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Trip Report Delta Economy ATL-JNB

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I recently took the direct flight on Delta from Atlanta to Johannesburg in economy. By the time I knew I was taking this trip it was not possible to book and pay for an economy seat of my choice (only middle EC seats were left). This flight initially had about 8 total seats empty up until the time of boarding.
Due to weather in the North East many U.S. flights into Atlanta were cancelled or so delayed that passengers on the ATL-JNB had mis-connections meaning there were more seats available / empty once we were on board.
I was seated in 40F which is an isle seat and due to the mis-connections the middle seat beside me was open during the flight. This middle seat being open gave both passengers on the isle seats a place to put things during meal times or just during the flight.
Let me say that this is the longest non stop flight that I have ever taken at 15 hrs 50 minutes and according to web pages this is in the top 10 longest flights out there.
Both the service and the food were on the flight were good. About an hour or so after take off we were all served dinner which offered a beef or chicken option of a hot meal. Both meals included a salad, a fruit cup, a small brownie and the entreee itself. In economy beer, wine, soft drinks, water, etc are all free.
I chose not to drink alcohol because I have heard that can contribute to worse jet lag. After dinner was over and cleared away all of the cabin lights were dimmmed and they asked passengers to keep the window shades shut as well to block out the light for better movie viewing, sleeping, etc.
The seats reclined a little more than domestic flights but it was not a lot by any means. I purchased a new pillow at the airport and was very thankful because without it I do not think I would have been able to sleep at all on the flight. I took every pillow they offered to put behind my lower back, to put between my leg and the arm rest for when I tried to turn sideways and use a portion of the empty middle seat, etc.
There was a toddler child about 2 rows back that started screaming about an hour into the flight which was everyone's nightmare. The mother did not try to comfort the child or acknowledge her at all. Many passengers complained because it was so loud as it could be hear loud and clearly over ipods, earphones, etc. The stewardess offered drinks, etc and then approached the mother to ask her to try and quiet the child be getting up or changing seats, etc. It got better for several hours until the child woke up again. These types of things can not be foreseen or planned for of course...
Around midnight they served a snack in a bag with a piece of fruit, a mini cheese / bagel type sandwich & a granola bar. I was asleep during this service so they left the snack on the empty tray table beside me.
About an hour before we landed they were serving another hot meal. The options were a broccoli & cheese hot pocket or a spicy vegetable empanada. Both options came with couscous and a fruit cup.
There are many movie selections, tv channels / episodes, music, etc all in the headrest of the seat in front of you provided for free They provide small ear phone plug in's and seat seat has a power outlet if needed as well.
On the return trip I purchased Economy Comfort so I will have something to compare coach to after that return flight back to the U.S.

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