Although I am based out of Orlando, I was able to find a great deal for business class tickets down to Lima out of Jacksonville. Since I would be returning from Buenos Aires, I only needed a one-way ticket. One-way tickets were ~$652 in business class, while coach tickets were running in the high $400’s – which made the purchase a no brainer.
Review – Delta 767-400 DeltaOne: Atlanta to Lima
Review – Hilton Lima Miraflores
Review – LAN A320 Economy Class: Lima to Cusco
Review – LAN Boeing 767-300 Business Class: Lima to Buenos Aires
We arrived early into Jacksonville as I-4 and I-95 can sometimes be hectic. Since we were traveling on a Sunday, traffic was light and everything was great on the trip up. We arrived early to Jacksonville airport and headed straight for the Delta Sky Club. So you know, most international business class tickets on Delta will earn you complimentary entry into the Sky Club during your trip. We also happen to be American Express Platinum card holders, which also entitled us to enter the Sky Club free of charge while traveling on a Delta ticket (any class of service). The food spread was decent as I find it to usually be with everything from hard boiled eggs and cereal, to bagels and Chobani yogurt. We got there just as they were swapping out to the lunch spread, but the staff was gracious and more than accommodating.
After the Sky Club, we headed to the gate to board our first flight – a MD-90 with the new Delta first class seats. Although the new seats are no any more comfortable than the old product, they sure do look great!
Service was prompt and our flight attendant was very happy to oblige any request that was made. One thing I love about Delta over American is that they are very consistent with offering a pre-departure beverage whereas American tends not to do it anymore.
Once we arrived in Atlanta, we headed straight for the Sky Club on Concourse E (the international concourse for Delta). This concourse has my favorite Sky Club as it is much larger than the domestic concourse clubs and they always seem to have the better bartenders.
Our bartender was Anitra and despite her being the only one working the bar in a full club, she was fantastic. I have had my fair share of exceptional bartenders (always tip them well from the start and you’ll be good!), but she was fantastic and a true delight. I hope Delta sees this because she deserves many kudos for what she had to put up with from some of the patrons. After a few hours in the Sky Club it was time to head to our gate for boarding.
Atlanta (ATL) – Lima (LIM)
Depart: 6:00 PM
Arrive: 11:40 PM
Duration: 6hr 40min
Aircraft: Boeing 767-400
Seat: 7B (DeltaOne)
Once we got to our gate, we were informed that the flight had been delayed by 20 minutes, which pushed boarding back accordingly. The gate area was pretty calm early on, but as I found to be the norm in South America, once they made the announcement that boarding would begin shortly the main gate area became exceptionally crowded.
We boarded through door 2L and I turned left into the DeltaOne cabin to find my seat, 7B, towards the back of the DeltaOne cabin. The DeltaOne cabin on the 767-400’s offers a staggered seating setup in a 1-2-1 configuration. The ideal seats to take for optimum privacy are the odd-numbered window seats as they offer a nice buffer between you and the aisle. If you are a couple traveling together, any of the middle seats will work.
As you can see, my seat offered limited privacy as I often felt like I was sitting in the actual aisle. If you can avoid the seats that share the aisle, I would highly recommend it. It should also be noted that seat 10A is used for crew rest, so there is a curtain around it. Sitting near that seat may be a bit odd, so if that kind of thing bothers you, it is probably best to avoid seats 9A, 9B and 10B.
Waiting at our seat was a thick blanket, a comfortable pillow, Delta branded noise cancelling headphones, an amenity kit and a bottle of water. The amenity kit included an eye shade, a pair of socks, a toothbrush and some toothpaste and some moisturizing cream. One thing that became abundantly clear upon sitting down was that there was exceptionally limited storage for the rather bulky pillow and blanket. Our flight attendant came down the aisle with a selection of pre-departure beverages which included orange juice, champagne or water. Although I’m not a huge champagne fan, it sounded good at the time so I had one.
On this flight, Delta was serving Jacquart Brut Mosaique, a medium bodied champagne from Reims, France.
After pre-departure beverages were handed out, the flight attendants came around with the menu for the flight, as well as immigration forms.
As I mentioned earlier, our departure was delayed ~20 minutes, and about 6:20 PM we began our push back and I settled in for the flight. One thing about flying that I never tire of is watching the inflight show. I almost prefer it to watching a show or a movie.
About 30 minutes after take-off, the flight attendant came by to take my order. Now I have to say, I do not think the FA, Jose, working my aisle could have been any unhappier to be there or to be working. It made for a long dinner service which began with a bowl of warm smoked pecans. I had a vodka and cranapple juice to pair with it.
Although I really like pecans, the smoke on these was a bit off-putting for my tastes.
The starter plate consisted of a pork, beef and mushroom pate; chow chow and corn blinis topped with smoked salmon and lemon cream; a kale salad with apples, dried cherries and sunflower seeds; and a curried red lentil soup. They also offered a selection of breads, and I chose pretzel which was excellent.
The overall presentation left a bit to be desired, but everything was decently tasty. The lentil soup and the kale salad were both somewhat bland, but the pretzel bread and the pork, beef and mushroom pate were both excellent. The chow chow was decent, but the most disappointing thing on the plate was the corn blini with salmon. It was served ice cold, which I expected for the salmon, but not for the blini. The salmon was very thick cut and had a strange consistency when eating it. I really wanted to like this dish, but just could not.
For my main dish, I had the smoked salmon which was served with hearts of palm and avocado. The presentation was, just, well, sad. Although I usually love smoked fish, this one largely missed the mark. The fish was decent when paired with the avocado that was served with it, but overall I don’t think I would have ordered it again. The salmon was very salty and the smoke on it was like the smoke on the pecans – pretty off-putting to me. I had a few bites and left the rest.
My girlfriend had the shabazi spiced grilled chicken and it was very good. In hindsight, I wish I would have ordered that. With that said, I’m not a huge eater on flights as it is, so it was good to try something I wouldn’t usually order (I usually stick to chicken on both Delta and American as their “beef” entree can tend to be questionable at best).
After the entrees were cleared away, out came the dessert cart. This is one thing that Delta does that I really like as you can see what you are getting. On offer was the traditional ice cream sundae, a selection of tarts and other sweet treats, as well as a selection of cheese and fruit. I went with the ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce, peanuts and a strawberry.
While it was good, I really wish Delta would wait for the passenger to order the ice cream before they pull it out of the freezer. Because I was towards the back of the cabin, the ice cream was mostly soupy cream by the time I was served.
The dinner service lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes overall and was good for what it was. I’ve had better, and I’ve had worse. The other aisle definitely had the better flight attendant as she was cracking jokes and being very engaging the entire time. On the other hand, I do not think my flight attendant Jose cracked a smile the entire flight.
After the dinner service, I settled in to watch something on the entertainment system and tried to get some sleep. I’ve never been very good at sleeping on airplanes as it is a bit of a conundrum for me. On one hand, it’s the perfect time to unwind and take advantage of down time. On the other hand, the amenities are far too good in an international business cabin to pass up! Delta’s entertainment selection is excellent and includes everything from Yahoo! series like Sin City Saints (which is hilarious!) to new movie titles.
I also tried the wifi, but it was so slow to load even the Delta homepage, so I just closed out my browser and went back to watching Sin City Saints. I have never been super impressed with Delta’s Gogo wifi, but I at least expected better than this.
I ended up catching about 30 minutes of sleep and woke up about an hour and fifteen minutes out of Lima just as they were serving the pre-arrival meal. Interestingly, Jose completely passed over me for my selection and ignored my trying to flag him down. I ended up having to request the smoked turkey and gouda sandwich (what’s up with all the smoked meal options Delta?) from the flight attendant working the opposite aisle.
The sandwich was served with a side black bean and corn salsa salad and both were exceptional. I would say this was the best meal of the flight – which I often seem to find to be the case on international Delta flights.
We touched down in Lima just before midnight and made our way quickly through immigration and then grabbed a car to take us to the Hilton in the Miraflores district.
I continue to think that Delta is one of the best US flag carriers as far as operations go, but they continue to disappoint me with their service and their hard product. While the lie flat seats are pretty comfortable, the rest of the experience left a lot to be desired. Still, it is not a bad way to travel!
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