Next Stop: Delta Trip Report (Part 2)

Hey everyone! To follow up on the last trip report from AC, I bring you part 2 of my Canadian flight extravaganza! This was supposed to be an Air Canada report, which is now a Delta trip report! Let’s get started.

It was a rainy day in Montreal, and we were enjoying our last day in Canada, our flight was set to depart YUL at 4:05pm on AC. We hit the town that morning, walked the underground promenades, shopped a little, then headed back to the hotel around 1:30pm to grab our bags but having some time left over, we decided to grab a slice of pizza from this pizza window by the hotel, delicious, then grabbed our bags and a cab to the airport at around 2:15pm. We did not expect the main highways in Montreal to be under construction, which quickly became an issue and got us behind schedule. Our cab driver, who was extremely pleasant, took us through the back streets trying to get us to the airport faster and after a nearly hour long ride we reached YUL, at 3:03pm and ran inside reaching the check-in desk at 3:09pm. We tried checking-in with the gate agents but the guy told us that unfortunately we were too late to check-in for our flight, saying that as pre-cleared country they require an hour pre flight to go through security and customs. He took us to the re-booking agent who would be able to help us and apologized, best service from AC that I received the whole trip. While we waited in line the agent called the back on a walkie talkie and asked for a late check-in on another flight for the couple in front of us, they were approved and went through, we were confident we’d get through, however we didn’t.

When we reached the front of the line it was around 3:15pm, and I explained to her our situation, she quickly responded ‘no sorry nothing I can do’. I got a little angry, but knowing that anger never fixes anything, I went the calm route and begged her please, to which then she responded with the rules of our tickets to the US is an hour before. I explained to her I was never informed of that rule, not on my ticket, reservation confirmation, or when I called AC multiple times and signed up for their rewards program. She said there’s nothing she could do but to rebook us on another flight. I asked her how that would work, she said we’d have to pay a rebooking fee of $200 and any extra fees, making the cheapest fare we could get $285 to depart the next day, as there were no more options on AC to get us home that day. I told her we didn’t have enough to pay for that, nor a hotel for the night, and we had things to the next morning. She again got snappy and asked if we could pay for it or not, if not, theres nothing she can do, I asked to speak to a manager and she grumpily called someone over the radio, who replied and told her she’d be here in 10-15 minutes, I told her I couldn’t wait that long and she got snappy yet again. I said thank you and walked away enraged. I decided to try my US carriers to get me home, first I went to the United counter and explained my issue, the agent asked for all my information and said he’d try to access the reservation and try to rebook me via UA saving me the fee’s and such. He tried everything he could even with his other agents but got no where, as the booking was solely on AC, however they offered me a flight that night via IAD home for $235, cheaper than AC, I told him thank you and to hold it for me. I went and asked American, explaining the same situation and the agent tried the best she could and applied some discounts and got me $230 via ORD I thanked her then had my sister try Delta. After a few searches they offered us $200 via ATL, I joined her at the desk and the agents were so kind, the booking agent had gone home for the day and the check-in crew had never sold tickets before, so they were all struggling, called their manager over, pulled out all the computer manuals, and were going crazy trying to get us on the flight, finally they got it and sold us the tickets and said their goodbyes and sent us off! Nicest desk staff I’ve ever dealt with, so pleasant, AC could learn a little from all the 3 US carriers about staffing. Thus we get here, my DL YUL-ATL-FLL trip report! Due to timing and napping I did not manage to take my photos, so I will post some from online!

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All in all, we ended up leaving the check-in desks around 4:30pm or so and headed towards security. Security was absolutely, empty, the only reason it took a little was because I don’t pack light on me! Post security we headed over to the immigration and customs area for US bound flights. Canada having border pre-clearance allows its pax bound to the US clear immigration and customs in Canada, arriving into the US as a domestic flight. The agent seemed harsh, but then he struck up conversation with us about our last name and its Chinese origins and told us it’s very popular in people from the Far East. He stamped our passports (we travel with our Italian passports) and wished us a good flight and we continued on into the terminal. YUL is a nice airport, but I wouldn’t say its one of my favorites, all issues aside, It’s kind of a nicer, modern, renovated FLL with more concessions. The concourses aren’t as long as BCN or YYZ’s which to me is a good thing, after all, who wants to walk that much? Our flight was all the way at the end of the concourse where you board the smaller regional planes, as our flight was operated by Delta Connection. Before we keep going, I’ll give you my AIR review of YUL:

Architect Student: The design of YUL isn’t anything striking, reminds me a lot of ORD’s T3, nice, but no frills, however I found ORD to be a bit more efficient. The concourse was very wide and airy, lot’s of windows to bring light into the boarding areas, and good views of all the aircrafts around the airport. The flow through the whole airport was pretty easy, meaning it was nicely designed, however this was from the view point of a departure. I wouldn’t mind flying through YUL again, but its not on the top of my list.

Frequent Flyer: As a general pax, I didn’t find the airport to be as nice as I expected it to be. The food options were minimum and nothing out of the ordinary, I would of liked more options and maybe some native to Montreal or Canada. Bathrooms were pretty clean, and the concourse nice, shopping options were average, I did not experience any lounges, but I imagine they’d be nice. Honestly not a memorable experience but an enjoyable one, YUL isn’t a stunner, it just works, kind of like FLL. A 6 out 10.

Continuing, the boarding area for the regional jets is at ground level, a pair of escalators take you up and down from/to the main concourse. The area contains 3 gates and a seating area with the bathrooms not being too far away at the top of the stairs, after a trip there and a look through some of the shops, it was time to board. The gate agent called over the loudspeaker in the area, that boarding would commence for business class, then economy comfort and then economy. Once we exited the building a Delta agent took our carry ons and placed them on a rack to take to load into the plane to ease boarding and passenger comfort, from there we went up the stairs and boarded the plane.

YUL-ATL

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CRJ700 chart from DL site

The flight was DL5571 departing at 5:40pm operated by ExpressJet Airlines on a CRJ700, we were in row 11 seats A&B. When I got to the top of the stairs, the FA asked if I could stop there while she carried out drinks for the first class cabin and came back. She made it fun by saying wow you’re great at waiting, good job, you’re doing great! She quickly finished and then greeted us with a smile onto the plane and let us in, as her and the other FA on board stood by the door greeting every passenger that was boarding. We sat down and pulled out our headphones and got ready for the flight, sadly our seats did not recline at all and were permanently stuck in the upright position due to having the emergency escape door behind us. Before we took off I asked our FA if moving was a possibility given the circumstances, she kindly replied that it would be once we took off as we were about to depart the gate and start moving, I gladly thanked her and she walked away to begin the safety demonstration for the economy cabin.

After a long ride across YUL we reached the runway and took off, after a few minutes we began leveling and the FA’s began walking the cabin when ours smiled and waved us over to the front of the economy cabin. She sat us down at row 6 (seats C&D) since rows 4&5 are economy comfort, row 6 was a preferred seats row due to leg room, and they were empty! The leg room was fantastic (not that the previous ones had bad room themselves.) She made sure we liked the seats and were comfortable before giving us a smile and walked away. Soon after, the lights were dimmed as the sun was setting and I plugged into my iPod and laid back for the rest of the flight, the seats being very comfortable. This flight was hands down my favorite flight I’ve ever taken, everyone seemed to be chatting with each other, a passenger began coughing and another offered him some throat candies and the atmosphere just seemed friendly and comfortable. Half hour into the flight the FA’s began the drink service offering Coca Cola products (no surprise there!) I took a ginger ale, and the FA’s seeing it was their last flight of the night offered us all the complimentary snack option, so instead of choosing between a pack of Lorna Doone cookies, peanuts or pretzels, she gave everyone one of each with a smile. Once the whole cabin was served she came back with refills and offered us more snacks, which I took of. Once she finished going around the cabin twice, she went around again to get trash and then sat back up at the front. Around an half hour later she came back around the cabin checking up on each passenger and seeing if they needed anything, she did this one more time before we began prepping for landing at ATL. She then came around before landing to say a goodbye to everyone and asked each passenger what their final destinations were and made small talk and wished each person good night.

Soon enough we landed and began taxiing to our gate, we had a last minute gate change for which the pilot apologized for, and gave us a weather run down and how transferring works at ATL as well as thanked us for flying DL. We parked and began de-boarding, our ‘carry on’ which was being treated as a check-in was transferred for us to our connecting flight. We got off the plane and asked the gate agent where our next gate was and while he checked, the FA’s and pilots exited the plane, we thanked our FA for the fantastic flight and service and told her that after the mess we had with AC, flying with her and her crew was such a pleasant experience. She thanked us for being fantastic passengers and for flying with DL and wished us a great rest of our trip to FLL (it was great that she remembered) and that she hoped to see us again! We said our goodbyes and walked away and then ran into her again as she forgot she parked her car at the other side of the concourse and had to walk back, again thanking us and said goodbye. While their names escape me now, I did write to DL explaining just how amazing my experience was and that I couldn’t thank them enough, from the check-in agents at YUL to every person we ran in to (I remembered the names back then.) After an hour long layover at ATL we were ready to board for FLL.

ATL-FLL

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DL charging stations at ATL

DL 525 departing at 10pm on a B757 to FLL. We quickly began boarding the full 757 flight to FLL, this was the second time I’ve taken this flight and it is always sold out. We sat down at our seats which were a row apart since we booked it last minute, I was in row 36 and my sister in 35. Soon after we sat down we departed the gate and taxied, we were in a long line to take off, which I did not mind at all since it gave me a front row seat to watch an AF744, BA 772, and DL772 depart next to us. Soon after we lined up and took off. A lot of flights had been delayed throughout the night due to inclement weather earlier at ATL, which made our take off very bumpy for the first 15 minutes of the flight, at one point the it felt like the plane dropped a good amount from the sky which felt thrilling and horrifying. We finally broke through the clouds and were speeding south towards home, I made small talk with the guy next to me and it became a fun conversation for most of the flight. Soon after the drink and snack service began and I watched some tv and took a quick nap. Before I knew it we were prepping for landing at FLL, our pilot came on the speaker and thanked us all for flying DL, saying that in these times of uncertainty and economic downturns that him and his staff can’t thank us enough for choosing Delta and always keeping them as one of the world’s leading airlines, and that from him, his crew, and all their families they wish us a good night, safe travels, and a big thank you from everyone at DL. Soon after we landed and began de-boarding, as we exited the plane we thanked the pilot and headed out into FLL to grab our bags and go home after a long set of days in the cold of Canada!

All issues with AC aside, flying Delta was an absolute pleasure, not that it was bad the first time I flew them, but this time the whole staff was just so warm, inviting, and happy, and in this modern day of impersonal flying experiences it was a breathe of fresh air. I would not hesitate to fly DL again in a heart beat, and the price was much better than that of AC’s and so was the experience, heck the service was so good that the extra $200 I spent felt justified! Thank you so much to everyone who read this and stuck with me while I was gone for a whole semester pretty much! Thanks to all my followers and to everyone who’s visited the blog! Subscribe, pass the word around about Next Stop, show everyone at the office and home this great review, get the word out there!

Later today I’ll post my AC airline review and update Spirit’s and Delta’s. Keep checking the blog! I will post my AA review this week and trip review in the next week or 2, as well as blog as much as I can through the week! So keep checking back everyone! Adventure is out there!

-Cheers,

Ian

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Next Stop: Delta Trip Report (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: American Airlines & Air Canada Review | Next Stop: Blog

  2. Pingback: Airlines I’ve flown | Next Stop: Blog

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