Flight Review: Delta One Business Class Portland- Amsterdam

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The pitch of passenger traffic is understated and subdued at the end of Concourse D at Portland International Airport (PDX).  Boarding is about to commence for the approximately 10-hour flight on Delta 178 to Amsterdam.   My ticket is Delta One on the Airbus A330, and I’m ready for a hot towel and a pre-departure beverage.

If you’re looking to redeem your Delta SkyMiles or other credit card points for a trip in Delta One, consider using the Juicy Miles award booking service, who can help you redeem for the lowest amount of miles.

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It’s understandable that common west coast departure points to this European gateway city are Los Angeles and Seattle.  Both are dialed in to the amenities that Delta’s highest-revenue generating customers expect.   

The later location boasts the newest and most expansive SkyClub in Delta’s system, which seduces many by the breadth of its creature comforts.   By comparison, the understated and Spartan layout of PDX has a lot to prove.  However, as I discovered, it can be a surprisingly refreshing alternative for the simple traveler who may prefer to feel somewhat anonymous during their half-day reprieve overseas.  

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Tumi bathroom kits and the Delta One Winter Menu were presented.  So too was a rather brusque group of flight attendants.  I’m guessing that since PDX is a senior base for Delta, it was just business as usual for them.  Their attitude wasn’t the best.  But, hey…nothing that 10 hours of delicious food and drink can’t cure, right?

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  • Balik Salmon with Tomato Caper Relish served with breakfast radish butter and toast points

The smoked salmon was disappointing.  Tough texture, and the French bread was harder than a stale cracker.  The pretzel bread, by comparison, was bakery fresh! Compliments on the beer onion soup.  Not too hot, and balanced flavor.

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Menu Selections included the following:

  • Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin with savory sriracha butter and cedar plank roasted vegetables
  • Duo of Chicken: St. Tropez Chicken Roulade and a Confit Chicken Leg with fennel purée, haricots verts and mandarin orange sauce
  • Olive Oil Poached Alaskan Halibut with a mélange of oven roasted tomatoes, pearl onions, olives and artichokes in a lemon-tarragon beurre blanc
  • Fresh Black Truffle and Potato Ravioli with honey-roasted forest mushrooms and a light parmesan broth

The Beef Tenderloin paired nicely with my glass of Tuscano.  I was surprised that the entrée was prepared medium-well (normally not the case).   Their choice of sriracha butter, while gluttonous, did not overwhelm the way I thought it would.

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Ice cream and chocolate lava cake, with a simple yet fair selection of digestifs.

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Pre-arrival breakfast:

The French Onion Quiche was ok.  It’s hard to keep eggs fresh on a long haul.  Surprisingly, the cinnamon roll was soft and flaky.

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Bottom Line

After a smooth auto land in an early morning blanket of fog that had just rolled in from the North Sea, I deplaned feeling satisfied overall with the product.  I was somewhat chagrinned at the cabin crew who seemed detached, yet was grateful nonetheless for a safe journey.  

If you’re looking to redeem your Delta SkyMiles or other credit card points for a trip in Delta One, consider using the Juicy Miles award booking service, who can help you redeem for the lowest amount of miles.

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Have you flown Delta One from on this route before? Feel free to share your experience below!

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

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  1. Thanks for reviewing! Any pics of the cabinet / seats? I live in Portland and would like to see an overall of the cabinet/seats. We usually fly to larger cities because I am suspicious that PDX-AMS has outdated birds.

  2. Stop praising lackluster service for the name of safety. Other major airlines worldwide can offer excellent service with uncompromised safety record.

  3. I took this flight and the return in December and found the food, seat and service to be pretty underwhelming. The chicken on the AMS-PDX leg was particularly disappointing. No storage around the seat and it felt a little tight at my feet and shoulders when in lie-flat position. Service was mediocre with the FAS disappearing for long stretches.

  4. Did you give the cabin crew a little gift at the beginning of the flight? I think that guy Ben “Lucky” gave me the idea, and it does seem to help sometimes. The few times I’ve flown in the front of the plane, I’ve given quality chocolates or dried fruits. It also helps to give a sincere compliment to anyone who’s helping you, right off the bat.

  5. I flew Alaska from PDX to HNL in May and the guy I was sitting next to was a Southwest flight attendant. He gave the flight attendants a box of candy on boarding and they gave him all kinds of free stuff and extra service. Think I’ll do that when I fly PDX to AMS in October in business. By the way, most of Delta’s planes are old birds. They have a few new A330’s and are getting more but Delta uses a lot of 767’s. But they have been updated and are nice.

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