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Friday, November 19, 2010

Delta air travel -- TPA to DTW to GRR

November 2010

Status perks
As a Gold Medallion flier, I had been upgraded to first class on the flight from TPA to DTW a few days prior to check-in.

Check-in
I observed one agent working with one group of guests at the First Class check-in counter when I entered the line to check my bag. They were checking 3 or 4 bags, so my wait time was a few minutes. I had plenty of time, so I was not concerned. Four passengers arrived after me before it was my turn, and the man who had arrived first after me must have been in a hurry, because he left before I got to the counter. The process to check my bag went smoothly, and the agent was able to accommodate my request for a different connecting flight from DTW to GRR.

Security
There is a Priority boarding line at TPA, so the process went very quickly. They have full body scanners, which I did not see anyone complaining about when I went through security.

In-flight
I was surprised we were served breakfast in First Class since the flight to DTW was only a little over 2 hours. On the 2 - 3 hour flights I took out west recently, we did not receive a meal. The flights out west were during lunch and dinner times, whereas the flight from TPA was during breakfast time. I don't know what Delta's criteria is--whether it is meal type, flight length, or a combination of the two. Or, if they have recently changed what is served. On this flight we received: cereal and milk, croissant, fresh fruit, and yogurt.

DTW Sky Club
I visited the Detroit Sky Club in B/C terminal this trip. Since the Delta/NWA merger, I had not had any success receiving assistance with tickets and such at the Sky Club, so I was impressed this trip. Before the merger, I had been able to receive seat assignments and/or upgraded seats in the [WorldClub] Sky Club. I had a confirmed seat from the TPA agent for my connection, although she had not been able to give me a seat assignment. When I entered the club, I asked the agent if I had a seat assignment yet, and she said no. She printed a receipt for herself and said she would keep an eye on it for me. Shortly before boarding time, I decided I better head to the gate since I needed a seat assignment. I paused at the Sky Club entrance, where the employee who had checked me in, was admitting another guest. She saw me, and handed me my boarding pass so I did not need to go to the gate until it was time to board.

Overall
I have encountered many frustrations during the airline merger, and was glad to see things running smoothly. Both my flights arrived on time (many of my recent flights before this one have not arrived on time), the employees I encountered were polite and helpful, and my bag was one of the first off when we arrived in GRR. I wish all my travel days went this smoothly!