Orracle and Family

Orracle and Family

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What is the Delta Between NWA and the New NWA?

Today was my first ever flight on Delta. I actually said to the attendant that checked our bags that it was my first flight on the "New NWA". She very quickly scolded me with "NOT EVEN CLOSE!". Apparently Delta employees are convinced they have a far superior product.

So how was my first experience? Not great.

The inbound flight from ATL was late. The pilot told us that there was a major headwind that made the inbound late but I know from watching the flight on www.flightaware.com that it simply left ATL late. Strike 1.

We made up a little time and had plenty of time for our connection. That is until we landed. No gates. We sat for over 1 hour on the tarmac waiting for a gate. I have never had the pilot open the door, shut off the engines and say "feel free to move about the cabin....we're on an active taxiway but we're not going anywhere soon". HOLY SHIT! He was not lying. The issue is that with it being a hub and so many flights terminating there with the holiday, there were no outbounds to open gates. The old addage, "A lack of planning on your part should not constitute an extra hour + on the tarmac for me!". Could someone not have figured this out before today? Strike 2.

We then hiked it through ATL to gate B30 like their website told my blackberry. Nope, that is Chicago bound. We needed gate A30. Long hike again, take a train, long hike again. No moving sidewalks, etc to get from a-z quicker at ATL. Strike 3.

Fortunately, the flight to San Juan also was late getting into the gate so despite the fact that we deplaned our first leg 10 minutes after the scheduled departure of our second, we made the flight. The gate attendant was telling everyone that wanted seats together that the back was oversold. I said I was elite and asked how many seats were open in first. She said 7. I offered our coach seats that were together for her to use for a family if we could get upgraded. She nearly bit my head off! Beeeotch! I am sure she hated life for working on Thanksgiving and having all of the flight issues piling up but I was trying to help. A polite "no" would have done OK. Strike 3 1/2 (1/2 point since we still made our flight).

Then, I had to force down a Diet Coke. Just a cup too....not a whole can like NWA gives. On a 3 1/2 hour flight, I think I can handle a can. Strike 4 1/2.

Lastly, for everyone in Minneapolis that posts comments about "Northworst" having dirty planes, bad service, etc. Delta was no cleaner. Same peanuts on the floor as NWA. I had rude service at the gate. The flight attendants did seem to work a little harder even after the beverage service. Still, you have to pay for everything extra on Delta which we were forced to do with no chance to eat between flights. The Delta movie was on old TVs that probably would have been more in-focus had I taken my contacts out. All in all, I don't see the angst against NWA. My flights are almost always on time. The planes are good and safe. I might not have a movie but whatever.

I know Al will have some constructive criticism. I don't mind the merger. I just hope I don't have to get routed through ATL for more flights after the merger is done. I don't see it as a happy place to travel through.

From humid San Juan....goodnight!


Anonymous said...

Since you want comments from Al ...

TBH if I was flying on the old NWA connecting through MSP would not have been a picnic either. Memphis or Detroit are much easier. You wouldn't know because connecting through MSP isn't something you've probably done. Assuming the New NWA's hub system is currently a combination of the old NWA and Delta hub system I'd recommend routing through SLC or Cincinnati if you've got a choice. DFW sucks. My understanding is it was designed before the hub system took root and is great as an endpoint for a trip, but not so great as a connecting point. (I've done both frequently.) I believe Delta has been cutting back on traffic through DFW so this might not be a consideration.

There is a saying that "even God has to connect through Atlanta" so I'd expect more time hiking around there. I've been lucky to generally be able to avoid it because of my travel patterns. You might not be able to avoid it.

All airlines suck now. I haven't been an elite FF on Delta for some time, but generally found them to bend over backwards to be accomdating when I was. I'd advise using a few miles to get a membership in the Crown Room if that option is still available. Not only is it a much better place to relax between flights, but the people at the desk there are also more likely to be helpful than the agents up front who have to deal with the rifraff (that's me now).

Al (signing off from neither hot, humid, nor all that cold Idaho)

PS: Want to point out that I'm in with a comment before Stormy again.

Anonymous said...

FACT - NWA and Delta can get bent! Seriously!

The ORRacle!

The ORRacle!