Trip Report: Delta Wild Turkey Run on the Fourth

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Earlier this year there were some incredibly cheap business class fares to Europe. Delta was waging a fare war with United and as a result sold business class airfare fore only a small premium over economy.  Seeing an opportunity, I embarked on my first and probably last Delta Airlines Business Class Mileage Run.

Vital Statistics:

Cost: $1397 
Elite Qualifying Miles: 18,092
Total Miles earned: 30,153

I called this a Wild Turkey Run as I was supposed to leave on July 3rd,  but like a lot of other people that day, Hurricane Arthur disrupted my plans. My first flight didn’t take off.  My second try was on Air France, that flight took-off , but without-me, thanks to a ticketing mix-up.  Moral of that story, when you’re dealing with an airline that isn’t the one that sold you your ticket, make sure you have your boarding pass well in advance of the flight.

My third flight was to JFK, and actually stated off being delayed.  I got worried when we returned to the gate.  But third time was a charm, and I was able to begin my trip to Istanbul.

This was my first Business Class trip on Delta in quite a while, and my first time flying on Delta’s internationally configured  767-300. This flight left from JFK’s Terminal 2, which is the worst/ugliest terminal at JFK.  Gates are super crowded and everything from the building to the restaurant selection is sub-par. I’ve seen a lot more of Terminal 2 this year than I care to mention, but fortunately for the world, Terminal 2 will be demolished in a year or two and Delta will move all its operations to Terminal 4 which is currently being expanded with additional gates.

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To get away from the crowds, I decided to visit the JFK Terminal 2 Skyclub.  But this too was pretty subpar.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESParts of the lounge were closed for construction and the less crowded section had poor Wifi coverage.  Probably why it was less crowded.

The one silver lining of my delayed flight from DC, was a shorter layover in Terminal 2.  Despite all the hassle, delays, and stress, as soon as I boarded my plane for Istanbul, all was forgotten.

Delta DL272

New York (JFK) – Istanbul (IST)
Date: July 4, 2014
Aircraft: Boeing 767
Seat: 4D (Business Elite)

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Immediately upon entering the Business class cabin,  I felt a sense of calm and relaxation.  It helped to be greeted by the clean and modern looking cabin on this Delta  Jet.  My seat for this nine hour plus flight was Delta’s Lie-Flat Business Elite seat which are arranged 1 x 2 x 1. This allows for each passenger to have direct-aisle access, important when the business class cabin is full, as it was on this flight.  I choose seat 4D which is a window seat on the right side of the plane.  The odd numbered window seat are placed right next to the window with a console between the passenger and the aisle.  My seat was even numbered so I sat directly next to the aisle with a console between me and the window.  Previous reviewers have mentioned that the odd-numbered seats have greater privacy, which they do.  However, having tried out both, I actually preferred the Even-numbered seats, as they felt less claustrophobic and had a little extra storage room.

At my seat was a bottle water, and a Westin Heavenly Bed Duvet and pillow.

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The bedding was really nice, but not really the same as you’d find in a nice Westin Hotel.

Also at my seat was a very nice amenity kit from TUMI with lotion/cosmetics from Malin + Goetz

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSoon after I was seated the Purser came by and introduced herself and greeted me by name. She distributed menus and said she’d come back soon to take entree orders. The Captain also took the time to greet all the business class passengers.  I see Delta pilots doing this more often lately, and it strengthens by respect for Delta and its soft-product.  Delta seems to be pulling ahead of its US competitors when it comes to the overall business class product.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAlso served were a small package of Sahale Nuts which I quite liked, as well as Champagne.

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As we Taxied around JFK’s runways,  I was able to shoot some really nice photos of the NYC skyline.

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Soon after take-off the flight-attendants came around and began beverage service and served the first course of the meal (Shrimp appetizer).

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Drinks were served from dressed-up cart, which I appreciated, since it was nicer than just a plain drink trolley.

The second course was a fiesta soup and a salad.  The soup was a little disappointing,as it was more oily than it  was flavorful.

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For the main entree I selected the beef, which was tasty, but not as tender as I had hoped. The side of lobster mac&cheese that came with it however, was great.

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The final course was Dessert which was served from a dessert trolley.  I opted for an Ice Cream Sunday and it was good ending to a very nice in flight meal.

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After dinner  I settled into my flight and noticed some interesting things.

First, part of the tray table for my sear was magnetized,  I’m not sure why,  but it did allow from some abnormal silverware placements.

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Another thing I appreciated on this flight was Air Nozzles.  Often times, these are removed for premium class passengers, which I frankly don’t understand.  Many time I find the cabin a little warm for sleeping, and a nice breeze is something I really wish was available on any business or first class flight.

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I looked out my window and was treated to very colorful sky as the sun, setted

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I did my best to get some sleep, but the most I think I managed was around 4 hours.  The seat despite being Lie-flat,  are not as comfortable as the herringbone seats found on Delta’s 777 planes.  I have yet to try the reverse herringbone seats,  but the 767 seats seem to be the least comfortable of the Lie-Flat sleeper seats that Delta offers.

Before landing in Istanbul a breakfast meal service was offered.  I had the croissant,fruit, and Omelette.

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After breakfast I took a peaked out the window and saw the Turkish coastline dotted with houses and buildings.

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Soon we were on the ground and I saw a whole bunch of Turkish Airlines planes,  a tell-tale sign we were in Istanbul.

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We made our way to the gate quickly and I was through passport control and customs in about 10 minutes.    I was still tired, but was far more rested than I would have been flying coach.  This trip started up as one of the worst Delta flight experiences I’ve ever had, but quickly improved thanks to an excellent business class product on Delta.  Unfortunately, with the changes Delta has made to its Frequent Flyer program, I probably won’t be doing as many of these trips in the future.

-tK

 

 

 

 

 

 

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