My son, Alex, took the Maryland bar exam in July 2016 and we decided to take a trip in August to reward his hard work. (In November, he learned that he passed the exam!!!)
HKG was the destination because it is a great city, Alex had never been to Asia, and it was about the only destination I could find that required just the normal amount of Skymiles, 140,000/person, for business class.
The itinerary to HKG was (1) CLT to Atlanta (ATL) in first class, (2) ATL to Seattle (SEA), and (3) SEA to HKG in Delta One.
CLT – ATL MD88 First Class
AT CLT, Delta operates from Concourse A, which is often very crowded and lacks good food options and power outlets. There is no Delta Sky Club at CLT, but there are two American Airlines Admirals Clubs. Since I have the American WorldElite MasterCard, which includes Admirals Club membership as a benefit, I can use the Admirals Club even when I fly another airline.
We spent 30 minutes in the Admirals Club enjoying the power, wifi, breakfast snacks and tarmac views before going to Concourse A to catch the flight to ATL.
The flight was on a MD88 with a standard domestic first class 2-2 seating arrangement.
These seats are fine for short trips although the armrest between the seats should be larger to accommodate drinks and snacks for two persons. The seats are 19.5 inches wide, and seat pitch is 37 inches. Delta schedules the 35-minute flight to ATL for 75 – 80 minutes. No doubt this route pads the on-time stats.
ATL Terminal E Sky Club Showers
A shower and shave before a long flight is a great way to relax and shed any stress that builds up from travel. I was feeling good but decided to shower in ATL because the SEA Sky Club has only one shower. It can be a long wait if there is a line.
After landing in ATL, we went to the Terminal E Sky Club. Alex chilled in the lounge while I went to the shower area. This club has six shower rooms, and there is almost never a wait to get one.
The attendant will provide amenities, including shower gel, soap, shampoo, dental kit, shaving kit, body lotion and hair dryers. Each shower room comes with packaged towels and bath mat, hand soap and lotion. These rooms also have power outlets so you can charge your devices while showering.
ATL – SEA Delta Flight 1336, 767-300 Tail Number 1613
Alex and I headed to our gate in Terminal A for the flight to SEA about 45 minutes before the scheduled 11:00 departure time. When we left the Sky Club, everything with the flight was showing okay.
At gate A21, however, boarding was not close to starting. Due to some mechanical issue, the flight did not board until 11:39 and departed at about 12:10. I was glad I showered in ATL as ground time in SEA would be even shorter.
767-300 Delta One Seat
The Delta One seat on Delta’s 767-300 is very nice for a domestic flight. It reclines to a fully flat position and has much more room than a regular domestic first class seat. This seat is 21 inches wide. Seat pitch varies from 76 to 81 inches depending on the row.
The negatives of this seat are that there is not much room for stowing personal items, and the area for your feet is small. Other than a 757, the 767-300 would be the least desirable Delta aircraft for a long international flight.
The seats are arranged 1 – 2 – 1, single seats on the outside with two seats together in the middle. All seats have direct aisle access. Alex had seat 3A, and I had seat 2A. Both are window seats on the right side of the aircraft.
The difference in the seats is that, in the odd numbered rows, the single seats are right next to the window, and the console is on the aisle. For this seat, the console provides a nice separation between the seat and traffic in the aisle. The even numbered rows have the console next to the window and the seat is directly on the aisle. I prefer sitting next to the window for the views and increased privacy.
The console is wide and flat on top. It is a good work space. You can place personal items here during flight.
A/C and USB power outlets, the headset connection, and personal reading light are right next to the seat.
For this Delta One domestic flight, Delta provided a small un-wrapped pillow, a thin blanket and noise-canceling headsets. There was no amenity kit.
According to the flight tracker screen, at takeoff, the flight was expected to take four hours and 37 minutes to cover 2,176 miles between ATL and SEA.
While at the gate the flight attendants offered the pre-departure beverage service.
Once in the air, the flight attendants distributed hot towels and offered another beverage service.
Then they served lunch. I had the Delta cheeseburger, which is one of my favorites.
The cheeseburger came with potato salad. Desert of cheese, grapes and pie was served at the same time as the cheeseburger. It was a tasty, simple lunch.
Cruise and Chilling
Afterwards, there was time to watch a movie and snooze. The IFE screen is not large; however the selection of entertainment is good and the headsets deliver high-quality audio.
Approaching SEA, Alex and I opened the window shades to enjoy the scenery. I had selected seats on the port side of the plane to get the best view of Mt. Rainier on the way into SEA.
We parked at the S Concourse, which would also be our departure point for the flight to HKG.
The 767-300ER is great for domestic service but the seat is cramped and uncomfortable in bed mode. The Delta One experience is much nicer on international flights. We were looking forward to Delta One service to HKG on an A330-300.