London Heathrow Terminal 4 to Atlanta
I arrived at London Heathrow Terminal 4 at 1345 for my 1525 departure on Delta 31 to Atlanta, a flight of around nine hours. Check-in was quick, after which I went through fast track where there was no queue at all. I then did some shopping and made my way to the Skyteam Lounge which is on two levels at one end of the terminal. The flight was already showing “Go to gate” when I arrived, but I had time for a drink and before walking to Gate 8, where the flight had already started boarding. There was a queue for Sky Priority and business class, but since everyone had already gone through it didn’t make a difference and I boarded the flight.
Once on board I was greeted at the door by a flight attendant checking my boarding card and directing me to my seat which was 6D. I was offered water, champagne or orange juice, and then some pomegranate vanilla flavoured cashew nuts as a snack, which were delicious. I was also given a menu and told that they would come back shortly to take my order. This was a very friendly set of flight attendants, and it seemed to rub off on the passengers, many of whom were British and presumably not in a great mood about having to fly on a Sunday afternoon, so it was good to have the mood lightened in this way.
Delta has a configuration of 1-2-1 (A-BC-D), all seats having direct aisle access.
The seats have a low surround, which means the cabin feels spacious despite there being overhead storage bins over all seats, and the seats are staggered behind one another so that your leg room comes under the table of the seat in front, though you are unaware of it because of the design of the seat. The tray table comes out of the arm and is in two sections – it was fairly robust for eating and working on, though sloped slightly from one side to the other. There’s plenty of room on the side table, though to use it you need to bear in mind that to access the dining table this needs to be cleared for the main table to be accessed.
The inflight entertainment (IFE) screen is a decent size (and next to it there is a pocket with the inflight magazine which also has room for a few personal items). For all the space there is around the seat I think it would help to have more storage space, though when you are sleeping you can pile up books and newspapers on the side arm/table.
There is in-seat power accessed just below a reading light – it takes UK, US and EU plugs. The seat has various controls for getting comfortable including quick pre set ones for sleep and flight take off and arrival. There was also inflight wifi available. It was a Sunday so I did not use it, but details are below of the coverage map.
I’d avoid the front couple of rows because of the galley and the washrooms, and the back of the cabin leads straight to the washrooms for the front of the main cabin, so I’d go for some central rows. If you got for a window seat, then some of these are closer to the windows than others because of the configuration (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 on this B767-300ER). Note that row 6 has no windows for seats 6A and 6D (which is where I was sitting). On this flight 7A was crew rest.
We were away on time and the seat belt sign was turned off shortly afterwards. The flight was full in business class, and looked full in the main cabin. The flight staff were very good, making a point of walking up and down the aisle to service any drinks orders or requests. They were friendly, smiled and nothing seemed too much trouble. You can argue with the American service culture, but when it works, it beats most of the alternatives.
The last time I flew Delta internationally back from Philadelphia I was disappointed with the service. You can read my review of the Delta B757 Delta One service here. It seemed to me that the investment in the on-board international product had been let down by the consideration of the staff. This wasn’t the case on this flight. Both the product and service was exemplary.
Food and drink
Country potato salad with creamy barbecue dressing and spring greens
- Coriander crab salad
- Country potato salad with creamy barbecue dressing and spring greens
- Red lentil soup with lime and cilantro cream
There’s an option here to “Dine and Rest” with the meal delivered in a single service.
English chef selection was
- Salt Marsh Lamb Chop served with minted mixed beans and peas, herb roasted potatoes and rosemary demi sauce
- Corn-fed chicken breast with polenta cake, anise, creamed spring peas and baby carrots
- Pan-roasted cod with coconut sauce, Carmague red rice, carrots and asparagus
- Caprese Ravioli with yoghurt and spring pea sauce and sun dried tomatoes
- Vanilla ice cream sundae with your choice of sauces and whipped cream
Chocolate granache with yoghurt
- Selection of fine cheeses Montero, Royale Morbier and Fourne of d’ambert with fresh fruit and onion jam.
Sweet and savory snacks
Mid flight snack
Warm chocolate chip cookie service
These were very impressive, and I think I was lucky since they had just been introduced as part of Delta’s “Spring Premium Wine Program” which is on routes between London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airports and the US. Selected by the airline’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, it is available on the airline’s 12 routes between Paris CDG and the US, and is refreshed on a seasonal basis. The current spring selection includes:
- Pol Roger Brut NV – France
- Domaine des Baumard Savennières, Loire Valley – France 2013
- Stuhlmuller Chardonnay Reserve, Sonoma – California 2013
- Charmes de Kirwan, Margaux-Bordeaux – France 2012
- Bernardus Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands – California 2012
- Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui, Piedmont, Italy
- Ferreira Dona Antonia Tawny Porto, Portugal NV
After lunch I worked for a while and then went to sleep for a couple of hours.
Ironically having been kept awake by the flight attendants on the previous trip, this time it was a couple of boneheaded, loud-voiced English business men who talked in great detail through their strategy for the meeting they were flying over to the US for. Obviously so absorbed in their work (even on a Sunday evening) that they missed the fact that the lights had dimmed and people were resting. Still, it wasn’t a night flight, so I put up with it.
About a couple of hours before arrival I went forward to the galley, requested some tea, which was brought to me with hot water in a small tea pot and a choice of tea bags, and the watched a film until the Arrival food was served, which was a choice of
- Lobster slides with lettuce, tomato and pickles served with mixed green salad
- Fattoush salad with grilled chicken, pita chips and lemon wedge served with seasonal fresh fruit
I had the chicken, which was large and delicious.
We arrived slightly early, had a fairly long taxi to the terminal, but then were quickly off and at an empty immigration, got into the US more quickly than I have ever managed. We had landed at Terminal F, and the bags were on the carousel extremely quickly. No queue at customs, so I was out waiting for a taxi around 20 minutes after we had pulled up at the gate.
This was a very good flight, with excellent food and beverage choices, served by a friendly, competent and personable crew and with an on time departure and arrival.
JOURNEY TIME 9 hours
AIRCRAFT TYPE B767-300ER
SEAT WIDTH 21 inches
SEAT RECLINE 180 degrees
BED LENGTH 81 inches