Maui Trip Report (Part 2 of 5) – Flights

Following the previous report on our Maui Jeep rental and COVID testing, the next important aspect is the flights which I will detail here.

Delta First Class PIT-DTW-SLC-OGG

Our outbound flight was locked in at the end of last year for 65k SkyMiles each . Originally it was just PIT-SLC-OGG but a schedule change added the stop at DTW. Our first leg to DTW was on an E-175 regional jet. It arrived on time and we had a quick connection.

Second leg to SLC was on a two year old A321. Nice lighting and standard Delta seat back IFE. Served drinks and a snack box once airborne. Acceptable for a ~3 hr domestic flight.

We had a 1.5 hour layover at the new modern and crowded SLC. Luckily we didn’t experience any of the excessive walks that people like to complain about so we had time to pop into the Sky Club.

The Sky Club was beautiful, spacious and a great food selection, far superior to what was offered in the air. Even harsh lounge critic P2 approved. It was by far the best food that Delta served us all trip.

The 767-400 for the flight to OGG was updated and boasted “Delta One” mini-suites. The seat was comfortable and felt very private despite the lack of a door. First disappointment though was the lack of bedding. Second disappointment was the food. For the 6 hour flight beverages were provided but the only food was more snack boxes. Really disappointing for Delta as we found out on our return that other airlines like American somehow figured out how to deliver hot food and bedding safely.

Captain Raymond Holt Disapproves of Delta’s soft product.
At least we had an arrival to the northeast facing Runway 20 which gave us a beautiful tour of the island on approach.

American First Class OGG-DFW-PIT

For our return flight we used 59k AAdvantage miles each booked as a “Web Special” back in January.. Bag check at OGG was a bit of a mess. The standard line was backed up across the terminal. Even the priority line was super slow due to one agent working the desk who seemed to be new to the job. Breezed through precheck after that. Due to the bag SNAFU total time from rental drop off to post security was 40 minutes. 

The only lounge at OGG is the sparse Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club which recently joined Priority Pass. Quiet space, coffee, water and fountain drinks. That’s it. Agent even asked “is it true that other lounges have fresh food and ‘adult beverages’?” Decent food was found elsewhere in the terminal.

Long haul was on a 777-200 with standard Flagship Business seats. THEY SERVED HOT FOOD (you’ll need a tray). Three choices. It was plastic wrapped but still a league ahead of Delta’s disappointment. They also had PILLOWS AND BLANKETS. A refreshing amenity on the red eye to DFW. The IFE was also crisp and the B&O headphones sounded great. The food, bedding and service were the best I’ve had since my last international flight two years ago. 

Since AA is still AA they still found a way to disappoint us. While we landed on schedule we didn’t deplane until 45 minutes later due to traffic in front of our gate. When we finally did pull up nobody was there to position the jet bridge for about 20 minutes.

We arrived at DFW Terminal D so we were able to get a quick stop at the Centurion Lounge for breakfast. The lounge was crowded but we were able to find seats. Buffet selection was decent and still served to you by a staff member.

We hopped on the Air Link tram to catch a ride to Terminal B where our last flight to PIT departed on time. No IFE on this 737 but we were served a unique but oddly tasty fresh turkey and coleslaw sandwich. Other than a medical emergency the flight was uneventful and we arrived back to reality on time.

Next Report: Andaz Maui

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