Delta 757 Busi­ness Class Philadelphia-Lon­don

757 Busi­ness Class

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE -

CHECK-IN AND

BOARD­ING Delta launched its daily HeathrowPhiladel­phia route in April. I ar­rived at Philadelphia In­ter­na­tional at 4:30 PM for my 6:10 PM de­par­ture on DL194 and took ad­van­tage of Delta’s curb­side check-in. At present, you ar­rive at Ter­mi­nal E but once air­side walk through to Ter­mi­nal D, where the lounge is and from where the flight de­parts. Start­ing next year check-in will move to Ter­mi­nal D. The Sky Club lounge is a good size but at this time of day it was packed, with few seats free. Hot and cold food was avail­able, as well as drinks.

I didn’t hear the an­nounce­ment as I had earplugs in to block out the noise of the man across from me mak­ing calls. When I saw peo­ple leav­ing, I walked to Gate D15. Once I got on board, I was of­fered or­ange juice or cham­pagne.

THE SEAT Delta has re­named its in­ter­na­tional busi­ness class Delta One. There are sev­eral ver­sions of the seat depend­ing on the air­craft. The 757 has 16 seats in a 2-2 lay­out, each stag­gered and slightly an­gled to­ward the win­dow. The leather seat is fully-flat, with a 20.2-inch width, which in­creases to 22.2 inches with the arm­rest stowed, and a bed length of 76 inches. A Westin Heav­enly Bed du­vet was pro­vided, along with a Tumi amenity bag with Malin and Goetz prod­ucts.

Each seat has built-in power and a 16-inch screen for the in-flight en­ter­tain­ment, which in­cludes 18 live satel­lite TV chan­nels and 350 films.

Gen­er­ally, it’s dif­fi­cult to get out from the win­dow seat when ei­ther your own or your neigh­bor’s seat is fully re­clined. So if you want to get up a lot, pick an aisle seat; if you want to be undis­turbed, choose the win­dow.

THE FLIGHT Our take­off was de­layed be­cause of a prob­lem with an air­craft ahead. We were kept in­formed but de­parted 50 min­utes late. Food or­ders were taken be­fore we were air­borne – dishes in­cluded beef ten­der­loin with béar­naise sauce, lob­ster mac­a­roni cheese and as­para­gus, and grilled chicken with tar­ragon le­mon sauce, roasted Brus­sels sprouts and paella. Hav­ing al­ready eaten and want­ing to max­i­mize my sleep, I de­cided not to dine.

When I pressed the pre­set but­ton to re­cline my seat, it de­scended al­most all the way, then be­gan to bunch up against the footrest, caus­ing the bed to slope up around where your knees would be. A flight at­ten­dant said I had to lower the footrest slightly, which left a gap be­tween the seat and the footrest. Ap­par­ently this is in­ten­tional; if so, it’s a strange de­sign that means there’s a bump where your calves are, mak­ing it less com­fort­able.

My neigh­bor’s food was served with much noise and laugh­ter from the at­ten­dants, de­spite the fact I was ly­ing down with an eye­mask on and earplugs in. Even­tu­ally, things qui­eted down and I did sleep, although in the early hours I was dis­turbed by the crew talk­ing loudly. I woke again when break­fast was served.

AR­RIVAL We touched down at Heathrow 35 min­utes late, although the cap­tain made no apolo­gies for this. There was a de­lay for our bags to ar­rive, and and I then went to the lounge in Ter­mi­nal 3.

VER­DICT There’s a lot to like here. The fully-flat bed of­fers a good night’s sleep (which I got, de­spite the dis­tur­bance), and col­leagues told me the food was ex­cel­lent. How­ever, the Sky Club was noisy and crowded, the bed was not that com­fort­able, and the ser­vice was some­times at­ten­tive, some­times in­dif­fer­ent. Still, Delta’s new flight is to be wel­comed for the com­pe­ti­tion it will give the in­cum­bents on the route. BT

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