Delta BusinessElite Flight 1565 New York-JFK San Francisco – Review

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Once boarding was completed, the door was shut and we pushed back without any delay.  There were only a few aircraft ahead of us for takeoff and we were soon aloft.

Once we were at cruising altitude, flight attendants began to serve drinks and warm nuts.  I chose the Mer Soleil Silver chardonnay, which was crisp and had a nice minerality.

Delta’s current menu was designed by Chef Michael Chiarello, who owns Bottega, a restaurant in Napa Valley. I had not heard of him before but the in-flight menu said that his show on the Food Network had won an Emmy Award in 2003.

The antipasto misto included smoked prosciutto, san Joaquin cheese, and fennel-spiced crostini with roasted butternut squash spread in addition to pickled mushrooms and  fresh arugula and parmesan dip, accompanied by warm bread and rolls.  The butternut squash spread was particularly tasty.

Entrée choices included fussily and chicken Milanese but I chose the braised beef short ribs with polenta.  The ribs were a bit overcooked (it’s hard to get this right in an aircraft’s oven) but the polenta was delicious.

Dessert (gelato and a cheese plate) was proffered but I asked the flight attendant to hold the cheese plate until a bit later in the flight.  About an hour or so before landing, I enjoyed grapes with prima donna, camboyola, and robiola cheeses.


Delta has outfitted its entire mainline fleet with Gogo Internet access and added Gogo’s new multimedia portal this past October (the system gives passengers access to flight information, weather at the destination, news, information about the destination, and access to online shopping deals).

I’ve had mixed experiences with the Gogo service.  Many times it’s been excellent and other times it was bordering on unusable.  The download speed was so slow that my speedtest utility could not measure it and upload speed was 0.27 Mbps.

The speed can be influenced by a variety of factors including the number of passengers using the system at any given moment.  Unfortunately, the more popular the service becomes, the slower each individual passenger’s experience becomes.  Gogo has announced plans to offer increased bandwidth to aircraft and it won’t happen soon enough for me.


Although our flight was a bit choppy and there were some significant headwinds, we arrived a few minutes early.  Since I only had carry-on bags, I was off the aircraft and on my way to my hotel within minutes.


This was my first Delta BusinessElite transcon and the combination of a wonderful crew, good food and drink, and comfortable seats made for a very pleasant and very productive flight.

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