They say that loves comes when it’s least expected – but Delta Connection, really?
The approach road to SAV suggests one is about to alight upon a well-heeled golf or country club, such are the trimmed hedges, neatly mowed lawns and abundant flower beds. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that the airport serves as home to Gulfstream, the maker of private jets, whose purchasers would expect no less! Hire car returns are clearly signed and simple to negotiate and it was a short walk to the arrivals hall, from where an escalator leads to departures. Despite the clean and spacious interior, the decision to carpet both areas means that heavy four-wheeler cases like our handles as if sinking into quicksand, so the short distance to the Delta checkin desk took some while (and huffing and puffing) to negotiate.
The checkin staff were cheery and welcoming and we had a long chat about where we had been, with true southern charm and hospitality shining through. I was asked if NYC was our final destination and I explained that we were travelling on to London, but not with Delta. Much to my surprise (googling had assured me that it wouldn’t be possible) we were told that our bags could be checked through to our BA flight that evening. I thought Delta/BA interlining was impossible, but clearly not as all our bags made it through no problem. After some joking about the weight of our cases – they assured us they had seen worse – we were on our way.
Web reviews of the Passport Club, suggested that this wouldn’t be worth paying up for. As it happens the landslide part of the terminals is home to a Phillips Seafood restaurant, which meant that a decent lunch was possible, with views over the apron thrown in.
Our flight was due to depart at 5pm, but we were advised some thirty or so minutes in advance that due to ATC restrictions at JFK our departure would be delayed until 5.35pm. We were kept well informed of developments and the pilots attempts, initially unsuccessful, to achieve some improvement on that time. In the end the flight was called at 4.55pm and we departed at around 5.30pm but with the prospect of making up for lost time en route.
The interior was immaculate, with large and comfortable three abreast leather seats, each with a bagged pillow and blanket (which popped like a whoopy cushion when I inadvertently sat down on it, and with a bottle of Dasini water on each arm rest. LED lighting added to the crisp appearance of the interior. Pre-flight drinks were offered and we were greeted cheerful by the F/A who was proactive in ensuring that jackets and bags were stowed, or tagged.
The two F/As were charming, cheerful and with an experience which shone through all announcements and interactions. There were several rounds of drinks, and the snack basket appeared at least twice, with a good selection of sweet and savoury snacks, chocolates, and a couple of bananas that looked as if they had been shuttling around the Delta network for a few days. The flight was smoother than anticipated by the pilot and afforded splendid views of the east coast.
The WiFi worked reasonably well, though it didn't appear to be possible to stream entertainment as indicated. However, on a flight of 1 hour 40 minutes this didn't present a problem.
We descended towards NYC in pink evening sunshine and haze, with good views over Rockaway and Atlantic beach, before the best treat of all, the Canarsie approach into JFK! After a seemingly endless right hand sweep we landed 20 minutes ahead of scheduled, slowly negotiating around the building works and arriving on stand on time. Once in the terminal, signage was somewhat confusing as the exit/baggage claim signs pointed in opposing directions. We were, however, directed to the so-called "JFK Jitney" which took us between terminals and a short distance to the Air Train to Terminal 7.
Everything about the flight was pleasant – punctual, smooth, nice aircraft and every member of Delta staff with whom we interacted friendly and charming. I wonder if this is typical of Delta as a whole – no doubt someone will advise? It certainly wasn't when I last did it some 18 or so years ago. But if it is, I would definitely do it again. There was no comparison with our recent United Express flights.