and clean my shrimp before battering it. It's a lot more reassuring than black box meals.

      Thanks for your comments Adan!

  • Comment 159224 by
    marathon GOLD 9314 Comments

    Great Matsumoto report, well worth mousewheeling through the flight bonus :)
    No, I don't want to be banned on this website... this is yet another superbly written and illustrated FR.

    The way you keep the moral high ground in the presence of obnoxious technology users in lounges and planes is admirable :)

    Not fantastic food offerings, but there are some hot food items in addition to salads.
    Hot food seems to be a fantastic catering with regard to the standard US lounge offering.

    I love the way female staff in the US will soften their rebuttals by calling you honey.

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope you'll overcome the reverse culture shock !

    • Comment 336083 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1624 Comments

      No, I don't want to be banned on this website...
      - Why would they ban a well-respected contributor of both the English and French sides?

      The way you keep the moral high ground in the presence of obnoxious technology users in lounges and planes is admirable :)
      - You just have to remind yourself that the result of an outburst will neither decrease their obnoxiousness nor your own blood pressure ;)

      Hot food seems to be a fantastic catering with regard to the standard US lounge offering.
      - Lately, the US carriers have started to introduce some soups and warm snacks to their carrots. It's still nowhere close to the European standard, but anything is better than nothing.

      I hope you'll overcome the reverse culture shock !
      - I'm leaving for a long trip to Europe to counteract the US culture shock.

      Thank you for stopping by this Matsumoto report, Marathon!

    • Comment 336149 by
      ashleyyau 212 Comments

      You have to take courses on Meiji Period in HK?
      -> I was once a history student many years ago and Japan is a compulsory topic. BTW the A-level has been abolished for a while and now HK adopts a US-like education system.

    • Comment 336084 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1624 Comments

      The McNamara Terminal looks spacious and modern, while the DL lounges seem aging in style.
      - Compared to the rest of Detroit, DTW is a very nice airport. As jetsetpanda said, the lounges are still very much a NW remanent.

      The short curtain between First and Y class looks awkward and useless.
      - Soft bulkheads are utterly worthless dividers if you are in F. But if you are lucky enough to sit in the first row of Y, then it is a great idea ;) No hard bulkhead dividing the cabin means infinite legroom :)

      I would say it was a negative flight experience because of the very unfriendly seatmate
      - But I can't blame an airline for the behavior of its customers. I can only rate the airline based on the factors of the flight that were under their control.

      Oh jeez you visit the Kaichi School!!! This school is a must-read for the HK A-level syllabus of Meiji Modernization!
      - It's a very famous school^^ Nowadays it is just a boring museum inside, but at least it is still pretty from the outside :) You have to take courses on Meiji Period in HK?

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  • Comment 159251 by
    ashleyyau 212 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report with nice pictures!
    The McNamara Terminal looks spacious and modern, while the DL lounges seem aging in style. But it brews Starbucks coffee and hot food looks good.
    The short curtain between First and Y class looks awkward and useless. Too short for dividing the class… just for decoration? :P

    I would say it was a negative flight experience because of the very unfriendly seatmate (IMO the nice crew cannot help the score) lol
    “but took the moral high ground to get into my seat without hitting him”
    -> Very good EQ! If I were you I would also act like what member Jetsetpanda said!!

    The ramen and curry look great! I really like those family shokudo.
    Oh jeez you visit the Kaichi School!!! This school is a must-read for the HK A-level syllabus of Meiji Modernization! (my memories come back…)
    Look forward to your next series!

  • Comment 159298 by
    Numero_2 SILVER 8719 Comments

    Thanks for sharing.

    One more US long domestic flight with a poor onboard catering. The Sky Clubs visited are not here to raise the food score...

    The SEN lounge at EWR has local beer on draught as well, which is quite interesting to taste.

    No Kumamon picture in the bonus ? ^^

    • Comment 336204 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1624 Comments

      The Sky Clubs visited are not here to raise the food score...
      - Definitely not, but it is still better than what was offered 3 years ago... all things are relative.

      which is quite interesting to taste.
      - Interesting or good? ^^

      No Kumamon picture in the bonus ? ^^
      - Kumamon is from Kumamoto not Matsumoto^^

      Merci Clement^^

  • Comment 159307 by
    Chibcha 425 Comments

    Well the flight wasn't that boring towards the end...that guy at your side...what a jerk!

    Great pictures of Matsumoto, the castle looks awesome!

  • Comment 159930 by
    Rl 777 812 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Concourse A at DTW looks pretty good with the ExpressTram on the picture.

    Fantastic night spotting shots from DTW! I guess you hade to struggle a bit with reflections?

    I signaled to my seatmate I want out, he didn’t budge since he was furiously typing e-mails. I pointed to the aisle again. - That's when an F seat to the left is needed. Still very irritating though.

    Great aerial shots!

    Overall it looks like you had a decent flight except the situation with your seatmate and the trash found in front of you.

    Thanks for the beautiful bonus from Matsumoto, I'm glad you included it!

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 336885 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1624 Comments

      Thank you for all your comments!

      Concourse A at DTW looks pretty good with the ExpressTram on the picture.
      - I didn't even show the underground walkway to the other concourse that has the lightshow with music, haha. Yes, DTW is actually a very nice airport even through the rest of Detroit is an urban wasteland.

      I guess you hade to struggle a bit with reflections?
      - You just have to put your camera flush to the window so that there can be no reflections. off of it. It means you can't take angled shots, but it's better than nothing!

      That's when an F seat to the left is needed.
      - I was in Y so there are no single-seaters, everything is 2-2.

      Overall it looks like you had a decent flight.
      - I slept for most of it so the lack of IFE was no problem. This is a pretty long flight so it would get boring without IFE.

      I'm glad you included it!
      - It was somewhat relevant to the series since I went on that trip the day before I left.

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