Atlanta - Paris CDG DL / J B767-400: Later than the bit later
Paris CDG - Euroairport AF / Y ATR72-500: No need to wait, no report.
Here I am in Amsterdam, I'll breeze through all checks thanks to the automated kiosks, and I arrive at the lounge, which I'll find crowded, over heated and with an almost non existant welcome. Food selection was sub-par. The buffet looked empty, like if a soccer team just passed by.
That's my selection and the corporate picture, but I did not browse further as the wifi was scare. To forget!
In Amsterdam, for non-Schengen flights, you have to clear an additional screening filter, and for the US, another oral question/answer session. As there was just a change with the PED procedures, I decided to head early enough to the gate in order to avoid crowds of people. I use the SP lane, nobody before me. The questions were asked but nothing about PED's and no more in depth questions. After the X ray control I won't be asked to open any of my electronic items as it was suggested by the new procedure. That leaves me plenty of time to spot my plane for today's flight:
A340-300 China something:
As a SP member or J class flyer you receive this coupon to identify you while boarding:
Once aboard, I re-discover this good looking like cabin:
Seat functions and IFE:
Followed by an on time push back and a bit of spotting in AMS, with those specific jetties, allowing passenger to board the a/c behind the wings:
Welcome drink with those lovely almonds: (could kill someone for them!)
A thank you for flying Delta card was handed over. Nice touch:
The menu looked promising:
I was about to forget to introduce you to the welcome kit:
I find it very complete, not very luxurious, but everything that is needed is there. And that's the matter.
After the crew is released, it's aperitive time. I'll ask for the sweet white to go with the salmon and the shrimps. It is not on the trolley, but my steward will go and open the bottle for me.
In one of my former report I told you that the meal order is taken by the purser from 01A till the back of the cabin and then from the back of the other side of the cabin to the front. This is still done like that, so if you want to have your meal choice when flying Delta on long haul flights, make sure that you seat on the A side.
That's my aperitive, sweet wine, water, salmon, shrimps. Simple delicious.
Everything (but the wine!!) is cleared and next is the thai soup together with the tomato/mozzarella salad. The soup was divine, a bit spicy, lots of flavors, just top! The tomato/mozzarella was a very good idea, a good change from the classic green salad. The tomatoes were good, so was the cheese.
For the main dish, I choose the beef, that was very good, a bit too cooked though. But for an US airline, having meat just a bit too cooked, is already a good thing ;) You may notice that the dish is plated in the galley and not pre-plated. That makes the dish looking much better and allows to have maître d'hotel butter on top:
The tray is then cleared (this is something I don't understand: you don't get the tray for the amuse, nor for the cheese and dessert, so why just forget it completly for the rest of the service?)
It's now time for cheese AND dessert. Unlike BA, DL does offer the choice to take both. I'll only ask for the brie cheese, some fruits and the apple cobler. My steward will give me a strange look when I will decline the ice cream on top of the cobler. I'll say I like it plain. He offers me to have a sundae together with the cobler, but I am full. But I won't say no to more sweet wine ;)
The cobler is served warm and it's just wonderful. The cheese and the fruits are nice as well. I'll decline the coffee and the tea to finish the wine bottle. As I was the only one in the cabin to drink that wine, I have had the whole bottle for me me alone!
Before going for a nap, here a few details of the seat, with the reading light:
I found it a new function, headset holder:
Lots of plugs:
Then I make my bed, and this is my favorite seat vs the 76S or AF or KL old seats. With two pillows, it is just top. You got to ask for the second, as only one is included.
Helped with the engine noise, light turbulences, the seat comfort (and the wine bottle), I'll sleep for around three hours.
As I wake up, I feel quite hungry, I'm happy to see that the service is about to be carried out! Good! Before it, here's an outside view, the winglet and the safety on board card:
For the snack, I'll choose the salad that is served with the fruits and without a tray. My steward will ask me if I'd like to have the chicken sandwich as well as lots of people did not take anything. I'll decline the offer, but not a bacardi coke ;)
At the very end of the flight, the purser will thank each business class passenger together with a chocolate.
A few outside pictures before landing:
On time landing at Delta-land:
I'll be out of the plane among the first passengers and will discover something new for me here at ATL. I don't know if other airports in the US use that procedure. If yes, cool and if not, they should:
I head to the non US-resident lane and there a very nice lady asks to each passengers if they have already entered the US with an ESTA. If yes, they are redirected to the resident lane. If not, to the regular lane.
As I travel a lot to the US, I answer yes, and discover that we can now use the automated controls that used to be only available for US/Canada citizen and green cards holders.
It's super easy, just insert your passeport in the machine, which will match it with your ESTA. Then you answer the same questions as the blue customs form, give two digital prints and take a picture. Then you get a receipt summarizing all information. If the receipt is crossed by a black bar, you need to go to a special immigration desk, if not you go to a general counter where a few officers wait. They just ask you if you come for business or leisure and then stamp your passeport accordingly wishing you a lovely stay. That's it and it took me 3 minutes to clear immigration.
Then you retrieve your luggage (my bag will be the first!) and hand over your receipt to the customs officier.
I've exited the plane at 03:00, at 03:20 I was at the TSA screening for my next flight, at 03:30 in the concourse B crap lounge. (that's another story!)
Delta and ATL made me very happy that day!
Delta Air Lines
KLM Crown Lounge 5 - Non Schengen
Amsterdam - AMS
Atlanta - ATL
I can't fault DL at all. Everything was perfect. 10 out of 10 is quite hard to reach, as my meat was a bit overcooked, my ranking will stop at 9.5/10
AMS Crown lounge is a shame. Crowded, loud, wifi not working, no newspapers, unfriendly staff and sub-par food offering.
AMS and ATL airport were perfect. Nothing to say at all.
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