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I was in 35J on the Delta 747-400 again, nostalgic from years of shuttling between the US and China. This time was Detroit-Seoul as part of a long day of New York-Detroit-Seoul-Brisbane-Cairns with my wife (per standard practice, she up front, I carry luggage and sit in the back).
Delta long-haul economy is a solid experience. I have come to prefer United, though, because of United’s poor service: in between meal service the flight attendants utterly disappear and leave you alone to sleep.
My only consistent complaints about Dela long-haul have been minor. First is the huge number of announcements over the PA that multiply on bi-and tri-lingual flights. I never figured out why there were so many compared to other airlines.
(Most annoying prize must go to Virgin Atlantic’s fasten seat belt announcements on turbulent trans-Atlantic overnight flights, the prim British phraseology sounds nice the first time, then every time the 90-second long announcement wakes you up it is less amusing.)
The other with Delta was all the interruptions and advertisements on the in-flight entertainment system. In 2013 they even added pop-up ads. On a US-Tokyo flight, with all the filler promos and PA interruptions I timed it that it could be as much as an hour after takeoff before finally getting a movie going.
I heard from readers this is a thing of the past and was happy to experience the same on this flight. Much reduced PA announcements and a great in-flight entertainment experience. The AVOD system has one of the widest selections of films in the sky, mostly unedited, and only one ad at the beginning of each, which can be skipped.
There are other small but appreciated improvements such as handing out bottles of water to everyone in economy.
Even the Korean meal options are solid. In economy there was bibimbap for dinner and beef kimchi friend rice for breakfast. OB Beer on the drink menu. My wife upstairs reported good bibimbap and a breakfast rice with bulgogi. Pictures a little dim because my light was broken (5,000 miles!)
If it weren’t for SkyMiles Blackout Dates on Korean Air we would have been on Korean all the way from New York without the Detroit stop. Still, it was good to see Delta’s continued economy improvements. I’ll miss 35J when they retire the 747s.
Readers, what have been your recent Delta long-haul experiences?