This is the next post in the series covering the trip to Hong Kong (HKG) with my son Alex. Previous posts in this series:
Our arrival in Seattle (SEA) was an hour late due to the late departure from Atlanta (ATL). The flight from ATL parked at the Delta S gates. After deplaning we still had time to visit a lounge before the flight to HKG.
The Amex Centurion (Studio) Lounge
Through a targeted offer Alex had recently acquired an American Express Platinum card with a 100,000 point sign-up bonus. The Platinum card benefits include access to Amex Centurion Lounges as well as Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta. We decided to check out the Centurion Studio on the B Concourse.
Centurion lounges can often be crowded because they are so much better than airline domestic lounges. The Centurion Studio at SEA is particularly susceptible to this. It is much smaller than other Centurion lounges (and lacks some of the services in other Centurion lounges like free massages) – hence the term “Studio.” We entered, found it too crowded, and immediately headed to the Delta SkyClub on the S Concourse.
Amex plans to expand this lounge. Until then, unless you catch the Centurion Studio on an unusually light day, it is best to visit the SkyClub on the S Concourse or the recently opened SkyClub on the A concourse. Or in the morning, visit the Alaska Airlines Boardroom to try the excellent pancake machine if you have access.
Delta S Concourse SkyClub
The SkyClub was conveniently located near the departure gate for the flight to Hong Kong.
The best seating is in the Quiet Room.
Flight 17 Delta One A330-200 Seattle to Hong Kong
After a some food and drink in the SkyClub we headed downstairs to Gate S10. We were among the first to board through the Priority Lane and took our seats in Delta One.
At boarding, these were the details on DL Flight 17…
and the aircraft.
A330-200 Delta One Cabin and Seat Features
The A330-200 Delta One seats are comfortable and spacious – much more so than the seats on the 767-300. The seats are, of course, fully lie flat and all aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration. The pitch between seats is 80 inches. The seat is 21 inches wide. There is plenty of room for your feet. The aisle arm rest recesses for takeoff and landing.
The seat and remote controls are located at eye level near the large video screen that swings out to face the passenger.
The ventilation system permits adjusting the amount and direction of ventilation at each seat.
These seats lack secure storage for the great amenities Delta provides.
For this flight Delta supplied Westin Heavenly bedding that was on each seat at boarding. Also waiting at the seat were a Tumi amenity kit, Bose noise-cancelling headset, and a large bottle of Dasani water.
The Tumi bag contains Malin + Goetz hand lotion and lip balm, facial tissues, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, socks, eyeshades, pen, ear plugs, sanitary hand wipe and comb.
Delta supplies slippers.
On some long international flights Delta is now includes pajamas as a Delta One amenity.
The pjs are very nice, but Delta does not provide a mattress for the seat: so even if you wear the pjs you don’t get the feeling of sleeping in a bed.
The bathrooms in Delta One are small for changing clothes, and the floors aren’t always clean. Still, the pjs make nice souvenirs. I find them perfect for wearing around the house in winter. The pjs keep your clothes fresh if you choose to wear them on board.
After we had settled in the flight attendants offered juice, water or champagne. Alex and I had champagne.
Departure to HKG was on Runway 34R (Three Four Right).,
The designation “34R” means that the runway is aligned on a magnetic heading of approximately 340 degrees and that there is at least one other runway at this airport to the left on the same heading.
The departure took us over Boeing field, which is only a mile or so north of SEA.
After reaching cruise altitude, drinks were offered. Here is the drink menu.
Woodford Reserve bourbon is the best of the liquor. It is my favorite.
The Western menu was:
It is curious that Delta lists Szechuan Pork on the Western menu.
Delta also has Chinese meals. The menu stated that because Delta puts a limited quantity of them on each flight, it is possible to order a Chinese meal (but not a western meal) up to 24 hours in advance. The inability to order regular meals in advance is a major chink in Delta’s vaunted passenger service.
First Meal Service
Dinner began with an appetizer.
Soup and salad followed.
I selected halibut for the entree.
Next was desert.
The taste and appearance of the meal was excellent. The halibut was tender and moist. My only suggestion for Delta would be to ditch the faux wood trays used to serve the soup, salad and entree. Eating off linen is more elegant.
Cruising and Chilling
After dinner, with almost 13 hours of flight time and over 5,000 miles to travel, there was plenty of time to put the seat into full-flat mode, rest and watch some movies.
The Bose headsets give excellent audio quality for listening to music or watching videos. They also tune out the ambient engine and wind noise. The Westin Heavenly bedding made sleeping easy.
When I woke I requested a mid-flight snack.
Ninety minutes before landing I rejected the typical western breakfast option and had the sesame chicken and a glass of wine.
We were very well fed on this flight.
Hong Kong Arrival
Approaching HKG we had a great view.
DL 17 landed at HKG at 20:41 which was exactly the estimated time of arrival when we departed SEA.
We had completed the 7,500+ mile journey from Charlotte to Hong Kong and looked forward to exploring this exotic city.
The quality of an airline’s business class varies depending on the aircraft you are flying. Delta One is a very good business class product on the A330-200. Delta One food is great, and the lie-flat, all-aisle-access seating arrangement is state of the art. Delta One is currently probably the best business class “soft product” of the legacy US airlines. While the service on some of the premium Asian airlines is unmatched, the Delta One seat on the A330-200 provides a high level of comfort on a long haul flight. The seat could benefit from secure storage space for personal items.
Additional posts about this trip: