Girls That Roam Recently Experienced A First Class Flight to London Aboard Delta One And Learned Perhaps It’s The Only Way To Take To The Air When Going Abroad
by Heather Cassell & Super G
If flying first class is on your bucket list, definitely bump it up toward the top of your list, especially if you are flying abroad.
Recently, Girls That Roam discovered why people fly first class when we flew on Delta One to London.
Last year, Ms. H. won two round trip tickets to London on Delta One at the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association Conference in Los Angeles. She was still pinching herself as if it wasn’t real as we checked into Delta Air Lines at the premier passenger ticket counter.
It only started to finally feel like it was really happening after we passed through security and checked into the Delta Sky Club at San Francisco International Airport. This is where our journey really began and our discovery of why people pay to fly first class.
Sitting comfortably in our private pods sipping champagne as passengers in the economy section filtered past us we were officially part of the enviable class. We were ready to take off before they even began boarding and we were quickly off of the plane first once we taxied up to our gate. That’s only one of the many small perks that come with a first class ticket. What is the saying? It’s the small things in life that make it pleasurable.
The champagne and wine selected by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson aboard Delta One kept flowing from the moment we sat down in San Francisco to London and back from Dublin, Ireland to San Francisco, with stops at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Each flight offered its own unique list of whites, reds, Champagne, and even dessert wines and port mostly from Europe with a few offerings from California and Oregon. They were all wonderful, especially the Champagnes Jacquart Brut Mosaique and Deutz Brut Classic and the Spain’s 2010 Ondarre Rioja Reserva. For none vino drinkers the bar offers a wide variety of spirits and non-alcoholic drinks, and a small selection of beers.
Dining In The Sky
Dining was a whole other experience. No more steaming packages of what you guess is food. In first class it was real food all the way. It all started with an assortment of appetizers that moved onto a selection of one of three to four dishes for the main course and a selection of deserts all created by Chef John Karangis. We even got freshly baked chocolate chip cookies as a treat.
We definitely weren’t starving. We each selected separate meals to share bites of each other’s main courses. Our starters were the likes of Heirloom Tomato Salad, Coconut Thai Soup, Braised Baby Artichokes, Jumbo Asparagus Salad and more. Across the United States and back, Super G enjoyed the Fillet of Beef and Ms. H. enjoyed the Cedar Planked Salmon. The Fillet of Beef was flavored with a Dijon roasted and garlic-crusted beef tenderloin, sweet potato and fontina gratin and served with sautéed spinach with raisins and pine nuts. The Cedar Planked Salmon was seasoned with a honey balsamic glaze and shiitake mushrooms served with roasted shiitake and arugula salad.
On the flight across the Atlantic Ocean to London, Super G had an alright experience with the Heritage Pork Loin and upon the return trip she enjoyed the Ricotta Stuffed Chicken. The Heritage Pork Loin was served with a side of Swiss chard, corn, jalapeno and sour cherry relish. The Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken was served with a tomato soufflé, summer vegetable sauté and chicken jus.
Ms. H. enjoyed the Roasted Cascun Farms Chicken on the way to London and the Stracciatella Ravioli on my return to the U.S. The Roasted Cascun Farms Chicken was served with a corn and vegetable succotash and Gotham Greens salsa verde and the Stracciatella Ravioli was mixed with artichokes, porcini mushrooms, and corn truffle sauce accompanied with a tomato basil salad.
It was a feast in the air. All of the food was really good, especially for being on a plane, with the exception of the Heritage Pork Loin. The loin wasn’t very flavorful and it was a bit dry. Ms. H. also wasn’t a fan of the White and Milk Chocolate Mousse Gnocchi. The texture was strange and it was too sweet. She later told me that she should have selected the Vanilla Ice Cream Sunday that came with a choice of sauces, nuts, wafer cookie and whipped cream like I did.
We were so stuffed at the end of our journey to London we could have been rolled off of the plane. Fortunately, we worked off the added calories walking all over London, Madrid, Paris, and Dublin.
Our Flight Attendants
Our trip across the US and the Atlantic was smooth with very little turbulence, but maybe we didn’t notice due to our very friendly flight attendants, especially from SFO to JFK. It might have been the ever flowing Champagne we were drinking, but the bubbles weren’t going to our heads. We agreed our flight attendants were amazing spreading the cheer with their great attitudes and service. Heading across the Atlantic and back the cheer was toned down a notch, but the crew was great too.
The flight attendants were attentive and courteous catering to our every need with a smile throughout our journey.
The perks of flying first class are small but huge. Aside from getting on and off the plane first, we had no baggage fees no matter how many bags we checked in, Tumi bags filled with toiletries and sleeping masks, free in-flight Wi-Fi, being able to sleep lying down, and before landing in Heathrow International Airport and JFK we were handed a fast track ticket through customs that had us in and out of the airport in under 10 minutes while the customs line stretched out in a long line that took 45 minutes for our friends to get through.
Then there were the exclusive lounges that offered showers, food, drinks, and comfortable accommodations while we waited for our planes.
Lounging Around The World
Our first stop after passing through security at SFO was the Delta Sky Club at SFO. We knew we were entering an entirely different world when we stepped through the blue sliding glass doors to check into the swanky lounge. After receiving clearance, we were whisked up in the elevator to a stylish floor. The lounge featured a full bar, buffet serving breakfast, lunch and dinner depending on the time you are in the lounge; showers, and comfortable chairs and newspapers and magazines all with a view of the incoming and outgoing planes.
It was a far cry from our experience at JFK where the Delta Sky Club seriously needed a deep cleaning and a makeover. We were stunned after our experience at SFO to come to an over-crowded and dirty lounge that was disgusting. It was so dirty that we decided before we even returned to the states through JFK to not even bother going back. The only thing it had going for it was the sky deck.
The lounge at Dublin International Airport was small, sweet and clean. When it was time to go to our flight, we were escorted to customs and security prior to boarding our flight.
Overall, you pay for the small comforts so that you arrive at your destination well rested and you get through the obstacles as painless as possible.
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