FLYING DELTA ONE FROM LAX VIA JFK TO BRUSSELS
Greetings from LAX: Los Angeles International Airport.
Brad and I recently embarked on a much anticipated vacation to Europe. The trip was a birthday present from my very generous husband in celebration of the BIG birthday I celebrated back in May. It is eerie to think that while planning this trip, it never occurred to us that we might be caught up, in a small way, with the terrible events that happened in Paris at the very time we would be visiting. Having returned home safe and sound on Saturday, I am still feeling the effects of jet lag while reminiscing about this trip that started in Brussels, Belgium. Little did we know, as we walked the charming city streets and marveled at the beautiful city square, that a terrible terrorist attack was brewing. We were in Strasbourg, France on Friday when we got the terrible news of the Paris attacks. As our hearts cried at the horror of the events, our minds were contemplating what our next move would be. Should we cancel our planned visit to Paris? In the end, we decided not to be terrorized by the terrorists and went ahead with our plans, arriving to a Paris on high alert and full of people with heavy hearts. We are very glad we took this trip, and pleased that we continued on to Paris post Friday the 13th. Even though the memory of this trip will always be shadowed by the horrific events that transpired right in the path of our travels, we had a marvelous time and I want to share the journey with all of you.
So, over the course of the next several weeks I’ll take you along with me on our 3-week journey which took us to 6 countries in Europe…
- The Netherlands
on a Uniworld Riverboat Cruise down the Rhine River…
Our Suite onboard Uniworld’s S.S. Antoinette
on a Cogwheel Train trip to Jungfrau, the highest mountain peak in Europe…
on the high-speed trains of the Swiss Rail, the TGV and EuroStar…
and we also visited both Paris and London. So stay tuned for gorgeous photos, tours of some amazing hotel suites as well as our suite on the S.S. Antoinette Riverboat, and join us for some epic meals. You won’t want to miss a thing!
Hotel d’Aubusson, Paris
But today I want to start by telling you all about our experience flying Delta ONE from LAX via JFK to Brussels.
Whenever we make a major long distance trip such as this one, we try to use AMEX points to purchase first class travel. Flying in Business or 1st Class makes the long haul flights so much more tolerable, and you lose less vacation time to jet lag if you arrive rested. Delta is an AMEX partner airline and we were able to start our trip by flying Delta ONE from LAX via JFK to Brussels, Belgium at a cost of 62,500 points per person. I transferred the necessary AMEX points into my Delta Skymiles account when I booked this flight 8 months in advance of our trip. Award Travel seats on Delta become available 331 days before a flight’s departure. During those 331 days, the number of available seats will change and the cost in points also changes. So the earlier you reserve your seats, the more likely you are to get the flights you want, on the days you want, at the lowest cost.
It can be daunting finding an award flight. It took me days of searching all of the AMEX partner airlines, comparing cost in points and fees, looking at the itineraries available, the aircraft being flown and the amenities onboard each aircraft before I settled on the flights I chose. Airlines vary widely in the quality of their service, the type of aircraft flown, the type of seats offered (lay flat or not, for example), etc.
Flights to the east coast and Europe from the west coast typically leave in the early morning and our 8:45am departure was no exception. As we have a 3 hour drive in morning traffic to LAX from our home in Lake Arrowhead, we chose to spend the night before our trip at the Hilton, LAX. For $391.00 I booked a King Room that included parking for 21 days. Parking alone would have been more than that for the 19 days we planned to be gone, and staying close to the airport would allow us to wake up at a reasonable time and get to the airport with time to enjoy Delta’s new lounge.
Delta has recently opened its new “Delta ONE” experience at LAX. Premium passengers arrive at a check-in desk where passports are checked, boarding passes are issued and luggage is tagged. While this is being handled by a very polite and accommodating agent, we were guided to a preliminary lounge area where drinks and light snacks were available.
Within a couple of minutes the agent guided us to a private elevator which delivered us to a private, pre-check security checkpoint which had no lines or wait. The agent personally took our checked luggage to another area for special handling to the plane.
After a quick and smooth transit through security, we headed to the Delta Sky Club.
A self-serve breakfast buffet, complete with an elaborate coffee machine, was there for the taking. We helped ourselves to a Cafe Latte and Continental Breakfast while waiting to board our 8:45am flight to New York’s JFK airport.
We soon boarded the Delta B767-300ER that would deliver us comfortably to JFK 5 hours later. This aircraft does not feature a First Class Cabin. Instead, the premium service offered is called “Delta Business Elite.” There are 4 seats across, 1 at each window and 2 middle seats.
Brad and I had middle seats Row 3B & C.
Arriving at our seats, we found our set of Westin Heavenly In-Flight Bedding which included a large pillow and comforter, noise-cancelling headphones, a bottle of water and a soft-sided Tumi amenity kit containing MALIN + GOETZ products.
Each seat had a reading light, 2 USB ports and a plug to charge electronics.
Friendly flight attendants handed us a hot towel to freshen up before the breakfast service that would take place shortly after takeoff.
Beverage service included mimosas, coffee and a bag of candied cashews.
Menus were handed out that offered a choice of 4 different breakfast options.
The first course was a selection of fresh fruit served with a yogurt dipping sauce, gravlax with cream cheese, capers & red onions, plus a somewhat unattractive roll.
For my main course, I chose the Apple Ricotta Crepes with Warm, Toasted Pecans. It was quite delicious.
Each seat is like a cocoon of sorts that can recline a full 180 degrees to a flat bed configuration. The footrest can be kept up at all times without reclining the seat.
One’s feet are contained inside a cubby of sorts that is at the base of the wide arm rest and table of the seat in front. So, essentially, you have someone’s feet and legs running alongside your seat and under your arm rest. My only complaint about this configuration is that the woman behind me kept kicking her feet against the side of her foot cubby and it shook my seat and disturbed my comfort somewhat.
The seatback entertainment offered hundreds of options. I chose to watch “Amelia”, a good movie about Amelia Earhart. The time passed quickly and soon we found ourselves making a smooth landing into JFK at approximately 6:00pm.
We then made our way to our next Delta ONE flight and boarded the same type of aircraft for our continuing 8 1/2 hour flight to Brussels.
All of the amenities for our transatlantic flight were the same as the first flight, with the exception of the amenity kit, which this time was hardsided but contained all the same items as the transcontinental flight.
With a 7:30pm departure time, dinner menus were handed out. This time Delta had paired up with Union Square Hospitality Group and featured items from their Manhattan restaurant, Blue Smoke, who honor the culinary traditions of the American South.
I ordered a Gin & Tonic which I enjoyed with the starter course, a Smoked Trout Salad. Consuming smoked fish within the tight confines of an aircraft seemed like an odd choice, but it turned out to be a delicious one.
Next came a tasty Roasted Mushroom Soup served with Kale Salad and a pretzel roll.
For my main course I decided on the Smoked Short Ribs with Collard Greens and Cornbread. It too was very tasty.
Dessert was brought on a trolley where passengers could select from an assortment of sweets that included a Sundae Bar and an offering of assorted cheeses and fruit.
Breakfast was served about an hour and a half before landing in Brussels. I chose the cream cheese and chives scrambled eggs with chicken apple sausage, spinach and mushrooms with lyonnaise potatoes, fresh fruit and apple juice.
In conclusion I have to say that I was very pleased with the whole Delta ONE experience and I look forward to flying Delta in the future. I hope you enjoyed the ride too!
Please stay tuned, and in my next post, I’ll be bringing you beautiful Brussels and Brugge, Belgium, where you will be blown away by the beauty of these truly charming cities. I pray that the sick minds of ISIS terrorists don’t continue to threaten these beautiful and historical places, the people who live in them, and those that visit them.
In the meantime, here’s a little video of the Delta ONE experience at LAX.
So there you have it: FLYING DELTA ONE FROM LAX VIA JFK TO BRUSSELS
PS – This is not a sponsored post. I just like sharing things that might enhance your next vacation.
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