Delta Airlines. DELTA. Just that word raises my blood pressure. After a decade of below average flying experiences on that airline, the fan really hit the poop in 2010 on flight 1843 from JFK to Hell.
A joyless staff told me I couldn’t bring a very reasonably sized carry on to the plane, citing FAA regulations (that they made up on the spot) (it fit very nicely in the overhead). When I said I was in first class they relented, which is when I understood how bad the service was. What class you’re in has no official bearing on the size of your carry on. That’s all FAA rules, supposedly.
Anyhow, on that flight back they just lost my checked bag (lost everyone in first’s checked bags) and refused to deliver the bags to my home once they figured out where they were. I had to pay them a (large) fee to fedex it a few days later.
All of that, combined with a really low budget, cramped and dirty internal layout that had seen its best days in the late 80s. And the cherry on top – the absolute glee I observed from attendantes and gate crew in making what should have been a pleasant experience a hellish one instead.
I vowed never to fly Delta again, no matter what.
I flew Delta again today.
They were the only carrier with a direct flight to New York out of Seattle that left mid day. It was take that, or fly Virgin with a stop in San Francisco, or wait until the next morning for one of the other airlines. I nearly went with Virgin, but didn’t. I bought a ticket on Delta.
On arrival at the ticket counter I had one employee giving me the “why are you so stupid” routine because I was in the wrong line, but after that things were nice. Easy through security. An efficient boarding procedure and there was my seat, 1B, right at the front of a very nice 767. Unbeknownst to me Delta has ripped the guts out of some of their 767’s and turned them into really nice layouts.
If you’re flying Delta, get on one of these planes. Huge bathrooms I can stand my 6’4 frame up in, and I swear they’re piping perfume or something into them to keep them smelling reasonable. The sitting pod is extremely comfortable and I made good use of the massage feature. Watched two goodish movies. And best of all…gasp…my flight attendant smiled at me and asked if he could get me anything.
I have never seen a Delta employee smile before today. It was a very nice feeling. I bet he would have given me champagne, had I asked, without diverting the airplane to Tampa for an emergency landing.
We were stuck on the tarmac for ages – hitting the three hour limit and then three people asked to deplane, causing a further delay. But we still landed in JFK within about 30 minutes of our original schedule, and everyone seemed to be making their connecting flights. I was all ready to sit down and write a glowing report on my flight since I went so hard on them last time.
The flight landed at 11:18 pm. The first bags came out 40 minutes later. Mine came out just after midnight, so about 48 minutes after landing. People were pissed off, wondering (correctly) if anyone at all was dealing with the baggage. At one point a small purple bag came out and drifted around unclaimed and disappeared. Nothing else came for at least ten minutes after that.
“They’re totally just fucking with us,” the guy next to me said to my face. “They don’t care at all.”
“Well, it’s Delta,” I said. I mean, my grandpa always told me not to go asking for a beating and then act surprised when it’s promptly delivered.
And that’s how the trip ended. A very nice flight, delayed but not because of Delta, and lovely service in the sky. Then they just crapped on us by making us wait an hour for our bags.
Flight from Hell? Hardly. They were a solid C+ today. And it would have been an A, reserved only for Virgin America flights these days, but for the who gives a heck they’ll get their bags when we’re good and ready at the end.
Thankfully I had Twitter to read while I was waiting for that bag. And Michael Hill sort of said it best. “Delta airlines: “We’re not happy until you’re not happy””
Me and the red faced guy next to me got quite a kick out of that tweet.