Delta Calls Itself A Premium Airline, But It Isn’t Anymore [Roundup]

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. There is no indication of smuggling from Vietnam. The food is very good there. The signage indicates that this video was taken in Vietnam since it has words in Vietnamese. What is shown is that the packing wasn’t good and the handling may have been rough.

  2. Boarding B on WN makes sense to me. You are more likely to get to pick your seatmate than the reverse.

    Look for a couple with a small woman in the middle. Sit by her.

    You board A5, then at the end a huge smelly guy sits beside you. Some strategy.

  3. Delta never was, and likely never will be a “premium” airline, whatever that is. First off, there is no such thing, across the industry. Neither Singapore Airlines, Starlux, or Qatar Airways are “premium”. They simply execute better (most of the time) than their peers, but are subject to the same constraints the rest of the industry operates under.

    Delta is a US trunk carrier and little more. It (mostly) gets the job done, with some added bells and whistles like free wifi (that will eventually come to all airlines in the US) a bit more nuance when it comes to customer service, sort of. But its planes can be as filthy as its next two competitors, its flight attendants as unkempt and rude as their counterparts at UA and AA (or as nice). It executes a bit better, on paper. The reality is a lot less convincing.

  4. Looks like they packed that food in a styrofoam cooler. No wonder it didn’t survive. They’re lucky it held together long enough to get delivered to the belt like that.

    And look at the sign that shows up as the camera pans. While I’m not sure of the language it’s something from southeast Asia. Thus there’s likely no smuggling involved.

  5. The Florida ophthalmologist with the Black Amex card is in his mid-70s or older? Then maybe Amex thinks his ability to pay is going to bite the dust or face interruptions one way or another and thus wants to get the account paid off and cut back on its exposure to the doctor and his medical practice.

  6. Delta is the US legacy major that has had me stuck in seats with broken in-flight entertainment and then offered me nothing in response and trying to pawn me off to KLM just because the DL flight was on a ticket issued against a KLM plate.

  7. If you haven’t done so, and you’re flying coach, please give LCC’s a try. There’s no pretense of “premium” amenities and service, and you save a bundle even after paying extra for seat selection, carry-on and/or check-in. Plus, their planes seem newer, or at least better maintained (other than Frontier’s bathrooms). In my experience, the FA’s & passengers are no worse behaved. There’s the potential for additional headache with cancellation or delays vs the legacy carriers, but I only experienced one 2 hour delay the two dozen time I’ve flown with them this year, whereas I’ve had a cancellation and two 4+ hour delays the ten time this year I’ve flown with AA/UA. All anecdotal, of course, but so are the social media bashings that get outsized attention but do not reflect reality. Try it for yourself.

  8. Think of the size of our passengers? I watched an obese man work his girth into a seat five sizes to small for him. It was like watching a snake ingest prey. The abuse our aircraft takes. I only hope they’re more diligent with inspections.

  9. “By leaving it up to the Gods to decide my seat mates for flight (because I have no choice or free will to choose seats) [I’m] more likely to end up next to millionaire looking for good buddy to put in [their] will to inherit estate rather than kids,” the post continued.

    Yeah. I really have to try SouthWest, again,especially after my last “premium airline” Delta flight, in which I settled into my middle seat front row of Comfort Class, and a heavyset couple approached my row, she in Spandex and wig, he in hoodie, sweat pants and trainers, and so I moved to my preferred aisle seat and gave them the middle and window seat.

    Yeah, I’m going to do Southwest group C in my next Caribbean flight.

  10. These articles seem to be the only way Gary seems to be able to lure and keep readers.

    Sad. Very sad

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