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Delta Business Class

May 4, 2017

Is Tumi better than Saks Fifth Avenue? That’s the main branding difference between United’s Polaris thing and Delta’s Business Class. All told, NPS still prefers the Virgin Atlantic business class to Europe experience. All of this is complicated by the fact that Virgin America was bought by Alaska in 2016. Every one of the alliances is re-aligning. No real loyalty left out there in airplane-land for NPS.

Delta and Tumi are a thing

The Delta pods are not quite as advanced as the United pods are these days, but they do lay flat. The tiny just out of reach touch screens need some ergonomic work (or a remote control).

Delta business class pod

The Virgin arrivals lounge at Heathrow (a Delta partner) is worth a visit. Hot showers and food that is slightly better than what you get on the airplane.

So delta will do. Pods make all the difference.

NPS flies all the time, and our current airline of choice is Virgin America. We’re sad about the upcoming merger with Alaska which will make yet another crap job of a platypus of an airline. Remember what happened to both United and Continental when they merged? Disaster. But that’s all domestic. We’re talking Europe in this post.

We aimed the points firehose at Virgin America this year and accumulated vast piles of points which we have cashed in to fly West for college looking and East to Europe. Getting a Virgin Atlantic ticket in upper class with Virgin America points was non-trivial but not that onerous.

NPS has flown Virgin Atlantic across the pond and back twice. Upper class does not suck.

Virgin Atlantic

Our special ops NPS spy also flew upper class but 10 days later.

Lufthansa

Internally, after some nice train rides (including the Disney Eurostar to Lille), it was back in the air for Frankfurt to Prague. Being a Star Alliance Gold member does not do diddly for seating on Lufthansa.

When in Frankfurt there is always a large chance of bus.

KLM

To get from Prague to AMS, we flew KLM which was very Dutch about the whole thing. Most uncomfortable flight of the entire trip.

The AMS hop was not much better, but the seating mistake was our fault.

It was nice to get to Oslo and find some modern world again.

We ended up in Bergen via train.

SAS

Complex scheduling craziness ended up with SAS from Bergen feeding Air France. Avoid this complexity even if it costs more cash.

Air France

Then it was Oslo to Paris on Air France, which just plain sucked. The flight was fine, but they lost one of our key bags for 4 days. When they found it, we were already back in the states. Amazing that it took Air France so long to rectify their mistake. They’ll be paying for some clothing and for the very expensive VAT refunds we could not get when we left London since the goods were not with us. Big fail Air France, you are now off the list.

Virgin Atlantic

After 20 days in Europe and perhaps just a few too many cocktails the night before, it was back home on an 8 hour flight from London. Upper class continues not to suck.

Access to the Virgin Atlantic Club comes along with an upper class ticket as does an interesting checkin procedure at Heathrow.