Delta Airlines B767-300 Business Class Trip Report HNL-NRT

Flight Date:  01JUN13—I flew with Delta Airlines last month on their B747-400, so for my return trip back to Tokyo I decided to check out the Business/Elite service on the B767-300. The check-in counter was empty and after passing through TSA, I went straight to the Delta Sky Club lounge.

Delta Sky Club Lounge Honolulu

Delta Sky Club Lounge Honolulu

Before we get to the lounge a little background on HNL is necessary. Honolulu International Airport, in its current form, dates back to the early 1960s and is about 30 years overdue a major makeover. For those of us that call Hawaii home, the airport is embarrassing: bulky concrete slab construction, funky 60s-style design and lack of facilities don’t convey the true spirit of aloha—that said—the powers-at-be have announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar upgrade to commence this year; let’s hope they get it right. Can’t wait!

Honolulu Airport Chinese, Hawaiian, & Japanese Gardens

Honolulu Airport Chinese, Hawaiian, & Japanese Gardens

The Delta Sky Club is located on the ground level surrounded by lush: Chinese, Hawaiian and Japanese gardens. Upon entering the lounge however, the scene changes to dark and dank. The lounge is simply old and like the airport in general needs to be gutted and upgraded. The receptionists were kind and helpful though and I spent about 45 minutes or so finishing off some last minute emails.

Delta Sky Club Honolulu Reception

Delta Sky Club Honolulu Reception

Delta Sky Club Honolulu Main Seating Area

Delta Sky Club Honolulu Main Seating Area

Delta Sky Club Honolulu Buffet

Delta Sky Club Honolulu Buffet

Today’s flight to Narita being a Saturday meant the plane was packed with tourists and both business and economy were fully booked.

Delta Airlines B767-300 Business Class Cabin

Delta Airlines B767-300 Business Class Cabin

The Delta Business/Elite cabin on the B767-300 is arranged with staggered, solo seats at the windows and two seats in the middle. The nicely appointed cabin looked to be brand new but when boarding, especially with the overhead bins open and passengers getting situated, things are a bit tight.

Delta Airlines B767-300 Business/Elite Seat

Delta Airlines B767-300 Business/Elite Seat

If you’re traveling alone, definitely go for the window seats. Although quite narrow these seat, along with the added privacy, have a spacious counter area adjacent to the seat where the tray tables are stored.

Business/Elite Seat Pocket

Business/Elite Seat Pocket

Take-Off Video. View of the Pacific from the reef runway, Honolulu International Airport

Menus, amenity kits, pillows and blankets were already placed at each seat prior to boarding and the crew passed through the aisles with pre-flight drinks and immigration cards for Japan.

Delta Airlines Business/Elite Service

Delta Airlines Business/Elite Service

Delta Airlines B767-300 Business Class

Honolulu – Narita

Menu

Wines
Champagne
Jacquart Brut Mosaique
France, NV

White
Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay
Napa, California 2010
Araucano Sauvignon Blanc Reserva
Chile 2012

Red
Chateau Bellegrave Cru Bourgeois Medoc
Bordeaux, France 2010
Capezzana Barco Reale Di Carmignano
Tuscany, Italy 2010

Dessert Wine & Port
Chateau La Rame, Sainte-Croix-du-Mont
Bordeaux, France 2011
Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port
Portugal, NV

Lunch Menu

Japanese Selection
First Course
Octopus Poke and Cucumber
Roasted Beef, Scallop, Squid Kimi-Yaki and Salmon Roe
Sesame Tofu with Truffles
Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, Cherry Tomato

Main Course
Grilled Seven-Spice Chicken
served with Steamed Rice, Pickles and Miso Soup

Western Selection
First Course
Crab and Shrimp Salad
with Wonton Triangles
Potato Leek Soup
Spinach and Radicchio Salad
with Feta Cheese

Main Course
Seared Beef Tenderloin
with Bearnaise Sauce, Risotto Gremolata and Broccolini with Garlic
Roasted Chicken Breast
with Artichoke and Red Pepper Sauce, Creamy Polenta and Haricots Verts
Pork Stir-Fry
with Asian Vegetables, Cashew Nuts and Lo Mein Noodles

Dessert
Selection of Fine Cheeses
Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae
Creme Brulee Cheesecake

Pre-Arrival Meal
Sweet Onion Quiche
with Chicken Apple Sausage, Grilled Asparagus and Tomato
Roasted Chicken
with Ginger Sauce, Sauteed Spinach and Rice

 

As soon as we reached cruising altitude, the crew started the meal service. I chose the Japanese meal and a glass of wine.

Delta Airlines Business/Elite Meal

Delta Airlines Business/Elite Meal

The meal quality on today’s flight was average. Japan Airlines, ANA and Korean all have high quality meal service on flights departing Honolulu, so this is definitely an airline-specific issue meaning Delta is obviously cutting corners in this area. It’s a shame that US-based carriers don’t recognize the need to buck this trend and introduce better food.

Unlike the food, Delta’s in-flight entertainment system is top notch; one of the best around in my view. I got situated with some cheese, a glass of wine and watched a movie.

Cheese & Wine

Cheese & Wine

Delta Airlines B767-300 Business/Elite

Delta Airlines B767-300 Business/Elite

The seat on the B767-300 has its good and bad points. Delta uses Westin’s ‘Heavenly in-flight bedding’ and the pillow and duvet are comfortable and fluffy. The seat itself does recline to a full 180 degree bed, however the space allotted for your legs (from about the knees down) is so narrow at it is impossible to turnover and adjust your sleeping position. You’re stuck with the first position you choose. Should you want to turnover and sleep on your side, you need to return the seat to a semi upright position, re-insert your legs and press the recline button. Not a big deal on today’s flight for me, however I would not want to fly this product if sleep was my main goal.

Business/Elite Pre-Arrival Meal Service

Business/Elite Pre-Arrival Meal Service

An hour and half prior to arrival a second meal service of quiche or cold cuts was offered.

Flight attendants were all friendly and professional; constantly passing through the aisles with water and snacks.

Final Thoughts— Delta’s Honolulu Sky Club lounge is good for the free internet and that’s about it. The clerk told me they would soon be moving to new facilities and that is welcome news. Being a daytime flight, Delta’s Business/Elite product on the B767-300 was fine; however I wouldn’t want to have to fly overnight though. The narrow seat, especially from the knees down, would make for a restless night. Crew were great along with the entertainment system, however in-flight meal quality is definitely an area where Delta needs to focus.


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