Delta First Class Review Atlanta (ATL) to Panama City (PTY)

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a tree in a room

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Introduction:  Our Panama Canal Cruise on Oceania Sirena

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Oceania Cruises Fleet Explained

Delta First Class Review Atlanta (ATL) to Panama City (PTY)

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Oceania Cruises Sirena Vista Suite 6003 Review

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Oceania Cruises Wine and Spirits Tasting Experiences

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The Pros and Cons of Sailing on Oceania’s Smallest R-Class Ships

Size Matters, Why We Prefer Oceania Cruises Larger Ships

Introduction

As we noted previously, when we booked this cruise our embarkation port was to be Cartagena, Colombia.  However, our embarkation port was changed to Panama City, Panama most likely due to the impact of the drought in Panama on cruise traffic.  Oceania Cruises offered to reimburse those who had booked their own travel up to $300 per person for flight change fees or differences in fare.  With that introduction lets jump into our Delta First Class Review Atlanta (ATL) to Panama City (PTY).

Booking

We like to save money on cruises by booking our flights using miles and points.  In order to get the best value from your points you generally want to book early.  So in this case we booked our flights 270 days in advance.  We were able to book first class seats on Delta, our preferred airline, directly from Atlanta (ATL) to Cartagena (CTG) for a reasonable 44,200 Skymiles and just $20.60 in fees each.

When the itinerary change letter came we immediately went to see what options were available on Delta.  Given we were now 129 days out the price for the flights were 68,000 Skymiles and $6.85 in fees each.  Delta has made it very difficult to get much more than one cent per point so the difference in fare was essentially $224.25 per person.  I wasn’t sure how Oceania Cruises would deal with a points booking as there’s no fixed value for Delta Skymiles.  Well Oceania Cruises surprised me and refunded $238 per person, so a bit more than I had actually requested.

Airport Experience

We were departing out of ATL Terminal E, so it was convenient for us to visit the American Express Centurion Lounge that had opened a little over a month before.  This was actually my second visit to the lounge, but the first time I’m sharing my thoughts so in the interest of full disclosure the pictures are actually from two separate visits, both in the morning, and both within a month of the lounge’s opening.

Wayfinding signage for the Centurion Lounge is very good for those not familiar with its location.  Upon approach the lounge has similar design cues from other Centurion lounges with a green wall contrasted by clean white and walnut wood finishes that carry throughout the lounge.

people walking in a terminal

a row of chairs in a room

a green wall with plants on it

The lounge is very spacious and includes multiple bars, two outdoor spaces, and a wide variety of seating options.

people sitting on a patio with a couple of people on it an airplane at an airport

For me the most stunning feature are the two spaces with soaring ceilings accented by trees (top image) and dramatic lighting.  The lounge is by far the most attractive at ATL.

a group of people sitting at tables in a restaurant a tv on a wall

The food at breakfast is on par with a Delta SkyClub.  This may be a controversial statement to those fans of Centurion Lounges, but it’s just not any better than what the Delta SkyClubs in B, E, and F/International serve and only better than the other clubs in that there’s a slightly wider variety of items on offer.  Service is fine, but again no better than in a Delta SkyClub.

a buffet line with food and utensils a group of people standing around a counter with food in bowls a glass display case with different fruits and drinks a buffet table with food on plates

Where the Centurion Lounge has an edge over a SkyClub is in the bar service, though in the morning I wasn’t interested in anything stronger than a Mimosa where again it’s a tie with the ones offered at the SkyClubs.  So in short, at least for a morning departure for those that have SkyClub and Centurion Lounge access, go to whichever lounge is closest to your gate.

Here are pictures of my gluten free breakfast selections during both morning visits.

a plate of food and a glass of orange juice on a counter a plate of food and a cup of coffee

In my opinion it’s not worth it to commute to Terminal E if you’re departing from another terminal like Terminal C for example.  Just for fun I timed myself from main South Side security (all Delta passengers) to the Centurion Lounge via the SkyTrain and it took a hair over 13 minutes to get there at a quick pace.

a screenshot of a phone One area where the Centurion Lounge has a clear let up is that their WiFi is very fast and easy to connect with.

a screenshot of a device

It also provides access to an online library of periodicals which is a cool feature that to date I had only ever seen before at a few luxury hotels.

a screenshot of a computer

 

On Board Experience

It was a short walk from the Centurion Lounge to our departure gate where our aircraft taking us down to Panama was waiting.  The aircraft was a rather old Boeing 737-900.  It had the fairly standard Delta IFE.  Pre departure beverages were offered, but limited to sparkling wine, Mimosas, or orange juice.  As is standard with Delta first class there were small bottles of water already located at our seats.

a screen with an airplane on it a drink and a plastic cup on a tray in a plane

Given the timing of the flight breakfast was served.  To be honest I’m not a huge breakfast person and my opinion of airplane breakfast is pretty abysmal.  We were given the option to order ahead through the app.

a close-up of food in bowls

From experience I know that the Frittata is gluten free if you avoid whatever bread is served on the side so I selected this option while my wife selected the gluten free option.  Both were acceptable, but not excellent.  I’ve also included a picture of the fruit and cheese option from another flight departing Atlanta as this option was also offered on this route.

a bowl of soup with a side of bread and fruit
Delta First Class Breakfast Frittata
a tray with food on it
Delta First Class Meal GF Pre Order
a tray with food and coffee
Delta First Class Meal Fruit and Cheese

After breakfast was cleared, another round of drinks were offered, followed by a visit from the first class snack basket.  I watched a movie and before we knew it we were on approach to Panama City.

Conclusion

As is typical for a Central America route served by Delta Airlines, there were no amenity kits, noise cancelling headphones, or other international-style perks.  This was essentially like flying a long-haul domestic route that doesn’t offer DeltaONE service.

Cabin crew were friendly and attentive.  Though to be honest on a flight of this length in the morning passengers were generally happy to rest and watch TV.

That concludes our Delta First Class Review Atlanta (ATL) to Panama City (PTY).  We hope that you found it helpful. – Michael

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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