Monday, May 09, 2005

Delta - Technically Insufficient

Yes, I'm back in Japan. So ... why no movie review updates? Well, the row of seats that I was on - for 14 hours - had a problem with the movie. Every 15 minutes - for 14 hours - the movie would turn off and the system would take 5 minutes to reset. The power supply for computers was also inoperable - for 14 hours. And during the system resets the controls for the reading lights were also inoperable - for 14 hours.

I saw part of "The Phantom of the Opera", but missed most of the climactic scenes. I know that the chandelier fell at some point (not the same point as in the stage show), but I'm not sure when. I also missed the climax of the graveyard scene and, of course, the last 5 minutes of the movie. Otherwise it looked good.

I cannot recall a single flight on Delta to or from Japan in the last year that hasn't had some sort of problem with the entertainment or power system. Either some screens are out or the movies are in the wrong order or it's last month's movies, or the power ports are inoperable in some section of the plane.

I spoke to a flight attendant about the problem for quite a while. She confessed that there are significant problems with the entertainment systems on the Tokyo/Atlanta jets. According to her, Delta doesn't have the funds to fix the problems.

Although I'm sure that attitude does not apply to the technology that keeps the plane in the air, the continued failures of the on-board systems will eventually drive frequent fliers like myself to consider the indirect flights through New York or San Francisco on another airline.

Delta, whoever inside there thinks that new uniforms or paint jobs matter to fliers needs to get a lesson in what keeps people on your planes. 14 hours in a dark, cramped cabin with no entertainment, no ability to work, and not even reading light at the seat is not acceptable in modern travel.

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