#940743 by pjh
13 Jan 2018, 11:15
A Trip Report in which your intrepid V-Flyers have a far more relaxing time than Slimpyjones experienced on the same flight a few months ago...

In our few days in NYC the city pipped Boston for the coldest we’ve ever been - some days it was too cold to take gloves off for photos. I understand it was even colder after we left….brrrrr.. For the first time in many visits we abandoned the idea of walking everywhere (have to keep those step counts up) and opted for the subway or using Lyft.

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This trip was less about sightseeing than meeting friends and ex colleagues. MrsPJH had colluded with someone to have a surprise get together on NYE (well away from Times Square..) where we arrived at a hotel to think “that looks like Mike walking across the lobby…” and indeed it was.

A few highlights were;

- Williamsburg in the snow with the Brooklyn Brewery and the Meatball Shop as rewards

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- a night at the Met for The Marriage of Figaro

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- Drunk Shakespeare

- MOMA which for me kind of stretches the meaning of “modern” and “art”. No bad thing but I these were the tools of my trade when I started out in computing...

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And no trip to NYC is complete without;

- A diner breakfast with proper hash browns

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- A trip to McSorley’s for one light, one dark

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Our trip back started on a bit of a sour note. When we got to Dial7 the driver told us he only accepted cash and gave us a price off the top of his head, which actually seemed ok. Luckily we had enough cash so paid up. When we got the invoice via email a few minutes later the charge was USD 10 less than we had paid and stated we had paid by Amex. I did let Dial7 know, and they were uninterested to say the least.

Anyway, we were now at the terminal and headed for the Delta One check in, where on the way down we were asked “Is sir sure you are flying business class?”. Yes I feckin’ am. One of pet bugbears is the sheer lack of respect Americans can convey with the use of the term “sir”, a trait they share with college porters from my student days.

We were quickly and efficiently checked in, and given directions to the Lounge. When I enquired whether that was the Clubhouse, I was told “no, that’s the Delta Lounge sir, much more convenient for the departure gate.” That’s as may be, but I’m not going to be deterred by a walk through a terminal from a lounge to a gate – I’ve been doing one end to the other of AMS weekly for the past year. In the end we got to experience both….

Security was quick and easy, and we were soon at the Clubhouse at about 7:30, where we were told it closes at 9:00. So we would get to use the Delta lounge as well. Once seated we ordered some Lanson, which was delayed a little by the rather demanding family party in the same area – “I want water. No ice, no lemon. I would also like it served upside down…”. After a little while and some conferring about what and when to eat (as we had visited a recommended Mexican restaurant for some tacos in the late afternoon) I settled on a flatbread and a pecan pie to be shared with MrsPJH and a Woodford not to be shared.

At 9 we were duly turfed out (in the nicest possible way) and as we were leaving the serving staff were venting about the demanding family. Understandable but maybe not in the hearing of customers.

It was a fair, but very doable 15/20 minute trek down to the Delta lounge. We were welcomed warmly, and ushered into what I can only describe as an Escape / Aspire / #1 Lounge on steroids. It’s huge and functional in a very basic way. It also has the same approach as those lounges in that the basic offerings are free, but anything over is paid for in cash or points. So the range of interesting bourbons they had remained untasted, and I stuck with a generous measure of JD.

I think it was about 10:00 that the screen message changed to “Boarding” and the departure time moved to 10:25 rather than 10:30. The gate was close, we were on, seated, coats taken, drinks given and ready to go at the slightly earlier time.

It could have been exactly the same aircraft we flew out on, save for one small difference in that when storing the pillow and soforth I saw that on the interior of the luggage racks was a red notice stating that “These are for the use of First Class Only”. Having seen that I then dropped my duvet on the passenger in the seat behind. Oops.


Another difference is that this leg features the "Hard case" amenity kit..”hard” as in hard plastic, but you can have it monogrammed.

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From a hard product point of view, this leg was pretty much like the last. Though the flat bed and the duvet / pillow were in themselves quite comfortable and conducive to sleep, I woke up each time I moved as the area where my feet went wasn’t big enough to allowed an uninterrupted swivel. There’s also no storage I could find for spectacles. On the upside, I was told I didn’t snore or perhaps I was just drowned out by the world class effort made by the passenger in front of me, who remained undisturbed until almost into the final descent.

IFE content had been refreshed, and I managed about half of “American Made”.

DL clearly do not see sleeping as a hindrance to enjoying a service just as full as the one on the way out. So fizzy offering on boarding, drinks before dinner, three course dinner, snack and then breakfast. Having eaten late during the day, I decided to just have the ice cream (with everything) and then to sleep.

SlimpyJones’ TR from September for this same flight contains some great photos and more detailed description of the type of food offered on this service. It made me remember two things;

1. Warmed nuts. Lovely. It continues to surprise me that airlines have these anywhere near their aircraft, but I’m not complaining…
2. “Cold Pressed Juice”. It was green, quite a lot was given out, and quite a lot of it was returned. Reminded me a little of the “therapies” that one of the staff at East Winds in St Lucia used to whip up at breakfast time from last evening’s vegetables.

As the flight was going to be quite short and in early the crew were in business like mode. Not unfriendly, just making sure everything got done.

Storm Eleanor may have helped push us along a bit, but we didn’t notice any turbulence until on our final approach.

Having landed early, we then had to wait around a bit for the gate to be vacated. Once hooked up we disembarked quickly and were through passport control with zero delay, but had a bit of a wait for one of our bags.

Revivals was then our target, which judging by the amount of luggage in the storage area should have been rammed, but wasn’t. Time then for an unwind and the unexpected sight and sensation of an open window blowing in quite warm air. I will deduct two marks, one for getting my breakfast order wrong, as I asked for poached – not scrambled – egg and the other for the scrambled egg being amongst the worst I have ever had.

So would I use our hard earned miles on DL again? Hard and soft product and services were good to excellent, and though we both missed the bar we did get the chance to sit together. So yes I would, particularly if they are beneficially “priced” in terms of miles. I think, however, I would find anything other than an East Coast trip a bit trying in the seats.

NYC is always thought to be a place to go shopping, and there were several stores that even on the coldest day there had queues round to block. People ask “what did you buy? Jeans from Macys? Jewellery? A Canada Goose coat? Well, here’s the extent of our purchases
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A few more pictures;

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Snowing *in* the hotel…..

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Took a couple of goes to work this out…

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Anyone remember this fellow?

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I don’t think the bear is part of Ai Weiwei’s original vision for this…
#940747 by hiljil
13 Jan 2018, 11:57
Thank you again for another enjoyable and informative TR. Hope your impressive purchase made it back to the UK in one piece :-D
#940749 by David
13 Jan 2018, 14:19
Thanks Paul

Nice couple of TR's on Delta one.

The trip is coming closer where we try them out of EDI and then onto the sunshine state for a few more miles / points.

They seem to be shovelling the food around when their “sister”airline is cutting back a little. I do miss the ice cream on Virgin in Upper, even if it was just a little pot of Hagen Daz while Deltas Sunday’s with “everything”on look fantastic :D

Does the JFK clubhouse shut every night at 9pm or was this just a one off because of weather ?

Maybe an afternoon of me looking at some options for the next visit is in order :D

Thanks again

David
#940750 by marshy11
13 Jan 2018, 14:27
Fabulous TR, I do love your pics.

I'm intrigued in the 'water upside down' request....am I missing the obvious?

Sounds like you had a lovely time.
#940765 by pjh
13 Jan 2018, 19:29
David wrote:Does the JFK clubhouse shut every night at 9pm or was this just a one off because of weather ?


There wasn't anything particularly bad about the weather the days around when we left, so I think it's just because the last VS flight is VS010 that departs at 9:30.


marshy11 wrote:
I'm intrigued in the 'water upside down' request....am I missing the obvious?

Sounds like you had a lovely time.


We did indeed have a wonderful time and, finances allowing, we will be back.

The 'water upside down' was to reflect the fact that both MrsPJH and I thought they were asking for things just because they could and liked being being "served", and not because they actually wanted what they were asking for.
#940768 by marshy11
13 Jan 2018, 19:52
pjh wrote:
David wrote:Does the JFK clubhouse shut every night at 9pm or was this just a one off because of weather ?


There wasn't anything particularly bad about the weather the days around when we left, so I think it's just because the last VS flight is VS010 that departs at 9:30.


marshy11 wrote:
I'm intrigued in the 'water upside down' request....am I missing the obvious?

Sounds like you had a lovely time.


We did indeed have a wonderful time and, finances allowing, we will be back.

The 'water upside down' was to reflect the fact that both MrsPJH and I thought they were asking for things just because they could and liked being being "served", and not because they actually wanted what they were asking for.


As we are still very recently in the New Year, I propose that all our finances (be they Avios/VS miles or money) permit us to do all we want and more.
#940769 by pjh
13 Jan 2018, 20:19
marshy11 wrote:
As we are still very recently in the New Year, I propose that all our finances (be they Avios/VS miles or money) permit us to do all we want and more.


:D
#940780 by Sealink
14 Jan 2018, 08:17
Two great TRs. Delta are definitely "feeders" and I enjoy their food immensely.

I do find their staff a tad lacking in friendliness, or maybe it's a British thing that VS and BA do so well.
#940800 by pjh
14 Jan 2018, 23:42
Sealink wrote:Two great TRs. Delta are definitely "feeders" and I enjoy their food immensely.

I do find their staff a tad lacking in friendliness, or maybe it's a British thing that VS and BA do so well.


They weren't of the "And what will you be doing / have you done in NYC?" chatiness that I've had on VS before, that's true. Perhaps it's us though, as on our 2016 trip to South Africa the Emirates crew, who I had previously pegged as effective but distant, were all but giving #1 son their hotel room numbers....
#940818 by pjh
Yesterday, 18:25
Sealink wrote:I thought EK staff were great and the airline a lot more thoughtful than I expected.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there's any problem with them, I just think that managing a massively culturally different clientele tends to put the service to be not distant, just very measured. In my experience if you sit at the bar in VS, the person serving you will likely strike up a conversation; on the six occasions I've been lucky enough to be able to use the bar on an EK flight, that has never happened.

To be fair, though, their ground staff did go out of their way to make my Christmas a few years ago by helping me upgrade a trip back from Bangalore, and it is a truth widely acknowledged that you are far more charming than I. :)
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