For my cruise in May I flew, for the first time, Delta (or any US carrier) to Europe. I generally avoid US carriers when I fly internationally, they’re simply not as good. While Delta was fine, my thoughts did hold true. The reason I chose Delta was because it was one of the lowest prices, and my other choices in that price range weren’t much better (Iberia) but more importantly it was a non-stop flight. While I often don’t mind a stopover, I don’t want to pay an extra $400 and have to deal with the stress of a stopover. So Delta it was.
My flight out was at 6pm, but took off 2 hours late. The flight staff did keep us up to date, we were waiting for passengers transfering to this flight, then they had to do something else. It wasn’t a big deal, I just read my book and since we took off later I probably slept more. The food was standard hit or miss airplane food. The entertainment system was pretty good, I like on demand movies for long flights, which they had. And the selection wasn’t too bad either. I managed to watch 1 movie I had already seen on the flight out (didn’t want to get sucked into a movie and not sleep), and 3 new movies on the flight home.
I did notice though that everyone on my flight was flying to Barcelona for either a cruise, or they were Spanish and going back home (or to the US). It was funny to see people talking and realizing they met someone on the flight that they knew who was going on the same cruise as them. In addition to the Norwegian Epic, the Liberty of the Seas and a Disney ship were sailing out of Barcelona that weekend.
Where I really noticed that Delta wasn’t as good as some of the International airlines, the amenity kit, there were none. You just got a blanket and a pillow. Every International airline I’ve been on has had some sort of amenity kit, including a tooth brush, toothpaste, and eye mask at a minimum. For the overnight flights, this is definately handy, and I could always use another addition to my eye mask collection ;).
For my flight home I booked an Economy Comfort seat for an extra $80. Compared to Economy discomfort I’m not totally convinced it was worth the extra money. I think I had another 2-4 inches of leg room, I’m thinking more like 2 inches, and I was in the front of Economy, but I’m not sure what the other benefits were. Ok, I did get a better boarding section. Otherwise, movies are already included, as are drinks. My best frame of reference for this was when I flew in Virgin America’s version of Economy Comfort – I got free drinks, food, movies and got a lot more leg room – but it also cost closer to $150 for the upgrade. I think if you’re tall and every inch makes a difference for your legs, $80 would be worth it. Otherwise, I’m on the fence about this.
I’m not sure who does the check-in for Delta in Barcelona, but they were terrible. Maybe what they say about the Spanish work ethic is true, or maybe they’re not well training, but unless you were checked in, had a seat and just wanted to drop luggage, you could have died waiting. I saw the staff and the supervisor flipping through the manual for quite some time. I suggest to anyone flying Delta out of Barcelona to give themselves plenty of time.
Would I fly Delta Internationally again? Yes. Would they be my first choice? No. I treat every airfare booking seperately and often look for something different, maybe it’s schedule, or price, or amenities. I try to keep an open mind and pick the best fit for the trip.
Incase you’re wondering, I slept a good 4 hours on the flight to Barcelona, which is a success in my book.
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