Monday, August 18, 2014

Delta and AirFrance Lounge and Cabin Upgrades

Thank you Delta for the free upgrade to first class on the domestic leg of my TDY. Then your partner, AirFrance, gave me free lounge access in Paris. Just when I thought you were a cheap and uncomfortable ride, you presented these gifts. Thank you.

This blog post is dedicated to Delta and Fly America people. Those who are required to purchase the cheapest possible flight on the lowest class of ticket, receiving the fewest perks and reduced frequent flier miles. Yeah, you know who you are.

The upgrade notice arrived before check in. Something nice to look forward to. I greatly enjoyed my gin and tonic pre-take-off and curling up like a cat in my spacious, first class seat. I am not eligible for upgrades on international flights as I have the cheapest, non-upgradable ticket and Delta partners with other airlines for these flights. The plane to Amman was an AirBus 320 with no distinct First Class. The upgrade would have been a waste.

As Silver/Elite I am eligible for domestic flight upgrades, but not the domestic lounge. I thought that the lounge was a perk associated with a first class ticket and with one in hand I headed to the Delta lounge. I was not granted access to the JFK lounge, Delta said that the First or Business Class ticket had to be for international travel. The lounge looked nice from the outside.

Determined to figure out this lounge thing, I presented my passport and tickets to the AirFrance lounge desk, L terminal (I think it was L), Charles de Gaulle. There was a discussion amongst the attendants in French, as I haven’t lived in France since I was 19 I could not understand a word at that speed. They decided that I was eligible for free admission. I will not argue with the attendants and will definitely try this again.  

Details on Delta's SkyLounge policy can be found here. As Silver/Elite (just a few miles shy of Gold!) the one day international pass is $45. The year membership is $450.  According to Delta, free admittance is only associated with a Business or First Class ticket, or Gold Elite see reference below.

The L terminal lounge was a little less than expected, but it was fairly quite, comfortable, and had free Wi-Fi inspiring me to write this entry. Sure, the man sitting behind me was snoring like you wouldn’t believe and yes, upon sitting I promptly spilled my coke into my nice comfy seat dousing my nice lumpy ass. Damn it.

Upon my return flight the following week, I used the M terminal lounge. M is the lounge to use. It is beautiful, spacious, has showers, and semi-private loungers were I was able to get a little nap. Moving over to the business center, the chairs and tables were quite comfortable and the area very nice. The space was quiet except for the soft sound of conversation and the pleas for help from a caged cat.

Two hours before boarding, I shifted to my departure gate in K. Ha, this was not a lounge, it was a "pop up lounge" according to the signs. Colorful and uncomfortable chairs sit under beach umbrellas near gate K30. Yes free wine, yes small snacks, no ad-free Wi-Fi, no champagne, no privacy, no comfort. 

I took the opportunity in the business lounge to do what I should on this business trip, wash off the plane ick, charge all my stuff, download a new audiobook, yes my Bill Bryson obsession continues, clean up my laptop, download new music, and cull the drafts in blogger. Yes, a good use of my Delta/Air France lounge time. Thank you!

Please note- Monkeys, rabbits, pot-bellied pigs, reptiles, frogs, mice, rats, sugar gliders, and spiders are not permitted.

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