Delta Airlines Newark to Atlanta (EWR-ATL), June 2011

This is my first installment in a multi part series about my summer trip through various cities in Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands.

Delta Airlines
Flight #2343
Newark (EWR) – Atlanta (ATL)
June 14, 2011
Departure: 10:45 (scheduled 10:30)
Arrival:  12:35 (scheduled 12:42)
Duration: 1’50”
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-88
Aircraft Registration: N934DL
Seat: 4D (Window, First Class)
 

Check-in

I have never encountered much of a wait whenever checking in at Newark.  Today was no different.  Plenty of agents and not that many people.

Newark check-in

Newark Sky Priority check-in

When I got there, the Sky Priority line had nobody in it (I took the picture after I checked my bags).  Again as I had my backpack checked, I checked the luggage tag since I knew there were several connections (EWR-ATL-FRA-SVO-NRT) the tag could be printed incorrectly and my bag could end up somewhere else.  Not that this would be a problem since I took out that insurance policy, but still, a good practice.  I think with that many connections, the agent needs to manually make a bag tag instead of it being automatic with the computer, not quite sure.  Just took a couple extra minutes then I was on my way to the lounge.

On this flight, because of the debacle that 14 active Army soldiers went through because of Delta (see THIS video) and that I wanted to support our troops (not to mention it was Flag Day), I was going to trade my upgraded First Class seat to anybody I saw in uniform that was on active orders.  I had plenty of time in Atlanta, so I wasn’t in a rush to get to my next flight.  All I had to do was lounge hop to collect my American Express Membership Rewards 300 point bonus certificates which takes about an hour, and I had more than 3 at the airport.  Luckily I did find somebody who was on orders flying on my same flight.  You can see his back at the counter on the Sky Priority picture above.  I was even willing to guest him and his fiance into the lounge with me.  He didn’t want to accept the offer.  Not sure why, but he didn’t seem interested.  I guess he felt uncomfortable?  I mean, I guess its a little weird having a stranger come up to you and offering to trade a first class seat for an economy seat…AND getting into the lounge.  (Though I’m not even sure if he knew what’s inside the lounge).  Oh well.  Maybe he’ll change his mind at the gate.

Lounge

Newark Delta Sky Club.  Its a small lounge, but it has everything I need.  Fast internet, snacks (unfortunately, most Delta SkyClubs don’t stock any hot food choices), nicely stocked bar with a couple beers on tap, plenty of outlets, and out of all my visits I have yet to see the place so packed that I couldn’t find a seat.  It was less than a quarter full when I was there.  Of course I got a 300 point American Express certificate for checking in with my American Express Platinum card.

Entrance is between security and all the Delta gates.

Fairly empty lounge

Tables against the windows

GREAT view of other gates and the runway.

Big fig newtons, mini muffins, bagels, Oatmeal

The bar area

One notable thing happened while in the lounge.  As I was walking in, there were 2 delivery men bringing several cases of Heineken into the lounge.  After checking-in, I end up having a conversation with the older delivery man (probably early 50s) as he was taking a coffee break before his last delivery stop.  We probably had a 10-15 minute conversation about traveling and how one time he got to travel in business class for free to Hawaii because a friend used to work for Continental.  I later tell him that I was going to Japan, and he was amazed.  That he would love to go see Japan one day and that its been a dream of his to go.  It didn’t even phase me when I said “Japan”.  Just 3 years ago, if somebody asked me where I was going and I said some far international destination, inside I felt awesome….special.  Like it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit _______ , and I was about to do it.  Now, in just a couple years, a list of far destinations can roll off my tongue like I’m just getting in my car and going down the New Jersey Turnpike.  His conversation brought me back in check with reality.

Boarding

When I got there, they were already boarding Zone 2.  (The order of boarding with Delta is usually passengers that need assistance & those traveling with small children, the premium cabin, then Zones 1 through 4)  I again saw the soldier in queue to board, and gave him the same offer, to change seats when we get on the plane.  He again declined.  Oh well.  I tried.  I walked ahead to the front through the priority boarding lane and got on the plane.

Just after the boarding pass scanners at the top of the jetway, there were two TSA agents waiting and just as I passed, the next girl in line was asked to do a “random screening” prior to boarding.  I haven’t seen this before, especially without any real set up.  Just two agents standing there, no table, no nothing.

The first class cabin was full, and I was the last one to take my seat.  Within 3 minutes, I was greeted by the stewardess and offered a drink.  I chose OJ.  On Delta, there is usually a small bottle of Dasani waiting for you at your seat.  I’m not sure why, but we pushed back a few minutes late.  The captain said he would do what he could to make up the time in the air.

Seat

This was a standard domestic first class seat.  Had no AC or USB power outlets, or personal entertainment systems, but it was only a 2 hour flight.  I could deal without those.  And Delta still provides a mini pillow and a small blanket in First Class.  Though I usually just stick them in the overhead since most of my domestic flights are less than 2.5 hours.

Plenty of knee and leg room, at least for a 2 hour flight.

Service

Even though this flight is under the minimum mileage for serving a meal in First Class, they still do so because their competition (Continental) on this same route offers their First Class passengers meals still.  But Delta only offers it when the flights occur at meal time.  I know that a few flights that leave in the early afternoon only get a snack basket passed around to pick from.  We only had one meal choice, which was a chicken sandwich and a bowl of fresh fruit.

Early lunch with a Bloody Mary

I’ve never had a Bloody Mary before, so I figured why not try one when I don’t have to pay extra for it?  I’m not sure if this was just a bad mix, or because I was 35,000 feet up, but I don’t think I’ll ever get a Bloody Mary again.  It was difficult for me to finish it, but I felt bad sending a full drink back.

After a quick nap, I woke up to our initial approach to Atlanta.

Deplaning

There weren’t any problems when we arrived in ATL.  No long wait for a gate, no wait for a jetway operator.  Since I was in the last row of First Class, my seatmate even held up traffic so I could get my bag and deplane.  How nice of him.  We arrived in Terminal A and I was ready to begin my tour of all 8 Atlanta Skyclubs to rake in the American Express points.

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Delta Airlines Newark to Atlanta (EWR-ATL), June 2011”

  1. Chris Moss Says:

    FYI – since it was breakfast time in the lounge, that “soup” was probably oatmeal. I had it for the first time a few weeks ago. I think it is a great hot and inexpensive addition….but I like oatmeal.

    • @Chris Moss – Oh yeah, that’s right. It was oatmeal. The soup’s usually for lunch. Not sure if the Newark SkyClub serves soup, though I assume they would since that have that hotpot. I know the bigger SkyClub at the center of Terminal A in Detroit serves soup for lunch. I’ll make that change in the post. Thanks!

    • I agree it is definitely a good addition. There actually are a few locations that serve hot food that are run by Delta. The two Tokyo Narita clubs, which I consider their flagship lounges, I think has one or two hot food items. I’ll let you know for sure when I’m going through there in a couple weeks. Detroit has the soup, Minneapolis might have soup too, though I’m leaning towards no. And I know Seattle used to serve hot entrees, limited to one (maybe two if you’re really nice and sweet). It would be the same main entrees that’s served in economy on long haul flights. Though I’m not sure if that program is still running as well. It was in November 2010.

  2. […] Delta Airlines Newark to Atlanta (EWR-ATL), June 2011     Delta Airlines Flight #14 Atlanta (ATL) – Frankfurt (FRA) June 14, 2011 Departure: 16:42 (scheduled 16:30) Arrival:  07:48 (scheduled 07:40) Duration: 9’06″ Aircraft: Boeing 767-400ER Aircraft Registration: N833MH Seat: 18A (Window, Economy Comfort) Miles flown on this trip including this flight: 5,359 […]

  3. […] Delta Airlines Newark to Atlanta (EWR-ATL), June 2011 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: