This was our return flight from Hawaii. Since it was the same type of jet and seat as the outbound flight, this review will be limited to just a few things that either were different or I did not cover on the way out. Oh, and clearly, this was just before COVID at the end of January of this year.
Let me get out of the way the fact that Hawaiian and Delta really don’t like each other. They used to very much like each other (many, many years ago). I even scored award tickets to Grand Cayman using Hawaiian miles once and flew all Delta flights. Now? Not so much.
While I did not have to pay bag fees to the Big Island with our last leg on a Hawaiian jet, on the return, for the very short hop from Kona to Honolulu we had to pay for each bag checked.
Even as a Delta Diamond on a Delta purchased ticket.
After a quick boarding, we were again presented with a faux Mai-tai. But this time we had little umbrellas! Wahoo? It at least did help wash down the bag fee I had just paid to depart the islands.
This flight was late in the day. That would mean sleeping about 4-6 hours on the way to Atlanta — and the reason I really wanted to book this. The flights to the west coast (including Utah), in addition to not having full-flat seats, just leave you so sleepy you want to cry. This is the way to try to adjust back to mainland US time.
On the outbound flight, I mentioned how sweet it is to have my NoiseHush headphones connected to a Bluetooth sound transmitter, but I did not have a shot of the device. You really are so much better off than using the cheap low-quality Delta One headphones that are provided.
One thing that does work very nice is the fixed, but rotatable, reading light. So much better than an overhead one and less distracting to others around you. Here is another neat little feature of these nice Delta One seats.
Do you know what this is? If you guessed outside storage – I could understand your guess since there is virtually zero storage on any Delta One seats. But no – this is for your foot. The overheads, especially for those who aren’t six feet tall, are simpler to reach if you first step here. Very smart addition. On to the meal review.
This time, unlike on the way out, we did have two wine choices that more or less matched up with what was printed on the menu.
This really is a nice way to start your trip and again has that feel of something special. What about dinner? Well….
I have again removed the ugly sticky blue plastic tray to show what I do every Delta One flight (it is funny to see the FAs look around for where the tray went). Once again we are talking about a domestic “first class” meal here, not a true Delta One meal and all is presented at once. How was this steak cooked?
Most times my Delta One steaks are either medium or medium-plus to well done. This was one of the rarest steaks I have had. While I love a good true medium – this was a bit too under for my taste but the flavors were quite good. On to dessert.
Are you impressed? No? Me either. Plus my wife’s ice cream was frozen so hard there was no possible way to eat it until it had time to melt a bit.
The flight itself was good. Service was also good. — as is almost always the case with Delta. I love the A330 and the Delta One seats and slept blissfully until landing time skipping breakfast service (we had plenty of time in ATL before our flight home to South Bend). The main point of this flight was good solid hours of sleep and we got that and delivered safely.
I know Delta books up these flights full, well they did before COVID, and thus there is no real incentive to improve them beyond what is presented. I wish they would move these flights to the same level of service as an international flight and especially so since they are as long or longer than many such flights. Make this THE flight you want to take to Hawaii.
Overall, for the cost of the tickets, and the use of my RU certs from my Choice Benefit selection, this was a most enjoyable way to get to and from Hawaii. I absolutely would book this again if I could get it for a similar price and an upgrade confirmed at booking. Would I pay say $3,000 cash for this experience? No way! Thus my point of why I think Delta needs to take this experience just a little bit higher than it is.
Have you had a chance to fly the direct MSP or ATL to and from HNL? I would love to know and what you think of the experience and the value for the money! – René
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