Tomorrow I’m scheduled to return to the States from Germany, with a slight detour to Seattle on my way home (since I couldn’t find award availability to Tampa and figured I might as well try Delta on a transcon flight). As many of you probably know, I’m on a Delta business class award ticket. I was scheduled to fly from Frankfurt to Atlanta to Seattle tomorrow, though while trying to check in today got a message saying that my Atlanta to Seattle flight has been canceled. I’m not sure why a domestic flight would be canceled 36 hours in advance, given that the weather is fine, though that’s a different story.
Anyway, something that I do have to give Delta credit for is that the website displayed several reasonable alternatives that could be confirmed instantly online. No need to call them, and no being rebooked on a totally crappy routing. I actually had a few one-stop options, as follows:
- The same Frankfurt to Atlanta flight in BusinessElite on Delta, and then Atlanta to Seattle on Alaska Airlines in first class after a near four hour layover
- Frankfurt to Paris to Seattle on Air France in business class the whole way
- Frankfurt to Detroit to Seattle in BusinessElite and first class on Delta, leaving Frankfurt 30 minutes later than my original routing and arriving in Seattle a few hours earlier
As much as I’ve wanted to try Alaska Airlines, I decided against option one because they don’t have power ports. My laptop has awful battery life, so even if the flight had wifi, I wouldn’t be able to connect for very long. Over four hours on Alaska without a laptop just doesn’t sound like fun.
Air France business class? Nah. I’ve done Air France first class before, and it took 45 minutes to get a pre-departure beverage. No way I’m doing business class on them.
Now, the last option didn’t sound particularly attractive, though Detroit to Seattle is operated by a 737 with audio video on demand, wifi, and power outlets. I always find the domestic flight after an international flight to be a drag, so that will at least keep me busy. At the same time, if you follow me on Twitter, you know that my outbound layover in Detroit was, well, less than stellar. Fortunately my layover in Detroit on the way back is only 1hr45min, probably not enough time for my blood pressure to rise too much.
At the same time I was really looking forward to flying through Atlanta since I wanted to give Delta a fair shake for my trip report. I always still assume that the service will be better through Atlanta (“true” Delta employees) than through Detroit (I assume largely ex-Northwest employees), or at least I hope so. The purser on the flight out (Detroit-based) was nothing short of abrasive. For example, he took meal orders before passengers even had time to settle in. The gentlemen in front of me was asked what he wanted for dinner before he could even take his seat. When the passenger said he wasn’t sure, the purser said something along the lines of “well you better hurry up, because I need to start cooking soon.”
I guess I’ll just cross my fingers for a better crew on the way back and be thankful that my travel time was cut by over four hours.