By sheer luck, I managed to secure a Delta Airline ticket from Singapore to Honolulu and X-Japan on my return trip and two leagues of my trip on Business Elite class.
I haven’t really fathom or figured out how I got it through the online booking system but I guess it really pays off flying with a specific airline every year and accumulated those frequent flyer miles. While I am no expert in working out how to fully take advantage of the frequent flyer miles system, but one thing is for sure, a mileage program with miles that does not expire does give many occasional flyers like me a guaranteed reward once in a long while, and that in my opinion, sure keeps my loyalty with them every time I fly.
I flew to Honolulu on economy and then on my return trip to Japan, I took Business Elite Class, and also business elite class on my flight from Japan to Singapore.
Upon reaching Honolulu International Airport, being a Delta Airlines Business Elite Class passenger, I was automatically entitled to use the Sky Priority Lane. Sky Priority are usually for Elite status frequent flyers and business or first class passengers on all Skymiles mileage program.
Seriously, I felt like a VIP. Sans the red carpet, of course.
At Honolulu airport, business and first class passengers are treated with the Gold Lane. Gold lane is a priority queue at all checkpoints and customs for all business and first class passengers in Honolulu airport.
The check-in lady was so nice to have it pointed out to me since I mentioned about being all excited to be taking my maiden business class adventure and she made sure she got it explicitly stamped so that I get to enjoy all the priorities. I felt utterly pampered.
My initial flight to Japan was at 10:30am in the morning, but it was cancelled two days earlier, (trust me I did felt panic sh*t) but the airline has taken care of my flight and arrange for me to board a later scheduled flight.
I was happy of course, I managed a last-minute quick shopping in Waikiki because of the extra timing.
The only one flaw in my experience at Honolulu airport was that, I couldn’t find the priority club lounge for Delta Airlines. Because of the unique outdoor and indoor concept of the airport (only the boarding gates and club lounges were air conditioned, the rest of the terminal are not), after a few confusing turns, I gave up and just wait at the boarding gates.
I bought a Starbucks sandwich and a coffee and head for the boarding gates knowing I will get hungry while waiting.
I love sandwiches. I got the turkey and cheddar with cucumber sandwich. The cucumber in the sandwich just makes the whole sandwich a refreshing cooler for a hot day.
I think Starbucks Singapore can do better in terms of their sandwich offerings. I am often spoilt for choice on sandwiches when I stare at the Starbucks chiller in USA, but in Singapore, there are only 3 types (tuna, chicken and apricot and lastly a veg patty sandwich), and the rest are wraps, cakes, and pastries.
There are a lot of firsts in this trip. First time flying solo, first solo travel, first time meeting up online friends from Couchsurfing, first time flying on business elite class.
And also the first time I have the whole overhead bin ALL TO MYSELF!
Ah… the perks of travelling on business class.
There are a few kinds of business/first class seats on Delta Airlines. These windows facing seats are the latest. The other flight I have taken from Narita, Japan to Singapore are the aisle facing seats.
Personally I prefer the window facing seats compared to the aisle seat due to privacy. The window facing seats are more private compared to the aisle ones..
Especially when you seat near the lavatory, everyone could see your sleeping face from the foot and seriously, I don’t like the feeling of being watched.
This huge pile of stuff was originally placed on my seat.
From the bottom up: A full size pillow (YESH!!!!), a comfy blanket, a amenities kit and a pair of slippers. The slippers are sooo comfy and good quality that it lasted me for another two trips of me flip flopping it everywhere in the room.
I love the amenities kit. Seriously who doesn’t like amenities kit from an airplane?? The pouch is designed by TUMI and the toiletries inside are by MALIN+GOETZ.
I was immediately served a drink before the plane door closes. I chose Orange Juice (Boring, I know. but I don’t exactly want to drink and be dehydrated before take-off). This gesture, although is a standard on all business and first class, does make me feel welcome and really just relax and enjoy the flight.
Delta’s business elite class now provides a full flat bed seat, so I really had a good rest on my flight. I love the extra table surface space right in front of the window.
All the seat controls are within reach and they have power plugs, USB plugs to charge your electronics while on board. I even took some time during my flight to catch up with my assignment. I can only say, it was quite an experience doing work so high up in the skies.
The business class experience was really different and an eye-opener. The top deck of the plane also made a huge difference. With only about 14 passengers, the ambience was more quiet, cosy and more private.
The passengers in the Business Class are a whole different bunch. They treasure their privacy and silence A LOT. In the cabin, you can rarely hear people speaking loudly, or children screaming or crying. I really appreciate the silence in the business cabin.
The only time I heard someone talking was prior to take-off, the man sitting behind me was talking to his business associates over the phone.
I could imagine some idol drama going on with the man lead taking that role behind me speaking loudly and angrily to his managers while me, ahem* the female lead, would meet him for the first time.
Unfortunately, dreams can only stay in lala land, not in reality.
Of course, being the newbie and solo travel, I was talking so many selfies (of course trying to get the best angle) that a fellow Business Class passenger offered to help me take a photo. Haha, I declined! I was too embarassed by my behaviour.
Before the flight takes off, my meal orders were taken by the stewardess. I was quite surprised and not exactly sure what to do, and when they sensed that it was the passenger’s first time on board the business class, they simply make the extra effort to take care of you.
It was the first time I felt there was a huge difference in the service by the stewardess in the business class compared to coach or economy class. Now, I do feel that people really pay for what it is worth.
The seats, the service, the quiet ambience.
Another ironic thing I discovered was that in Business Class, there isn’t anyone doing the safety demonstration. The cubicle style seats just doesn’t allow you to see the front, let alone seeing the demonstration. The screens are stowed away on the side, so even the safety demonstration on the screen could be totally ignored by the passenger.
However, isn’t safety precautions supposed to be universal? I really don’t understand.
Anyway, being on top of the plane with the same eye-level as the pilot feels different too. During take-off and landing, the ride was more bumpy when on the tarmac, yet, feels more lighter and airy when the nose tilts and lifts upwards. I could literally “see” the cabin rising in front of me, just like how you would feel on the front seat of a roller coaster.
Besides the huge screen, the large desk space, the electrical outlet, usb port, Surround Sound earphones and the lie-flat seat, the food on board Business Class were also the highlights for me.
Flying on economy class for so many times, I have been so used to the plastic containers and cutleries, small trays and small cups of tea; the anticipation of the meal service intrigues me very much.
I was given a table cloth first to lay the stow-table.. (cue “halleluyah”-style music).. It was like the holy grail of business class flight. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, but don’t deny that there is this one teeny-tiny bit in us don’t feel that way.
Before the meal begins, they served me a bowl of warm nuts.
I often read and heard about these “warm nuts” on American television or magazines and it is like the must-have for the American passengers. Now that I have them, I can understand why!!
I like it how the stewardess do not hurry you in any way and they only serve your food when you are done with your little snacks.
The food although served on a tray, they were plated on porcelain plates and bowls. Metal cutlery and napkin just added a nice touch of decency compared to plastic forks and knives.
I love that the stewardess/stewards will come around with a selection of salad dressings to add to the salad. The vegetables were fresh, sweet and crunchy, standards similar to those served in a typical restaurant.
I love the shrimp cocktail soba noodles. The cold buckwheat with the nicely dressed crunchy shrimps just lifts your palate. The cream of pumpkin is sweet, not my initial impression of a savoury soup. It is nice, but the porcelain bowl makes it cold pretty fast.
The main dish is Chicken Cordon Bleu with some spice long beans. The long beans is sautéed in some fragrant spices which I can only describe as an ‘interesting taste discovery’~ I don’t know how to put it but it is just “fragrant”.
The starters were really making me very very full and when I reach the cordon bleu I am like 70% full. Nevertheless I finish all up! (It’s not nice to waste food!)
The cordon bleu was just okay, not fantastic; as I had tasted better ones. However to see all these served a couple thousand miles up in the skies is definitely an unforgettable experience.
After dinner, the stewardess came around with a trolley of desserts. Chocolate cakes, ice cream and a selection of cheese and fruits. If I knew, I would had just left some space for that chocolate cake!!!!
Sighz… unfortunately, I was already too full, so chose cheese and fruits instead.
I can’t resist cheese!!!
I do know that the flight from Narita to Honolulu only serves one meal when I sat in Economy class, but in the Business Elite Class (upon returning flight Honolulu to Narita) two meals were served. I was pretty surprise and of course happy that I get to experience another fabulous meal service again.
Breakfast was egg omelet in crepes, a side of sausages, sautéed mushrooms with bread (I chose croissant), a nice bowl of fruits and yoghurt.
As usual, they served the drink first, I had milk tea and water, and they served everything in a nice tray on porcelain dishes.
The egg omelet was a tad bland, and the sausages were a tad salty. I’m not very sure was that because I just woke up from a nice sleep or my taste buds were off due to the high altitude.
Check out this video I made on my experience on Delta Airlines Business Elite Class
I also managed to squeeze in 2 hours during my flight to catch up with my school assignments. I must say doing university assignments high up in the sky with a window view of the clouds outside is really an unforgettable experience.
I certainly look forward to another chance on business flight in the future!
More stories soon!