Review of Delta Air Lines flight Santo Domingo New York in Domestic First

Airline Delta Air Lines
Flight DL1942
Seat 4D
Aircraft Boeing 737-900ER
Flight time 04:00
Take-off 02 Jun 23, 06:30
Arrival at 02 Jun 23, 10:30
DL   #36 out of 96 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 824 reviews
SDQBound
By 624
Published on 25th October 2023

Intro


Routing


Welcome to my first flight report from Santo Domingo. As you could probably guess from my user name, this is my hope airport, although I work in the DC area so DCA/IAD/BWI are technically “home airports” as well.

There aren’t many SDQ - Las Americas International Airport flight reports, so I have started to document my trips to Santo Domingo and upload them here progressively.


airport transfer and check-in


My journey started at my home in the center of Santo Domingo. Departed from the city right at 3 AM, it’s always great to leave ahead of time as you never know what you will find in the road on the way to the airport. 


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31 minutes later, I was dropped off at SDQ.


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The not-so-new Starbucks (which has been there for about a year now).


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Morning departures. SDQ is starting to get congested when compared to morning departures pre-COVID. The presence of the new local low-cost (Arajet), which is trying to build a low-cost hub at SDQ to connect The Americas is starting to show up in the departure board.


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A new passenger assistance desk, which was unmanned, has been installed at the check-in area.


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Busy check-in area


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SkyPriority Check-in, which was very quick. My only issue was that the check-in agent, who is always very nice, was unable to tag my bag all the way to the DCA as I had a separate reservation. He did try his best but could not override the system. Since I had to claim my bag at JFK to go through customs, it was fine.


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sdq beforeboarding premium lounge + meet&greet service


SDQ has a Premium departure/arrivals lounge with meet & greet services and personalized assistance. It is available for Dominican Republic Visa Infinite cardholders as well as other cardholders depending on the bank, and some health insurance companies also include access for international insurance plan holders. You can also pay, last time I checked the cost was $110 per passenger. You need to check-in at the VIP counter and then you can either be dropped off there or driven in a shuttle, since it is located at an area that is not accessible by foot. This time I chose the complimentary shuttle.


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Small shuttle waiting area


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Shuttle. It used to be high end SUV transfers in the past, however, they downgraded to a mini van.


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The lounge is located next to other three lounges: FBO, government protocol lounge, and the newest Popular Bank lounge. There’s also a dedicated lounge for high-rank diplomats (Ambassadors, Chief of missions, and dignitaries) located in this area as well.


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The lounge has a nice outdoor area where you can sit and enjoy food and drink with a tarmac view, but the jetful smell is very strong. 


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The lounge was busier than usual for this time. Later it was explained to me that both arriving and departing passengers were in the same area (usually they are segregated for better control) due to a faulty AC on the departures side.


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Food selection


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Departure lounge, which was empty due to faulty AC.


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The lounge has a dedicated security checkpoint and passport control desk. Once I cleared both, the assigned staff took me through a secure corridor and elevator, and then walked me to my departure gate, which was A3 today.


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Since boarding was going to begin in 10 minutes, I did a bit of spotting.


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boarding


Time to board at gate A3, with the wheelchair caravan already lined up. Usually there are 10-20 wheelchairs in any given SDQ-JFK flight.


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flight


A view of my seat, 4D this morning. A small water bottle, headphones, granola, and purell wipes were already in the seat.


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IFE


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A United 737-900ER Newark bound was boarding next to us.


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Bags were being loaded


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In the meantime, the EWR flight pushed back.


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View of the tarmac, SDQ ran out of gate spaces some time ago, so the cargo area is used as remote gates now. You can see a CM 737, a Spirit A320, 2 Arajet 737 Max, and 3 Skycana (another local carrier) A320.


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Due to many cases of theft, ramp workers are checked by a private security company after they are done loading bags.


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While we waited for departure, an AM E190 arrived from Mexico City. 


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The captain gave us a briefing, including altitude, weather, and estimated arrival time in New York.


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Free wifi was announced, followed by the safety video.


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Pushback at 6:27 am


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General aviation area with some birds from another emerging regional carrier at SDQ, Sky High.


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Quick taxi to Runway 17


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Cleared to take off, with yet another local carrier, Red Air, holding short, MIA bound.


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Westbound departure. Many years ago, this left turn was not allowed due to a military base near the airport, however, now it is possible to take off southbound and then make a left, eastbound turn a bit far from land and then head north, with a nice view of the city.


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15 minutes later, we were already at the north coast of Hispaniola island.


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Tray table was set up for breakfast. I chose the omelette, which came with a traditional “Mangú” (smashed plantain) cake, a croissant, and tropical fruits.


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Soon after breakfast, I caught up with the missing hours of sleep. I woke up near the NJ coast during final approach to JFK


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Early JFK arrival


Landed 25 minutes ahead of time. 



Luckily, deplaned at gate B26, not too long walk to immigration.


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According to the displays, there was a 5 minute wait, however, the immigration lines were much longer.


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Waiting for bags to be delivered


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Once I claimed my bag, proceeded to the connections desk to tag my bag to DCA. Things didn’t turn out as expected, my next report will narrate what happened.


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See more

Verdict

Delta Air Lines

9.5/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering9.0

BeforeBoarding Premium Lounge

7.6/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services9.0

Santo Domingo - SDQ

7.0/10
Efficiency7.0
Access9.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

New York - JFK

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access10.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Excellent trip in my opinion. SDQ departure experience was great thanks to the premium departures lounge access, inflight service was 5 star and so were the amenities. Delta domestic/short haul international first class is, in my opinion, better than the rest of the US legacy airlines.

Related

4 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 638562 by
    fiftytwo GOLD 1392 Comments
    thanks for the report
    • Comment 638564 by
      SDQBound AUTHOR 15 Comments
      You’re welcome! I always take pictures but they end up sitting on my phone so I’ll start posting more now!
      • Comment 638566 by
        fiftytwo GOLD 1392 Comments
        you are more than welcome , its good to see reports about airports which are not mainstream here like PUJ

        one small mistake , you tagged the report as domestic, even though its an international flight , and First class is the equivalent of business class elsewhere in the world
        • Comment 638567 by
          SDQBound AUTHOR 15 Comments
          Thanks! The reason why I posted as Domestic First is because this is how Delta treats it in terms of service and hard product even though it is an International flight. In the past they considered these short-haul international flights as Business Class but several years ago they changed to first and aligned it to the domestic first class service, menus, and upgrade policy.

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