Booking the Trip: To Milwaukee in United and back in Delta First Class
Review: Los Angeles International Airport Terminal 7
Review: United Airlines 757-300W Economy Los Angeles to Chicago
Review: United Airlines ERJ-145 Economy Chicago to Milwaukee
Review: Milwaukee International Airport Concourse D
Review: Delta Airlines 737-900ER First Class Milwaukee to Minneapolis
Review: Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport Terminal 1 Concourse F
Review: Delta Airlines A319-100 First Class Minneapolis to Santa Ana
After spending some time in the boring F concourse and some more time in the exciting G concourse, it was time to board my flight home to Santa Ana. Here is a look at our aircraft before boarding. As much as I wanted to review Delta to give you a new airline, I hate the fact that Delta cut their partnership with Alaska because Alaska is one of my two main loyalty airlines so I would’ve been able to credit my miles to a useful location, and now I had to credit them to my SkyMiles account, something I probably won’t be touching for years. Though I might use their dining program once every 3 years to keep my account active.
Anyways, returning to the review. Boarding started with premium cabin customers and Diamond Medallion members.
After boarding, we turned right into the first class cabin. There were 3 rows of first class in a 2-2 configuration. Here are some more pictures of the seat. Though they are exactly the same seats as what I had on my first flight and I reviewed the seats thoroughly there so I won’t be going into the details here. But I will highlight that the seats were overall good, but some of the padding was a little on the thinner side. That’s not to say it made the seat uncomfortable, it just means your back won’t sink into the seat as much.
Like last flight, there were water bottles waiting at every seat which I always appreciate because as much as we may all love flying, it’s a great source of dehydration! That contributes to jetlag over long distances.
Here is another look at the seat back
The same screen as last flight.
Here’s a quick look at some traffic around us.
The FA working for first class on this flight was Justin and he was very good for a domestic first class FA. He came around to ask for our choice of pre-departure beverages, of which I chose sparkling water of course. He was very proactive with offering refills and polished which was not there the previous flight, though I’ll get into the details of that a little later.
After the cups were collected, we had begun our push back and started up our engines.
We had a pretty long taxi to runway 17 which is our departure runway, and a fairly standard roll-out time from there.
A short while later, the FA came through the cabin taking drink orders. Instead of the usual sparkling water, I went for sprite this time around. After serving everyone drinks, Justin came back around with a snack basket. When he came to my seat, I only took the pretzels, but he smiled, held the basket out, and asked, “Are you sure you don’t want more?” Oh alright, so I took the biscotti as well which was good and I’m glad I took it. I had finished my glass of sprite, and Justin immediately noticed and asked if I wanted another glass. Great!
Then there was a fresh towel service after the snacks.
Justin then came around and set the tablecloth on everyone’s tray tables in preparation for dinner. Now when I finished my snacks, I had nowhere to keep the wrappers, so I kept them in the seat pocket in front of me temporarily. When the tablecloths were set, he collected my glass and asked if he could also collect my trash from the seat pocket. Now that’s what I call attention to detail! That level is something I’ve only found in international premium cabins. Of course, he asked if I wanted a refill, which I took sparkling water at that point. There was a choice between chicken and salmon, of which I chose the former.
From the last time I flew Delta First Class before this trip, I noticed that the tray design had changed. But more importantly the food. The salad tasted pretty fresh, but the olive oil/ balsamic vinegar combo from the bottle added taste to the salad beyond what it already had. The chicken was properly cooked and had a nice cheese stuffing in it. It was not too hard, but it also was not soft to the point that it was raw. The texture was just right. The salsa over it complemented it nicely. The potatoes were good as well and had a slight kick to them. The lemon sorbet was very good and refreshing. I usually like bread, but this one was hard and cold. So I skipped on that. Overall this was a good meal and was executed well. Also, during the meal, Justin was checking around and offering refills to everyone who had empty glasses. He also did a great job of striking a balance between being perfectly attentive and giving us some privacy which I find not many FAs in premium cabins can do. Most either are overbearing or don’t pay much attention at all.
I was offered one final glass after dinner of sparkling water and I took it. So yes, I was at 2 glasses of sprite, and 2 glasses of sparkling water for the flight. That’s a lot of sodium but that’s not important right now.
The rest of the flight was just views and sunsets, well mostly.
About now, I got up to use the restroom. I had a very interesting conversation with Justin. He asked where I was from and where I was visiting, I told him I’m from Orange County, visiting Milwaukee, etc. Then I went on to tell him what a great job he was doing. He told me he used to work for Northwest where he worked in their international business class cabin before Delta bought them over. And he also said things were not the same once he became a part of Delta. Once he started his work at Delta, he couldn’t work their international business class but rather could only work domestic first class. I was very surprised since he said he’d been an FA for 30 years at Northwest/Delta. But it made sense because he was based in LA as well. Out of cities such as Atlanta or Seattle where Delta has hubs, it would be easy for him to get on an international Delta One flight because there are so many of them. But out of LAX there are only 3: to Shanghai, Tokyo Haneda, and Sydney. So the competition between him and other Los Angeles based Delta FAs would make it hard for him to be able to work those flights. It was definitely fascinating to hear his story.
But back to the main point, this explains why he was so good at what he did. He has had much better experience than merely domestic first class.
Eventually, it became time to descent into Santa Ana airport.
We had a smooth touchdown on runway 20R about 35 minutes early.
After that we taxiied to gate 5 where this aircraft would park for the rest of the night.
Overall, this was another great flight. The crew was great, the seat was great, the food was great, and the views were great. There isn’t much more to ask for. Would I fly Delta First class again? Absolutely for the product, but probably not given that they aren’t partners with any of the airlines that I’m loyal to.