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As you may have figured out by now I very frequently fly Delta.  Laura and I flew their Business Elite product this past week en route to our San Francisco and Sonoma trip. What a blast. The market for flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco has gotten very competitive. A few airlines offer innovative new flat bed products including: Jet Blue’s Mint, American’s First and Business, United First and of course Delta Business Elite. A paid round trip Business Elite ticket will run you somewhere north of $1500 out of pocket or 65,000 miles if redeeming via Skymiles.  For that kind of change you really want a bed and thankfully that is what nearly every airline is offering. If you don’t get a flat bed you are basically paying five times the price of a normal ticket for a glass of champagne and more food. Not worth it. If you are interested in taking one of these flights you will find some fantastic options using Points & Miles. You could go one way in one of these premium products from one standard credit card sign up such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred

We arrived at JFK about 7:00AM for our 9:30 flight. On the ground Delta really gets it right at JFK Terminal 4. Delta has a great ground product (the terminal and check in process). There is a dedicated quiet and cozy area when you arrive at the airport for Business Elite/Virgin Upper class passengers and it feeds into a dedicated security area for fast processing. The Delta Sky Club in Terminal 4 is nothing to write home about but nice for a cup of coffee, a beer and some snacks. All in it took us about twenty minutes from the car to the gate which is pretty top notch.

Delta 757-200.

Delta 757-200.

We flew the 757-200 which is still configured in the “Angle Flat Business Elite” configuration. A huge bummer. Basically its a very dated product compared to what the other airlines are offering on the JFK-LAX/SFO (flat beds). The food on Delta though is a step above the rest. They have very cleverly teamed up with celebrated chefs and sommeliers to create a 3 course food and wine experience. The seat angles back fairly far and has a footrest that pops out but it is still just a seat. The cabin features an amenity kit from Tumi which is very nice and includes many useful travel items such as: toothbrush, chapstick, moisturizer, socks, sleeping mask and a few other knick knacks. The highlight by far however is the Westin Heavenly Bedding pillow and blanket that it comes with. The blanket is a real quilted duvet and the pillow is similar to memory foam and is definitely enough to help you relax even in an older seat such as this one.

Delta 757-200 Angle Flat Business Elite

Delta 757-200 Angle Flat Business Elite

The fact that the seats were not flat was a huge downer. Delta is currently changing them out to a brand new 757-200 cabin on the JFK-LAX/SFO route and should be finished by the summer. The new cabin looks really great and I think that it will be competitive and possibly superior to the other offerings out there especially with Delta’s food service. When this new cabin has been completed I would be very eager to try the product again…hopefully for miles and not money.

New 757-200 beds.

New 757-200 beds.

It didn’t make enough difference to keep me from sleeping….

As I mentioned Delta has curated a fantastic food and wine experience. Michael Chiarello is the Executive Chef and celebrated sommelier Andrea Robinson created pairings to match. Let’s have a look at the menu….

Food menu with wine pairings.

Food menu with wine pairings.

I managed to snap a picture of the charcuterie starter before inhaling it but sadly inhaled both the beef tenderloin and salted caramel gelato before getting a snap. The beef tenderloin was average but the accompanying sweet potato gratin and dijon sauce was fantastic. The salted caramel gelato was unreal. A true salted caramel, one thing of which I am definitely a connoisseur. 

All in all minus the seat snafu it was a great experience. You have to love being served a three course meal at 30,000 feet. It is certainly an experience and I highly recommend it especially if you can do it with POINTS & MILES. If you are going west, for now take the JFK-LAX route because all the flights are flat beds. The SFO route will get a full go ahead recommendation from me once all their flights also feature the flat beds. Like I said, its just too much money to pay for anything less considering everyone else is offering one.

Anyone looking into a transcontinental flight?

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