John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) – Brussels Airport (BRU)
STD: 7:35 PM ATD: 9:45 PM GMT+2
STA: 08:27AM ATA: 09:53AM GMT-4
Flight Number: DL 42
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300, N154DL
Flight Date: June 30, 2017
Class of Service: Business Class
Seat Type: Staggered Flat Bed (Vantage Style)
Seat Pitch: 77-81 inches
Seat Width: 21 inches
Meals: Dinner after take off, breakfast before landing
In-Seat Outlets: Yes
WiFi: Yes, Gogo Wireless
IFE: Yes, Personal TVs
Thanks to a holiday weekend, a hop over to Europe for fourth of July weekend was in the cards. Off to Brussels!
I didn’t think that traveling on fourth of July weekend would be like traveling on Christmas weekend but as I arrived at JFK’s Terminal 4, I quickly realized I was wrong. The line for Delta Medallions was insane. There’s a long red carpet that leads up to the medallion check in area – and the line extended the length of the red carpet. I’ve never seen this!
We arrived 2 hours before our departure time, thinking this would be plenty of time to get through the check in line (it usually is), but I was wrong. After 10 minutes of standing in line, an agent came by asking for passengers whose flights were departing in the next 90 minutes – which happened to be us. We got to (if that’s the right word) cut the ridiculous line and get checked in right away. (Much to the dismay of everyone behind us, I’m sure).
Brian and I dashed through the terminal to gate B38 in hopes of arriving before they started boarding. Turns out, I didn’t need to rush since boarding was delayed.
The good news was, our plane was here. In the end, boarding was delayed only 15 minutes since they needed some extra time to clean the plane before we boarded. Finally, it was time to board, and the gigantic crowed gathered around the gate organized themselves into lines and we were on our way.
We boarded the 767-300ER and walked into an empty cabin, with the Flight Attendants congregated in the front of the aircraft.
The seats were the standard Delta One seats, with the staggered flat bed (vantage style) seats. As we approached our seats, we found our blankets, pillows, and amenity kits waiting for us.
As always, the footwell is a little bit on the narrow side (as is the seat as a whole), but it’s comfortable enough. The table was stored in the center console, as was the remote for the TV. The safety pamphlet, as well as the usual in flight magazines were stored in the seatback pocket. The TV was, as usual, on the smaller side for airline TVs, but you could tilt them downwards which was very much appreciated when I laid the seat flat.
Oh and if you were wondering – those who wear a size 10 or larger cannot fit both shoes into the shoe holder. Brian and I had to put one of each shoe into each one of our holders – and one of mine went into the second spot.
As people settled into the cabin, the FAs came by to take orders. One of the FAs didn’t seem particularly thrilled to be working the flight (unclear what that was about) and was visibly annoyed when a passenger didn’t have her order ready for him when he came by.
After much back and forth on our selection, Brian opted for the pasta dish, while I went for the shrimp with polenta. I’m not a huge fan of polenta, but I was very keen on having the shrimp.
We finally pushed back at around 8 PM, but ended up sitting on the runway for for what felt like ages. The captain spoke on the intercom to let us know that due to the w*eather, the airport kept closing the runway, which was causing the delay. No estimated time for take off was given, and we continued to wait. After half an hour, I realized we weren’t going anywhere soon. As it turns out, the seat is pretty uncomfortable when in the upright position for extended periods of time, so I reclined my seat. We eventually took off close to 9:30 PM.
Once we were up in the air, the dinner service began. They started by handing out warm towels (is this new this year?).
While there was a less-than-thrilled FA working the flight, the one serving my aisle, Bart, was just fantastic. Attentive, friendly, and seemed sincere. The dream.
Warm nuts and drinks were served first. Brian asked what their selection of craft beer was on today’s flight, and they had Sweetwater Extra Pale Ale. It was a little too hoppy for my liking, but we were happy to have an option outside of the standard Heineken and Bud Light offerings.
Our starters arrived shortly after – salad, tomato soup, proscuitto, and cornbread. The salad was perfectly light and tangy – it was probably my favorite of my first set of dishes. The proscuitto – which I thought would be my favorite – was dry and chewy. The flavor profile was nicely salty, though. The cornbread, which it was served with, was too dry, though though maybe it was supposed to be eaten with the cranberry sauce to moisten it up. Either way, it wasn’t my cup of tea. The tomato soup was a wild card. I love tomatoes, but I don’t care for tomato soup. I wouldn’t say it was the best tomato soup I’ve ever had, but with some salt, I couldn’t stop myself from eating all of it. And the pretzel bread. Amazing! Try it if it’s offered on your flight.
Speaking of salt, I noticed the new salt and pepper shakers they have – a more modern take on the standard white shakers.
Our main courses arrived shortly after we polished off our appetizers and starters. Brian said the pasta was good and didn’t have any complaints, though it didn’t sound remarkably spectacular. The shrimp tasted fresh (surprising for an in-flight meal), but most of the flavor came from the tomato and less so from the shrimp, which was a little disappointing. The polenta – of which I had low expectations – was wonderfully creamy and I was surprised to find that I liked it! Not to say I’m a polenta convert, but I certainly won’t hesitate to have it with my dish if I see it on a menu again.
The dessert cart came out after they cleared our mains. I had the straciatella ice cream, which was disappointingly a bit melted by the time they served it. The bits of chocolate chips in the ice cream were my favorite though.
But not before scrolling through the movie offerings. None of them were to my liking – Beauty and the Beast, Fist Fight, The Batman Lego movie, and Logan were some of the new releases. I was somewhat interested in John Wick 2, but since Brussels is a quick 7 hourish flight, I needed to catch up on my sleep!
A few hours later, I woke up to the sounds of breakfast being served through the cabin. They kept the lights dim, as some had opted to skip this meal. I had the eggs, which took them some time to serve. The eggs were served with grits (which I apparently don’t like). The eggs themselves tasted fake, which I shouldn’t be surprised about. I don’t usually order eggs on flights, but I was far less interested in the other option. The meal came with a walnut oat bar, which tasted like a brownie had a baby with a granola bar and an oatmeal cookie. It sounds great when I say it, but in reality it really wasn’t.
Brian had the steel cut oats pudding, which he described as “weird but good”, and not the kind of thing he would order regularly. The bagel was fine, but for New York standards, was not particularly good.
Twenty minutes after the breakfast service started, the captain announced our initial descent into the Brussels area. We were on the ground about minutes later – around 10 AM local time. As we were delayed an hour and a half, we landed equally late, though since this was my final destination, this didn’t prove to be a problem. It actually worked out in our favor since we were initially scheduled to land pretty early in Brussels, and – surprise – our hotel was not available for early check in. The late arrival meant a shorter wait time.
The flight was overall a pretty good one, minus the somewhat moody FA (though fortunately he wasn’t serving my aisle). The delay was not ideal, but it ended up working out to our benefit in the end.
Check in & Boarding: 6/10 – Really stressful and tons of delays. Points to Delta for rushing us through the long line in just in time to catch our (what ended up being delayed) flight!
Food: 7/10 – I was a fan of the shrimp dish, the salad, tomato soup and the pretzel bread! Everything else was underwhelming.
Seat: 7/10 – Standard Delta seats, but they felt very uncomfortable in the delay.
Crew: 8/10 – The FA that served my aisle was fantastic though, there was one who seemed underwhelmed to be working the flight
Flight Experience: 8/10 – Standard Delta experience, though a couple points off for the delay and lack of updates.
Overall: 36/50 (72%) ★★★★★