JFK to PDX Weekend Round Trip
Delta Platinum Medallion Status
|Amex Gold Card
||948 Amex Rewards
I wanted to check out Portland, since I had not been there for years and had heard great things about how much fun the city had become. I had the fare on the google flights tracker for awhile, and it was always around $350 for a Friday – Sunday round trip on Delta. When it dropped closer to $300 I decided to buy, since I was set on these particular dates. I now see it just under $300, dropping to $260 or $270 occasionally.
I purchased on my Amex Gold Premier card via Delta’s website, which gave me 3x Amex Rewards points for a total of 948 ($316 price x3). Another alternative would be to use my delta Reserve Amex, but that only gives 2x points on delta purchases.
Getting to the airport
With a Friday AM flight, you can take the LIRR to the Airtrain, or the A train running express to the Howard Beach Airtrain, which is what I did. From downtown, the A running on its normal schedule is actually a pretty efficient way to reach JFK. (When it runs local that’s a whole other story). For some reason the Howard Beach Air train always seems to have less problems than the Jamaica route, so overall it took me just over an hour to get into Terminal 4.
I rave about the Sky Priority ticketing area at JFK T4, and this time it was not a disappointment. Delta seems to always staff this desk with the best people – always smiling, helpful, and ready to go above and beyond. Always a pleasure.
After checking in and a quick trip through TSA pre-check, I stopped by the T4 SkyLounge near B32 – love this club, but their breakfast isn’t impressive – think of an inexpensive hotel’s continental breakfast spread. I grabbed a bite and a bloody mary and hoofed over to board – which as per usual is a rather disorganized affair. Delta really needs to improve their signage or process or something – although a lot of the gate mess can be attributed to passengers not reading their boarding slips or in general acting like they’ve never gotten on a plane before.
I had chosen this flight to PDX specifically because it was a 767 and unlike most of Delta’s domestic 767 flights, this was upgradable to first. In this situation, this flight continues from PDX to Tokyo, hence the 767 aircraft. For this JFk to PDX leg, I was upgraded 3 days before the flight, and selected the second seat from the front with a window. This 767-300ER (76w) features Delta One Lay flat set up with 1-2-1 seating. The flat beds had power adjustments, a massaging function, and well designed lighting, outlets, and USB ports. Surprisingly the entertainment units, while decent, were not the newer hi res type in other renovated delta aircraft. There was plenty of room to lay down, however the foot area was a little tight – there could also be another bin or slot for storage somewhere in the area (there is a bin for shoes by your feet). The headphones are cheap (not noise cancelling) and the blanket and pillow are basic. I’m not sure if they upgraded these for the PDX to Tokyo portion, or if this was representative of that flight as well. Honestly if I was paying for a first class ticket on a 12 hours flight, I’d be a little disappointed in this product – however for a domestic flight and a free upgraded it was obviously pretty amazing.
The service was decent – friendly flight attendants, pre-take off drinks, usual good Delta food and entertainment. Nothing was particularly stand out – but overall a good flight. The 767 on domestic routes is such a bonus – not just the medallion upgrade, but also just a smoother ride and more room to stretch and move around.
Total time from Apt to Skyclub : 1 hour 30 mins
Total Time from T4 entrance (defined as exiting the Airtrain & entering the terminal, including security line and walking through terminal to SkyClub) to SkyClubBar: 25 mins