March 20th, 2020 | By Helen Benefield Billings
When flying Delta One, passengers are invited to “sit back, relax and explore the many experiences that await you onboard.” This distinctive, elevated experience definitely sets a high bar for others to follow. If you’re connecting through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, you’ll want to shimmy on over to one of their stylish and comfortable Sky Club Lounges located in each terminal. If flying abroad, you may find yourself just as we did recently, in Concourse E’s International Lounge prior to our jaunt across the pond to London’s Heathrow Airport. This immediately set a positive tone that undoubtedly continued during our flight.
Once onboard Delta’s sparkling A330, we were warmly welcomed with a chilled glass of Champagne Canard-Duchene Brut Cuvee Leonie, which provided a perfect ambiance for the overnight journey in Delta One. Their pre-dinner beverage service charms even the most jaded of business or leisure travelers. Diverse offerings are presented such as the Cocktail of the Moment, which on our flight was a Honey Peach Fizz made with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, peach puree and ginger ale. This, along with a plethora of other spirits and international wines from which to choose, helped to pass the duration of the seven-hour flight with ease. And did I mention the warm towels and nuts?
The eclectic wine list absolutely dazzles — an Italian Chardonnay, French Pinot Gris, or perhaps an Argentinean Cab or a French Pinot Noir would do nicely. There is something for every palate and style. When the beverage cart appears shortly after takeoff, the present-day expectation about Delta is one of complete confidence and excitement, especially from yours truly. Also on the colorful eye-catching Winter 2020 Delta One menu, we found more personal favorites such as Coca-Cola Zero, Bombay Sapphire Gin and Grey Goose Vodka with Seagram’s Dry Tonic. Fresh limes added a special touch, as did the knowledge exhibited by the flight attendants who were pouring.
In 2012, Delta acquired a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic Airlines, giving elite passengers access to Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounges and a seamless network of flights from which to choose. This further enhances the overseas travel experience, offering even greater benefits, especially to and from London’s colossal Heathrow Airport.
At departure in London, we were greeted curbside at a designated entrance, where our luggage was whisked away and we checked in promptly before heading to a private security screening area, significantly reducing stress. This also allowed for more time to chill out and appreciate the many amenities of the Virgin Clubhouse in Terminal 3. There we enjoyed access to everything from an a la carte restaurant with table service to hair and spa treatments at the Wellness Spa and, of course, a full service, complimentary bar with all the bells and whistles. Settling into Delta One for the almost nine-hour flight back to Atlanta, we found the environment was yet again calm, pampering and full of enticing fine dining and beverage options. I always say the trip home should be just as much fun as the outbound, and I decided to further imbibe as we travelled west across the Atlantic. The most extraordinary Champagne was happily received once again, as was my particular preference from the Winter 2020 menu: the full-bodied Cattin Pinot Gris from Alsace, France 2018. My taste buds were unquestionably grateful for this and for all the hard work and special consideration given to ensure matchless flavors — touches and experiences that shine on the ground and most assuredly do at 33,000 feet.