Delta BusinessElite Flight 203 Stockholm – New York JFK – Review
Stockholm Arlanda Airport has to be one of the easiest airports in the world to negotiate. Terminal 5, the airport’s newest, in addition to the cool Scandinavian interior (even the security checkpoint has a Scandinavian look to it), offers great shopping and many places to sit, relax, and enjoy Scandinavian food.
I arrived for my Delta flight to New York on schedule and first went to have my Value-Added Tax forms stamped so I could get a refund for my purchases. There was no line at customs or at the Global-Blue counter where the actual refund is issued. I then stopped briefly in the Menzies Business Lounge that is available to Delta BusinessElite passengers.
Since I had already printed my boarding pass at the hotel, I then headed for the gate. There was a separate SkyPriority line for BusinessElite passengers as well as gold, platinum, and diamond members of the Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer program, but there was no real line to speak of at either. Security was quick and I found it interesting that the airport had an easy-to-use shoe scanner that took about 30 seconds to use (for both feet) and did not require the removal of one’s shoes.
Gate F66 was a bit of a walk and there was a fairly long passenger queue outside the gate for passport control and security questions (this was in addition to the passport control I went through officially leaving the Schengen zone a few minutes earlier).
I was surprised that there was no SkyPriority line at the gate (I asked) but a manager invited me to bypass the line and I declined since I wasn’t in a hurry at that point.
Boarding had already started by the time I arrived inside the gate area and there was a separate SkyPriority line although it really was unnecessary and would have probably been valued by passengers outside the gate.
Delta currently flies New York to Stockholm on Boeing 767-300 aircraft. Delta is in the process of upgrading the 767-300s (it has already upgraded the 767-400s) to fully lie-flat seats and my aircraft had the older, cradle-style seat that reclines but does not fully go flat. Since this was a daytime flight and I had no plans for sleep, just work, I found the seat perfectly acceptable. No one was seated next to me, which further enhanced the experience.
The 36 18.5”-wide seats are in a 2-2-2 configuration with 60” pitch and they recline 160°. In addition to the 36 BusinessElite seats, there was a separate Economy Comfort section with 31 seats and the main cabin offered 143 seats.
Things were pretty busy on board. Flight attendants in the aisles were serving beverages and hanging up coats and jackets (despite the late May date, it had been cold in Stockholm). The purser was taking entrée orders to speed things up once we were aloft. I found a blanket and pillow, as well as a bottle of water and an amenity kit, at my seat.
The amenity kit included the usual pen, toothbrush/toothpaste, earplugs, moisturizing cream, socks, and eye mask but also had a small, disc-like shoeshine kit and a shoehorn.
After eight hours in the seats, I would pronounce them eminently comfortable for a daytime flight and I was able to get quite a bit of work done. Electrical outlets are available at each seat and no adapter is required for U.S. plugs.
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