Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Grateful Delta is still my Delta….

As a frequent flyer I spend a lot of time embroiled in conversations about which airline is better, what their strengths are and what their weaknesses are, which offers the best perks and which values their customer more. On any given day the answers can change depending on who is in charge at an airline and what the market is doing.

About 10 years ago I chose Delta airlines as my primary carrier of choice. My decision was not based on them being the best or the cheapest, but on the practical fact that at that time they code shared with El Al which meant my Delta miles could get me seats on El Al flights to Israel. Delta long ago stopped that code sharing and now flies their own metal to TLV, but I have stayed and never regretted it.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of getting to know some wonderful people who are leading up Delta and have come to see it as a key part of my travel. But knowing the right people means very little when the chips are down at 30,000 feet. So there is obviously more keeping me loyal than Jeff and the others at HQ (sorry Jeff, I love ya but we don’t usually get to fly together – but it makes for a good story when we do *grin*). What keeps me loyal to Delta is the amazing customer service of their flight attendants when it really matters. This trip was one of those times.

For all the fretting I did over planning my food and nutrition for the trip, I overlooked one huge item, eating in flight. It was really dumb on my part and could have been a nightmare. Plane food is heavy carbs and limited in choice, at its best. I am happy to say however that the nightmare was made a “piece of cake” by my flight attendant, Phyllis (hope I spelled that close to right).

During the first snack selection after take off I mentioned to her the changes I was making in my life, and the weight I have lost so far, and from that moment forward I had a great ally. At every meal/snack after that she made sure I had good choices, she cobbled together food from different trays and meal selections and did it all with a huge smile and a great sense of humor. I had to laugh when we got to the last serving and she started with “we get to start again”. She made this so easy for me, the 12 plus hours flew by. Instead of the three meals plus snacks feeling like torture I was able to relax and just enjoy the flight.

Delta may not always have the best perks, and they are far from perfect, but once again my choice was reinforced, I am loyal to Delta because they are loyal to me when it matters. Thank you Phyllis for a job well done!!!!

The pilot just made my favorite announcement of the flight, we are about to enter Israeli air space!!! 30 minutes and I will be on the ground in Israel! This is going to be an amazing vacation!!!

PS A tip to anyone flying overseas, do not work out with Gui the day before you are going to spend 14 hours on a plane *smile*. Food may have been easy, sitting on these seats and getting comfortable to sleep as sore as I am, not so much!!!

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