Welcome to the next installment in this series of Flights between Washington DC and Rodez, France. The point of this trip to Europe was to go to a big Flight-Report.com meet-up which coincided with the Le Bourget Paris Air show. I also took the opportunity to go see my parents in the Southwest of France. I worked out a somewhat complicated routing to stretch out the miles, and basically because I'm an AvGeek and the more flights the better, when you are not time constrained, that is.
This report is on the next to last leg of the return portion–the long-haul transatlantic flight.
On Delta's B767-300ER and B767-400 aircraft in BuisnessElite, I prefer to sit in the solo window seats in the odd numbered rows. In my opinion, seats in odd rows offer more privacy because the seat is against the window and there is a large side table between you and the aisle, giving the impression of more isolation and space. Plus, for an AvGeek like me, I like being next to a window to take pics.
I selected seat 7D when i reserved the ticket.
I arrived on the train from downtown Frankfurt a little over 2 hours before departure. Knowing that I had to go from T1 to T2, I made sure to get to the airport early as it takes a while to get from the station and change terminals.
I could once again see the Qatar Airways 787 from the train, as I did on arrival.
A Singapore Airlines A380 hiding.
View of Terminal 2 from the train station.
My flight is showing on-time. The ATL flight, however, is showing a delay.
As I approached the Sky Priority lane, an agent yells out Nein! No photos! You can see her waiving her hands at me in the picture. I just look at her with a stupid look on my face and a oops sorry :-)
There is noone in line in front of me and I drop off my bags quickly. After dropping my bag, I go though passport control (security check is right before the gates) and head to the lounge. It's a pretty long walk to the Sky Lounge. It's a bit further than the Air France lounge in the same direction.
The lounge is pretty large and not too crowded. The furniture kind of reminds me of old Northwest WorldClubs.
There's nothing particularly exciting to eat at the buffet. Breads, mini cereal boxes, crackers and cookies, and fruit…seems a lot like a Sky Club in the states. Wait, no, there are cold cut meats, which is nice. I did find it odd, however, that there were no baked goods, like croissants, at this morning hour.
Thankfully there are bubbles! It's Prosecco, but hey, it's still bubbly :-)
The lounge has large windows, unfortunately they face a landside parking garage, so no planespotting for me!
I head through security and to the boarding gate at the time indicated on the boarding pass. You can't see the plane at the gate, just the tail. There's an ANA 787 across the way.
About 15 minutes after boearding was supposed to begin, there were still no agents at the gate. When agents finally arrived, they made an annoucement to inform us that boarding will be delayed until 9:15 due to the late arrival of the aircraft. The agent tells us that the flight should still be leaving on time. Hmm…ok.
I stayed at the gate because I didn't want to go through security again if I went back to the lounge.
We finally boarded around 9:30, which was the scheduled time of departure. Yeah…we're not going to leave on-time.
Great Seat pitch
A Sun Express 737 next to us. Sun Express is a Turlish holiday airline that I was not familiar with.
The TUMI comfort kit. I love these, I have a nice collection of them at home. Along with the amenity kit is a bottle of water and a decent noise-cancelling headset.
Power-port, plug for the headset and USD port.
As soon as I sat down, a lovely FA comes with a tray of pre-departure drinks. There was Water, Orange juice, or champagne. I took the champagne, of course; it was a decent Duval-Leroy.
The cabin fills up slowly. I would estimate the load factor around 80% with at least 6 Non-revs (a family of 6 sitting to my left). The father, though not in uniform, was wearing his Delta and airport badge which I found to be tacky. When I worked for an airline, we were told not to wear our badges on-board. It's in poor taste when you have paying passengers next to you and you are showing off your free upgrade and hogging all of the FA's attention. I especially didn't like the fact that he was drinking champagne with his Delta badge on–this really gives a poor image to the staff and the company…like I said, tacky!
Then there was the mom…she was the spitting image of Mama June from that lovely A&E reality show Here comes Honey Boo Boo. If you're not familiar with Honey Boo Boo, I urge you to do a search on youtube for a good laugh: http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/here-comes-honey-boo-boo
It's really no big deal, but when I worked for an airline years ago, I was always discrete. There were consequences for poor behavior on-board, especially in a premium cabin!
Alright, that's enough Non-rev bashing for now :-)
The cabin during boarding.
A few minutes before the doors were closed, the chief purser distributed menus and addressed all passengers by name. I always like that on Delta.
A Maple leaf draws my attention…
We finally push-back at 10:25, almost an hour late.
Two new Boeings.
Taxi is short and we take off facing west.
There's a Thai whale around there somewhere
And the DL JFK flight just arriving.
The IFE comes to like shortly after take-off
I put in on the airshow as I usually do.
A little music with the airshow
About half an hour after takeoff, drinks are served. Warm nuts and champagne for me.
The appetizer: Antipasto and Cream of mushroom soup. Both were very good. I've said this many times, but Delta's soups are always great.
Nice scenery during the meal.
After the soup, a nice sized salad is served.
And on to the main course: Grilled Beef Tenderloin with peppercorn sauce, mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed spinach. It was excellent! I especially liked the sweet potato purée.
Dessert was served over Scotland.
I took the cheese course and the pie. The cheese is cut on the cart next to your seat so you can tell them how much you want, which is a nice touch. They also always have ice cream Sundaes, but I'm not lactose intolerant, so I didn't want to push it considering I was already having cheese :-P
I had a sweet dessert wine with the pie.
And then I almost dropped my spoon, but thankfully the magnetic table caught it :-) The magnetic table fascinated me…it may have been the alcohol :-P
After a very good meal, I got up to stretch my legs and chat with the crew a bit. The cabin went dark as people went into food comas and took afternoon naps. Delta sure does serve copious amounts of food.
When I got back to my seat, a male FA came to bring me a bottle of water and ask if I needed anything else. Hmmm, as a matter of fact I do. I forgot a digestif. I'll have a cognac please!
I then put on some music and took a little nap.
And woke up about 2 hours later.
Mid-flight, the lavs are still clean.
Back to my nap with music.
When I woke up again we were over Quebec.
Pre-Arrival meal: Hot Chicken Parmesan sandwich. It was pretty good, but I've had the same several times before. Time to refresh the menu.
We start our decent at the border of Quebec and Ontario.
Rivière des Outaouais / Ottawa River
Views over the Great Lakes
Not sure what this little airport is–looks like it's on the Canada side of the river.
Air-to-air with a DL A320 landing at DTW at the same time.
There are scattered showers around. The A320 flew right into some rain while we stayed dry.
Not surprisingly, we landed in DTW late. No time from the departure delay was made up in flight.
Lots of former NWA aircraft in this once great Northwest Airlines Mega-hub
We got to the gate 45 minutes late, luckily I had a lot of time before my connecting flight to DCA.
One last view of my seat before leaving this beautiful 764.
Our course across the Atlantic.
Thanks for reading!
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines Sky Club
Frankfurt - FRA
Detroit - DTW
Once again, a very good flight with DL in BusinessElite!
45 minute departure and arrival delay. We made up no time in flight.
Comfort: I love this cabin. The only fault I can find with this seat is that it's a bit narrow in bed mode.
Crew: The FAs were very warm, attentive and courteous. One this I didn't like so much is that they spent a lot of time chatting with the non-rev family, which didn't look very professional.
Catering: I'm a fan of Delta's catering on long-hauls in Business. They sure are generous with portions. That sandwich for the pre-arrival meal, however, was getting a bit tired.
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