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I fly KLM/AF quite a bit. I do like, but not love, their business class products over water and the service is generally good. But I do have a bias towards Delta metal. It is a strange (in a good way) thing for me to step onto a Delta jet and hear Sky tunes and have warm and smiling American accented attendants greet me by name and look happy to see me! I am sad to be on the last leg of my trip, but I am sorta home and I like the warm fuzzy feeling that gives me.
Now the pseudo business class product that KLM has inta-Europe in which you get a coach seat plus sometimes one blocked off for your “personal space”, and food that is a step above a vending machine from yesterday, or the AF answer to Delta regional jets is strictly coach with surly French attendants, is not my idea of the way to complete my business class trip experience!
But according to Bloomberg we may be in for a totally new experience – enter Transavia Air! And you thought it was bad now Mr. Delta Points. HA! So tell me, how will the great new SKY boarding go on KLM/AF Transavia Air budget airline? ( I can tell you the boarding in Gothenburg right now is EVERYONE RUSH the gate as fast as you can and who cares what status or seat you have )! This is following the news that they will also acquire the reaming shares of Alitalia in 2013.
With the race to the bottom to make money at least Delta beat out Spirit Air this year for the Golden Poo award – “so we got that going for us” (spoken like Carl from Caddyshack). Kids, I have said it before and I’ll say it again, this is going to be a fun year with Skyteam. – Rene
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“SkyMiles award seat availability in business class on Air France or KLM-operated flights is currently unavailable. Delta is working to resolve the situation.” – from Delta Air Lines
So we at last have an answer that they know “we have a problem Houston”! I blogged about this the other day after a request from a reader. I had known about this for a while but was hoping it was just a glitch that would be fixed quickly. Obviously it is not. There was also a FT reader who got an e-mail direct from the VP Jeff Robertson of Delta:
“Thanks for your note. I’m well aware of the situation and so is the entire leadership team here at Delta. We have put some postings out on our website with respect to the issue and we continue to apologize for the inconvenience. I assure you that we are doing everything in our power to fix it. The issue however is more complicated however than anyone would expect.”
Now for me, what I think Delta should do is offer low level seats on Delta metal until the bug is fixed. This would be the RIGHT thing to do as no matter how hard the problem is to fix, we should not suffer anymore as a result of Delta IT issues.
I will keep you up to date with any more official and back stage unofficial news I can – Rene
If you are looking to go to Europe this summer, with the adding of weekly flights to LHR, now may be the time to find some good flights.
As you can see searching one way each way I find many days with 100k seats. Now it is you turn to do the work to find seats from where you are to ATL and from LHR to where ever you want to go in Europe!
For example looking for 2 seats (yes you can not trust all the “green” dates above but):
Also look at CDG-IAD as a choice for return trips on the AF 380 (if you want to fly it):
Enjoy! – Rene
Do you know that if you fly or buy a ticket on Delta then fly a KLM and or AF flight your record has more than one PNR assigned to it? It could even have 3! This will not show up on the DELTA.com web site or in any of the e-mail confirmations you get.
So how do you get these numbers. You can simply call Delta and ask for the PNR that has been creaded by KLM or AF assigned to your itinerary. Why would you want this number when you have the Delta one? Most of the time you do not need it and you can see your itinerary on the other sites with the Delta number. But there are times when having the official KLM or AF one are nice to have when you have to contact them once in route. So I always make it a practice to get them and it has paid off.
Another reason is for seat assignments with KLM. With Delta flights you can pick seats right away. With KLM/AF only 90 days prior to fight. In the past you could work around this by starting at the AF web site and get access up to 331 days before flight, but this seems to have been locked down now. Coach and certain fare class tickets will not allow seats and even as a KLM Platinum they are less than helpful about overriding this rule and tell you they are assigned by the airport.
Hey, I have 2 more of the new Red and Pink Nuo iPad or HP Touchpad Sleeves. So, let me know, yes or no, neither answer will increase your chance to win, if you knew that KLM/AF assigns you a separate Passenger Number Record (PNR) to win! Same as last time Winner #1 get’s color choice and Winner #2 get’s the other one – René
Many times there is much better award availability at low level to Europe on KLM or AF rather than Delta. Now with the mighty schedule change rule you can later pick a Delta flight if you would want to, but that begs the question – should you change?
I have flown business class on all three. I have been on the KLM 747 upper deck and on the new 777. It has been a while for AF as I try to avoid CDG whenever I can. On Delta I have NOT yet had the chance for the new “full flat” seats and am looking forward to them finishing the change out on all the planes with the 330′s coming last it would seem.
So what is best? I want your input as well to help this reader out.
Lets start with Delta:
For me (& Lisa as you can see), we like the old NWA 330 clam shell seat’s privacy feel. Once you recline with a big soft pillow and comfy blanket I am GONE for the rest of the flight. Yes I dislike the fact I wake up sometimes having slid down to the footrest and some tall people say they end up “standing” all night long. The old 767 seats are not good. End of story. But they will be gone soon so done deal.
Like I said, it has been a while. As I can remember the product was fine. It was a day flight and the seat was fine for that. Entertainment was fine and the food was good. I have also never used the new 380 seats so I could really use your feedback here.
I like the KLM product. It is a clamshell but works. Lie flat would be better but I do not see them going there for a long time. I HATE the center seat on the 777. Once your seat mates are reclined you almost have to get personal with them to get out. Never get put there on a night flight!
Some other thoughts about the upgrades Delta specific for coach. I try to avoid coach on any flight over 4 hrs as a practice and with over 2 million points and more coming in every 91+ days this is not that hard to do (and you can too). But much of the coach upgrade includes the all new touch screen control in the seat in front of you. This has the unfortunate result that many times people seeming to be playing “whack-a-mole” (can you just see this guy behind you?) with your seat-back. This is not fun when trying to sleep. So, the hand controller IMO is a better way to go as a courtesy to the one in front of you!
Your turn. What do you think. Let’s hear it! – René
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The CRJ series aircraft have become real workhorse ships for the regional industry. Bombardier has been growing and building bigger and bigger planes. The 1000 nextgen is a nice aircraft!
Will Delta use this plane? Bombardier’s CRJ program chief Jean-Guy Blondin seems to indicate in THIS VIDEO that he has already started talking to DELTA. It looks very very nice to me. Richard Anderson has said his focus for now has been to upgrade the inside of the current jets, and for more frequency of flights. But this is mainline not regional. Also, this ship would be enough and have the legs to start to replace some DC/MD series mainline jets like the 50 and 88! I find the below add from Bambardier very telling.
Air France already has the CRJ-1000 in service and you can look at the 104 seat arrangement at SeatGuru here.
The plane has some kool stats. It can have up to 150 seats, but that would be a very cramped environment. At around 100 seats it looks good. The 16″x10″ bag size is above the 14″x9″ “Size Check” requirement so there should be much less need for plane side checking of bags!
We will see but I could see this puppy becoming a big seller and mix in to the main line fleet over the years to come. – René
So tell me. What do you think. Will you be willing as a non-medallion Delta Air Lines flyer to fork over more cash to get an exit row seat or an aisle or window and pay for it on EACH segment for a fee? Delta thinks you will.
Now I can not even imagine not having some level of status with my beloved airline. On a CRJ 100/200 exit row is a joke. All the seats stink. Now on the CRJ 900 the exit row or the front row in coach is very nice. On a trip of over 2 hours I would pay for the leg room if I had to.
So I think this will be a winner for Delta and a work-a-round to the new laws on fees as this is not required and you will get a seat of some kind if you do not use this marketing bonanza!
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This weekend DeltaPoints.com is giving a way a FREE airline ticket!
At what age do parents deem children too old for the need to protect them? In my experience, at 40-something I’m still not there with my mom! Which leads me to my question for today’s post : is the “infant in arms” rule really safe? A fellow boardingarea.com blogger Flying with Fish seems to share my thinking on this.
Delta, as well as many if not most other airlines, allow children under the age of 2 years to travel domestically without a ticket in the arms of an adult 12 yrs of age or older. International travel requires all children of any age to be in their own seat (EDIT: that is their own ticket that can be in arms but will have to pay a fee for this). My question for you to consider is whether that’s the safest arrangement for your precious infant 24 months old or less when you hit turbulence?
The FAA does not require children under 2 years of age to be in their own seat, but states clearly that the safest place for your infant during turbulence or an emergency is not in your arms but in an FAA approved child restraint seat.
The NTSB as well is becoming more aware of this safety concern as well, as covered here in this article, even going so far as to say that children under the age of 2 years especially should have their own seat and child restraint system.
There are some restrictions on Delta when using a child restraint, the most important to be aware of is the child restraint must be FAA certified for use on an aircraft with the certification sticker clearly visible for the FA’s to see. The seats that are off limits when using a child restraint include :
- Emergency exit rows
- Any seat one row forward or one row back from an emergency exit row
- Aisle seats
- Bulkhead seats when the car seat is a combination car seat and stroller
Also if the child in a restraint is placed in a middle seat, the parent must sit in the seat so as not to restrict other passengers’ access to the aisle – either the window if a single aisle aircraft or the next middle seat if a dual-aisle aircraft. Delta has quite a lot of information on guidelines for flying with children on their site which you can read here.
Most car seats sold in the US are already FAA approved, however it’s a good idea to check to be sure before you fly if you intend to use yours for your child. Here are some options from Amazon for both small infants and children who are bigger, in the 22-44 pound range.
Obviously the most common reason for traveling with your infant in arms is cost, but shouldn’t safety always be the biggest concern? This is yet another reason why I do what I do, because with abundant skymiles there’s no need to worry about cost and hopefully my tips can help you to be able to focus on what matters most, the safety of your precious little one.
I feel this is an important topic to cover as you can see. Please now read more with PART TWO at Mommy Points blog by clicking here – Rene
Have you had a chance to read over the new press release from Delta Air Lines about earnings for 2011? Did anything stand out to you? One thing did for me. Look at the part highlighted below:
This one line does not tell the whole story of where the cost savings came from. But it made think back to this Frontline piece about outsourcing aircraft maintenance:
Delta aircraft are aging fast. The new seat improvements are great and it does bring “new life” to the older planes since the average age is now 15+ years according to the Delta web site. Some 767 & MD’s are over 20+ year old now.
But these kinds of improvements are not the same as new planes. With an older fleet maintenance should be a priority I would think. Can Delta make it a priority and also save money? As we see in the report Delta is saving money and the stock price was up over 6% yesterday. Time will tell if this is a good choice or not.
What do you all think? Do you ever worry about maintenance? I would love to hear what you think about this! – René
First class expansion on Delta jets is still going on. It will be nice to have more seats with power. I would love to know what impact this has on fuel burn rates. Anyone know? From Delta PR site
It is not just us, more and more Delta flyers are using the Delta “app” it would seem according to this news piece.
O’ Canada – more options for Delta with WestJet soon.
OK, on your next trip, try to do all 9 of these things ( kidding – just kidding )!
Don’t forget we have no idea how long the Chase Sapphire 50,000 point deal will stay. It could be gone any day. Wait too long and you could miss out on the deal and this one is a good one!
Do you fly SouthWest? I really don’t so if you want a chance for 2 FREE SW Air Drink Coupons leave a comment below to win (they are the new ones btw exp dec 31st – 2012)!- Rene