They call it Business Elite on Delta but as I’ve never been a passenger in the type of environment that my more frequently traveled friends’ brag of on airlines such as Emirates, the experience was the height of first class for me.
I had to use my miles to book my journey to London and as the difference between economy and Business Elite was surprisingly minimal, I decided to live wildly and test the way “the other half” lives.
From curbside valet, to an expedited lane through the joke that is our TSA security, to the Sky Lounge (not Delta’s finest but certainly enjoyable given the free drinks), to early boarding followed by a mimosa greeting – everything about the beginning of my experience was already superior to the other flights I have had. Business Elite for my transcontinental flight included a lay-flat bed, private monitor with free movies, endless wine, beer or mixed drinks, a noise-canceling headset that really excelled at its job, superior down blanket and a pillow I would pay almost any price to own as well as a menu that rivaled some of the meals I’ve had in NYC. My pumpkin bisque soup was so good I actually fantasized about licking the bowl, the steak with wasabi (!!!) mashed potatoes made my tummy do a happy dance and the chocolate cheesecake was decadent without being too heavy.
Business Elite even included a fast track pass for UK immigration. And while the entire experience was fabulous it’s that which perhaps made me the most giddy – my previous battle with UK immigration lasted almost two hours and as that was only back in January, the memory was fresh enough in my head to slightly terrify me still.
How long did it take me to get to the tube once I walked off my plane at Heathrow, including immigration and baggage claim? All of 20 minutes.
So, what did I think about during the hour tube ride into London to catch my train out to Northamptonshire? Well, it was something along the lines of trying to memorize every part of my Business Elite experience so that I could replay it in my head the next time my feet have gone numb and my knees are locked in a charlie horse as I struggle to not pass out in cattle class. Because that will happen, and I will need a mental escape route and I’m no first class traveler … even if I did get to try it out for a day.
Next on my grand adventure? Getting to know the English countryside, I’m headed out to Northamptonshire to visit Terry and Sarah Lee.