Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Three years ago, we took a wonderful cruise to Norway.  In considering our next vacation, Mary Beth and I decided to try a Baltic Cruise. So with the able assistance of Dan Mandich, cruise planner with Luxury Cruise Connections, we formalized our plans.

Day 1
We booked Delta's Business Class and looked forward to the enhanced service and flat folding seats on the overnight flight. Boarding in Tampa, our flight to JFK was delayed due to weather. We finally arrived and missed our flight to London by about ten minutes.  Delta booked us on the next flight, so we were not terribly inconvenienced.  However, in contrast, we had a similar situation several years earlier while flying home from England on British Air. Our inbound flight to Gatwick was delayed. When we finally arrived in Gatwick, we were met by a British Air representative and shuttled to the plane taking us back to the States. They ensured we did not miss our flight. Delta didn't show that same level of concern or service.

Once aboard, the flight from JFK to London went fairly well. The food was okay, nothing spectacular, and the choice of wines, much hyped by Delta in their ads, was limited to two reds and two whites. I found the fold flat beds to be much too hard for me to find a comfortable position. Mary Beth, who normally has a hard time sleeping on a plane, fell right to sleep.  Entertained by the large selection of movies, I managed to pass the time well enough.

Arrival in Gatwick was easy. The Delta flight attendants handed out passes for a "Fast" lane through customs.  However, when we went to collect our luggage, it hadn't arrived. Delta assured us it would arrive on the next flight and they would deliver it to our hotel.

In assessing the flight over, Delta has made large strides in improving their service, both in their Skyteam Lounges and in the air.  However, they still have a way to go before catching up with their European counterparts. I've flown Business Class on British Air and Swissair, and found service on those carriers to be superior to Delta's.

We took a short cab ride from the airport to the Heathrow Renaissance Hotel. Tumbling into bed, I hadn't felt anything more soothing than the crisp, cool feel of those sheets. I was asleep as my head hit the pillow.

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