Review: Delta Airlines 767-400 (Business Class); Detroit – Honolulu

READ MORE FROM THIS TRIP

Introduction: Dream Trip for My Wife (and daughter) To Hawaii
• Review: Delta Airlines 767-400 (Business Class); DTW-HNL
• Review: Delta Sky Club Lounge (Detroit)
• Review: Hyatt Centric (Honolulu)
• Review: Experience Flying SWA Inter-Island (HNL-OGG)
• Review: Fairmont Kea Lani (Maui)
• Review: Experience Flying SWA Using Companion Pass (OGG-ATL)
• Review: Hyatt Centric (Honolulu)
• Review: Experience Flying SWA Inter-Island (HNL-OGG)
• Review: Fairmont Kea Lani (Maui)
• Review: Experience Flying SWA Using Companion Pass (OGG-ATL)

Detroit (DTW) – Honolulu (HNL)
Flight: DL 1025
Equipment: 767-400ER
Scheduled Departure: 12:00PM
Actual Departure: 12:26
Scheduled Arrival: 15:43
Actual Arrival: 15:25
Flying Time: 9hr 43min
Seat: 7C (and 7D)

We arrived at Detroit Metro Airports McNamara Terminal at 9:30AM. Although our flight did not depart until 12:00PM (noon), I have learned to schedule “extra time” when it involves traveling with a crew (particularly toddlers) and that strategy worked out well as you will see below. 

We entered the terminal and immediately headed for the Sky Priority (business class passengers) signage. In my experience, if you are traveling with an “infant-in-arms” and attempt to check-in via the airline app, you will be directed to see customer service at the check-in desk. Therefore, I had not attempted to check-in online the night before.

A Delta attendant was standing at the entrance to the Sky Priority line and when we (my wife, infant daughter, and I) attempted to enter the line she took a step in front of us, averted her eyes to the end of the terminal, pointed in the same direction and the following conversation took place:

Agent: Go to the other line. This is for Sky Priority.
Me: We are Sky Priority…
Agent: (hesitantly) Oh. Well, I didn’t see a Sky Priority tag on your luggage.
Me: Well…how would we…have tags on our bags if we haven’t checked in yet?
Wife: (trying to avoid conflict, pushes me in the direction of check-in) 

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me but that’s for another blog.

We were the only individuals in the Sky Priority line so we were immediately welcomed at the check-in desk. The agent was not very personable as the only conversation that she had with us was asking for our ID’s, my daughter’s birth certificate, and directing us to drop off our checked bags at a distant bag security check point.

The bag drop was so far from the check-in desk that I was unable to see it. I had to zoom in with my camera to understand that the bag drop was just beyond the “International Check-In” sign.

After dropping off our checked bags, we headed thru security and visited the Delta Sky Club Lounge before boarding the flight (review coming in the next installation).

We departed the lounge late due to “complications” that I will cover in the lounge review.

After arriving at our departure gate (A58A), this was the only photo that I was able to snap of our bird, a 767-400ER.

We boarded through door L2, and turned left into the business class cabin. The 767-400ER is a fairly rare plane. The Delta One cabin on the 767-400 is big, with a total of 40 seats spread across 10 rows.

Seats are in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration. On the plus side, every seat has direct aisle access. However, given the 767 isn’t a wide plane, the seats feel extremely narrow.

If you prefer a window seat, they alternate between being close to the aisle and close to the window. In even numbered rows (2,4,6 etc.) the seats are closer to the aisle, thus odd numbered rows are closer to the window with an armrest creating a buffer between you and the aisle.

We were late to boarding so all business class passengers had already boarded.

At our seat we found a Tumi Amenity Kit, a bottle of water, and soft Heavenly bedding (pillow and duvet).

The amenity kit included hand sanitizer, pen, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, lip balm and an eye mask.

I spent the majority of the flight entertaining my daughter so I did not have the opportunity to test out the pillow and duvet but, I assume from my experience at Westin properties that they were equally as “heavenly” on the plane.

The seat appeared a bit worn and and as far as comfort level, I would place it squarely in the “old but comfortable” category.

And although, this was her first time in business class, my daughter appeared to know what she was doing.

The is an elevated footwell that, again, is tight. I joke about some seats feeling like coffins, but when I reclined, I honestly could not move my feet an inch due to how small the footwell is.

I found it interesting that so many people received upgrades on this flight. Prior to departure, the seat map indicated that 1/4 of the seats were occupied but after settling in, I noticed that every single seat was occupied.

In terms of the seat features, to the right side of my seat were the seat controls, which were quite easy to use.

However, I had the hardest time trying to figure out the tray table behind the seat controls. This has to one of the poorest designs I’ve ever seen. The seat has absolutely no storage. Naturally you would place any items on the “counter” next to the seat. However, to utilize your tray table you have to lift the “counter” and take out the tray table.

Before takeoff, the flight attendant asked if I would like to try their “signature drink.” I said yes but before I could answer, another flight attendant was handing it to me. I thought it was odd because, typically, they are assigned sections and this made the service feel unpolished and the drink was not tasty at all (this was confirmed by my wife).

At this point, I also figured out that my tray table was uneven.

Delta supplies LSTN headphones for business class passengers. I tested the headphones and, although, they look good, they are terrible! They are uncomfortable and they lack noise cancelation. Fortunately, I had my Bose headphones so I used those instead.

Just behind the “counter” and close to my shoulder was a reading light, headphone jack, and outlet.

I decided to get comfortable and kick off my shoes. There was a cubby hole for shoes but, unfortunately, only 1/2 of one shoe fit into the storage space.

Before we pushed back, the flight attendant took our order and menu read as such:

We pushed back at 12:19PM at which point I attempted to check out the entertainment options. While I appreciate the seatback entertainment, the screen was small, low quality, and difficult to use. The remote was in “counter” which I had to continually clear of objects because it was the only way to control the tv.

Immediately, I began watching the in-flight map.

The music section was extremely limited with 8 “albums.”

The selection of movies was equally disappointing but I managed to watch “Little” and that was pretty funny.

And although I have seen every episode, I managed to watch a few episodes of Impractical Jokers and The Carbonaro Effect.

The cabin was a bit warm for my taste but I am glad that each seat had individual air vents.

Just under an hour after takeoff the crew distributed warm (but small) towels.

At nearly the same time, another flight attendant came through the cabin offering drinks.

I decided that I would just have ice water and nuts.

Once the seatbelt sign was turned off I checked out one of the lavatories located behind the cabin. It was basic so I won’t flood this review with pictures of a bathroom you’ve seen before. As expected the lavatory carried Malin + Goetz soap and hand cream, which I like.

Note: The two business class lavatories are behind the cabin, and that’s not a lot for 40 business class passengers.

When I returned our meals had been served. As you can see, I ordered the Roasted Lemon Chicken (and a very sad salad) and my wife ordered the Fresh Mozzarella Lasagna. This was extremely disappointing for me because I am vegan so I was limited in my options. I was told by the flight attendant that I should have received an email 24 hours before the flight where I could’ve selected a “vegetarian option” but a vegetarian option (particularly at this point) isn’t very helpful.

Eventually the main courses were cleared, and desserts were brought out.

My wife was served Vanilla Ice Cream while I was given a Fruit and Cheese Plate. After dessert, we were also served a Smoked Turkey and Fontina on Pretzel Croissant (with another sad salad).

The meals were cleaned up at 2:41PM, nearly 2.5 hours after take off. In the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge deal but it is difficult to complete work (or entertain a toddler) when dishes are occupying your tray table for 1/3 of the flight. Compared to other airlines, this is an extremely long period.

We landed a few minutes early in Honolulu and saw various planes from JAL, ANA, Delta, American and this cool Alaska Airlines 737.

FINAL STAMP

Flying in business is my happy place, however, after flying various carriers, (e.g. Air France, Alitalia, Etihad, Swiss, etc.) you begin to notice subtle differences that separate carriers.

I recently flew United Airlines Polaris Business Class and was on the brink of having a panic attack (review coming soon) and I still have to think about who I would rather fly…UA Polaris or Delta’s old (and sad) 767. That’s not good.

Delta, as an airline, excels at most things (on-time performance, amenity kits, etc.). However, the meal service was lackluster, the Delta staff had great intentions but were not very attentive, and not as good as I’ve become accustomed to on Delta. The seats are narrow and tight and the personal televisions are low quality. While the direct aisle access is nice, personally I’d take the business class seats American has on their A321s, or that United has on their 757s, over this.

Although it’s an old airplane with a seat configuration that isn’t mentioned in any “top business class” conversations. It was comfortable and effective particularly with an infant on a 10 hour non-top flight. I was hoping that DL would’ve configured this 767 with the new “Delta One” but was it a solid redemption for 35k miles? Absolutely!

If you’ve flown the old Delta One (or new Delta One), what was your experience like?

2 comments

  1. This is the first business class review I have read. Very informative 1tattedpassport! As someone who has never flown business class before, it is interesting to see and understand all of the different nuances of the experience. Thanks for the share.

    Like

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