The airline with the best average rating is Delta Air Lines with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 10 hours and 15 minutes.More information
Prior to this trip, I had never flown any sort of long-haul business-class product, but I had experienced domestic First Class on Delta to Florida from Seattle many times before. We flew in to Amsterdam on DL142, the A330-300 in Delta One and I found the product to be very solid, and I did sleep most of the flight, so unfortunately there will not be a review of that segment of the flight.
As the nonstop flight to Seattle is extremely convenient, I unfortunately did not get to experience the Delta One Suite onboard the A350 from Amsterdam to Detroit, MI, but might get to try that out another time.
This flight was much better timed than the morning flight, leaving at 1430 instead of 1020 and allowed for a more relaxed morning in Amsterdam at the airport.
There was lots of plane spotting involved here, so the photos are scattered throughout, but I hope you enjoy this review of my longest flight to-date with Delta!
After clearing Security & Passport Control for non-Schengen flights (at Departures 3), you are presented with the beautiful space that is Lounge 2. Overlooking the north side of the D Pier, and the south side of the E Pier, large windows allow you views out onto the ramp, as well as many options for shopping and dining.
For those with access, the British Airways Lounge was located just down the way (and up an elevator) in Lounge 2 as well. Non-Schengen passengers wishing for SkyTeam lounge access may use the KLM Crown Lounge 52 (located between Piers E and F) that will be covered later in this report. Unfortunately for us, it was located quite a walk down from Pier D where our flight would be departing from, so only I got to check it out (more on that later).
This was my first time getting to see a 747 up close, and I think that the new KLM Livery looks beautiful on the 747. This particular frame, the City of Shanghai, is 19 years old and will most likely be retired in the next few years as KLM joins other airlines like Delta and Air France to slowly phase out their 747s in favor of other aircraft, such as the A350 and 787.
Speaking of the A350, I had never seen a Cathay plane before, and even though they are coming to Seattle in just a few weeks time, I am glad I was able to catch this BRAND new, just under two month old, Cathay Pacific A350-1000 model on her morning rest before departing for Hong Kong just after 1200. Do note, this gate was located on Pier G which is a HAUL from the Lounge 2 area from earlier, so if you plan to check out some of the other international long-haul craft, do plan yourself some time to get around for sure. :)
KLM has two lounges here at Schipol, the Crown Lounge 25 (Schengen) and the Crown Lounge 52 (non-Schengen, pictured). Lounge 52 is located in between Piers E and F, where most KLM flights depart from.
Many other airlines in the SkyTeam alliance are allowed to access this lounge on business class tickets (or however you plan to access the lounge, etc.). As I was flying Delta One, I was allowed access to this lounge about 2 and a half hours before my flight. Do be warned if you are flying Delta though, most flights depart from Pier D, with the occasional departure from Pier E, the former of which is quite a walk from this lounge so do plan 10-20 minutes each way if you plan to visit this lounge with a Pier D departure and 5-10 each way with a Pier E departure.
The entrance to the lounge is very unique in that a KLM and SkyTeam logo are lit up along a mirror wall along the corridor between Piers E and F (Departures 3). I think this is a very
The lounge is separated into two floors, with the majority of lounge amenities being located on the first floor, the restaurant and terrace on the second floor, and seating areas spread out between the two, more on seating later.
This is the seating area on the main level of the lounge, located right off the check-in lobby. It was quite busy and loud, so I didn't stick around down here too much.
The split of the two floors, the self-service food and drinks are available on both levels, pictured on the second level, and to the right out of frame on the first floor. This lounge does have an outdoor terrace, the doors to which are located at the far right on the second level (I'll come back to that).
Seating areas on the stairs are spread out in multiple areas, underneath the KLM logo was a seating area with a few couches and a TV. Booths with tables were also available, as were seating areas with separate tables.
It is definitely fitting that this be the KLM Lounge, as the only aircraft I saw during my hour in the lounge were KLM tails, on the E Pier (to the right) and the F Pier (to the left). The terrace was a small outdoor area on the northeast side of the lounge on the second level, and I don't believe that there was any seating outside, so be prepared to stand.
Lots of flight information is provided throughout the lounge on departure boards. But do be warned, multiple times is it stated throughout the terminal that Schipol is a "quiet airport" and that flight information announcements will NOT be made at any time and that it is the passenger's responsibility to be aware of boarding times, gate changes and any delays associated with their flight.
On the way out of the lounge, KLM Dutch Houses line the mirrored wall as you head down the escalator back to the Departure Lounge. Unfortunately, we were not flying KLM back to Seattle (maybe in the future?) and would not get one as part of the business class experience. Catch you next time for sure KLM :).
One last find before we head off to the gate - another KLM 747 boarding and prepping for her flight to Nairobi, Kenya. :) I love the old colors too, KLM!
Today, we would be flying on a 22-year old Delta 767-300(ER), N195DN. She has been owned and operated by Delta her entire life, so she definitely has a few good more years. Delta is in the process of replacing their 767s with other aircraft, such as the brand new A350 and A330-900neo, the former of which flies from Amsterdam to Detroit. Can't wait to see the new product onboard their 767s later on too.
I was flying with my grandparents on this trip, and they definitely needed a little more time to board with their bags and all, especially among mobility concerns for both of them but the gate crew was happily able to escort us to the plane early. The Delta One cabin on this 767 was laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration across 7 rows. Odd-numbered A and D seats are smooth against the window, while even-numbered A and D seats are closer to the aisle. Center seats alternate between which seat is closer to the aisle and which one is closer to the middle.
For this flight, I was seated in 1D, a bulkhead window seat on the left side of the aircraft. All 4 bulkhead seats (1ABCD) have larger footwells in the wall in front, so I definitely found that to be more comfortable than the footwells on some of the other seats on the window side.
Universal power outlets and a USB port were found on the console of the seat and both worked very well to charge my phone and camera quickly throughout the flight. My biggest complaint about this seat was definitely the lack of storage among other things. The console served decently for storing my camera and power adapter, but the seat pocket located on the front of the console didn't have much give and wouldn't hold much besides my passport holder.
The seat pocket next to the TV didn't serve much purpose either, other than holding the amenity kit. You'll also notice the older style TV that was rather… interesting, to say the least. More on that later.
Finally got the screen to come on with details about the flight…. the touch screen was completely inoperable so thank goodness for the remote. I really appreciate that Delta is able to include aircraft info in their IFE, it is really good for us plane people ;). Notice the pillow and blanket stowed in the footwell…. there was nowhere to put them so they just stayed put until I used them.
The remnants of my pre-departure orange juice (champagne and water were also offered), as well as the rather intuitive but dated seat controls. Every time I went to recline the back of the seat, it made this very strange clicking and groaning sound so I guess the age shows, well, sounds. :)
Delta's headphones are provided at each seat in Delta One. I don't find them to be particularly comfortable and I don't think they were noise cancelling but I did use them once I packed up my own and they got the job done.
One of four Icelandair 767s, TF-ISO pushing back from Gate D5 for her flight back to Reykjavik (KEF) as ICE501.
Instead of taxing out to the Polderbaan (36L), we took off from Runway 24 to the southwest and turned north after takeoff. We were informed by the captain that our flight time today would be about 9 hours 35 minutes (good news, having been booked at 10 and a half hours)
Per FlightAware, our route to Seattle today took us over the northeast coast of the UK and Iceland, and over the bottom third of Greenland, which proved to be very beautiful. Cruising altitudes held around 34,000 feet for most of the flight. No major bumps to report. :)
About 30 minutes after takeoff, the "dinner" service started with your selection of drink and warm nuts. Definitely an American classic ;).
The first course consisted of a smoked tuna with veggies, salad with tomato and mozzarella, a choice from the bread basket and butter, and a delicious carrot ginger soup.
The main course consisted solely of this pesto and cheese lasagna, which unfortunately was not very good. I didn't have a particular taste for the sauce, it was just so overwhelming as part of the rest of the dish.
Easily the best part of the meal was the dessert. A mango mouse cake was an option as well, but I decided to go for the ice cream with strawberry sauce, and yes, I had already eaten like half of it before I realized I didn't get a photo of it. :)
Starting our flight over Greenland, about an hour after the first meal service concluded. This part of Greenland is often ice-free in the summer, and we will see many glaciers and a lot of ice later on.
The lines through the ice denote the glacier path, so it is really cool to try and follow the flow of the ice.
Warm chocolate chip cookies and tea/coffee were served about halfway through the flight. Only half of the passengers were awake at this point, including myself so I was happy to indulge. My grandparents across the aisle woke up and saw that I had gotten a cookie, and went to ask the FAs for one for both of them :). At this point, I had nothing but good things to say about this crew, they were very attentive throughout service and even when service had stopped, they still made rounds around the cabin.
Nearing Seattle, only about two hours to go. Cabin lights are still turned off but the second meal service, "lunch", would begin in about 25 to 30 minutes,
Lunch service consisted today of drinks, as well as a build-your-own-burger style meal, with potato salad and various condiments, like ketchup, etc. I found this burger to be delicious; however, my biggest complaint would be that the meat patty was way smaller than the hamburger bun so that could definitely have been improved. All aside, this was the superior meal on this flight.
Working our way towards final approach. This is Woodenville, Bothell and Kenmore at the I405/SR522 interchange, northeast of Seattle. The approach down into the Seattle area was very smooth and no bumps to report.
Our arrival gate was S3 (international arrivals) and provided a great view of the construction ongoing to build Seattle's new international arrivals facility (located behind the A Gates) which is slated to open in 2021. Also, Delta E175 taxiing out. :)
My last look at the beautiful bird that took us all safely home. This particular aircraft is one of the older 767 frames, so her days are definitely numbered, but there is no arguing the 767 is a great aircraft, the Delta fleet will definitely feel different when they are all gone.
All in all, I think Delta One is a very solid product, albeit the hard product on the 767 may not be as superior as the product on the A330. I was glad to get to experience Delta One on the 767 back to Seattle, the service was great and the three FAs were very attentive throughout the flight, even after service had concluded and people were asleep. The biggest drawback in my opinion is lack of places to put things, storage seemed to be a problem throughout this flight for me, and it is nice to see Delta adding this in their new A350 and 777 products in Delta One. I would definitely recommend Delta One to anyone looking for a comfortable way to fly long-haul, but I might suggest trying to select the A330 over the 767.